Lifestyle of the Broke & Creative

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Slutoween: Why Women Wear Sexy Halloween Costumes

You guys may not know this about me, but I’m a lover of podcasts. Whenever I’m at work, you better believe I have on my bright green headphones on while I type away. One of my favorites has to be the feminists crew from “Stuff Mom Never Told You“. They speak about almost everything related to women, and many things that even don’t. Feminism isn’t about women being better than men, it’s about being equals. Sometimes, instead of heating their conversations, I decide to have a really small window on my screen (you know, right next to my excel sheet haha) and I put on host’s Cristen’s Youtube channel and I just let it roll. In honor of all the festivities coming our way, I have decided to share on of her videos, Why Women Wear Sexy Costumes. I hope you all learn a little something, laugh a little or maybe even disagree with it, why don’t you let me know in the comments below.

Also, since we’re talking about costumes, I’ve been hella stressed trying to figure out what I want to be. I absolutely love Halloween, and usually make a deal about it, which is why I usually throw an annual party to get a little crazy. This year, I  might just scratch it all out in t’s entirety, and maybe just go out instead. Oli and I were trying to find something to wear, extremely late in the game, and ended up getting a little frustrated with all the options. In agreeance with the video above, I found almost all of my options to be a little too skanky. I mean, I have no issues with other ladies strutting their stuff, but personally, I don’t like to show so much skin unless I’m in private with a special person. So on that note, what are you guys dressing up as on Halloween?

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Mood Board: Tech Talk, My Favorite Equipment & Essentials

I’ve recently gotten into a conversation about Photoshop and when I mentioned that I don’t know how to use it, let alone own it, there was a huge surprise. What the fuck? How is that even possible?

Yeah, I’ve always wanted to learn, and even though I read tutorials on it all the time, I don’t understand it. I do however, think it’s past over due to own and master this tool.

How can an artists who paints, photographs and create graphic illustrations do without it? I don’t know, I guess I just always found a way. There are many free online editing tools, and apps that make things so much more convenient for those who are on a budget. I am testament to when it comes  “starving artist”. Though I may not always be hungry, being an artist and having all the essentials and tools to create  isn’t always cheap. But I have made due. My equipment may not always be the newest up to date technology, as much as I want it all, haha.. But I budget the tiny splurges I do make. I’ll talk about that later.

Further along into the conversation I was asked if I shot (my photography) RAW. I chuckled because I know how beneficial shooting RAW is. You get an image in it’s purest form, capturing every detail and giving you full control of processing. Yeah, I don’t do that either. When I mentioned I don’t shoot “Manual” I could feel the gasp that was nowhere in sight. When I mentioned I don’t use a Mac.. I bursted out laughing and could only ask the one question that needed to be asked.

So, what does that tell you about my work?

“It says your work is great so far, and will be even greater as you learn all these things in time.”

Now THAT, made me smile. I think I do pretty damn well for myself, so in this post I’ll be sharing some of my secrets. My favorite equipment, programs I use and tips on how you can too. Welcome to my Mood Board: Tech Talk.

I’ll cover my paintings first, what I use for my graphic illustrations, apps I use, my photography gear, and tricks of my trade.. Let’s begin. So there we have it.. it seems quite over whelming I’m sure. But don’t get discouraged. I promise you, all of this equipment is either outdated, or a dupe of some sort and work just quite fine for all that I accomplish creatively. You don’t need to sell a kidney to make great art, budget for the essentials, and in time while you teach yourself and practice, you can save up for those fancy shmancy name brand gadgets we all adore and keep on carts we never purchase.(I’m super guilty of that!)

Ill break these down by the categories I expressed above, and you’ll notice, things start to get crazy when photography hits, but then again, what girl doesn’t love accessories!?

I use acrylics when I paint on canvas, and though Blicks, Michael’s (and if your’e a little Old School, Pearl Paint) carry great supplies… I’m not ashamed to mention that I get my paint at Walmart. Mhmm… you read that right guys. A tube at Blick’s can run about 5 bucks, while I can get the same size at Walmart for about three. Since New York City doesn’t have Walmarts, whenever I’m out of town, I make sure I stack up.

