September 22, 2014

Meet Rocio, Fine Art Photographer

"Fashion is art and you are the canvas." - Velvet Paper

That quote describes my style philosophy, so it is always exciting to come across local artists who express themselves in other mediums. Meet Rocio, a free-spirited, driven photographer who hopes to not only make a living with her art, but to inspire and help others.
Rocio's self-portrait. Love the eye makeup!
Although Rocio Mirelis originally planned on a career in Professional Counseling, her immense creative talent led her in a different direction. A painter since the age of 8, Rocio decided to take online courses and read instructional books to teach herself the art of photography. After researching various styles like boudoir photography, Rocio was most inspired by Brooke Shaden's whimsical fine art photography. Fine art photography uses tools like Photoshop to enhance a natural environment and create "dream worlds" that look as if they come out of a storybook. 
"Seeing the Light"
Yes, this is actually from a photograph!
What began as Rocio's Facebook fan page for Brooke Shaden's work evolved into the Fine Art Portrait Photography Guild (FAPPG) with over 2200 international photographers! Members of the FAPPG admire and critique each other’s work, host monthly challenges and prizes, and display exhibitions all over the country. As founder of the FAPPG, Rocio not only loves the independence of being her own boss, she is proud of her ability to create art based on her vision. She admits, though, that her career path has its challenges. Rocio sacrificed financial security and time with her family. She is still learning the "business" side of being an entrepreneur: marketing, paperwork, and forming the "right" connections to find collectors interested in purchasing her work. Rocio's professional dream is to turn the FAPPG into a non-profit organization, open a gallery, and exhibit her work around the world. 

For emerging artists, Rocio's advice is to "focus on creating the best and most original work that you can, market your work, network, go to every event that you can, exhibit as much as you can. Have patience. Find a support system-not just your family, but other artists that understand what you do and why. Most importantly, love what you do."

Rocio describes her personal artistic style as "magical, fantastical, and full of light and wonder." She prefers to use "happy colors" to create "epic pieces" based on her daydreams, feelings, spirituality, and visually amazing films.  
"Sleeping Awake"
This is Rocio's favorite piece. Inspired by Indian culture, colors and magic, it is aptly called "Indian Princess." She (and onlookers) are drawn to its dynamic movement, sense of freedom and beauty, and ability to tell a story.
"Indian Princess"
Want to see more of Rocio's beautiful work up-close? Her newest exhibition "33September" is on display through 9/30/14 at the Old Orchard Gallery in Webster Groves, MO. Visit her web page for more info or connect with her on Facebook! 

September 17, 2014

This Fit is B-A-N-A-N-A-S

You sift through the racks, getting more disheartened as the cuteness of the garments seems to deteriorate. You start to regret the shopping trip altogether, but know that you need a hot outfit. Out of nowhere, it appears: that amazingly gorgeous dress that embodies style perfection. You skip to the dressing room, so excited you can barely stand it.

Then you try it on.

It fits up top, but not on the bottom. You try on the next size. It fits on the bottom, but not on the top. Aahhh! What is a girl to do? You think, "I wish I had a dress that was custom-made for me!" 

Sound familiar? Let's face it-most of us are not a "perfect" size 6 or 12 or any size. In some brands, we're one size, and in other brands, we're a totally different size. I literally tried on every fit of Old Navy jeans until I found the sole style that worked. (I'm a "Diva" with a dash of "Rock Star" - no surprise. LOL) 

Getting every garment custom-made to your measurements is a luxury most of us can't afford, but I was recently contacted by a cool company aiming to change that. eShakti specializes in providing customized looks at modest prices. You pick the garment you want, provide your measurements, and can then choose to tweak the designs a bit. Love the dress but think it's too long? You can order it in a shorter length. Think a top would be way cuter with 3/4 sleeves? No problem. It was fun to play designer as I worked to create the right look for my dress:
Find this dress here. I added a bow pin at the waist to make it even girlier.
The original dress was sleeveless and below the knee, but I chose to shorten it and add cap sleeves.
To punk it up, I styled it with a faux leather vest from Express, my trusty Steve Madden studded boots (that go with everything) and a vintage bag.
All photos courtesy of Travis Crosby
The dress was a hair longer than I anticipated - I picked "above the knee" and envisioned more of a mini look (even though the web site pics are very clear) - but I'm loving the Clueless-meets-Gwen Stefani plaid. The customer service was top-notch and my dress arrived in about 2 weeks, as promised. Want to try eShakti for yourself? Just for you lovely readers, enter coupon code 'therubyzipper' for 10% off your purchases through October 12. The code can be combined with other promotional offers, but won't work for sale/clearance items or gift cards. Let me know what you think if you get a custom garment!

P.S.-This dress was gifted to me by eShakti, but all opinions are entirely my own.