She has a screenplay going into production, she wants to brainwash President Trump to join the right side of history, and she is a highly skilled New York photographer. Kaitlyn Mikayla is up next in our series of inspiring people we love working with. She was our first model ever, and is one of our latest photographers.
Who is Kaitlyn Mikayla and where is she heading?
I’m a photographer, screenwriter, filmmaker and actor. And I’m hopefully heading to a theater near you.
Why did you start doing photography?
I’m a filmmaker first, but it requires quite a few resources to make a film. I find photography is just an instant gratification version of filmmaking which is why I turned myself onto it. I can get the images out of my head quicker and easier.
What inspires you?
I’m largely inspired by 1970s cinema and other female creatives.
Success, what does it mean to you, and what is the key to achieve it?
Success to me means an equal balanced life. Having the career of my dreams, having an amazing network & support system, traveling and staying healthy & curious = success to me!
You have a script going into production pretty soon, what is it about?
I can’t say much, but the story revolves around a woman racing motocross.
What made you write this specific story?
I spent a decade of my life racing motocross competitively & with the encouragement of my co-writer I was able to get a version of my unorthodox childhood onto paper.
If you had 15 min with President Trump, how would you spend it?
I’d put Trump in a confined space with all walks of life and his “enemies”, brainwash him to join the right side of history. Then convict him of all his crimes. Oh and obviously, leak the pee tape!
How should a young aspiring photographer approach work to be successful?
You just have to hustle. If you’re not shooting everyday, you’re not pushing yourself to find new perspectives and to grow. Then network as much as you shoot and success will find you.
What is your perspective on style?
To me, style is ever evolving. As an artist, it’s really important to develop a style that will set you apart and make you recognizable, but I also think the job of the artist is to keep growing and changing too.
Who would you say have the coolest style, and why?
I really love classic photographers like Vivien Maier and Guy Bourdin. But current artists like Jason Lee Parry and Sarah Bahbah.
Check out Kaitlyn’s amazing Instagram; @kaitlynmikayla.
She is an actor, model and musician, dreaming of traveling the world. Here is a close up with Lauren Luiz, the vocalist of the LA based band WILD. She also starred in the Broadway show Spring Awakening, and you will guaranteed hear her name in the future. Big dreams, passion and energy can go a long way.
At what time a day are you at your best, and why?
I have a good morning routine right now of waking up and reading a chapter of whatever book i’m reading and drinking coffee. It gets my brain working; I think I peak there.
What are you up to these days?
We're writing so much, we have a few sessions set up and I'm really excited to see what we come up with; we just got back from Austin for SXSW and we're playing BottleRock in May so our rehearsal schedule has been pretty packed.
How would the people you work with describe you?
An annoying perfectionist.
And how about your friends?
A good listener? I would hope they would say something nice.
What engages/drives you?
My family is so driven. My grandparents are the hardest workers I know; they've been running their own business for 60 years. If they can still get up at 4am and work after so much time, I can get up and do what I love every day.
If you had a 15 min audience with President Trump, what theme would you address and why?
I think it’s absolutely ridiculous after how many years that people still think that women’s reproductive health is a government issue. All he wants to do is grab pussies, why would I trust him with mine? I'd probably tell him to stay the hell away from planned parenthood and women in general.
Where do you find inspiration?
I am still trying to catch inspiration as it comes. I’ve been reading a bit about eudamonia. It is a greek word that means ‘human flourishing’ or a fancy word for ‘work flow’. The ancient greeks didn’t believe that we were responsible for our own genius, genius is objective as opposed to subjective. Lately I've been trying to latch onto inspiration whenever it flows. I have so many random voice memos and notes in my phone. Sometimes I'll hear a new song by an artist I've never heard of or I'll see a picture at a coffee shop and my face will get all warm and tingly. I think that's when I've found inspiration.
Who are the most inspiring people in your life?
Every single cast member of Spring Awakening. That show introduced me to such a diverse group of artists. It really helped me grow and step out of my comfort zone.
How was your Broadway experience, doing Spring Awakening?
Definitely the most rewarding experience I've had in my life thus far. I learned a new language, met an entire new community of people, recognized my potential - how ignorant I can be but also how much I can learn.
How did you end up with a role in the play?
I auditioned and was actually offered a part as a swing but I was unavailable to take on the rehearsal schedule. I think about 4 months later I got a call from Michael Arden, the director of Spring Awakening, asking me to fill in for the role of Voice of Thea. I would need to watch the show for a few days then sit back stage and memorize blocking and entrances/exits. The idea was really intimidating, but the cast was so supportive and helped push me around the stage the first night I performed. I played the twin sister of Amelia Hensley and she literally held my hand and guided me through the entire show.
What is your best take out from doing the show?
Do what scares you, try what you think you can’t do. Sometimes i’ll be working on something and i’ll doubt myself and then I go back to so many times during rehearsal when I didn’t believe I could do something but I pushed through the nervousness and it made accomplishing it feel so much better. Sometimes you'll flop, hard, but at least you went for it!
What is the story of WILD?
WILD started as pure passion project between Tyler and Zach back in 2014, they were just writing songs purely for fun. When I met them we really clicked and the songs just flowed; they’re great people as well as great business partners, i’m lucky to have them as friends.
How would you describe your music, and is there any artist who has been important in forming your expression?
I feel as if it’s ambiguous coming of age folk. Each of us in the band attach different meaning to our songs and lyrics, for me I love that each song has a movement theme. All of our songs are about moving forward or traveling, or letting go. Basically what your twenties are about. We’re figuring it out as we go and our songs reflect that.
How do you progress when creating new music? How does the magic happen?
- When writing we have to establish a vibe or what we want the song to be about. Sometimes we figure out what the song is about as we’re writing it. The true magic is when we finally bring the entire band together, taking the song out of the studio and seeing how it translates. We have a great live bassist (Wes Johnson) and live drummer (Topher Gale).
Do you guys have any vision or goals set for you music?
Keep writing songs that keep setting the bar higher and making songs that people can connect to. We would also love to tour.
What is your biggest dream?
To travel the world. I want to go everywhere and get to know different cultures and ways of expression. I'd love to get there through art, I think art is the best way to learn from people.
So what do you prefer, modeling, acting or music?
Music has always been a huge part of my life. A year ago I was completely focused on acting but music was always a constant throughout that process. I'm really happy to be able to focus on writing and performing music right now.
Would you have any tips for others pursuing their creative or individual dream?
I find that when I talk more than I listen I become more stagnant. I can't tell if becoming stagnant is the bi product of talking too much about the work or I'm talking too much about the work because I know I'm stagnant and all I can do is talk about it. I think I go through phases of both. My tip would be to have an open heart and open ears, stay humble.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully in the mountains somewhere not stressing over taking a few days off from work
What question would you ask yourself if you were me?
I'm obsessed with vegan Mac and cheese... I know some good spots in LA if you need the hookup.
You can follow Lauren and Wild on Instagram; @laurenlooeze and @wildtheband wildetheband.com.
Weekend 1 of the festival is coming up in less two days. We can't wait driving in to the desert and diving into it all.
Here is our guide to what's not to be missed the first day of this years Coachella:
3.20 PM @Sahara stage: We suggest you start off your Coachella 2017-experience dancing to the happy tunes from the french dj Kungs. This 20 year old boy from Toulon has been around the world the last year, spinning happy tunes like "This Girl". He will definitely get you in the right mood.
After, grab yourself a beer in one of the beer gardens and watch the ambience at the festival as the sun is low and lightening up the surrounding mountains in red colour.
7.10 PM @Gobi stage: Banks is one of our favourites. Be sure to see her at the Gobi stage as the sun set.
8.50 PM @Coachella stage: Our personal favourite this friday is the English band the XX. They will be playing the main stage this year. Their electronic dremy rock sound will be perfect this night in the desert - slow dancing and cuddling as they play their song "Angels".
The band's third studio album, I See You, was released this january, and it is absolutely brilliant!
