Meet the Cast: Spring Break 2014

Meet the Cast: Spring Break 2014
This spring break, American Eagle Outfitters took our 16 Project Live Your Life winners to Miami for an adventure of a lifetime. Unlike past Project Live Your Life photo shoots, this cast wasn’t exploring the streets of New York City or the wilds of Alaska, but rather were helping beautify Miami as part of Alternative Spring Break.
Get to know the 16 inspiring individuals that helped street artist Lakwena turn a vacant lot into a work of art. Click through to learn more about them and be sure to show us why you love your hometown with #heartthiscity on Twitter and Instagram for your chance to attend Alternative Spring Break.

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Meet the Cast: Devin

Meet the Cast: Devin

Meet Devin, an artist and photographer from Athens, Georgia. Devin is a winner of Project Live Your Life and is currently featured in our Spring Break 2014 campaign. Learn more about him and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

You’re from Athens, GA. What do you heart about your city?

I love that it’s a college town and the numerous concert venues that they have there. I am an arts and entertainment reporter and I got to cover and photograph around 12 bands that came and played just in last semester. The music scene is a huge plus that I love about it here. The Georgia Museum of Art is also located on campus and the festivals that they have frequently are also pretty great.

You’re an artist. How did you find your love of art?

I’ve been drawing ever since I could remember, but I didn’t realize how in love with it I was until recently. With painting and drawing, the idea of capturing an emotion, thought, place and person as it was or they were in one moment in time is sort of just amazing.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Definitely from the people around me, my friends and other artists and photographers as well.

Who is your artist icon?

I’m going to cheat and pick two on this one. Andy Warhol, because his photography and art is really hip and I actually have two of his prints in my apartment in Athens. The second is Steve McCurry. He’s a really phenomenal well-known photojournalist and if you ever have time, check out his work. I promise you’re life will be positively changed for the better.

As an artist, you’ve watched Wynwood Walls go from a blank slate to a colorful piece of art. What emotions were you feeling during this process?

Being apart of the process and especially collaborating with my cast mates during the initial process and then coming back on the last day and seeing how it all turned out was one of the greatest things ever. I definitely felt a lot of feelings of accomplishment, pride, happiness and camaraderie. I don’t think anything really brings people together as much as creating something, so that bond with my cast and crew and also the thought and idea that people in that city will possibly be inspired by that.

What does art mean to you?

A chance to express yourself in one of most incredible ways possible. It’s sort of like a language, but to different people and at different times it can mean completely different things.

You’re a photographer as well. What are your favorite things to snap?

Pretty much I like to shoot people, concerts, sunrises/sunsets and people again!

Is this your first time to Miami? What about this city inspires you?

Yes. Being in Wynwood Walls and seeing all of the street art all around the city was kind of awesome. The art, scenery, people, attractions and just the busyness of the city as a whole inspired me.

What makes you unique? What characteristics help tell your story?

I love people a lot. I love learning from them, meeting them, hearing about them and just being around them. I go by the idea that each and every single person that you meet changes your life for the better or worst depending on how you let them impact you, so I treasure each person that I do get the opportunity to meet. I’m really into photography, I’m an arts & entertainment reporter, I’m in love with painting and drawing, I’m really really awkward and I like to make fun of myself a lot because it’s hilarious.

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Meet the Cast: Emily

Meet the Cast: Emily

Meet Emily, a fashion merchandising student and winner of American Eagle Outfitters Project Live Your Life, currently featured in our Spring Break 2014 campaign. Get to know this artist and aspiring fashion blogger whose free spirit inspired us. Be sure to follow Emily on Twitter and Instagram as well!

You’re studying fashion merchandising. What do you think the big trends for 2014 will be?

I think the vintage and urban looks will easily continue to dominate this upcoming year. I think furs with florals will make a comeback as well as unique cuts featuring geometrical shapes and very modern/very new textiles and patterns. The Bohemian look will really play out in 2014, and I feel like femininity is taking a whole new turn of looking more masculine. What can I say, women are taking over- even men’s clothing.

What makes your style different from others?

My style can be very relatable but in a different way. I’m into the bohemian/punk look, while still looking feminine. I’m not your average girly-girl- I’m probably the farthest thing! I find myself matching black with black almost everyday. I like dark, earthy colors and mixing them with another color that really pops (usually with my shoes). But then again, I don’t really settle on one style, I like to switch it up every now and then!

Do you have any fashion icons?

My fashion icon would probably be Vanessa Hudgens! I love what she comes up with, she never seems to disappoint me fashion wise!

What is one trend that you want to come back?

The 1920s were so elegant and fun! I want to be in a Gatsby movie just to wear one those gorgeous dresses.

What is one trend that you wish would stay in the past?

I personally get inspired by ALL trends- we can all learn something from other styles, fashion is a way to express yourself. It wouldn’t be fair to outcast someone’s personality.

Who or what influences your style?

Nature is a huge inspiration to me. I love looking at and exploring new things. I live in an area where the commute to the mountains, beach, and deserts are all pretty reasonable. I hope to travel the world one day to get inspired by new and exciting things!

What characteristics make you stand out?

I’m such a weirdo that I don’t think it’s possible for me not to stand out.

You also describe yourself an artist. What inspires you to create?

My inspirations are all the people I’ve had the pleasure of crossing paths with. I love being around new, unique personalities- it really gets my creative juices flowing!

What does “art” mean to you?

Art to me is LIFE. If I didn’t have art in my life I don’t know what I’d do!

Tell us about your part of the mural. What motivated you to draw what you did?

What motivated me was everyone back home. I have so many friends and family that support me in everything I do, and the surreal, crazy feeling of just being in Miami really inspired me to create something beautiful with my American Eagle Outfitters family.

