page contents

On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneurs Career Accelerator 

I’ve talked to the organizers of a few different entrepreneur accelerator programs in Indianapolis this month, from Launch Indy to gBETA. There’s certainly more support for business owners and creative entrepreneurs than I would have expected in Indiana, and that’s amazing. Still though, most of the programming available for entrepreneurs at large are aimed towards those in the tech industry, or those businesses with wide mainstream appeal and big market opportunities. The Indiana Arts Commision decided to take the traditional accelerator framework and reshape it to fit the needs of all creatives in Indiana, from performers to visual artists to artisans. Thus, the On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneurs Career Accelerator was born.

On-Ramp is a three-day workshop that will take place from May 10-12. Once completed, participants can also apply for the On-Ramp fellowship, where they can request up to $2000 for their business. The next round of applications are being accepted until January 17.

I talked to Anna Tragesser, the artist and community services manager at the Indiana Arts Commission, to hear more about what this program has to offer.

Julia Bluhm: How did On-Ramp start?
Anna Tragesser: Last year was the first year, so we’re going into the second year of On-Ramp. It kind of started out as this research project we went through, looking at the entire creative economy in the state of Indiana (there’s a really long report on our website if you’re interested in knowing more about that). One of the main points of it was that in Indiana folks who are creative are three times more likely to be self employed compared to the rest of the country. That could be for a variety of reasons, but one reason we thought of is that it’s totally possible to be a self-employed creative in Indiana and to make it work for you. We had this idea that we wanted more opportunities for creatives, and especially younger creatives. We wanted to give them more reasons and support to continue living and working in Indiana. We want to retain a workforce– particularly a creative workforce.

We partnered with Elaine Grogan Luttrull, who is a creative business coach, and we put together this weekend workshop: On-Ramp. It focuses on different business skills for entrepreneurs, but it also goes into what it’s like to be really invested in and engaged in your own community in Indiana with your creative skills. The three-day intensive workshop kicks off that conversation, but creatives meet each other and can continue to network and connect long after that.

JB: What did you learn from last year’s accelerator workshop?
AT: What I saw really strongly in the past year is that the 36 creatives involved just loved getting to know each other, and were energized by each other. There were very different people in the room who came from different places in the state and were in very different stages of their career. They also came from a wide variety of creative disciplines, but they were just encouraging each other to do better and are still continuing to collaborate together.

JB: Who were some people who were involved last year?
AT: One example is Chris Acton, she is a fiber artist from Chesterton, Indiana. She’s really active in using a lot of different materials, including recycled materials, for woven products such as scarves and handbags. Another one that comes to mind is Armando Arceo, he’s a muralist from East Chicago, Indiana. He has a lot of works around the Gary area, and whenever I go visit Gary I feel like I see a different one every time. He’s really wanting to get his murals in different parts of the state and the midwest. We also had some musical artists, like LJ Herbert who is a hip hop artist from Muncie. Him and other hip-hop artists who attended are really invested in using music to build community and connect people.

JB: What are some topics covered in the workshop?
AT: Primarily it’s about really knowing and communicating what you do, creatively. That’s the first step. You have to be able to communicate the full impact of what you do – not just “I’m a dancer,” but what that means and who you’re reaching. Elaine also works everybody through their goals helps them understand their career as a portfolio of different roles that they play. She also goes really deep into budgeting, finance, and preparing for your future.

JB: What is the On-Ramp Fellowship?
AT: Folks who participate in On-Ramp, in the intensive workshop, are eligible to request some funds from us. That’s the fellowship. They can request up to $2,000 to put to helping expand their work and their art based on what they learned in the workshop. It’s really wide, and the opportunity for requesting funds is really pretty broad, whether it’s equipment or money to help with networking and marketing, etc. We put some of our support behind you.

JB: Why is a program like this important in Indiana?
AT: It’s certainly not the only one in Indiana, there are other programs and institutions that support artist and entrepreneurs in one way or another. We just want to help Indiana be a place where self-employed artists can stay and work. It seems that there is a lack of business and entrepreneurship training in higher education institutions right now, for artists. This does definitely kick start some of that need. And really what we believe is that it’s totally possible to do your creative work here. You’re probably going to be an entrepreneur and self employed as a creative, but we totally believe in you. This is just an expression and an affirmation that you can go do it, so go do it.

Central State Insane 

Photography by Chantal Dominique
Styling by Samantha Ripperger
Hair by Belinda Benham
Makeup by Evian Riviere
Creative Direction by Julie Valentine
Assisted by Julian Bluhm and Claire Bowles
Models: Tori and Aubrey of Lmodelz
Location: Central State Mansion


Look 1
Green Coat: Sage – Lesley Jane Boutique
Yellow Set: Ann Taylor – The Toggery
Boots: Jaggar – Lesley Jane Boutique
Necklace: Stylist’s Own

Look 2
Red Coat: Banana Republic – The Toggery
Striped Shirt: Ann Taylor
Red Pants: Dalton – The Vintage Gypsy
Red Shoes: MATT & NAT – The Toggery

Look 3
Yellow Sweater: Ann Taylor
Pants: Honey Punch – Lesley Jane Boutique
Shoes: Stylist’s Own

Look 4
Jumpsuit: Line + Dot – Lesley Jane Boutique
Shirt: Lucca – Lesley Jane Boutique
Boots- Jaggar – Lesley Jane Boutique
Necklace: Stylist’s Own

Look 5
Sweater: Target
Skirt: Target
Boots: Jaggar – Lesley Jane Boutique
Jacket- Stylist’s Own
Necklace – Stylist’s Own

Look 6
Top: Ann Taylor
Pants: Ann Taylor
Cape: Stylist’s Own
Shoes: Stylist’s Own
Necklace: Stylist’s Own

Holiday Playlist 

Thanksgiving is over, which means we can finally start celebrating everyone’s favorite time of year! Whether it’s spent baking cookies, decorating the tree, building a snowman or watching endless holiday movies we have your earbuds covered with our Holiday Playlist.

Our wonderful fellow, Claire, curated this festive playlist combining the classics with “bangers only” tracks. Songs include “Merry Christmas” by NSYNC, “Christmas Eve” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” by Michael Buble, and of course “Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber, because it isn’t a Claire approved Christmas Playlist without Justin Bieber. Have a listen and happy holidays!

18 Things We Are Thankful For 

Thanksgiving is a time of reflection. As we look back on what we have accomplished this year, we are just so happy and excited for what is still to come! We are thankful for so many things and to show our gratitude, we complied a list featuring the top 18 things we are thankful for in 2018! Take a read below:

1. Creative Collaboration

2. Free parking and successful parallel parking

3. Dogs…and let’s be honest, puppies

4. Peanut Butter Pretzels from Costco

7. The Toggery and their wonderful clothes

10. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

12. All the coffee

13. Chips and queso

14. Goodwill shopping sprees

15. Canon 6D Mark 11 camera (it’s pure magic)

17. Instagram (we hit 10K this year!)

18. Of course our PATTERN fam!!

Q+A with Entrepreneur Adriane Young 

Adriane Young is an entrepreneur who is passionate about empowering women and making sure they realize their self worth. She decided to share her messages of confidence and empowerment through a fashion line called Pretty Being. While her business is fairly new, she has big hopes for it. She recently stopped by the PATTERN office to talk more about her experiences, and she shared her contagious positivity in the process.

JB: What’s your background? How did you become an entrepreneur?
AY: I’m originally from New York, that’s my background. I’ve always had a passion for fashion and people, so part of creating Pretty Being and becoming an entrepreneur was that I was always defined by what other people thought about me. Words are powerful. When used positively they can help and heal, but when used negatively they can hurt and harm. Before I created Pretty Being, I started to realize that words have power so why not put them on a shirt?

JB: What inspired you to create Pretty Being?
AY: Well, my mother has always been my cheerleader. She’s always saying to be brave, bold and strong. That’s actually one of the biggest slogans we have for Pretty Being. I would like to say life for me was easy and breezy but it wasn’t. I was always that girl who had to study a month or two in advance just to get a B+. I was always that girl who, if I ate too much I would pack on the pounds– I actually went to weight-loss camp when I was twelve. I ask myself now, how come I didn’t break? It’s because I’ve always had my mom speaking life into me. So with being an entrepreneur and creating Pretty Being, I wanted to speak that life into other people: children, teenagers, adult women. Anyone who’s always been told they “can’t.”

JB: How did you learn about how to start a business?
AY: It’s always been in my genes. My father owned his own practice for 30+ years, my uncle owned a taxi business, and my grandmother had

a bakery. We just love being our own bosses, probably because we don’t love being told what to do. I have a communications degree also, and I had to do some finance and accounting classes with that. I was always intrigued about how to run a business– it’s not as easy as people think it is.

JB: When did you start Pretty Being?
AY: I actually started Pretty Being in 2012, but I really started to focus on it once I moved to Indianapolis more recently. I used to have bands that said “Pretty Being: Brave, Bold and Strong.” As a supervisor, I gave them to all of my agents because they were all women. And a few years passed by from seeing and working with one of my coworkers, and she still had the same band. It was so worn out, all of the purple had gone away. I always wanted to really do this, but I was always waiting for the perfect moment. So when I saw her still wearing the band that I gave her four years ago, I thought, it’s time. If this is still impacting someone so many years later, what could it do on a bigger scale?

JB: What products do you sell on your website?
AY: We have Pretty Being hats, long sleeve and short sleeve shirts, and I’ve introduced Pretty Being journals and pens. The sky’s the limit!

JB: Your fashion line is focused on empowering women. Who are some women who inspire you?
AY: Hands down, Michelle Obama. She has this quote, “When they go low, we go high.” That resonates with me a lot. In terms of fashion, I love Tory Burch. I love what she stands for. She embraces ambitious women, which is often still frowned upon. I can work full time, start a business, be a mom, and go to law school, and people will still say “maybe you should just focus on being a mom.” She got that same feedback, and just kept going.

You can keep up with Pretty Being through Instagram or their website.

Fall Trend: Plaid 4 Ways 

Plaid: the definition of fall. Though this tartan print has been around for centuries, we are always finding new ways to wear it. From runways to fast fashion, this trend can be found anywhere and everywhere. To demonstrate just how easy it is to find and incorporate plaid in your wardrobe, PATTERN collaborated with Goodwill to create four different outfits, urban grunge, classic red, tailored, and pastel, with this checked staple.

Urban Grunge: Inspired by the ’90s, this black and white checked pattern is a standout. Pair it with a jean jacket and ankle boots for a full throwback effect. Add a belt and bam your outfit is complete!

Classic Red: This bold color is the star of the show. When starting to incorporate red plaid in your wardrobe, simple is key. Add a white button down, skinny jeans, and heels for a classic outfit. Pair it with your favorite sleek bag and let your plaid do the talking!

Tailored: Old is always made new again. This trend isn’t just for your grandpa! Pair a classic tailored plaid jacket with your favorite ripped jeans for a more casual look. Add ankle boots and your fav cat mug to bring this look into the twenty-first century.

Pastel: Tone down the plaid trend with this muted color pallet that anyone can pull off. Pair your pastel print with other soft tones and a fun fall sandal. Mix in different textures to elevate the look!

Indiana Tailor Co-Designs Suit for Post Malone 

International popstar Post Malone is used to standing out. From his face and neck tattoos to his painted nails to his gold teeth, he’s certainly not one to go unnoticed. This stands true when it comes to fashion as well. Last month, Post Malone wore a bright blue, western-style suit to the AMA’s, and got shout outs for his look in Vogue, Page Six, and other media outlets that covered the red carpet. The suit had a snake embroidered on the front, as well as a monogram “P” and “M.” He received the award for best male pop/rock artist of the year while wearing it.

From across the country, Indianapolis tailor Jerry Lee Atwood watched the AMAs on television and started to get emotional as he helped co-design the sky-blue suit. Making a suit for someone as famous as Post Malone was never something he expected for himself, and in his words, “that’s a seriously humbling feeling.”

Atwood does custom chain stitch embroidery using antique and vintage embroidery machines. Chain stitch embroidery consists of a series of loop stitches in a chain-like pattern, and it is often used in Western wear, which is Atwood’s focus. Atwood describes using antique chain stitch embroidery machines as “painting with thread,” as they allow him to have much more control than modern day machines.

“The operator controls exactly where the stitches are laid down as opposed to modern computerized embroidery where the design is digitized and the operator simply presses a button and walks away while the machine does the work,” he said.

Atwood began to sew in 2001, and is self taught. He’s been interested in embroidery for a long time, and began making western shirts to showcase his skills. He previously worked at a drapery shop, and also spend three seasons working in Indiana Repertory Theatre’s costume shop. Atwood was even the star of a short documentary that premiered this past summer at Indy Shorts.

While he likes being Indianapolis based, Atwood feels that Indiana is a hard place to gain opportunities as an artist. He described Indiana as being “the state that people are from but where they never find their voice.”

This may be true in some cases, but it certainly doesn’t apply to his recent work for Post Malone.

Post Malone’s stylist, Catherine Hahn, contacted Atwood through Instagram last year because she was looking for someone with expertise in Western-style suits and embroidery. They designed the suit together.

“I’m a big fan of Nudie suits and Jerry is making Nudie inspired suits for modern times. As soon as I found him on Instagram I reached out immediately and said we have to work together!” Hahn said.

Nudie suits, named for American tailor Nudie Cohn, are very decorative and traditionally embellished with lots of rhinestones. Hahn’s vision for Post Malone’s suit was a cross between a Nudie suit and a Mariachi suit, with a shorter jacket and a more high-waisted pant. She also wanted to incorporate design elements from Malone’s “Beerbongs and Bentleys” album, such as barbwire and snakes.

Atwood made some sketches for the suit’s design based on Hahn’s suggestions, and after several phone conversations with Hahn, he had a plan.

“Cathy’s an incredible stylist and I genuinely think she’s one of the best in the business. She’s been recognized by Vogue, GQ, Page Six and elsewhere as a style innovator for her work with Post Malone,” Atwood said. “The vision is mostly hers.”

Hahn also enjoyed working with Atwood, and even hinted that they may be working on something new in the future.

“I love working with Jerry. The process of throwing ideas back and forth and then watching them come to life is so fun,” she said. “Jerry and I have some other creations that haven’t been seen yet that I am very excited about.”

Atwood created the suit within a quick, two-week deadline. He even had some friends help him set rhinestones to make sure it got done in time. The experience was a whirlwind for him, and he’s still a little bit in awe.

“It’s really crazy to make something for one of the biggest pop stars in the world,” he said. “I keep asking myself how this happened. I was raised Catholic so I’m terrible at recognizing that I deserve anything and I think I’m probably really hard on myself most of the time.”

While Atwood watched the AMAs last month, he thought about his expectations when he first started making western wear, and how greatly he has surpassed them. He originally thought making western wear would be a casual side job for him, while also working at a coffee shop.

“Now I feel like I’ve earned a seat at the table next to the western wear designers that came before me,” he said. “I’m forever a part of the story of rock n’ roll and that’s a seriously humbling feeling.”

You can follow more of Atwood’s work on Instagram.

Express x NBA Collection 

This fall, Express unveiled it’s second multiyear partnership with the NBA called “NBA Game Changers” campaign and includes a Performance Collection as well as an NBA-licensed men and women’s collection. Five of the best basketball players were chosen to be the face of this partnership, including Pacer’s Victor Oladipo! This new collection plays off of last year’s giving consumers more of an inside look into the world of basketball, what it takes to be a professional athlete, and how fashion gives players an extra push of confidence.

“This season, expect bigger plays and increased energy as our NBA Game Changers take their game and personal style to the next level in our Performance Collection,” said David Kornberg, Express President and CEO. “We’re also thrilled to offer our customers the opportunity to sport their own personal style and rep their favorite team with our new NBA-licensed collection.”

To get a clear play by play, PATTERN spoke with Jim Hilt, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Experience Officer at Express. Check out the dunk worthy photos below and shop Express here!

Samantha Ripperger: How did this project start with Express and NBA?

Jim Hilt: We initially partnered with the NBA on our first-ever “NBA Game Changers” campaign ahead of the 2017-2018 season. This is our second iteration of the partnership, which builds on Express’s history of collaborating with inspiring individuals and organizations. Our NBA athlete partners demonstrate the true spirit of what it means to be a Game Changer, both in basketball and in fashion—and we’re excited to see where this season takes us. Additionally, we’re thrilled to expand our marketing partnership with the NBA, which includes a licensed collection debuting in December.

SR: How did Express choose who would be the faces of this second campaign?

JH: We partnered with five NBA athletes who each exemplify the Game Changer persona of being driven, self-starters who have authentic stories of hard work, grit and perseverance. This year’s campaign features NBA All-Star Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers, Mo Bamba of the Orlando Magic and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, two of this year’s top NBA Draft picks, as well as current NBA stars John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks and Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets. 

The campaign captures the essence of each athlete, what drives him to succeed and how fashion gives him the confidence to take on what’s next in his day and life—whether that’s suiting up in an Express Performance suit for game day or relaxing in jeans on days off.

SR: What factors went into the designs of the Performance Collection?

JH: Our moisture-wicking, stretch Performance Suits, Dress Shirts, Sweaters and Jeans are designed to keep you cool and move with you… whether you’re shooting hoops like our NBA Game Changers, suiting up for a presentation, or dressing up for a night on the town. We want our customers to feel comfortable, confident and ready to take on what’s next while wearing Express Performance.

SR: Did the players get to help design this collection?

JH: While the players didn’t have a hand in the design process, we met with them prior to each photo shoot to learn more about their personal style and what makes them feel confident, from their favorite suits to the colors they’re drawn to. We also asked each player about their game day looks and how their closet has evolved since becoming a professional athlete. Through this, our goal is to bring our customers closer to the game by showcasing merchandise that is authentic to the athletes that inspire them.

SR: What can we expect to see from the Express NBA Licensed Collection? What can we expect to see from the women’s collection dropping next year?

JH: Our NBA-licensed collection will include a robust assortment of men’s apparel from graphic tees to fleece styles, and will expand into additional product categories including blazers, dress shirts, ties and underwear in 2019. We’re also planning to introduce a women’s collection next year as well. The collection will be available in select stores across the U.S., including five stores in the Indianapolis market (College Mall, Greenwood Park Mall, Circle Center Mall, Castleton Square Mall, and Hamilton Town Center) and online at

SR: As part of the Indianapolis community, we are fans of the Pacers! What what was it like working with Pacers player Victor Oladipo?

JH: Working with Victor Oladipo has been an incredibly collaborative experience. As an NBA All-Star, it’s clear that Victor is driven to succeed, and not to mention has great style, so it’s been a win-win working with him (pun intended!). He shows up to our photo shoots with the same energy and drive you see on the court.

Check out the licensed collection here and the performance suits here.

Making Music: WLDLFE talks about touring and their first full length album 

The WLDLFE has spent the past few years creating music and pushing themselves to continuously do better. Amidst tour rehearsals and prepping for the road, PATTERN had the chance to sit down with the band and talk about their sound, how they’ve evolved, and their new album.

Allie: Tour starts in only a few days now, how are you all feeling?

Jack: Excited.
Jansen: Pumped.
Geoff: Ready.

