Disposable Diary 002: San Francisco

The Disposable Diary series aims to showcase an intimate view of a place or experience. These photos will be taken by members of the Grounders team and artists to gain multiple perspectives.

Diary 002 was shot in San Francisco between October 8-11, 2017 by Shanice Bishop. 

To see more of Shanice’s work follow her on Instagram.

Artist Profile: Karen Davis

Name: Karen Davis

Location: Draper, Utah

IG: @karun_the_wzrd


At only 19, Karen Davis has established her artistic style as one that gives the audience a peak into another world. She has dabbled in photography for most of her life, and recently began experimenting with complimentary poetry that gives the viewer an honest look into her mind. Below is a short interview with Davis, and samples of her work.

Tell us a little bit about yourself! When did you start writing poetry and taking photos?

I started taking photos at a very young age. I have always had a love for photography, and I have taken a liking to poetry recently. I enjoy letting my feelings out and maybe having someone relate to how I’m feeling.

Your photos all seem to tell a story, could you share what some of them are? Or the thought process behind them?

Most of the stories that I want to show through my photographs are ones that I want someone to look at and wish they were in. They’re an escape from my reality to a dream world! It’s everything I see, everything I would want my life to look like.



Are you behind the entire production of your images or do you collaborate with other people?

I generally have the subject do their own makeup or I will do it, but I have collaborated with a makeup artist and they’re fun to work with.

What would you like people to get from your work?

I want my work to inspire people. I want to motivate them and make it easier for them to express themselves. I want to support and love everyone for each one of the ideas and the creativity they have. I also want them to look at my photographs and wish they were a part of my own dream world.


Written by: Antonio Velarde

All photos by: Antonio Velarde

 Pascal & Nilly (Loot Bag)
Pascal & Nilly (Loot Bag)

Favela is a monthly event inspired by music deriving from the slums (referred to as ‘favelas’) of Brazil. It’s seen as the youth movement down there. Each event is hosted at a local favourite known as “Apt. 200”. The non-stop traffic at this venue fuels the movement in Toronto and it’s been getting a great response since they’ve started.

However, this isn’t new. A lot of reputable DJ’s have been entwining it within their sets for the last couple of years. Needless to say, a lot of the influence comes from afro funk, batida, and kuduro which is also prominent in the beautiful country of Angola. 

Let me introduce you to NOY and TEO NEO, two of the resident DJ’s for this ongoing event. Firstly, they’re both from Angola. Additionally, Nilton (NOY) has also resided in Brazil, illustrating the importance of this music to him.

As mentioned, TEO and NOY are resident and they tend to have a third DJ in rotation every time. At the latest installation, they featured SADA (newest member of New Wav Radio), who’s been making huge waves in the city recently.

The recipe to success? They mix favela- tropical afro sound- with new hip hop and trap music to easily integrate it into the Toronto scene. Nonetheless, this steamy genre is undoubtedly gaining worldwide popularity.

Here’s some shots I took at the latest event:

Missed out on the last one? Stay in the loop by following me on the ‘gram and I’ll see you at the next! 

 Click here to view my personal site!
Click here to view my personal site!


Written by: Antonio Velarde

Who doesn’t love good vibes???

Huge shout out to the teams at Loot Bag, New.Wav and Time+Again for hosting such a wonderful event, where I met some amazing individuals and had the opportunity to enjoy the night.

Five of ten designs were released at the “Hen-T” launch party which were all instantly iconic!! Click here to browse + purchase their collection!! (Join the mailing list for further updates)

As always, the New.Wav team had the function booming with only the spiciest tracks of them all.

Here’s the shots I captured:

 Click here to view my website! 
Click here to view my website! 

Manifesto 11 – A Recap

Written by: Antonio Velarde

Free concert? Favorite artists? Say no more. 

Long story short, I had such an amazing opportunity to be a part of this year’s Manifesto 11. Following the house party that took place at The Drake Hotel, I knew this weekend was definitely something to anticipate. 

Now unfortunately I missed Isaiah Rashad’s performance due to my late arrival. However not to worry- as I entered Echo Beach, the jazzy, groovy and euphoric opening melody sounded all too familiar… the rest is history. 

Highlights of the night: The Internet, Syd, Steve Lacy, DVSN, Roy Woods

Enough of my boring words. PEEP THE CONTENT BELOW!

                                                  Click here to view my personal site!
                                                 Click here to view my personal site!

Looks 007: Hewan

Photographer: Sevan Ichkhanian

I always try to evoke a sort of feeling with my photos, whether it’s conceptual or editorial. This fashion shoot of Hewan was an opportunity for me to explore the different ways of separating her from a simplistic portrait by using complex lighting and a fog machine to create a dream-like atmosphere; Presenting her as ethereal in that cute little pink slip and diamond hoop earrings that sparkle from the light radiating her natural glow. 


Conversations: Conor Cunningham

Conor Cunninham’s photography (@mescondi) has been making a splash in the Vancouver art scene. Surprisingly colourful and whimsical his photography, and recent foray into film, paints a new picture of Vancouver. Continue reading to find out about Conor’s explosive growth and journey with photography. 


What should I know about you?

I have been doing art for a long time and I just started doing photography about a year ago. I used to walk around with my friend who used to take photos of me. Then I said “actually – you don’t see things the way I do, pass me the camera – I wanna try something.” I instantly loved it. I bought a cheap camera off my friend and still use the same set up today. Literally I think I just hit my year anniversary with my camera.


What setup do you use?

I use a T3I and a portrait lens, that’s all I have. I feel like I have learned to maximize that lens, I even use it for video.



