Art by Rachel Milstein

My art centers around mental illness and concepts of beauty. The piece, Twelve Self Portraits, came from repeating one exercise over and over for thirty minutes every day for two weeks. The exercise was touching one part of my body from the chest up repeatedly. For example, one day I rubbed my fingers along eyebrows over and over for the thirty minutes.

What these exercises symbolize are panic attacks, depression and anxiety, things I live with day to day. When I have episodes of anxiety or panic attacks I tend to rub my hands or fingers along certain parts of my face over and over again in order to calm myself. So to create this art piece I did the same act in times of lucid consciousness to invoke some of the same feelings and emotions.

Each self portrait is a one day, or one touching of one part of my face. The face with the black scribbles, for example, is the touching of my eyebrows, something I do during panic attacks. So when I performed this act for thirty minutes it conjured feelings of extreme anxiety and fear, symbolized by the scribbles. Twelve Self Portraits was an attempt to understand my own anxiety and describe it to my audience. Painting this art piece was insightful, difficult, but ultimately cathartic.

Rachel Milstein is an artist from Oregon currently studying fine arts at Oregon State University. Art has always been the center of Rachel’s life even from childhood, and she is grateful to be pursuing her passion and living it every day.

Art by Lauren Ammirati

While enjoying a neo-beatnik lifestyle in San Francisco’s historic North Beach, I focused on photography and started to use my photography to collage with – I refers to this method as painting with pictures. I had the opportunity to show my first ‘painting with pictures’ piece in a neighborhood art show where my piece was featured alongside Beat luminary Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

laurenBorn and raised in Long Island, NY, Lauren Ammirati graduated cum laude from the Fash- ion Institute of Technology in Display & Exhibit Design. In 2007, Lauren moved across the country from New York to San Francisco to attend the Academy of Art, where she studied Set Design for Motion Pictures & Television. With experience in both the visual art and pro- duction design worlds, she shines at drawing people into her texturally complex environments that she creates in her work.

Lauren could be found triangulating the Bay Area from 2011 – 2016, showcasing her three- dimensional mixed media art and photography at prominent art shows such as High
Art at the Oakland Museum, Chocolate and Art, SF RAW, the Marin Artist’s Society and Through the Lense. In 2013, her work was featured in a digital art show that was projected on a building in Times Square. In 2015, her photograph, Sunset in North Beach, was hon- ored at a private reception at the Fifth Annual Exposure Award at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France and was published in a Sky Collection book through See.Me. She has also received three Special Recognition Awards for Outstanding Art in Photography from the Light Space & Time Online Gallery. In 2014, Lauren wanted an affordable way for people to enjoy her art, so she started an artwear clothing company called LaLa Artwear.

Recently, Lauren has relocated to the Pacific North West to Eugene, OR, where she can be found exploring the new region with her camera and finding inspiration from the Wil- lamette River.

Follow Lauren:


And LaLa Artwear:


Art by Zach Sierocki

Living and painting with a Peter Pan-like mindset, I try to bring that 90’s nostalgia to my work, the one we all love to feel. I really try to connect the personality of my paintings to a character. Either my own characters that I’ve doodled on the sides of important papers in school, or memorable faces from T.V.”

This Squidward Tentacles titled “Monday” painting really defines my work. The blues bring to life the mundane emotion that Squidward so powerfully carries. Yet the golden frame expresses the very swellheadedness that only Squidward can define.

“Pichu” is a 3 ft. tall commissioned piece done for 2 young boys to add that fun artistic touch to their room.

image1.JPGZach Sierocki is a Pittsburgh based artist with a degree in color. Inspired by love, cartoons, and music Zach’s number one goal is to make you smile when looking at his work.

Zach welcomes commission work from logo designs to murals.
Find Zach online:

Poetry by Michael Waite


The grand facade of many faces
Makes tough to tell who holds the aces
and distant memories of hands played
beguiles the hearts of many spades
and when the dealer lays it down
the king on table holds his crown
cause once the hand is cursorily glanced
all players share an equal chance
to play or pass raise or call
your final bet could win or lose it all.

Michael Waite was born to Richard and Alicia Waite on November 22, 1973, in Northridge, California. He was educated at San Diego Community College and graduated in 1996 with a degree in Legal Studies.His pursuit in life is to live a rich and content life free from the chains of his own thoughts. His inspirations in writing are Ernest Hemingway, Robert Frost, John Steinbeck, and Edgar Allan Poe. His beliefs are that this universe has an ultimate order and sequence and someone put these elements in to play. Hopefully one day he can meet this individual.

Photography by D.J. Storm

As someone who comes from the aviation field, I always look towards the skies. For this series, my inspiration came from a quote by Leonardo Da Vinci, “For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.

img_0888D.J. started drawing at a very young age with influence from his parents. His mom is a fine artist and his dad a musician, and they guided him and his siblings into the arts. He stopped drawing for several years while he was on active duty with the Air Force. It wasn’t until his first deployment that he found art again, or maybe it had found him. Once he left the military he started to draw on occasion, until some of his friends suggested that he start selling his art. While apprenticing he found digital art and design, which led him to photography. D.J. does’t really have a particular style to draw or photograph. He just tries to capture the moment or state of being he is in.

One of his favorite art quotes is “Art is never finished, only abandoned.

Find D.J. on Instagram and Facebook.

Art by Chris Topper

Nothing appeals to me more than a well thought out and composed still image. I can get lost in it, become it, and discover more about myself as a human being. I am expressing visually what isn’t usually discussed. Moments when we feel out of place, as if we don’t know our purpose or destiny.

Our world is saturated with energy. Emanating from every entity, real and imagined. I want to hold on to the wonder I knew as a child and simultaneously scrutinize things from an adult perspective. When my work is viewed the intention is to give the audience a hope full feeling, while being keenly aware of the challenges that were overcome or lie in wait. When a viewer includes their own interpretations, it is most inspiring.

Without being overly apathetic towards the negative, I hold on to the positive things that make us human. Our overwhelming range of emotions when it relates to sorrow, compassion, struggle, achievement, and happiness are prevalent themes. My desire to capture intangible feelings and translate them into visual stimulation is the crux of my work. I study drawing and painting daily not only for a love of the technical skill involved, but for what it enables you to create.


Chris Topper is a fine artist and illustrator currently residing in Portland, Oregon. As a young boy he could not shut off his imagination, which wasn’t always in his favor. He loved anything with visual appeal and would draw constantly. Influences include gallery paintings, film, illustrated books, sculpture, architecture, nature, and even antiques. His current personal work is in the form of large oil paintings on canvas. Subject matter varies from the mysteries and struggles of life, human endurance, overcoming challenges, the consequences of the choices we make, and how we are all connected in some way at sometime.

Chris received his BFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. His commercial illustration work is done digitally or with a combination of digital and traditional tools. He is currently working on a series of oil paintings to display. When not drawing or painting he is playing guitar, running, getting lost in a library, or looking through his book and movie collections. You may also find him enjoying the solitude of a walk in the woods or shuffling through the masses on city streets.

Find Chris online: