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jam on it Meet the man who launched a vape empire to astronomical heights.

the realist We sit with acclaimed tattoo artist and former rockstar Rich Pineda to talk music and the tattoo industry.

stroke of genius Meet the Rembrandt who changed the landscape of contemporary oil painting.

06

issue

with a Venice Original.

july/august2015


july/august2015

34

contents features the interview

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A-list actor Don Cheadle interviews the unofficial mayor of Venice–Block.

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jam on it

Meet the man who launched a Vape empire to astronomical heights..

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the realist

We sit with acclaimed tattoo artist and former rockstar Rich Pineda to talk music and the tattoo industry.

columns

departments

66 artisanal collective Mariella Angela

5 Editor’s Letter 6 Vapelife: Educate Yourself 10 Vapelife: Vaping for Wellness

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b-real tv

We go behind the scenes with the architect behind the wildly successful B-Real TV.

liftwell

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We follow pro bodybuilder Robert Chan to discuss how he uses CBD to supplement his success.

14 New Products 88 A Guide to Edibles 92 Gastronomics

on the cover PHOTO BY LEAH MORIYAMA Academy and Golden Globe winner Don Cheadle interviews Block for Tokewell.

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issue 06 | jul/aug 2015 Published by fr3shLAb creative group, llc President Richard Coyle

RICH@TOKEWELL.COM

Creative Director Ryan Furuya RYAN@TOKEWELL.COM Editor-in-Chief Saul Goode Senior V.P., Operations Cindy Galindo CINDY@TOKEWELL.COM

the assocation for the open SUPPORT vapor and TOBACCO e-liquid HARM REDUCTION industry POLICIES

Director of Finance Yvonne Morton YVONNE@TOKEWELL.COM Contributing Writers Leilani Anderson, Cindy Galindo, Brendan Kavanaugh, Mike Landers, Roy Santos, Maximilian Sterling, Bill Vernetti Contributing Photographers Kenji Furutani, Leah Moriyama, Saul Vargas Tokewell Magazine is published bi-monthly by fr3shLAb creative group, llc. Tokewell Magazine does not condone the illegal use or obtainment of cannabis. All content within this magazine is copyright protected and may not be reproduced in part or in whole without explicit written consent from the publisher. Tokewell Magazine is strictly for entertainment purposes only, and is not to be held liable for any misleading or inaccurate material produced herein.

Š2015 Fr3shlab Creative Group LLC. All Rights Reserved.

sfata.org www.CASAA.org

A public service message from the Consumers Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association

tokewell po box 444, alhambra, ca 91802 Ad Sales INFO@TOKEWELL.COM tokewell.com tokewell tokewell

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First off, I would like to thank each and every one of our readers and supporters. Without you, Tokewell would not exist and for that, we are forever grateful. We have received an overwhelming amount of critical acclaim from our Sanjay Gupta cover, along with CNN’s approval. On the

Within both of these paradigms, we have come to a point where good ol’ home innovation and inventiveness is meeting real world design and production. The black markets have exploded upon the legitimate business world to the tune of billions of dollars. Regulation and legislation that we have fought long and hard for, are finally coming to fruition. Yet, this is only the beginning...We as a community must remain vigilant and ensure that these fledgling industries continue on the correct path on our way to freedom, health and wellness. We must monitor ourselves as well as our compatriots because we are living on the bleeding edge. There are no established experts but ourselves and as we carry our torches into the darkness, we must keep in mind that we are paving the way for all those who follow.

flipside, we find ourselves constantly pushing ourselves for innovative and original content with the question always being, “How do we top the last issue?” Well, how about Oscar nominee, Golden Globe winner, and all around A-list

welcome

Welcome to Tokewell Magazine. We strive to bring you to the cutting edge of technology, design, lifestyle, and culture for both MMJ and Vapor.

actor Don Cheadle interviewing our feature and writing a story for us? Yes, you read that right. We are humbled to be able to tell the stories that need to be heard, and we are even more humbled to be within this historic moment in time, and to bear witness to a constantly evolving industry that has some of the most passionate communities. For example, industry leaders like ECC opted to prohibit vendors from exhibiting in their shows, if they appear to have marketing or packaging that appeals to children or carry blatant copyright infringements. Another major step forward in the community’s right direction was the historic milestone that occurred in California’s state capital concerning the withdrawal of SB140, which would have classified vape products as tobacco. How did this happen? By each and every single one of you being proactive and voicing your right to vape. Is this the end? Absolutely not, but it is proof positive that unity and perseverance will always prevail.

Information is our most valuable weapon and our most precious ally. With this in mind, I invite you to join us on a journey of discovery and enlightenment leading to victory and liberty.

#TogetherWeRise I hope you enjoy the issue.

Stack Paper, Catch Vapors.

Sincerely,

Saul Goode Editor-in-Chief

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vapelife

educate yourself WORDS

ROY SANTOS CO-OWNER, VAPELYFE

Vaping, (commonly known as “electronic cigarettes”), has substantially increased in popularity year after year. With all eyes on us, our industry has been the recipient of good and bad publicity. One topic that seems to be the focus is nicotine. The curious thing is, when nicotine comes into the conversation of vaping, everyone automatically thinks it’s a health hazard. Nicotine is addictive, but it’s the thousands of chemicals emitted from the combustion of cigarettes that are the main killers. Personally, I have been smoke free for almost 3 years now courtesy of vaping. As a result, we have used less nicotine strength in our e-liquid and I honestly don’t vape as much as I use to. In the last couple of years there has been a tremendous drop in tobacco use and I believe vaping is a huge part of that. While vaping technology is still new, the innovation and numerous case-studies are constantly

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evolving this industry. It is hard to keep track of your goal and easy to lose yourself in the midst of this exciting time. I believe in some cases some of us have. We need to remember that our main objective is to help people make the switch from smoking to vaping. Many people looking upon us from the outside can easily be influenced to think otherwise. Some of the biggest negative culprits in our industry are the cartoon labels, names and copyright infringements to name a few. It’s not a good look for us. I feel that many smokers looking to vape can feel overwhelmed. I have heard from many people that tried switching to vaping walk into a vape shop and feel so intimidated and immediately get turned off. The biggest hurdle we face is that we need to continue to unify and not lose sight of our true objective. Remember, we’re all in this together and share the same goal.

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vaping for wellness vapelife

WORDS

BILL VERNETTI /// BRENDAN KAVANAGH OWNERS, ELIXIR VAPE CO.

