Meet Kayleigh, Current-Situation’s Millennial of the Month for June. Kayleigh is a Photographer / Co-Founder of Neurocentrikk Magazine. Her magazine, which she founded with Kimarley Garrick, aims to highlight authenticity and break social norms. Neurocentrikk Magazine features diverse models of all ages, sizes, and races, it does not use photoshop to change how models look, and the magazine collaborates with designers or artists only if their target audience would be able to afford the pieces shown.
On May 24, we sat down with Kayleigh to learn more about Neurocentikk’s past, present, and future.
1. Why is this your passion?
Magazines combine the thrills of a good book and a powerful movie. The editorials pique your emotions. The articles inform you. You can escape in the characters and the costumes for hours and come away a stronger person. I’ve always loved magazines.
Yet I could never see a person like me in them. I was always too short, too heavy, too unretouched; both verbally and visually. I didn’t want to hear about 20 new fads I could wear to the office, I wanted help becoming the CEO of my own company. There was something missing, something “more” than what I felt I was being spoon-fed in publications.
That’s why I wanted to create a new kind of magazine. We are all about diversity- we show models of all shapes and sizes, unretouched, with piercings and tattoos, who may be older than a typical agency model in their teens.
We focus on entrepreneurship. Our readers get content that can help them grow as freelancers and business owners, to develop as creatives. We provide examples of self-made entrepreneurs, like the Naked Cowboy who went from being a panhandler to a millionaire by creating his own brand.
For people to be able to see themselves in Neurocentrikk is my greatest joy.
2. How do you feel about the current state of Neurocentrikk?
We are flooded constantly with images. An average human being will see twice the number of images on any given day in 2017 than they did in 2007. Social media keeps the eyes of the masses ever-active, always absorbing.
And there’s a demand for that content to absorb, to excite. That’s where I come in, an answer to a call. A supply to the demand for visual food.
Now more so than ever, especially on mobile networks, there is societal pressure to curate one’s own personal identity, to be a celebrity in your own right. We on social media have evolved from staying in touch with friends to collecting followers. Andy Warhol’s era of “15 minutes of fame” is upon us.
What does this mean? People are reading magazines more and more. Yes, social media has changed things a bit for photographers. I embrace it. I will happily shoot with both 35mm film and a phone camera in the same editorial.
Fashion is changing its standards to become more inclusive as well. Look at all the ads with minimal to no retouching, with models of all shapes, sizes, and cultural backgrounds. It’s beautiful and I’m happy to be part of it.
Now is the best time ever to create a magazine. And it feels pretty good.
3. Who/What inspires you?
I’m mostly inspired by nature. I love the complex patterns that you find in flowers, in leaves, in the sky and stars. I love the ocean too. I take inspiration from the things humankind can’t create on its own – they will be around long after our civilization is gone; and I hope my work will be too.
Time, every aspect of it. The art of quantum physics.
I love classic and modern art, poetry, history, science. I like what many people call “conspiracy theory,” trying to figure out the truth and the way the world really operates.
Quality fashion and couture pieces move me in a way I can’t describe. I love the art of a perfect coat, a well made pair of shoes, an ornate watch.
4. What makes you different from others in this field?
When people hear “magazine editor,” they tend to think “glamorous, mean, cutthroat, apathetic.” I’m the opposite. I care a lot about the meaning behind my work, its social impact. I will put my work coming out good before looking good – often times I do show up to meetings dressed down I’m raw, I don’t try to look like I’m slick or have all the answers. I learn as much from the people I work with as they learn from me.
5. What do you think 40-year-old Kayleigh will be doing?
Making magazines, making art, helping young entrepreneurs start their own businesses. That’s all I really want in this world is to create and help. Any way I can. I work hard now so I can continue to do that.
6. What advice would you give young entrepreneurs?
First of all, please look up manifestation, the law of attraction, and quantum physics. Learn what reality really is and how to create your own. Know that you’re capable of creating it however you want to.
Be confident in yourself. Don’t let other people tell you what you’re capable of. Try to steer away from procrastination- if you can get in the mentality of beating deadlines now, it’ll be a habit that sticks with you for life. Absolutely do not go into credit card debt or student loan debt if at all possible- you WILL regret it later. Take risks. Promote yourself every opportunity you get. Never let people make you feel like you’re not good enough. And try to sleep every now and then.
7. What motivates you when the chips are down?
Knowing that someday I’ll be able to make life a lot easier for a lot of people. Reading fan mail from people who were positively impacted by Neurocentrikk and my life’s work. Hearing success stories from people I’ve mentored in my life.
8. What are your proudest accomplishments?
Speaking on the Harlem Fashion Week Networking Business Symposium panel with my co-founder Kimarley was probably my proudest accomplishment, and showing my work at a show by The Set NYC in SoHo. Also, mentoring high school interns with the Neurocentrikk team.
9. Do you have any hobbies?
I love to draw, paint, and read. I could probably do a combination of those three for hours. I also love to walk in the woods, you learn so much just by listening to the sound of the birds and trees.
10. If you weren’t a magazine editor, what would you be doing?
Marketing is another one of my favorite art forms, and I’d likely be working as a salesperson or business consultant. I have a background in sales and greatly enjoy the strategy based aspects of it.
11. Anything coming up we should look out for?
Yes! Neurocentrikk’s platinum art book at the end of June.