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‘Soul’ is the perfect inspirational movie for a difficult year

In a year of unprecedented loss and turmoil, we needed something hopeful and special to end the year. And we got it in Soul, the most inspirational movie put out in quite some time.

Destiny has a funny way of doing things, so they say.

Pixar has closed the year with the groundbreaking film we needed, even if we didn’t know it. The inspirational movie Soul rounds out 2020, maybe not with the ending we wanted, but with the ending we needed.

‘Soul’ is as inspirational a movie as we have seen in quite some time

The movie Soul is about a musician who has lost his passion for music. And as he has lost his passion, he is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself (22).

Soul is an inspirational movie that, just like this messy year, can be described with only one word: unpredictable. 

Not only does the main character die in the first 20 minutes of the movie, but we also hear Tina Fey’s voice coming out of a middle-aged black man.

Soul is groundbreaking and perfectly-fitting for 2020

Soul could not be more culturally relevant. It features prominent historic figures, from Mother Teresa and Muhammad Ali, to the famous NYC pizza rat. And, it provides answers to long-standing mysteries like ‘why are the Knicks so bad?’ and the concept of destiny.

Most interesting about the film is that it is Pixar’s first movie co-directed by a black man, Kemp Powers.

And to add more to the inspirational movie of the year, Soul is Pixar’s first film with a Black lead. In fact, the movie was so conscious of the painful history of Black animation, that the animators specifically used light to highlight the ethnic diversities of the living world.

They captured details of black characters including the textures of their black hairs and tones of skin, like no other animation film. And, of course, it is the first movie created by Pixar animators in their homes at least six feet away from each other in the Bay Area.

More on Soul, the movie we needed more than we ever knew

Originally, Soul, the inspirational film (of the decade?), was set to be released in June 2020. But due to the pandemic, it was released on Disney Plus in December. Right in time for us to ponder about the meaning of life — like Pete Docter, the director, did when he created the film.

But, unlike Disney’s previous films, Soul aims not to provide a straight forward answer to what the meaning of life is. And, and that is perhaps the most real message that Disney was ever taught us. 

Soul makes you think and ask questions

When I first watched the film Soul, I was expecting a Coco-like plot, with catchy songs and tearful endings. Instead, I got a bunch of questions and confusion from my little cousins.

We had to pause the movie several times for me to explain what the heck was happening.

“Did Joe die and revive?”

“What is the before life?”

And most surprising, “Are we really born with personalities?”


To be honest, I had no answer to most of the questions they asked. Nor had I imagined that they were paying that close attention, even I was having trouble keeping up with the bunch of information that we were given. All I knew was that the movie certainly did not solely target 8 and 10-years-olds. 

Additional background on Soul and the inspiration behind the film

If you pass the incredible animation, the talking animals, and the cute looking souls, the movie holds deep meanings. It even points out racial problems relevant to today’s news.

It might seem obvious and even necessary given the latest events that have been going on. But the movie has been in development since 2016 when Pete Docter started pondering the origin of human personalities and the concept of destiny. 

And, four years in development might seem like a long time. But not long enough to provide the right answers to questions most of us spend a lifetime answering. That’s exactly why the movie is so good. It holds no definitive answers, just a clear depiction of how good it is just living. 

Soul is a reminder of how good life is

After all the catastrophic events that have happened this year, we can’t judge 22 for not bothering to live. The world, in fact, can sometimes be a horrible place to live. For us millennials and Gen-Z’ers, we’ve been taught that we should find our passion to learn about or purpose in life.

Our parents spent an incredible amount of time (and money) looking for music classes, sports practices, camps, etc. All waiting for us to uncover the genius in us and our hidden talents that would help us thrive in life. 

All to graduate during a pandemic with often no clue of what we want to do in life. The worst part is that we are anxious about that. We feel bad about not being ‘the best,’ we feel guilty: “All that time and money for nothing?”

Perhaps it’s our definition of everything that has us all f*****. We have a life to live, to enjoy, to stumble and learn. That’s our destiny. 

The best part is, no one can teach us how to live. It’s something we have to experience on our own, just like 22. Only then will we understand why it is worth living in this incredibly confusing and sometimes frightening world.

Maybe it’s for that one pizza bite? And that could be the most legit answer to the questions of life’s meaning. Maybe it’s for something else. But it is Soul, Pixar’s inspirational movie of the year and possibly decade, that forces us to ask these questions. And for that, and that alone, we are appreciative.

BIPOC photographers need to take advantage of seasonal opportunities

A toast to the seasonal BIPOC photographers out there who grind during the holidays and are taking advantage of all the opportunities to get their bags in order!

While it is entirely okay to take a break during the holiday seasons, there are almost too many opportunities for BIPOC photographers to shine and prove their creative skills.

Granted. Christmas this year may not be what we expected. Social distancing and COVID-19 have overruled every single event. Keeping up with family members, and loved ones are more challenging than before.

But thankfully this year has also opened our minds and our hearts. We have the experience, at first sight, the works of the most creative minds out there. People who, amidst all the chaos and uncertainty, brought different perspectives and new stories — BIPOC creatives.