At Elixir Vape Co., we’re pioneering a way to not only help people quit smoking, but to also enjoy the healthy benefits of herb and vitamin blends. Our new line of premium eLiquids–Epothecary takes vape to a new level. Since vaporization is the most effective way to administer these active ingredients, a product like ours opens up vaping to a whole new world of wellness. It was Christmas Eve of 2013 and two friends of 30 years were relaxing and vaping–that’s when we came up with the concept of Epothecary–a healthier alternative to nicotine–eLiquids infused with herbs and vitamins that deliver completely healthful effects for a variety of occasions. After spending 2014 developing Elixir Vape Co. and Epothecary, we released four Elixirs: Awake, Breathe, Calm and Enhance. Made available in January of 2015, our game changing line of premium eLiquids are now carried in many of the top U.S. vape shops as well as in Russia, China, Chile, Indonesia and the UK. We’ve achieved some great traction in 2015 but selling this concept to the mainstream vape community has been difficult at times. Since we’re not really about cloud chasing we’re often received with skepticism. We frequently have to win over shop owners and employees even after we win over their customers. It’s a bit ironic that the concept of vaping for wellness can prove to be such a foreign concept to an industry that was predicated on deliver-

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ing a healthier alternative to combustibles. But, our artisanal flavors and amazing effects are doing the trick. We’re all here to help people get healthy, right? So, why not use these devices to do even more than deliver nicotine? We’re really just trying to take the vape concept to the next level and elevate an industry in the process. As many find out, vaping herbs and vitamins not only works well, it tastes really good too. People are discovering that the personal vaporizer is a device that can deliver infinitely more substances than nicotine. The horizon is broadening and we are leading the charge. WEB SI TE: elixir-vape.com I N STAGR A M: elixirvapeco FACEB OOK: elixir-vape-co


new products W E B S IT E : elixir-vape.com IN STAG R A M : elixirvapeco FAC E B O O K : elixir-vape-co

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Epothecary was conceived on premise that not all people who vape use it for smoking cessation or to blow colossal clouds. In fact, there is a new category that has spawned in the vape industry–Wellness. As a result, there are new enthusiasts that champion this herbalist #VapeForWellness mindset like fitness fanatics and homeopathic advocates just to name a couple. With their amazing small-batch flavors coupled with organic vitamins and herbs, Epothecary are the leaders in this channel and look to be for years to come. #VapeWithEffect AWAKE

CALM

Sweet lemon tea with hints of berries and spice promotes natural energy and a clear mind.

Dark cocoa with earthy tones and a touch of spice promotes relaxation, peace of mind and sleep.

BREATHE

Sweet lemon and honey with mint and eucalyptus promotes bronchial and sinus health.

ENHANCE

Cream caramel with notes of cinnamon and spice promotes vitality and libido.

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AWARD WINNING FLAVOR

ROTTEN ROPE VAPE SUMMIT III 2015

FOR WHOLESALE INQUIRIES CONTACT

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ROTTEN ROPE

“BETTER THAN REAL RED VINES”

DIRTY STRAWBERRY “LIKE MAMA’S PB&J ALL DAY”

TERRIBLE TANG

“GUILT FREE ORANGE CUPCAKE”

DUMMIES

“IT’S A SMARTIES MOUTH PARTY”


new products 18 tokewell magazine


Fresh from the bakery of SQN comes of one the vape games most decadent craft e-Liquids simply called–The Real. You know what they say, “it’s better to be great at a few things than to be good at many.” Thankfully for us, that mindset yielded 3 of the most gastro-authentic flavors that are flawlessly delectable by focusing on America’s favorite dessert–Cheesecake. NY The bona fide flavor of NY Cheesecake

was carefully crafted to carry the dessert’s signature fusion of creamy sweet and subtle tart tastes - and that’s exactly what you’ll experience with this perfectly balanced blend. The dessert itself has been a beloved dish around the world dating back over 4,000 years, and The Real. NY is equally delicious, easy on the palate, and a pure pleasure to experience. LEMON Following a recipe is how most

of us create the dinners and desserts we enjoy at home, but imagine how boring our consumables would be if nobody was brave enough to try something a bit different. Lemon Cheesecake is the perfect example of when the addition of something small

creates a surprisingly delicious result! It provides the tried-and-true taste of NY Cheesecake with an undeniably delicious citrus zest! STRAWBERRY The sweet, juicy flavor of

freshly picked ripe strawberries have been added to a variety of dishes, desserts, and drinks for years and years, so naturally, adding that classic fruit flavor to a staple recipe such as cheesecake was a must! Strawberry Cheesecake provides the perfect blend of graham cracker crust, cream cheese center, and exquisite fresh fruit that create an appetizing taste that’s a proven success!

INSTAGR A M:

vape_the_real

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new products 20 tokewell magazine


Unless you’ve been tucked away in the Himalayas for the past 5 years, you’re familiar with the exceptionally popular brand–Vapelyfe. The proponents behind Vapelyfe have always about the support, education and enthusiasm for the burgeoning vape community. Consequently, their advocacy and support has yielded them one of the most frequently used hashtags on social media and a passionate following even a Kardashian

would be proud of. Some people wear their emotions on their sleeve, and now you can do the same with Vapelyfe apparel from their catalog of hoodies, snapbacks and tees. If clothing and accessories isn’t your thing, try some of their artisan crafted e-Liquids which mimic the feeling and flavors from your favorite confectionary. WEB SI TE:

thevapelyfe.com

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JAM ON IT WORDS

SAUL GOODE

SNAPS

LEAH MORIYAMA

Space Jam co-founder Aaron Pederson knows a thing or two about work ethic. Just creeping up on his mid-20’s, this So Cal entrepreneur has already become an integral part of vape culture through his products as well as his vision, helping to establish relationships with governmental regulatory agencies and other manufacturers alike in an effort to promote responsible vaping, safer products, and unity among the industry. 24 tokewell magazine


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Like the trail of vapor aerosol that emits from his Space Jam e-liquid products, Aaron Pederson’s course of destiny has been anything but a straight line. After initially pursuing culinary dreams, it would be his downtime that became his “found time.” Admittedly a “pack a day” cigarette smoker, Aaron became enthralled with the e-cig market after buying his initial vape and quitting cigarettes over the course of a weekend. With his friend, Mike Crawford, Aaron turned his infatuation with the technology into an obsession and began making his own flavors. Soon, the duo birthed Space Jam Juice, a company now considered to be a cornerstone of the e-juice market with national and worldwide distribution. As the com-

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pany’s Chief Experience Officer, Aaron has channeled his passion into creating the company’s flavors and, even more importantly, fueled the fire of unity among his fellow manufacturers and the federal government. “I was one of the inaugural signees and co-authors of the Statement of Principles that was signed by a collection of responsible e-liquid companies,” explains Pederson. “It defined how to responsibly market e-liquid and we wanted to show the government that we were being proactive about our business.” That approach seems to be working, and thanks to Aaron’s passion and hard work, both Space Jam e-liquid, and the vaping industry are sure to be here to stay. That’s definitely good news for all of us.


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What did you do before founding Space Jam? I lived in Seattle until I was 19. Originally I wanted to be a chef. I took a culinary program in my high school for two periods a day and we ran a restaurant where we served dinner to 100 people once a month to fund the program. It was really cool and after working as a line cook for nine months and pulling 60 hours a week, I realized that I didn’t want to be a chef for the rest of my life. I still loved creating in the culinary sense; I just didn’t have time for the other side of it. I went to community college part time and became interested in the medical field, so I got into biology classes. I moved down to Southern California when I was 20, and I worked part time as a restaurant in the South Coast plaza and went to school at Irvine Valley. After awhile, I lost interest in school, because I liked what I was studying, but I didn’t love it. How did you become interested in vaping? I had a friend in my California apartment complex that was vaping, and at the time I was smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. I had headaches, lung issues, and many other health problems. My friend had a vape and it interested me. I got one and it took like two days for me to quit smoking! I was on vaping big time. So you dove into it headfirst? Yes. I started talking to my friend and he explained that he was making his own vape liquids. He showed me how to make e-liquid and I got pretty interested. It was like cooking; you came up with your own flavors and for $100, I ordered some DIY supplies. I started messing around and came up with some flavors I liked, and I showed them to my friends and the response was overwhelmingly positive. I never even considered selling it; it was just a cool hobby. We made it in my garage, and it took all night from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. I put them in little plastic bottles, got some labels printed at Staples on return