Before hooking up with you friend for the night and heading back to your Palm Springs hotel for some late night party by the pool, or if you are lucky enough to get in to Neon Carnival, there is one more concert to end off your first day at Coachella. Radiohead is always good, but this year we suggest:
Model, style influencer, PR Executive at MR PORTER, and Co-Founder of Totem Collective - a wearable art project in the making. His creative mind, and sense of style is making him a powerful influencer. In The Little Communist, his blog portraying his social engagement and ability to tell interesting stories, he shares various perspective on society, art, fashion, travel and culture. Bohan Qiu is pure inspiration.
How would you describe yourself?
A China Boy.
In three words, how would you describe your style?
Mixing Shit Up. I get inspired by a lot of random things, and I love putting them all together. Such as the baggy suit trousers with perfectly ironed lines of old Hong Kong men paired with a Beverly Hills tourist T-shirt and throw a 50s emerald green silk kimono on top, and of course my favorite white UBER Hat. And you’ve got the look! I get tired of people wearing all brands stuff, needing to be able to “credit it” when being featured. Random stuff is so much more fun.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get inspired when I am far, far away from home. The feeling of travel, or how I like to think of it as “crashing into other people’s reality” sometimes, is where new ideas are born, and you bring them home to nurture.
Who are the most inspiring people in your life?
People who do completely different things from me. They can be politicians, engineers, programmers, sculpture artists, documentary film makers etc. They can always offer me a brand new perspective on what else is out there in the world I need to learn, respect, or learn to respect.
What engages you?
Knowing that at the end of the day I’ll be able to say, I made that, and made other people happy.
What made you start your own project?
I have always wanted to create something that I would be proud of and respect myself doing. I have been having a lot of ideas, and on the coldest day in Hong Kong this year, I stayed up all night over tea and cigarettes and got excited about this one, and decided to push myself to it and see what happens!
What is the story behind Totem Collective?
At first, we simply wanted to make a perfect tote bag, which is a product the we have always wanted but could never find. Then the idea extended further, and the patch element which you can attach or detach from the bag naturally became the core concept of this project, which is to engage the art, fashion and design we love and create something that could continue to inspire others.
In your job you get to travel quite a bit, what is the best place to travel in the world, and why?
For work, I usually enjoy Shanghai, Beijing or Paris, simply because I have so many friends there that it always feels like going home.
In recent years, I started traveling in China more and I’m starting to discover more and more places that remain lesser known to the world. Personally I am in love with Yunnan province in south-western China. It has so much to offer and the ethnic minorities’ culture always fascinate me so much. You can relax by the breathtaking Erhai Lake and go for a day hike in the snowy mountain ranges, and then grab a drink at the alleyways of a thousand-year-old city. It’s where many urbanite escape to and settle for a slower and more spiritual life.
What is your perspective on living in Hong Kong?
I was really tired of it at one point due to the lack of space and creativity in this city. But there is slowly a new and exciting community that attempts to do something new, something fresh and something exciting. However, the rent of the city definitely killed a lot of the youth culture, especially among locals and that is something that makes me sad. You simply cant have any aspirations of the youth life one deserves when you have to go home and drink mama’s soup every night. I love my parents, but the distance has actually made us much closer.
In what way is Hong Kong different from the rest of China?
They are very different. But I am starting to feel like China is surpassing Hong Kong in many ways. As the windows of opportunities in Hong Kong close up, young people are losing their focus. They have the attempt to do things, but their vision is shrinking. Whereas now the energy in many Chinese cities are incredibly exciting. On top of economic growth, art, music, design, fashion, film, to youth culture, innovation and way of life, China is becoming much more diverse and interesting, whereas Hong Kong is just still the financial hub it brands itself as.
What is your biggest dream?
To eliminate social class structures and replace human labor with machines, and have the whole mankind live in a society where resources are being distributed in an economic way, shared scientifically and not controlled by the 0.1%. That’s why incorporating environmental and philanthropic elements in whatever I do is always in the vision.
In your opinion, what is the fashion capital of the world?
I think the concept of fashion capitals is fading. Sure, the “major” shows and houses are still in Paris Milan New York. But every city has its own “dress code” nowadays, and major houses would find inspiration from cities like LA, Tokyo, Berlin, Moscow. Therefore I think every city is a capital of its own style.
If you were elected the new president in the USA, what would you do?
