artandculture chicago

Halfstack Anniversary Issue: Spring 2017 and Letter from the Editor

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 Jen Lezan

Hello readers!!!

Welcome to the Spring 2017 issue of Halfstack Magazine. This issue is a special one to us! This year is the 5-year anniversary since we launched our first issue way back in 2012. This publication has come a long way and it has grown beyond my imagination. The team that is involved is as dedicated as ever before and I am honored to be able to work alongside them. The spring issue is always one of the hardest to release, but it is always a relief when it get’s done. I always have high expectations of the issue because it is not only a celebration of our time here on, but also a reminder of how far we have come and where I hope to take us. I’m a firm believer in dreaming big. If we don’t, we won’t ever know how far we can go. So, with that idea in mind – I had some high creative aspirations for the cover shoot and the team did NOT disappoint. We shot in Chicago with Laura Lopez of Pickapose Photography, featuring two gorgeous Queens: DiDa Ritz and Serena Fiierce. Hair and Nails were custom fashioned by the talented Christopher Harris of Haired by Harris and the talented Julio Delgado was lead on makeup. The images are show stopping. The feature alongside the editorial showcases Christopher’s journey as a creative business owner as well as the journey of both DiDa and Serena and their evolution as performers.

The focus behind this issue was the idea of acceptance and finding joy in what makes each of us unique and different. During these tumultuous and divisive times, I wanted to create something beautiful to escape in, but that also reminded us to find the humanity in people even if they look different than we do. What makes America so special is that there are so many different people from all walks of life standing in solidarity. There is an empowering message in that. I wanted to showcase people who are not afraid to be out there and be themselves. Allowing their freak flag to fly so to speak. I hoped to highlight that we can find confidence in trusting ourselves to just be who we are - unabashedly.

This issue is about loving yourself and your nuances and the empowerment that can come from that simple idea. You can take it for what it is, but with the state of the world we really need more love and acceptance, right? We need to show that being different doesn't mean that we should be afraid, rather we should use that as a way to connect. I think that's what makes me so proud to be here in the USA - my family believed in the American dream - my abuela came here to chase hers in music and met so many people from all walks of life and backgrounds and cultures along the way.

America is made up of so many different people living together and despite what the news makes it seem - we are doing so harmoniously – even among a small percentage who don't want to. Chicago opened my eyes to amazing people - all kinds of different people - and we are surrounded by a robust and beautiful creative community filled with beautiful weirdos just like us and I want to celebrate that. I want to celebrate acceptance of the unique this issue and the creative, zany and interesting people here in Chicago. I dedicate this issue to all of you out there and I hope you find comfort, joy and inspiration in these pages.

You can read the issue here: OR check out the embedded version below!

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