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Art & Life with Lindsay Howe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lindsay Howe.

Lindsay, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Since I was eight years old, I had been pursuing acting. I performed in countless plays up to high school and went on to LBCC to go after a degree in theatre. After two years in college, I realized that I might not want to dedicate my life to acting any longer, as it was stifling the person I was. Always forced to keep a neutral appearance to ensure I can fit whatever role was offered at the next audition. I knew deep down that all I really cared about was shoes and clothes and fashion over-all. Every garment I see I want to modify. In 2015 I had an epiphany about self-love and staying true, and I realized I shouldn’t be modifying outfits- – I should be designing my own. I knew I had connections with my Mom (who is a costume designer), but it wasn’t until I got an internship at a print shop in my city in 2016 that I finally learned the skills I needed to execute a lot of my ideas. I launched my website and first ran of T-Shirts on 4.20.18 and I consider that day to be the first day of the rest of my life!

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I design comfort-minded clothes for my brand called Nothing Special based in Long Beach, CA. When I was growing up, I dealt with a lot of body image issues. Becoming a confident adult was a struggle, and I didn’t know where I stood in the world’s view, which at the time, and currently is still such an unobtainable standard of beauty. The makeup, the hair extensions, the tight clothes, the smooth, cellulite-free skin, the flat stomach, the big bottom. The list goes on. I was climbing a mountain of standards set by someone else. And the saddest part to me was, I really did think I was cute. I wanted to be confident so badly, but society was telling me I was nothing special. If I wasn’t going to conform—cake on the makeup, glue on the fake lashes, sacrifice my own comfort for acceptance— I wouldn’t be getting the opportunities I was looking for. At the age of 25, I stumbled upon acceptance. Not from society, but from myself. Being authentic felt right to me, and to hell with anyone who threatens me with opportunity. For the first time in my life, I was glad to be NOTHING SPECIAL. All the stress of obtaining this ideal dropped off my shoulders like a ton of bricks. I want to create fashion for all people who don’t feel the need to secure their spots at the top of someone else’s mountain of ‘reasons you’re not good enough.’ I want to remind people that— the things you see on the internet, the pressure you feel to achieve the fake beauty and the luxurious lives portrayed online—don’t let it affect who you become. It’s not even about the clothes, but about the vision of this person—who loves themselves and does not allow the demands of others to fundamentally change who they are. When you try to be something you’re not, it damages the person that you are.

Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities, and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
I grew up in a household with little money. I was raised in a way where I was taught to always be working and making money to eat and pay bills. And when I became an adult and moved away from my family, I gave up so much opportunity, to work. I didn’t care about anything but getting more hours at my job. This left me no time to build on my aspirations and created this fear of doing things that didn’t result in money. My best advice for artists under financial struggle is this: your time is so much more valuable than money. As long as you are doing what you were born to do, as long as you are living your truth and sacrificing for your craft, you will be rewarded. Walk in the direction of success and keep moving forward. What you create is a reflection of your dedication. Know that support will come to you if you ask for it. I spent every last dollar I had to make my capsule launches everything I dreamed of. I am a ONE WOMEN SHOW. I fund my own projects with a waitressing job. I work two days a week. And on top of that, I live alone and pay all my own bills. Make sure more hours are spent creating, rather than working. The struggle and sacrifice will convey a true and honest body of work. A creator’s most critical supplies are blood, sweat, and tears.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I plan to host a capsule launch party at the start of each season in Long Beach, CA. Each capsule has a title and a theme. I display the new collection at a studio space and serve food and drink associated with the theme. This is the first chance to see, try-on, and purchase pieces from the newest capsule before they go up on my website. The best way to support me is to share the movement. Nothing Special, at first, comes off as a self-deprecating brand. However, it is the opposite. It’s self-empowering. It’s true self-love, through all the unreachable standards we are put up against every day in this increasingly digital world. The concept of craving perfection and chasing fame and fortune is a very deep phycological assassin. Nothing Special will never ask that you change your body or mind; you are invaluable. And if you resonate with this message, wear the shirt and wear it proud because it shows you can’t be convinced to hate yourself.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Gavin Topper and Mauro Cabral

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