Change the electoral system and make sure that such a big role wouldn’t fall into someone unqualified like I am, and then resign.
If you were to write a biography, what would the title be?
“The Modern Day Class Struggle and All the Sleepless Fun Nights That Comes Along with It”. I haven’t really thought about it.
Who are the most inspiring people to follow on Instagram?
@watts.on and @ignant are two accounts I love for new inspirations.
Check out a few photos of Bohan.
Check out our watches at andreasingeman.com.
Cecilie Harris is second out in our series about inspiring people. The Norwegian born photographer based in London has really created something of her own in this great city. She is the founder and editor in chief of the magazine Boys by Girls. A magazine exploring the beauty of the contemporary young male through the female lens, striking a balance between fashion, art and documentary resulting in honest and beautiful photography and great stories. We had the pleasure of working with Cecilie on our Shoreditch love story Lookbook for Andreas Ingeman watches. Her professionalism, achievements and interesting perspectives truly inspire us. Read on to learn more about this beautiful person.
How did you get the idea of Boys by Girls Magazine?
Over a coffee with a friend, discussing how we enjoyed shooting menswear, but that we didn't feel we were able to comfortable express our female interpretation of how we saw the contemporary young male. Menswear fashion is a very male orientated world. We also talked about how photography can sometimes be a lonely game. So the idea of the magazine was born.
What is it in your opinion that makes the magazine so unique and successful?
Boys by Girls Magazine explores the contemporary young male through the female lens, providing a unique mix of an authentic and documented approach, whilst mixing in a fashion element. By becoming "a fashion magazine with soul", this is a new way of presenting fashion. It also is a beautiful magazine showing the young male in beautiful imagery with a poetic element to it, and give female photographers a platform to show how they see the young male through their eyes.
Where do you find inspiration for a new issue of Boys by Girls Magazine?
I live in a creative bubble at the moment, living and breathing the magazine, so I am constantly searching for inspiration and people that inspire ideas. Inspiration comes from everything from music, film, poetry, personal experiences, people I meet and conversations I have. Through this project I meet so many inspiring people, and I love listening and learning. One conversation quickly turns into something that provides inspiration for the next step.
Do you have any bigger purpose or ambition with Boys by Girls Magazine?
I really feel like the magazine is creating its own path and bigger purpose as time goes. On the girl side, I am passionate about continuing to champion female photographers and their voice. On the other hand, the more I talk to the boys of today and what they are going through, how they experience the world, the more I feel that it is increasingly important to document this journey and tell their story beautifully. There is a lot of room to grow this project into something bigger than simply a magazine. I'd love to add a publishing arm one day, to allow all my female peers to express even more through beautifully photographed and designed books - to allow our talented boys to express themselves through art, words, music and imagery. The possibilities are endless.
You have an amazing magazine, and you encounter a lot of young males developing it, how would you describe the youth of today?
Of course everyone is different, and it’s hard to in a short paragraph generalize everyone into one statement. But some things I’ve learned from my conversations with boys is that today’s youth is more open-minded and accepting than previous generations. Some also find it harder to really find and define themselves, as they are so overexposed to a constant stream of information. It can be hard to take it all in and make sense of it all. I think this generation will find a way to deal with this chaos, and start simplifying somehow. Make their own rules or how to deal with the constant chatter they are exposed to every day.
What is it about this generation that fascinates you?
I like how open minded they are. The world is becoming smaller, more accepting of each other, as the young generation travel more and have instant access to anywhere in the world through the internet. They have instant knowledge at the tip of their fingers. Masculinity is changing and the previous black and white view of male versus female is blending together slowly. Boys are happier to be comfortable with their feminine sides, whether they are straight or gay. Although I still think the young men of today are a little lost, as girls have been fighting for their rights for years, I think these changes is slowly starting to happen. It’s starting to become more ok for boys to cry, for boys to express what they feel.
If you where to give these boys any advice, what would it be?
Keep listening to your inner voice - everything will be ok in the end.
Have you ever had a story, or met someone shooting, who has made a big impact on you as a person?
There have been a few muses along the way. One which turned into a personal three year documentary project I am working on at the moment, which hopefully one day will turn into a book. I also met one of my best friends through shooting, who constantly gives me strength to carry on.
