Category Archives: Uncategorized

No place like home

By Delaney Young

Home. A place so familiar and all I knew for 18 years.

When quarantine became a reality, I decided to return home to California from college in Oregon to try to regain some normalcy. But Los Angeles in the age of the coronavirus is a place I don’t recognize.

The beaches on a hot day in spring would normally be filed with colorful umbrellas and people leisurely laying carefree, laughing. Those carefree days, however, have been put on pause.

I grew up going to Laker games with my dad who has had season tickets for three decades. I can still feel the excitement in the air of crowds coming together outside of the Staples Center forming a sea of gold and purple. With games also on pause, the city streets feel like a ghost town.

For years, I’ve endured bumper-to-bumper traffic in the city, feeling the communal road rage. As I zoom through the streets these days, I almost miss the chaos of rush hour.

Everywhere I go these days, I’m reminded of my yearning for the traffic, the crowds, the energy that makes Los Angeles what it is.

This photo series documents that longing.

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Nature Reserve on April 20th, 2020

Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles on April 5th, 2020

Seaward Beach in Ventura on April 15th, 2020

California State Capitol Building in Sacramento on April 1st, 2020

TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on April 5th, 2020

A boat ramp in Shasta Lake on April 1st, 2020

Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles on April 5th, 2020

Finding happiness in an age-old art

By Emily Scarvie

It’s a typical early morning at The Northwest Hat Company and owner Mike Miller is getting all of his noisiest work out of the way. Making custom hats is a messy process, and Miller has lots more to do today. He fires up the steamer, and as he waits for it to heat up, he begins to shape the hats he set out for himself the night before, molding the soft felt around the wood form. The small metal steamer begins to whir and slowly release steam. A one-man team, Miller not only creates all of the custom hats but also tends to bookkeeping and other administrative tasks. 

Miller, 40, opened the shop in Eugene, Oregon, five years ago after he had been making and reconstructing hats on the side of his previous automotive job for more than a decade.

“The business I was in before, not everyone was happy to be there,” Miller says. “People coming to buy hats are usually pretty happy about it, and that’s nice because I like dealing with people. That’s the fun part of the job too: helping them find their perfect hat.”

It all started when Miller was given an old, worn out cowboy hat by a friend. Wanting to make a nice hat for himself, he began reconstructing it and realized how much he loved the process of designing and crafting quality material.

“That was falling into the rabbit hole, and 16 years later you’re out on the other end like, ‘how’d I get here?’”

At the time he couldn’t afford the premium quality hats he desired, so he began to look elsewhere. This led him to vintage hats. They were a cheaper alternative that allowed him to grow his collection, and often served as a model for the hats he began to make from scratch. 

“I got my hands on a vintage hat, made of fur felt rather than wool felt, and it’s wildly different, as far as quality, fit, finish, and just the aesthetics of the hat,” he said. “I was like ‘wow, I want more of these; I want a collection of these.’”

Today, Miller has amassed a sizable collection and creates just about any style of hat, from western to fedoras. Learning how to make each hat is something that’s taken him almost two decades. Some of the necessary materials aren’t available anymore, so he has to buy vintage. He prides himself on the quality of material and craftsmanship that goes into every hat, something that he thinks is lost among many modern hat makers. 

According to Miller, there are a few hat makers that still produce premium quality hats, but they come at a high price. Miller’s hats begin at $185, while some hat makers charge into the thousands for the equivalent. 

“For me, to charge something just because you can, I don’t know if I like that,” he said. “I like to see average people running around the streets of Eugene wearing my hats because it was attainable for them, because a $1,000 hat isn’t attainable for everyone.” 

Collectors from all over the U.S. order Miller’s hats and often come back for a second, or even third hat. While he’s had success selling to collectors all over, and in Eugene, what really keeps him going is the ability to create something that makes someone happy. 

“Anytime you can make somebody happy just by making them something, and they’re super psyched for it, that keeps me going; to make people happy, and to make myself happy.”

Photo courtesy of Mark Nelson

Blond Jesus becomes fan favorite

Written by Camryn Privette
Photos by Mark Nelson and Sarah Northrop

What do you get when you mix a college student, a Halloween store, an unfortunate lack of samurai costumes, and a good sense of humor?  The Autzen Stadium student section’s infamous “Blond Jesus,” of course. 