Allie: Is this the biggest tour you’ve gone on?

Jack: It’s the longest by far.
Jansen: It’s the longest but I think that the growth that we’ve had in the last year or so is what makes it a bigger tour for us.

Allie: What would you say has changed since you first started?

Jack: We’re more handsome now.
Carson: I feel like we settled into our sound a bit more and have more of a refined creative process when it comes to writing. It’s more consistent. We all have such broad influences as far as the music that we grew up listening to, that you can tell, coming in, that no one knew what this was going to be. For the first two EPs it was settling in and seeing all the chips we have and then this last project was just putting it all together. It has really settled in, feels a lot smoother and most consistent.
Jason: This is the first record all five of us have played on so I think it’s the most “us.” It’s the first thing that each of the five of us can look at and be extremely proud of the work we put into it and feel like it’s representative of our tastes and our influences.

Allie: Jansen, at the show in Indy you made a comment about how excited you were that so many people you knew and hadn’t maybe seen in awhile were at the show. How did that feel?

Jansen: It’s a cool feeling. A person that made me think of that is a guy I know, Josh, who I went to middle school with. We played drums in jazz band together. It’s just funny how all that stuff comes full circle. And there were a few people there from my hometown that I haven’t talked to in awhile and it’s just cool to see people who are supportive of the music. Even though it’s not on purpose, just the nature of it all. It makes it feel a little bit more special.
Jack: It’s also validating. All of us were music kids in high school and I’ve wanted to do this in one way or another since I was 13. When I was 13 I didn’t play anything but I had a passion for it. I even saw people from my hometown who I haven’t talked to since high school that came out [to the show]. It’s cool to see my dream realized, to know that I didn’t just talk about doing this, but that I’ve actually taken the steps to do it. Not saying you do it for the validation of other people because it’s really nice when it turns into self-validation of ‘I’m seeing this through’.

Allie: Speaking of Indy, what’s the music scene here like? What is it like trying to make it here?

Jason: I’ve said this since the beginning, I love to claim Indy, even though the music scene is maybe not the strongest thing in the world just because, selfishly, you want to be the band to break any city. Not only that, but I want to do it so badly and I want to keep claiming this place because I know we’re not going to be the last people to do this. We’re not the first and we’re not going to be the last. You could look at it like how Twenty One Pilots broke Columbus [Ohio] and now people have eyes on Columbus. And if a band tries to do something, now there’s a scene developed. People are paying attention. I want to be able to give who back to kids that want to do this in the future.
Jansen: I think the self-awareness factor is important. When we started we were very much a pop band but it’s not an easy thing to go into a dive bar and pull that off. It’s not the right crowd. A dive bar doesn’t represent Indy but it’s going to be harder to break through. But being aware of that and knowing you need to build some kind of momentum before we try to be a factor in Indy.
Jason: The typical fan in Indy is usually a 21+ beer drinker. I would say the best indicator of the music scene is the Hi-Fi in Fountain Square, that’s the gathering place of the typical music fan, especially for local music. They’ve done a great job of curating shows with great artists, but it’s a strictly 21+ venue. So I think one of the main problems the Indy music scene faces is that there’s a strong lack of all ages venues. There may be one or two, but there’s a ton of 21+ venues and that contributes to that typical music fan being a little bit older, pickier.

Allie: So even though you’re not strictly in Indianapolis, as you said, do you feel like it’s a very supportive community or more cutthroat?

: I definitely don’t think it’s cutthroat.
Jack: There’s a healthy level of competition. We don’t know a band that we’ve met and spent time with that we aren’t friends with. There is a really good community, at least that we’ve stumbled across. In our experience, it’s been all love.
: I feel like competition is a bit of a trigger word in that sense. It’s more of pushing each other to be better. I don’t think there’s any malice toward anyone else.
Jason: It’s a good feeler for what’s possible. You might think something’s out of your reach or impossible until one of your friends does it. You think, if they can do it, we can do it.
Carson: Everyone celebrates each others victories.