Graphic Illustration:
Again, and I’m only repeating myself so you get it… old stuff man. I have an Ipad Mini, the original one. Yes, the New 5 that is coming out, is gaaaawgeous, and maybe I’ll splurge on it in due time. In all honestly I only use this tablet for about 2 things only, to draw and watch Netflix on my lunch  breaks while I’m at work. So as much as I want a new one( and you’ll notice in this post I want a lot of things, a girl can dream.) I don’t really need anything. I just want it ALL!
What’s anything apple without apps?
Sketchbook Pro is probably my favorite hands down. It’s available for IOS and Google Play, so go get it now (wish I was commission on this lol) There’s a free version, but spending $4.99 is well worth the Pro version with all the extra brushes you get. Another go to is Adobe Illustrator Draw. It’s also free, but you have to have an adobe log in info, it only take like 2 minutes, stop being lazy. Oh, there’s a Sketch Book Pro desktop version that’s like $30/year, which is not bad. I hear the tools are AMAAAAZEBALLS. The only reason I haven’t purchased it, is because I can’t picture myself sitting down for too long at my computer just working. I like having access to mobility, and what works for, works for me.

Cellular Device:
Yes, I  know, almost every single person is an iphone head. As much as I appreciate their marketing skills, and the cameras on their phones are up to par. I’m a big android user. I have been for about 5 years now. I love androids because they remind me of a pc. The software works perfectly for my every day life. I’ve recently thought about getting an iphone, and I quickly changed my mind. My Samsung Galaxy 6 isn’t perfect. Yes, the camera is great and the convenience of it all, wonderful. But I secretly missing having the s5. I’m actually fond of the external battery and the option of having an extra memory card. I take way too many pictures and have so much stuff going to be deleting things all the time, no matter how much space I already purchased.

Moving on to the big bucks, Photography:
Oh, boy, if you think this post was long before. you’re in for a rude awakening. Everyone knows the main guys in the game Canon & Nikon. My Canon Rebel T3i mat be outdated and may be a beginner dslr, but it does it’s job just right. I’ll be honest, I barely use this puppy anymore, it’s collecting dust on a shelf and I’ll explain why. As great as this Canon is.. I named her Rebel, she’s bulky. Fitting her into a purse is not my  favorite and it usually means I have to sacrifice leaving something else at home. So I bring her out to play only when I need to.
My first make believe dslr, that’s what I like to call it, is a cybershot that I named Sonny. It’s a super zoom camera that has been very kind to me when I first started blogging.(Which was 7 years ago, wait, whaaat!?) I was going to sell him and decided not to, because you know, memories. He has some scratches on the lens, so I only use this camera when I go to festivals and concerts. The zoom is amazing and I can get some nice clear shots even from the greatest distance. When I first purchased the camera it was about 500 bucks, and since he’s a little old (2012  model) he’s super cheap to get now. It’s a bit bulky, and somehow the scratch on the lens doesn’t bother me when I shoot, since it creates a bokeh effect for me anyway, perfect for music performances.
Every since I purchased my baby Cher, (wait, you guys don’t name you cameras!?) it has been my everyday go to. Sony has amazing technology, and it completely goes under the radar. It only goes to show, that just because something is popular it doesn’t mean it’s the best (cough cough iphone). My Sony a6000, is the love of my life. I Take her everywhere. She’s mirrorless, the quality is unbelievable for something so compact. I would recommend this baby to anyone and everyone. Sometimes, a lot of times, I use this little thing to photograph gigs. My clients are always shocked when I show up with something so tiny, and the results are always breathtaking. Another thing I love about this camera is the interchangeable lenses. yes, most dslr’s can do that, but this one…. you don’t only need to purchase the same brand to fit the same brand camera. With Sony, as long as you have an adapter you can pretty much mount anything on it. I even uses my Canon lenses on this.
Which brings me to the lenses.
Are you all exhausted of reading yet?
A good camera is just that, good, but a nice piece of glass, is everything. There are many lenses that I drool over. For instance, the Sony 24-70mm , but nobody (me) has 2 G’s that they want to spend on getting something else to attach to their camera. The stock 18-55mm  is an everyday lens I shoot with on the go, but my favorite so far has to be my Minolta 50mm prime lens.  See, I told you guys, I don’t need to buy a Sony lens just because I have a Sony. I purchased this lens off of Ebay for about $50, and it’s been my best invest. If you know anything about lenses, you know they are some price mother fuckers. This one is great for portraits, and I use it a lot for head shots.
The Canon 75-300mm is another one of my go to’s, mostly to be honest when I’m shooting for a gig. Especially fashion photography for other bloggers or clients who perfer a blurry background. And who doesn’t love a a blurry background?
For beach days, or an active sport I’m doing that day, like a race, a hike, or anything along those lines I have always relied on my Go Pro 3+. It’s tiny, it’s waterproof, has wifi and the endless attachments are a blessing. You can hook it up to bike helmet, a surfboard, a guitar, the possibilities are endless for a different point of view. One thing I’m not crazy about is that you can’t view what you’re shooting. Yes, there’s an app let’s you see live, but who wants to have their phone open and a camera at the same time? Nobody, that’s who. I purchased the lcd screen which helps a lot. But it’s a battery drainer so I figured why  not get something new.
I purchased the Olympus TG-870, the newest cub of the pack. I ended up adoring the “selfie”option with the flip up screen. I can take it underwater, and use it as an every day camera, which is cool. But I hate the night time quality. I would only use this in the daytime.

