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VO LU M E O N E , I S S U E T WO

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S e e, t h e t hing abou t saving an e ditors n ote for th e very l as t p o r t i o n of e d i t ing is, you ’ re ex tre me ly t ired an d a bit bl ocked wh ere wo rd s a re conce rne d. We ’ re runnin ’ on a 72-h our s p re a d of l ackluste r sle e p mix e d e nth us ias m an d excitemen t fo r fina ll y b e ing able to share what t h e FP team h as be en wo r k ing o n fo r the past few months. Thi s i s s u e co ntains 9 ex tre me ly tal en ted artis ts , all en t ire l y d i ffe re nt one anothe r. H ow ever, if you pay extra clo se a t t e nt i o n, you ’ ll be able to se e quite a few s tron g s imila r i t i e s b et we e n the bu nch. Each in terview is a bit lo n g e r in l e ng t h , and more detaile d as Taide an d I fell quite in lov e w i t h w h a t e ach artist had to say, an d upon editin g, foun d i t ex t re m e l y d i fficult to chop u p the b eauty an d s till deliver [wh at w e fe l t be] a worthy e nou gh s pread. As far as th e them e of t hi s i s s u e is conce rne d it be ga n as a, “Say in g go odbye to w int e r , we lcoming spring” concept an d s l owl y evol ved in to w h a t i t i s n ow , “ The Artist Inte rview.” Th ro u g h o u t t hi s issu e you ’ ll find a bit m ore of a pers on al s ide to Fu ne ral Pa rade , highlighting some of th e works of ‘ts ’ an d da y to d a y ph otographs from the FP Team. Th e s econ d is s ue of FP ’ s a r t pu blication, Spring I - was a definite roll ercoas ter of a r id e , a nd we e njoye d [most] eve ry momen t of it.

We h o pe yo u e njoy!


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J o h n M o r r i s - t he el epha nt ma n t heme S u n G l i t t e r s - b esi de me [essa ys ca l m i nt er pr et a t i o n] Y o u t h L a g o o n - da ydr ea m B r o a d c a s t - poem o f a dea d so ng M o h n a - to do [ l or i n syl v est er st r o hm r emi x ] A u s t r a - da r ken her ho r se G o n z a l e s - ov er ni g ht [ i nst r u ment a l ] I , a M a n - i r a n my g ho u l B u r i a l - lo ner E m i l i e S i m o n - deser t U n i v e r s a l H a l l P a s s - sa l l y’ s so ng J u n i o r K i m b r o u g h - st a y a l l ni g ht T h e S p e c i a l s - g ho st t o wn S o n i c Y o u t h - st o nes G h o s t l a n d O b s e r v a t o r y - g l i t t er E m i l i e S i m o n - t he cycl e [ mi dni g ht su n r emi x ] Y a n n T i e r s e n - pa s si si mpl e F r a n c o i s e H a r d y - i l n’ y a pa s d’ a mo u r heu r eu x G o n z a l e s - g o g ol S i g u r R ó s - ekki mú kk M t . E d e n - oh t ha t i ha d T o c o t r o n i c - da s g eschenk [ t u r ner ’ s z wei spr a ch su r pr i se] K a t e B u s h - a r my dr ea mer s A n g u s a n d J u l i a S t o n e - hol d o n M o u n t a i n M a n - whi t e her o n E f t e r k l a n g - r a i n coa t s


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JANE DOE F or a long time I did many things just because I had a lot to

‘say’. I stifled my pain for too long of a time. Now, things are much different; there is something very special happening. I’ve learned to take my time; to just be there, standing in the dark, looking at this fuckin’ boil growing up, becoming purulent, and pressing on it just to see what is to come of it. And, from that moment on I begin to express it; I begin expressing everything I had been withholding inside. Waiting for the perfect time is what I’ve learned and come to appreciate most; a moment suspended in time.

ABSTRACT PHOTOGRAPHY ARTIST FEATURED BY STEPHANIE LEMOINE


P R E V IOUS PAGE: “WA X PU PPE T”


L - R : “FR EEDOM I”

|

“F R E E D O M I I”


W h o e x a c t l y a r e y o u, J a n e D o e? I’ m a gho st t r y i ng to l ive b e twe en past and death, by expressing thing s th r ough my a r t work. Bu t some time s I ’ m also a woman, a wife and a mom of t wo wond e r f u l kids. I have al ways had my hands in some form of d rawi ng or pa i n t ing, bu t I real l y starte d to do what I do now about three or four yea r s ago . G row ing u p for me was bad, there was ug ly in me that I had neede d t o ex pr e ss. And, u pon tu rning 30 something happened, something sh i ft e d i n si d e o f me . Te l l u s a b i t m o r e a b o u t w h a t y o u d o . I usual l y fe e l em pty afte r a work day. As f lat as the line of a dead heart; no mor e bea t s l e ft to give , no more b reath lef t to ing est. There is nothing but t he sa t i sfa c t ion in b e ing off-loade d and f ree of whatever heaviness had been pr ev iousl y we ighing me dow n so passionately, through my art. Pa i n t ing i s a slow proc e ss bu t in a really good way. It releases a dif ferent feeli ng i n c omparison to the othe r art work I create; a good dif ferent. The ma t eria l i s pa l pab l e and doe s not onl y g ive of f an abstract feeling . P ho t og ra phy a nd photo-manipu l ation are other thing s entirely. I am always us i ng my fa c e a nd my b ody as the tools I create with as well as the focal p oi n t I emph a si ze . Even if this makes me appear strong , it is actually th e b e st way for me to se e my pain, blatantly in f ront of me. It’s like a f ucki ng br i gh t l i ght in my eye s. I t hu rts and it shocks at f irst, but it is in th i s t h a t I may no longe r b e b l ind; it is in this moment I beg in to see my rea li t y. W h a t i s y o u r m e d i u m o f c h o i c e? W h a t a b o u t y o u r w o r k a r e a? I pa i n t on ca nva s , w ith ac ry l ic , newspaper and welded wire. Ab out pho t ogra phy and photo-manipu lations, I use a Canon 4 50D and edit w i t h P S 3 , a nd pr e tty soon P S 5. T h er e a r e t wo d i ffe rent ways to work. With painting , the process is really slow, a nd my surrou ndings pre tty quiet. It has to be built step-by-step. W h erea s, t h e pr oc e ss w ith photography and photo-manipulations is a lot q ui cke r a nd a much b e tte r ou tl e t for me to use when in a hurry to ‘say’ somet h i ng. T h e satisfac tion of having ‘what I want’ in only a few hours, is va li da t i ng t o me in time s as the se . I’ ve ma d e some vide os, sl ide shows, and in-motion; both are g reat mediums. A s fa r a s my st udio is c onc e rne d, it is a little room with two black walls, two wh i t e one s, a door, one w indow, a desk, a chair, my computer, a second sc r e en , a nd my music . .. that is i t. I paint in this room as well. I take pi c t ur e s eve r y whe re in my house , eve rywhere I can actually. I always need a b eau t i f u l na t u ral l ight, a spe c ial one . That’s all I need. Oh yes, while I’m worki ng , t h e r e i s nob ody and nothing else!


“ HOP EL ES S BI R T H ”: #0 21 9 1 9 9 2


“ MY BU TO H D A N C E ”


W h a t d o y o u l o v e m o s t a b o u t y o u r w o r k a n d c r e a t i n g? W h a t a b o u t w h a t y o u l o v e t h e l e a s t? I love ex pre ssing al l that I have not said to people who hurt me when I was you nge r, or even those of more r ecent situations. It’s like, a middle f ing er up to a l l o f t h em . Ok we l l , I ’m j oking, I wouldn’t go as far as saying that but, woul d i t ma ke more sense to say I .. “ love to puke all of the shit and nonsense out o f my h ea d ? ” Wou l d it make me sound insane? Because that is actually a salvation for me . W h a t I love the l east wou l d really be when people [men, mainly] misinterpret wh a t I a m try ing to expre ss, when they translate my messag e incorrectly. How c ou l d my nu dity b e exc iting to you, even when being expressed in a darker na t u r e ? A darke r side of me , b e ing expressed through my nudity, tell me, how? T h a t i s what I hate , b e cause to me, it also means that I made a mess, a big c ra p py me ss. W h e r e d o y o u f i n d i n s p i r a t i o n? D o y o u fa l l i n t o t h e c o n c e p t o f n e e d i n g a m u s e i n o rd e r t o c r e a t e s o m e t h i n g? No, no I d on’t ne e d or de sire a muse. I f ind inspiration, at times, within my pa st or i n my nightmare s, bu t always in my life.. just all around me. There is i n spi ra t ion eve ry whe re , and most importantly in my mind. Musi c a l ways make s love to my ears while I work. At one point, I was listeni ng t o a lo t o f new c l assical , amb ient, dark ambient, and drone.. but sometimes wh en I a m a bi t sc rewe d u p, which is actually quite of ten, I need techno beats f rom B e r l i n t o push me forward and make me think about something else entire l y. A r e y o u c u r r e n t l y s h o w c a s i n g a ny o f y o u r w o r k o r d o y o u m a i n l y c r e a t e fo r y o u r o w n s a t i s fa c t i o n? I c r ea t e a s I tal k which means I have a bunch of artwork!! They are mainl y sl e e pi ng on my c om pu te r, or hung around my house, but I am still waiting to be fea t u r e d in a gal l e ry. I t is pretty hard for me actually, which is why I a m work i ng on a proje c t c u rrentl y, through Kickstarter, which has been open a nd ava i l abl e i n the Unite d S tate s bu t is brand new here in France. I am attempting t o c r ea t e my ow n exhib ition, and I hope to have more information soon. D o y o u h a v e a fa v o r i t e p a r t o f t h e c r e a t i o n p r o c e s s?

Yes; the end .


W h a t d o y o u f e e l, a r e t h e s t r o n g t r a i t s i n y o u r c h a r a c t e r? W h a t m a ke s y o u, J a n e D o e? I’ m a wa l king c ontradic tion. F ragile and strong , sad and f unny, big and sma l l , ne e dy a nd inde pendant. We l l , you know… past and f uture, darkness and ligh t, n i gh t ma r e s and dream s: that’s me. But whatever I am, I’m always trying to be t r ue . W h a t i s y o u r o p i n i o n o n a r t o f o u r t i m e, i n c o m p a r i s o n t o a r t o f c e n t u r i e s p a s t? W h a t i s y o u r o p i n i o n o n e a c h o f u s h o l d i n g a b i t o f a r t i s t w i t h i n? We a r e screwe d u p!! I neve r understand the person who paints an entir e ca nva s i n bl ue and te l l s you , ‘Hey that’s art!’. It makes me want to answer, ‘Hey, t h a t suck s!’. P l us, how to c om pare dig ital to traditional? I have no answer. Now, i f you al low me to say that in each part of life, there is a special way to d o t h i ngs a nd an ‘art’ to do them .. For instance, an art to cook, an art to plumbi ng r e pa i r, a n art to drive , an art to walk, an art to yell, an art to lie, an art to bl ah bl ah bl ah and so on. . then ya, art is everywhere, and in everyone. But if no t, oh c ra p no I don’t!! I ’ve se en so many shits which are labeled artistic creations . Wow I ca n ’t b e l ieve it! W h a t i s y o u r o p i n i o n o n t h e e c o n o m i c h a rd s h i p s o m a ny a r e fa c i n g? H o w d o y o u f e e l a b o u t o u r g e n e r a t i o n & t h o s e t o c o m e? I’ m a f ra i d for us and for ou r kid s. But, being scared won’t chang e anything . I h a t e t a l k i ng ab ou t that. I ’d rather focus on today instead of tomorrow. L et me d o ‘ t h e o st rich’ as we say in french… just for once, please. L e t me d r eam a l ittl e b it more . W h o a r e s o m e a r t i s t s a r e y o u fo n d o f ? W h a t i s t h e a t t r a c t i o n? I a m for eve r in love w ith Caspar David Friedrich. I don’t remember when it bega n , bu t I was real l y you ng. I find it truly awesome, and I’m really impress ed by a l l o f the poe try, me l anchol y, beauty, and sorrow emanating through his a r t work . K ick ass! F rie drich fits perfectly to sum up my tastes and what I exa c t l y love in art. T h e r e a r e many othe rs I love bu t the list will be too long . Dig ital or traditional a r t i st s, music ians, w rite rs… Anyway, I need to feel something ‘behind it al l . I h a t e wh en it’s fl at, when it expresses nothing else but nothing . I love to lo o k for wh a t i s hidden. A strange fe eling in being so close to the artist, the feeling t h a t h e /sh e al so c ou l d have se en something in your soul, through your g lanc e… d a m n ! I c ou l d tal k ab ou t what I love in art for hours!


“ GHOS T LY”


“ I ’ L L BE S OME O N E SO O N”


“ A L O N E W ITH MY GRI EF”


W h a t w o u l d y o u s a y i s y o u r fa v o r i t e p i e c e y o u h a v e c r e a t e d ? Te l l u s a b i t a b o u t i t . . H m m .. maybe the whole series, “The Thing .” I had expres s ed my swe e tne ss through this series in a very strong way. And , for th e first time ! I was proud because this particular subject was ver y de l icate for me. I would love to write a book for each one to ex pl ain each pie c e in g reater detail, you know, why I used this way and not anothe r. I would love people to have an interest as wel l as an u nde rstanding in each one of them. In this I may talk again and again ab ou t all of my mess; to be heard as I have never be en befor e, and suc c e ssf ully understood. So, I can’t talk about a par tic ul ar favorite , bu t I can say that this series means a lot to me. A ny time I tal k ab ou t what bring s tears into my eyes or what makes my heart b l e e d, means a lot to me. I f y o u c o u l d l e a v e t h i s e a r t h , r e m e m b e r e d fo r o n e t h i n g i n p a r t i c u l a r, w h a t w o u l d y o u h o p e i t t o b e? T his is not really one thing , I can’t say only for one thing. B ut my two kids; their laughs, their eyes, their hands in mine, th eir l ittl e heartb eats, their drawing s in my purse, their ‘Mom, I love yous ’ , the ir tears, our kisses’n hug s. Our relationship. Our love. It is some thing unique, and something I have never had, and th at I h ad al ways yearned to have; something true.

Jane Doe is an artist, and abstract photo-manipulation photographer living in Lyon, France. For more artwork and information, please visit, Nanoo-G.com


ANDREW ROBINSON


A DOCUMENTED CONVERSATION BETWEEN COMIC BOOK ARTIST, ANDREW ROBINSON & SHEELUV PHOTOGRAPHY BY TAIDE KENNEDY


Tell me a bit about what you’re currently working on.

Ri g ht now , I ’ m work ing on, “ The Fifth Beatl e” Which is a pain ted graphic n ovel , abo ut B ri a n Ep s t e in, t h e l at e Be atle s manage r, and his life. O utwardl y h e was very s ucces s ful , h e wo rke d w i t h Th e B e at l e s , of cou rse . Bu t the re s a l s o a s tory of his in tern al s truggl e dealin g wit h b e ing a g a y m a n in t h e ‘ 6 0s, a time you w e re almos t forced to ke ep it hidden . Bein g in th e sp o t li g ht a s Th e B e at l e s m anage r, he had a difficul t private life. Th e n ovel is about him, try in g to find lov e amid s t b e ing lone ly, du ring this time. Ironicall y , th e doc tors would pres cribe m e d i cina l sp e ed a s a fo r m of, “ Fighting gay u rg es ”. So, h ere’s Brian Eps tein, this extremel y b us ine s s o r i ent e d m a n, tak ing spe e d du ring the day , an d drownin g hims el f in valium at night to co m e down f ro m t h e s pe e d. At the age of 32, h e dies of a h eart attack. I ts pretty tragic . Thi s i s w h a t I ’ v e be e n doing for the pas t 2 years an d its about 120 pages in l en gth; I ’ m 8 0 p a g e s into i t . Th e re is a scre e nplay in devel opmen t n ow, at th e s tage of fin din g a d ire c to r. I’m si gne d o n to complete the bo ok and may be work on th e movie, we’ll s e e wh at h a p p e ns . Ri g ht now , I ’ m j ust trying to stay focu sed on compl etin g this project. I ’m definitel y s ta rt ing to se e t h e li g ht at the e nd of the tu nne l; th ank G od. I've noticed you work with various medium, are you more narrowed in on comic design? What is your favorite medium to work with??

Pa in t ing fo r my s elf is a favorite ; it’ s a l ot more rel axin g, Comic s h ave all of th es e d i ffe re nt p a ra m et e rs and you de al with story tellin g, bein g con s is ten t from on e frame to the nex t ; fin ding a wa y to make eve rything visuall y work. Wh ereas pain tin g, th eres more f re e d o m . Pro j ec t s ca n b e stre ssful, bu t once its finis h ed, on ce its out, I get to ride th at wa ve t h a t I wo r ke d o n a b o ok abou t The Be atle s, an d its goin g to be pretty in tern ation al . O b v i o u s l y t h i s i s g r e a t e x p o s u r e f o r y o u . Ye ah , exactl y .


W h e n w o u l d y o u s a y y o u b e g a n y o u r l i f e a s a n a r t i s t ? I was al way s in to i t , a s

ea r ly as I can re me mbe r like 3 or 4 . I was al way s drawin g, s ketchin g an d do odlin g. W h e n d i d y o u b e g i n t h e w o r l d o f C o m i c s ? I s tarted in ’93. I was an illus tration major a t t h e S a v a nna h Co ll e g e of Art and De sign, an d my l as t year of s ch o ol I h ad el ectives to fill . At t ha t t im e t h ey h ad Comic Bo ok 1 and 2, as el ectives onl y . I to ok th at an d th rough thi s cl a s s I met a f r i e nd of mine , Dou g Gre gory, an d h e was already workin g s o I conn ected wi t h him . D o ug wa s d o ing photosho ots and workin g with model s , as well as doin g work wit h t h e s e v a m pire ro l e - pl aying game s. The company h e worked with res ided outs ide of Atl an ta a nd h e offere d to take m e some time . I grew up on a farm s o this was all foreign to me; I wa s jus t g o in g to ar t s ch o ol to se e w hat would h appen . I wen t with him to White Wol f Publis hing , t h ey do a l o t of t h e vampire stu ff, w hich I th ought was kin d of s ill y at th e time an d yet, s udd e nl y i t beca m e wo r k. I starte d work ing for White Wol f an d s imul tan eous l y , we would drop off wo rk a t thi s co mi c b o ok stu dio in Atlanta. We conn ected with th e guy s th ere, s aw wh at th ey w e re do in g , and f ro m that point on I was reall y invol ved. Comic bo ok work was s ort of d ro p p e d in to my l ap by my frie nd, and before I even graduated coll ege I h ad a care er. O h w o w ! A r e y o u s t i l l i n c o n t a c t w i t h h i m ? Yeah , we’re s till go od frien ds . I ’m actuall y g o ing to g o s e e him t hi s we e ke nd. S o ye ah , I s tar t e d work ing for Dark hors e, which is th e s ame publis hin g h ous e I ’m do ing Th e B ea t l e s wo r k fo r. I got that job and did s ome work for DC , s ome work for Marve l ; m o re ro le-pl ay ing s t u ff like Magic the Gathe rin g an d even tuall y Dun geon s an d Dragon s . Ba s i ca ll y, do in g w h at ev e r came u p and ke pt it g oin g, meanwhil e gettin g more in to my own idea s . I ’ ve s ta r t e d a w e s t e rn the me d comic calle d, “Dus ty Star” – which I ’ve be en abl e to wo rk o n in b etw e e n my pro je cts, its definite ly somethin g I pl an to get back to on ce I finis h this .


What is your process in finding direction for storylines? all begin?