And, now that we can’t count on the usual Christmas dinner to share the love, perhaps it’s time to let these BIPOC photographers bring some color to the holidays.

Who is going to shoot those Christmas cards if not them anyway?

Camila Javier (She/Her)

Camila is the mastermind behind the #girlswithpanties project. Thus her priorities are portraying women and femme minorities.

She is an expert in providing “safe space for women of color” during photo shoots. And, her creative approach effectively depicts intimacy, creating a powerful connection, between the viewer and the subject.

Undeniably better than a Facetime call, and perfect as a social distance celebration that brings your loved ones closer.

Alvin Kean Wong (He/Him)

Born and raised in Singapour, Alvin started his photographic journey as the means to explore, understand, and travel through the world.

He started when he was only 8-years-old and his eye and professional career have only grown ever since. He has brought his authentic eye to the fashion scene, the BIPOC creative has worked with clients including Vogue, Elle, Glamour, etc.

Although he focuses on fashion photography, he also has experience with portraits and film. Thus, allowing Alvin to deliver interesting and unique work.

Katytarika Bartel (They/Them)

Katytarika offers a variety of services for women, femmes, gender-nonconforming LGBTQIA, and people of color.

What is unique about Katytarika is that they set a studio with detailed production to create thoughtful and emotional environments. This is especially engaging for audiences, creating an emotional relationship with BIPOC subjects.

Photo by @bykatytarika

Besides focusing on the LGBTQIA community and people of color, Katytarika to those with financial struggles.

Julia Foo (She/her)

Based in New York, Julia is also a portrait photographer who focuses on depicting individuality and pride.

Her main focus is the self-expression of her BIPOC subjects and uses it to create a direct message to the viewer.

Roderick Jackson (He/him)

Roderick is a lifestyle photographer who focuses on lifestyle photography, particularly proficient with portraits. Plus, the BIPOC has worked in music videos with hip-hop and rap musicians.

Roderick gained recognition for his aesthetics, layering multiple videos on top of each other and accomplishing a complex color gradient.

BIPOCs take the perfect photo for the perfect season

So why them?

Now that things have changed so rapidly and the new normal is not quite as exciting as the old, let’s get interestingly creative with those Christmas memories.

We all know that moms love to have every single moment recorded on camera. And although this year may not be one to forget, lets make it worth it by supporting more BIPOC photographers that are to bring new and authentic views to all those old traditions.

After all, isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Showing some love and support. These BIPOC photographers are constantly finding seasonal opportunities and will bring some joy to your Holidays.

Nigerian photography sets a new standard for intensity and Blackness

Nigerian photography and the country’s photographers stand alone in their intense and honest elements. African photography in general teems with realism and an unabashed desire to thwart norms.

Just 5.3 thousand miles from New York, lies the biggest city in Africa: Lagos. The former capital of the beautiful country of Nigeria.

The city has been recognized as “Africa’s Big Apple” and, just like New York City, it, therefore, has some supremely talented photographers people need to be aware of.

From the problematic oil spills and the flooding shantytowns of Lagos to the finest street fashion and faces of the country, these Nigerian photographers are capturing the soul of Nigeria with their lenses.

Thankfully social media and the internet allows these Nigerian and African photographers to share their views with the rest of the world.

Gorge Osodi

Osodi worked as a news photographer for The Comet, a Nigerian newspaper, before joining the Associated Press News Agency in 2001.

After two years of focusing on photojournalists, he undertook his dream of becoming an artist. Then, in 2003 he started shooting oil spills in the oil-rich delta region of the Niger River.

For years, the place has been embedded in conflict and corruption. Thus, Osodi’s work has brought global awareness to the vulnerability of these places. His work, therefore, communicates the realities of the country, from detrimental pollution effects to the magic and beauty of the country’s culture.

Ade Adekola

Ade is a Nigerian-born architect that has used photography to further develop a visual language. In fact, she is a self-taught photographer distinguished for her experimental and innovative forms in exploring the medium.

“To me, capture represents 5% of the effort. The balance of 95% of the effort is probably is the cognitive idea. Trying to figure out how to execute it, what is the best way to turn it into a visual narrative. How to make it a cohesive body of work. And then the balance would be experimenting on a particular visual language.”

Ade Adekola, Visual Collaborative Interview 2019

Furthermore, she has taken Nigerian-inspired art to international markets, pushing the boundaries of how traditional art is perceived.

Mixing numerous disciplines including architecture, writing, and entrepreneurship, Adekola is not only publicly acclaimed but she is also an inspiration for all African photographers and female creatives.

Lakin Ogubanwo

Unlike Osodi, Lakin Ogubando took different paths with his artistry. He, in fact, chose law as his original field of study. Only after taking several pictures of his younger sister, he realized his passion and skill for photography.

He is now also one of the most distinguished Nigerian photographers walking.

Ogubanwo is a self-taught African photographer who got formally trained in the Spéos Photography Institute in Paris. The 32-year-old photographer has since been issued in a number of recognized magazines including Vogue, The Wall Street Journal and, The New York Times.