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address stickers and my buddy and now Space Jam co-founder, Mike Crawford, drove me to a couple shops to gauge interest, since I didn’t have a car. We got our first order from Vape Rev and sales grew exponentially once we found some nationwide distribution, which came a few months later. Our one and only loan was a $550 loan from Mike’s dad for supplies, putting up Mike’s guitar and my laptop as collateral. We paid the loan back with interest in seven days and never needed another cash infusion after that. It grew to the point where I could quit my job, drop out of school and just do Space Jam full time. Wow. That is an amazing story. You must’ve been so excited and surprised by how quickly it took off ? Oh yeah, we were total kids. When it started selling it was like, “Oh my god. I could make a life out of this. I don’t think I need to go work for someone else anymore!” While it’s not as

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easy to live the American Dream these days, I feel like I’m doing exactly that. It took a long time of telling my parents what I was doing, but it wasn’t until they toured our offices that they fully understood, but they’ve always been super supportive of me. You’ve become a voice for responsible vaping. Do you feel a certain obligation in that sense due to your company’s success? For the first year of Space Jam, we didn’t consider the consequences of selling a product that had nicotine or the responsibilities that we had in selling it because the government hadn’t regulated anything. That doesn’t mean that I can just do whatever I want selling nicotine products. I believe we have an intrinsic responsibility to sell a product in a way that consumers can know exactly what’s in it and it can be marketed fairly. I don’t want to get kids addicted to nicotine; I just want to convert cigarette smokers into vaping.


Where do you see the Vape industry going? It’s hard to call. I lead the regulatory and government relations’ side of Space Jam. If the FDA decides to come out and have reasonable regulations, we could end up becoming a thriving industry of small businesses that grow larger within the next 5-10 years. If they come out with more restrictive regulations, then it could lead to big tobacco acquiring companies if that’s the only option to keep the products on the market. In my experience, ecigs are clearly less harmful than combustible cigarettes. Studies are being conducted as we speak to provide data giving us clear answers. There’s no way this product is going anywhere. Public perception is starting to change. You’re seeing articles in Forbes and the Wall Street Journal and the NY Times writing about the benefits of vaping. Five to ten years from now, Space Jam is still going to be around and probably one of very few large e-liquid companies.

Do you think having all eyes on the vape industry is a good thing or a bad thing? There is a perception issue with the guy who is sitting at the outdoor café, vaping on his 26650 mechanical mod blowing this fog machine cloud that’s floating over to some family, its floating into some kid’s face or other random person and that can create a negative perception of vaping. People have the right to do that; vapers just need to keep in mind etiquette in public. Just because you have the right to vape, doesn’t mean that people will see it in a positive light. There was and still is an elitist attitude among some hobbyists and it’s kind of like street wear. A “cool guy” factor; feeling like if you don’t have the latest mods you feel intimidated from going into some shops. I think that attitude has changed a lot and become a more welcoming atmosphere so that those who are interested in it can feel comfortable and learn about vaping.

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For the industry to move forward, what will it take? The actual vapers have an impact on public perception, but the responsibility really lies on the e-liquid manufacturers. The hardware manufacturers not so much, but the e-liquids that are coming out with trademark infringing marketing materials, stuff that’s referencing children’s foods, cartoony bright colors, and those kinds of things. We have a responsibility on the e-liquid side to ensure that the products we are putting on the market are going to be positively perceived by a

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majority of consumers. If you incorporate those things, you need to do so responsibly so as not to attract negative attention, especially from regulatory groups. Products need to be described in a mature way that appeals to adults, etc. Responsible marketing and branding can show lawmakers that we understand the need to be proactive. We understand that we are selling a product for ages 18 and up; we understand the rules in place for alcohol and tobacco are there for a reason. We can sell our products in a way that they can be positively perceived.


WORDS

DON CHEADLE

They say, “The winners are the ones who write history.” Well, actually, Venice Originals founder, OG photographer, and entrepreneur Cesario “Block” Montano says that. Through his life behind the lens, Block preserves the area’s history while rewriting his own, and proves that being a product of your environment can actually open up a whole new world. 34 tokewell magazine

SNAPS

LEAH MORIYAMA


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‘‘A

rose by any other name…” and all that rot. Some know him as Cesario. Some use “Block.” He’ll answer to Mr. Montano. Still, others say he’s the unofficial “Mayor of Venice.” I feel privileged to call him my friend, as I’ve known the homie for over 30 years. These same years have seen close friends come and go, family members pass, and “Google Venice” lay his claim to the hood while yogurt and iced lattes spill out of the doors and onto the Abbot Kinney asphalt. Hal’s ain’t even there any more? Damn. But there is a mainstay. A stalwart figure that remains ever true, ever down, ever Venice. He is a vessel of stories about his faithful subjects, both near and far. He can show you all the spots where shit used to go down and where it’s happening now. He’s still got that back room, and if trouble visits you, after a good OG ribbing, he’ll more than likely let you kick it there until you can figure Don: I still remember when we met. It was in 1984 I went to Cal Arts and we met there. Of course, I had known of you before I knew you. You were notorious. (Laughs). How did you end up there? Block: I had a teacher named Larry Shapiro in high school who was attending Cal Arts at the time as a student. He was also teaching at Otis Parsons School of Art and Design and he was really influential in getting his high school students to get into Art School. He really liked my work and pushed me to go to school, so by the time I graduated, I had full scholarship offers to Otis Parsons, San Francisco Arts, and Cal Arts, but he pushed me towards Cal

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some shit out. “But you better not snore… and wash your fucking feet, corn chip smelling ass.” Ah… Tough love. We ALL need it sometimes. And there’s no better combo of tough and love that I can think of than my good friend, Block (shortened from Blockhead, so the story goes. But you go ahead and call him that - I dare you). Yes, the years have piled up, but ain’t nothing changed. We’re older, wiser, and more rickety and injury laden, but we’re still standing. And though our schedules are busy, we always make it a point to reconnect, break bread, blaze one, and ponder what has passed and what’s to come. Just like we did this morning. Why not let Tokewell come along? We just kicking’ it. So now, ladies and germs, allow me to introduce photographer, filmmaker, DJ, raconteur, party-starter (and ender) and dear friend of mine for over 30 years (fanfare time - Da-dada-da!!!), Block.