How does it

For w r i t ing t h e storyline , I do a lot of referen cin g & res earch . I h ave a l ot of bo o ks o n B r i an Eps t e in and The Be atle s for thi s curren t project I ’m on . I s tudy each city an d p l a ce a n d t h e s et t in gs I am going to draw. I make fil es for wh at guy s were wearin g a t t h e t im e ; t h e h aird os, the fashion, the ca rs . O n ce I get my res earch I take n otebo ok p a p e r, ma ke l a yo u t she ets for e ach page a s templ ates , an d I work out all of th e s tory telling ; cho o s ing my shots with the layou t s h e ets . I do cl os e ups , differen t camera ang l e s , a n d pret t y m uch all of the work is on th es e s h e ets . O n ce this is don e, th e res t is jus t fo ll ow ing t h ro u gh w ith the ide a. Those annoying moments of creativity block, how do you get through?

Um , I get re all y re ally fru strate d, all of th e time. I ’ll try to work th rough it but if I ca nt I ’ ll wa lk a way and play w ith Ella [his da u ght e r] or take a walk an d get outs ide for a minut e , t he n co m e b ack to it. Do you work better with deadlines, or on your own t i m e l i n e ? You ’ ve got to have de a dlin es , as much as I h ate th em. I ’m us uall y a l wa ys la t e , b u t I s t ill ne e d that to ke e p me in -lin e an d on a s ch edul e. Life is al way s s o f un, i t can b e h a rd to stay at the draw ing tabl e. Where do you find inspiration?

Th ere’s definitel y artis ts I as pire by but I ke e p i t to a minim u m . I’ ll lo ok at what they’ ve don e but wh en I ’m workin g on projec ts I put t h a t a wa y s o I m ake su re and have my own voice in my work. I certainl y h ave influen ce s , b ut I h o pe in t h e e nd its more me . If I’ m s tuck on s omethin g I might ch eck out h ow an o t h e r a r t i s t appro ache d that proble m. Cov e r Ph oto & Following Page : Cropped Sn aps h ots from “D us ty Star” Comics


Who are some of these artists you respect?

As far as con temporary g uys , I re a ll y li ke t h e work of Mike Mignol a; h e created “Hell boy ”, Th ere’s a ton I could na m e ; Wal t Sim o ns on, Alex Toth, Bill Sienkiewicz , an d s o on . W h a t i s i t a b o u t t h e i r w o r k t h a t a t t r a c t s y o u ? They’ re reall y go od drafts men . Th ey make drawin g s ve ry int e re s t ing to lo ok at, and they’ re great s tory tell ers . Bill Sienkiewicz , h e’s reall y go o d a t mi x e d m e d i a. The gu y u se s eve rything; from cut paper, to pen s , to airbrus h es , goua ch e , a nd paint . I t ju st goe s on and on. He did a bo ok call ed Vo odo o Child, abo ut J imi H e nd r i x ; s o i ts ce rtainly something I l o oked at before takin g on Th e Beatl es projec t . B ut w i t h Vo o d o o Child, it’ s a lot lo ose r an d more organic; trippy , ya kn ow its J imi H e nd ri x . W h e re t hi s proje ct is more abou t th e man ager of Th e Beatl es vers us Th e B e a t l e s th e m s e l v e s . What is your opinion on the art scene in LA?

We ll l et s s e e , I ju st watche d E x it Through th e Gift Sh op an d, I dunn o.. I ’m kin d of ove r a ll of t h e s t e ncils. I fou nd the artists w h o were doin g th eir own artwork an d th en s te nciling th a t , pret t y inte re sting thou gh. Bu t , takin g oth er peopl es work, bl owin g it up, a dd ing s o m e s l o gan to it, and the n claiming it as yours ? Well , come on .

Ph o to Fe at u re : Andrew ex plains to us this particul ar page of his curren t work in w hi ch Br i a n and his frie nd are having dinn er at a res tauran t in New York, dis cus s in g t h e ir s ex u al li v e s a nd what they are going th rough to ke ep it s ecret. New York at th e tim e wa s m o re o pe n t h an London, so Brian i s enjoy in g his life more s o th an h e would in Lo nd o n. Bu t , a s a ce l e brity, if this information got out it would h ave des troyed him.


How do you feel about the opinion of European art being more respected than American art? Do you agree? Wh e n I

t hink of my favorite painte rs they are European , but I reall y go back to t h e t u r n of t h e 2 0th ce ntu ry. Artists like G us tav Klimt, Egon Schiel e, an d D ulut h La u t re c , t h e pe ople who w e re k ind of bl en din g abs tract with th e figure. Th ey h a d t hi s s o r t of p oste r fe e l with nice des ign s , mixin g th e figure with ty pe an d text, t h e r ul e of t hirds and all of that go o d s tuff. Bas icall y , th es e artis ts were th e first of a d v e r t i s e m e nts. Bu t, w hethe r one s h ould be taken more s erious l y or n ot, I d o n’ t know. . I j u s t like what I like . When not creating or working, what are you doing?

Right n ow, I ’ m s pe nd ing t ime w ith my family and try in g to rel ax.. which h as n ’t be en much th es e d a ys b e ca u s e of t he he avy de adline s. I’ m s uppos ed to be don e in May s o it’s goin g to b e a ro u gh nex t cou ple of months. Have you ever worked on a project and half way through you wound u p t h r o w i n g i t o u t a n d s t a r t i n g o v e r ? Um, n o. Th e onl y way s omethin g rea ll y

e nd s fo r m e is w he n I get fire d an d th at h appen s wh en th e Art Director wan ts m e to d o s o m et hing I ju st don’ t be lieve in . Th en its a matter of decidin g if you wan t yo ur pa y ch e ck for how mu ch you ’ re goin g to ben d to wh at th ey wan t. Negative critiques, how do you deal?

Well , if it’s a critique from s omeo ne I re s pe c t and they’ re mak ing valid poin ts th en certainl y I am all for it. But if I ’ m g et t ing a cr itiqu e from some one wh ere I don ’t jive wh ere th ey ’re comin g from, i t ’ s m o re a wa s te of time to me . Bu t I’ m certainl y n ot above gettin g a critique. Have you collaborated with other artists?

I ’ve inked s ome oth er artist s in co mi c s . Yo u ’ ll have a gu y w ho doe s th e pen cil s an d th en s omeon e el s e will go ove r i t w i t h ink ; I ’ ve done that. I’ ve had peopl e ink my s tuff, an d col oris ts come in to co l o r my bl a ck a nd w hite . It’ s be e n pretty go od but I prefer workin g by my s el f becaus e I ’ m kind of a co n trol fre ak . I want to be abl e to con trol every as pec t. Explain the experience of your first art exhibit.

My firs t l egitimate sh ow wa s in G e o rgia. I was a part of this littl e art community an d s ome rich phil an th rop i s t h a d b o u g ht a building he re nte d ro oms out for 10 bucks a mon th , each . I t was a pl a ce to paint and w e made a galle ry in th e buildin g. I was s h owin g th ere for a bit befo re I m ov e d o u t he re . H e re , in California, I think my mos t importan t s h ow was at th e Nucl eus G all ery in Alh a m b ra. That was the first time it fel t like a s erious s h ow. I t was n ’t reall y a part y o r a ny t hing , i t was ju st abou t showing th e art, h avin g a bit of win e as an accen t, a nd lo o k ing a t pie ce s. N ot that I don’ t min d a party but if you reall y wan t to get s eri o us a b o u t s e lling you r paintings, you have to bump it up a n otch . I h ad my firs t s al e f ro m t h at s h ow , which was abou t thre e years ago, an d it jus t came th rough l as t we ek .


H o w d o e s t h a t f e e l ? It fe e ls go od. But its kin d of s ad to s e e th e pain tin g go; i t ’ s

my fav o r i t e pie ce . Whe n its you r pers on al work, its 100% you, wh en I ’m working fo r co mi c s a nd drawing Batman, for exampl e, its Batman , it does n ’t bel on g to m e i t b e l o ngs to the world. So w ith pe op l e buy in g your origin al artwork for Batman , yo u d o n’ t k now if its be cau se they like your work or if th ey jus t like Batman . Th ere s no t hing w rong w ith that, its ju st a bit more s atis fy in g wh en s omeon e buy s yo ur o r i gina l wo r k ; it’ s e ntire ly you . T e l l m e a b i t m o r e a b o u t t h e p a i n t i n g . I pain ted it in about 2007; a fri e nd

of mine h ad gotte n new do ors and was goin g to th row away h er old do ors but t h e n t h o u ght of me and figu re d I’ d mig ht wan t to pain t on th em. Th ey ’re h uge, ab o ut ( 6’ x 4’ ) in s ize . It was ju st one of thos e thin gs wh ere I was fo olin g aroun d. A n d , t h i s p a i n t i n g i s o n e o f y o u r f a v o r i t e s y o u ’ v e d o n e ? Yeah , I was reall y in

my s t r id e you k now. At first I tried to do s ome pain tin gs an d th ey jus t were n’ t wo r king o u t , I ju st wasn’ t su re wh at I wan ted to do. Wh en I was livin g down in Pas ad e na , t he re was this re stau ran t on Gre en Stre et call ed Bar Hal ey , I think i t s s o m et hing e l se now. On Tu e sday ni ghts th ey h ad model s comin g in an d we could g o in , h a v e a few cocktails, bring ou r s ketchbo ok, an d s ketch th e model s . I got bore d w i t h t h e s ketchbo ok and brou ght in this board I h ad ges s oed. I ’d go in , h ave s om e d r ink s , b r ing my charcoal and mayb e 3 col ors ; a white, bl ack an d a red for in s ta nce , a nd paint . I t was a lot of fu n and I could almos t compl ete an en tire pain tin g in fo ur h o u rs . I t j u s t ke pt you fre sh and in to it. I would take th em h ome, add magaz ine t rans fe r and othe r patte rns, and a djus t th e col ors , but it was pretty much don e in fo u r h o u rs . [Shows us a painting he did at Bar Haley] , I ts kin d of like coll age exce p t a ll yo u d o i s take the print off of th e pages , s o you don ’t compl etel y cover up wh a t s u nd e r ne a t h , you can laye r ove r la yer. For this particul ar pain tin g I brought a re d , blu e , a nd g re e n colore d paint, and white an d bl ack; th at was it. Do they not do the live painting anymore?

Well , th e bus in es s h as ch an g e d . At firs t , i t was u pstairs, they had model s an d th e nights got craz ier an d craz i e r. Th ey li t e rall y pu t chains on the rafters an d peopl e with th eir backs pierce d wo uld co m e and hang the mse lve s by th e ch ain s . I was like, “Woah ..” I didn ’t re a ll y know h ow to paint that, it was jus t s omeon e h an gin g th ere. Th ere were g irl s m o d e ling , pe ople hanging, some on e pl ay in g th e pian o, s mokin g an d drink ing , nu d i t y . . s o t h ey wou nd u p tak ing it down to th e bas emen t to avoid s omeon e walking by a nd s e e ing it. It got re ally tame an d borin g in th e bas emen t, an d s omeone in Pas ad e na fou nd ou t that nu dity a n d al coh ol were coin cidin g an d reported it. B ut i t s li ke , “ I t s boring now, and now you s h ut it down .. you s h ould h ave s h ut it dow n e ar li e r . ” I t we nt on from 2 00 5 -2 0 07. S o m e a r t i s t s got a loft going down town an d h ad s es s ion s th ere, but it turn ed m o re in to a pa r t y and attracte d the wron g ty pe of crowd in s tead of th os e wh o wan te d to co m e to pain t. It ju st got a bit cre epy . But th en I s tarted doin g s ome pieces wh ere I wa s n’ t u s ing the mode ls anymore an d I was jus t makin g it up, an d th at to me is w h a t m a d e i t a bi t more inte re sting. The drawin gs were a bit craz ier an d s o it was nice fo r m e to h av e t his ex pe rie nce as a bas e to get s tarted but th en I realized I don ’t h ave to h a v e t h e m ode ls to get inspire d. Th e piece I s old I didn ’t us e any model s , I jus t m a d e u p t h e pe o ple and the image and pain ted.


Thi s Page : One of Andrew ’ s paint in gs from “Bar Hal ey ” in Pas aden a, d u r ing t h e li ve painting se ssions. Page Right: An drew’s firs t s old pain tin g, a s w e ll as fa vorite pie ce .


I f y o u w e r e n ’ t a c o m i c b o o k a r t i s t , w h a t w o u l d y o u b e d o i n g ? I think I mi g ht

b e a co o k. I e njoy it. The re ’ s a satisfaction th at on ce you co ok s omethin g you get to s e e t h e re a c t i o n f ro m w hat you co oke d. How do you stay motivated to create?

Coffe e. I gues s th e more dis cipline , t h e e a s i e r i t gets. If you worke d one day , an d th en th e n ext day you work all d a y, a nd t h e nex t, its e asie r to stay motivated an d s tay in th at mode. But after a cou p l e of d ay s of be ing lazy and watching tv, s n ackin g or wh atever, it jus t l eads to m o re d a y s of watching tv, snack ing, and bein g l az y . W h e n I l et t hings go, my world ju st s tarts to crumbl e an d I get even more depres s e d a nd s t re s s e d ou t and its so hard to get back to th e drawin g tabl e. Pain tin g for mys e l f i s d i ffe re nt , its not stre ssful at a ll ; th ere are n o wron g an s wers . Wh ereas t hi s , [speaking in regards to The Beatles project] , th ere are pl en ty of wron g an s wers . I f t hi s pa ge l o o k s diffe re nt than that page, or if Brian l o oks differen t in this pan el ve rs us t h at pane l . If I didn’ t make John Lenn on l o ok like J oh n Lenn on or Paul McCart ney lo o k li ke Paul McCartney, the n, I’ v e got a probl em. I can draw for h ours an d it s t ill N OT l o o k li ke John Le nnon, and tha t certainl y drives me craz y . So for th at work, yo u j u s t ne e d to be at it and not give up or get frus trated an d kn ow you’re goin g to find t h e ans w e rs . It’ s going to be hard, day after day after day , but wh en you fin all y h a ve t h at b o o k in you r hand, it’ s all worth it. Which part of the creation process do you enjoy the most?

I think i t ’ s t h e b e g innin g; w he n you ’ re figu ring it out. Th e beginnin g is fun an d in teres tin g a nd s o m ew h e re in the middle it can get a littl e borin g. Like pain tin g th e tabl e cl o t h s , t h e w ine gl a sse s, light fix tu re s and th e architec ture for in s tan ce; it gets mon otono us . At t h at po in t, you fe e l le ss and le s s like an artis t but more like a drafts men . I enjoy pa int ing faces and figu re s bu t the res t of it is jus t l egwork. I try to make it as fun a s po s s i bl e , l etting things dissolve into th e s h adows an d all owin g th e pain t to do w h a t i t wa nt s in ce rtain are as, that makes it more fun . An d, kn owin g th at s ome areas w ill b e t i ght a nd othe r are as you ju st ne ed to l et go an d ke ep it l o os e. You h ave to ke e p i t int e re s t ing . When someone looks at your work, what emotion are you hoping them to experience?

Wi t h t h e comics I hope they be lieve in it. I h ope wh en you l o ok at it you’re no t t hink ing , “ O h some one drew this .” But, you’re l o okin g at it, un ders tan din g hi s ex pre s s i o ns and think ing, “ This gu y h as fe elin gs .” I f h e’s s ad you’re fe elin g th at h e ’ s s a d , i f h e ’ s happy, you ’ re fe e ling th at h e’s h appy . I f Brian ’s with s ome guy a nd t h ey ’ re m ak in g love , you ’ re fe e ling like th ere’s l ove. I f h e’s cracked out, you’ll fe el li ke h e ’ s cracke d ou t. I hope whe n pe opl e l o ok at it, th ey s e e th e s tory . I t s h ould l o o k li ke no b o d y did this, that it always was . I t hink t h e s ame thing with my pe rson al s tuff, I h ope its s omethin g you jus t want to lo o k a t . M a ybe the re ’ s some bru sh s trokes you like, but it’s n ot reall y me any mo re , i t ’ s s o m et hing bringing you some form of peace or h appin es s . Which is an oth er rea s o n I’ m no t re a ll y into the w hole political art, wh en I ’m creatin g I don ’t wan t to think of po li t i c s .


.. . I u nd e rs tand the importance of m akin g a s tatemen t, but to me you’re gettin g p a s t w h at fine a rt should be ; fine art sh ould be timel es s . I t’s al way s on time, it’s al wa ys re l ev ant . I f you ’ ve done some stat emen t about G eorge Bus h , it will al way s be a t t h at t im e and w hateve r you fe lt about G eorge Bus h at th at time. Great works of a rt s h o uld li v e on past all of this. If you can, tell me a bit more about Dusty Star Comics.

At firs t I t hink it starte d off as the b ad as s girl , h eroin e, but n ow I h ope it’s s omething a bi t m o re in te re sting and abou t someon e wh o is more in th e roun d an d is n ’t al wa ys t h at to u gh or that sex y. She ’ s k ind of like a regul ar pers on doin g extraordin ary thing s in t hi s w e ird post-apocalyptic we stern world. Th at reall y s ums it up. I think more ca n b e s aid o nce I finish it and it’ s ou t th ere but it in cludes robots , wes tern town s , an d i t ’ s m a inl y a v e hicle for fu n stu ff to dra w. Wh ereas , every thin g with Th e Beatl es proje c t h a s to b e s traight line s, e dge s, and about accuracy . With D us ty Star, I ’m makin g i t u p, s o I ca n ju st go with it; it’ s my own world. What is more difficult for you to work with, black and white or color? We ll, at first my comic s were in bl ack an d white becaus e it’s m o re

in d e pe nd e nt and che ape r produ ct ion cos t. But n ow I wan t to do th e s tuff in co l o r a nd t r y to s elf pu blish. That way it’s in a nice h ardback bo ok, n o ads , jus t me, f ro nt to b a ck, t h e way it should be . For an artist hoping to turn art into a career, what advice would you give?

Fo r m e , fine art is obviou sly not a care er. I ’ve s old on e pain tin g. But, it was s o wo rt h i t . Th a t was so worth me work ing on all of th e thin gs I h aven ’t trul y wan ted to. Or fo r t h e m o m e nts of mak ing conce ssion s for this art director or th at publis h er, I wa s j u s t i fi e d and could say, “ We ll, at l eas t on this day I did wh at I wan ted to do a nd s o m e b o d y wante d to bu y it. ” Eve n if s omeon e jus t likes it; th at’s wh at it’s reall y ab o ut . I can’ t ev e n afford my own work , I’ m more in to buy in g art bo oks . I kn ow th e avera g e g u y o r gir l can’ t bu y original pie ce s but if s omebody jus t likes wh at you did an d g et s s o m et hing o u t of it, u nde rstands it on s ome l evel , it makes every thin g ok. B u t , i f yo u want to make art a living , you pretty much h ave to go in to th e commerci a l re a lm and k ind of be a whore and take orders . An d if you can ’t take orders , i t ’ s g o ing to b e ve ry difficult. {lau ghter} A l ot of guy s get in to this mode an d th ey jus t d o . Th e l e s s you care , whe n in comm ercial art, th e more mon ey you’re goin g to m a ke a nd t h e e a sie r it will be for you to reach your deadlin es an d get thin gs don e. Yo u j u s t d o i t , g et it done , you ’ re off, e njoy your famil y & frien ds , s e e a movie, wh ateve r. B u t , fo r pe ople who want something more an d are in th e commercial world, wh et h e r i t b e co mi c s or w hateve r, it w ill be difficul t. A l ot of l ate nights , mis s ed deadline s , pe o pl e a re mad at you . . bu t along with th at, you h opefull y put out s omethin g th a t i s s o m ew h at s p e cial. For me , this Beatl es bo ok is goin g to be s pecial . Not jus t b e ca u s e i t ’ s The Be atle s, bu t be ca us e wh en s omebody l o oks at this bo ok I wo uld h o pe t h ey k now that I care d. And, I don ’t care th at th ey won ’t kn ow th at I fou g ht w i t h t h e w r i t e r and othe r pe ople to get this thin g don e, an d th ey ’re jus tified fight ing w i t h m e , b e cau se I’ m way late . Bu t, I ’m al s o try in g to do th e bes t bo ok th at I can d o , no t h a v ing j ust the few page s ou t of th e 120 be go od, but h ave every page be g o o d a nd a l o t of page s be gre at. And, I can h on es tl y s ay th ere h as n ot be en a page yet t h at I ’ m no t su pe r prou d of.


