Some young budding actors have a dream of becoming successful at the hands of a benefactor with immediate results, booking role after role, without having to put in much effort. I don’t believe this comes from a place of laziness. This false sense of success is a narrative painted in across all art forms, making it hard to come to terms with the fact that this is not reality. But, for actress Jaimie Alexander, her rags to riches story resembles this narrative.

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The world is ever-changing, which is even more obvious in the fast-paced fashion industry. No one is more aware of this than fashion designer, Amy Smilovic. Smilovic’s creativity and ingenuity have led her to find success in the fashion industry with her fashion label, Tibi, for the past 20 years, but Smilovic’s success was not without its challenges.

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Can you imagine walking into an art gallery expecting to see paintings, but only seeing large photographs of everyday people instead? Artwork as realistic as the paintings created by German artist David Uessem could trick anyone into thinking they’ve just looked at a photo. Uessem is known for taking snapshots of everyday life and painting realistic portraits of the pictures with his own authentic twist.

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“Honestly, this is so much bigger than me,” 20-year-old Khalid said as he accepted the 2018 Billboard Music Award for “Best New Artist.” “This is for the youth, the young believers and all the dreamers out there. Do not listen to negativity. The only person in the way of your future is yourself.”

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Models from all walks of life graced the “runway” for the 2018 Global Runway Atlanta fashion presentation—sporting pieces from well-known brands like Brooks Brothers, Spanx, Sean John, and ExOfficio. Each model had their own distinctive style giving you a wide range of vibes from suburban, preppy to the latest chic, effortless fashions.

“My team wanted to ensure we embodied the essence of each brand. For example, ExOfficio is a travel apparel brand, so when we styled the models selected for this show, we ensured [that] we included key accessories that really told the story about why the brand exists. Our team also styled the selected items to ensure they were on trend, giving the audience a sense of what is cool to wear in the marketplace today,” explained Fashion Entrepreneur and Wardrobe Stylist Robert “MiddleMan Fresh” Flood, of the Middleman Styling Firm.

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Most 13-year olds haven’t entered the workforce just yet, but Victor “Beau” Shell, 13 of Athens, Georgia is going on his seventh year in business as the Lil’ Ice Cream Dude. As the owner and CEO of Lil’ Ice Cream Dude, Beau has grown and expanded his ice cream truck business and will soon be opening his very own ice cream store called, Lil’ Ice Cream Dude’s Cool World, in his hometown.

When Beau was only seven years old, he approached his parents and told them about his dreams of owning an ice cream cart and sharing his favorite treat with his community. Thinking it was only a passing phase, his parents did not rush out to buy ice cream carts. But Beau’s passion for ice cream and being an entrepreneur was not fleeting and Beau was persistent.

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Band of Outsiders is a preppy clothing line. But hold your horses, shouldn’t their brand be named something like ‘band of insiders,’ due to the fact that top designers tend to be elitist and make their clothing for the in crowd? After all, fashion is all about setting the standard for what everyone should be wearing.

However, this is not the case for Scott Sternberg’s brand. His company seeks to be something other than fashion. By paying homage to the classic American preppy style, Band of Outsiders doesn’t overtly hit you over the head with flamboyant colors, plunging necklines and big shoulders. Rather, they casually understate their uniqueness through ironic pop culture references that are consciously veiled within their marketing materials and the design of the clothing. Sternberg is the whispering rebel behind this preppy movement and his focus is on a careful hand in the production of his garments. His sardonic vibes have gathered quite a following, including celebrity fans Kirsten Dunst, Aziz Ansari and Karlie Kloss, while obtaining a new idea of preppy.

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Although R&B may seem like it’s taken a backseat to other genres, the first lady of Dreamville Records Ari Lennox refuses to let it die. Her neo-soul sound and down to earth vibe gives her the relatable edge that many artists seem to lack these days. Lennox got her first taste of fame on YouTube, where she has 33 thousand subscribers, and used to upload covers of popular songs. She has remade songs like “Drunk in Love,” by Beyoncé and “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,” by Otis Redding. Lennox would add her own flavor to the songs by slowing them down and changing up the beat. Her smoky vocals have a very wide range that allows her covers to sound unique and fit her soulful demeanor.

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Artwork can overwhelm you with emotion or bring up certain memories from your past. When I first saw artist Richard Hart’s painting of an individual, that seems to be a woman based on the facial features, gazing blankly into the distance with what looks like the weight of the world on her shoulders, I immediately felt her pain.

The painting was inspired by a picture of a sculpture created by author Malvina Hoffman. I couldn’t stop staring at this one particular piece of art. The eyes in Hart’s painting drew me in and allowed me to feel a sense of sadness and loss of hope.The simplicity of the colors blue, black and white somewhat represent a darkness that hangs over them.  Around her eyes, there’s a huge presence of the colors black and dark blue, demonstrating she’s tired and possibly feeling defeated. There’s a small amount of the color white in her eyes that could be illustrating just a small bit of optimism, that things could still get better.

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