STEFANIE ALMENDAREZ is an eighth generation California gypsy with family roots in Honduras, Belize, Urban Outfitters, and small townships on Saturn. She audio records herself howling at full moons, then splices the clips with Tibetan Monk chanting. She is a fan of Sandra Cisneros and Frida Kahlo. She cannot remember her true hair color. She sings to coconuts.
LILIANA KRYSTINE IMPERIAL: I was born and raised in Glendale, California. I am a passionate lover, a photographer, loving sister, gracious daughter, cool Auntie and cautious friend but above all, an insatiable learner. Throughout my years, I’ve realized that the following is right: knowledge is power. As of now, I seek to create. The ultimate goal as an artist is to create and become like water: illuminate and become invisible. I have been documenting my memories since the age of 5. In simple words, I am a woman who loves to take pictures and anything that revolves around art and drinking coffee.
LILY KRYSTINE: At what age did you discover that you wanted to be a creative writer and why?
STEFANIE: I was ten years old when I discovered I wanted to be a creative writer. I had discovered in my Catholic elementary school the book "The Diary of a Young Girl" which was a testimony of the inner life, struggles, and memories of Anne Frank. I was inspired by her example to record my own thoughts down on paper, in a diary given to me by my mother - she handed it to me along with a golden key chain pen half blue, half pink and I felt it was a treasure - I held it close to my heart. I wanted to be a writer immortalized just like Anne Frank, I didn't want my soul to be forgotten, I wasn't sure if the afterlife existed then.
LILY: Wow! That's amazing. What caught my attention the most was that you mentioned that you don't want your soul to be forgotten. That being said, from this present day, what have you done to have that immortalized?
STEFANIE : I am 30 now, and not 10, so a lot has changed - my view on life, my beliefs, and dreams. I used to believe I needed to have a book published, or written, like a diary of my own, so humanity, anyone who'd read could retrace my steps, inner life, simple musings perhaps. Now, I believe I can be immortalized not only on paper, more so in the hearts, souls, and minds of those who love me, family, friends, even strangers if I only take the time to be present for them, be it through a simple smile, hello, offering a glass of water, being a great listener, or receiving or giving a flower with gratitude.