Art, Heartbreak, & How To Deeply Love Yourself With Woodworker Aleksandra Zee!

Art, Heartbreak, & How To Deeply Love Yourself With Woodworker Aleksandra Zee! NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Aleksandra Zee, Oakland, San Francisco, Artist, Woodworker, Female entrepreneur, Blonde, desert, photography, VSCO, California, Model, Americana, Style, Neutrals, how to love yourself, compassion, strength, feminism, how to have confidence, social media, instagram.
A rolling wave of blonde hair, a vast landscape ahead that looks as if it could engulf her at any moment — suck her back into its center. It doesn’t though, there’s always a strength to her, rooting her feet on the rock she stands atop. Woodworker Aleksandra Zee may be known to you from her dreamy, golden hued virtual postcards, and entrancing works of art that will make you stop in your tracks mid-Instagram scroll. She’s not just her online representation though, as any woman she is thick with dynamics, journeys, insights. Fearlessly, she shares snippets of these with us through her captions — using the social media platform to as a way of saying “Hey! I’m in this with you.” — however today we get very real with the talented woman on her art, heartbreak, & how to deeply love yourself!
 Art, Heartbreak, & How To Deeply Love Yourself With Woodworker Aleksandra Zee! NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Aleksandra Zee, Oakland, San Francisco, Artist, Woodworker, Female entrepreneur, Blonde, desert, photography, VSCO, California, Model, Americana, Style, Neutrals, how to love yourself, compassion, strength, feminism, how to have confidence, social media, instagram.
V: What was your first experience with woodworking? Was it love at first bandsaw?
AZ: My frist experience with woodworking was just a bit in college, making frames and things but nothing much. My first job out of college was at Anthropologie as a Display Artist and so much of it was learn as you go. When I fully started building things I fell in love! Working with wood, being in a shop, I knew it was what I wanted to do and instantly started planning how to make it on my own.
V: What were you doing before you were able to go full time with your creative passions?
AZ: I decided to leave Anthropologie after about three years and knew that for me, having a boss and working/making for someone else was not for me. I needed to make art for myself and put it out there. So I stated small, working as a waitress for just about three years as I built my business. Working days in my humble little shops and nights at a restaurant. I remember the day I quit waiting tables like it was yesterday. I was serving a few girlfriends some margaritas and they asked me why I was still working there, that I was so busy in the shop and didn’t need to keep the side hustle. So I set down their drinks and went up to my manager and told her I would rather be in my studio, and she said yes please go and come back if you ever need to. It felt amazing and scary and crazy and so freeing. It has been a little over three years since that moment and each day has gotten better and more amazing working for myself. It’s hard ass work, and it never stops, but there is nothing else I would rather do.

Art, Heartbreak, & How To Deeply Love Yourself With Woodworker Aleksandra Zee! NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Aleksandra Zee, Oakland, San Francisco, Artist, Woodworker, Female entrepreneur, Blonde, desert, photography, VSCO, California, Model, Americana, Style, Neutrals, how to love yourself, compassion, strength, feminism, how to have confidence, social media, instagram.

V: You are so wonderfully transparent about the journey a woman takes to come into her own via your social media. Did it ever scare you to be so open?
AZ: At first it was scary, the opinions of others would deeply effect me. When the negative came it would hurt and hold me back. It took a while to grow my thick skin and learn to meditated on the fact that others options of me don’t matter, and they never will. I am responsible for my own energy and my own confidence and happiness. None of that belongs to anyone else. Being committed to openness and vulnerability is something that is so important to me and loving myself though it is so important.
V: Let’s talk about self-love — what life experiences have forced you to come face-to-face with who you are as a woman, and who you want to be?
AZ: This is for sure a loaded question. There are so many experiences that have made me face myself with exactly who I am and who I want to continue to grow into. I grew up with a troubled mother, substance abuse consumed her life and outside of the care my father gave I helped raise my younger sister. That forced me to tap into my nurturing and fierce side at a super young age. Later in life I chose a career that is predominantly male and finding my strong and also feminine (which is powerful and not weak) voice. I felt like I was re-writing what it meant to be feminine for myself. That being a woman didn’t make me weaker but stronger, and promoting that strength in a non competitive and graceful way. About two years ago I lost my mother, and that was a huge face-to-face moment with myself. I needed to strip myself of everything I held onto, the thick skin that I let grow a little too thick and re-open myself to a life of pure vulnerability, not holding myself back because of fears, accepting every bit of who I am and the strength there is in being open.