It all began like every other normal Friday in Eugenean invitation to a costume party. Jacob Beeson looked for inspiration and remembered a close friend owned a real samurai sword. “He had the samurai sword, and I just needed to find a samurai costume, but we went to a Spirit Halloween and there wasn’t a samurai costume,” Beeson says.

Luckily, a Jesus costume was in stock, and Beeson decided to give his peers a good laugh and wear it for the night. 

That same weekend Beeson decided to take it to the next level by wearing his Jesus attire to the Ducks football game versus Utah in 2017.  Hoping his parents might spot him on TV, Beeson got way more attention than he ever anticipated. “People really loved it, so I thought maybe I’ll do this again and maybe this might be a thing. So, I did it again and people loved it, so I’ve just continued to do it ever since,” Beeson says.

As a Christian, Beeson sees dressing up as Jesus and his own personal faith as two separate things. In no way is he trying to promote his religion; Beeson simply says that he “likes to think God has a sense of humor.”

Since that Utah game, Beeson enjoys campus-wide recognition. He says that it has even gone as far as “having instances when people stop me when I’m eating or someone stopped to take a picture of me when I’m eating.” While Beeson is well-known as the Blond Jesus in the student section, does anyone really know the person under the costume?

Beeson said that “moving to Eugene was a huge shift to me. Especially the campus.” A lifelong resident of Klamath Falls, Beeson grew up in a tight-knit community “where everyone knew each other. You didn’t have to be super unique or anything. It was just like, ‘Oh yeah–we all know who that is.’”

His unfamiliar new home of Eugene, however, was another story. 

“Is it different? Living in a bigger city? Not a whole lot of people know what you do and people don’t really care,” he says. While being recognized on campus as Blond Jesus simulated that sense of a smaller community to a certain extent, Beeson says that he feels like nobody really knows the real him.

Jacob Beeson cheers dresses as Jesus during an ESPN College Gameday broadcast in 2018.

“They know what I am per se, but they don’t know me when I take the costume off. That was something in Klamath where people knew your personality. Here there are a lot of people that knew me and I didn’t know them,” Beeson says. 

As time went on Beeson attended more games and the fame of Blond Jesus grew. However, Beeson says he no longer cares about “getting on jumbotrons and whatnot.” It might be some student’s fantasy to appear on the Autzen jumbotron, but for Beeson the only true dream is to be seen in a big-screen film. 

“When I was five my dad took me to a Hollywood video and decided he would show me Star Wars for the first time. I picked Return of the Jedi. The scene of Yoda dying was the exact moment where I was like ‘that’s what I want to do with my life,’” he says.

While he is most interested in narrative films, Beeson said he “at least wants to try to make every single genre of film. I’m not super-invested in any sort of genre. It’s just whatever story I can think of or that really excites me.” With a few film projects under his belt, Beeson intends to dedicate himself fully to filmmaking.

Beeson says that he has learned a lot from the UO and his days as Blond Jesus, the most important lesson he’s walked away with is “being independent and having closer-knit relationships.”

Being Blond Jesus gave him a face on campus, but Beeson plans on leaving those days behind after graduation next year in 2021. Beeson says, “I would only continue it if I became famous as a filmmaker, and it was more of this as a notable like alumni from our school. But after college, it’s done.”

 

Staining in Black Ink

Written and photographed by Lucas Warner

When Cali Beck wanted her old tattoos covered up, she wanted them gone for good. She wanted them covered in black ink.  

She saw a bartender working at Black Wolf Supper Club, in Eugene, who had a similar fair complexion to hers, but with one noticeable difference: he had a “smooth black-ink arm.” Beck asked the man where he had his arm tattooed. “Ryan Beauchamp at Northwest Tattoo,” he says.

When Beck went to Beauchamp to explain that she wanted her old tattoos covered, he didn’t jump on the opportunity to tattoo her. Instead, he gave a warning: “They’re several other options we have to cover them up,” he tells her. 

Beck wanted an artist who she could collaborate with, and she found that in Beauchamp. 