Arts. I was into photography and shooting. Back then it was film, so black and white film, and I was just learning how to shoot. Portraits were a common subject. I would just shoot my homeboys and have fun; we just got creative with it. I was really into it at the time. Don: You have this reputation to the point where people call you “The Unofficial Mayor of Venice.” Block: It’s an underlying joke. I really don’t know what it takes to be a mayor but I think the name came because I was always mediating things between friends. If somebody had issues, it was always, “Go talk to Block.” I think that just came because I lived in my Venice house my

whole life, and if I couldn’t help them, then I knew who to talk to. We would all get together at my house to build skate ramps and that formed a bond with a lot of people. Don: I think your photography really grabs people because of the relationship between you and the people you shoot – even when you used to shoot me. You always had a relationship with your subjects. Was that something you were taught? Block: The way we grew up, honesty was everything and being truthful was everything. Imitation wasn’t happening at the time, it was about being true to yourself. The visual interpretation is just the representation


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of the relationship you have to the subject and how honest you both are willing to be. My parents died when I was 12, so I just had older brothers and sisters. One of my brothers had gotten ahold of some cameras and I asked him for one, it was a Canon ae1. He was in a gang, so he gave me the camera if I agreed to shoot him and the clique. I started shooting my brother and lowriders and my teacher said, “You gotta keep doing this. Where are you shoot-

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ing these?” I told him they were from my house and I thought I was going to get in trouble! (Laughs). I never set out to be a “skate photographer,” I just was a skateboarder myself and so were my friends, so I was just shooting what we were doing. Christian [Hosoi] was really easy to shoot as a skateboarder. Shooting with him made it seem so effortless. Christian sent me on a few trips with him as a photographer, and I was able to have a few of our shoots turned

into published ads. It was crazy; the first time I ever flew was on a plane to Japan with Christian, I was 21 years old. People liked our shoots and Thrasher offered me a position as staff photographer, but I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want anyone to own my negatives, and if you work for a magazine, that’s usually how it works. I instead became a contributing photographer and that’s how I have always done it, I don’t want anyone to own all of my work.


so it was just us relinking in a sense. He ran a street promotions team called Power Move Promotions and wanted me to shoot the staff. So I got to know them, and eventually they all branched off to different labels so they always kept me in mind to do artist shoots. I ended up going from shooting my brother and lowriders and homies to shooting Snoop Dogg in the studio. It was just Snoop and Daz and everybody, but shooting all the rap studio stuff was no different for me than hanging and shooting with my own friends. That’s how that took off. It was about being around, being social, having people like you and feel comfortable with you.

Don: Yeah, but you knew where to be to catch those moments. It’s that knowledge of your subjects. You knew where to be to catch those moments. You’ve gone from shooting your friends into the music thing, how did that take off. Block: You’re right; it’s about being comfortable with people. There was a music editorial piece in Thrasher on The Pharcyde, so I got to shoot them and that started me in the music photographer. Their manager, Paul Stewart, went to Venice

Don: I think you can’t also discount the fact that you are talented and good and what you do. These people are not gonna back you for anything that is to be publicized if you don’t have the goods. Block: We all see things differently, all of us. Your reality is different from my reality. As far as talent, I view my photography talent as just my perspective. It doesn’t mean I’m super talented, I just see things the way I see things. Don: But you’ve also never been afraid to put yourself out there and try different things. Block: There’s a lot of death

in my family. My mom and my three brothers died in that house. People are like “Block, you gotta have a plan.” I’m like, “I buried a lot of people who had plans. I’ve cleaned out their places.” Whether you live or pass early, It’s just your destiny. There are no promises. Your plans can get short at any time, so I learned that you gotta live for the moment. Don: How did you get involved with directing the “Rising Son” documentary on Christian Hosoi? Block: The film was something that I was close to. People don’t realize I was skateboarding for him and travelling around with him and he was always there for me and supported the things I had done. When he got in trouble, I started putting together a portfolio of all the ads; the work, his accomplishments and I had approached him in jail. I was working on a film called “Project Street,” which never came out, but Rhino films was funding that and they liked the Hosoi idea. They gave me a $5000 retainer fee to go and get funds for it, and I wanted to get him some money for his lawyers and so forth. I talked to Christian and he was good with it, so I started reaching out. The Pony athletic wear brand was coming back out and using Pete Rose and Jack Tatum in “comeback ads” like “what happened to these athletes/what

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happened to Pony?” They were warm to Christian and I was able to get some money for him. We did some layouts with existing photos I had of him and at the end of the day, they chose not to run them because of his drug offense. Still, it was enough to get started on the film and it was really well received. It was my first film. I also shot the music video for “Runnin” by The Pharcyde. Then I shot one for Frost and it kept going but the processes taught me about production. I worked with a bunch of talented friends. Don: The documentary was really well done. To your credit, you did what a filmmaker is supposed to do in holding the film to the fire and making it honest and not just showing certain biased aspects. Block: You said, “You’re a good storyteller, you really know how to tell a story”. That meant something to me, especially because I only worked with still images. The story wasn’t just about skateboarding; it was about a man; it was about my friend. Don: You’ve had more experience than people twice your age. You’ve gone to every corner of the globe with your craft - which is even more amazing for those of us who really know you. (Laughs). Block: Yeah, because I don’t have a car! (Both laugh). I don’t have a license; I haven’t driven a car in ten years! Don: I know, because I still have to pick you up! (Both laugh

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again). It’s like “”Driving Miss Block,” and shit. Block: I just appreciate how everybody has always been there for me. When I broke my leg skateboarding, people would come by and bring me food or juice or whatever. These guys would all look out for me. I’d have my camera set up and you would come in and I would yell, “Celebrity Food Delivery!!!” (Laughs) Working and being friends with vastly different people has definitely helped me in travelling for work though. I can remain focused on the work but still care about the people around me and pick up different things from them. My travelling has all been through photography, doors have opened and even when I am totally different than the environments, people like the work. On any set, I’m the type to get up out of my hotel room and go meet the other workers. You gotta make an effort and a lot of times that ends up helping to get you the next job. Not in a sense of being fake, but I am there to work and so are other people, why not get to know them? You’ve gotta bring something to the table and my mentality has always been “I’m gonna bring the whole table!” Don: It has been pretty interesting just to see the progression in how some of our friends’ lives have ended up working out. Block: Yeah, our circle has just always evolved. I remember when Don moved to Venice after school. His first role was as “Rocket” in Colors. My photog-


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raphy matures as their career matures and the photos have become that much more meaningful for all of us. Don: We did an eleven-person play of Hamlet one time; with all these different professional actors and we put Block in there. (Both laugh). Let’s talk a little bit about the changes you’ve seen here. You’ve been in Venice your whole life. Now Google is down here, there’s gentrification everywhere. What’s your take on it? Is there change for good and bad? Block: The community is benefitting from the resources and revenue coming into this. I grew up on Horizon my whole life in the same house and the changes are for the better. My friends died, there were drug dealers on my street, pimps and hookers growing up, houses were boarded up, empty lots; it was run down. I see my nieces growing up in Venice now and having a much different experience. It’s about knowing the right people. I thought owning a home in my own

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neighborhood made me feel legit in Venice, but starting my own business, Venice Originals, and employing people, I got a different level of respect from other business owners that I went and supported and they started coming in and supporting my store. I’m not getting rich off it or selling Ferraris, but it’s cool to walk around and have people love my shirts. I did a whole campaign for Venice Originals and I used all people who lived in Venice. For actors I shot you and Danny Trejo, and then I did Robert Trujillo from Metallica and Louiche Mayorga and Mike Clark from Suicidal Tendencies. I shot Peter Destefano from Porno For Pyros and Perry Farrell, too. I also shot Brandon Boyd from Incubus. They all lived in Venice and my whole concept behind that was to get my friends together. It’s not just showing how tight knit everybody is, it’s going to be something bigger. Don: How long has it been since you started the Venice Originals store?

