Stepping Up & Judging

Perfect 10 for attire!

Perfect 10 for attire!

Today was the New York Edge's Annual Step Competition "Rhythmic Step," hosted at York College in Queens, NY. I had the honor of judging at this highly competitive step competition for the 5th year, one of my favorite events of the year to attend! For those of you who have never seen stepping in person, it is definitely something you must see in person - the energy and movement is simply amazing.

Stepping is a synchronized group movement, with lots of stomping and clapping. All of these students rocked the stage and impressed me, I definitely would not be coordinated enough to do what they do! One step team even stepped blindfolded!

While I am not a top notch stepper, I was able to judge on attire - right up my alley!

Check out some photo & videos from this year’s competition on my instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BwHigQ3AV4o/ Can’t wait until next year!

These ladies were stepping BLINDFOLDED!

These ladies were stepping BLINDFOLDED!

Winners of the advanced competition

Winners of the advanced competition

Girl Redesigned with New York Edge

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Today, I had the pleasure of volunteering with New York Edge at the annual Girl Redesigned, hosted at Adelphi University in Long Island. At this event, students designed, sewed and modeled their own designs! It was very impressive to see these K-12 students see their designs through from beginning to end.

The designs were very creative, as were the performances. Each school had a different theme, from what do you want to be when you grow up to athletic wear.

I am no designer, but I was able to assist the students with my runway experience and teach the students how to walk, pose and own the runway with confidence!

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In addition to volunteering with New York Edge, I also sit as co-chair of the New York Edge Young Professionals Council, which I also helped to co-found!

If you are interested in getting involved or learning more, feel free to reach out or visit: https://newyorkedge.org/

The Forty-Five Show Inspired by the Vans Warped Tour

Tonight, Friday, July 13, 2018, I had the pleasure of attending he Forty-Five Show, hosted by Vans in NYC, which was the final stop of the tour proceed stops in Santa Monica, Chicago and Philadelphia. The Forty-Five Show is a charity art show, featuring 45 album covers created by 45 artists inspired by artists and musicians who have played on Warped Tour.

The Dickies

These art pieces will be sold online and all proceeds will benefit Sound Art, a non profit that focuses on putting music back into the classroom. 

Check out some of the album covers on this post! My personal favorite was the album cover inspired by The Dickies featuring narwohls!  

New York Edge Spring Arts Showcase

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On Wednesday, June 6, 2018 I attended the 9th Annual Spring Arts Showcase for the non profit New York Edge (formerly Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation).  NY Edge has been one of my favorite non profits to volunteer with and this is one of their favorite events I love to attend (the other is the annual STEP Competition)

The Spring Arts Showcase featured some of the top performances and art, ranging from dancing and stepping to fashion designs and 3-D artwork.  Needless to say, I was truly impressed.  Check out the photos and video in this post!

In light of what has been happening in current events, in particular the suicides of fashion designer Kate Spade and Chef Anthony Bourdain, I was truely moved by the step performance, in which they addressed suicide prevention. 

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The free after school programming New York Edge provides is very impactful, reaching over 25,000 students in 120+ schools across the Greater NYC area. The after school programming varies from sports, arts, education, music and more.  I love volunteering with such a great organization and am currently President of the NY Edge Young Professionals Council.

The NY Edge Young Professionals Council will be hosting our 4th Annual Summer Kickoff Soiree on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at the Ainsworth - East Village.  If you are interested in attending, tickets can be purchased here: 

https://sasfny.networkforgood.com/events/7165-new-york-edge-kickoff-to-summer-soiree

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What Goes Into A Photo Shoot?

I had the pleasure of shooting with photographer Nephi Lim, hair stylist Jon Chao & makeup artist Alani Rasheed in Bushwick (Brooklyn, NYC).  Nephi had the brilliant idea of creating dual persona for me, starting with an innocent, sweet girl persona turning into a dark, goth persona.  The team did a fantastic job making this happen!  

Photo Shoot Team (L-R): Elizabeth Tam, Alani Rasheed, Nephi Lim, Jon Chao

Photo shoots serve many purposes, one of which is a way to be creative and express yourself.  Photo shoots may seem glamorous, with the wind blowing in the model's hair and the flashes shooting; however there is a lot of work that goes into getting the perfect shot.  From the preparation (styling your hair, getting your makeup done and finding the right outfit) to the actual shoot (working on those poses/expressions and snapping the right angles) you are looking at a few hours of work, not to mention the photo editing afterwards.

This shoot was by no means a quick shoot, we had started around 7 PM and shot until 1 AM, but definitely worth it - check out the final product below.

For the first look we went with a sweet, innocent look.  We kept the makeup and hair minimal, not to seem too glamorous.

For the second look we went with a dark, goth look.  We used dark, heavy makeup and gave the hair more volume and scruff. 

Nephi & Lani used their creativity to take this look to the next level - check it out!

Let me know your thoughts on the photos, concept or photo shoots and modelling in the comments section!

 

Photo Credits:
Photographer: Nephi Lim
Makeup: Alani Rasheed
Hair: Jon Chao

The Art of the Chinese New Year Lion Dance

This past weekend, Chinese New Year was celebrated in Chinatown. One of my favorite parts of the parade is all of the lion dances! 

Lion dances are fun to watch, but what do they symbolize?

What is the lion dance?

The lion dance is a traditional Chinese dance, in which performers wear a lion costume and perform a dance to mimic a lion's movements.  The dance is accompanied by soudns of Chinese cymbals and drums. The lion dance is typically performed around the Lunar New Year to chase away evil spirits away and bring good luck and fortune. 

You can typically find lions performing the lion dance for businesses days following New Years.  The lions will go down the street and stop to perform at any store that will have them.  As part of the traditional dance, the lions will reach for a head of lettuce place upon a pole and tied to a red envelope. The lion will then grab the head of lettuce and spit out the lettuce, the red envelope will be a reward for the performers as they are bringing luck with their dances. 

The lion is a symbol of power, courage, wisdom and good fortune.  The lion costume consists of two performers, one for the head and one behind.  This may seem easy to maneuver, however it is quite the opposite as it requires a lot of coordination. The dances have a lot of movement, dancing, jumping on stools and even on type ropes and pure acrobatics sometimes. 

This Chinese New Year, I was fortunate enough to see a full performance and even get to pet and take a photo with a lion!

Chinese New Year Lion

Fashion Illustration with Holly Nichols

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As part of NYFW, Apple hosted "Live Art: Runway-Inspired Portraits with Holly Nichols" as part of their "Today with Apple" series at Apple Soho.

One of my favorite fashion illustration Artists Holly Nichols spoke to the audience on a range of topics from how to launch your business, social media and her favorite designers to draw.  After the Q&A, Holly walked us through a hands on step-by-step lesson on how she makes her gorgeous sketches using Apple's iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and the Procreate app.

Holly's workshop was very informative, I learned a lot about her techniques, how to effectively use the Procreate App - from the brushes, to layering and how to draw hair!  This was my first time trying out the new Apple Pencil, it was a pretty handy tool and great for drawing, painting & sketching my masterpiece with.

On a personal note, Holly is one of my favorite Fashion Illustrators. Her sketches are fashionable and stylish meets confident and bold. 

I am not the best artist, but I really enjoyed the workshop and would definitely recommend taking advantage of the workshops Apple offers if you have time.

Check out Holly's fantastic sketch below on the left and my attempt at a sketch on the right.

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Not the best, but not bad for my first attempt at a fashion sketch and on digital media, nonetheless! Now if only I could sketch as well as Holly does!