So there we go, (yes, I’m almost done). These are my opinions on my equipment, what works for me through trial and error. What may work for me, may not work for you, or maybe it will (shrugs shoulders) who knows. And why am I sharing all of my secrets with you? Simple, you don’t need to splurge on fancy things just because you’re told it will create a better quality of work.  You are able to create whatever you want with the fullest extent of your imagination. So I say go for it, make something new and go farther than ever.

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Night Breakers

So here I am, draining the little that is left of my cell phone battery on this group chat. Ever since a recent event, we’ve all grown closer than before. Granted, we’ve all known each other for a number of years, but at this time, we’ve been bonding stronger than ever. Seems like in one aspect of our lives, we’re pretty somewhat stuck in the same rut. Which only makes our nights much more of a tale. Our nights are cheered on by alcohol levels. Our hips swerve to the rhythm. Our laughs get lost in the crowds. It’s like a trance, a blur, a memory that doesn’t require documenting.

Even at our non indulgent moments, our talks vary from advice, to career goals, to workshops, events, parties, bike rides, one night stands, artistic differences, future travels, and much much more. These “night breakers” have been my rock.

Changes, we’re all going through them, from job hunting, to wounded hearts, from deaths, family drama, and trial and tribulations in the dating scene. We all go through stages, we fall, we break, we pick ourselves up, we mend and grow. Grow into better versions of ourselves, that is,  if we heal correctly.

People come in and out of our lives, They’re like seasons, many quotes like to say. Even though people may not always be permanent, I like to believe that they’re not always gone.They appear in your lives when needed, like small chances of hope, a guide, inspiration to keep on creating or even something as small as a smile to brighten up your day. I’ll take every ounce I can get, and for the time being, no matter what the percentage on my battery may be, at least my cellphone is finally being put to good use.

I hope you all find your Night Breakers.
love, m

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New Art: Self Portrait, Digital Style

I have finally picked up a stylus ladies and gentlemen!

Ok, let me not hype this up too much, because I don’t want you guys asking me when was the last time I picked up a paintbrush.

However, I’ve been getting back into my daily routine of drawing on the train, probably the only time I actually have to myself. The only time I get to mediate and just think out loud on a screen. Sure sometimes hearing “showtime” and being shoved like a sardine in a tin can gets annoying, but I  like to think I take control of it. I center myself, and block it all out. Many times I get another commuter leaning in trying their hardest to see what I’m doing. (Like you guys aren’t nosy on someone else’s screen) Sometimes I’ll get a quiet nod of approval, and sometimes I get someone who strikes up a conversation. I love both, depending on my mood. As much as I appreciate a good compliment, it also distracts me from my task at hand. I’m in a zone, I’m focused and I want to get it done. Occasionally, I get a little shy when I know the project involves my own face.. like for this illustration I finished. I know people stare, and let’s face it.. I don’t impress anybody at work, so I dress as shitty as I want to be. So when they see a cute girl on the screen and hot mess in person, I get the raise of an eyebrow with a silent “wtf?” haha.

I hope you guys like.

Ps. Check out the new header above.
love, m

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Free Rein

Life takes a toll on us hard. I know many and one in particular, who has no problem keeping everything bottled up inside. Nothing is a bother, nothing deserves any attention. You just keep moving on, and whoever doesn’t like it, well tough. Sometimes I wish I could be that way. I used to be that way. I’ve come to realize though, that even if it may sound like a blessing, that only means you only have a sad soul yearning to get out.
Being able to express myself is a wonderful trait. It’s an awareness of what’s around you, what you deserve, appreciate and you get to grow. I can’t image not having someone to bond and share your deepest thoughts with. Having a connection so innocent and most of all reciprocated. Being able to share your feelings, ideas, goals, perceptions of the world and humanity,  being passionate about something…it shows character. Having no filter with another, just countless laughing, crying.. that’s life.. emotion is life.
I used to know someone who thought expression was showing weakness, giving space for judgement, but in all reality, being that close minded, was the weakness. Vulnerability with someone else is freedom. Maybe you guys already have someone you can indulge with, and if you don’t, try opening up a bit more. Or show expression in different interpretations, and aspects. Pick up a paintbrush, paint something, pick up a pen, write something, pick up some clay, sculpt something… I want to see all of you create, express, don’t hold back, because life takes a toll on us hard, and having an outlet is free rein. Go on, show me what you got.
love, m

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Photography: BoWhoreNYC: Cross Body Sweatshirt Dress

Finally guys, I know, I know.. it’s taken me forever to get to the final look, number eight. I know all you see when you get on my site is pictures of this shoot, but like I’ve mentioned before, it was an all day thing, with a lot of different outfits that needed to be displayed.