Allie: Were the people in your lives supportive when you told them you were pursuing music full time?

Jason: People that were close to me were extremely supportive. I really appreciate the way my parents handled it. They helped me out a lot when it came to getting my first guitar, didn’t make me feel stupid or guilty for wanting to get into music. I have a fiance who’s extremely supportive of what we’re doing and she wants me to succeed and do what I love. The only people who have had a negative reaction are acquaintances or people who hear about it from the outside.
Jack: I really put my parents through the ringer because I started off doing metal music. So if I can get them behind that, something they didn’t get at all, with joining this band they were like we get this. So they were all in.
Carson: I don’t know how my parents supported me last year. I skipped so much school to go on tour, but they’ve always been really supportive.
Jansen: It was never really a question for our [Carson and Jansen’s] parents. They just understood.

Allie: Let’s talk about the album now. What’s the response been?

Jansen: The reaction to it has been really good. It was a project we put a lot of effort into, which shows, and I think people see that.

Allie: What were the biggest challenges in creating this album?

Carson: Just that it changed forms around four different times.
Jason: Once we decided to do a full length, and this isn’t a fun thing to talk about but we’re self funded, we payed for the album with no label. If we’re putting this much time into something, how can we utilize it best? There were a lot of discussions and plans for how the rollout was going to go so I think the toughest part is looking at it from the outside perspective and analyzing what was the best way to utilize and monetize it.

Allie: If you were to pick an overarching theme of the album, what would it be?

Jansen: The album is titled ‘I’m Not Worried Anymore’ because it’s a declaration about the idea of just because you don’t feel like things are where they’re supposed to be, you can change your mindset and speak the way you feel into existence. When I was writing a lot of the songs I just kept asking all these questions. Why aren’t we growing quicker? Why aren’t we progressing in the way that we want to? And that was a mindset throughout the process. The album itself is not meant to be conceptual, but that’s the weight I put on it because that’s the mindset and the process we were going through while writing the record. That’s what the record is really representing, but I don’t feel as if it has one true theme and it wasn’t intended to.

Allie: Is it you, Jansen, who mostly writes the songs?

Jansen: So far I’ve written most of them but there’s a couple that Carson wrote as well and in the future will continue to.

Allie: So what does that process look like for you all when making a song?

Jansen: I’m always out and about writing, same with Carson, so usually there will be some sort of demo or idea we’ll lead with. From there we’ll go in the studio and start to write and break everything down.
Jason: It’s a lot of passing ideas back and forth too. Months out, before we had even broken ground on the album, Jansen would send me a voice memo and ask what I thought. Then I’d record guitar parts also via voice memos. The process of our band is just love notes via voice notes.

Allie: Title of the next album?

Collectively: Charlie Puth already took that one.
Jason: But the process is lengthy. It’s vastly true that majority of it comes together in the studio but before then we’re exchanging ideas and shaping our vision for what we want this to look like.

Allie: What, if anything, do you want fans to take away from this album?

Jansen: There’s a stigma with pop music that it’s shallow and you can’t have any sort of depth. For me, I want to break that. One of my top five albums of all time is Teenage Dream by Katy Perry and it really changed my perspective for how good pop music can be. Not that she’s saying anything that deep, but you get what I’m saying. Your life doesn’t have to always be about being smarter or more creative than everyone else. Especially with this day in age with social media, you only have to put out what you want people to see. That’s what I want to get across about this album, it’s not this long, heady expose about life, it just feels good.
Carson: That’s why people like me and him [Jansen] are such big fans of musicians like John Mayer and Jon Bellion. As artistically creative as they are, they’re not doing anything that’s trying to be something else or trying to portray something that they’re not. Their music is literally a pure extension of themselves. That’s what we’re really trying to accomplish.
Jansen: And we’re not innately a pop band, but in some senses we lean that way and in others we don’t. I just want people to know you don’t always have to put on a certain aesthetic to prove that you’re smarter.
Jason: All music is saying something. The way I view it is pop music gets a bad reputation because what it’s saying isn’t necessarily new, or it’s not said in the most deep way. Why can’t a clear, concise, relatable message be good also? That’s not to diss heady, philosophical artists because that’s awesome too. If it’s genuine to you, then do that. One of the themes of the album, like you [Jansen] were saying, is that you can speak into existence what you want. Just do what you want, stop worrying about what other people want you to do. And I feel like we’re saying something.