You’re from Claremont, Ca. What do you heart about your city?

I heart how artsy my city is- I’m surrounded by creative individuals so I can just be myself when it comes to art. Everyone is so accepting and I learn and see new things everyday here!

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Meet the Cast: Amber

Meet the Cast: Amber

 

Meet Amber, a dancer and winner of American Eagle Outfitters Project Live Your Life from Baltimore, Maryland, currently featured in our Spring Break 2014 campaign. You may remember Amber from Project Live Your Life: San Francisco. We wanted to ask Amber a little bit more about her art of choice, dance, and what she “hearts” about her city. Read on to learn more about her and be sure to follow Amber on Twitter and Instagram.

Who inspires you to dance?

There isn’t really a specific person that inspires me to dance, but there are people that inspire me to become more skilled. Those people would have to be Misty Copeland and Michaela DePrince for ballet and Cyrus, Twitch, Ian Eastwood and Kaelynn Harris for hip-hop. I dance because I love it and couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. When I’m not in dance class for a long period of time I feel like something is missing. One time I didn’t dance for four months and I started crying and begging my mom to put me back in dance class. That moment of my life made me realize how much I can’t live without it.

What is your favorite type of dance?

I like all types of dance but I would have to say that my favorite would have to be ballet and contemporary.

Dance is an art form. Do you agree?

Dance is definitely an art form. Through dance you can express how you feel and really interpret what’s in your mind and heart. It’s the same with people in visual art, instrumental, vocal, acting, etc.- art is just simply a way of communication and expression without just simply talking to someone.

How do you feel when you’re dancing?

When I’m dancing feel like I can be who ever I want to be, I can feel however I want feel and I can say what ever I want to say. I feel like my whole self and nothing less than me.

What are some of your biggest challenges that you’ve faced while dancing?

Some of my biggest challenges I have faced while dancing is that I get nervous when I realize that people are actually watching me. When i don’t pay attention to the people, I do so much better.

What has been your greatest dance achievement?

My greatest dance achievement would have to be making it into two of the best art high schools in Baltimore. I have attended both for about two years and they made a huge impact on my life. I couldn’t be more thankful and blessed.

You’re from Baltimore, MD. What do you heart about your city?

What I heart about my city is the strength that everyone has here- everyone has their own story.

Tell us about your part of the mural. What inspired you to draw what you did?

I’m very bubbly and girly. I thought that the colors, flowers and patterns I used reflected my personality.

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Meet the Cast: Brian

Meet the Cast: Brian

 

Meet Brian, a sports enthusiast from Bowie, MD. Learn more about Brian’s experience as part of Project Live Your Life: Miami and follow him on Instagram.

You enjoy being healthy and playing sports. What are your favorite ways to stay active?

I have a weekly workout routine. Besides that, I play pickup games with all my friends, whether it’s basketball, soccer, football, tennis or volleyball.

Who in the athlete world do you admire?

Roger Federer inspired me to pick up tennis. His poise on the court was so natural and pushed me to be the best I could be. One day I hope I can find myself across the net exchanging serves with him before he retires!

What is your inspiration for staying motivated and focused?

Positivity. I always am focused on the next step ahead and never let the negatives in life get me down for an instant. Staying focused on the blessings in my life drives me in my pursuit to achieve success.

You also enjoy cooking. What are your favorite recipes to make?

I’m not one to follow recipes- I see something I like and tweak it to make it my own.

Do you have any cooking traditions?

Being Filipino. all my traditions are from the islands. Getting together with my family and cooking our food reminds me of being home again.

Is this your first time to Miami? What about this city inspires you?

Yes- Miami is alive with culture and excitement. I’m inspired to go out and learn how people from Miami live it up!

You’ve seen Wynwood Walls transform from a blank slate into a work of art. How did you feel during the transformation of the lot?

It feels good contributing to a place in order to make it better. I’m thankful for the opportunity to give back to the city of Miami.

What inspired you to create your part of the mural?

It’s a combination of my life experiences as a whole: where I’m from, where I am now, and where I’m going.

You’re from Bowie, MD. What do you heart about your city?

My city is right on the outskirts of DC. It attracts artistic, outgoing, fun people that create and inspire me. Coming to Bowie, I’ve connected with so many people who just want to have fun and are care free like me. That’s what I love about my city.

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Meet the Cast: Caleb

Meet the Cast: Caleb
Meet Caleb, a weight lifter and fitness enthusiast from Cadwell, Georgia. Caleb was one of the winners of American Eagle Outfitters, Project Live Your Life and was also featured in our Spring 2014 campaign in San Francisco. Get to know even more about Caleb and be sure to follow him on Instagram for an inside look at his life.

You mentioned you’ve lived all over the world. What was that like?

Being raised around the world had a large impact on my sense of fashion.

What area of the world inspired you most?

California style has impacted me the most, even though I’ve never lived there.

What were some of the biggest challenges that you had to face from moving?

Adapting to new areas and meeting new friends, which made me that much better at being comfortable around new people.

Are there places in this world that you want to see?

I want to travel the world in general, but specifically I want to go to New Zealand.

You’re into fitness. What motivates you to stay active?

I work out to stay out of trouble, release stress and of course, to look better.

Music is also a passion of yours. Where do you find the inspiration behind your lyrics?

I rap and my inspiration comes from everything I experience in life, from happiness to heartache.

You mentioned you are into art. How do you feel about the Wynwood Walls?

I was ecstatic to shoot in Wynwood, nothing can beat original art.

What about art inspires you?

I love art because it allows one to express emotion and imagination for others to enjoy.

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