Art, Heartbreak, & How To Deeply Love Yourself With Woodworker Aleksandra Zee! NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Aleksandra Zee, Oakland, San Francisco, Artist, Woodworker, Female entrepreneur, Blonde, desert, photography, VSCO, California, Model, Americana, Style, Neutrals, how to love yourself, compassion, strength, feminism, how to have confidence, social media, instagram.Art, Heartbreak, & How To Deeply Love Yourself With Woodworker Aleksandra Zee! NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Aleksandra Zee, Oakland, San Francisco, Artist, Woodworker, Female entrepreneur, Blonde, desert, photography, VSCO, California, Model, Americana, Style, Neutrals, how to love yourself, compassion, strength, feminism, how to have confidence, social media, instagram.

V: What is the most painful part of your journey in self-study?
AZ: Growing pains happen because you are making new room for the growth that is happening within. A big part of dealing whit what hurts is self acceptance. That you control your happiness, your confidence, your state of mind. Rising above what breaks your heart and accepting that it takes time. Life is full of heartbreak and how you move though the muck is what gives you the information and wisdom to hurdle the next. It hurts to lose a love, lose a family member, have your business take an unexpected turn, but all of those things happen to show the path before you and the choice you have to hit the ground running. So for me, my heartbreaks and pain that I have lived though are maps and footprints in the path I have chosen, I wouldn’t change it, I love where I have been and where it is shaping me to move forward into.Art, Heartbreak, & How To Deeply Love Yourself With Woodworker Aleksandra Zee! NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Aleksandra Zee, Oakland, San Francisco, Artist, Woodworker, Female entrepreneur, Blonde, desert, photography, VSCO, California, Model, Americana, Style, Neutrals, how to love yourself, compassion, strength, feminism, how to have confidence, social media, instagram.
V: I think every woman learns to be gentle with themselves in different ways — I do this thing where I literally talk to my body in times of stress or trauma. Is there a way you’ve learned to be gentle with yourself that helps you deal with trials of the everyday?
AZ: I do he same, I speak positivity to my body, acknowledge the air filling my lungs in each deep breath, wiggle my toes and feel my feet planted on the earth holding up my body. Finding completely presence within my mind and physical body, reminds me that I am alive, I need to check in, and care for myself. It is the easiest way to get my mind bad n track, those sick couple minutes of acknowledging yourself.
V: I’m so glad I’m not the only one that does that! How do you see yourself through your own eyes?

AZ: When I look in the mirror I see strength, I see grace and I see growth. I am always changing, and allowing for that growth is acceptance. I meet myself with an open heart.

Art, Heartbreak, a& How To Deeply Love Yourself With Woodworker Aleksandra Zee! NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Aleksandra Zee, Oakland, San Francisco, Artist, Woodworker, Female entrepreneur, Blonde, desert, photography, VSCO, California, Model, Americana, Style, Neutrals, how to love yourself, compassion, strength, feminism, how to have confidence, social media, instagram.

V: If you could send one message to young women everywhere what would it be?

AZ: Be fearlessly yourself. No one is you, YOU are you. There is strength in being a woman that should never hold you back from doing exactly what you want to.
V: Three books that have changed your life?
AZ: The Little Prince, currently Reading The Alchemist and it is so so so beautiful, and Just Kids.
V:  When do you feel most yourself?
AZ: I feel most myself when I am creating or when I am out in nature. Free and open, tapped into my soul.
photo credits, from top to bottom: Nikki Ormerod, Antrom Kury, Gillian Walsworth.

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What We Discovered From Katy Perry’s Live Stream Weekend!

What We Discovered From Katy Perry’s Live Stream Weekend, NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Katy Perry, Instagram, Youtube, Live Stream, James Corden, Social Media, Music Photography, Black and White Photography, Influencer, Caitlyn Jenner, Derek Blasperg, John Mayer, Orlando Bloom, Diplo.
Photos by Allister Ann. Words by Michaela d’Artois.

What We Discovered From Katy Perry’s Live Stream Weekend, NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Katy Perry, Instagram, Youtube, Live Stream, James Corden, Social Media, Music Photography, Black and White Photography, Influencer, Caitlyn Jenner, Derek Blasperg, John Mayer, Orlando Bloom, Diplo.