Block: I’ve had the store eight years now. Venice Originals is something that is a product of the history of the place. There was a partially developed area that was a part of this oil company’s plans for a cemented community picnic and activities area. That area went through a bunch of changes and when the oil company left, they tore down the pavilion and left two million dollars for the city to revamp the place. Petitions started about what should be built in its place and since the Dogtown movie brought about a realization that Venice is one of the meccas of skateboarding, we helped raise the voice needed to make it a skate park. We all decided to pay homage to the older guys’ companies, by putting their names and companies up on it, but it felt like a great accomplishment for us to help put up a $2.5 million dollar skatepark here. I feel like, when it’s all said and done, we made our mark and it feels good.


trulyy rich WORDS

MIKE LANDERS

SNAPS

SAUL VARGAS

Rising tattoo artist Rich Pineda describes how is his tenacious work ethic fueled his rapid ascent into becoming one of the most well respected and in demand artists in the tattoo industry.

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M

aking your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got. Or so the song says. Rich Pineda is living proof, however. After redirecting his career as a musician into becoming a force to be reckoned with behind a tattoo needle, Rich knows full well the guts it takes to succeed. Pouring his heart and soul into a profession he had always respected ever since receiving his own first tattoo, Rich understood from the beginning that in this industry, real recognizes real. Simply put, you’ve got to put in work. Hard work. We sat down with the man whose vivid tattoos are adding color to the world at large to get a glimpse of the grueling grind behind the man himself.

How did you get the name Richie Bon? When I set up my Instagram account, my son set it up for me but the name Rich Pineda was taken. I used to go to Benihana a lot and used to drink Ichiban beer and they used to call me Richie-Bon every time they saw me. My son told me to use Richie Bon and I didn’t think anything of it, but it got so popular and everybody started to call me that. I’ll be cruising around at a convention and people will yell out “Richie Bon!” This space of yours is amazing. I’m part of Renaissance but this particular area is mine and it’s called “The Vault.” This space is pretty indicative of what I do. I’m surrounded by inspiration and the space is a great environment for me to work in. Actually, Jeremy from Sullen came up with this name. How long have you been a tattoo artist and how did you get into the profession? I’ve been tattooing for over five years now, and I actually got into it by sheer accident. I was recording out of a studio in the Palm Springs area, and I was writing and recording for this one band. A buddy came over just to see what I was up to and he was my tattoo artist at the time. I showed off some of the artwork I had done at the time.

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It came at the time when I had two kids and I was already thinking about getting out of music to look for something more stable. There is no halfway in tattooing. If you’re going to apprentice, you’ve got to be dedicated all the way. I come from a real heavy art background, and they don’t use the term “starving artists” for nothing; it doesn’t always pay the bills. I was painting cars, trucks, boats, bikes doing faux finishing in homes, and whatever I could just to supplement my income from music. Luckily for me, the decision to become an artist full time has worked out. I have to thank the people that helped slingshot me; like Franco Vescovi, Jeff Cooper, Jeremy and Ryan from Sullen. If it wasn’t for those guys, I don’t know what I would be doing. How did Sullen get involved? I did the Ink Masters show and I did a tattoo on this one client and he wanted to enter it for the competition. There were so many rippers there that day and they called out the 3rd and 2nd place winners and I didn’t think anything of it. They called another name for 1st place and I started walking away and my client grabbed me and said, “That’s my name!” I ended taking 1st place for Tattoo of the Day, and I ended up beating out Jeremy, who at the time I didn’t know. He came


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up and introduced himself and congratulated me. He gave me his card and we hit it off and ended up becoming brothers. He’s one of my best friends in life. Becoming part of Sullen Art Collective is a big deal. You need to have a shirt with them, and I did a few things and hit and missed but things worked out great. Now I have four shirts with them and two more coming out soon. It just worked out. Five years isn’t a long time, how have you been able to be so accomplished in such a short time frame? Well, I had two kids at the time I knew I really had to immerse myself in it more than most people probably do. My apprenticeship only lasted two weeks. Jeff Cooper was more of a friend so I didn’t just clean and scrub toilets because I’ve paid my dues in the past. My apprenticeship was more focused thanks to him. He was more into teaching me fundamentals and not really how to design the art. He knew I was already an accomplished artist and had the background, so he showed me things like how to build a machine, break it down, and build it back up. This guy, Cam, equated my five-year timeframe to somebody who has been doing it for twelve years, because of the amount of time in hours I put into it. I have “133” tattooed on my stomach because I did 133 days straight at 12-16 hours with no breaks and not a single day off. I wanted to accelerate my growth, and I realized, it’s not the amount

of days, it’s the amount of hours. I have a good solid base of family members who have accomplished things in their life and I used the same mentality. They never waited for anybody to hand things to them, they just took it. They went in put in the hard effort and work. If you really want something bad enough, you’ll do it. I just shortened up the timeframe. Who are your influences? From the beginning, I’d say Nikko [Hurtado] and Mike DeVries. Those two immediately caught my attention. I didn’t know tattooing like that was even possible. Are you into hotrods? I’m very into hotrods! I’m definitely a car guy. I’m really into old cars. Right now, I’m building a ‘68 Caddy. I just picked up two this weekend; that one and a ‘71 chopped rat rod VW. I’m into everything automotive, anything with wheels, tattooing has allowed me to afford them. I feel so lucky. Do you have any other hobbies you like to get into in your limited spare time? Well, I moved back to beach. I lived in the High Desert for 14 years and I missed surfing. I love going to the river, and I go with Jeremy a lot, actually. We both have two kids, so we get our wives and kids and hang out. What are your thoughts on new artists getting into the game? A lot of people want to ride the

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coat tails of other peoples’ success. Just build your own lane through the fundamentals of hard work and put in the time to give respect to the industry. Whenever I see somebody doing it wrong, it almost hurts me. Tattooing has been around for thousands of years, and modern tattooing has been around for hundreds of years. So, it’s something I do not take lightly, and I something for which I have a deep respect. That’s why I’m friends with a lot of the older guys, because they see the work I’ve put in, and to be respected by those guys means everything to me. There are so many new guys that are ripping it on social media, too. These new guys are setting trends and doing it the right way. Do you think mainstream media is helping the tattoo industry? If it wasn’t for social media, I wouldn’t be where I am today. The TV shows,

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people love to hate, but they watch them. They’re not hating it too much. (Laughs) The shows are harmless and they make tattoos more acceptable. I got nothing bad to say about ‘em, really. The exposure helps to pay our bills. I understand you also do tattoo seminars? I teach the fundamentals of tattoo art; from things I’ve compiled through my experience to stencils finding resources, all the tools you need, how to use the skin as a medium, color theory, and how to build your business. I keep the classes in smaller groups, around 10-20 students, ranging from intermediate experience to advanced level artists. I’m constantly learning. It’s like iron sharpens iron. I love this industry. It’s a family-type feel. It’s like nothing out there. I feel like I’m doing what I was meant to do. I’m constantly learning


and growing. I’m super thankful to be able to tattoo, and I really feel blessed. What’s your waiting list like? It’s about eight months to a year. Currently, I have a new apprentice, Alex Varkatzas, who is the lead singer of Atreyu. He’s the 2nd apprentice I’ve ever had. He’s one of the hardest working guys, I’ve known, too. Last week he played a festival of 50-100K fans and he came back here right after to bust his ass in learning how to tattoo in a traditional apprenticeship. He did his first tattoo on me. What are your thoughts on cannabis? I was a pretty hardcore advocate of the legalization of marijuana when I was younger. Both of my kids know I use it. Instead of breaking down my body with pharmaceuticals, I have found that cannabis is the one thing that has regulated my thinking, and helped balance my stress levels. It’s like a wet blanket that goes over the fire that’s constantly burning going in my mind. It really helps me to relax and calm down and it’s something that I don’t feel is as dangerous as having a couple of