Andrew Esiebo

Interested in the urbanization of Nigeria, Andrew Esiebo began his career as a photographer documenting such development. His Nigerian photography work quickly turned to point out social issues such as sexuality, gender politics, football, popular culture, migration, and spirituality.

Throughout his career, Esiebo has won multiple awards, also including the Musee du Quai Branly Artistic creation prize.

His work is also internationally recognized, with exhibitions at the Sao Paulo Biennial in Brazil,  Dakar Biennial in Senegal, Biennale Cuvee, Linz, Austria, Photoquai biennial in France, Guangzhou Triennial in China, and many more.

Esiebo has also published his work in multiple books and magazines like The New York Times, Time Out Nigeria, CNN Africa, etc.

Why is Nigerian photography so special?

Nigerian photographers lean into the difficult topics, and thus the difficult visuals. African photographers in general understand the honesty a photograph can present.

Nigerian photography is humbly aware of its faults and circumstances.

It is not just what Nigeria offers to its people, but also what these talented and prestigious Nigerian photographers can offer to the rest of the creative world. Beautiful pictures to inspire, and thus, transcend what we know about photography.


Are sexy audio stories the new wave? Dipsea is turning women on

Gina Gutierrez and Faye Keegan, founders of Dipsea, have created the first platform for sexy audio stories. Now the duo is pushing for a better understanding of women’s sexual wellness.

We all know what women talk about during their sleepovers; boys, gossip, and of course, their sexual experiences. Sex, in fact, is a major conversation among women.

“After dozens of late-night conversations around Faye’s kitchen table, we decided to make Dipsea a reality. We set out on a mission to empower women to tap into their sexuality more easily, and on their terms.”

Gina Gutierrez, Co-founder and CEO

Better sex, happiness, and health

The Dipsea app offers short, sexy audio stories, guided sexual wellness content, and now — Sleep. 

sexual experiences dipsea
Dipsea App

Often, we have trivialized the idea of sex, wellness, health, and most of all — empowerment. History has taught us that pleasure is rather sinful, almost like a crime and, in many cases, it has taught us that it deserves punishment. But, why? 

“In what other industries in the world do people say, ‘oh that problem is complicated, it must be unsolvable?’ None. So why do we do that with women’s sexuality?”

“Complicated challenges require complicated, nuanced solutions and a lot of care. Which is what we’re putting into it. We don’t believe women’s desire is a problem to be solved, it’s a fire to be stoked.” 

Gina Gutierrez, Co-founder and CEO

Sex, pleasure, and the exploration of both is not only a natural human experience, it’s a healthy one.

According to the Center of Women’s Health at Oregon Health and Science University, sex not only reduces blood pressure, is an immediate and natural pain reliever, decreases depression and anxiety but it also improves self-esteem. 

In other words, sex promotes a happier and healthier life.

Opening conversations through sexy audio stories is not only logical, but necessary. 

Gina and Faye recognized this missing piece and saw an opportunity. Who said that girls’ talk could not turn into a business? 

“We want to help people tap into their sexuality more easily, and on their terms. With pleasure comes power, and we want to give people an avenue to it.”

Gina Gutierrez, Co-founder and CEO

Thus, Dipsea was created as a business that takes a mind-first approach to sex and thought what was missing from most women’s sexual experiences was better inspiration and mood making. 

Sexy audio stories that set the mood

The idea of a platform that creates a mood and helps people tap into their sexuality and overall sexual wellness is surely interesting. But, most alluring is all the thought behind these sexy audio stories. 

“This has implications far beyond the bedroom: how confident we feel in our relationships, our jobs. How clearly we communicate our needs and desires.”

Gina Gutierrez, Cofounder and CEO

Every one of the sexy audio stories that Dipsea offers is sex-positive, consensual, and feminist. It presents people empowered in their social, romantic, and sexual experiences hoping that the user can secure the empowerment within themselves.

It’s all about sexual inspiration, education, and normalization. 

Additonally, within those teachings, Dipsea rescues the term and the significance of what erotica really is and what it means. Gina talked about how the term has lost its meaning over the years.

“People confuse eroticism with the pornographic: as intended to create arousal,” she explained. And quoted Adrienne Marie Brown, “[the pornographic is] sensation without emotion.” 

Eroticism is all about emotion

Later, Gina explained that, in fact, eroticism is all about emotion; it’s about humanity, connection, and beauty. And she said that Erotica is an old fashioned word which they think is important to bring back into the lexicon. 

Why? Because it’s part of the beauty and power of sexuality. Rihanna, the Queen, once put it perfectly: “sexuality is personal, is something you have to own or earn.

Thus, it’s inherently powerful.” To learn about that power, one has learned about themselves. 

Sexy audio stories are heightening sexual experiences

After only two years of business, DipSea is already helping thousands of women heighten their sexual experiences and have a happier and healthier sex life.

There have been testimonies of women exploring their sexuality and finding new paths to pleasure but also overcoming past traumas and finding better ways of communication inside their marriages and relationships. 

“Healthy sexuality is an incredibly important part of a whole and happy life. We’re making it easier to actually think about sexuality as a practice to nurture and pleasure as something you’re as worthy of as joy.” 

