Following safety precautions and protocols, this creative collaboration was whittled down to only the necessary, making for a back to basics exercise with a profound effect on Laureen Uy and those who brought this to life. Related: Beyond Reflections: Navigating Self-Love And What Is Truly Essential, Laureen Uy Is At The Best She’s Ever Been Mere talent doesn’t make a creative. A least common denominator, skills are a dime a dozen, but resourcefulness is what separates one from the rest. This ingenuity could not be more appropriate, especially at a time when the industry is backed into the corner, being relegated as a non-essential. When the opportunities to create have had to side step to put survival ahead, as it should be, the passion and pursuit for the artistic doesn’t just stop. Instead, we do what we do best—we find ways to do. And this is what was exactly done to bring to life this month’s digital release featuring Laureen Uy. With the limitations very much still a harsh reality we have live with, prompting protocols to ensure safety for everyone, it was decided early on that the shoot was going to be as contained as possible. Initially, the idea to have it self-produced was floated around, but the pressure of it being mounted as a cover meant that we had to assemble a very lean team of only the best, of course. “I can do my makeup and hair,” suggests Laureen Uy during our many, many exchanges over Instagram, often apologizing for the apparent paranoia. Naturally, we understood, being as we are most careful ourselves. So, this was our best-case scenario, especially since we had BJ Pascual to photograph and Vince Uy to creative direct, his first of this sort with MEGA. Much like the test shoots that have informed and inspired our formative creative journeys, this undertaking was not only downsized to the barest bones of what used to be a larger-than-life production, but it also had to meticulously planned. From the setup progression, the health measures, to the rest of the details of the shoot, everything had to be discussed, including the colors of nail polish and contact lens, which was another rapid fire of Instagram exchanges from Laureen Uy. On the day of the shoot itself, all was in place, which was made even more efficient by the comprehensive sketches of Vince Uy that guaranteed a precise order with enough give for creativity along the way. With the endeavor well documented by BJ Pascual and Laureen Uy in their respective links in bio, it was clear how everyone really brought their A-game, stepping in to help each other and lend a hand when and wherever necessary. Stripped down to its most essential, the energy to create was so palpable and electrifying throughout the afternoon. In fact, we may have been so enamored by the visuals that we really simmered and left no stone unturned with each layout. Sure, pursuits of the artistic sort aren’t necessarily front of the line at the moment, but that doesn’t mean it ends right then and there. Now more than ever, outlets like these are an exhale and lifeline for the creative set. And when simplified to what is needed, the results are not only worth a village that usually takes to build this effort, but it also reminds us that it doesn’t need a whole lot to make it something worth remembering. It is no way easier, but you know what, nothing quite compares to it—even when it settles and the rush of the creative process wear off. It was and still is that magical.