What do you have in store for 2012?

Th eres a B at m a n black and w hite story I ’m doin g. I t’s an 8 p a g e s to r y fo r a n anthology Batman bo ok, all bl ack an d white. Po s si bly s o m e X - Me n stu ff which should be fun . Definitel y ex p o s ure to b uild a fan base and hopefull y brin g more peopl e to wh a t I ’ m d o ing, w hich would be more of Dus ty Star an d a n o t he r pro j e c t calle d, “ The Space Junkies ,” which is this ro ck a nd ro ll b a nd in the fu tu re . Another pers on al projec t is , “Lo s t in t h e Pu nch , ” k ind of like a love story but al s o dealin g w i t h a r t , s ui cid e , f rie ndships, and all of th at wrapped up in to a n ur b an a r t i s t i c romance . It’ s going to be fun but it’s very p erso na l , w hi ch I t hink make s for some of my better writin g. Th ey sa y, wri t e w h a t you k now. Last breathe, what’s your tombstone going to say to the world?

Th a t’ s to u gh , ‘ ca u s e you want to be profoun d. O ff th e top of my h ead , I d o n’ t k now w hy bu t… “ Somet imes you jus t wan t a slur p e e . ” - H a h a ! B l u e o r r e d ? I like coke ac tuall y , n ot all of th e t im e , j u s t s o m etime s you gotta have a coke s lurpe e. I gues s i t ta kes yo u b ack to be ing a k id and re min ds you to rel ax. So ma ybe t h at w ill b e on my tombstone ,

“S o m et im e s yo u j u st want a slu rpe e . ” B ut , i f I t hink of s o mething re ally re ally co ol I ’ll email you. [h ah a.]

Andrew Ro bi n son i s a c o m i c b o o k ar tis t cur rently res id in g i n Lo s An g e le s , CA . Fo r mo re A ndrew Robins on pleas e v isi t: Nex t E x i t C o mi c s . c o m


amy

leibrand

Multi-Media Photographer Artist Feature by Sheeluv


“I’

m a st range girl , re siding de ep in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio. I have a Soi l S c i enc e d egre e and work as a researcher for a g igantic non-prof it. I write about s cienc e t h i ng s, mostl y; I love it. .. ”

How d o yo u de scribe you r photographic s ty l e? Wh en ph otographin g, wh at is it t h a t ca tch e s yo u r eye ? Some one onc e de sc rib e d it as “ c onceptual surrealist self -portraiture.” This f its my work we l l , I think. What catche s my eye would be.. the details. Thing s like tex tur es a nd r e f l e c t ions. T he u nexpe c te d. The way an object appears f rom an ant’ s p e r sp e c t ive , or l egs whe re they shouldn’t be. The parts that make up the whole, th e unc e l ebra t e d things. Wh at k ind of impre ssion do you hope to l eave upon oth ers viewin g your ph otogra p h s ? I wa n t t h e viewe r to fe e l a l ittl e uncomfortable; like they’ve maybe stumbled on s ome t h i ng t hey we re neve r su pposed to see. I want people to dissect my imag e s and pi e c e t og e t h e r the ir ow n story. I want to create an unspoken dialog ue between th e v i ewe r a nd t he subj e c t. Wh at k ind of e quipme nt are you u sing? D o you h ave a favorite? I ’ m a C a non g irl -- al l digital for the moment. Just a simple Rebel DSL R. I own fanc y pan t s l en se s for w ide -angl e and macro but for everyday shooting I’m partial t o th e ki t l en s. It ’ s not c om pl icate d or finicky like the others. It doesn’t produce the mo s t g la mor ous shots bu t it’s easy to use. I al so use my iP hone to shoot and process photog raphs. I’m active in the iPhoneog raphy c om mu n i t y, which is qu ite a forc e . Some of the available editing apps are powerf ul and pr ov i d e a gr eat deal of c ontrol -- miniature versions of Photoshop, almost. I’m a big fa n o f t h e P hoto fx app. Late l y, I ’ve been g rabbing my phone f irst over my Canon . T h e p or t abi l i t y fa c tor is huge . And I ’m having a wild love af fair with Instag ram, wher e I p o st on l y i P hone ography. I t’s how I waste most of my time. I, pe rs o na ll y , came across you r work via th e In s tagram app an d fell in l ove . . h ow d o yo u fe e l social me dia an d tech n ol ogy h as impac ted ph otography a nd a p ho to g raph e r ’ s ou tlet? Wi t hou t a d oub t b oth have had a hug e impact on photog raphy. Instagram , Eye E m , F l i ck r, Tw itte r, Fac eb ook, and others provide the opportunity to net work a ny wh e r e , a ny time , w ith anyone . I have f riends f rom as far away as Japan th at I c onne c t wi t h on a regu l ar b asis. L ocally, it’s a g reat way to hassle folks about exh ib i t o p en ings. Al so, soc ial me dia is a usef ul tool for feedback about which images work a nd wh ich do not, and is a c onstant and diverse stream of inspiration to tap i n to .


. . . I se e i P hone ography as the marriage between technolog y and art. Powerf ul. The mobil e pho t ogra phy c om mu nity, b rought tog ether through social media, is rapidly evol v ing a nd push i ng past b ou ndarie s. Apps are increasing ly robust and intricate. Anybody w ith a c c e ss t o a smart phone can partic i pate. O ne t hing t h at truly cau ght my eye with your ph otography , is th e in tricate a nd a lm o s t cre e py way in which you e dit, tell us a bit about this . My work i s a dige ste d real ity. W hat you see, may or may not be fact. I wa nt to ca tch t h e v i ewe r off guard, to c onf use them. I want them to dig for answer s . Most o f a l l , I want my image s to have heart. I layer texture and atmospher e, at t i me s c u l t iva te d du ring the shoot and at others during post-process editing . I us e mot ion a nd sim pl e fil te rs, l ike sheer fabric, in f ront of the lens. Sometimes I c r ea t e c ol l ag e s. I have a c lou dy c olor palette and overplay vignetting . My most us ed t o ol i n P ho t o shop is the bu rn tool ; on the iPhone it is any app that applies fog . I’ ve neve r lo o ke d at a histogram . Wh at d r i v e s you to photograph with th e particul ar s ty l e you us e? I c ome d ow n, then I go u p again. My brain is wired f unny. I role-play; I obs es s abou t t h i ngs and from that c omes imag es. Some are personal, others no t. I pho t og ra ph myse l f mostl y. I don’t like the word “self -portraiture” and instead pr efer “ s e l f -ca r i ca t u re ” . I t c ou l d b e narc iss istic. O ne o f t h e r easons I photograph myself is I don’t like to delegate. Another is t h at I neve r h ave a c l ear vision when I shoot. I g enerally have a starting point or maybe a vag ue i d ea bu t the re is a great deal of experimentation involved and I can’t imagine h av i ng t o ve rb al ize this to a mode l . My pr o c e ss i s haphazard, some times accidental, and not thought out through to th e end . T h e i mage s that re su l t are nevertheless consistently depressing . I am no t a m i se rabl e p e rson bu t I ne e d a c reative dumping g round for the sometimes rio t in my h ea d . My image s re fl e c t this, I think. Wh at ins pire s you , pe rsonally? What gets your brain goin g? Any t h i ng t h at hits me in the gu ts. Could be a song , a mood, an experience, an image, a j e l l y d onu t l y ing on the sidewal k . Anything that g ets loud inside me that I k now I have t o l e t ou t. I want to c reate imag es about everything because I’m not brave enough t o t a l k ab ou t things. I think that’s what I feel, anyway. The answer changes da i l y. If I’ m hit w ith inspiration but not able to photog raph I’ll write that th ing down i n my noteb ook. I f I have time I will sit for a moment and doodle. See wh at c ome s. Usua l l y it w il l c ome ou t in a f low, f illing up two or three pag es. I refer to th at not eb o o k a lot.

C O V E R PH O TO : [D SL R ] : “ T HER E MUS T ’ VE BEEN MOR E GR AVI T Y I N T HAT SP O T ”


M y work is a d i g es t ed rea l i t y. W h at you se e , may or may not be fa ct.

I want t o ca t ch t he v i ewer o f f guar d, t o c onfuse th em. I want you to dig for a n swe r s ...

[ D S L R ] : “TO S I T AT TH E E M PTY TA B LE ”


. . . Most of al l , I wan t my image s t o h ave hea rt.

[ DS L R ] : “ EVER YBODY WAT CHED H E R T A K E I T”


[D SL R ] : “FOR S AFETY PURPO SE S”


D o yo u b e li eve in the aspe ct of artis ts n e edin g a mus e? D o you h ave a mus e? Oh go d ye s. A re t h e re any e me rging photograph ers you admire? Oh d e f i n i t e l y ! Kristamas Klousch, April Cerise, Davis Ayer, Ellen Rog ers, Br o o ke Sh a d en , Ka t hl e en Me rcado, Ne ttie Edwards, Karen Divine, just to name a few. T h e li st go e s on and on. T he ir work is emotional and intricate and sometimes tragic . I unc ove r some thing new each time I view their work, even when I’ve seen an image a lr ea dy t we l ve time s. T hey te l l stories in subtle detail. The complexity of th eir work i s t a ngib l e . D o yo u fe e l the re is an artist in e ach of us , or th at it is actuall y an acquired trait ? Oh ma n , I h ave no idea. I w il l say, however, that every artist I know is crazy. In a go o d way. T his I think you ’re b orn with. W h a t i s a no rmal day in the life of A my Leibran d like? A t l ea st t wenty m inu te s are spent curling my hair. I write, all day I write, exc ep t wh en I d on ’ t. T he re is a spinach and chickpea salad. And later, meat. Alcohol is s ome t i me s invol ve d. P hoto e diting or photo shooting or daydreaming about pho t o e d i t i ng or photo shooting. D ebating the appeal of Golden Corral with f riend s . G iggl i ng. Thi s a l l a ssu me s I ’ve gotten ou t of bed. W h a t i s t h e cu rre nt me lody rotating th rough your ears ? Oh d ea r. My iP hone sl ippe d it’s way on into the toilet a few months ago and b e cause I’ m im patient and l azy I haven’t yet replenished its replacement with th e for t y hu nd r e d al bu m s its pre de c e ssor contained. Right now all I’ve got are Mazzy St a r, C l u t ch , Anna Cal vi, We en, P uscifer, Sonic Youth, L oretta Lynn. I g uess I d on’ t ne e d much more than that. I re a ll y appreciate the dark aspe ct to your ph otograph s . I s this a piece of you pe o p l e ra re l y s e e , as in, who you are in your dail y life? D oes th e bazaar, weird, an d s tra ng e , co ns tant l y s u rrou nd you or is this your way of l ettin g us a bit in s ide your th oughts? I ’ m st ra nge c om pare d to the sc ientists I work with; I’m normal compared to th e a r t i st s I pl ay w ith. Mostl y, I ’m just a M idwestern g irl who belly laughs a lot and drea ms abou t tram pol ine oc eans. W h a t i s go ing throu gh you r mind wh en capturin g th e images you do? “I ho p e I d on’t fal l off this l adde r again.”

P A GE RI GHT: [ DSLR] : “A N U NC O M F O RTA BL E P UN CH”


I’ ve paint e d sinc e I was a ch il d but r ea ched

a p oint a few year s ago wh e r e I h ad nothi ng more to say wit h pain t . I’ m r e l ieve d t o have fou nd th e came ra.

PA G E L EFT : [ I P HON E] “ BI ZAR R E BUT EXP ER T L Y CON T R OL L E D ”


O R IGIN AL S I ZE CROPPED B Y F P: [IPH O NE ] : “TH ER E I S AN EN T I R E WOR L D”


[ I P HON E] : “ I DI DN ’ T KN OW T O E X PE C T Y O U ”


[I P H O N E] : “BECAUS E OF H O W H A RD TH E SU B J E C T MAT T ER WAS ”


What dire c tion , if any , do you s e e your ph otography s t yl e o r te chniqu e goin g? I haven’t thought much about it. I feel like my best work is s til l to c ome and I hope I never stop feeling this because it’s a mo tivator. I neve r want to become stagnant. I want to provoke a r eac tion, al ways. I don’t care the reaction, any reaction.

“Geez.” “Gross.” “What the hell is she doing?” I don’t ca r e, j us t as long as pe ople think and react. What do you h ave in s tore for 2012; any projects in th e wo rks ? I ’m bu rning the candle at eight ends at the moment. My fir s t s olo show ru ns f rom April 7 through June 1 at the Carneg ie Gal l er y in dow ntown Columbus. Also, I’m participating in four gr oup shows b e tween now and June. I was invited to participate l ater this year in a g roup exhibition in Paris dedicated to mobil e photography, which is being organized by a fantastic gr oup o f mostl y F rench mobile photog raphers. I’ve learned a ton fr om th e side l ine s. And, my high school French is g etting a workout. With regards to photog raphy projects, I’m always tr y ing new things, never satisf ied with current conditions. I’m expe r imenting w ith diffe rent types of printing , f raming , and sizes. I’m h anker ing to expe riment with pinhole photog raphy. Switch to fil m for a whil e , maybe. I won’t commit to anything . Too f ickle.

And for Fu n eral Parade’s infamous ques tion .. Let’s s ay it s yo ur l a s t bre athe , w h at is your tombs ton e goin g to s ay to th e world ? “ T HAT ’S BANANAS.” Caps. For emphasis.

A m y Le i b rand is a ph otograph er and abs tract ph oto a rt ist fo c u s i n g in on th e s ocial m edia, and iph one o gra p hy p la t fo r m . For m ore ar twor k and infor m ation, please visit : Th i s S p a c e Is Rented.com . I ns tagram : _th is s pace_


Wayward Wanderer Photo Doc u m e n ta r y S e r i e s by Ta i d e Kennedy & Sh eeluv M ode l Featu re d : E u n i c e Vi lla lo b o s N ar rati o n exc er pt s fro m t h e w r i t i n gs of ‘ts ’


th e s un is l az y an d pois on ous this morning onl y s n eak previews an d hin ts of g rey over th e tops of cotton can dy cl o ud s . a l ot of th e time, i fe e l li ke a travelin g gy ps y livin g out of h er po cket . th e onl y pl ace i fe el at h o m e is any wh ere oth er th an wh ere i a m . an d i’ve be en hidin g out for s o lo ng i n o l on ger recognize mys e l f .


i’ ve s pen t more nights in , th an out a s truggl e as i repeatedl y avoid th e s unlight love affairs with mo onlit th oughts and i’ve gon e off wan derin g again like cl ockwork but i’ve foun d my s el f in betwe en ques tionin g an d s el f doubt da y s come an d go an d i l os e track of all time

ju s t won derin g, wan derin g.


t h e war m t h of spring su nshine on my close d eyes , tr yin g to find all of lost hope in that short, s oft e m b race while traffic strolls by . i f o nl y go o d bye s clou de d minds over o nce u pon a time daydre ams

t h e re might be hope for me yet.


every thin g i h a ve to s a y, i s ave for my corresp o nd e nce . th e compl ete picture is s p re a d o ut th rough s o many l et t e rs to s o many arbitrary des t ina t i o ns at irregul ar in t e rva l s yet fill e d w i t h so m uch ent h us i a s m .

i un ders ta nd now th e s tudy in g of l et t e rs written from artist to a rt i s t .


i ’ v e s et t l ed for showing small am oun ts of my s el f, s k ipping ou t on eve ryw he re i should be b e cau s e i hadn’ t fe lt i was me ant to be th ere. ch as ing n ew passions to re place tired on es ano t h e r d ay; wonde ring, wanderin g w h e re h a d i be e n? how did i get h ere? my li fe h as grown so mu ch smaller in s cal e, b ro u g ht back to imme diate proportion s . i ca n m a ke eye contact with the fl o or; i am li t t l e e nou gh, that i can ima gin e bein g m u ch m u ch more .


T he first time I had attended was to fulfill a class assignment for a photo documentar y class I had been taking. I returned the following

year because I was curious in seeing and experiencing more; without the pressure of ha ving to shoot for an assignment. The 3rd year I attended was with my mother. I took it easy, I walked with ever yone and talked to people. I watched how the families of the dancers supported one another when tired. Each person with their own stor y and their own hardship they had been experiencing; simpl y tr ying to find purpose, dedication and spiritual healing. Whatever it was they were searching, I found myself able to relate.

Jovi Esqu ivel Ph oto Doc u men ta r y Fea tu re “Dia d e la Virgen d e Gu a d a l u p e� C o n ve rs ation with Jov i Es quivel & S h eeluv


Te ll me a bi t about yourself, wh a t you d o, a n d h ow l on g you’ve b e e n p hotographi ng. T h a t q ue st ion is al ways a struggle for me to answer. I’ve been taking coll ege cl a sse s for t en years now. I ’ve done a little bit of everything , up until about four yea r s ago . I l e ft my l ast ‘real j ob ’ and have been doing f reelance work for a lo cal pho t og ra phy museu m and various photo studios around town. I picked up a camera ab ou t , e l even years ago and de c ide d I wanted to know what it was all about. I di d n’ t con si d e r myse l f a photographe r or an artist until recently. And, even now, I feel awkwa r d a nd shy ab ou t it.

Awk wa rd and shy? Why so? I su p p o se I was u nde r the im pre ssion you were born making art.. it either was or wa sn ’ t . Now I know it is some thing you have to nurture and let g row. Mak ing a nd t a k i ng photographs make s me happy. It’s what I think about most of the d ay. Se e i ng something and finding a way to capture that memory for myself; th at momen t.

Why p hotography? What i s th e a ttra c tion? I t se eme d easy. I t al ways looke d easy. I’ve always wanted to learn how to draw as we l l , aga i n , I thought it was some th ing you either could or could not do. Photog ra phy i s r ea l t o me. I don’t know. I gue ss I can blame my attention span.

H a ! You r attenti on span? Wh a t d o you mea n ? H m m. . i f I we re a painte r, I would never f inish a painting . I’d be too cur ious t o se e wh a t was arou nd the c orner; too concerned with the expression on th e p e r son s fa c e wal king by. I ’m c u rious about people. I love their faces. I love th eir a t t i t u d e s. I love inte rac ting w ith people. Holding a small camera in my hand s ma ke s i t ea sie r to re c ord the se thing s than it would be to run around with an eas el . I l i ke b e i ng aware of what is going on around me; the way light starts to effec t eve r y t h i ng . And, if I ’m l ucky enough, I’ll have my camera.

Wha t a re you looki ng for w h en s h ootin g a p h oto? C olor, a nd shape in de tail s. For pe ople, I photog raph their personality. You can feel t h e ene r gy as soon as you spot them. I don’t know how else to explain it; I’m j us t d rawn t o c e rtain pe opl e .

Wha t t yp e of equi pm ent do you ma in ly u s e? An y fa vor ites ? I mo st l y shoot fil m . I haven’t b e c ome a g earhead; its intimidating . I mainly sho o t w i t h my 3 5 m m S LR, a D iana, and a Fuji M ini Instax. I’m obsessed with my Mini I nst a x . It ’ s easy for me to carry, instant g ratif ication, and have to admit, it mad e me lo o k a t color tw ic e ; it al lows me to play. I process all of my B& W f ilm on my own , a nd h ave my c olor fil m s processed professionally by a lab.


