Brooklyn on film

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

-michelle and her bffs-

to eat: blueberry rosemary lime donut and maple miso donut from Dough Loco in east harlem 
I think donuts are half the reason we came to NYC this past spring break. Actually, after trying these tangy-sweet flavors from Dough Loco, I'm positive. This tiny, hole-in the wall spot we discovered, with its aged white brick walls and fairy lights, turned out to be the perfect place to refuel before bearing the merciless winds in Brooklyn.

to play: Jane's carousel in Dumbo, Brooklyn

This place was like something out of a fairytale. Finding something so fragile and delicate in an urban setting is completely surreal. We became wide-eyed children for a couple hours, because the architecture (tall glass panels constructed into a cube around the glowing carousel...with a view of Williamsburg Bridge to the right, and Brooklyn Bridge behind) was too beautiful to be true. 

 -michelle in front of the williamsburg bridge-


Bluebird Cafe, NYC

Saturday, April 19, 2014

-bluebird coffee, nyc-

SUNDAY MORNINGS were made for soft light streaming through windows, worn, rustic tables and the sound of sleepy silence (unless you're my dorm mates and still listen to Holy Grail 24 hours a day). More importantly, however, Sunday mornings were made for brunch. I took this photo on our very first day in NYC. We were tired, but completely exhilarated, full of eager anticipation to explore the city.

We stepped into Bluebird Cafe that morning, escaping blistering cold winds outside (no one told us it snowed in March in NYC), and were met with whiffs of cinnamon toast, and surrounded by the warm aroma of freshly roasting coffee. We opted for macchiatos over cortados, and possibly the best cinnamon toast swirl with a side of berry jam and almond butter. Consumed to the last crumb as you can see! It's funny how such a small moment from our grand scheme of travel in NYC turned out to be one of my favorite memories from the city.


kiko X union mag

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"In an endless dream we never wake from
                                        she touches us with her soft, delicate smile."

YOU MIGHT HAVE noticed a little change to my blog... I've officially changed its (his? her?) name from "canvasofculture" to "the etherealist". 
It's an idea that's been brewing for some time now, and unlike the old title, which never felt 100% complete, the etherealist feels right. 

I came up with the name rather spontaneously, while speaking almost everyday to Michelle about our shared love for a raw but graceful kind of beauty, and a certain effortless creation that ranges from androgynous to feminine. She's going to be collaborating a lot on the etherealist with me, so look forward to that! And I came across this stunning video of forever-muse Kiko just the other day, and I couldn't imagine a better post to go along with the introduction of the etherealist. Enjoy!

A Conversation with Victor

Friday, April 11, 2014

TODAY'S POST is a special one, because it's kind of a testament to the good things that can arise through social media. I never expected a platform like instagram to go beyond 'likes' and comments. I certainly didn't expect a seemingly fleeting mode of technology to lead to real human friendships with like-minded people across the world. Well, this is Victor Stonem, a talented, creative student from the Dominican Republic who I met through instagram, and happen to share a rather scary amount of similar interests with. After a few months of correspondence, this weekend we finally sat down and hada conversation about everything from films, photography, and Paris dreams, to Léa Seydouxto and living vicariously through SKINS. Here it is!


June:   Victor, your illustrations are great! I definitely see the Garance Dor inspiration. And I like the menswear aspect too, because the blogosphere is so dominated by female-fashion bloggers. When you're working on illustrations, what’s the process? Do you find a certain inspiration then experiment with hand or on computer?

VictorHaha the creative process is such a pain sometimes. I try to find inspiration  through images and music. If I feel very inspired by any of those elements, I just start drawing. I first do them by hand, I start sketching until I get it right and then I apply ink.
 After that, I scan them and I draw them again with my pen tablet on my computer.
 Haha, I'm glad you see the Garance inspiration, I love the way she communicates with her illustrations. I try to do that with menswear, which is not easy at all!

J:         Ooh. Music you're inspired by right now?

V:         I'm listening a lot to Devendra Banhart, Kings of Convenience, Woodkid, Snowmine, Frankie Rose... The list is endless, I'll share a playlist on the blog soon. What are you listening to?


J:          Parachutes, Feist, Flume, and Woodkid as well! 

V:         Ohhh, I love feist and parachutes!!


J:          Yes! "where were you" and "grass leaves" by parachutes are a few of my favorites! And “bittersweet memories” by Feist is so good.

V:          I love “where were you”, and “bittersweet memories” makes me cry every time I listen to it!

J:          Yea it does that to you…It’s a dream to someday film a short conceptual video and have a song like that playing. 

V:         That would be amazing, I've tried to do short films but I can't seem to get them right haha. 

J:          It's soo much harder than it looks for sure!! My first video I'm going to try, is a few scenes that we shot in NYC. I'm a little scared to start, because once I do its pretty much taking over my life.

V:        Can’t wait to see it, I bet it's going to be wonderful. 
J:      Thanks, I hope so! So, I was really taken by Tavi's interview with Leith clark of Lula Magazine. Did you get a chance to read it? That’s what inspired this conversation actually. She was talking about how the more readers you get, sometimes you change your style to adhere to a greater range of people, but that’s something I definitely would want to avoid (not that I’m anywhere near that level of greatness haha). I'm still figuring out what my aesthetic is, although I'm getting a better sense as time goes on. I do really love your aesthetic though! Do you find the style you gravitate towards changing and growing as well?