beers after your workday. I even told my son that if he wants to use it when he’s older I don’t have a problem with it. I just don’t see it as negative like so many other people do. That stigma that was put on it from the ‘40’s-50’s stuck all the way through the ‘80’s. I come from a family of cannabis users. I was raised with it not being a bad thing. My children don’t look at it like that, even though my son said he’ll probably never use it and that’s fine, too. I just let them know I don’t think there’s anything negative about it. Of course like anything, there’s always something bad if you abuse it, but used responsibly, its beneficial. It has helped me tremendously. Any shout outs you’d like to send to anybody in your field? Yes! I want to thank all of my sponsors: Sullen, Eternal Ink, INK-EEZE, TATSoul, Black Flys, Sullen TV, Bishop Rotary, Opus Gloves, Painful Pleasures, Stencil Stuff, Waterloo, Redemption Tattoo After Care, and Quick Caps. WEB SI TE:

richpinedatattoos.com

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WORDS

MAXIMILLIAN STERLING

SNAPS

LEAH MORIYAMA /// KENJI FUJISHIMA

Many of you are familiar with B-Real - the frontman of the legendary Cypress Hill crew. Known primarily for spitting some of fiercest lyrics in hip-hop, B-Real is also a well-known advocate and brand ambassador for the cannabis movement. While still performing sold out shows worldwide, B acknowledges that there is life after music. With the internet and social media taking over, the combination has given fans a tool to get closer to their favorite celebrities and engage with them at the click of a button. We are in the “now” generation. People want information faster and louder. The game has changed, and B-Real has no intentions of falling victim to it. Staying true to his familia and loyal to the soil, B-Real has always kept his circle tight. Consequently, he turned to one of his oldest riders, Kenji Fujishima, who now spearheads the operations for his web show. We had a chance to meet Kenji, the architect behind B-Real TV, and get some insights on how the whole network came together. Find out how this roadie-turnedpartner leads the charge for B-Real TV, stays dedicated, and if he can reveal whether or not anybody has tapped out from the SmokeBox sessions.

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How did you get started with B-Real TV? B-Real and I have been working with each other for over 20 years. I started off as a roadie with Cypress and when I got out of high school, I was able to tour with them. Then, I took a few years off and worked with Limp Bizkit when Cypress took a hiatus. After that, I started working for one of my buddies at StickAm, which was a live streaming network with a chat room, which allowed people to really interact.

shows, but it literally went from the lobby of B’s studio in Chatsworth to my loft. Then it went from one show to the Meditation show broadcasting like 5 days a week. After that, the network started picking up so quick and I thought fuck, we can’t keep doing this at my place! My kid is around and there are too many people here (laughs). I had to have people come pick up my kid before and drop him after the show.

Having an existing relationship with B, did you pitch the idea of the show to him? B-Real TV was already around at the time doing very minimal stuff at the time like tutorials on how to roll a joint on YouTube things like that. Then B started experimenting using UStream. Since I was with StickAm, I was like, “Maybe you guys want to try this out? We’ll hook you up and see how this works.” StickAm was also willing to build B his own platform based on StickAm technology.

Growth is a good problem to have. What did you guys do to remedy that? We moved to this new place off Flower and we built 9 shows there. We even outgrew that, and now were here with about 16 shows currently. We do 11 out of this building and we have 4 YouTube properties. Now, we’ve become partners with Omni Media.

Once B-Real jumped onboard StickAm, how did the show change? We were building members so fast and nobody was really doing what we were doing in terms of live broadcasting from the studio. I think the other person was Maceo from De La Soul doing The Dugout. When did you realize this was becoming a real big thing? We started with the 420 Show for a year and a half, then we started adding

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With so much going on like recording and touring, how do you manage? We really wanted to focus our attention on B-Real TV, so I retired off the road and just focused on getting it to the level it’s at now. It’s fun. We have an amazing team. Nothing here gets done without anybody. Are you surprised about how fast the outlet has risen and the rapid success of its shows? I’m taken aback in the sense that in the past two years it’s risen exponentially. Especially when we started the SmokeBox and really grasped the whole weed stigma thing. We had to tone it down due to our relationship


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with StickAm. We were limited on what we could do because of fear of losing sponsorships. How do you go about getting all the guests for B-Real TV? For SmokeBox, it was hard in the beginning and we used to have to really hustle to get people in. It used to be B-Real and a guest and when Wiz Khalifa came in with Berner and two other guys in the back, that was the first real “group” SmokeBox. Then we had Snoop, Everlast, Method Man, the list goes on and now people just want to get in the SmokeBox with B-Real. Has anybody ever tapped out? Nobody’s ever really tapped out but you could tell they were really high because they basically stopped smoking (laughs).

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If you go into the SmokeBox, be ready. B-Real is a true stoner. The whole time I have been working with B-Real, people challenge him all the time and try to smoke him under the table and it just doesn’t happen. It’s not possible. What’s in the future for B-Real TV? We’re working on licensing, so you’ll see more of the brand out there. We’re working on mobile applications. It’s really become a cultural base of all genres - everybody from athletes to actors, and just random celebrities who come through here all the time. People are fans of the music and the culture. Maybe they’re here to get lifted, or maybe not - not on camera at least. I see a lot of guys I grew up with or listened to come in and see what we have going on, and I see how much they want to be

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part of it. That is why I do what I do. Getting to see those people come in is where it’s at for me. We started with a laptop and a webcam. It’s just cool to be part of the development. How does it feel to be such an integral part of something of this level? I’m not a musician. I’m not a producer or trying to be a rapper or artist by any stretch. I’m here to be an employee, a friend to B, and a partner. I just felt like I needed to find my place in this whole thing, whether it was in art or building things; I wanted to figure out my lane and this was it.

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When did you realize that you were making a difference and reaching a worldwide audience? Building shit is where it’s at for me and when you’re looking at 80,000 people in the audience and people love what they’re seeing, that’s my drive. I’ve always been a traveler, I get bored easily and I need to create and do new shit. I need to be able to travel and meet new people, eat new foods and be exposed to other languages. You can’t buy that. Having people that recognize what we do make this so amazing. In Poland, we had viewers of B-Real TV over there and we didn’t have any weed and one of our viewers said, “I’ll bring some weed.” Dude brought a shit load of weed and we were totally surprised that he took care of us. He said, “You guys bless me with good music and entertainment.” It’s awesome because it’s not just viewers and supporters - we’ve made lots of friends. Do you ever look back on how crazy this journey has been and think about the impact of your efforts?