S o , you re c ently focused i n on a d oc u men ta r y p iec e c over in g t h e s pirit u a l p ilgr i m age of Di a de l a Virgen d e Gu a d a l u p e, c a n you ex pl ai n a b it a b ou t thi s? I h a d no i d ea what I was ge tting myself into. I went, thinking I would take a few phot ogra ph s, see what it was al l ab out. I had never heard of this ‘thing or event’ befor e. I t ’ s a c ommemoration b ase d in Mexico, in honor of the day the Virg in of Guad al up e a pp ea r e d t o Juan Diego. On D e c ember 1 2 th, people f rom all over Mexico make a pi lg r i mage t o the Capital of Mexic o to visit the Tilma on which an imag e of the bl es s ed la dy a p p ea r e d to J uan D iego, as a m iracle. I h aven ’ t h a d the opportu nity to visit Mexico during this time of year, but in River s id e t h ere i s a si m il ar proc e ssion. A few thousand people gather at the steps of “Our Lady o f G ua d a l u p e ” Chu rch in Rive rside . They walk, sing , and dance in procession to th e to p o f Mou n t Rubidou x, 5 m il e s away. O nce there, the Priest holds mass, all while, s everal t ra d i t iona l i nd igenous danc e s are made as an of fering to the Virg in of Guadalup e.

Te l l me a b it about your fi rst ex p er ien c e a t th is p il gr ima ge.. My f i r st yea r, I shot a T ON! I was stunned by the amount of people who had attend ed t h i s t h i ng. I ran arou nd a lot, yet tried staying back and being resp ec tful o f ot h e r p e o pl e s spac e as we l l . I showed up at 7am, it was cold, and waking up on a S a t u r d ay at 6am se eme d l ike a terrible idea. I was a bit nervous, ins ec ur e.. I h ad neve r photographe d any thing like this before so I was really concerned w ith wh a t I wou l d b e deal ing w ith. I orig inally went to f ulf ill a class assign ment, I wen t b a ck be cause I was c u rious to see more. My 3rd year I went wit h my mo th e r, I t o o k it easy, wal ke d w ith everyone, talked to people, watched how th e fa m i l i e s o f d anc e rs su pporte d eachother when they were tired. Each p er s on wi t h t h e i r own story, and the ir own hardship they had been going thr ough ; t r ying t o f i nd pu rpose , de dication, and spiritual healing . Whatever it was, it ma d e me r elat e t o t h em a b it.

H ow d o you m ean? Th e se l a st t wo years we re real l y hard on me; emotionally. I wanted to drop out a nd neve r pi ck u p a came ra again. I was very depressed. I felt that I kept getting i n t h e way o f my fu tu re , as if I wasn’t taking advantag e of the opportunities th at were b e i ng given to me . I didn’t fe e l good enough and was just exhausted with tr y ing. I gave u p , a nd it made me fe e l even worse about myself; about photog raphing. I h ad neve r given u p b e fore , I al ways had hope.


W h a t s p a rk ed the fi re agai n? To be c om pl e te l y hone st, I wante d the g uts to just stop completely and it r eal l y worke d a nu mb e r on me . De c emb e r came, I couldn’t make up my mind of wh eth er I wa n t e d t o go to the pil grimage or not; I was ashamed for being so ung ratef ul. I must e r e d u p the valor to ge t my ass out of bed and be there. It was at this event, it wa s some t h i ng I heard whil e I was there. The Priest was talking about not g iving up , a nd t h a t si gn s we re al ways arou nd us, we just had to look up. This was Winter of 20 1 1 . I r eal i ze d i t was going to take a lot of work, but I wanted to be a better person. I wanted t o b e a be t t e r photographe r, and I needed to make a lot of big chang es. It’s been a ver y s low pr o c e ss. Th i s yea r I h a d a solo-exhib ition at the School of Photog raphy at Orang e Coast C ol l ege. I me sse d t h a t one u p pre tty good because I couldn’t pull my head out of my butt. I cou l d n ’ t g e t ove r my inse c u ritie s.

W h a t a re you i nsecure about!? Th e sa me t h i ng s eve ryone is inse c u r e about. ‘Am I good enough..’ ‘Do people even want t o se e t h i s k i nd of stu ff.. ’ I shoot for myself. I don’t think about who is going to lo o k a t my pho t o s, b e cause of that I rarely show people my work and it just g ets cas t into t h e d a rk ne ss; u nde r my b e d. And, in this, I think my g rowth as a photog raph er h as b een i n t e r fe r e d . I don’t know how to ask for help when I need it.. and I need it now.

T h rou g h t his enti re process of in a s en s e a r tis tic roc k b ottom, h e ar i n g t h e Prie s t s m essage, exper i en c in g th e p ilgr ima ge firs t h a n d .. h ow are yo u fe e lin g and what are you p la n n in g n ex t? Th e se l a st few months have b e en a HUGE lesson learned. I hope. I am scared out o f my mi nd bu t exc i te d to se e what happens next.

H ow wa s it prepar i ng for and even ex p er ien c in g you r firs t s olo- ex hi bi t ? Oh my, i n t e r-war. I t is a huge proc ess. I had no idea! I have f riends who have ow ned a nd d o ow n gal l e rie s, friends who have shown in galleries, and it all lo o ked ea sy. Yeah r i ght. T he re are days of editing , and editing some more. Printing and r ea l i z i ng you d idn’t do enough e diting . And, then, af ter spending 10-1 2 hour days up on days i n t h e d a rk room , you real ize you also need to present your work in a profes s ional ma nne r.


I got a q uote to have a l l o f my ma t s c u t pr o fes s iona l l y,

I thi nk my s toma ch h i t t h e f lo or wh en I r ec eived the pr ice , and that wa s a t a d i s c ou n t ed ra t e. I fel t emb a r ra s e d to have wa s t ed t h e g u ys t i me. I end ed u p bu yi ng hug e she e ts o f fo a m c or e, gave u p a nd b ough t pa cks of s ize d ma ts and cu t t h e w i nd ows mys el f.

It was such a nightmare. I was s o tir e d and r ea dy t o b e d one. I mes s ed u p a t l ea s t seven she e ts of ma t bo a r d , b a ng ed u p t wo f i n i sh ed ma t s whi l e I was hang i ng ...

- -I would have cr i ed . I th i nk I di d.

PA G E LE F T: LA TE NIG HT S P R EP AR I N G FOR S OL O- EXHI BI T .


W h a t d o you feel was the ha rd es t p a r t in p rep a r in g for th e ex h i bi t ? Again, getting ove r my ins e cu r iti es .

D o yo u fe e l you di d through th is p roc es s ? Even , if ju s t a l ittle? Ye s. O n the d ay I ins tal l e d my work I wa s ner vous t h e whol e way t h ere. My h ands were cl am my a s I b egan to t r y a nd h a ng t h i ng s on my ow n . Lucki ly my friend Sei was the r e a nd he l pe d me a l l n i gh t . I n t h a t momen t i s wh en I r ea li zed how sil l y I wa s a nd had b e en. I ca n no t s t r es s how i m p or t a n t i t i s t o c on s ta ntly surround you r s e l f w ith pe opl e who su p p or t a nd i n s pi r e you r c r ea t iv i t y.

I comp letely agree. Everyone wou l d te l l me to jus t g et my work ou t t h er e. W h en you h ave s o ma ny in securities it is the mo s t di f f i cu lt t h i ng you w i l l ever enc ou n t er. I t wa s for me. But, there are s o ma ny ar tis ts ou t t h er e, mor e t h a n w i l l i ng t o h el p wh en you’re ready for it.

Were yo u reli eved once your p h otogra p h s were h u n g? Ye s! I fel t and fe e l l i ghte r. I’ ve b een s i t t i ng a r ou nd home for t wo d ays now a nd I ’ m afraid to s top work ing . I picke d u p a momen t u m w i t h work, I wa s exh austed but I was hap pie r as a pe r s on b e caus e o f i t . T h e en t i r e ex p er i enc e wa s a nd i s so satisfying.

S o , w ha t n ext? T h e onl y thing I ca n b e su r e o f i s , pu t t i ng my p or t fol io t og et h er. T h er e a r e ma ny t hings I woul d l ike to d o, and ma ny t h i ng s I pl a n t o d o . B u t , I d on ’ t wa n t to get t oo far ahead o f mys e l f.

Jov i Esqu ivel i s a P h oto g ra p h y M ajor wh o recently exper ienced h er first Solo - P h otog ra p h e r ex h i b i t a t t h e Galler y of Fine A r ts M us eum with Ora nge Coast Col l eg e . H e r p h oto s e r i e s d ocum ents th e pilgr im age of “D ia de la Virge n de G u adal u pe ” , a s we ll a s h e r p e rs onal connection exper ienced. T h is pilgrima ge ta k e s pl ac e D e c e m b e r 2n d , eve r y year , at 2 8 5 8 N inth St Rivers ide, CA 92507. For m o re i n fo r m a t i o n , p le a s e v i s i t “ Our Lady of Guadalupe C h urch ” in Rive rsid e .


After highschool I did my first project; cycyling 1700 miles from Kenya to Tanzania, making art along the way. I had met some people who were on their way to Tanzania and heard about it. I met them on Friday, we talked about pricing and shit, people I did not know.. I got the money by Monday and asked when we were leaving. They said that following Sunday. So, I got my bike, came through on Sunday and we did our first flag off out. It was 2000, and I was just 19. We did natural installation art along the way and would take photos, and look for things in the environment to use for drawing with. We passed a lot of dead animals and construction zones; little cities on the edge of the road that were dying. We’d go into abandoned buildings, yet see paintings and murals still there in tact. We were physically watching these towns disappear, it was really interesting.. the places we went. At the end of it, I was stuck in Tanzania with no money to fly back home. So I called home and they hooked it up. Apart from that, it was a pretty cool experience. I did my first art show that year.. so I kind of felt like, “Yeah, I just want to go, I want to do this.” That’s kind of how I got into art..

ngene MWAURA A DOCUMENTED CONVERSATION BETWEEN NGENE MWAURA & SHEELUV PHOTOGRAPHY BY TAIDE KENNEDY


To start out, tell me a bit about you and your background. I was born in Kenya. I grew up on a farm in Kikuyu which enabled us to grow up outside, always doing something, working somewhere. There were things constantly going on. I would see cabbages growing on one side with lakes of poppy flowers on the other; quick little seasons of colors, and I saved visuals like those in my mind. I loved the farm life growing up; it meant a lot and kind of nurtured me. Just by looking at our surroundings, peas next to potatoes, potatoes next to the flowers, it was all very interesting because of the colors. That’s how I grew up, I grew up on the farm with home cooked meals.

How did you get involved with art? When did it all begin? I interned under Agus Shiro, this older dude that did signs. They didn’t have billboards back home in the village as there was no need. His work had this cheesy ‘70s look, the guys were still wearing boots and shit. Oh man, I loved it. I did my first official internship with that guy and he taught me how to make signs. I later interned with this other guy who always made sure I was painting. Everytime I went in he’d ask me, “Hey have you painted today?” Oh man, he was like my dad; but in a good way. He got me into this commission in Mombasa Kenya, with Patrick Mukabi, and man he painted nothing but women. Women were his inspiration, and what he painted; nothing else. I would prime his canvas for him and he would come paint. For an intern he treated me good! He paid me, paid for the cab, would buy me a drink or two after work, most of the time he bought lunch.. it was not like a normal internship. He got me into another realm, I’ve always breathed through people like that. After that, I started working with Gabre-Marriam, he was from Ethiopia, and since I was from Kenya we were cool. He was a refugee so he couldn’t go walking around and would be in his house. I always knew where to find him. I loved interning under artists I respected. I’ve been fortunate enough to find people who understand me; we understand eachother.

So now, as an artist, how did you end up in the States? I moved out here to study in 2004. I take classes here and there and plan to take ceramics and photography; just to pick up classes and learn the craft itself. I’m not interested in the degree. It’s just too much work for nothing for me.

How would you describe your style of work? Its definitely illustration. I’ve used many different mediums. I’ve done wood block printing. This is just a different version of my work [referencing art in his studio during the interview] – silk screens, there’s a bunch of shit back there. Its mainly illustration but it will take up into other forms of work: wood block, silk screening, cartoons, more graphic ya know; but its definitely illustration. I do try and capture a lot of animated features. If you look at the bike, or if you look at the face over there, its always something.

Explain your creation process.. as in, your surroundings, the mood, anything in particular. Man, when I’m creating I love space. The moments when I don’t have to talk. I’m not afraid of silence; I enjoy it. Good music maybe and good, good coffee. Man, oh my God, theres nothing better than that. You get some good coffee and some music, I’m good.


What type of medium do you mainly use? Is there a favorite?

My favorite would have been wood block printing just the other day but man let me tell you something, this painting shit is driving me insane. I’d say right now, my favorite thing is painting. I haven’t even thought of wood block prints in a minute and I’m like, “Do I still love that shit? What happened!?” But I recently discovered these new pens. The company I bought from before, went out of business or some shit. Blick is not carrying the hard core Japanese paint pens and I don’t know why. This new version came out from Montana with more colors but they don’t run exactly the same. But, I’m starting to really learn what to do with them. I’m still young at it so I’m enjoying it like crazy. I’ve done wood block printing for 10 years, so don’t get me wrong I’ll still do wood block prints but, very limited editions. I love doing it, but I don’t know if I want to kill myself as much as I used to.

Where do you find inspiration? I’ve been asking artists this issue in the concept of a muse, do you agree one is important? A muse.. wow. I find inspiration in so many places. I think most of it comes from people. It’s the people that you are around, I pick up shit real quick. I try and remember faces. I forget important things like names. I guess, my muse would be a face. I love faces. I study them and I will stare at you and your face, and if you notice, I never give a fuck. I have to see how to break it down, because my primary work is masks. If you look at my work, it always ends up in a mask.

What about your first experience showcasing as an artist, how was it?

It was in Kenya. I think I had two pieces that weren’t even complete, it was my first chance at doing a show. Those pieces were ugly as hell, I don’t know why they were in. [Everyone laughs] It was good experience though; they called my name and I was like, “Oh, hell yeah.” I felt like I was someone man.

How would you compare that experience to shows you do here in the States? I think you can find the same experience in shows even further into your career. I don’t really like the showing part too much these days though. Its quickly becoming entertainment and its like, “Why just show it and show it?” I want to try and at least sell art. Selling art is not just about a profit.. its having someone say, “I might understand this person or I might not, or I might begin to one day, but this purchase is to ensure this artist can go on.” Supporting of the artist. I haven’t really seen a lot of support for art lately, its all about the party. Artists are giving out pieces and if the pieces don’t auction in that show, they get tossed around or they get sold for nothing. I’ve seen that a lot here. Its nothing against anyone, its just looking at how best to survive. As an artist, you want to communicate more stuff with people but you also need a means in which to communicate and the means is this [points around studio] , and its expensive, you know? So I’m very particular these days in doing exhibits. I love painting a lot though, so I’m doing more live shows.


Explain the live painting a bit..

They’re cool. You have a very set specific time to impress somebody; you either wow them or leave them questioning, making them come back asking for more. Its a window, a very short period of time to begin a painting from scratch, and bring it to a point of making sense or looking a certain way. I paint from the vibe of the music and the people. It’s usually groovy. It’s the guy at the end of the bar, that’s kind of scared to talk to this lady who’s talking to all of these other guys; I watch that shit as I’m painting. The night life is such a palette of things. While I do the initial part of the painting, I enjoy a good night, and listen to good music. It’s always an interesting scene, even just to look around.

Where do you do the live painting?

I do it at the Bachannal at the Townhouse in Venice beach; on certain Sundays. I also do a lot of shows with the Rootsystem. I just did a show at the new gallery Curve Line last Thursday with the Rootsystem and a jazz band I really like; House of Waters. We’ve been working together for a few years now. I’ll go to studio sessions with them, sketch, and come up with album covers. We did some t-shirts too. It’s always good because you feel like you’re shaking more hands; you’re moving out there. We’ve done a line together and I did their album cover for their last cd. A few things here and there.. posters and stuff like that, so its another thing I try and do with my art. Its an interesting scene too. I don’t know anything about music so I go and sit there for two days and watch music being made. I don’t really understand half the shit that’s going on but it always sounds good! I’m like, “What the fuck did they cut for !?” It always sounds good to me. I watch the expressions, the opinions, and the egos, and then at the end of the day, I just watch results. I mean, there were arguments that would go on, man, and I enjoy being the fly on the wall. I sit down there and I watch, no opinion, I’m just catching. I did the album cover with the Mystic Nomads alongside 3 other artists; Cola Smith, Wawi Amasha, and then me. It will have 3 separate images, and you can change it to any of these 3 images you’d like. It’s a cool concept and comes out this year. Their lead singer is from Kenya, she grew up here, so we talk a lot about back home.

How is it collaborating with other artists? You learn a lot by working with other people. I start some drawings and they choose the sketch they want. Inevitably I’m going to do what I want to do with it but they select the direction they would like to go in and it becomes a shared effort.

Say you get a negative critique, how do you take it?

At first, I try and study who is critiquing me. There are a lot of people who can write but those that do, do. Critiquing is important but... I remember when I worked with Patrick, this used to drive me nuts, I would compliment a girl wearing something and she’d respond, “Oh ok,” and the same night Patrick would say my same compliment and the girl would get excited and all into it, and I’d be mad as hell because I complimented it and she didn’t even care. You understand? It’s that kind of measure, it depends on who critiques you. There’s some you can respond to and some you don’t even need to bother with.


How do you feel detaching yourself from your work when you make a sale? Its hard, in most cases it’s personal. It’s something you did that means something to you. Maybe to other people the painting is done but to me, there’s a story in every one of my pieces. In most cases it hurts the most when detaching from a piece that kind of falls into familiar hands.. so I always kind of see it. If I had a perfect world they would all be in my house but, I think it’s also good to let go so you can create space. If you have too much of that work or too much of a certain time from the past hanging around, it can start to kind of weirdly creep up on you. It always brings a creepy feeling when you’re working on another painting. It’s good to let it go and put it away for a while.

Tell me about a favorite piece of yours you’ve created & why it’s a favorite. Wow, do I have a favorite right now, I don’t even know. I would say maybe I have a favorite period, which is right now in a weird way. I feel like I’m creating, I’m really creating and I’m really creating what I want to create, not what is expected or what some people might think I should create. I’m just making what I want. I think by not having that restriction most of the pieces I’m working on right now are some of my favorites. That dragon right there, I have yet to put a price on. I love that piece though. {Speaking in reference to painting on left page.} Yeah, this would be one of my favorite pieces. --When did you do this one? I did this at the end of last year. I’ve only shown it once. January 13th, that show got shut down.. it was in Santa Ana & they thought it was a rave.

When you’re not creating, what are you doing? I’m asleep. {laughter} Man, that’s sad.. holy shit. Right now, its about work. I enjoy my work a lot so I tend to try and focus on that.

How do you stay motivated to continue creating when you run into a block, what do you do to push your way through it? I just change something in my lifestyle. You could be going to the wrong stores.. I don’t know. I look for shit that’s not working out and I say, “Fuck this shit”. Change it. Change something in your lifestyle if you get a creative block, ya know? And, it has to be something meaningful. That will get you out. That will get you out quick.

How would you compare your art from when in Kenya, in comparison to your experiences here, in the States? Wow, there’s a definite shift in my work but I wouldn’t say positive or negative. Everybody changes. There’s a time difference that has occurred ever since moving back here because back in Africa I never worked, I just did this [art] so the time was for that. Here, it’s been a constrain because you have to do this that this that, and I’ve always fought between the two [work & art]. Anytime I’m not doing any of that other shit I’m trying to create something.


Do

you feel art is less respected here than it is in Kenya?


Definitely. In Kenya, when we announced our shows it was invite only; the drinks were minimized to only 2 per person, and it was all about the art. If there was a band playing, people would stop and listen. There would be a small Q & A session and they would really showcase their artists. People who showed up, showed up for the event. I don’t see that a lot here. You see somebody just walk through, especially in this day and time, where everybody has a camera phone. Those camera phones are ruining a lot of things for people because you see something and instead of looking at it you take a picture of it. I don’t want my work out there like that, I want at least somebody to understand that I sat down and worked on this and chose to not do all of these other things. I chose to do this, to paint. People would get kicked out of galleries back home if innapropriate. It definitely felt more like a business and here, there’s a lot of partying; the party scene. To be honest, 90% of the galleries downtown are just party scenes for artwork now. It’s sad that I feel like art is being redused to a comodity almost. I still love for people to show their work, but when you have somebody calling themselves a curator and they don’t know how to hold a print, I mean fuck, why would I leave my work there like that. That’s why I just took my art out. I’m not trying to change everybody, but for me, myself, when I see the problem I try to figure my way around it; to rally a group of people and figure what we’re going to do now.