V:        Yes, I read the interview and I loved it. And somehow, I think that happens to all of us. As we get to connect with all these different people, our style and aesthetic change. It's always evolving for good, you know? We get better with age and experience. 
I love your aesthetic. It's clean, playful and beautiful, all at the same time. Mine is always changing. I think it also depends on my mood. One day I can feel all colorful and cheerful and sometimes I'm more drawn to minimalist and simple things. 

J:        I think the amount of inspiration we’re exposed to is great. Overwhelming but great. It's so crazy to think that only a year ago, we barely had an instagram, but it has quickly led to such new encounters and conversations because of it! I'm still in awe every day at how many good things social media can bring if you choose to use it in certain ways.

V:        Yes! With Instagram, I've gotten to know amazing people (including you) that inspire me to create more and to communicate things in a different way. I've found inspiration in simple things and I try to create something similar. That's why I don't really post anything personal and only share inspiring bits and bobs. With the blog it’s the opposite, I talk about my life, about fashion and some projects I have going on, it's more free.

J:         Definitely. Like now, I’m having a conversation with you who is literally writing from an  island in the middle of the Caribbean! And I met up with people I talked to on instagram in San Francisco, one day a few weeks ago, and it was amazing how instantly we connected. Maybe because there was an unspoken love for capturing these moments.

V:        I love it when I click like that with people. It's like you've known them for such a long time!   What a beautiful feeling.                        
 Part II.  

J:         So, speaking of more personal, I just read your latest blog post "youth in revolt" earlier today, and you know, I actually really relate to what you said!

 There's so many nights when I'm here at school just spending the night in ,watching films or editing blog posts and photos when I feel like the entire student population is out partying haha. And it’s like, oh right I’m a college student, should I go out and start living now… 

V:         I think we've all been there, no? I mean, I love partying but I'm not so focused on doing all those crazy things. I'm just like you, I spend my nights looking for inspiration, reading, writing, editing photos and drawing. That's what cool people like us do, right? hahaha


J:         Only the coolest. I've come to accept that I live most wild child experiences through visual culture- films and tv. Like my roommate and I still remember half the lines from the first gen of Skins UK. Also, your name always reminds me  of Tony and Effy Stonem. Just throwing that out there. 

V:       Oh, most people think that! It's pretty funny actually. 

J:        An admirable comparison :)  

V:        I live through those experiences just like you. Mainly with The Dreamers by Bernardo Bertolucci and SKINS of course, I love that show. 


         I haven't heard of The Dreamers, but I’m already compelled by the title. What's that like?


V:        It’s a beautiful movie. There's something very poetic about it. It's about a guy that moves to Paris and he meets these siblings that change his perspective on film and life. They play a game in which they have to emulate old films scenes. One of my favorite movies, you have to see it!

J:         Adding it to my ever-growing list! I just watched  La Vie d'Adèle the other night. That movie was just... wow. So beautiful! And so very French haha…

V:        Ohhh, I've been dying to watch Blue is the Warmest Color. I saw that it was on Netflix the other day but I forgot to watch it. I mean, Léa Seydoux is there,  it has to be good!


J:        She’s just everything. Epitome of girl-crush! The cinematography was beautiful… Of course, I’m a sucker for French movies and language, but the ways the characters looked at each other, the glances, the blue eyes, long eyelashes, their raw emotion, their imperfections. It was powerful. Also the soundtrack! Although I caution: be careful who you watch it with!

V:        Hahaha, well... we all love the french, their lifestyle is pretty interesting no? 

I’m dying to go to Paris. It's on my bucket list, alongside with Milan, Stockholm and Barcelona! Ahh, just the thought of being there is magical.

J:           That’s literally at the top of my bucket list too! Well probably 99% of the world’s right? I've only been to Italy in Europe. When I visited NYC for the first time just last week, it really reminded me so  much of the ease of Europe though! Just the gorgeous older buildings and the way you can walk around everywhere in the day and at night and feel so alive. So unlike LA to me.


 Haha, well, I've never been to Ny! But I can say you're right about LA, you can't really move without a car there. But I love it anyway. It's beautiful, like one of Sofia Coppola's films.

J:          She does have such a unique way of looking at cities doesn't she! Maybe I would appreciate LA more if I didn't go to school here now… I loved the way she captured Tokyo in Lost in Translation, she got that moody feeling down so perfectly!

V:        She's totally a genius. The way she captured Tokyo was amazing. Quiet, moody and chaotic, all at the same time. We should go on an adventure there!

J:         Haha sounds good! See ya in tokyo;)

Find Victor on: 

freshly plucked

Sunday, April 6, 2014

 I PLUCKED THESE delicate little guys on my way to Michelle's apartment a few weeks ago (her neighbor's magnolia bush was looking a little overabundant). This of course yielded yet another spontaneous photo-shoot...

Can you
sweet spring's

of a gentle hello

blooms of
my sleeping soul


renewed life 
goodbye to the

of grays

in the morning light
in restless air. 

wake up

feel the sand
crackling on limbs

pluck the flower
steal the petals



                         -words by Michelle and I

Stepping away from digital, and exploring different mediums of capturing moments & memories through my fuji polaroid, film, and Michelle's video recorder, has been more of a struggle than I anticipated, but a rather pleasant and enjoyable one all the same. 

Here's to a new quarter!


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