This is Mary Rachel. A fresh out of college based southern belle and hybrid of Guy Fieri plus the internet. She makes weird videos (like ”$” for The-Drum that I been obsessing), founded Tight Artists with her friend Adam Harms, and does some interning for KarmaloopTV. It was really important for me to get in touch with her becz she seems so dope, and like…why wouldn’t I put a dope gem on my blog?! I wish I would have asked her about the meaning of TANG. Maybe one day we can discuss over drinks! But until then, see what Mary Rachel has to say about the influence of southern culture, life in thermal filter, and what she wants to be remembered for after the jump.
Name Mary Rachel Kostreva
Hometown Central Georgia (Specifically Atlanta & Barnesville)
Most Known For Creating Tight Artists with my friend Adam Harms (@_LCKY), my videoz , and my ability to never shut up.
Unknown For Listening to Nicky Da B and bouncing wayyyy to much when I’m alone in my apartment.
Sexiest thing ever done for you Good conversation is always the sexiest thing.
Top 5 vices Getting lost in the Internet for way too long, Whiskey, buffalo chicken wings, Guy Fieri, and really cheesy R&B.
Currently on your playlist Danny Brown, I love him so much. Nicky Da B, Brenmar, and at this very moment I’m listening to Usher “You Got it Bad” (Laughs!) #THROWBACKKKKK
Weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you? I went to military school for two years and I think basically everything that happened during that time was the weirdest thing.
HTTP hangout(s) Dump.fm, Tightartists.com, and Twitter.
Least favorite trend(s) Hmmmmm good question. Maybe like….anything popularized by Ann Taylor.
Watching your video for “$” by The-Drum was both alluring and disturbing. I had watched it a few times actually and even shared with a close friend of mine, Helen Koh. We wanted to know why you use that type of aesthetic for irony, if it is ironic? I didn’t intend on that video to be ironic or anything. Actually now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever made any work that has been intended to be ironic. I’m generally a pretty sincere person and I like that to show in my work. I definitely meant for the “$” video to be moderately disturbing though. This is because the idea of money can be a disturbing thing. Everyday people are fighting about money, compromising their desires for money, and worst of all being oppressed because of money and this is extremely disturbing to me. On the offset, good things can come from not having money. Working with what you’ve got, in my opinion, is the most inspiring things someone can do. Making something out of nothing is huge accomplishment and step in right direction in my book. In the “$” video, I was attempting to use contrasting imagery to communicate this. I wanted the video to be evenly balanced with both good and bad.
How did you come across The-Drum? They hit me up on Facebook because they saw my Youtube channel and wanted to collaborate on something. They sent me a bunch of music and let me pick a song to make a video for. They are the shit, not only do they make tight music but they are great to work with. We’ve talked about doing more projects in the future together so I’m excited for that.
When did you start making videos and what’s your creative process? I started getting into video work in high school but didn’t really make anything independently until about four years ago. It’s funny because I thought I was more into camera work back then but when I got hired as a video editor my direction totally changed. Once I started video editing I realized how much I loved it. My creative process has changed a lot over the years, and it still varies from project to project. If I’m doing a video alone, it’s usually because I’m going through something emotional that I need to work out. Whether it’s sadness, anger, or happiness, I think about where those feelings are derived from and I just kind of work from there. When I work on a music video collaboratively with someone, I like to listen to the song a lot and see how it makes me feel and begin to conceptualize some kind of story or overall message for the video. I do a lot of digging through YouTube to find footage that I feel visualizes and communicates whatever message I want to convey.
What inspires your art? My surroundings and environment, human emotion, and my past experiences. I had a scattered growing up and making art helps me figure out what to make of it. Another thing that hugely inspires my art is music, specifically Hip-Hop, soul, R&B, funk, and jazz. My dad is a jazz pianist, so I grew up listening to that kind of music and it’s been a huge part of my life.
What makes you a dirty souf based angel? (Laughs!) Because I’m a southern girl who’s based as hellllll! But really somebody called me a based angel on Facebook chat once and it just kind of stuck. I thought it was funny, and a nice compliment so I was into it.
These days so much is about the trill lifestyle. What’s your opinion on the influence of southern culture? I love the resurgence of 90’s southern Hip- Hop just because it reminds me of growing up in the south, good times, and what me and my friends would listen to when we were out having fun. It’s super nostalgic for me. I also like to see people from other places adopt elements of southern culture in their music, art, etc. It makes me happy to see people shed some positive light on southern culture because there are a lot of negative stereotypes about the south that make everything seem totally fucked up down there. The truth is everywhere you go is going to be fucked up in some way and I don’t necessarily think the south is any worse than other areas of the country. Everything has its pros and cons.
Would you rather live life in a thermal filter or black and white? I love this question. Thermal filter for sure because I love all things colorful, and I’m a hot and cold person. Black and white is classic but it’s also a little too drab for my liking.
What does Mary Rachel do IRL?! ^_^ I’m a video editor!! Right now I work for this ex-Harvard professor who has basically been my mentor for the past three years. I’m really tight with him and his wife and I’ve basically learned every bit of valuable knowledge I know about video and art from them. I just graduated from college so I’m on that intern tip as well. I’m currently interning at KarmaloopTV doing more video editing, so that’s been fun. In my spare time I usually video edit some more! I guess I just do this video stuff all the time. Right now I’m working on three different music videos that I’m super excited about. They should be out in the next few weeks so keep an eye out! I’m also working on some upcoming art shows with my friend Adam Harms (@_LCKY) for our site Tight Artists so that is exciting as well. (Laughs!) I like to keep myself super busy.
How do you make the most out of living in the south? You just have to roll with the punches. Even though it was tough for me growing up, I never realized what I had until I left home. I remember when I was younger and living in Barnesville I couldn’t wait to get out of there, but when I left I realized what that place meant to me. I moved to Florida for highschool and that was my first taste of being away from home, but I was still in the south so it was a dramatic change in terms of culture. I moved to Boston for college and that’s when my homesickness really kicked in. When you’re down there and you’ve never lived anywhere else you might not know how to make the most out of it because there’s no contrast. I think I felt that way to a certain extent when I was younger, but moving really opened my eyes to a lot of positive things about where I’m from and why I love it. So I think how to make the most out of living in the south is to just appreciate the positive aspects of life down there, and stay focused on that….or just think about Waka Flocka <33333333333
Do you get your nailsdid or have any favorite nail artist(s)? OH YES I get my nailsdid!!! I’m obsessed with nail art. I even bought a UV gel nail kit so I could do my own nails for fun. I have to admit though, I haven’t done my own nails in a while because it’s super time consuming, but I haven’t given up. I actually just got my nails done when I was in Atlanta last week! It was the first time I’ve ever gotten 3D nails without doing them myself. The nail salon was crazy too. There were like Grecian columns everywhere, huge extravagant paintings and a ceiling mural - gold everywhere. I so wasn’t expecting it either because it was just in a shopping center (laughs.) It was a pleasant surprise. Here’s a pic of my current nails:
My favorite nail artists that I’ve ever gotten my nails done by is the girl Maria in Queens that my friend took me too. She’s awesome and super talented!
Do you take gif requests? I never really have before but I’m open! I’m supposed to make some gifs for my friend’s DJ stuff down in Atlanta so I guess kind of!
What do you want to be remembered for this year and in the future? I definitely want to be remembered for the things I’ve created and put out into the world. I hope that through what I make I can bring enjoyment into other people’s lives. That’s a big deal to me so I hope people remember me for that.