Gina Gutierrez, Co-founder and CEO

Download Dipsea in the App store here.

dipsea founders
Dipsea Founders

When will Trans communities claim authentic representation in media?

Over the last 20 years, the LGBTQ movement for social justice has secured dozens of high-profile legal victories and moved the hearts and minds of so many around the world. But there’s still so much work to do.

But, the picture is different for the trans community. Especially in media and advertising.

“Unfortunately, those images and videos have been created by cisgender people who either had never met a trans person or were relying on past media to produce their own,” explained GLAAD’s Director of Transgender Representation Alex Schmider.

The problem is not the lack of representation of the transgender community in the media, but how they are represented. More often than not, one or two-dimensional caricatures of trans people contributes to stereotypes.

What’s more challenging? People remain unaware of these stereotypes, tropes, and clichés they are unintentionally recycling and replicating.

In an effort to remedy some of these issues, GLAAD has partnered with Getty Images to provide guidelines for creators to follow when creating content about the transgender community. With one mission — to teach creatives how to ensure a safe, respectful, and authentic environment.

There are years of work ahead

“Stereotypes are basically created and recycled by media,” explained Schmider.

“It will take many years of authentic trans representation to undo the harm caused by stereotypical and reductive stories.”

Alex Schmider, Associate Director of Transgernder Representation at GLAAD

Fortunately, there has been an improvement in the way that transgender people have been portrayed in television and original programming.

Starting with the premiere of Netflix’s original show, Orange Is the New Black, the ongoing efforts of the show’s star Laverne Cox, and other advocates for appropriate representation in media, people have a better understanding of what it means to be transgender.

However, with the exception of a few indie films, the film industry lags behind. GLAAD has found no transgender characters in major studio films at least for the last three years.

“Empowering trans people to tell our own stories will be the next big step forward. Our conversations at GLAAD are shifting from hiring trans actors (which is finally happening now) to hiring trans people behind the scenes to help create and shape the stories being told.”

Alex Schmider, Associate Director of Transgernder Representation at GLAAD

An industry leader takes to the challenge for more authentic Trans representation

“Unfortunately, trans people largely don’t exist in the world of advertising and commercial imagery. This partnership with GLAAD is a commitment to thoughtfully fill that void.”

Guy Merrill, Global Head of Art, iStock

In order to successfully educate audiences and empower trans people to tell their stories, there needs to be a safe space and environment for them to create.

“We aim to challenge the pervasive stereotypes of the trans community and tell all the stories that haven’t been told before. Additionally, we want to guide the agencies and brands we work with to use imagery and video which is as inclusive of this community as possible.”

Guy Merrill, Global Head of Art, iStock

“Authentic representation involves depicting a person, community or group in a way that respectfully seeks to capture them as they truly are—not as we perceive them to be or as a simplified or reduced version, but as they see themselves,” said Merrill.

He advises photographers and videographers to respect the boundaries not only trans individuals but also as intersectional members of every race, ethnicity, age, class, religion, ability, body size, culture, and sexual orientation.

“They are children, parents, employees, and business owners, and so much more, and we should aim to depict that breadth and depth.”

Guy Merrill, Global Head of Art, iStock

Creating a safe space, together…

“While transgender people are a part of the LGBTQ community, they are a unique, distinct subset of the community whose experiences vary greatly from cisgender lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. Having said that, what we mean when we talk about creating a safe, welcoming set is as much about attitude and behavior as it is about the process.”

Guy Merrill, Global Head of Art, iStock

Using the appropriate terminology when working within the transgender community is key. Develop an understanding of the terms “transgender man,” “transgender woman,” “non-binary,” “cisgender” and “gender non-conforming.” Also, understand the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation.

It is essential that the creator knows what are the appropriate pronouns and that they are using them at every turn. “There’s significant diversity within the transgender community,” explained Merrill. “Appreciating that fact is critical toward improving the visual representation of transgender people.”

Creating a comfortable and creative space goes beyond using the right terminology. Approach casting members with authenticity in mind. Remember, it’s important to make privacy and safety accommodations.

Take the time to encourage models to take the lead in terms of their appearance including hair, make-up, and clothing.

“If I had to sum it up, I’d say that taking care of the individual–paying attention to their needs and reflecting their preferences back to them–is essential toward creating a safe set for any trans model.”

Guy Merrill, Global Head of Art, iStock

Who are the photographers capturing NYC winter style the best?

When it comes to winter street style, NYC runs the game, and photographers living in the Big Apple do their best to capture amazing photos as people rush indoors from the cold streets.

From that covert photographer navigating the cold NYC streets to that FIT graduate capturing their favorite fashionistas rocking that Big Drip, here’s our list of NYC photographers capturing winter street style the right way.

The Creator: Sincere Dennis

Better known as @i_amsin on the gram, Sincere Dennis constantly places the bar higher when it comes to photography.

Ducking in and out of the NYC lifestyle every season, he been able to capture iconic moments on film with his artsy friends and bring them to life through lenticular printing.

The Professional: Julia Sariy 

Julia is a New York-based photographer originally from Ukraine.

She specializes in fashion photography and attended New York City Fashion Week as a photojournalist.

