A place filled with creatives. From middle school age and up, the streets of Maryland have souls searching for their next project.
Clothing, music, photography, dance. Any and everything. They have found their art and they aren’t afraid to show it.
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” -Rumi
And that’s exactly what I saw. As soon as I touched down to Maryland I was ready to meet new people and start working. It started off with me looking for photographers via Instagram, which led me to Marc who introduced me to just about the whole state of Maryland. I could see his true love for connecting people.
“Collaboration is always good! I think it opens up a whole new set of possibilities, fresh perspectives, and promotes inspiration.”
Introducing me to everybody was just the beginning. Each time we linked up he gave me new insight, angles, and desire.
“For my projects, I write em down in a journal and then organize photos and ideas for them in mood boards specific for the project. After that I just wait for the right model I think fits one of them to come along, typically I don’t search for them. It tends to feel better when I’ve organically crossed paths with a model I think fits something I want to do. This hurts sometimes though because I may not shoot one for months. Besides that when I feel inspired by something I’ll go shoot that right away in that moment, not too much thought put into it just how I’m feeling.”
Follow Strvno aka Marc on IG here.
The very first place I go to when in a new state is the downtown area.
Downtown Frederick. As soon as I pulled up I was in awe of the beauty. It was breathtaking. Apparently I went on the right day because there was an event going on called “First Saturday.” I spent time wandering around. In the midst of it all I saw a flyer for a fashion show. The next day I made a call to the person running the show, Brianna Geeslin-Naylor. After talking via phone we decided to get together for coffee to talk further. Little did I know that coffee date would change my life.
She opened up my eyes to so much.
The Clothing Industry.
The fashion show she was hosting, Dashing Emancipation, was to raise money for Love146– “a human rights organization that’s here to end child trafficking and exploitation, and to journey with those affect.” This show brought attention to the fact that trafficking still exist to this day.
Brianna also has a true love for genuinely hand crafted clothing that is made pure and within safe working areas.
Outside of brining my attention to the trafficking, she has shown me retailers who are both honest and viable. I, too, am now aware when I’m shopping, making sure I support true brands.
During our coffee date, it just so happened that her then fiancé and now husband, AJ, was across the street doing a photo shoot… for his clothing line! How freaking cool? You can find his line FredandCo over on Instagram here.
What’s it like having both you and your husband be Entrepreneurs?
When we met we instantly bonded over our love for ethical, and sustainable apparel. We have the same ethos, but different visions and so I think it helps to balance, as well as push each other forward with our dreams.”
Every person I met in the area would end up introducing me to someone else. It was like a big collaborative fest and I loved it. I, personally, never felt competition. Just people who loved art and wanted to create together.
Do you think it’s important to be around like-minded people who are into being creative and putting themselves out there? Why?
Yes, absolutely. Some of my most impactful times were spent in London working under a designer who shared a similar approach and passion to fashion that I do. My days spent with her still inspire me. I think having people who push you, encourage you, & believe in you make all the difference at the end of the day. We need one another!”
The Willingness To Do More.
As you can see from the fashion alone Brianna is willing to speak up on issues she feels strongly about and that is something I highly admire.
Follow Brianna on IG here.
The thing Marc taught me most was to live in the moment. One day he randomly hit me up to hangout. I said yes and again, little did I know… what kind of day lay ahead. We went out to this dope location where I met two of his friends. It was for a music video. Yep, I got to be behind the scenes of a rad project. This may sound like nothing to you, but for me, this was pretty big. I always dreamed of being around people who thought like I did or on a higher scale. I dreamed of bouncing ideas back and forth. I dreamed of living my passion.
Andre, one of the friends really stuck out to me. He pretty much started an empire.
“Bossing up to me personally is making it known that you are willing to put in the same work as your team no matter the status you may or may not have over them.”
“Started out as just me wanting to help others with what I felt was the hardest thing to find for myself. And that was someone to believe in. So we [Andre and his partner] spent hours in the basement with aspiring artists from all over Maryland getting their sound together and honing our skills in production. We had no idea were starting a movement. All we want to do is bring the potential in Frederick to light. So much talent. We just have to wake the city up to it.”
Follow Andre on Twitter here.
It was at my very first party in Maryland when I met Frisco. An upbeat, happy dude who made sure to tell me all about his rap game.
Of course when I got home I had to peep things out for myself. I was infatuated with his motivation. I could listen to his song “Maryland” at any point and get hype. When I asked him what quote he lives by, he replied with “KEEP PUSHING.”
It was mad dope the community I felt. Everyone was uplifting and down to work together.
Why do you think it’s important to start local? Like when building your presence.
Starting local helps you get a feel of the ups and downs of being an artist before you branch out and travel.
Follow Frisco on Soundcloud here.
It was my first job in Maryland- Dunkin Donuts. I’ll say exactly what you’re thinking. All the donuts and all the coffee. Yes, it happened. Amongst eating my life away in strawberry sprinkled donuts I met a girl named Kelsey.
Kelsey, Kelsey, Kelsey. A girl filled with laughter, peace, and understanding. Laughter for everything because life is so much better when you can be silly. Peace within from daily mediation. Understanding that life is a wave. Kelsey and I often had talks about how sweet life is. She always reminded me of the goodness in the world and for that I’m so thankful.
What does living love to the fullest mean to you?
What a lovely question. I believe love is the huge purpose of life. We all need each other, in a sense. We all are human and we all should understand that the person next to us is the same as you. Love is a huge thing. And spreading it everyday makes more of a difference than you can see with your own eyes sometimes. Simply by smiling to a person that walks by you is a small act of not only kindness, but love. Understanding people, empathizing and sympathizing with people, is a factor that makes one a wonderful human being. Making sure the people you love, know that you love them. Telling someone who you hope they get home safe. There are so many ways that love can be put out in this world. But in my case, I try to make sure that everyone I love in my life, knows it in one way or another.”
Follow Kelsey on Instagram here.
Age does not matter in the art world. Something I learned in Maryland. I will say, it’s not that I didn’t think middle or high schoolers couldn’t be artist… I just never thought of it. Well, until I met Coralynn. I met her through a friend of a friend of a friend.
(obviously not Coralynn, but this is a picture of her work)
It blows my mind how much Coralynn was and is 100% herself. Something very rare these days.
Do you think it’s hard at your age to put yourself out there as an artist?
Putting myself out was hard at first because I was nervous about what people at my school would think or how they would treat me because I was into something different from them, but when I stared putting my art out there through social media everyone was really supportive and interested in what I was doing!”
What is art to you?
To me art is anything you can find solace in. Different people find questions, answers and comfort in different places and things and I think that’s what art should be!”
Follow Coralynn on Instagram here.
So… Farewell Maryland.
Thank you for everything you’ve taught me. You’ve shown me a lot about myself, my abilities, and the people around me. The world we live in, is a creative one.
Other people who helped along the way, but aren’t listed above…
You reading this… I encourage you to support local everywhere you go. Get to know the artist in the area, even those in high school. Never underestimate a persons talents or abilities to teach you something.