When people look at your work, what type of energy are you hoping to portray? How do you hope the viewer to feel? I want them to feel optimistic. That’s all man. There’s a lot of things that happen in life, but be optimistic. I always think it could be worse. In my paintings, all of the animals are smiling. I’ve always liked that. That amongst the many other things, I like feeling optimistic. It is why I wake up in the morning.

What’s in store for 2012? I’m doing projects among many other things, but shows, I don’t know man. I’m kind of just tired for a while, I’ve shown.. so, for me what I’m trying to figure out is what the next step will be. I am designing things that are making sense to me now and I’ve decided there needs to be some sort of order or some kind of viable exchange from audience to artist. So, I pulled all of my art and put it into the garage while I’m thinking because I don’t want to keep thinking about my art when it’s out there. You can keep standing there talking about a concept or you can go and figure out why you’re still figuring it out, working it out as you go. Build it and construct, do what you are talking about doing; do. I’m pretty good at doing that with my art but other parts of my life now.. that’s a different story.. haha . But, with my art, I do.. so I guess that why it becomes expensive. I buy what will work. You would think I would have figured how to make my own paint pens by now but I don’t have time to figure that shit out, so I just go out and buy new ones. This box is not the only one, I have another bag in my car actually full of these things. I just emptied this box the other night. [referencing the pens in his studio] How much does each pen go for? Each pen goes for 10bucks. Ayayayyy..man! Yeah, you see; these clean you out. Man, I’m glad I don’t drink anymore ‘cause this shit would be real difficult by this point.. figuring out, do I need a beer or another pen?

Ok, so we have a question we ask all of our artists to get a bit inside of their heads.. let’s say it’s your last breathe, what is your tombstone going to say to the world? Wow, I think it would just say... paint on. Yeah, just do it you know. Just paint, that’s it. Paint something, I don’t know.. “Just Paint.”

Ng e n e Mwa u ra i s a n a r t i s t from Kenya, A fr ica and is cur rently liv ing in Los An g e le s , CA . Fo r mo re N gene pleas e v is it: N geneM waura.com


“ PIT

a sile nt

st arring: raqu directed by: t aide k

n a rra t i o n e x c e r p t s f r o


T A”

f e at ure

u e l villalobos k e nne d y & s he e l u v

o m t h e w r i ti ngs of ‘ts’


“ I t s a c omb

g r e e n sk i e s, a n d g re a ll a f t e r n o o n , a l l mo

M y h e a d i s fu I do n’t u n


b ina ti on o f

, b lue sk i es , y sk ies; r ning, a nd al l ni g h t .

u l l o f we ather d e rstand. �


“ H a v e y o u e v e r sa n g

of your white-

Y o u e v e r t a s t e d l i ps,

a n d w a nt e d n

Y o u d r iv e n do wn e m

w h e r e you w

W h e n w a s t h e l a st


g ? ‌from the b o tto m

- s h ini n g s o ul ?

, felt sk i n up o n s k i n ,

n o t hing m o r e?

m p t y roa ds , uns ur e o f

were goi n g?

t t i m e yo u cr i ed ?�


“Pi anos a nd b rea k b ea ts, m a ki n g t he m os t of q ui et despe ra tio n. M u sic saves m e w i t hout a word . . Pi eci ng to g eth er. To m o rrow I ’ l l b e b e t te r . Ta ke it f ro m th e to p. T he e n d . ”

Ju st k id d ing ! Ju st ki d d i n g ! It’ s never over! It n ever en d s ! Tr i c ke d y ou a g a i n !


“ S o , I ’m dr essi n g

t o n ig h t . L is t e n i n g t o

s a d c ig a r e t t e s , pra yi n

t h o s e w it h t h e i r h e a

d e s t in e d t o fa l l s


m y sel f i n s ad nes s

o sad songs , s m o k in g

n g sa d pray er s f o r a ll

a rt s on t hei r s l eev e s ;

s oon er or l ater . �


“I t ’ s l a u g h a b l e to th in k t ha t t he m ea s ure of sea s on s h a s no th ing to d o w i t h t he te m p e ra t ure out s i d e , h ow co nf u se d a l l t he ca l e n d a rs a re . I t’s l a te Novem b er insid e m e . D e ce m b e r s t a r t s on Sun d a y and I’ l l ju st b e so m u c h ha p p i e r t he n ; s o m uc h ha p p i e r th a t y o u a l m os t woul d n ’ t b e l i eve i t ! ”


“Hi d e and s e e k is n

i f no b o d y ’ s lo o I ’v e m is p la c

O ur hea r t s a r e co nf u s in g ,

W hat’s m o r e

A l o ad ed g u n o r a


no f un , it turns out,

oki n g for you. ed my h ope.

e so con f used, exp en sible.

e da n ge rous:

a l o ade d t o ng ue?�


“ W ho a m I b ecomin g ?” “ I t h i nk s o m e on e’s b ee n p a in tin g my mir ror ; p a i n tin g my voca l cord s ” . . th e mou n ta in top s ca p t u re th e mid n ig h t s ky ea c h & eve r y n ig h t wis h in g to mir ror h eaven s ce l e s tia l b od ie s ..


F I


I N


WIN T ERF IELD T in t e rvi e w w i th ph otograph e r & mu si c produ ce r ch ri sti an t i e tge by sh e e lu v


To g e t s t a r t e d , t e l l u s a b o u t a n o r m a l d a y i n t h e l i f e o f C h r i s t i a n T i e t g e .

Waking u p ea rly, m u m bling “ ’m o rning” to sl ee py ro o mies, d rin king gree n tea . Cycling half a n hou r to U nive rsity in pl easa ntly gree n B e rlin - Da hl e m, always late, singing co n ceive d m el o dies out l ou d . Liste n to political l ectu res; thin k ab out rebellio n . Liste n to p hil oso p hy l ectu res; e nlighte n e d . Liste n to pe dagogical l ectu res; sa nguin e. Lu n ch at vegeta ria n ca ntee n; pl ease d . D riving back ho m e; head spin ning. Back ho m e: coffee, b o oks, m usic. A n o rmal weeke n d day d efinitely in cl u d es natu re, cl ub, a n d jointly watching a d etective sto ry o n Su n day. W h a t i n s p i r e s y o u p e r s o n a l l y ? W h a t g e t s y o u r m i n d r u n n i n g?

Whe n I thin k about it, it all falls back to inte rpe rso nal relatio nships . A littl e bit like Wo o dy All e n . We a re always in a kin d of relatio n with so m eo n e a rou n d us, which affects us, whethe r positively o r n egatively. A n d, I ’m n ot o nly talking ab out girlfrie n d, o r b oyfrie n d . We u n d e rgo so ma ny situatio ns, e n cou nte ring othe r peo pl e; we a re fo rce d to co m m u nicate with the m, causing us troubl e o r joy. The re is n o way we ca n avoid that, eve n if o n e likes to be al o n e; afte r a sho rt tim e we d o n’ t a nym o re. I ’m inspire d by eve rything ha p pe ning a ro u n d m e: H ow peo pl e talk with o n e a n othe r, what they talk ab o ut, how they see m e, d o I l eave a n im p ressio n o n the m, a n d a re they ha p py? What sca res m e, a l ot, is the fact that ma ny of the m a re n ot ha p py. A n y o p i n i o n s o n t h e i n f a m o u s , a r t i s t / m u s e r e l a t i o n s h i p? D o y o u f i n d i t a n e c e s s a r y o n e f o r c r e a t i o n?

My first inte ntio n is to say yes, of cou rse a n a rtist n ee ds a m use ! Afte r thin king ab o ut it, it beca m e cl ea r that it d e pe n ds o n the kin d of m use a n d the relatio n . The re n ee ds to be e n o ugh dispute, excha nge of views a n d sin ce rity. O n e has to be equal a n d n ob o dy may id olize the othe r. Of cou rse, se nsuality is in dispe nsabl e, but yea rning fo r it eve n m o re spu rring. I sadly d o n ot have a m use at the m o m e nt. As I said, l o nging fo r o n e is also ve ry inspiring. W h e r e i s h o m e t o y o u?

H o m e is whe re I feel free, at ease, ca n m ove a ro u n d jau ntily, a n d easily reach those cl osest to m e. A co m m u nity with like beliefs & id eas; natu re a n d fewe r ca rs, equity, dive rsity, o rd e rly chaos, free space, a n d a va riety of cultu re. Lu ckily, fo r n ow, this is B e rlin still . To ro nto wo ul d possibly be my seco n d ho m e by the way. I ’m stu dying politics a n d p hil oso p hy to beco m e a teache r o n e day. Apa rt fro m that, I thin k about m usical id eas co nsta ntly. Eve ryday life activities eve n have so m e fo rm of m usical infl u e n ce, filling the dishwashe r fo r insta n ce, in syn c, a n d sna p ping p hotogra p hs in black a n d white. I dayd rea m a l ot a n d like to travel th rough B e rlin by bike, ofte n sim ulta n eo usly; n ot to m e ntio n cl ubbing.. always a go o d thing to d o.

COVER PHOTOS L-R: “C N TO WE R, TO RO NTO” | DEN N EWI T ZS T R AS S E, S CHÖN EBER G


What

s t ar t ed

it

a l l?

What

or

w h o m,

sparked

your

love

for

m u s i c?

My pa re nts got m e inte reste d in m usic, obviously. It all sta rte d with littl e m e tu rning o n the ste reo in the living ro o m a n d da n cing to The B eatl es . My pa re nts th rew so ma ny pa rties back the n a n d eve ryo n e was cel eb rating to so m e Latin -A m e rica n rhyth ms . My dad mad e m e a mix ta pe with o nly B eatl es so ngs o n it a n d I re m e m be r laying in the co rrid o r a n d liste ning to it with my first Walkma n . Yea rs late r, this special pe rso n na m e d Kirstina, who I so rt of m et at a co n ce rt, also mad e m e mix ta pes with all of these in die a rtists I had n o id ea ab out. She lite rally o pe n e d my eyes a n d ea rs . Sin ce the n, m usic has bee n the m ost im po rta nt thing in my life. Yo u f o u n d e d y o u r “ f i r s t r o c k- n - r o l l b a n d ” i n 2001, c a n y o u t e l l u s a b i t a b o u t Love Forever?

I n o rd e r to explain how this whol e ba n d thing sta rte d, I have to reach back a littl e. M oving to the subu rbs at the age of 11 was quite a d ownfall, especially l osing my best frie n ds a n d the co hesio n in ge n e ral . At that tim e I th rew myself into b o oks; reading was the o nly thing to d o out the re. By 15 o r so, a special pe rso n I p revio usly m e ntio n e d, Kirstina, intro d u ce d m e to the d evastating m usic by the H a m bu rge r ba n d, To cotro nic. Fro m the first so ng o n, I co m pl etely fou n d myself within their sad a n d pessimistic lyrics . It beca m e ve ry cl ea r to m e that fo rming a ba n d woul d be the best thing I coul d possibly d o. So, in the begin ning, esca pism d rove m e to make m usic, l u ckily that ’s n ot the case a ny m o re to day. The Strokes, “ Is This It ” had (a n d has) a great im pact o n m e as well . I aske d a yo u nge r frie n d fro m scho ol who also ca m e fro m Schö n ebe rg if he’ d like to fo rm a ba n d with m e. It tu rn e d out he was in a simila r situatio n as I , eve n tho ugh he coul d play the guita r way bette r tha n I co ul d . Togethe r with his b rothe r we cove re d so ngs by H e n d rix, B eatl es, D o o rs, a n d so o n, in a p ractice ro o m in scho ol . As n ew m e m be rs join e d a n d ol d m e m be rs l eft, the so u n d d evel o pe d into a m o re psyche d elic - n oise directio n, e n ding in p retty nice sho egaze. Yea rs late r afte r the b reaku p, o nly the singe r a n d I we re l eft so we d ecid e d to try a n d m ove towa rd a n el ectro nica directio n . By the n, we na m e d ou r p roject “ I ntraktive”. This o n e also e n d e d fo r seve ral reaso ns . I also playe d in a pu n k ba n d fo r a sho rt tim e, which was libe rating in a way. I re m e m be r us playing a gig at a scho ol eve nt. We cove re d the so ng, “A . S . A . B ” [ “All Co ps a re Basta rds” ], a n d I , of cou rse, was against cha nging the lyrics in “AC/D C ”. O u r Prin cipal was a co ol guy & had n o p robl e m with that, fu n ny thing! I n co n cl usio n, it has bee n a l o ng a n d infl u e ntial jo u rn ey! H o w l o n g h a v e y o u b e e n p r o d u c i n g? W h e n d i d t h i s p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t b e g i n?

The p ro d u cing bega n with I ntraktive as we we re co m pell e d to fin d re place m e nt fo r the l ost m usicia ns . I n the e n d, we coul d n’ t raise the e n e rgy to sea rch fo r n ew peo pl e; the re we re to o ma ny cliché ro ck sta rs out the re. The go o d thing ab o ut n ot kn owing how to p ro d u ce with a co m pute r was the point of it beco ming a really expe rim e ntal ve ntu re; maybe a bit to o expe rim e ntal . This is how I l ea rn e d the basics, like p rogra m ming the d ru ms o r l o o ping stuff.

“ AGO, T OR ON T O” | “ WI N T ER FI EL DT S EL F P OR T RA I T ”


“K I T E S ”, T EUFELS BERG, B E RLIN


[c o n t ’ d f r o m p r e v i o u s q u e s t i o n] I ’ve had Abl eto n install e d o n my M ac fo r 2 yea rs n ow, but I ’ve bee n to o lazy to really get into it. Which is why this, “Ove rseas” albu m to ok so l o ng fo r m e to finally rel ease. I ’ve bee n su ccessfully d oing my m usic fo r o nly a co u pl e of m o nths n ow. B ut, I ’m n ow wo rking effo rtl essly with the softwa re, which all ows m e to im pl e m e nt my id eas p recisely. So libe rating! I wo n’ t talk m o re d etail e d ab out the tech nical skills, because this is so m ewhat like a n a rtistic secret. H o w w o u l d y o u d e s c r i b e y o u r s o u n d?

I ’ve bee n thin king about this fo r a l o ng tim e myself. A l ot of m usical id eas whiz th ro ugh my head a n d they a re ha rd to catch o r d escribe. All the yea rs I ’ve playe d guita r in ba n ds, I always had a d rea my a n d sad styl e. A n d this co ntin u es till to day. That ’s why the ge n re, D rea m Po p, is so m ewhat a p p ro p riate, eve n though I d o n’ t like the te rm that m u ch . Afte r the ba n d b roke u p, I wa nte d to d o so m e so rt of “sou n d dia ry”: a fiel d reco rding of a ce rtain situatio n a n d try making a so ng out of it. This did n’ t wo rk out exactly fo r seve ral reaso ns (Fou r Tet wo rks the sa m e way), but it ’s still my a p p roach . Eve n though d escribing my ad miratio n fo r house m usic woul d be to o swee ping, I sho ul d m e ntio n that it has beco m e the kin d of m usic that accosts a n d exp resses my feelings stro ngest. I ’m still figu ring out how to co n n ect it with my guita r- base d m usic the best way. So maybe my m usic coul d be d escribe d as, D rea m H ouse? What musical equipment do you use; phot ography equipment?

I play a se mi-acoustic Epip ho n e Rivie ra o n a VOX AC 3 0, my gra n dad ’s acoustic guita r fo r chil d re n, my dad ’s 12-string acoustic, a n d ra rely a sta n da rd Strato caste r. Ad d e d to this is a n xyl o p ho n e, a ha rm o nica, a n d mall ets . I reco rd in my small be d ro o m stu dio; lite rally.. which l u ckily has n oise -isolate d win d ows . Eve n though I wo ul d be abl e to play the d ru ms a n d bass, I d o n’ t have a d oubl e bass o r a n eat vintage d ru m kit so I l et my M ac togethe r with the gl o rious softwa re, Abl eto n, d o that fo r m e. Fo r p hotogra p hy I mainly use a digital Pe ntax S LR with a tel ezo o m objective. A Ca n o n A-1 , a n d the a nal ogu e Yashica se r ve fo r the few col o r p hotos I take. The re’s also my G ra n d pa’s ol d Voiglä n d e r, which n ee ds to be expe rie n ce d with m o re ofte n .


When pr oducing, descr ibe your surr oundings. Is t her e any speci f ic v ibe you n e e d t o b e f o c u s e d?

The huge disadva ntage of p ro d u cing in fro nt of a scree n is that you r creativity ra pidly fad es away. You have a whol e string o rchestra, etc., ready fo r use.. but you l ose fo cus . The key is to create a cl ea re d wo rking atm osp he re (n ot to o strict, n ot to o co mfo rtabl e) a n d to switch off eve rything likely to distu rb yo u fro m p ro d u cing: p ho n es, co m pute rs, ro o m mates, a n d n eighb o rs . Sil e n ce is esse ntial; lighting shoul d be slightly ab ove dim . I n the begin ning I always get n e r vous as so o n as the reco rding begins; which m ea ns I n ee d a l ot of tim e fo r myself, without a ny exte rnal p ressu re. Expe rie n ce has p rove d to m e that m usically, it ’s the best to wo rk by myself. It ’s n ea rly im possibl e to fin d suitabl e m usicia ns to wo rk with if you wa nt yo u r id eas to be im pl e m e nte d ad equately, othe r wise the co m p ro mise will be dise n cha nting; especially fo r a restrain e d cha racte r like m e. N eve rthel ess, the n ext big p roject is to fo rm a ba n d with o nly fe mal e frie n ds, who ca n’ t eve n play a ny instru m e nts at the m o m e nt. O n e reaso n being, the re a re n’ t e n ough girls in ba n ds; the othe r reaso n, we get al o ng ve ry well a n d have a simila r taste in m usic . I love t he way you incorporat e per sonal ex periences w i t hin your music. D e s c r i b e a f a v o r i t e y o u’ v e c r e a t e d , a n d h o w y o u’ d h o p e t h o s e l i s t e n i n g t o t ake t he song in.

My first rel ease call e d Ove rseas EP is ab o ut a past relatio nship a n d the circu msta n ces that fo rce d it to e n d . It is also a criticism o n m o d e rn tim es, d efining su ccess & m obility as highest goals whil e d egrading hu ma n n ee ds; like inte rpe rso nal relatio nships . My inte rp retatio n of B ob Dyla n’s, “Things H ave Cha nge d ”, fits pe rfectly. I ’ d d efinitely like the liste n e r to hea r this so ng, if whe n recognizing the mselves I ho pe they may relate, a n d feel the u rge to cha nge so m ething abo ut the co n ditio ns! Afte r the rel ease I pla n to make a reco rd o n the cu rre nt fina n cial crisis a n d he n ce resulting injustice. Titl e d: “ Lo n d o n Falling”. As yo u ca n imagin e this is going to be m o re aggressive a n d fla ring u p, especially with seve ral riots as sou n d mate rial . Think ing back t o t he momen t of bu y ing your f ir s t r ecor d, do you r emember w h a t i t f e l t l i k e?