Her specialties are women’s and men’s fashion, beauty, and portrait photography.

The Explorer: Jiro Konami 

Now a visual vet, Jiro has adapted to the bustle of big cities. Hailing from Japan the NYC-based photographer made his way overseas in search of inspiration and during the winter months, he’s capturing the hottest winter fashion looks.

The Go-getter: Melodie Jeng

Brick or not you can catch NYC-Based photographer Melodie capturing the latest winter fashion all over the world.

Wether she’s in Milan or in the streets of NY for Fashion Week, we can always depend on her to get the shot.

The Modernist: Patrizia Messineo

Patrizia is an NYC-based photographer on a mission to prove that her artistry captures far more than models.

The FIT graduate, for sure has a unique eye, and when it comes to capturing the bundled up fits that flood the streets of NYC during the winter she’s no amateur.

The Underdog: Vikram Pathak

For more than two decades Vikram has pursued his passions of fashion and photography.

He has worked and learned for distinguished photographers like David Lachappelle, Steven Meisel, and Patrick de Marcheiler. And his clients include Vogue India, Amazon Prime, GQ India Magazine, and many others.

The Boss: Madison Lane

Madison is a 24-year-old, self-taught fashion photographer based in Brooklyn, New York.

Within the last two years, she managed to create her own business; creating long-lasting relationships with clients and brands. Now, she dedicates herself to capture all the stylish outfits within the streets of New York.

Digging these photographers capturing NYC winter fashion? Check out our series Finally Focused for some visual inspiration.

8 Timberland collabs to help you survive the brick weather

From working-class origins to becoming fashion essentials, the Timberland 6-inch boot has thrived over the years (especially in NYC where they are the most revered).

What started in 1976 as a piece for blue-collar workers has become a fashion statement. Even fashion icons like Kanye West and Rihanna would agree that the Timberland boots are a must.

But, how did a work-centric garment became such a stylish piece?

During the ’80s the Timberland boots began to slowly emerge in the fashion industry. Italian boutiques stocking the American worker boots and the rest of the European markets quickly followed. But then in the ’90s sales skyrocketed and the reason was because of hip-hop.

Naturally, Timberland boots became a fashion staple, with rappers like Jay-Z, Nas, and Tupac rocking them. Now rappers like A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$ and Kendrick Lamar are carrying on the tradition.

But to remain relevant in today’s fashion climate, there is one thing that has been keeping the brand fresh: collaborations. Here are some of the best Timbs to help you during those brick winter months.

SUPREME x Timberland

It is not the first time that Supreme has collaborated with Timberland boots.

On a number of occasions, the Supreme-ified versions of beloved Timberland boots have found new ways to break ground.

Following Supreme’s massive 2 billion dollar deal, the legendary brands reworked the versions of the beloved waterproof 6-inch boot.

The Supreme x Timberland collaboration dropped on Supreme’s website on November 12.

With unique colorways, a timberland logo at the heel, and big Supreme logo text on the other side. It is made from premium Nubuck upper reinforced by a rugged triple stitching seam-sealed construction.

Desus & Mero

The late-night kings, Desus Nice and The Kid Mero also created their own version of the Timberland boots earlier this month.

Desus and Mero have become highly celebrated media personalities in recent years. After gaining popularity for their Bodega Boys podcast, they took their to TV. Their late-night show Desus and Mero was nominated for Besta Talk Show by the Critics Choice Awards.

But most importantly, they are from New York (the Bronx to be exact) where Timbs are part of the daily uniform.

Their collaboration with the Timberland boots took a spin-off of the boot’s traditional aesthetic. They deliver two different looks, both using graffiti-like graphics on the side of the boots.

Chinatown Market

Streetwear brand Chinatown Market, known best for its many diverse collaborations, has also teamed up with Timberland.

This time, however, they created an unconventional product. Instead of using the traditional Timberland waterproof 6-inch boot, Timberland X Chinatown market remodeled the 3-eye heavy lug boat shoe.

Inspired by nature, the brands presented a hand-sewn collaboration. The leathers are inspired by the powerful animals of the savannah.


As if it wasn’t already clear that Timberland boots are of the highest quality to face the elements, the high-performance product brand, GORE-TEX, also collaborated with them to take it to the next level.

Like many other collaborations, they remodeled the Timberland waterproof 6-inch boot in their own way, implementing their technologies to make it even more suitable for extreme weather.

The boot is now even more fitted for hiking in the snow and other extreme weather activities. Not to mention that they can still be used comfortably as the traditional ones.

These boots also bear the GORE-TEX logo on the side, have a fine colored rubber line right above the sole, and are presented in different dark colors such as black, dark green, and navy blue.


The NBA has already conquered the world of sneakers, so of course, they had to collaborate with Timberland to start taking over the boot game too.

These boots come in different styles showcasing all 30 NBA teams in different parts of the boot.

This collab has been going on for years now but they are also coming out with new colorways and designs.

On some occasions that brands have even gone as far as to represent specific teams using their colors and their logos.


Although it’s not an official collaboration, PHNTHM is an artist who left his mark in the Timberland world.