Honestly, I never envisioned B-Real TV to be the moneymaker it is now. For me, it was just a platform to do everything else we had. Nowadays, without proper social media representation, you don’t have shit. For me, building this foundation, we have all these people and a huge audience. It’s helped out with doing our other projects and businesses. We don’t have to be at every single show or convention anymore. It’s given us an instant platform to help get the word out. We have over 100+ DJ’s associated with us now. Do you ever have issues with medicating and working? You can still get high and be functional. There is no complacency here. If you can’t medicate and function at a high level, this business isn’t for you. What’s next for B-Real TV? We need to get Tokewell on the show! breal.tv brealtv TWI TTER : brealtv

WEB SI TE:

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THE

Regimen

PRESENTED BY TOP FLIGHT DISTRIBUTION

WORDS

Robert Chan is a competitive bodybuilder and the recipient of numerous NPC Bodybuilding and Iron Man Magazine awards. He is also a certified fitness consultant and personal trainer.

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ROBERT CHAN

SNAPS

TOKEWELL STAFF

With all the innovation in the fitness world, we as athletes are constantly looking to get that edge over the competition. We have to put in the sweat equity and adhere to strict dietary regimens to remain at the top of our game at all times. You know that old adage, “stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready.” We all follow the mantra that our “bodies are our temples” and we treat them as such. Fortunately, technology has evolved to the point where we don’t have to eat 8 raw eggs achieve our protein intake goals like Rocky. Now, we have the luxury of easily digestible herbs and vitamins such as whey isolate protein and hundreds of various nutritional supplements to aid in achieving that goal. With that in mind, I discovered that CBD (Cannabidiol) has exactly what I needed to supplement my existing regimen. I also found out that CBD has anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and anti-pain properties. The


anti-inflammatory property was reason enough for any bodybuilder to take because we all know that recovery is paramount for any athlete. Along with those benefits, it also gives me a natural energy boost and focus that I have not experienced outside of taking something synthetic - and it’s 100% legal. Bear in mind, I’m not doing any of this to get high or using it for recreational purposes, by any stretch. In fact, I’m not a fan of being inebriated because I need to have the use of all my faculties when pushing weight. I now add CBD to my workout routine by vaping and/or ingesting it sublingually pre and post-workout. I’m a competitive bodybuilder, and CBD gives me an edge without the fear of being drug tested for illegal substances. Here is a sample of what I eat and how I integrate CBD into my routine. I hope you enjoy!

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MEAL 1 1 cup oatmeal 1 cup of egg whites 24 grams of whey isolate protein powder MEAL 2 10oz. lean steak 1 cup of rice 1 cup of green vegetables MEAL 3 8oz. chicken breast 1 cup of brown rice 1 cup of green vegetables MEAL 4 48 grams of whey isolate protein powder 7 rice cakes or 8oz. sweet potato 1 cup of green vegetables

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MEAL 5 10oz. white ďŹ sh 8oz. sweet potato 1 cup of green vegetables MEAL 6 24 grams of whey isolate protein powder 1 cup of egg whites 1 cup of spinach blend and drink PRE-WORKOUT: CBD oil Branch chain amino acids Monohydrate creatine L-arginine POST-WORKOUT CBD oil Branch chain amino acids Glutamine Monohydrate creatine Protein powder

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A R T I S A N A L

C O L L E C T I V E

Mariella WORDS

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CINDY GALINDO

SNAPS

KENJI FURUTANI


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W

hat happens when you blur the lines between a traditional oil painter and hip-hop influence? You get the perfect juxtaposition by an artist of the modern avant-garde. Meet Mariella Angela. Her self-described style is that of a conventional oil painter with a modern subject matter. In short, she is a contemporary artist coupled with an old soul. Mariella is completely humbled by her rapid success and accomplishments despite the fact that she’s only been in this game for a few years. She attributes much of her success to her friends and family, especially her mother, whom she identifies as her biggest supporter. She keeps Mariella grounded and encourages her to keep pushing the envelope and embellish her own future. Consequently, her impeccable works have not gone unnoticed, as they have garnered the attention from the likes of hip hop stalwarts Evidence, Tyler the Creator, and B-Real, just to name a few. When asked what her motivation was in painting these musicians she said, “This was my own personal way to collab with them. I would listen to their music while I painted and I was able to get their vibe and their emotion through that channel.” With social media being the perfect platform to showcase her works and engage with her legions of fans worldwide, she has finally gotten the shine she deserves. Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to be the first publication to showcase the fascinating and prodigious works of Mariella Angela.

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What type of painter do you consider yourself ? I’m an oil painter. Van Gogh and Picasso are traditional oil painters. Most oil painters lean towards landscapes. I am an oil painter with a modern subject matter. That is the difference with me.

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When did you first start painting these hip-hop artists? In 2013, my first oil paintings were of Blu and Tyler the Creator. I just wanted to paint musicians that influenced me and I was 19 at the time. Its not like I was gonna hit up Kanye and work with him. This was


my own personal way to collab with them. I would listen to their music while I painted and I was able to get their vibe and their emotion through that channel. Being as talented and successful as you are, have you gotten any

negativity from your peers? I’ve gotten a lot of heat because I’m an Asian girl painting only hip-hop artists, which is not entirely true because I’ve painted a Pacquiao portrait (laughs). Let’s be real here. I look like a nerdy Asian girl and people automati-

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cally assume I’m a landscape painter, but I’m a hip-hop fan. I’m visually a polar opposite of people expect. When did you realize you were onto something big? I really just wanted to do a private show with family and friends there. I was fortunate to be able to do one and people kept encouraging me to keep pushing. It was awesome that I met Laura, B-Real’s manager, who got wind of my work. I got to go to the studio and meet one of my

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musical icons and as it turns out, he’s a fan of my work and is into art himself. It’s been an absolute blessing to be able to do what I do and be recognized for it. Has social media been instrumental in your exposure? Absolutely. It’s allowed me to reach out to my fans digitally and I love the fact that I could help and guide them.

brand and be able to open my own studio. I want to give someone else the same opportunity I wish I had when I was 17. I’m so grateful for every fan and opportunity I am given. I just want to continue to grow as an artist and be able to help other people achieve their dream, as I have.

mariellaangela.com itsmariel TUMB LR : mariella-angela

WEB SI TE:

What is in store for the future for Mariella Angela? I really just want to build my

I N STAGR A M:


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Edible Pairings WORDS LEILANI

ANDERSON COURT OF MASTERS LEVEL I SOMMELIER

Do you like trying new things? I like trying new things, and if you’re reading this piece, I’d imagine you do too. So let’s try something different this month. Summer is in full swing, and there’s no better time to attempt something new. This month, instead of the traditional edible pairings, let’s try teas! These tasty teas from House of Jane are served in convenient little Keurig style K-Cups and infused with THC and are the perfect accompaniment to many different foods and desserts. As always, please enjoy responsibly. Wait at least an 1-2 hours after medicating before attempting to move heavy machinery, and dose according to your own tolerance levels rather than by per serving cup.

1. Green Tea THC CONTENT: 20 Mg SERVING SUGGESTION: 1 Jane’s Brew K-Cup PAIRED WITH: Crème Brûlée TEA TASTING NOTES: Green tea is traditionally a light and grassy tea, and the infused green tea is no different. Light, grassy aromas of (ahem) distinct origin lead into a surprisingly bright but mild matcha like flavor. Those same grassy notes meld with the cannabis flavor so well that you can’t even tell you’re drinking a cannabis infused tea, a bonus for those who generally don’t care for the taste. And as this particular tea has a very light dosage, you can enjoy your tea and not feel the insatiable need to take a nap half an hour later. WHY THIS WORKS: A popular crème brûlée infusion that has popped up in recent years is the green tea crème brûlée, so trying an infused green tea with crème brûlée of course seemed to make the most sense. A light tea calls for a light dessert, and crème brûlée may be a creamy dessert but its light flavors are ideal for a tea such as this. Its sweet flavors give the light and neutral tea just enough sweetness to make the tea’s flavors pop.