“He helped me conceptualize beyond solid black,” Beck says. Beauchamp was able to mix an intricate geometric design alongside the fields of blck ink on her shoulders. 

Beauchamp also helped her through the pain; a blackwork tattoo is substantially more painful because of the different tattoo machine used. “He’s really good at letting you know when things are going to get intense,” Beck says.  

Beck is used to sitting in a chair or massage table for four to five hours, but the pain of having her shoulders covered solid with black ink was a new type of pain.  

“Each shoulder took about two hours,” Beck says. “I couldn’t handle anything more.” 

Most people have described the feeling of this unique tattoo style as being dragged across gravel.   

Beauchamp is one of the few artists who practice this style in the Pacific Northwest. He describes black tattooing as “an homage to the act of tattooing”⁠—a tribute to a time when tattoos had no real artistic meaning when they were just lines to mark success in battle. Today, tattoo artists rely heavily on social media to show they are the best artist and that they can come up with unique custom tattoos. Beauchamp wants to prove that he can get smooth tones of black-ink into someone’s body.  

Sarah Knapp works just across the room from Beauchamp. 

“Our shop has a lot of styles that are trendy,” Knapp says. “Ryan’s geometric and black work is in high demand; he’s always busy.”  

Beauchamp first discovered the heavy blackwork tattoo style from a high school friend who had gone to Germany to get tattooed. On his return, Beauchamp saw him with most of his neck, chest and arm covered in black ink.  

“I didn’t realize you could do that to yourself,” Beauchamp says with a grin. “Tattoos felt punk rock, man.” 

Beauchamp started tattooing in his home state of Washington but when he attempted to get licensed in Oregon, it wasn’t easy. He drove to the Courthouse in Salem, where every step of the way he was met with the constant requests for $50 in order to speed up the process.  

The state has a lengthy application process that requires the applicant to be over 18, to have completed high school or a GED program, to have completed bloodborne pathogens training, and to have knowledge of first aid. Plus, Beauchamp must pass a tattoo test. Other stipulations require an artist to either go to tattoo school here in Oregon or to have proof of being licensed in another state.  

While Beauchamp was learning his craft well, his test subject was often himself.

It was only one year into his career that he started to hone in on what is now his specialty: all-black designs.

Beauchamp spent that time practicing packing in black ink on his inner thigh. He spent much of his time switching between massage table and chair to get the best angle to tattoo. His tool was a machine with 45 overlapping needles contained in a three-inch head. A typical tattoo needle has between three to nine needles making the process of tattooing itself is quite painful. 

Beauchamp used this bigger needle to get as much black-ink into the tattoo with the least number of strokes and to create a smooth area of black on someone’s body. 

“Tattooing yourself sucks,” says Beauchamp. “The only thing you can do to make it hurt less is to stop.” 

Beauchamp, working on his leg, was beginning to understand the minutiae of getting solid black into the skin. He had to practice the motions of using such a massive needle. Focusing on the pain would make the black come out blotchy.  

“It becomes an introspective process after a while,” Beauchamp remembers. “It’s also a style you want to practice on yourself first. I don’t want to practice on someone else and fuck them up.”  

But when asked if he would like to blackout other parts of himself Beauchamp responded, “In the end, I’d rather have someone else do it.” 

Northwest Tattoo wants to reflect the young clientele that frequents the shop. It has an open vibe, with turquoise walls, paintings done by artists in the shop, and “we’re nice” plastered on the window.  

Beauchamp also wants the shop to indicate the type of artists that work there.  

“Tattoo shops are the last business that’s kind of scary to go into because people can be intimidated by the artists,” Beauchamp says. “At this shop, we’re trying to have it be an open floor plan, so people feel more comfortable.”   

Walking into the shop when Beauchamp is tattooing someone in the shop is laughing, whether it is the canvas on a massage table or one of the six artists who are also at work that day. Some canvases are laughing so hard that the outline of their tattoo comes out “wonky” because they can’t sit still. He’s always working on massive pieces. Recently, there have been more interactive geometric designs on people’s backs. 