One of PHNTM’s latest masterpieces is the waterproof 6-inch Timberland boots. Like with all of this design, he covers the original yellow Timberland boots with colors and freestyle designs. Delivering a one-of-a-kind pair of classic Timberland boots, found on Etsy.

Spongbob Squarepants

Enough about all of these other brands!

Timberland boots are so creatively universal that even Spongebob Squarepants has dropped a collaboration with it.

The Dodger blue-colored Timberland boot first released in September 2019 as a limited edition product. The resale price has gone up to $400 since.

The list goes on and on

From Stussy to Jimmy Choo, Timberland has collaborated with all types of brands.

In 2015 Timberland collaborated with Men’s Bee Line; offering a sophisticated look to the classic, yellow 6-inch boot. The sole of the shoe changed and offered different earthy colors such as navy, blue, and green.

In 2017 they also collaborated with Virgil Abloh’s brand, Off-White. The shoe was covered in velvet cloth with the iconic Off-White tag.

From starting out as work boots to becoming a part of the hip-hop lifestyle, Timberlands are not going anywhere, anytime soon. It’s a timeless piece of fashion and collaborations like these only breathe new life into the brand.

Team Euphoria’s resilience proves ‘Malcolm & Marie’ will be a hit

When it comes to resilient creative squads, Zendaya’s Team Euphoria takes the cake as we look forward to their new Netflix flick Malcolm and Marie.

The pandemic hit hard and many industries had changed their plans or re-organize them. One industry that has particularly affected was the film and entertainment industry.

Because of the virus, a number of productions were delayed or even shut down. Theaters around the United States closed, movies opted for online releases and some were even postponed. Film festivals were canceled or delayed, thus upcoming movies and indie films would also need to wait.

For months, the industry had held to calamity and burden.

Meanwhile, in the midst of all these disasters, Sam Levinson quietly shot his new lockdown drama, Malcolm and Marie. Starring Zendaya and John David Washington, the film is officially the first feature film to be completed post-pandemic.

Malcolm and Marie to hit Netflix February 5, 2021

Team Euphoria assembles

On March 16, following the California state guidelines, Sam Levison received a call from HBO; Euphoria’s second season filming had to shut down. Like in the case of many other ongoing productions, team Euphoria members were left under the uncertainty of when would it resume.

Along with fans of the show…

Not much after, Zendaya came up with the idea of a film produced during such a historic moment. Being Levison not only the director of Euphoria — where she stars as Rue — but also a close friend, she asked him if he could write and direct the movie.

Six days after, Levison had cracked the entire screenplay for Malcolm and Marie.

Given the uncertainty of the time, Zendaya, Washington, Kevin Turen, and Levinson’s wife (and production partner) took it upon themselves the financial burdens of the pre-production and production stages.

Yariv Milchan and Michael Schafer also helped with the bankroll. The producers promised to donate their proceedings to charity.

Amid Black Lives Matter protests and the corona curve flattening, team Euhoria headed up to Monterrey County, there they had a two-week quarantine before filming.

The location was Feldman Architecture’s Caterpillar House. A 33-acre private property where not only was it legal to shoot, but also allowed the team to properly follow covid safety protocols and SAG-AFTRA guidelines.

Between June 17 and July 2, when the filming took place, no one was allowed to leave the property. For the entire two weeks, crew and cast members had to wear masks, protective wear (crew members) and socially distanced themselves.

To limit the number of people, cast members were in charge of their own hair and make-up and custom design.

 “It was also a little nerve-racking. When you have an idea, and you’re putting your own money into it—I mean, I was literally using my own clothes on set and doing my own hair and makeup—it’s hard not to get a little bit insecure.”

Zendaya, Elle Magazine 2020

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

Thanks to the shutdown of Euphoria’s season 2, a lot of the crew members were available to help with the filming of Malcome and Marie. One of them being Marcell Rev, Euphoria’s director of photography.

Thus, one can not only expect great writing, direction, and performances, but also amazing 35 mm black and white visuals.

“I am so grateful to this cast and crew, many of whom are my Euphoria family, for coming together during such uncertain times. We felt privileged to be able to make this film together and we did so with a lot of love.”

Sam Levinson, The Deadline 2020

Rumors say that the movie echoes Netflix’s Marriage Story. Most importantly, however, they promise that it will resonate with a number of social themes that the world has been facing.

Be its performance, cinematography, writing, or direction, looks like Oscar’s first contender is here.

Naturally, distribution houses and production companies battled for its ownership. And, after a $30 million deal, the winner was Netflix.

However, it did not go without a well-fought fight against deep-pocket industry giants including HBO, Amazon, Apple, MGM, Searchlight, Focus Features, and A24.

In the middle of chaos, uncertainty, and adversity team Euphoria was able to pull a film that, undoubtedly, would be recorded in history the first completed full-length lockdown drama.

And, while the pandemic is still likely to affect release dates, film festivals and distribution deals Levinson’s team proved that no challenge comes without an opportunity.

After all, you know what they say, “the show must go on.”

Storytelling and exercise: Why director Michael Lovan stays active

Who would’ve thought that there was a connection between storytelling and exercise?

