Get to know our contributors better with our Contributor Spotlights. Elizabeth Rhodes is the associate editor for Auxiliary Magazine, creative director, frequent contributor, DJ, and makeup artist based in Los Angeles. A lover of free spirits and dreamers everywhere, she stays up-to-date on beauty trends and new products as well as music, fashion, and art. Her interest in astrology and mysticism influence her work and she is always looking for new artists to check out and events featuring dark alternative culture. We thought now would be a good time to catch up.
What creative projects are you up to currently? What do you do that you want to tell our readers about?
I continue to write for Auxiliary Magazine and do beauty editorials, interviews and serve as creative director on projects I’m involved in. Given the restrictions imposed by shelter-in-place orders, my focus has shifted to interviews and writing articles for publication online. I also write for Lethal Amounts and help curate their online magazine as the managing editor. Outside of quarantine, I DJ occasionally and love to play a variety of genres but my favorites are postpunk and rock n roll. For now, I’m revisiting the art of enjoying albums in their entirety thanks to the extra time I have at home with my records as well as revisiting Spotify playlists, adding new stuff to existing playlists or curating new playlists based on an activity or genre. It feels like being a teenager again, scouring magazines and record stores for new bands, except I’ve replaced mixtapes and record stores for digital substitutes.
What is some of your experience? Schooling? Past jobs? Past projects?
I’ve been working in the beauty industry for six years now but my interest in this kind of “living art” began when I was child drawing, putting makeup on my dolls and later reading about dark sirens like Louise Brooks, Lydia Lunch, Theda Bara, and Siouxsie Sioux; female icons of early Hollywood and dark alternative subculture. I obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts focused on painting and printmaking and that led me to study Art Therapy. It may seem strange that I landed where I did but it truly suits my skills and interests to work in the beauty industry and also take on projects as creative director and writing about various types of artists, musicians and topics I am passionate about.
What are some of your passions?
My first loves are music and astrology. Both are still obsessions and healing tools I use every day. They are a balm to my spirit and a way to navigate and gain a deeper understanding of the world we live in.
How are you spending your time during social distancing?
My favorite activity has been connecting with people, whether it is over the phone or using video chat options to connect. Paradoxically, the time in isolation has created more opportunities to build or maintain genuine connections with others and even develop new relationships along the way. I also love watching documentaries about music and history so I definitely find myself lost in a wormhole of YouTube videos, finding rare interviews with artists I admire as well as old films online. It’s fun to find films that have punk extras or references to bands and notable figures from various ‘scenes’ in the past.
What is one thing that’s keeping you in a good mindset or you’d recommend right now? An album, show, book, hobby, self care ritual?
Listening to music, staying connected to people and being active are the keys to maintaining my sanity and a positive attitude. Musically, I’ve been obsessing over Malaria! in general, Belfegore’s self-titled album (1984), Opposition’s Breaking the Silence (1981), Anne Clark’s 1983 LP Changing Places and Modern Eon’s Fiction Tales from 1981 (their only full-length release). I guess you could say I’m having a moment with the 80s! Living in Los Angeles has afforded me many options for walks with lush floral landscapes and dark history like the Sowden House in Los Feliz, a Mayan-Revival style home built in 1926 by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son, better known for the debauched parties hosted there while it was the home of the alleged murderer in the “Black Dahlia” case. My friends know I’ve been obsessing over that house, the wild stories of the Hodel family and their connections to the cultural fabric of Hollywood’s elite and titans of dadaism and surrealism of that time. Look it up!