 A portrait of the artist (Conor Cunningham)
A portrait of the artist (Conor Cunningham)

I noticed a really big change in your Instagram about a year ago where you went from cold and gloomy photos and then suddenly it became saturated colours, what happened?

I just kind of fell in love with colour. My first couple of shoots with friends were based off what I was seeing around from other photographers. Especially around the city (Vancouver) it’s cold and earth toney. But in my experiences, I was always seeing colour so I made the switch. It’s more fun to work with and plan shoots with colour.


Take me through a shoot with you!

It’s pretty chill. I will meet up with a model and we will discuss what we are going to wear and stuff. Or if I have a concept I’ll style them in my clothes. I shoot kind of differently – according to my models. It’s slower not a lot of rapid fire stuff. I plan everything out. I look for people who are down to do whatever and I will bring weird props. It’s super chill, laid back – I usually become friends with the people I shoot with. I take it seriously in my head, because I am very critical of myself and my work. Everything needs to be perfect in my eyes but the environment needs to be relaxed.


What is perfection in your eyes?

Literally whatever I think is perfect. Things could be off, like your hair doesn’t need to be perfect, but when I see the photo it needs to feel perfect. I like imperfection though. When I first started people would send me Instagrams of these really hot girls and tell me to shoot with them. But I thought it was boring. Using models is cool because they know how to pose, but my favourite is picking someone who looks interesting. In the photos you can always see it. They are a little uncomfortable because they haven’t been asked to take photos before. The audience can connect to it versus a model who has done a pose a billion times. It’s a lot more real.

I like that, I feel like what your photography has been showing me is a super colourful representation of Vancouver which is hard because it is cold and rainy.

People ask me all the time where I shoot and I say Vancouver and they are like where did you find the colour. I just tell them to look.



How do you look?

I think my brain has gotten to the point where it picks it out when it sees it because I’ve trained it. My nine-to-five job has me driving around the city all the time. So I’m always seeing new places and I’ll take down the cross streets.


How much of your work is post editing?

Oh – like all of it. I like film a lot so I try to mimic a film look when I edit. Digital obviously looks so different, especially when I work with colour I need to bump it up so much. Digital tends to wash everything. I actually just picked up two film cameras.


Tell me about filming videos, what have you been experimenting with?

One of my buddies is a musician here and before he moves to LA he wants to have a catalog of videos. He is pretty much the one who got me into doing art and sharing it because I used to be self conscious about it – like years ago. He just told me to do it. So he came to me and said he wants to do this video project of five music videos and a short film. I told him I don’t have a dope camera but we can try it on this so we did it.

I’ve always been into video. When people ask me who my inspiration is it’s a lot more directors than photographers. I like my photos to be cinematic like screenshots of a film. It was kind of inevitable that I would get into film and I’m working on my own short film.


Tell me more about the short film

It is about being a kid who is into art and wants to do that in the place we are right now. Any place where they don’t push you up to do it. It’s about the escape of it all – which is what it is to me – so it is about the kids who want to escape into art and make it their life.


Do you want to make art your life?

Yeah I dropped out of school – I was like nope this is not what I’m doing. I went to Simon Fraser University (SFU) for two years and I took random classes and hated it. I would skip class all the time to do photo stuff or draw anything. I used to think there is something wrong with me. Am I lazy? But nah, I work hard. I work till I die and I have a better chance at making it with something like this rather than an office job.



A lot of your paintings beforehand had this really fragmented look. It was almost Picasso like and that didn’t appear in your photos but it seems to be back in your videos with two overlaying shots.

The fragmented paintings were from back when I was in SFU. I wasn’t super happy. I felt like I had one side of me that was prim and proper for my parents and the other was just art – art – art. The fragmented stuff was me expressing the two sides. So half a face that is very make-up clean and the other is in my mind and a gong show. In the photos I think it stopped because that is when I stopped school and I was able to be that side. It came back in the videos because I am not super comfortable with it. The videos are also for somebody else so it’s chopped up in that it has both our sides in it.


Do you have any big projects?

I kind of slowed down the photos in the last two months because the weather sucks. But I have a couple of shoots that I have been waiting to do since November but the flowers are coming out now. Then the short film and my buddy’s thing. There are two more videos to film. That’s it so far, I just want to keep growing. I’m going to LA in May, with a couple of friends, and I am going to work with a couple of people and go to a Street Dreams party.


Are you visiting or trying to root yourself in LA?

I am visiting but I am going to try and do the most I can in three weeks. My goal is to move to the States or to move out of Vancouver. I am not rushing out but I feel like I can’t stay here forever.


Why is that?

The attitude towards art I find here, there are amazing and super talented people here, but as a whole – I want to e shooting people like ASAP rocky and I know I have to venture out there. I can’t make it what I want to do personally here.


I feel that – a lot of things in Vancouver are temporary.

It’s a good place, especially to start. It isn’t flooded with people actually trying. It’s a little sad because there are so many people I know who are talented but just go to school and feel like there is no possibility of making it. It has to be a mindset, if you put everything out there people are going to notice.


Do you have anything else you would like to say?

I hope people see my stuff and don’t think I am always taking portraits. I really use it – art – as a way to escape, I want to create my own world. I look at people like Tarantino and my bigger influences. I look at every scene and break it down – that is what I try to do. Every little detail is that way for a specific person.

That is partially why I use colour, it’s because that is how I want things to be. It looks happy but I don’t usually have a lot of smiling in my photos. I want things to be that colourful but the place I am in now is kind of dystopian and that is why I have that contrast. My photos have a small representation of what I am going through at the moment.


Do you have a favourite movie?

Kill Bill – I don’t think that’s the greatest movie ever but personally I don’t even know how many times I’ve watched that movie. The cinematography is insane.