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May/June Letter from the Editor

Thursday, May 26, 2016 Jen Lezan

Hey readers!

So, yes - May is almost over, but better late than not at all. So, I am combining both May and June's Letters from the Editor in one! < Feeling quite efficient today :)! > May has been a tremendous month here at Halfstack!

We've got some great new content creators and writers on board and all of us OGs have been busting our butts prepping for our summer issue. Which, by the way, is going to be freaking fantastic. If you didn't catch our behind the scenes snaps on snapchat, make sure you follow us so you can get the lowdown of what goes into a photoshoot! You can follow along here:

This past month we had been focusing on the ideas of journeys in many of the stories featured on the site. I had the opportunity to interview the founder of Wurkinstiffs about his journey into entrepreneurship, we saw inspiring stories about adventure as we lead into summer and Kathleen just recently posted about L. E. Kalikow and his journey in the music world. The underlying theme within most of these stories showcases that life/career/love isn't just about getting to an end destination. Rather, it is about enjoying the journey and living in the moment each day as we go. It can be hard to do that in this crazy fast paced world, but just realizing how every mishap, changed plan and hardship has pushed you towards a better moment in life is a great first step.

This is something I have to remind myself everyday. I am, by nature, a type-A personality who likes to plan. I get so stressed out when things don't go according to plan, but each day I am learning to just go with the ebb and flow of this crazy life. For example, we just finished up shooting our cover story last weekend. I coordinated a beautiful concept with our awesome team at Pickapose Photography (Laura and Shirin) and we collaborated with the amazingly talented Chicago based photographer: Diante Thomas. Looks were pulled from the gorgeous Monique Boutique, location was all set, team on board and assistants coordinated, but the models we booked ended up backing out last minute. 

Things like that happen from time to time and in the past I would have ended up so stressed out, I would have probably developed a bad stomach ache or migraine. Rather, Laura and I went to social media put out an SOS call and we had 3 models (more than we originally had) booked within just a couple of hours. The day turned out amazing and I just enjoyed the journey. Each shoot is a learning opportunity for me, a moment to grow and a moment to appreciate that I get to create a living, breathing work of art with some incredibly talented creative souls. So, enjoy the ride my friends and look around because if you don't, life might just pass you by. 

For June, our creative focus on the blog will highlight Chicago's summer cultural preview. Our writers have been hitting up the latest and greatest events, concerts, restaurants and shows in Chicago. The Halfstackers are out in full force this summer. With all the festivals and concerts  coming to town, our music team will be working overtime. The theme behind our summer issue this year is focused on Chicago Movers and Shakers. As always, we will have a Chicago focus, but we are also including national and international profiles of artists, musicians, designers, creatives, photographers, brands and entrepreneurs that are shaking up their industries through innovation in their work. 

This concept is so important to me and the current trajectory we are taking Halfstack in. Each of the people we are featuring in the issue are shaking things up and opposing the system. They are doing things differently than what society expects. They are a part of a kind of underground movement of makers that doing more to create work of substance and influence. I often feel that Halfstack doesn't fit the mold of what a typical lifestyle or fashion publication should be. That's why I always have and most likely always will consider us "indie". I remember the "zines" of the 90s that were influenced by anarchopunk and DIY culture and how they inspired me to launch my own 4 years ago. 

These zines were all about getting content and information freely distributed to the public and highlighting bands, artists and culture vultures that weren't getting the attention they deserved from the mainstream media. They had a vision, a creative stance and a DGAF attitude about what the establishment thought of them. While we aren't photocopying anymore as the digital age has made it so much easier to develop and get our work out there, the concepts and vision behind our brand still stands very much true to the ethos of the zine. It's been amazing to see zines grow and develop. I look to publications such as: Giant Robot, Dazed & Confused, Bust, Bitch, Cometbus, Doris, Brainscan, The Miscreant, and Maximum RocknRoll as inspiration for what I hope to grow Halfstack into. They all had humble beginnings and despite their growth, they still stay true to who they always have been in terms of the content they share. 

I hope that within this upcoming issue, you find inspiration on our pages. I hope you find joy in our words and that you are introduced to an interesting person that you may not have come across before.  Make sure to check back June 15th for our summer issue release. This month the blog will be filled with some great stories - so check back every day for new content online! Keep up with us on social media too - we are on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK & TWITTER. Finally, if you are interested in becoming a contributor for Halfstack fill out an application HERE

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