I ’m n ot su re if my first- b ought reco rd was o n e by the G e rma n ba n d, To cotro nic o r The Strokes libe rating “ Is This It ”. I re m e m be r that in b oth cases their m usic felt like fa mily, like co ming ho m e. You m ust kn ow that at that tim e, the age of 15/1 6, my pa re nts had m ove d with m e fro m B e rlin to the subu rbs, which was a d rastic d ownfall . At first, liste ning to their m usic was a pu re esca pe into a n exciting a n d e m otio nal wo rl d, late r I realize d that this wasn’ t just a n ill usio n . I crave d to fo rm a ba n d, to get l ost in playing a n d to m eet like - min d e d cha racte rs . To cotro nic taught m e that it ’s okay to dislike a n n oying peo pl e su rro u n ding m e, whe reas I l ea rn e d fro m The Strokes that it ’s still possibl e to make a n d live ro ck n’ roll m usic n owadays .


“C O NST EL L AT I ON S , T OR ON T O”


WIND O W, S TÖL L N , BR AN DEN BUR G


“usually it’s something unexpected; irregular moments & aesthetic catches my eye. i have to admit, i more so find interesting motives spontaneously rather than long planned.. ..to

use

a

beautiful

German

term,

‘constellations

and

correlations of any kind.. i simply keep my eyes wide open.”

CL OCKWI S E F RO M L E F T : “ S I GN S , FUN KT U R M B E RLI N ” “ EI GHT , DEN N EWI T ZS T R AS S E, S C HÖN E B E R G ” “ S EL F- P OR T R AI T , FUN KTU RM B E R L I N” “ N AHER HOL UN G S T ER N CHEN OP EN I N G, E A ST B E RLI N ” “ L I S T EN I N G S T AI ON , T EUFEL S B E RG , B E R L I N” “ UN DER P ASS, D RE SD E N”


I t i s p r e t t y a p p a r e n t y o u a r e i n l o v e w i t h B e r l i n, w h a t i s t h i s l o v e a f f a i r about? Why is Berlin so dear t o your hear t?

I ’m in l ove with B e rlin because she’s so u n p re dictabl e a n d l o o py, tol e ra nt a n d m ulti- eth nic; directly ho n est. Eve ryo n e’s talking ab out he r, whethe r go o d o r bad, a n d she just d o es n ot ca re o n e bit. I n ma ny ways she isn’ t pe rfect, in so m e ways she is eve n ho rribl e. The re nt is co nsta ntly rising u ntil the in n e r city is to beco m e po pulate d by rich tou rists . The labo r ma rket is mise rabl e, B e rlin is d ee p in d ebt. Yet, eve n tho ugh n ot eve ry pa rt of he r is beautiful, she still has a stro ng a p peal o n m e. Eve ryo n e is crazy a ro u n d he re; it d o es n ot matte r how you d ress you rself, what b ra n d of you r ca r (if you eve n own o n e) is, o r if you gru m bl e at othe rs afte r a bad day. Yo u be you rself a n d d o whateve r you wa nt to d o - B e rlin will always acce pt a n d su p po rt yo u . She’s so o utgoing that you’ ll fin d n ew frie n ds o r co m pa nio ns easily. M a ny misju dge B e rlin by saying she is always ru d e a n d bad te m pe re d, but afte r being he re fo r a sho rt whil e, you realize that u n d e r the su pe rficial ske pticism, lies cu riosity, wa rmth, a n d hel pful n ess . Like eve ry o n e of us, she’s just trying to make so m ething go o d out of he r life. W h i c h m u s i c a l a r t i s t s i n s p i r e y o u? A n y c u r r e n t f a v o r i t e s?

I ’m going to make a sho rt mix fo r you r issu e with my cu rre nt favo rites . Those who inspire d m e fro m the begin ning a n d always will a re: The B eatl es, B ob Dyla n, N eil Yo u ng, D ee rhu nte r, a n d So nic Youth . The ba n d Wid owspeak is also ve ry great. [ mix ta pe is featu re d o n the Fu n e ral Pa rad e website, u n d e r mix ta pes]. H o w w o u l d y o u p e r s o n a l l y d e s c r i b e t h e a r t s c e n e i n B e r l i n?

This is n ot easy to a nswe r because of B e rlin’s va riety, in all respects . It ca n be co nfusing seeing it fro m the outsid e. As I ’m quite n ew to p hotogra p hy, I d o n’ t kn ow m u ch about its sce n e. N o n ethel ess, I wa nt to e m p hatically adve rtise the M atthew Gall e ry in Cha rl otte n bu rg. The re a re ma ny ma ny (go o d) ba n ds in a n d fro m B e rlin, but it ’s a pity that m ostly rathe r fa m ous a rtists’ co n ce rts get m ost of the atte ntio n . Back in the day, the ga p betwee n bigge r co n ce rt ve n u es a n d youth cl ubs was fill e d with tiny a n d cozy l o catio ns whe re l o cal u n d e rgrou n d ba n ds woul d play. G e ntrificatio n displaces these places littl e by littl e. O n e great thing about Tech n o is that the peo pl e involve d a re always eage r to fin d so m ething n ew. J ust thin k ab out all the ill egal o pe n airs that will be cel eb rate d this su m m e r.. A so m ewhat n ew a n d favo rite littl e cl ub of min e is N a he rhol u ng Ste rn che n . The first tim e I expe rie n ce d a n eve nt whe re in die, chill wave, tech n o, a n d a rt flawl essly mingl e d togethe r. Possibly because the p ro m ote rs a re m ostly A m e rica ns, I gu ess .


How would you descr ibe your speci f ic s t y le of pho t ogr aphy? Do you have favori t e locat ions, or do you mor e wander t he ci t y w i t h a camera i n h a n d?

It d o esn’ t n ecessa rily m ea n I get the best shots whe n I pla n my p hoto trips . The re was a tim e I fou n d this secret spot being gua rd e d by secu rity a n d I to ok so m e go o d p hotos o n my l o ng way back ho m e. As so o n as o n e d rives th ro ugh the fo rgotte n villages o utsid e of B e rlin, o n e ca n fin d beautiful a n d d e p ressing sce n e ries . I also like to l o ok at the ol d rich West- B e rlin a n d its in habita nts who a re b oth growing d ee pe r ro ots, like Wil m e rsd o rf. It ’s inte resting to wo n d e r how they will d evel o p in the futu re. The a rchitectu re the re is great as well . O n the I nte rn et you ca n fin d seve ral aba n d o n e d ruins, but I ofte n fin d it to o cliché. As you said, I always have my ca m e ra with m e in case a nything ha p pe ns . I n p rima ry scho ol the class teache r tol d m e I was a n atte ntive obse r ve r, a n d late r it was fou n d out I have difficulties filte ring exte rnal im p ressio ns, which is why I also hea r m o re n oises tha n usual . This ca n be exhausting, especially o n N ew Yea r’s, but hel ps whe n d oing fiel d reco rdings . I n m ost of my pictu res the re is a refl ective n ess a n d quietn ess ofte n see ming sad a n d l o n ely. As I pictu re objects m o re so tha n peo pl e a n d ca re m ost ab out sym m etry a n d fo rm rathe r tha n su pe rficial e m otio ns . I ’ d say my styl e is m o re abstract yet also d etail e d . Yo u m e n t i o n e d y o u a r e i n s p i r e d & i n f l u e n c e d b y B a u h a u s p h o t o g r a p h y. W h a t i s i t a b o u t t h i s s t y l e t h a t i n s p i r e s y o u?

As I d o n’ t kn ow m u ch about a rt, I ’ ll a nswe r this qu estio n pe rso nally. I spe nt a l ot of tim e at the exhibitio n of Lászl ó M o holy- N agy call e d “The Art of Light ”; it mad e a huge im p ressio n o n m e. The p hotogra p hs frequ e nt o n e n d fo rmat a n d being m o n o ch ro matic requires m o re tha n just easily l o oking at a nice pictu re. The view fro m ab ove & ca ptu ring peo pl e a n d objects as shad es, lin es, a n d geo m etrical fo rms is like a revelatio n . The chaos we expe rie n ce eve ryday, seeing o nly th rough the “sta n da rd ” pe rspective, is expose d as a ha rm o nically a n d o rd e rly e ntity. Eve n if you d o n’ t believe in G o d, it see ms like a miracl e whe n watching the m ove m e nts at a big inte rsectio n fo r a l o ng tim e witho ut pa n d e m o niu m b reaking l o ose. To m e, Bau haus images affirm that the re is a d ee pe r m ea ning to co ntribute to this oste nsive disa rray. I feel the sa m e ab out Piet M o n d ria n’s a rt.


What sor t of impr ession do you hope t o leave upon o t h e r s w i t h y o u r p h o t o g r a p h s?

Firstly, I ho pe to fascinate the viewer o r at least pull the atte ntio n fo r a sho rt while, because to m e, bo ring art of a ny kin d is a n n oying a n d a waste of tim e. Seco n dly, I ’ d ho pe, my photographs to have a n arousing o r lighte ning effect, a profou n d n ess leaving peo ple ru minating. These d e ma n ds are quite high, I kn ow; maybe too high . It ’s sim ply my way of looking at things that I ca n n ot cha nge. Photogra phy brings a stro nger aware n ess of the e nviro n m e nt su rrou n ding us, both in ecological a n d social se nses . We take too ma ny things fo r gra nted whereas questio ning n ot e n ough a n d n eglecting to take actio n u po n ou rselves .


“ GL ACI AL VI EW, T EUFEL S BER G , B E R L I N” “ R EVOL UT I ON AR Y MAY DAY, OR AN I EN S T R AS S E, K RE U Z B E RG ”


PRE P AR AT I ON S FOR CHI L DR EN ’ S T R EAT , S T R AS S E DES 1 7 . J U N I , B E RLI N


W h i c h d i r e c t i o n d o y o u s e e y o u r p h o t o g r a p h y h e a d i n g i n?

My futu re p hotogra p hy p refe rably is going to be m o re inte rnatio nal, which specifically m ea ns I ’ d like to expl o re Easte rn Eu ro pe; the e m pty co u ntrysid e as well as big cities . Also, I n ee d to ove rco m e my shyn ess towa rds peo pl e a n d d o m o re po rtrait p hotogra p hy. N ot the typical ro ma ntic kin d with a half nake d skin ny girl in fro nt of a kitschy lake, but m o re sin ce re, ma nifol d a n d distu rbing. I also thought ab out chil d re n as m o d els fo r a sho rt whil e, but that wo ul d be to o irrespo nsibl e as they ca n’ t fully co m p re he n d what they’re u p to. Pl us, I pla n to be m o re adve ntu rous whe n sea rching fo r l ost l o catio ns . Pictu ring so m e B e rlin cl ub ’s a rchitectu re in daylight with their own e rs’ inte rests m e as well . 2012, a n y p r o j e c t s i n t h e w o r k s?

G etting this job teaching disadva ntage d kids G e rma n in scho ol is my biggest goal . Right afte r that co m es ma naging U nive rsity a n d still being abl e to make tim e fo r creative stuff. I thin k I al ready m e ntio n e d my futu re a rtistic p rojects in the p revious qu estio ns . H a, wait, I fo rgot so m ething! A n othe r goal fo r 2012 is to sta rt the l o cal political pa rty D I E PA RTEI fo r the district Te m pel hof-Schö n ebe rg. H e re in G e rma ny, we have this tiny pa rty sim ply call e d D I E PA RTEI [in English, The Pa rty], which was fou n d e d by the ex- chief of the Satirical M agazin e, “Tita nic”. It ’s n ot that easy to explain what the pa rty is all ab o ut, but the main inte ntio n is to p rovoke a n d stir u p the political syste m . I read o n their ho m e page the re isn’ t cu rre ntly a co m m u nal grou p fo r my ho m e district, Schö n ebe rg. My pla n is to fou n d this a n d b ring so m e cha nge a rou n d he re. The highest p rio rity is to rebuil d The Wall, n ot just betwee n West a n d East- B e rlin, but also betwee n Frie d richshain - Kreuzbe rg, Te m pel hof-Schö n ebe rg, a n d Mitte Tie rga rte n . This is going to be fu n . A n d , f o r F u n e r a l P a r a d e’s i n f a m o u s q u e s t i o n .. l a s t b r e a t h e , w h a t i s y o u r t o m b s t o n e g o i n g t o s a y t o t h e w o r l d?

“ M usic is a n a rt which to the highest d egree requires expe rie n ce to justify o n e in having a n o pinio n ab out it.” Sø re n Kie rkegaa rd .

Ch ri st i a n Ti etg e , a ka , W i n te rfieldt, is a m us ician/ producer , as well as se lf - ta u g h t p h oto g ra p her liv ing in B er lin, Ger m any . For m us ic l i ste n i n g a n d fu r t h e r i n fo r m ation, v is it: W interfieldt.com


L I S T EN I N G S T AT I ON 2 , T EUFE L SB E R G , B E RLI N


“Fight, fight!� I felt the urgency rising in his tone, becoming more and more demanding with each breath. I forced myself to move quicker, think faster; I needed to be one step ahead. I took a sharp hit to the collarbone, and another to the ribs. His quickness was God like, as if his every move were some preconceived mimic of the imagery within my mind. He knew my every move.

a continuation, second chapter

author: samantha lee editor: sheeluv artwork: stephanie lemoine


“Fo c us D a n i ka. ” J abb ing one hit aft er the other. “Ke e p you r postu re strong.” He said; pushing me, attempting to waver my balanc e bu t I h e l d my grou nd. “L o o k for t h e in.” he c ontinue d, guarding himself. I jabbed one af ter the other, wh il e ke e pi ng myse l f prote c te d, c onstantly moving . “R i gh t , D a n i ka, right. ” I ducke d, avoiding his attack, and again to avoid his o th er s tr i ke . He b a cke d away, stu dy ing my movements as I did the same. His body leaped in as I t o o k ye t a no the r hit to the side . I bent down, protecting myself as I recovered fr om t h e pa i n wh en I saw it, the in; the perfect punch and I took it. I gathered al l th e s tr engt h I c ou l d muste r b ehind my f ist, feeling my adrenaline rise as I deliver ed t h a t one p e r fe c t sw ing. I fe l t it, as my f ist connected with the right side of Br ick s fac e a nd d ow n he went. My k nuck l e s we re throbb ing as if they were on f ire; I could hear the increasing beat o f my h ea r t , tensing of my musc l es, and throbbing of my back. “Control it Danika.” B r i ck wa s speaking to me , “ Control it, control it,” but his voice became a muffl ed noi se a s i f he we re speaking through a pillow. The room began vibrating , quick l y fad i ng t o wh ite . Eve ry thing was b eyond my control. And, in this moment is wh en I saw h e r. Sh e ca r r i e d this somb e r sort of look on her face with hair long and black. Her fra me wa s p etite , drape d in a re d d ress; with skin so white it appeared transluc ent. I fe l t a q u i ck rush of cal m in he r presence and hoped she would stay forever, but j ust a s fa st as she came , she was gone. “Mom . ” I sa i d alou d, fe e l ing the pressure beg in to settle. sub si d e d a s the room regaine d its normal cream color.

The f ire in my hand s

“D a n i ka ? ” It was Brick’s voic e and though my body had regained its composure , my mi nd wa s st il l foc use d on the woman in red, my mother. I felt a hand upon my shou l d e r bu t b e fore I real ize d what I was doing Brick was on the f loor, again. “Oh sh i t ! B r i ck, I ’m so sorry !” I said , rushing to help him up. “W h a t wa s t hat? ” he aske d, “ You j ust body checked me without a second though t! ” I st o o d t h e r e, staring at him , not entirely sure myself. “I saw h e r. ” I mu tte re d, staring at Brick. By the reaction on his face I wondered if I shou l d h ave ke pt that to myse l f. “No e l l e ? ” I looke d at Brick, fe e l ing a sharp h e r na me , shaking my head in c ompliance fac e , a lo o k I’d neve r se en him wear before. momen t s be fore wore off entire l y, and was “I t h i n k t h a t’s enough for today.”

pain in my stomach at the mention o f unable to speak. Fear took over Br ick s The calm sensation I experienced onl y quickly replaced by fear.


“B r i ck … ” bu t b e fore I c ou l d finish, he cut me of f. “E nough D a nika, that’s enough.” He said, walking toward the bench, g rabbing his bag wh i l e I st o o d frozen on the mat. His words were f inal and no amount of begging wou l d ch a ng e that. My l ife qu ickly became this puz z le with so many pi ec es mi ssi ng, a nd it was apparent Brick had no intentions of sharing any of th em , a ny t i me so on. “D i n ne r t omorrow. D on’t b e l ate .” Brick said over his shoulder as he g rabbed h is b ag a nd l e f t . I wa l ke d t oward the b ench, pu l l ing the support tape of f of my hands. My knuck l es we r e swol l en and re d, l ike they we re af ter most training sessions. I g rabbed my bag a nd t o sse d t he tape into the trash, rubbing my hands as I turned, pushing the d o or o p en w i t h my b ack. T he air was f resh, a perfectly crisp fall day. I walked a long t h e c obbl e pathway l eading toward the main house. It was a three story g rey B r o o k St one E st a t e , su rrou nde d by ac res of g reen g rass, elaborate trees, and a private b ea ch r i gh t on the cape . T he w indow f raming was of black iron while the wind ows t h em se l ve s we re a staine d mu l ti-c olored g lass, which always made me think of th e wi nd ows a t S an S eb astian Cathe dral in Spain. I wa l ke d u p the patio ste ps to the back entrance of the house, pulling th e ca r e f u l l y ca rve d doub l e wooden doors open. I slipped my socks and shoes o ff, pl a c i ng t h em onto the shoe rack right next to the entrance. The wooden doors led into a g ra nd h a l l way u pon opening into a main room with three dif ferent doors and two s ta i r ca se s w rapping arou nd the room, meeting in the middle. The corridor was flo or e d w i t h b l ack and white marble, a g rand piano, and three elaborate woo d en b oo k sh e l ve s fil l e d w ith b ooks and trinkets f rom Brick’s travels. The wall to my r i gh t wa s f i ll e d w ith fam il y photos dating back centuries, though I had yet to a p p ea r i n a ny of them . A white rug had been placed in the center of the room as s p e c s o f l i ght danc e d u pon it, gl eaming through the sunroof above. The rug h ad b e en ch a nge d so many time s, bu t I can still remember them all; like ticking clock s , t h ey we r e a rem inde r of what is to come. To think this year would be the l as t ch a nge bi r t he d u neasy fe e l ings. I t was year seven. I wa l ke d ove r the rug fe e l ing the carpet squish between my toes, it was a shame r ea l l y; I a c t ual l y enj oye d wal king across this one. I continued to the doubl e door s i n f r ont of me , they we re wooden and came to a point. Intricate carvings cove r e d t h e doors, w ith meanings s till a mystery to me. I had done endless amounts o f r e sea r ch , aske d even more questions, yet Brick ref used to enlighten me. It r ema i ne d a t au nting se c re t. I grabbed the handle but like all times before, I cou l d n’ t b ri ng myse l f to tu rn the knob . I t was cold and gave me goose bumps. “I t’ s j ust a d oor Danika.” Ll ena said f rom behind me, I pulled my hand back and t u r ne d a r ou nd. Ll ena stood ab ou t f ive foot six with sleek, strawberry blonde h air, cu t i n t o a shou l de r l ength b ob . Her eyes were a miraculous hazel with bold s p ec s o f gr e en a nd gol d. S he wore a cashmere sweater, black slacks, and black stiletto s . Even wi t h t he shoe s, she stil l manag ed to sneak up on me.