It’s 2017 and the bar for how internet-breaking your album release is, is pretty high in these times. In an attempt to out-do the rest Katy Perry launches her new album ‘Witness’ (which hit outlets last Thursday) with a live stream three day weekend in a house that was built especially for this event. This means if one tapped in to her Youtube stream, they could watch her “everyday life” uninterrupted — even the hours she took to sleep. Only it wasn’t truly Katy’s everyday life. There were celeb visitors, on-air therapy sessions, and manufactured moments. In this day in age with social media, and the watchful eyes of the world always on you, celebrity figures must have a public persona, and a private one, and with this plaguing her it seemed in a marketing-fueled concept KP wanted to finally bridge that gap.What We Discovered From Katy Perry’s Live Stream Weekend, NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Katy Perry, Instagram, Youtube, Live Stream, James Corden, Social Media, Music Photography, Black and White Photography, Influencer, Caitlyn Jenner, Derek Blasperg, John Mayer, Orlando Bloom, Diplo.What We Discovered From Katy Perry’s Live Stream Weekend, NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Katy Perry, Instagram, Youtube, Live Stream, James Corden, Social Media, Music Photography, Black and White Photography, Influencer, Caitlyn Jenner, Derek Blasperg, John Mayer, Orlando Bloom, Diplo. What We Discovered From Katy Perry’s Live Stream Weekend, NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Katy Perry, Instagram, Youtube, Live Stream, James Corden, Social Media, Music Photography, Black and White Photography, Influencer, Caitlyn Jenner, Derek Blasperg, John Mayer, Orlando Bloom, Diplo.Vérité and photographer Allister Ann joined this livestream mania on it’s last hours during a casted show at which Katy Perry took the secret location stage in a spectacular head-to-toe silver sequined outfit. She had soon kicked off her heeled boots to dance the stage unbridled. She is charismatic, charming, and relatable — the type of girl you could totally have a good immature giggle with. No wonder her fans are so attached. She’s a friend to them, only just out of reach. Standing in a sea of super fans you get a front row seat to view the symbiotic obsessive relationship between glimmering star and her public — no wonder she feels pressure, these kids hold expectations.

Social media has created celebrity to another level, and followers come to their screens wanting to be let in more and more by their idols. While it may not make sense to all of us, some actually want to watch KP sleep. Many times during her live-weekend, Katy Perry logs on to Instagram Live to real-time chat with her fans, while simultaneously surrounded with voyeuristic-style cameras in the home. Where are the boundaries? How transparent is too transparent?What We Discovered From Katy Perry’s Live Stream Weekend, NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Katy Perry, Instagram, Youtube, Live Stream, James Corden, Social Media, Music Photography, Black and White Photography, Influencer, Caitlyn Jenner, Derek Blasperg, John Mayer, Orlando Bloom, Diplo.What We Discovered From Katy Perry’s Live Stream Weekend, NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Katy Perry, Instagram, Youtube, Live Stream, James Corden, Social Media, Music Photography, Black and White Photography, Influencer, Caitlyn Jenner, Derek Blasperg, John Mayer, Orlando Bloom, Diplo.

In a streamed therapy session with Siri Sat Nam Singh, Ph.D., Katy breaks down in tears stating just this, that as a public figure she has had to create Katy Perry a larger than life quirky girl, when at her core she is truly Katheryn Hudson. We have to ask though, did she not create this character herself, out of the depths of her creative mind? She did, however it’s an armor of sorts. A protection from the prying eyes, and sometimes hands, of those who want to snag a little piece of this mega-star. We’ve seen it time and time again,

so many artists struggle with the question of if their fans will evolve with them — if the creative is allowed to grow. Sardined between crazed KP fans with stars in their eyes (maybe even a few tears), we are assured that they will follow her anywhere.What We Discovered From Katy Perry’s Live Stream Weekend, NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Katy Perry, Instagram, Youtube, Live Stream, James Corden, Social Media, Music Photography, Black and White Photography, Influencer, Caitlyn Jenner, Derek Blasperg, John Mayer, Orlando Bloom, Diplo.

The vaster issue though is the public’s understanding of what is real, and what is marketing smoke and mirrors. Katy Perry’s live streamed weekend was the perfect example of this. In an attempt to keep part of themselves private, yet appear to give it all to the fans so many influencers must construct a fictional version of themselves only to balance their sanity, and satisfy the voyeur.What We Discovered From Katy Perry’s Live Stream Weekend, NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Katy Perry, Instagram, Youtube, Live Stream, James Corden, Social Media, Music Photography, Black and White Photography, Influencer, Caitlyn Jenner, Derek Blasperg, John Mayer, Orlando Bloom, Diplo.

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Femme Feed: Did Snapchat Make Us Basic Bitches?

Holy Golighly, Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, GIF, Snapchat, Basic Bitches

It is our belief that inside all of us, there are varying degrees of a basic bitch waiting to have her moment in the limelight, but as Holly Golightly said in Breakfast at Tiffany’s “There’s a certain shade of limelight that can wreck a girls’ complexion.” This, fellow social media users is how we have come to feel about Snapchat.

Let’s get one thing straight: it doesn’t mean that we believe everyone to be basic, it’s whether you decide to let her precede over your personality or if you are the type to balance her out with a well-curated mind, and well-articulated conversation. It’s exactly as the word describes, it is the basics of us as humans, what you build on top of your basic-ness is up to you. So, here’s our story about “Snap”, as the kids are calling it.