One of Beauchamp’s clients who was having her back worked on recently couldn’t wear a bra because the tattoo was going right in the middle of her back. Now, most tattoo artists would put stickers on a women’s breast or have them gently place a towel over their sensitive region. In Beauchamp’s mind, comfort is critical. 

Before the appointment started, Beauchamp went to a thrift shop to pick up a double XL yellow button-up shirt. His client put the shirt on backward to cover herself while he tattooed her back. At the end of the season, she says she would wash and return his shirt. Beauchamp quickly retorted, “Don’t mention it. I got it at the thrift shop.”  

Beauchamp gives a lot of his career credit to tattoo conventions. That’s how he got his job in Eugene. He was working at the Evergreen Tattoo Convention where he met the owner of Northwest Tattoo, Max V.K. Beauchamp has taken a break from going to conventions.

The long trips in a van across the Northwest get exhausting. Sitting in a convention center to maybe or maybe not tattoo is no longer appealing. Beauchamp’s favorite part of conventions is hanging out with his fellow shop artists.  

“That’s what conventions are all about,” Beauchamp says. “Finding people who you can collaborate with and that turns into friendships.”

Student takes creative approach to meet a need

Written by Bernice Amaya 

A pool house off of Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles once inhabited by family belongings has been transformed into a space where innovation flourishes.

On one side of the studio, racks of unadorned clothing ache to be awakened with style and identity. In the middle of the space, a hinge press screen printing board accomplishes the de facto rebirthing process. And on the other side of the studio, finished products await to be shipped out all over the country.

This creative sanctum belongs to Hudson Miller, a 22-year-old University of Oregon advertising senior who is graduating from college amid the coronavirus pandemic.

During the worldwide COVID-19 crisis, Miller has found a unique way to make a difference while displaying his design skills. With the nationwide shortage of readily available disposable medical masks, Miller has committed himselfand his self-made logo and print business HOUNDto making a difference. The HOUND reusable mask is now available for purchase.

Ultimately, Miller believes the common mandate to wear masks in public in cities all around the country isn’t going away any time soon.

“I think this will be the new normal for restaurant and other service industry jobs where customer interaction is immediate,  so I made this mask to show that my print shop has the ability to print for companies,” Miller says. “This mask is essentially a merch piece from my website as a way to show businesses ‘Hey, we print masks over here with your logo or whatever you need.’”

Advertising student Hudson Miller lines up fabric before screenprinting custom masks for his business HOUND.

Through his designs, Miller hopes to offer a mask option that allows civilians and laborers to express themselves.

“The masks we make give a creative, live expression to this new normal,” he says.

From the start of HOUND, Miller has made it a priority to marry design and acts of service. Following the Australian brush fires this year, he created stickers and donated all proceeds to relief efforts. He’s consistently prioritized eco-friendly products and processes. And now his new product will serve the most vulnerable affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

“I hope the HOUND masks will inspire companies, artists and others to explore customizing this medium. The whole brand is very do-it-yourself. HOUND is a verb—it means to pursue relentlessly. It’s also about tapping into your passion. This one just so happens to be mine.” 

The HOUND masks are available at www.hound2020.com for $15. 

Miller presses ink through the screen of the HOUND design. He hopes the HOUND masks will inspire companies and others to use his business to customize masks with their logo and design.

Flux Team 2020

EDITORIAL

Editor-in-Chief
Griffin Reilly

Executive Editor
Katrina Delamarter

Chief Copy Editor
Jewel Turner

Writers
Shannon Daehnke
Lena Felt
Jane Glazer
Erin McMahon
Lauryn Pan
Camryn Privette
Emily Scarvie
Halie Steward

Advisor
Charlie Butler

VISUALS

Photo Editor
Julian Croman

Photographers
Sarah Northrup
Shyann Montgomery
Kezia Setyawan
Lucas Warner
Elle Wayt

Videographers
Bernice Amaya
Delaney Young
Social Media
Mary Lyons

Advisor
Chris Pietsch

DESIGN

Art Director
Grace Levy

Design Director
Kate Walters

Designers
Emily Adelman
Kelly Franks
Karlie Grant
Marin Motylewski
Hunter Reed
Nicole Williams

Illustrator
Bella Davies

Advisor
Steven Asbury