An Artful Collaboration

Another holiday season is upon us which means a new holiday collection and artful collaboration.

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Moving across the country a year ago came with a huge set of challenges for me.  One of which was moving away from my very artistic collaborative partners.  I had such an amazing group of artists that I worked with weekly living in Chattanooga.  They would all come together to help me pull off a large project for a new collection.  Likewise when my HMUA’s, models, and photographer friends needed me to create something for them, style them for one of their up coming performances, or needed some of my jewels for an editorial they were working on I was always on board with a willingness, and a want to help create something truly special.  That is just how we did things… Kindness breeds kindness..

Since moving to CA I knew I wanted to rebuild a new collaborative network of artists.  But how would I do this… It took years to gather such a talented group that understood my wants and needs and me theirs.  It all starts with a conversation really…

I met Laurie Nigliazzo through our children who are in first grade together.  Laurie is a floral artist and has a flowers and events business sweetly named “Posy Studios“.  After discussing our two talents we decided we wanted to incorporate both into a beautiful collaborative project.  Now that we have an idea… it’s time to build a beautiful, artful team.

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Laurie Nigliazzo – Not only is Laurie an amazing floral artist she is a wedding and events planner, and finds artistic expression in painting. She is an incredibly dedicated individual and in-between her many projects she finds time to help out with local charities, and fundraisers that benefit our community. She describes her daughter as “very kind with a big heart”. The same can be said about Laurie.

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A few of Posy Studios beautiful floral creations (crowns, wristlets, and floral collars)  that were used in collaborative project.

The next step was to get a photographer on board that wanted to shoot something other than their everyday… When you’re building a collaborative team you need to think of what you have to offer others that will be participating..  After all… they are giving up their time for you.  Laurie had a friend that just finished shooting a wedding she provided flowers for.  Kassidy’s typical everyday is weddings, so joining our group would give her a new creative outlet and allow her to photograph something completely outside of her everyday.   That is how we found Kassidy Love Photography.

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Kassidy Mefford ~ Kassidy Love Photography

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Kassidy with kids from the village in which her non-profit organization is based in Playa Gigante, Nicaragua

Kassidy is such a kind and loving soul.  Not only does she photograph life for a living she is Owner/Operator of Dale Dagger Surf tours Nicaragua, and founder of a very special charity called the Sweet Water Fund.  The Sweet Water Fund is a grass roots foundation dedicated to inspiring a Nicaraguan village and empowering the local women through job opportunities, a healthy lifestyle and the arts. I am thankful I had the chance to meet and get to know her.  If you would like to find out more about Kassidy or her non profit organization Sweet Water Fund please follow links provided. 

Next on the collaborative agenda was finding a HMUA team (hair and makeup) and some willing models to be our living dolls for a day.. 

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Jessica Tahsler – I have had a passion for the hair and beauty industry most of my adult life. I have been licensed for eleven years. In that time I have mastered a wide range of techniques. My specialty and passion is in education. I have been an educator since 2005. Helping others obtain their goals of succeeding has always fueled my passion and inspires me to stay updated on all the latest trends, so in turn I can inspire others!

I knew another mom from my son’s school that teaches students HMUA at a the Marinello Schools of Beauty here in Napa CA.  I knew immediately I had to reach out to her to be part of this project.  Not because Jessica has a ton of experience doing this type of thing, but because of the kind of person she is.  Regardless of experience I find it equally important to request those who you feel comfortable around, have a kind and gentle presence, and work well with others.  Jessica is all of those things and has taught students HMUA  for 10+ years.   Jessica selected some of her top students to assist her in project, and arrived to location excited to showcase their work!   Her team included Giosifa Cavalli Taufa, Ariel Cook, and Holly Matfield.  

For their very first rodeo of this kind they did an amazing job!

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Left to right: Ariel Cook, Giosifa Cavalli Taufa, Holly Matfield, Jessica Tahsler 

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HMUA doing what they do BEST!

With everything in place I just needed to select the models and we would be on our way to the start of what will become “DOVEY” My 2015 Holiday collection.

Knowing I had several pieces to shoot it made sense to have 3 or 4 models so that the shoot would flow, and we could continue to photograph while HMUA changes were being done.

I have never used Model Mayhem, but know several artist friends that have.  Since being new to the area and wishing for models with some experience I created my first casting call.  I received several inquiries and selected one model from MM.  I also created a post on “The Bay Area Actors, Models, Photographers, and mua’s Network.  It is a good source to use if you have a network like this in your area as it creates a wonderful creative forum for people in your profession to connect. I was able to find one more lovely girl using this network.  We had two other beauties in our circle of friends and a little 7 year old doll by the name of Alexi!  We were ready.

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Alexi Nigliazzo-Ruxton and her dog Jax – The sweetest thing…  She loves fashion.  Has since the day she was born.  Her mother (Laurie Nigliazzo and Floral Artist) says she has never been able to pick out her outfits because she is very passionate about her own personal style… Alexi is a very kind child with a huge heart.

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Niba Nirmal – “I am currently a third year undergraduate student studying Genetics and Genomics, as well as Environmental Toxicology and Asian American Studies. I started modeling a few years ago, and absolutely love the beautiful people she has met and images that have been made as a result. I can’t wait to see where it will lead me to next!”

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Chante Lanuza – “Free Spirit” is definitely a perfect descriptive for Chante… “I am an artist and currently going to school for welding to fabricate mixed medium sculptures.  Born and raised in Napa CA.

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Grace Bartlett – Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, and is signed with Clear Talent Group. – “What inspires me often is the world around me. Understanding that everything has a ripple effect off of each other, and that in the grand scheme of things, we are one. Thoughts like that are what drew me to becoming a vegetarian! I try to be vegan often but I can’t fully call myself one. My sister, also inspires me every day because of her dedication to bettering our world. She is one of my biggest influences with how I view life in general!”

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Hatice Erdec – I am from Turkey. I used to play basketball professionally. I came to USA to study MBA. I am currently working as a junior project manager and model. I’ve always been a huge fan of modeling. What inspires me? A few of my model and photographer friends have been so kind to help point me in the right direction, and wanted me to start modeling. Then l found myself in the fashion shows. After that I got very good feedback from photographers and designers, and they started to book me for photo-shoots and fashion shows, in which I became a more experienced model . They are the ones that inspire me! I love my job. It was so fun.

The shoot took approximately 5 hours.  We pressed on through dusk and would have continued for a few more wardrobe changes, but unfortunately we were running out of daylight.  We were shooting the campaign outside where natural light was a must.  Even through this we got some lovely artistic photos of Hatice from the glow of the pool.  It was a wonderful idea on Kassidy’s part to use the beautiful pool lighting as a background for one last photo.

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I would like to extend a special thank you to Betty’s Girl Boutique for providing us with some beautiful vintage wardrobe options.

If you are looking for a vintage wedding gown or something customized to your own personal taste and style Kim Northrop is a talented seamstress and owner of Betty’s Girl Boutique on Pearl Street Napa CA.  Kim will be happy to assist you with all of your vintage wardrobe needs.

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A beautiful selection of vintage finds provided by Betty’s Girl Napa

It was a truly special day with a wonderful team of artists.  I am very thankful to all that gave up their time and came out to be a part of this project.

If you are a photographer, HMUA, model, or visual artist and would like to do a collaborative project with me, please message me the details of your project to jillzaleski@gmail.com.  I am always looking for new, talented individuals that inspire me with their creativity.

 “DOVEY” Holiday 2015 Look Book

Where to purchase  > DOVEY

 

 

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