Why did you become a photographer in the first place?
I grew up with photographers around me. My uncle is a photographer, and the women in my family loved photographing. It was only once I had been in London for a while, I realized this was actually a career path that I could do. Norway is a bit more traditional in it’s paths, and at the time I was studying it didn’t feel like a “safe” enough route to take in my life. Now I realize…. who needs safe?
What would you say define you as a photographer?
My ability to capture emotion and stories in images, and my need to be as authentic as possible in my approach. I think my natural curiosity in people, help build rapport with my subjects, and together we can create impactful images.
Is there one thing or characteristic the people you like shooting have in common?
Often the people I am drawn to shooting are still one the path of growing up. They are often still exploring who they are and who they want to be. I like the mix of innocence, curiosity, nervousness, bravery, anxiety, insecurity, courage and freedom represented in youth today and how this translates to images.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
The ability to inspire the people who read and take in the images of the magazine is my biggest fuel to continue taking images and run the magazine. Being able to talk to and really try to understand the young generation of boys today is so fascinating and interesting to me. I love listening to their stories, their struggles and their victories. Although some people pre-judge youth as lazy and non-caring - if you take time to talk to someone, to really listen to them - you'll find that people open up and honesty come to the surface. It’s a generation so full of passion and dreams, they want to be heard and they want to make a difference in the world, which I think is a beautiful thing.
What is the biggest difference being a photographer based in London instead of Norway?
The fashion industry in London is so much bigger than in Norway. Being a photographer in London who shoot fashion, you have access to amazing designers, models, stylists, groomers etc. London is such a creative hub and with London Collections: Men now being four days, this is one example of how much the menswear fashion industry is growing and buzzing in London right now.
What are you most proud of?
Coming from Stavanger in Norway, I am incredibly proud that I have gone down a completely new path to when I started my time in London, that I have been able to stay true to my dream of creating something new that can be shared with people. That I have been able to create a magazine that has a unique perspective, that inspires people and that looks really beautiful. I am proud that I can give a platform to champion women and their talents, and that I can share the stories of the contemporary young male in a beautiful way to anyone who is interested.
Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?
Explore the reasons why you want to take pictures, what kind of stories you want to tell and find your own photographic voice. Then take your camera with you and go out and play. A lot.
We asked Cecilie to pick out her 5 favorite photos and tell us why. Take a look.
There is something so exciting about capturing true emotion between two people and these two brothers; Callum (20) and Louis (16) was so much fun to work with. The day and atmosphere on set was made even more interesting by the continuous contributing stories from their dad from the sideline. Brotherhood brings so much competition, yet unspoken love, and it was so much fun to explore that between these two.
Asa is such an amazing actor. Most known for his role in "The boy in the striped pyjamas", he now plays the male lead in Tim Burton's upcoming movie "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children". I love this image from his cover story in Boys by Girls issue 10. My team and I thought it would be hilarious to put him in a pyjamas and let him loose in a field. Asa has such a great sense of humor, and he thought it was equally hilarious, and was up for the challenge before I had even finished the sentence. He made me laugh pretty much the whole day, and was so playful during the shoot and genuinely cared about creating a good series of images with me.
Robbie likes words. Robbie likes chicken. Robbie likes the moon. He was such a unique personality and his self humor about his upside down frown lips was hilarious. He created such interesting frames, and I in particularly love this image taken in his garden playing with apples on the ground. He played with apples on the ground for half an hour, speaking to them. That's just genius.
As my most recent muse, I have to put an image of Sam in my top faves. I am currently working on a book project with Sam, documenting his life as an illustrator. In our now third year, we are still capturing another year as he goes into work life, having graduated from uni. This image of Sam I adore, and was the cover of issue 8. He simply looks so effortlessly cool in it.
Jonah & Christian Lees
Actor twins. This one is surely self explanatory! Twins are just awesome to work with, and when you in addition have two super interesting and funny British actor talents, it's a clear winner. This shoot day was so much fun and the boys took on every outfit with such interest and created little roles for each image they created. This image, I love how it almost look like a mirror of itself.