Meet the Gray Matter Team of Collaborators

I work with some of my favorite people to make the Gray Matter Series a reality. It is no understatement to say that I could not do this without them!

I want you to know a bit more about them so that you have an understanding of the depth of skill and talent that goes into making this all work, but also so you can hire them to work on YOUR next project as well. Scroll on down for the good stories!

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Photographer Lauren Krysti // // @lauren_krysti

Collaborator. Tastemaker. Visionary. 

Lauren Krysti is an award-winning photographer with nearly 30 years of experience working with retailers, advertising agencies, and editorial publications. Recent projects include campaigns for Target, Thymes, Mall of America, Walker Art Center, and Puma. 

With a background in graphic design and a passion for editorial photography, Lauren is known for her clean, minimal lighting and sleek, understated style. Those who work with Lauren are immediately put at ease by her calming energy, fierce determination, and ability to create strong emotional connections. 

Hailing from Chicago, Lauren lives in Minneapolis and enjoys connecting and collaborating with brands and makers from near and far.

I pinch myself every time I get to work with Lauren. Her artistry takes my breath away sometimes. I love trying to keep up with her adventures by following her on Instagram... and one of the things I am most excited and intrigued by is PegBoard, a series of projects led by Lauren and Melanie Haroldson of Haroldson Art & Design (the creative force behind the Gray Matter branding and an ongoing advisor in the projects). They are bringing together some really incredible collaborations. If you need a creative team, you'll be lucky if you can get on their books (but don't let that stop you from trying!)


Filmmakers // Kylee and Christian Creative // // @kyleeandchristiancreative

Kylee and Christian are visual thinkers who love telling stories. Christian’s lifelong passion for movies allows him to bring an artistic and thoughtful method of storytelling to the table, while Kylee’s background in live television gives her an undeniable craving for immediacy and high-quality content on any project she produces. They met on set in 2009, and in 2013 decided to combine their many years of experience to form a company that would give them the perfect platform to create engaging visual experiences for their clients.

When I originally saw this season unfolding in my mind, I sought out Kylee and Christian to make sure it was possible. Well, I talked to the right people. Every step of the way, they have been true partners in working to keep my artistic vision in balance with reality. They are a true team, and when you work with them you feel like you might be a part of their team as well. I daresay that is one of the best ways to work. 

Something that continues to blow me away is the bottomless energy that Kylee has for creating businesses with meaning. Not only does she head up Girl Creative, but she just launched Leonetti Confetti, a confetti company that works with Wayside Recovery Center to provide job opportunities for women in recovery.

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Stylist // Christy Holt // // @christy_holt

Christy Holt is a freelance stylist and creative director based out of Minneapolis. 

Taking an artistic approach to fashion and spaces, her work reflects a balance between clean lines and structure and an amount of undoneness that feels perfectly imperfect. She finds herself inspired by architecture and design of times passed as well as textures of everyday life.

This was my first time working with Christy- she was recommended by GMS Alum, Gina Moorhead. From our first meet-up to the beautiful elements she wove together for our shoot, I had a fantastic time working with her. Looking forward to what this woman makes happen next, as she is a thoughtful, lovely force of nature. 

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Model/Actress // Gabby VandenAvond // Ignite Models // @1thegreatcatsby

I knew I wanted to work with Gabby for a second Gray Matter Season. While she wears the hats I make fantastically, her acting capabilities and artist heart are what convinced me to bring her on for the most theatrical installation of GMS to date.

Gabby is a sketch comedy and short story writer in the Twin Cities. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2015 after studying English and Theatre Arts. Now she is the head sketch writer for Minnesota Tonight, a news based comedy show in the Twin Cities, and works for Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre. 

She is also one of the co-founders of LadyBrain Comedy- follow them on instagram to get the word on the next series coming up at the end of November.

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Hair and Makeup Artist // Kristine Loehrer // // @makeupjunkie9

Kristine is a self proclaimed makeup-junkie.

She has been a Published Professional Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist for 7 years. It all started when she was a little girl, tearing out pictures in magazines and watching television shows and films, admiring the glamorous women and feeling inspired by what she saw on the covers. She began collecting cosmetics and would practice on her friends to gain experience. She attended Regency Beauty Institute in 2008 where she became a licensed cosmetologist. In 2009, she attended a makeup artistry school in the midwest and is a trained media makeup artist for commercial, private client, bridal, television, film and light special effects. Kristine is passionate about the artistic nature of being a hair and makeup artist, being able to express herself and enjoys the creativity that comes with it.  She believes hair and makeup has a transforming effect, by not only enhancing a clients beauty, but their confidence as well. 

Kristine is another professional artisan who is always on the go. I am honored when she can fit in Gray Matter projects with her busy schedule, for sure. This woman lives her work, shows up, kicks ass, and makes her subjects look amazing in the process. 

anna lee