You can catch The WLDLFE on tour right now or on Instagram.

Q + A with artist Kathy Lloyd 

Kathy Lloyd is an Indiana-based artist who makes an unusual kind of art: denim collages. Using scraps of denim leftover from her hobby of repurposing clothes, Kathy began to make detailed collages of celebrities and landscapes alike. In addition to making and selling her art, she’s also a mom, works at a hospital, and is an art therapist. We originally met Kathy at a RAW art show, and met up with her again to talk more about her art.

JB: What is your background, and what made you want to be an artist?
KK: I have always been into art, every since I could hold a pencil. I have a degree in art, and I went to Marian University right here in town. My degree is actually in interior design but I had to take all the art classes anyway. After I graduated I found it kind of hard to get into the interior design field. So life happens, and I just kind of took jobs and the arts got pushed aside. Now in the last fifteen years, I decided to pick up a paintbrush again and get back into art. I’ve done several murals for different facilities, schools, and assisted living centers. And about a year ago I started repurposing clothes because I got tired of looking for things that were different, it was kind of for myself. I use a lot of denim in my upcycled clothing, and I found I had a lot of leftover denim I wasn’t using for my clothes. I started using that denim to make art, and that’s where I branched off into the collage work with the denim. I’ve always liked monochromatic stuff, so that’s been really fascinating to me.

JB: What’s it like being an artist in Indianapolis?
KK: I think it is an art centered place here. I just recently went to San Diego and saw a lot of galleries down there. Indianapolis is every bit as artsy if you want to call it that, I think. I’m only just beginning to discover what’s here. I think it’s exciting!

JB: What’s the process of making a new denim collage like?
KK: I’m pretty fast actually, and generally when I start working on a project I’m on it until it’s finished. I don’t drag it out for weeks because I don’t like that. I see if I can think of some kind of situation, or maybe a photo or a person that would be interesting and I start from there. It’s even hard for me to know where to start. I always just start in the background and move my way forward. And I sketch it out before I start laying the collage.

JB: I’ve noticed you’ve made a lot of portraits of people. What inspired this?
KK: When I’m thinking of something to make, I’m looking for a lot of shadow and a lot of variants in the color. Something that’s all just whites would not be as interesting. I have done a lot of people for this reason and because I think they’re interesting, but I’m getting ready to start a lot of landscape stuff. I’m interested in a lot of industrial and post-industrial old factories and things like that. I find that fascinating and I hope to make more pieces of art reflecting that.

JB: What’s your favorite piece of art that you’ve made?
KK: I have a denim collage that I did of Ray Charles. I think that’s everybody’s favorite. It has so much character and personality and it just turned out so commercial, which is what I was kind of going for. And now that piece of art has been sold!

JB: What are your goals for the future?
Right now I work in a hospital. My goal is to not work in the hospital and be a full time artist. A couple nights a week I work doing art therapy for an autistic young man. He’s 17 and he’s non verbal. We do art and painting, and we’ve tried to build an art career for him. Working with him has shown me, too, that there are just so many possibilities to have a job involving art. My goal for him is to help him find some ways to make a living. I’ve been working with him for three and a half years and we’ve had several gallery shows and have done pretty well.

JB: What’s your advice to young artists?
KK: Just keep going forward. I had a huge break where I didn’t really do any art. But I have a lot of talent and I just decided I wasn’t going to put it aside anymore. I have two jobs, I drive an hour each way, and I have five kids at home. You just have to make time.

You can follow Kathy’s work on Facebook.