It all started when we were mingling with like-minded online entrepreneurs sharing industry secrets, and one of them proclaimed that Snapchat was working wonders on her community growth. Until then, we had pretty much figured it was the quickest form of transportation to get your dick pic to receiver in the most non-incriminating way (but honestly there’s no good way to slice that one). So, we were intrigued by this uber-instant, hard-to-maneuver-if-you’re-over-17-app. We did what any sharp-minded business lady would do and found the nearest 12 year old to give us a tutorial. At first hesitant, we grew to find ourselves thumbing through the interface often, and even sharing what we were doing right that very second — frequency growing daily. A few months went by and instead of the Vérité Published account being solely about our behind the scenes, or tips from our contributing editors, it became littered with us throwing back a glass of wine at the questionable hour of 4:30 PM, and even a few selfies. We never post selfies anywhere else so why here? We don’t post photos of our food on Instagram, so why here? It’s so easy to do things without much thought, in fact much easier than taking an extra few moments to think up something insightful to blast out to the world — but using your brain is fun!

A few months in to our Snap career we realized that while our account may have become relatable in a “we are just like you” kind of way, because we are, it was also highlighting heavily on the most basic aspects of our everyday. It was hardly truly entertaining or feeding the brains of those watching, which is directly against the philosophy of Vérité to begin with. Basically, we were just adding to the amount of unnecessary content that we are so often bombarded with in the world of social outlets. Ah, what a predicament we had snapped our way into.

We have by now grasped the concept that this outlet was built on the idea of instant, and it’s underlined by its casual charm, but we were purely using it as a mindless distraction. It may be possible that so many of us are. When the nonchalance of sharing our every moment becomes so second nature what are we leaving to the imagination? In the creepiest terms, that in-bed-selfie you snapped was like a strange invitation for all your viewers to join you in said bed. We feel that maybe you wouldn’t truly want them all there IRL. So, while we aren’t hating on the outlet — we think there are many dynamics to get your message out there — we do feel that it is blurring the lines of thoughtful communication, and of-the-moment frivolity. We are guilty as charged.

We aren’t swearing the app off just yet, and we still want you to get to know our team behind the content! We will continue to use Snapchat, but purely in the way of sharing how our business works from our editors’ perspectives, wellness and lifestyle tips, and a few fun anecdotes! You can find us at veritepublished, and DM us to let us know what kinds of things you want to see!

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Femme Feed: The Shallowness of Social Media

social media, inspiration, words of wisdom, essena o'neil
You’ve more than likely heard about the fresh faced 18 year old Australian, Essena O’Neil, who traded in her filtered fame for some real talk. Though we may have been one of the very few not included in her half a million followers, her words sure hit home once they landed in our inbox.

The thing is, it has gotten real. We can feel it when we slide into bed, and succumb to that glowing blue. We promise ourselves it’s just to check off those red little notification bubbles, but it endures long after our eyes begin to droop. We find ourselves bored with what’s on our feeds, yet unwilling to part from them to seek further adventures. So, in 2015 how do we validate ourselves?

The French feminist, and intellectual Simone De Beauvoir once said, “One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, and compassion”. We are so preoccupied tapping, swiping, and clicking we hardly give those around us, or ourselves the value that is truly deserved. It’s too often one has to wonder whether we will wish for all those minutes back that were spent on Snapchat instead of memorizing our loved ones faces, listening to their anecdotes.

It seems we’ve gotten a little lost along our journey to connecting virtual spaces. We are no longer giving the value of a catch of the eye over lunch, or a dedicated conversation without a the clutch of our iPhone under the table. We are seemingly only half in — waiting for our virtual life to fill us up. Instead we are carefully crafting a vague lifestyle to which people can subscribe at their own will. Without really any (also free the nipple already) barriers we have full reign to push the envelope with what we post be it the sexy selfie, the emotional-overshare, or a life of allure that is only rose colored in Instagram filters. Yet we don’t really gain anything tangible from all this. For some there is money yes. But for most, there is no heart-grasping connection, no learning, no broadening of horizons — just lots, and lots of bikinis. On social media, we strive for hundreds, thousands, only there’s no level of measuring satisfaction. The limit does not exist.

“It’s freeing when you don’t let numbers define you.” O’Neil said on her stance against the social zomby-ism. We are on the edge of our seats to see where the depth of social medias’ shallowness can plummet. Although we do not think the drastic hiatus is necessary in finding true value in our everyday lives, we do believe in seeing each social outlet for what it really is — not absorbing its effects into ourselves in attempt to confirm our own successes. Until then, we strive to empower, teach, and uplift our own followers.

Watch her full video below:

 

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