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2. Black Tea

3. Chai Tea

THC CONTENT: 80 Mg

THC CONTENT: 80 Mg

SERVING SUGGESTION: 1 Jane’s Brew K-Cup

SERVING SUGGESTION: 1 Jane’s Brew K-Cup

PAIRED WITH: Chocolate Cupcake

PAIRED WITH: Vanilla Ice Cream

The higher concentration of THC in this tea definitely mutes the usually bold black tea flavor, but not in an unpleasant way. The combination of caffeine traditionally found in black tea and relaxation effects of the THC create an oddly satisfying result - you won’t want to leave your seat, but your mind will be ready to go. Great time to work on some of those tedious things you’ve been putting off, like checking your inbox and responding to emails. WHY THIS WORKS: Black tea is known to have big, robust flavors and is often recommended in tea and chocolate pairings. As the flavors of this particular tea are a little more subtle, they don’t so much compliment and stand up to the intense chocolate flavor so much as support it from beneath. It doesn’t scream for you to watch it work together with the chocolate, it works behind the scenes to enhance it. A tasty little combination.

TEA TASTING NOTES: Western chai teas tend to have

TEA TASTING NOTES:

intense, almost perfumy aromas, although rather than floral flavors, you get cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices. Personally, chai teas are a little too much for me, but as with the black tea, the higher THC dosage of this chai tea mellows out that intensity, and something about the flavor combination leaves orange and grassy flavors on the finish. This is another, ‘not moving from the couch but I’m determined to get stuff done’ kind of tea. Get those creative juices flowing with this one! WHY THIS WORKS: Tea and ice cream, together? I promise, I’m not crazy. Creamy vanilla is the perfect base for many flavors, and it really helps pull all the flavors of the tea together. You drink the tea and you start noticing these flavors individually as you swish it around in your mouth for a bit. Adding vanilla ice cream to the mix not only helps enhance those flavors but gives you a kind of flavor canvas, where all those other flavors come together to form a bigger picture.

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4. Chamomile Tea THC CONTENT: 40 Mg

BONUS!

SERVING SUGGESTION: 1 Jane’s Brew K-Cup

5. Hot Chocolate THC CONTENT: 40 Mg

PAIRED WITH: Apple Strudel

SERVING SUGGESTION: 1 Jane’s Brew packet

This tea gives off intense aromas of candied green apples, chrysanthemum, and -you guessed it! - chamomile. The tea and THC flavor combination transform a usually floral tea to one that tastes more like a green tea with light green apple flavors. A soft and pleasant tea that leaves a soft and pleasant feeling of relaxation isn’t that what we all want? WHY THIS WORKS: Similar things go together, so a tea exhibiting green apple flavors would indeed compliment a pastry with apples in it. If you’re not one for fruit filled pastries, perhaps something with cinnamon would be a better option for you. As odd as it may sound, a cinnamon coffee cake might be more up your alley.

PAIRED WITH: Salted Pretzels

TEA TASTING NOTES:

If you’re into the intensely sweet hot chocolates, you may want to add a bit more milk or a little sugar to this one. The hot chocolate is tasty, no doubt, but it is definitely a little drier than your average hot chocolate. It’s hot out now, but it’ll be getting cold before you know it, and when it does, this will do wonderfully for a night when you’re all curled up on the couch watching Netflix. WHY THIS WORKS: Salt and chocolate have been in a deliciously tasty affair for a long time, so why not bring the relationship to your cup of hot chocolate? If you’ve never done this before, do it now: break off a piece of your pretzel and dip it into the hot chocolate before eating it - Flavor. Heaven. Don’t believe me? What’s not to believe? Chocolate? Good. Salt? Good. Carbs? Good. Mix them together? Bad for us, but oh so good. HOT CHOCOLATE TASTING NOTES:

Until next time!

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gastronomics

boo’s philly If you’ve never experienced an authentic hoagie outside of Philadelphia, aside from those captured within the travel realm of No Reservations, look no further than Boo’s Philly. Nestled deep in the Silverlake, California hotbed of trendy culinary eateries, Boo’s is a welcome addition to the City of Angels. Boo’s Philly is a far cry from the neighboring gastro-hipster shops that encompass the area. What Boo’s serves up is a no-frills,

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in-your-face hero, comprised of cheesy and meaty decadence without making apologies. While Pat’s and Geno’s are littered with fanny pack, selfie-stick snapping tourists 2,700 miles away, Boo’s is the polar opposite. It’s an Angeleno mainstay that signifies hustle, the American dream, and also happens to serve up the best cheesesteaks in town. When we asked co-owner Andrew Anh what makes his cheesesteaks so different,


WORDS SNAPS

TOKEWELL STAFF TOKEWELL STAFF

he summed it up by saying, “We add our own twist, but never stray too far from an original cheesesteak. We get our amoroso bread and prime steaks flown in from Philly, but get the vegetables here in California because they’re fresher. With us, you get the best of both worlds.” With that said, let me be the first to tell you that the quality and flavor is evident from the first bite to the last lick of your fingers. You’re welcome.

Being Korean, you don’t fit in to the typical image of someone who would have a banging cheesesteak joint. My parents left Korea during a time of turmoil back in 1979 and ended up in Jersey. You know, Koreans immigrated here to escape dictatorship and hustle for a better life - whether it was working deli’s, dry cleaners, selling clothes or slanging gold rope chains in the ‘80’s.

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gastronomics Did you guys own a cheesesteak joint in Philly? In 1981-82 my dad had cheesesteak deli in Philly. My dream was different. I wanted to pursue a career in filmmaking, so I bought a one-way ticket to Cali with a G in my pocket to pursue my dream. My dad was trippin’. How did you guys end up opening here in Silverlake? While I was going to college, my dad moved out here with my sister. My dad’s always been entrepreneurial and is always looking to get into business. My dad asked me where all the cheesesteak places are here and there was nothing good. My dad thought why don’t we open our own here? He borrowed $30K and we found a partner for $20K and started Boo’s for $50K. My dad found this spot we’re at now, in fact. When did you know you were onto something? I was helping out here and there and the next thing I knew, I was in this full-time. LA Weekly came and did an article on us and we blew up, then Los Angeles magazine came and listed Boo’s Philly as 100 Best Eats. It’s just been snowballing.

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Do you guys have any other locations? Yes we do. We opened up a second spot in K-Town in 2013 and a 3rd spot at the Forum. How did you guys come up with name Boo’s? Boo was my grandmother’s name. We lived with her the majority of our lives and now we’re paying homage to her. What separates Boo’s from the other cheesesteak joints in LA? We do our steaks like a straight up cheesesteak from Philly. You can’t go too far out the box and be fancy. We just do it how we get it in Philly. We add our own twist but never stray too far from an original cheesesteak. We get the amoroso bread and prime steaks flown in from Philly and the vegetables here in California because they’re fresher. With us, you get good ingredients and the best of both worlds.

W EB SI TE:

boosphilly.com

INSTAGR A M A N D TWI TTER :

boosphilly


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Tokewell issue 06  
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