The first thing you should know about me is that even though I love to write and take pictures, I despise being the focus of my words and images.

I’ve never felt like I could capture the whole picture or story solely through my own eyes – my perception always warped. When I am not the subject, I pride myself on being able to see the bigger picture—not only the context in which it exists but the whys and hows that underlie the complete story.

For some background, I was born and rasied in Houston, Texas.  Even though I was raised Jewish by two New Yorkers, I attended a Christian high school where I worked at the school newspaper. These were Trump times and as you might be able to guess, Texas was not the most hospitable place for any political commentary criticizing the right. You already know I was pushing two hyperpolitical pieces a month just because I had the platform for a while.  It was almost therapeutic, writing about the very things that caused me so much stress and combating the angsty helplessness I felt as a teenager.

I realized that my writing and the way I perceived things held actual significance in readers’ lives, which is a weird concept to rationalize: why would anyone take a pissed-off 16-year-old’s views on life and politics to heart? But as I grew older, I realized that half the time, they wouldn’t even understand what I was saying—they just liked the way I said it. I felt out of place, so I was antsy to leave the South by the time I graduated.

My transition to New York for college was like night and day. Even though the differences were subtle, they were beyond impactful. I no longer felt like the odd man out; the traits and beliefs that made me feel ostracized in the south were celebrated in the north. 

I had never been “good” at school. I had poor study habits and a solid 3.0 in high school, so I did not initially get into the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University. My journey in higher education started as a lost, clueless freshman with an undecided major. However, I succeeded as soon as I became interested in my work and immersed in an environment that uplifted me, I got good enough grades to change my major to Newhouse, studying Newspaper style journalism.  

When you have a schtick that you’re decent at, it is usually a good idea to stay at it. That being said, certain schticks can cause burnout. So rather than intensifying the burnout I was experiencing with writing about politics, I instead looked at what exactly drove my passion for writing about politics. The mediascape, writing, taking pictures, public influence, how audiences respond, the whys and hows of a story—these were all the things I loved about the work I did. At the end of the day, my favorite part of the media industry was making big things feel a bit smaller, more digestable: why things are the way they are, how we got here, and what we can do about it.

I have always loved design and all things artistic and have always had quite an eye for it, but I was never good enough to sustain my life through producing art. At the same time, however, I could never imagine a career devoid of it. Work and art are two opposite concepts that propel life, and I just needed to figure out where I fit into that equation.

 Designers, writers, photographers, artists, etc., are all cut from the same creative cloth.  They are capable of communicating thoughts and ideas that society once thought as undefinable, taboo, or “bad.”  So when a friend told me she was starting a magazine that celebrated everything taboo, everything in that grey area that we aren’t supposed to be talking about—the nuances, absurdity, and irony of everyday life—I knew that I had found my path.

Being on ground zero of a magazine is beautiful as you establish its voice and mission as a publication, but more importantly, the relationship with your audience. 

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Our first issue was a huge success, and only a year later, we had a following of more than 1500 people within and removed from the Syracuse University community. Not only that, we were also getting recognized by magazines, brands, and people that aligned with our mission, giving a means to our end of a truly unique and impactful publication.

I changed my major again, this time to News, Magazine, and Digital Journalism, specifically the magazine track. I picked up a stack of magazines and started watching YouTube tutorials on all the Adobe apps and design. 

I became a one-man magazine machine; I was able to write the articles, edit them, plan the shoots, take and edit the pictures, insert graphic design, lay it out on a page, set it up on the website I made, and post a cute little story on Instagram for it.  But the best aspect of the industry was the collaboration. Working with so many talented and creative people sharpens your artistic prowess and enhances the final product.

The magazine industry is unrecognizable from what it once was and where it began, both in what it physically constitutes and its role in society. Technology has given people the ultimate platform as well as the tools to create and spread their art and knowledge to the world. Magazines exist in different mediums, each with their own context, but in their truest form they will use alternative forms of communication to spread ideas that might otherwise be unheard or unseen.

So yeah, I don’t typically make myself the focal point of my writing or photography, but the point is that I don’t need to. Like many artists, my perspective is so passion-driven that my work reflects myself; the only difference is that my canvas is a magazine. At the end of the day, my primary motivation is to change the world through a better understanding of what lies between the lines, and artists are some of the best people able to capture the depth of life’s pain and beauty, something everyone should be able to experience.  All they need is a platform.