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“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” ~ Martha Graham

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ever Hear of Chameleon Street?



Chameleon Street is a 1989 independent film written, directed by and starring Wendell B. Harris, Jr. an American filmmaker trained in drama at the prestigious Interlochen and Juilliard schools. Chameleon Street, a Gethsemane 84, Inc./ Prismatic Images, Inc. film tells the story of a social chameleon who impersonates reporters, doctors and lawyers in order to make money.

It's based on the true confessions of Detroit con artist and high school drop-out William Douglas Street, Jr. who successfully impersonated professional reporters, lawyers, athletes, extortionists, and surgeons. (In this last "role" he performed more than 36 successful hysterectomies.) One of the first films to examine how mellifluously race, class, and role-playing morph into the social fabric of America, Chameleon Street won the Grand Jury Prize at 1990 Sundance Film Festival.

This film is the work of an extremely creative mind. Wendell's performance makes you want to see more of his work but unfortunately there isn't much. There have been many great films dealing with impersonation and pretending to be what you aren't, it's an old story, Shakespeare's told it to everyone else but this is in no way redundant. It's a brilliant, entertaining, funny and well told story. Now, this is pre-Six Degrees of Separation, and watching the film it came to me that Will Smith has to love this movie and probably used it in preparation for Six Degrees. There are amazing similarities between the actors, not only in appearance but spirit and execution as well. There's also a scene with a Rubik's Cube that'll make you think of The Pursuit of Happyness and go hmmmm.

If you haven't seen this, do yourself a favor: rent it.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Q & A With Artist Carla Byrd



Who or what have been your influences?

Growing up, my dad was an artist, so his paintings, mainly abstract, could almost always be found on our walls.. even when looking at old photographs, there they are again in the background. This was probably my earliest art influence.

Five words to describe you would be?

People that know me say I'm strong. I could probably be considered a bit radical. I'm a dreamer, I dream at night and during the day. If I don't have my dreams I don't have anything. I'm very sensitive, so its not much that I don't take in from my surroundings and from other people in general. I consider myself to be more of an introvert than an extrovert. Although, I enjoy being around others, I truly value my time alone with just my thoughts.

Last book read?

I'm a huge book person, so I keep a backlog of books to read, I just read Dumbing Us Down, by John Taylor Gatto



Last movie seen?

I've never been a big movie person, so when I see movies they're usually far and few between, or else I'm very late, like three years after it came out! There's still lots of movies that I have never seen. People look at me in shock when they find out I have never seen "such & such". Though, I did go see Precious. I was surprisingly impressed from an artist stand point.


Favorite current song or what you've been listening to lately?

Lately I have been listening to my teen daughter's ipod. She's got everything on there from Lil Wayne to Flobots to The Ting Tings to old school Minnie Riperton. The song I'm really feeling the most right now is Epiphany by Chrisette Michele. I guess it doesn't help that I just have a thing for epiphanies period right now.



Your inspiration?

My inspiration can come from almost anywhere. I see art in most things. I saw a pregnant woman on a friend's stained ceiling once. And sometimes images just pop in my head and I think about how I need to get it on canvas before its gone. But the crazy thing is, I can't recall losing an image. I still have images fresh in my mind from like two or three years ago. Its like having a backlog of paintings waiting to happen.

How, if at all, does your work engage social history or commentary? Do you think about making a "statement"?

It has been through my art that I learned of the positive scales that I often operate on and I have come to embrace that. I always want my work to make a positive statement, without that I wouldn't be being true to myself. The aim is to counter-balance negativity.



Do you have a favorite scripture, quote or motto, piece of advice you received and live by?

You are exactly where you are supposed to be in life at any given moment. I live by this quote, it helps me relax some when I have my bouts of impatience... knowing its bigger than me.

What would you tell your 12 year old self?

I would tell the twelve year old me to "relax, things will be better than good, you have everything you need already within you". But in reality, the twelve year old me already knew that, on a sub-conscious level.



You can see more of my art and stay up to date on events at: www.carlabjupiter.com

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Q & A With Artist DOminic BrOwn



1. Where did you grow up and, how, if at all, has your environment influenced your work?

I grew up in a city called Rijswijk, which is a small city in between The Hague and Delft - The Netherlands. It's a sweet town with a lot of nature space to play outside & so I did...

I liked to play with all kinds of different kids, from Moroccan to Iraqi, French to Asian.

This and the fact that my parents showed me a lot of places around the world made me discover the color of skin doesn't matter in any case, it's always about the person - this influences me still daily and keeps me interested in different cultures.