Knowing myself, I had to split this up the right way, and this was the best way I knew how. This last ensemble is something that I would actually wear. It’s a grey sweatshirt dress, with fur sleeves and a red cut out at the mid tummy area. Way too cute.
In case you all haven’t noticed a theme here, this project was all part of Julee’s new Fur collection that just debuted! So now there’s an opportunity in actually ordering these items, go HERE. or visit her instagram HERE.

Since these threads were a bit more on the urban side, I knew I wanted to get on the streets, and not just in the background, in action. Shooting at the gas station was my personal choice, and something I don’t regret doing at all. Granted we had a few bystanders confused. Especially since we weren’t actually pumping gas haha, but what are a few eyeballs anyway?

I hope you guys enjoyed this collection, I know I sure had a blast photographing and editing these shots. On to the next job!If you are interested in my photography services please feel free to email me at 2minxinx@gmail.com or use the contact form below.
love, minxinx

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Photography: BoWhoreNYC: FURociously Fierce Hooded Cardigan

Hey guys, I know things have been a little slow around here. If you’re a loyal reader, not only are you appreciated, but you also know that my family is dealing with a great loss. Not only have I been super busy, but even when I’m not, I simply don’t have the energy or strength to do anything. My best friend at the moment is my bed, and when I force myself to go to work, I’m missing my pillows like crazy. Today I gave myself the momentum to update you guys on the last looks of a recent photo shoot I had the pleasure of photographing.

Look 7 has to be one of my favorites of the bunch, that trench is everything, and if you would like to order your own you can do so by going HERE. I’ll be posting the last look in a few minutes while I still have some drive to do so. I might not have much to put up for a little while since I’ll be in mourning, which I’m sure you all understand. But I’m not going far, I just need a little space to heal. I’ll see you guys soon. Much love.

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Abuela Magaly

This week has been a whirlwind. My parents boarded their plane to Dominican Republic, landing at almost 4 in the morning on a Saturday,  Last Saturday. The same Saturday I wake up with countless messages and missed calls. I didn’t even know who to respond to first. My cousin Sasha’s blatant crying makes it hard for me to comprehend what she’s trying to tell me. “Something bad happened.” I jump up and throw on the first clothes I see. I didn’t even bother to put on socks.  I needed to  get to Brooklyn fast. As much as it hurt to make a call, and I made it anyway, no questions asked I pleaded. I put my pride to side once again, hoping that a favor will be dealt, I was wrong.

I asked my little brother Jeremy, to join me on my ride and just be there for me, moral support. Two hours later I arrived at Abuela Magaly’s house. I walk in, and the place was packed with aunts, uncles, cousins and other family members. The first person I trip over is my godmother Margaret. She’s on the floor, bawling her eyes out, almost rocking herself while she screams. I throw myself on the floor alongside her, my body is hugging her, and I’m kissing her all over her face.

Heartbroken and lost. We’re all full of sorrow and wondering why. Abuela Magaly is/was the matriarch of the family. The glue that held us all together. United, that’s how she always wants/wanted her family to be. Holidays will never be the same. The funeral viewing was hard. Two days full of tears, grief, prayers. Her body, beautiful, but all I kept doing was staring, hoping that maybe it was all a lie, waiting for her to take in a deep breath. I was hoping too hard. I couldn’t even stomach going to the burial.

I know the main things everyone says, she’s in a better places, yes… and now with Jasmine, we all know how much they got along. But it still hurts.
love, minxinx

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Photography: BoWhoreNYC: Rosé

Hi my loves,  as you can tell, I’ve been pretty busy. I’m loving all the inspiration that’s been surrounding me lately. This collaboration with designer Julee from BoWhoreNYC has kept me occupied. I’m enjoying all the new images I get to add to my portfolio. I’m even more ecstatic that Julee loves the final results. I call that a double win.  Model Laurie is killing all of these looks, and I can’t wait to keep sharing more with you. This  is look six out of eight, this dress is so soft and gorgeous. It reminds me of a romance novel. I love how glamorous the end results came out to be. I only have 2 more looks left to show off, so stay posted!