“For as long as I can remember I only wanted to make movies. It is the only dream I ever had, I have lived and breathed storytelling my entire life,” said Michael Lovan, director of Murder Bury Win

He mentions that he went to UCLA theater school for both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and explained that it was there where he drew great inspiration particularly from his classmates and amazing pannels. 

“I was only aspiring thinking that my dreams would never come true,” Lovan explained. Although he had several years of training, Lovan confessed it took him another decade to feel ready to make a film.

Michael realized he needed to understand who he was as a person, for him to come to a place where he knew that he not only had something to say but that it was worth listening. 

“I made my dream come true by putting all the research, and the time the effort, and the money … so I do believe that everyone with that passion can make a film it’s just a matter of putting everything in and exhausting yourself.” 

Michael Lovan, 2020

It turns out that for Michael the correlation between storytelling and physical activity is thinner than what one may think. Because, believe it or not, he wrote an entire screenplay while jogging. 

Storytelling and exercise are a parallel experience

“I don’t think that you need to be fit to be creative,” he said during an interview. “But staying active and not being a couch potato surely helps stay creative and clearing up your mind.”

But, perhaps Joyce Carol Oates said it better: “the twin activities of running and writing keep the writer reasonably sane with the hope, however illusory and temporarily, of control.” 

They share a parallel experience when starting; getting the foot out the door, and the words out the mind to move from one point of the journey to another.

A simple, yet troublesome action that entails a marathon of effort. And, contrary to popular belief, they both rely on a routinely act. Thus running and writing are fundamentally linked with discipline, perseverance, and endurance. 

With some sprints of inspiration, one is lucky enough to get lost in thought and space. But, like many ventures, they can be a long hard slog. However, they assure progress working the muscles of both the body and the mind, leaving space to wonder: a place for ideas to incubate. 

Finals School GIF - Finals School Work GIFs

In fact, not only has there been notorious research about the creative benefits of writing but historically there have been many writers who claim that running facilitates their creative process. “It’s all about leaning into habits and designing a mindset that keeps you creative,” said Lovan. Because, even when not inspired, that mindset becomes a lifestyle.

‘Yes, I believe that it is important to let the creative forces flow through you,” said Michael. “But I think diligence and giving yourself time for that to happen is even more important.”

The process

Even without realizing it, Michael had created an exercise routine for him to stay creatively fit for the storytelling process of every project. He gives himself a time slot to write, if the ideas are not flowing during that given period of time, he turns to books and research for inspiration.

“Normally I would hop into autobiographies of filmmakers That way, even when I was blocked, there would be no excuse not to make progress. Normally, I brainstorm while working out, it enriches the process by clearing my mind and giving me more energy to do creative projects”

Michael Lovan, 2020

Michael was experiencing a creative block when he went on the run to clear his mind. His storytelling was inspired by exercise. That is exactly how he created an entire screenplay only while running. And, once he got the first act together while on the move, he committed himself to only think about it while running.

gif run running fitness track and field XC cross country howtorunfree •

The still “Untitled Ghost Story” is an original horror-drama feature. The story is about a group of friends attempting to bring back their dear friend from the dead. Unbeknownst to them, the magic they were using to invoke the resurrection spell was created by a demonic cult.

Interestingly enough, the screenplay tells a frantic story, full of movement and actions where no character is ever still.

Should call it a coincidence?

“I ultimately attempted to film in 2006, though it didn’t quite work as a movie – it felt more like an art piece.”

Michael Lovan

Why exercise is essential to a photographer’s visual creativity

“Sound body, sound mind,” says Greg Travers when asked about exercise and his visual creativity. It happens that the line between creativity and discipline is thinner than what you might think.

Gregory Travers is a cinematographer, director, and digital consultant. The mastermind behind When the City Sleeps; an extraordinary film he directed in collaboration with Ten Thousand that elevates the beauty of New York while in social confinement.

Besides this passion project of his, Greg has worked with dozen of clients including Under Armour, Snapchat, Andie Swim, and more. All of which allows him to connect both his passions of film and fitness.

“Being on set is exhausting; mentally and physically. Mentally, you have to think of everything: the shot lists, talent, hair and make-up, stylist. You are coordinating so many different heads and people. And physically you are dealing with cameras and lights. It is important to be fit because the art of shooting is physically and mentally taxing.”

– Greg Travers

And in fact, countless research has proven how much physical and mental exercise improve creative output.

Just like any other muscle in the body, creativity is one that needs everyday work and discipline to stay fit. Here are three that have worked for Greg.

Running is always a good option

Although it is the most mainstream of all options, running may also be the best option to stay creative. Not only is it easy and accessible for everyone at all times, but it is also an exercise that can be customized to everyone’s ability and desires.

Furthermore, is a highly effective way to not only organize thoughts and meditate but also to distract creatives from the burden of their jobs.

Films and videos, Greg explained, are heavy on editing, which means countless hours sitting at the desk. And often, creatives use this as an excuse; long focused hours cannot be threatened for an hour of exercise.

But is it really threatening that focused time?

Contrary to popular belief, creativity is not always a free flow. And, more often than not, creatives find themselves experiencing creative blocks; sitting for hours, waiting for the idea to come.

Sometimes, execution is better than ideating. Thus, like running, getting that foot out the door, is good enough.

Nike says it better, “Just do it.”

The advantages of a 20-minute jog or run can significantly improve both the discipline and performance of the mind. You can also keep yourself healthy by taking supplements, and you can review on Phen375 fat burner on how it works, but with the right diet and exercise.

Running is perhaps the most liberating, out-of-comfort activity, and it gives the mind space for new ideas to incubate.

It establishes a higher level of exercise and visual creativity that one might not have known was attainable.

That runner’s high is a vibe…

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“It’s still New York or nowhere.“ – @gregtravers_ 🗽 ⁣ ⁣ Many turn to running as a form of breaking a sweat, keeping sane, or just getting some fresh air – Our homie Greg was one of them and he doubled down during early quarantine. ⁣ ⁣ Through running in the desolate NYC streets day after day in March, he kept having the same vision for producing a running video in these never before seen, completely empty streets. ⁣ ⁣ He pitched the idea to some friends at and they gave him the green light to create whatever he desired with their gear. Thus, here we are. ⁣ ⁣ #tenthousand #runnyc #quarantineclean #stayfitdontquit #nycstrong #baconeggandcheese #getupandgo

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Not to mention that it has been scientifically proven to be an effective stress reliever, energy booster, and serotonin producer.

The Wim Hof Method?

In addition to running Travers also recommended developing a breath work routine such as the Wim Hof Method.

Wim Hof is a Dutch extreme athlete better known as The Ice Man. He has won Guinness World Records for swimming under ice and he is better known for his ability to withstand freezing temperatures.

Thus, he attributes these abilities to the WHM, a combination of breathing techniques and meditations.

The Wim Hof Method is about reconnecting us – to ourselves, to others and to nature,” he claims. It is based on three pillars: cold therapy, breathing, and commitment.

Similar to the Tibetian Tummo meditation and pranayama, the method employs breathing techniques that seek to naturally optimize the state of mind and body.

With multiple years of research, working with scientists and data experts, Wim Hof has proven that cold therapy promotes fat burning, boosts the immune system, improves sleep, reduces inflammation, and more.

It teaches breathing techniques that improve energy levels, detoxes the body, reducing stress levels and rebalance the nervous system, and strengthen your immune system. And finally, commitment push yourself out of the natural comfort zone.

Take your exercise and visual creativity capabilities to the max, fam

The method itself is a variation of three phases that include: controlled breathing, breath retention, and recovery breathing. The first phase involves 30-40 cycles of breathing, this is a form of controlled hyperventilation.

The second phase lets it all out, holding the breath for 1 – 3 min until needing to breathe again. Finally, the thrid phase is recovery, where a strong urge to breathe occurs.

For more information, here is a brief article describing the benefits and its preparation.

Use your time wisely

Finally, Greg has found a productive way to use the time it takes to export large video files and be productive. “Working in the film industry, most of my time involves exporting files which normally take a long time…”

“I like to use these occasions to my advantage and stay active by doing some pushups or literally hanging upside down.”

– Greg Travers

Hanging upside down, in fact, has far more benefits than what one would imagine. It happens that it is a perfect way to get the blood running up to the brain considering that when one sits in front of a computer for hours that doesn’t happen very often.

Let’s get weird

Once past the uncomfortable, usually after 60-seconds, the body is able to feel the benefits of the inversion. Oxygen runs to the brain which immediately gets the brain notoriously activated.

“The brain is the largest consumer of oxygen in the body, thus more blood means more oxygen and that means more function.”

It improves concentration, reduces stress, improves posture, and even works some of the muscles in the body. Not to mention, it is a perfect way to meditate and practice mindfulness. Thus not only boosting your overall fitness through exercise but also enhancing your visual creativity.

Even if hanging upside down does not feel great. Export time can also be used to brief workouts like 20-minutes of pushups. It is a time-effective way to stay active and clear your mind from any preoccupation allowing space in your mind for creativity.

Sound body sound mind

It comes as no surprise that the great creative minds have been very vocal about their relation with physical exercise.

In his book, Shoe Dog, Phil Knight literally mirrors his race in the sports industry as a running race. Notoriously talking about the discipline and values that running has taught him personally.

Louisa May Alcott was reportedly devoted to running. Haruki Murakami, the great Japanese writer, even wrote an entire book about it. And there is a misconception in thinking that the only way out of a creative block is time. Or even worse, force.

Sometimes it is about liberating and making space in the mind and body. Designing your work around a sort of creative fitness. And, more importantly, having the discipline to put yourself out there, to warm up or even allow mistakes to happen, but letting the mind flow.

When it comes to thinking visually or about anything creative, the best minds in the world have successfully created exercises or routines that free their minds. But that only happens when one is committed and willing to learn about themselves and take some time to breathe.

The most creative minds in the world have successfully created exercises or routines that free their minds. But that only happens when one is committed and willing to learn about themselves and take some time to breathe.

There must be a sense of fitness and creativity at play when the world’s most innovative minds are at work.