2. What did you really, really want to be as a child?

I always wanted to become an archeologist or paleontologist, that was until I saw Jurassic Park...

3. Who are your mentors? Your influences?

Haha this will be funny .. since i got influenced a lot by cartoons like Transformers, Mask, Thundercats, Jace and The Wheeled Warriors ... and computer games like Mario... I often feel very blessed to have grown up together with computer games, starting with a Nintendo 8 bit and am sure this influenced me a lot. Besides that I got very much influenced by my first visit to Egypt with my parents at the age of twelve, especially the museum of Cairo, holding the artifacts of Tutankhamen... this I already knew then, would be the greatest, most beautiful art I'd ever see...

My grandfather has always been painting natural environments quite professionally I must admit.. it always stayed his hobby but you can see his enthusiasm in his eyes when he shows off some of his work - he is very interested in what I make and this brings me joy very much :) My grandfather too is very much interested in ancient Egypt, so this we share also.



4. How, if at all, does your work engage social history or commentary? Do you worry about making a "statement"?

I am always thinking about making one, even if there's a tiny symbol in an image you wont even be able to see... there's almost always one in my work...

A good example of a big statement in my work: Learn To Love Our World

5. Do you have a "day" job?

Yes, I work at a telecompany, selling contracts.

It's the perfect job for me, since I have my hands free and am able to draw all day.



6. Do you experience boredom or "blocks"? How do you deal with them?

I don't experience this too much luckily... that would be because I have a full-time job I guess...and besides that I have a full-time girlfriend & a full-time hobby :)


7. Do you have a favorite scripture, quote or motto, piece of advice you received and live by?

I am super interested in space and enjoy thinking about measuring eternity.
This too very much inspires me every day.

My own motto would be:"You are what you think."




8. When you're not working or creating you are....?

I have a very sweet social life where I like putting time and energy in.
Also I like to travel and go out...I don't watch a lot of TV.

9. Five words to describe you would be?

Pooh.. hard to say about myself without being arrogant!

but if you'd ask people who know me, they'd answer

* Creative
* Careful
* A bit chaotic / crazy ( I like sarcasm )
* Friendly
* One of a kind




10. One thing you have yet to accomplish or try and really,really want to? (ie, sky diving or getting a tattoo....)

An ultimate dream would be to DJ at a tech-houseparty on the 21st of June @ Stonehenge, England. A realizable thing to accomplish is to expose my art in Tokyo.




Mayluna.com
Portfolio of DOminic BrOwn

Saturday, March 6, 2010

One Of A Kind Handcrafted Jewelry

No piercing, no clip-on that will fall off...just style that gives you a multi-pierced look. How funky is this? C'mon!



The Ear Wrap

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Adorable & Talented Priscilla Renea



"I’m such a character. In my everyday life I’m a character and I can’t help it. That’s who I am, I’m goofy even when I’m trying to be serious. I like to break the ice. I hate confrontation, so I like to avoid it as much as possible. And if I can make it funny while still getting to the point and getting my point across and getting things done, then that’s what I’ll do." ~ Priscilla Renea




Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ziah designs




Originally from the island of Grenada in the West Indies, Ziah designs now resides in New York City. With a background in architecture, Ziah designs creates stylish, sophisticated items for the trend-setters and those looking to express their own style by accessorizing their favorite outfits.

Each of her pieces combines semi-precious gems with sterling silver or gold. Her jewelry is functional, sexy and simple...Always unique.

She says of her creative process, "My aim is to provide clients with unique and quality pieces, I design everything that you will see here. I am self thought and I enjoy making unique quality items that a person will love to wear. It could be a unique item as a bead from Africa or a piece of fabric from India or sea findings from the Caribbean.

I believe in the expression ,"you never know what you can do unless you try." But I also have to give credit to some special people in my life my Dad and Mom and my Grandparents they are very creative and talented people. Ziah designs started out by me creating my own handmade necklace because I just thought everything out there looked the same and I wanted to make a special piece for a special occasion. There was so many compliments and people wanting to wear something that I designed that I decided to go further and make it a business venture. I work with simi-precious stones, pearls and seeds.Putting Ziah designs on the map is a journey that I look forward to continuing. I am inspired by everything around me and beyond:I live by the words," Beauty is in everything..."
