“ I think you know qu ite well it’s not just a door.” I said to L lena as sh e watche d me fidge t u nc omfortably, like I’d just been caught doing some thing m ischievous. “ C offe e .” Ll ena aske d; sh e had a talent for making a question seem mor e l i ke a statement. D e c iding not to bother with a yes or no, I followed h er ba ck to the patio. “ Dos café s por favor. ” Ll ena said to Sylvia, the housekeeper before tu r ning h e r attention toward me. “ You se em ne rvous,” she started, taking a sip of her cof fee, “could it be be cause Yaj na is tomorrow?” The thing about L lena is she’s always st raight forward w ith me. It was comforting in a way because I always k new I c ou l d trust she wouldn’t sugar coat everything . “ It ’s nothing real l y, just a nervous feeling .” “ Why? W hat are you nervous about?” L lena asked, puz z led. “ I’ m not su re , normal l y I’m not. You know that. Normally I’m prepar ed for Yajna. I t’s just this u nsettling feeling in my stomach I can’t shake.” I said whil e a look of c onc e rn came over L lena’s face. “A n u nse ttl ing fe e l ing in your stomach? How so?” she asked. She sat up , st rengthening he r posture, and took another sip of her cof fee. “ What? ” she ’d lost me . “ T he fe e l ing, can you de scribe it?” L lena’s interest peaked, prodding me as i f I we re one of he r patient’s. “ I don’t know. I t’s he re .” I said pointing towards my lower stomach. “ It ’s not real l y any thing I can describe, it’s just this gnawing , consis tent fe e l ing. ” I said, now hol d ing my stomach, staring at the table and c onc entrating on the fe eling . I looked up towards L lena who was tak ing a nothe r sip of he r c offe e. She was silent, poised, and calculated. “ What is it? ” I aske d, b reaking her concentration. She looked up at me, smil e d, took anothe r sip of her cof fee and stood up. “ Ye s darl ing, eve ry thing’s f ine. You’re nervous about your last Yajna . Eve ryone is a l ittl e ne rvous before they descend. That’s all, everythi ng’ s going to b e ok. ” S he said, kissing me on the forehead. “But I must be going a s shou l d you Danika, you don’t want to be late.” L lena g rabbed both o f ou r nearl y em pty mugs and walked back toward the house. I sat outs id e for a b it longe r, know ing even more af ter talking to L lena that some th ing was w rong, I just didn’t know what yet.


THE VIVIDS M us ician A r tist Fe a t ure A docum ented convers ation b et we e n S im Jacks on & She e l uv Ph otograph y by Taide Ke nne d y


Tell me a bit about The Vivids .

Basically, I was in a band called UV Lights for a while, everyone contributed. We were doing this, punk- garage thing, but I got tired of it and started getting into shoe-gaze, factory record stuff. So that band basically just fell apart. I started writing some music on my own, and now, for The Vivids. I do basically everything except for the drums, I have a general idea for a beat, which usually starts with a bass riff, and I’ll build on that and change a lot as I go. Working alone gives me more control. I don’t have to worry about going back to someone saying, “Hey, can you change this bass part or do this?” It does have its difficulties though. When you play with a bunch of people, they’ll push you to complete a song; I have so much shit on my computer that’s still all hazy and abstract.

How would you describe your music?

People say it’s very dreamy. It is, but I feel it definitely has a beat; a strong back beat behind it you can potentially dance to on most songs. A lot of the electronic ones are really straight up. I feel its contradicting, having really dreamy or slow guitar riffs and it be a slow song, too. I hate slow songs. I love punk. It needs to be at a certain beat per minute for me to even think about fucking with it. I don’t know how I would describe the music. Its just, weird. Punk or pop influence, shoegaze or dark pop. I pull from different things. Whatever anyone thinks it is, that’s probably what it is.

What emotion, or energy are you hoping to push through your music when writing? How do you hope people to experience it? Man, music is a very personal thing for people, not just for the people who create it, but for us as listeners. I don’t try to play with any kind of emotion, it just comes out how it comes out. I hope people aren’t cutting themselves to this shit if they listen to it. I hope that’s not happening. I would kind of like people to feel what I’m feeling, which is shitty to say. That’s the whole point of even doing art. Being able to express yourself and have someone to relate to in some way. No matter how personal it is. That’s part of the craft, I think.

With that note, tell me a bit about your creative process. My creative process starts the moment I’m not sitting here [at home]. I’m usually walking when I come up with shit. A lot of it starts out as vocals. There’s a bunch of files on [my phone] of me talking or singing something into it; taking a bass riff and kind of going, “do doo do doooo do doo ”. When I get back home, I’ll try and figure it out and be like, ”What the fuck? I can’t even do that! I’m not capable of that kind of speed.” By the time I start fucking around with this shit [points to monitor and cords] it’s less trial and error and more keeping it with the original idea, instead of going off and doing some other shit. It creates its own direction as you’re going.. Yes.

Since you mainly work alone, do you miss the aspect of feeding off bandmates for creativity? When I was feeding off of band members I would begin needing a more introverted experience; to be by myself, in a room. Now that I’m by myself, in a room, I can do whatever, whenever I want but, I tend to get a bit complacent at times. I get in moods where I don’t feel like doing as much. I do have a drummer and a bassist. Actually, the guy who’s playing bass for me now, [Jonny Yela] was the bassist in UV Lights. Its funny, when I was first writing the songs, there was interpersonal little shit because he’s my best friend, he’s like my brother, we were just mad at each other so we didn’t want to be in a band together then.


The guy that I did have playing bass got busy with his life and kind of into heroin and shit. It was like, fuck! We couldn’t really do what I wanted to do. I don’t know if it was the heroin thing, we left this house we all lived at and he moved in with his girlfriend. I think after that I moved up here [outside of Long Beach]. Jonny decided he wanted to help out. We went through a couple of drummers. The drummer from before didn’t work out. He was more like a metal guy. I don’t think he had any aspirations to even tour. I guess he’s just into going to work. I don’t know. He’s into making a livin’, you know? Yeah, he’s into not living at his mom’s house and shit. I don’t know what the hell was up with that. [Everyone laughs] I think the people that I have now are more reliable. I’ll get the hang of this eventually, but they’re also hands off and give me freedom. Their musicianship is developed. We can go in, do a song, and knock it out. I’ve written some stuff with them where we just wrote it off the cuff. I used to have this very concise way of organizing my thoughts into music, and now I’m just pulling stuff from different things and putting it all together. Its kinda fun.

Do you find inspiration within other people?

It’s weird to say, but definitely a lot of romantic relationships will inspire me. Lately it’s whatever the most emotional extreme for me is. Whether that means just getting out of jail or partying too hard for a week at a time. It just depends. A lot of the times, I’ll be listening to an album back to back. Like, “Pornography” by The Cure. I’ll be Listening to it and thinking I should have a simple back beat like that. Or, Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry where it’s this aggressive electronic drum falling under a darker more industrial post-punk, and it’ll inspire me to want to do some stuff like that. If you allow it, there’s a lot of emotional range in living day to day, and I’ll most often pull from that.

What is the hardest part of the creation process for you personally? Probably not being so lazy and doing it. [Laughter] Seriously, that’s why this shit is set up like this. [Pointing to his cords & monitor]. It should really be put away. You’re not supposed to leave your cords all plugged in and dangling out but I leave it there to remind me I gotta do that at some point today. That’s usually the hardest part. Plugging up this shit, then doing it, and then sitting there. Once I sit down and start, I will sit there until the sun comes up; “Lightless Babylon” was one of those songs. I didn’t sleep for like two days. I fucking knocked it out. It originally had different vocals. I was still talking to my ex-girlfriend at the time and when she heard the song she said, “I don’t know, are you trying to rap on this song or something? You should just try and sing.” The messed up part is I was just about to go to bed. I laid down to go to sleep, but what she said just bugged me. I got up and was like, “FUCK! Now I can’t go to sleep.” So, I’m half asleep finishing the song, in this weird dream state trying to sing; falling asleep and shit. By the time I finished, I was so burned out by the whole fucking process that I didn’t touch anything for another week and a half. Lightless Babylon is one of my favorite songs. Funny being that you were half asleep, half awake when finishing it. That happens way more than I’d like to admit. “Here Comes the Chain” was like that too. I had a bass line for it and was hanging out with Jonny, this is when I was living at the Bad Pad still. I had candy flipped or something. That’s when I began thinking about the lyrics while walking down the street. That whole day everybody was coming down and they were talking shit because I was recording. I hadn’t really gone to sleep.


How long have you been making music?

Music in the rock or the alternative rock genre.. since I was seventeen. I’ve been doing music since I was like, nine or something. I was in chorus and glee club; doing church stuff at some point. I remember my mom and our aunts tried to get the cousins in our family together to start a Boyz-to-Men group or something. I can’t believe I was going along with that shit. --You guys were on bended knees and stuff? Yeah, dude! [Everyone laughs] --I listened to Boyz-to-Men when I was younger. Shit, who didn’t? Boyz to Men was the quintessential black prepubescent group. They’re called boys.. to men, boys into men... that’s the time I listened to that. I’ve always been around music. So its been a big influence. Pretty much.

You just came out with an EP in January, right? Yeah, we just recently released a 7” record too. Songs called, “Mt. Radiant” and, “Hangman” are on it. Its on this label called, Downwards. That 7” is actually really good, whoever remastered that shit made it sound all big and full; its fucking awesome. You can get it off of Boomkat. Its in the UK right now. Funny enough, Downwards only deals with record stores that are in Europe and New York. This album probably won’t be in any record stores here, but we’ll have a couple copies. You can order online at Boomkat.com but you’ll have to get it from the UK.

How was your experience recording this album? What was your favorite part of the process? Probably recording it. I like recording the songs, having it, and it’s done. “Ohh another song!” After that, it’s like fuck dude. My favorite part about putting out this album was waiting on it. The best part was the test pressing. When we listened to it, I was like, “Duuude, this is fucking real.” We had our friend Ian Steele draw out Long Beach with this girl walking down a bridge, and the city in the background. I took this eye and put it on top of Ian’s drawing. We superimposed a bunch of digital images on top of each other to create the overall look. When I got the cover and the album was in there, It was great. If I ever just quit music, I’ll quit to get a really high paying job, save some money, quit that job, and just put out a bunch of albums by myself. That actually is fun. The part where the albums don’t sell that well is another story.. But, most of the EP’s sold online within the first couple of weeks and when we go to shows they sell, but as far as sitting on the internet.. I want to move these things. It’s hard to get yourself out there without having a label behind you. The whole process of that is pretty stressful yet fun. More fun, than stressful actually.

How do you continue making music without burning out? Do you ever get to the point where you’re just, over it? Oh, I just don’t do it. I’m 30 now, so in my mind, I’m like fuck, I better get on this and keep writing. At the same time, I don’t really give a shit. I don’t get hurried to write a song only so we can get it on the road. I can’t help doing it, so when I feel like I don’t want to do it, I don’t. That’s all it is. Take a break. Just stop.


Do you ever collaborate with other bands?

Not really, no. Thats one thing I’m thinking about doing though. In this particular scene in Long Beach, everyone ends up in each others bands anyway. Its very incestual. I think with me and Jonny, even with UV Lights, we’ve been very insular. It’s always been me and him and now it’s us. He does his own thing and I do my own thing and we bring in people from Long Beach and stuff. We don’t really collaborate with other bands but I’d be down if someone was interested in it and I was interested in it. Reason being, it doesn’t work out that way a lot of times.

Whats in store for The Vivids?

I want to start touring pretty soon, hopefully over the summer. My friend just got this bad ass van. --Where do you plan to tour? Up the coast. Probably up to Seattle and back. I can’t imagine going any further up. Gonna be fun if we can do it. Right now, I’m going to San Francisco at the end of the week. Our bassist took off to Europe until April 17, so after that I think we’re gonna have a release show for the 7”. We’ll be taking on any shows people offer us, I’m getting a little bit restless at this point. I don’t usually care for the performing aspect of it, especially when you just play the same dive bars over and over. It’s like, “Dude, we played there like two weeks ago, who cares.” But, still I miss it. It’s just waiting for the right show to play. --Do you mainly play in Long Beach, are you in LA? Recently, we’ve been playing in LA and Orange County a little bit more than Long Beach. I get offered a fair amount of shows, I try to make sure it’s worth it, or we’re playing to people who have never seen us before. We used to play the shit outta Long Beach, that was our jam, but right now it’s just kinda like waiting. Trying to play LA a little bit more. It’s more fun up there.


As far as your music goes, do you do it simply for enjoyment or do you have bigger plans, careerwise? Recently I thought about not doing it. A world where I didn’t fuck with music.. I’d probably just write, but I think I have to make music. I don’t know what “make it” means but I know I’d like just enough money to have my own apartment and a car. [Referencing current apartment] This is too much space for me, thats all I’d need. I know it sounds kitschy to say, but I can’t help not playing a guitar or thinking about some song as I’m walking. I don’t control that.

How would you describe the experience of playing live?

I like it. It’s not as taxing as I thought it would be. The first time I played in front of an audience, Jonny and I were in our first band together. We played at this salon called Sugar, out on Sunset. I was about 25 or 26. I remember being so nervous thinking, “Dude, this is fucking crazy. I’ve never done this before. I’m gonna fuck it up” ..and all this shit. But, the moment our bassist at the time, Phil, was ready, it was easy. That’s probably the most depressing part about playing live for me. I get nervous, because everyone else around me might be a little bit nervous. The time I’m up there it’s not as special for me as sitting down and recording something, showing it to my friends and saying, “What do you think about this part?” I get more nervous with that shit, than getting on stage. It’s just muscle memory, then again, maybe stage presence-wise, we have a lot to be desired for. I feel like I watch some people and they look cool doing what they do, but I go up there and I just feel like whatever. I don’t feel tired. I don’t feel like Im taxing myself, unless I’m drunk or something, but that never happens. I play sober, so..


Do you remember the very first live show you went to? Sonic Youth. --Sonic Youth? They’re good in concert. Oh they’re fucking great. I think my first experience was watching Radiohead, but I don’t even count it. The way I felt when I saw Sonic Youth... I saw them at Sunset Junction, years ago when they played with Mudhoney. We were drunk off wine, and high as fuck. We were idiots. Me, Jonny and all these kids I used to hang with from Downey, partied so hard in preparation for Sunset Junction. I didn’t party that hard at that time, I didn’t even know how to hold my liquor. I was falling asleep on my feet during Mudhoney and by the time Sonic Youth came on, I got all my energy back and it was great. I remember at the show there were those swords--those lightsabers you can pop out with all those colors, some girl had one and she kept hitting me in the head with it and waving it around. I took it from her and Lee Ranaldo saw it and told me to give him the sword. I gave it to him, he took it, and he raised it up and people were like, “RAAAAH!!” Then he began doing air guitar with it and I was like, “Ohh shit, Lee Ranaldo took my sword, dude!” It wasn’t even my sword. The chick wanted her sword back, she was all “That sucks, I loved that thing.” I was like, “Shut uupp! It belongs to Lee Ranaldo now!” [Everyone laughs]

Tell me a bit about one of your favorite songs you’ve created.

I think “10 Swords” is so straight up personal. If you read the lyrics, it’s me talking to my ex-girlfriend. All this shit that I’m telling her is going on, yet at the same time you don’t even understand that, “When I tell you that I love you” my life’s kinda fucked up a little bit. I don’t know if that’s a bad thing, or if it’s good, but it’s definitely the truth. I still love the girl. It’s just one of those weird songs and very abstract, in whatever it is I’m trying to say. That song and “Hangman”, which is on the 7”, lyrically it’s really short, is abstract as to what the hell I’m even talking about. I like those songs. They mean something very specific to me, and I don’t feel very self-conscious. Its not too true but it’s true to me. Also, I like “10 Swords” ‘cos it gets aggressive. Its loopy, but it has its clamor to it. Anything we’ve played live I like more than most stuff. When things start falling off and we don’t play a lot live, I probably don’t like it as much. “Colder Colors” is hard to recreate live. There’s different things going on in the guitar that you can’t do at the same time and sing vocally.

What do you feel makes a true musician? What is it that separates a musician who is at their core, a musician, in comparison to someone just wanting to make music? That is such a hard question. They have to be their own damn person to begin with. They have to be about their own shit. They’re their own individual person, nobody else is really like them. Cass McCombs recently said he feels songs shouldn’t be personal in a way. I don’t think he used it as an example, but I think he was referencing Morrissey; the way he sings about stuff and how personal his music is. McCombs feels that’s not a part of musicianship and you should be able to write songs about other characters. That’s cool, but that’s Cass McCombs own style. He works that, that’s his fucking jam. I feel Ariel Pink is in that same school of thought sometimes too. But, Christopher Owens, from Girls, isn’t. Morrissey isn’t. They’re all individuals. They’re all musicians. They all have their own style; their own way of putting things lyrically and musically. They speak their own language. As long as you are speaking your own fucking language. That whole idea is nebulus. Its very abstract in itself, what a true musician is.


How do you deal with the critique aspect of your music? It depends. Sometimes people are right. With “Lightless Babylon”, I’d have to say, that was a good call on my ex-girlfriend’s part. Everyone would agree, “Yeah you should just sing. Don’t try to do whatever you were doing.” It wasn’t like I was rapping... [Everyone laughs] That’s bullshit. That’s not what was happening. It did work out better singing and rearranging the guitar a little bit more though. I open myself up to being critiqued, but it’s normally after the fact and by showing the song to a couple of people first. It also depends how much I care about that cluster of songs. The guy that runs our label told me he liked my older stuff a bit more. When I tried to go back and do stuff that was similar to the older stuff, it just sounded whatever. If someone comments on something I already felt was off, than it’s definitely off. But, if I feel that was the best part, then fuck what they say, I’m keeping it. No one knows what they like anymore. People listen to so much different shit now. Growing up in the ‘90s, there was none of this shit where people were listening to Pangea yet Odd Future too. That’s not the way it was. That’s how it is now. There has to be a sense of individualism, which is probably the best thing about the music scene right now. People just do whatever the hell they want to do and they just get better at it; better at being themselves.

What are your thoughts on the concept of an artist, “selling out”?

I think you sell out the moment you start doing shit you don’t enjoy, or you’re over it entirely but you do it because you’re part of this music machine now. I think Billy Corgan sold out and I don’t even why. He’s not “selling out” in the sense of making money, I don’t think he’s making that much money off his music. He just sold out by being such a damn celebrity. Whereas, if he had kept his mouth shut a bit more, and chilled out, he might be able to take himself a little more serious as a musician, and write better songs. That’s another thing that has changed. You can’t just point out the sell out. Indie has taken over everything, to the point of the sell out being Nickleback or something. But how have they sold out? What does that mean? Nickelback isn’t as popular as indie shit. I don’t know. Then again, I’m so far removed from even being around or understanding what bands sold out that I don’t know. I don’t think Bon Iver sold out, but was Bon Iver supposed to be an indie guy? Has he sold out cos he was on SNL? No. I think it depends how many good songs you have out and how good of a musician you are. If you’re not that good and you have one song, and the rest of the album is kinda shit, ahh I don’t know. It’s hard to say. There’s just people I don’t like. That’s all there is. Honestly, no ones making that much money off music and if you find a way to make some money...fuck it.


Here is one I saved for the end. I don’t know if you’re up for it. Tell us a juicy secret! A juicy secret? [He laughs] Maybe something you don’t think people usually know about you. Oh shit. I’m a huge nerd. An anime nerd. --Anime?? I don’t think anyone knows that about me. The whole reason I got my own Netflix account was because I used to share with my ex-girlfriend’s ex-roommate’s account. My ex would say, “Anita is saying she’s seeing all of this anime pop up on netflix.” I got embarrassed about it. She knows I’m into that shit but I didn’t want her friends knowing that. “Sim watches Japanese cartoons?!” They’re already talking shit on me for the things I normally do, like being a man that drinks all the time, and fights. But I don’t want them knowing, “ He gets into fights AND watches anime?! He’s a weirdo. Do not see or talk to this guy again .” I don’t think anyone knows that about me.

And, for the last question, say it’s your last breathe, what’s your tombstone going to say to the world? Maaaan! [He laughs] I don’t know.. it would probably be something weird, like I’m dead yet didn’t even exist.. ‘Sim Jackson 1783-23,000.’ I don’t know if I’d be cremated but I’d probably get a huge statue put up in my honor or something, a giant heart tree, just this big tree with me and these swords coming out of it. [Everyone laughs]. Man, I’m drawing a blank.. you know, I’d probably just rent it out for ad space. That’s how much I don’t care about my tombstone, I’ll put the McDonalds arch on my tombstone and make my family some money.

S i m Ja c k s o n i s t h e m u s i c m as ter m ind beh ind th is pos t- punk, psyc h e d e li c , p o p i n f lu e nced band from Long B each , CA ; T h e Vi vi d s . Fo r mu s i c li stening and fur th er infor m ation, v is it: Fac e b o o k . c o m /Vi vi d s Vi v i ds


DANIEL BROPHY N E W J E RSE Y B A SE D A RTI ST I NTER VIEW F E ATURE D BY ELLE


Te l l m e a b i t a b o u t yo u r s e l f . I g rew u p in a l a rge family. . 8 brothe rs an d s is ters , me in cluded. I think my a r t grew ou t of that. I’ m always thinkin g of famil y as I make a r t . I g rew u p re al thrifty. We w e nt to all th e ch urch fl ea mar ket s, garage s a le s, and thrift store s in town . We each h ad our knick k n a ck s a nd s to rie s to te ll. Sometime s my mom would s pot out a chot sk i o n g ar b a ge day, my dad w ith a grin behin d th e wh e el . I was su r ro un d e d by ac t ion growing u p, so many emotion s an d ideas whi sk in g u nd e r o ne dilapidate d ro of. Drawin g s e emed like th e mos t n atura l wa y to u nl e ash my mind. I o bser v e d t h e s e t e nde ncie s, this way of life, bein g l ower middl e cl a s s; p o o r . My d raw ings came ou t of this. Th e ques tion s , “How do we li v e? H ow d o w e su rvive ? H ow do w e sta y h appy ?” are importan t them es fo r my a r t . I’ m an artist, and I try to make en ds me et. I try to un ders tand t h e t hings I k now I will never un ders tan d, an d th at’s o k. I wa n t ar t to hi t me whe reve r I’ m at, w h en I crave it, an d wh en I le a s t ex pe c t i t .

W h e n d i d yo u b e g i n yo u r a r t i s t i c j o u r n e y ? It s ta r t ed w i t h a b ox of chalk paste ls my m oth er gave me. I tried to imi ta t e M o net ’ s “ B r idge Ove r a Pond of Water Lilies ”. I t came out mu ddy. Th a t ’ s w h e n I starte d draw ing Ninja Turtl es . I didn ’t quite ap p reci at e t h e l a ws of Impre ssionism. I devel oped th e kn ack for buildin g fo r t re s s e s with cinde rblock s and bricks an d s ticks in th e backya rd a t a n e a rly age , w hich pu t in m e a certain eye to make cri t i ca l d e ci s i o ns , o r e lse the stru ctu re would coll aps e, crus hin g all of my N inj a Tu r t l e s .

W h a t m e d i u m d o yo u w o r k w i t h ? I wo r k w i t h paint , p aint marke rs, pe n and ink, pen cil , wo od, an d foun d o bj e c t . I am ope n to new mate rials, an d thinkin g about th e v ar i a ti o n of m e d i u m in fu tu re work . Pe ople s ay every thin g h as be en do n e befo re , b u t to me that is ju st an excus e, an obs truc tion from wo r k in g in a m e d i u m or style that is from your h an d al on e.

H o w w o u l d yo u d e s c r i b e yo u r s t y l e o f w o r k ? My wo r k i s illu s t rat i ve and painte rly, tight an d gl oppy .

W h e r e d o yo u d r aw i n s p i r a t i o n f r o m ? Li te ra t ure , A r t H i s to ry, eve ry day life , childh o od, environmen t, h ome.

H o w d o yo u g o a b o u t s t a r t i n g a n e w p i e c e ? I ma ke s ketch e s . I w r ite abou t my ide as. I take ph otograph s . I do s ome res ea rch , re a d s o m e bo ok s. Some pie ce s, I n e ed a crowbar to begin wo r k in g o n b u t o t h er time s it ju st happe ns for you; th e men tal crank i sn’ t s o b a d .

D e s c r i b e yo u r s e l f i n 5 w o r d s . Wo o lly. Ch ro ni cl e r . Inte rmitte nt. Me rcu rial. Pain ter.


W h a t d o yo u t h i n k o f t h e Ne w a r k a r t s c e n e ? I t hink i t ’ s re ally co ol. I like the su p port everyon e gives each oth er. I t’s real “h o m ey” , w elco ming. I f you ’ re an artist in Newark you will h ave many opportunities to s h ow your wo rk. W he rev e r yo u ’ re at, stu dy the history of your city .

W h e r e h ave yo u s h o w n yo u r a r t ? I ha v e s h ow n mostly in Newark . N ew J ers ey Sch o ol of Architecture an d D es ig n; Ke a n Uni ve rs i t y ; Ind ex Art Ce nte r; Solo(s) Project Hous e; Submerged G all ery . Recen tl y , Fo unta in down in A r t B asil. Arts Guild of N ew J ers ey , City With out Wall s .

W h a t a r e s o m e o f yo u r o t h e r p a s s i o n s ? Rea d ing, e s pe cially anything w ritte n by Cormac McCarthy . J us t s tarted a literary club , i f yo u’ d li ke to j o in . Base ball. Pe ople say th e game is borin g an d drags on . But I ’m on e of t h o s e p eo p l e w h o s e e base ball as a metap h or, s oaks in every innin g, th e n ail -bitin g l at e inning dra m a . Yo u h ave to stick w ith it, stu dy th e n umbers ; watch Ken Burn ’s documen tary o n t h e g a me . I l ov e t h e game , not the salaries . My littl e n eph ew al way s s ay s to me, “Th e Ya nke e s do n ’ t l ov e yo u . ” H e he lps me in more way s th an on e, th at littl e guy . Running , e s pe ci ally in the wo ods. I re ad, “Born to run ” about th e Tarah Mara In dian s in t h e Co p pe r Ca nyo n, Mex ico. They might be th e greates t dis tan ce runn ers on th e pl an et, a nd t h ey r un b arefo o t . Th e re is nothing like ru nn er’s high wh en you get th ere, you can run fo r mil e s . It’ s a pr im al fe e ling.

Yo u ’ r e s t r a n d e d o n a d e s e r t i s l a n d , w h a t f i ve i t e m s w o u l d yo u h ave w i t h yo u ? B ox of m a tch e s . R ifle . Cante e n. Sketchbo ok. J umbo s ized bag of popcorn .

A r t i s t b l o c k , w h a t d o yo u d o t o g e t o u t o f i t ? Yes, I h a v e a mild case right now , or may be its jus t pl ain l az in es s . But I s ketch th ro ug h i t , w r i t e , o r s o m et ime s do nothing; “ don’ t even try ”, as Bukows ki would s ugges t. Somet im e s li fe ha s to s m ack you in the face or k nock you out. Th at’s jus t my take on it. Sometimes yo u h a ve to force fe e d t he art into you rse lf. You wan t to s tay in th e h abit of makin g art. Th o ug h , i t ’ s n o t al wa y s e a s y to preve nt stagnation an d expired s kill s . However, I do think an a rt i s t ca n a lwa y s re cov e r from be ing a little ru st y , but it’s crucial to pres erve th e s oul , if on e b e li eve s in s u ch a t hing. Most artists have the ideas in th eir h ead or s ketch bo oks , I t’s jus t a m a t t e r of bal a ncing you r time w ith eve rything el s e; like bill s , frien ds , work, an d s o on .

W h a t m o t i v a t e s yo u t o c o n t i n u e w i t h a r t ? Th e id e a t h a t a rt can e ngage pe ople , n o matter th eir backgroun d. I h ope to kn ow a ll t yp e s of p e o pl e in li fe, to make frie nds, to give with art. Life is s h ort. I ’m motivated by th e d i a l o g ue a r t h as cau s e d , the ge nuine inte raction of s tory tellin g an d s h arin g of life. Th e ar t t h at I m ake come s from a stre am of con s cious n es s , like a highway , like a s mo othie s h a ke ; t hrow “ w h a t ev e r” inside and se e how it tas tes . Pickin g an d ch o os in g wh at it is in this life t h a t i s a ffec t ing yo u personally, like one with ch ops ticks pickin g a piece of marin ated tofu f ro m a bowl of f u r row ed carrots and dice d peppers .

Dan i e l Bro p h y i s a n a r t i st bas ed out of N ewar k, N ew Jers ey . For mo re a r t wo r k a n d i nfor m ation, v is it: D anielB roph y .com .


i f yo u s pread my body s tainl e s s cold and ste e l wo uld yo u find a clu tte re d me ss aro u nd t h e globular brain co uld yo u pull thin hairs and lint f ro m b et we e n the folds of e le ctrodes find pe nnie s clogging ju nctions of ge s t u re s and reflex e s wo uld yo u sw im arou nd inside of my pupil s o r ret inas , climb from bone to bon e fe e l t h e bre ak ing dow n the refrac tin g of ca r b o n of iron of prote ins d o my ce lls se gre gate the mse lves re d w i t h re d white w ith w hite co m pet e for multitu de s t h a t m u tate strike gathe r o r s tar r y masse s of galax ie s that co ns tant l y ex pand neve r re gret t h eir motion the ir sway wo uld yo u find salt flats cove re d in cr y s talline floating i ce b e rgs t hat cre e p d ow n d e epe r than first glance wo uld s cars appe ar as b ow ing ro ofs and drape the mse lves ov e r l ow e r leve ls su ffocate u nd e r ne ath falle n cu rtains d o m e m o rie s play ove r and ove r w h e re my front te eth are s t ill missing and I am small hidd e n b ehind the lime tre e


melissa h ak litch POE T

A docum ented convers ation between M elis s a Haklitch & M atth ew D anger Rowe Featured page left: “ to be found�


S o , you’re a p oet, a nd a n incr edible o n e i n m y o pi n i o n . W h e n di d y o u r e a liz e poet ry was your “thing,” s o t o spe a k? D i d y o u e x pe ri e n ce a n y p a r ticular def ining moment that ma de y o u ch o o se t o pu rsu e w ri t i n g ?

Th a nk yo u fo r t he k ind words. I have alway s be en an avid reader. As a child I wa s co ns tant l y re ading; typically prose , fic tion , an d s o on . I ’ve al way s h ad th e urg e to d o cu m e nt my fe e lings throu gh journ alin g; a s tream of con s cious n es s . While I was co nstantly involve d in re a din g an d writin g, it didn ’t materialize in to ac t u a l “ po etry” u ntil I to ok my firs t writin g works h op at Cal State San Ma rco s , w h e re I was stu dying lite ratu re an d writin g as an un dergraduate. I felt a t h o m e in work shop, and I k new writin g was s omethin g I n e eded to do a s a m e ans of s u rvival; me ntally as w ell as emotion all y . A n d, f rom t hat moment for war d, yo u ’v e b e e n w ri t i n g po e t ry re g u l a ry ?

Pret t y m u ch . I ’ v e be e n active ly involve d in works h ops s in ce th en , an d s o th ere wa s a d efini t e “ n e e ds” to produ ce work. I ’ve con tin ued writin g for my pers on al s a ke , a s w e ll . Wo u ld y ou say there is a notic eable di ffe re n ce b e t w e e n t h e w ri t i n g y o u d o fo r work shops vers us the writing y o u do fo r y o u rse l f?

I wo uld s ay ye s . My pe rsonal writing is ty picall y more an excis in g of an xieties , s t res s e s , and ge ne ral psychose s. Whe n I am writin g for cl as s , I in ten d for it to b e re ad , a nd s o I may filte r myse lf a littl e more, in clude many more devices ; co n sid e r t h e po em from more angle s. Con s ider it as an actual piece of work. While t h e wo r k I w rite for work shop may be more fil tered, it can , an d h opefull y do es , s t ill co ntain the raw ne ss of my p ers on al work. I t’s jus t a differen t road to t h e s a m e pl a ce , I think . I a b solut ely agr ee. As a writer , and po e t , w o u l d y o u a g re e t h e co n ce pt o f fi lt ering jus t enough but not too m u ch so t h e re a de rs m a y re l a t e i n a general sens e, yet a llowing the re a de r t o u n de rst a n d t h e i n t i m a t e l y p e r s onal aspec ts you a re trying to sh a re , i s t h e m o st di ffi cu l t ?

Defini t e l y . W hil e I hate to condone any form of s el f-cen s ors hip, I fe el , as a wr i te r , m a y b e eve n more so as a poet, given th e gen eral n e ed for an econ omy of wo rd s in po etry, the re is a definite occas ion to pick an d ch o os e which ima g e , co nce pt , e motion, and so on, is th e foremos t in any particul ar poem. While t h e mind work s on so many leve ls s imul tan eous l y , th ere mus t be a drivin g fo rce b e hind t h e poe m; that force can an d s h ould be mul ti-faceted, but th e p o et ne e d s to m ake the de cision of the, “So wh at”. In my opinion , wh en to o m a ny t hings a re going on in one pie ce, a reall y great thin g can be l os t to rea d e r co nf u s i o n , or pe rhaps distraction .


s t a ge I V

t he wa s ps s e ttl ed i n h er o v ari es t he y s le pt on to p o f each o th er mov e d ov e r each o th er mult iplie d, f e d t he y s t ung h o l es i n h er i n testi n es in t he s pa c e s h er o v ari es o n ce w ere t he wa s ps s p read o u t t ook ov e r he r b o d y, l i v ed o ff h er br e a t h s he c ould f e el th ei r b u z z i n g t he ir gr owing s he s we lle d an d fo u g h t punc hing he r ab d o m en at n i g h t a f t e r a ba t h t he y migr a t e d to o th er p arts liv e r, kidne ys , co l o n lymph node s it wa s t he n th at th ey pa int e d t he w al l s hung f a mily p i ctu res pot t e d pla nt s be c a me c omfo rtab l e t he f umiga t io n k i l l ed a few o ff mut a t e d t he o th ers t he y s hr unk i n si z e fo r a w h i l e but t he ir pa p er h i v es so o n fi l l ed ag ai n wit h e ggs no t h er o w n


s he t r ie d t o ha v e th em rem o v ed a nd a f e w we nt , b u t th e rest n eed ed to re pla c e t hos e gone , t he y g ri ev ed fo r th ei r l o st o n es c a me ba c k wit h a v en g ean ce, stu n g h ard er buzze d loude r he r body gr e w w eak fro m th e v i b rati o n a nd t he we ight be c a me t oo he a vy sh e san k l o w er int o be d e a c h nig h t unt il f ina lly t he y won


H as y ou r time s pent in und e rg ra du a t e a n d g ra du a t e st u di e s h e l pe d y our abi lity to focus on a “dr i v i n g fo rce ” ?

I t h a s n’ t give n me any othe r choice. Heh Heh . A h uge part of graduate s ch o ol h a s b e e n de ciding w hat it is that I am s ay in g, or try in g to s ay , with my poetry . I t ’ s b e e n instru me ntal in he lping me fin d my “So wh at”. B eaut if u l. As ide fr om s chooli n g , a re t h e re a n y w ri t e rs, o r a rt i st s o f a n y f orm , who ha ve had a pr omin e n t i n fl u e n ce o n y o u a s a w ri t e r?

I am a huge fan of Kate Gre enstre et, for her concision with image, down to the word level. I read a ton of fiction, even now, but I’ve noticed I flock to more poetic writers, o r t rans lations, like Albe rt Camus , an d a l ot of Rus s ian s like Does toevs ky a nd B ul g akov. H oweve r, paintin gs h ave al s o pl ayed a rol e in many of my pi e ce s . I did a small se rie s on s everal pain tin gs by a woman n amed Karin a J aramill o, who primarily u se s oil pain ts , an d femal e s ubjec ts . Th ere is s omethin g a b o u t h e r work that pulls me in, makes me wan t to un ders tan d th es e women , know t h e ir storie s. It inspire s me to try an d extract at l eas t a s h red of th em in po et i c form.


That ’s incr edible. I feel like th e re ’s a n i n ce ssa n t n e e d fo r a rt i st s o f a l l m edium s to feed off ea ch oth e rs’ cre a t i v e i n t u i t i o n . D o y o u , y o u rse l f , p art ak e i n any other for ms of a rt i st i c e x pre ssi o n ?

I a gre e . While we all may be producin g in differen t mediums , I believe th ere i s a v e r y similar e ne rgy pu shing th e n e ed to create. I ’ve dabbl ed in coll agin g , w hi ch i s a ctu ally ve ry fre e ing, bu t mos tl y I am a voyeur of oth er artis tic forms , an d pe e p in on so many forms of mu s ical , an d vis ual dis pl ay s of expres s ion s . A v oy eur , I like that pers pec t i v e .

H ah a, t h a nk s.


CA R B ON C YC LE S


the day we sat in th e s un tossing rock s into th e cre ek be ads of sw e at dripped down you r fore he ad a n d your voice hu mme d abou t h ow you res en ted your pare nts and how you th ought they should have wan ted to live , for you at le ast. for your s ake. bu t they gave up to o s o on , didn’ t think that you would l o ok at you r fe et w he n you walked be cau se you k new th ey were in th e groun d and you hope d th at th e rocks that wante d to be rocks would tu rn into dus t and the cardboard box you s co oped full of dirt, nex t to th e cre ek, would re se mble th em, th eir bon es , the ir organs an d toen ail s the ir last me als an d th eir h air. those flie s that buz zed th eir way s into the coffins didn ’t realize they w e re carry in g s omethin g that u se d to think s ometimes abou t all of the an ts un dern eath the soil of the earth and how eve ntuall y they would be n eighbors


Alr ight, if you we re g u a ra n t e e d o n e t h i n g i n t h e n e x t y e a r , w h a t would you wa nt th a t o n e t h i n g t o b e ?

A pu blication in McSwe en ey ’s ! Na turally, r ight?

H aha. . all go od thin gs foll ow th at. Have you had a n y t h i n g pu b l i sh e d i n t h e pa st ? O r a n y o t h e r upc oming events ?

I had a few pie ce s picked up for Th e Hal fpenny Marvel , a n ew li t e ra ry magazine for prose poetry & fl as h fiction . A s mall in depen den t ma g a zine calle d The Se cret Han ds h ake, to ok a Franken s tein lis t l ove poem I w ro t e . I was a co-editress & collaborateur for a chapbo ok titled, “Operation Lifted Flowe rs” , as we ll as a ch apbo ok titl ed, “Bl ankets an d O th er Poem s : A n Anthology for the People of Japan”, where we raised money for the Japanese Red Cross after the tsunami last year. This showcased works from people like Julie Paegle, Kevin Moffett, the Dereks (Pollard/Henderson), and many others. I am cu rre ntly workin g on a coll aboration project, rewritin g th e s to ri e s of the Wome n of t h e Bibl e en titl ed “Th e New Apocry ph a”, whi ch w e are planning on rel eas in g as a fre e e-bo ok, accompanied by a re a d ing se rie s arou nd Sou t h ern California. I al s o h ad a radio in terview/re a d ing for CSUSB; which a ired Sun day , March 28, 2012 on I tun es . You’re alr eady maki n g q u i t e a n a m e fo r y o u rse l f! Co n g ra t u l at i o n s . And, for my la s t q u e st i o n , I f y o u w e re t o de scri b e y o u r s t yl e o f wr iting in one s e n t e n ce , w h a t w o u l d i t b e ?

That’ s a tou gh one. Let me think…”I am onl y a be e, movin g poll en f ro m one flowe r to the next, with dus t s tuck to my fe et.”

Me l i s s a H a k l i tch c urre ntl y re si de s i n Co ro na, Cal i fo rni a a nd re ce i ve d h e r BA i n L i te rature and Wri ti ng fro m Cal ifor nia Sta te U n i ve rs i t y , S an M arc o s. S h e i s c urre ntl y wor k ing towa rd h e r MFA i n Cre ati ve Wri ti ng , Po etry at Cal i fo rni a Sta te U n i ve rs i t y , Sa n B e rnardi no , wh e re sh e h o pe s to g ra d ua te t h i s s p r i n g . Fo r m o re of M e l i ssa H akl i tc h : Fac e bo o k. c o m /M Ha k litch


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The Artist Interview