Ziah Designs

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Q & A With Musician & Artist Josh Lutz



1. Where did you grow up and, how, if at all, has your environment influenced your work?

Born under the blue line L Train in Chicago, my parents were very poor college students and worked downtown. My father was a fantastic trumpet player... played for The Supremes and the Temptations among others. He started me with Piano lessons at 3 and I haven't stopped since, formally studying more than 10 instruments over 25 years (I turned 30 this January). I would say my growing up in Chicago has influenced my music by giving it a down home sound, kinda like folk does too a rambler. I grew up around a lot of Blues and Jazz and around 15 I started to pursue jazz as a professional methodology. Still am too... and you can hear allot of 7ths and 9ths in my rock and roll now. Chicago has given me a unique eclectic sound I would like to think no one else in this genre has.

2. What did you really, really want to be as a child?

I always said, since about 3 years old and throughout my childhood that I wanted to be an artist or an inventor.

3. Who are your mentors? Your influences?

The drummer for House of Blues House band Cleotis Cole (Big James and the Playboys) took me under his wing as a teen, became like a father to me really. He told me, "Joshua, you gotta get that school paper under your belt 'cause these days nobody will take you serious otherwise." He was right too, it's a new world for musicians. Too many of us. Too many producers, too many chiefs have over-saturated what's left of the professional field... so I moved to AZ and got my degree in audio engineering from the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences. Besides Cleo, Paul Simon has been a great influence to me and my lyrical writing. Those old melodic punk bands like the Descendants have really influenced my rock. Playing drums in countless hip hop and jazz groups has given me a pocket I think most rock lacks these days, "the pocket" is the art lost in rock and roll but held in highest regard in all other contemporary American genres.



4. How, if at all, does your work engage social history or commentary? Do you worry about making a "statement"?

I heard an artist say he was the voice and the advocate of love. Most musicians are, or strive to be a conduit of love as do I. When God gives you some kinda lime light, it's a HUGE responsibility. It's the universe telling you you have something special to spread around. If you abuse that, or exploit it or even claim to have birthed it... well God have mercy on your soul. It should be bigger than you and not visa-versa. Truly talented cats like Kanye West have it absolutely backwards. So much talent and yet they had nothing to do with the gift. That's why it's called a gift, 'cause it's given to you aside from your own hard work. Beware of claiming to have created God's Gift. It's like claiming to be your own creator, like taking credit for your last meals digestion! You have no part in it other than to foster the gift. Unfortunately very few humans are humble enough to stand up on MTV and give God the credit.

5. Do you have a "day" job?

I LOVE my day job! 9-5 creative director of activities at the Flushing House in Flushing, Queens NYC. I schedule and administer creative social activities for independent living seniors at our retirement community here. I wake up every morning and can't wait o get to work! I was working at Electric Lady Studios for years 100-120 hours a week on salary with no benefits. Worked out to less than 1 dollar an hour with 10,000 kids trying to rip my job out from under me every day until I ended up in a hospital bed. It was why I moved to NYC, and I got to work side by side with guys like Lil' Wayne, Al Green, Jeniffer Lopez and more but in the end I am an artist not a silent stool pigeon so I moved up up and away. You can also check out my credits at jmldesigns.net as well as my own music



6. Do you experience boredom or "blocks"? How do you deal with them?

If nobody ever told you, let me tell you a universal truth. Artists approach art differently, we all have different techniques. We all start from somewhere different and obviously end up somewhere different from the next guy but one fact remains true to ALL artists no matter WHAT. True art is inspired, not manufactured. This isn't a birdhouse you make from a diagram, this is a craft of creativity. If pure, it comes from raw emotion either positive or negative but like they say, the greater the suffering, the greater the reward. This rings truest with any artist. You get comfy, you fall off. That's why God made artists so sensitive! We are receptive delicate creatures susceptible to the tiniest amounts of emotions. I can step on a bug and a flood of song ideas enter my head... poor little bug... wonder if he felt that? I wonder if his life energy just shot up my leg? Where did it go?? Song.

7. Do you have a favorite scripture, quote or motto, piece of advice you received and live by?


To whom much is given, much is required.

8. When you're not working or creating you are....?

Dead.

9. Five words to describe you would be?

Alive, faithful, hopeful, ardent, aloof...



10. How can people contact you or get a hold of your work?

They can pop onto my web site guaranteed to keep them up all night at www.jmldesigns.net or purchase my album online in every major online store including iTunes under "Joshua Lutz". My music can also be found at MySpace.com/JoshuaLutzMusic

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Librarian Gear

Who said librarians don't have a sense of humor? On this site you'll find some of the original Librarian Gear designs and some new ones too...

Books make good companions shirt
zaz-old-school-navy shirt



Speaking of old school...