Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Friday, May 17, 2013
This is by far the most fun I've had painting in a long while. In working pieces for this Video Game Visionaries series, I came up with an ill idea to portray Princess Toadstool ("Peach" to you GenY-ers) in a much more seductive manner. I had a photo in reference I had no idea what to do with until this. Rather than a bike [as in the photo], I thought to myself, "How ill would it be to paint the princess on a Bullet Bill!?". The idea was born and I got to work. I took a bit more time on this one; it felt good to have that patience again. Live painting had made me a very fast painter, but it took my patience in the process. It's a lot tougher to slow down now, I find, but when I do, it usually shows.
For this piece, Mudvayne's self titled record was the soundtrack. Not sure how such a happy image came out but it stands to show that even the raw, painful music can make someone feel really good. To churn out such a fun image against that backdrop says a lot. In any case, enjoy this sexy little vixen as she takes you up into the clouds on a wonderful trip with a familiar angry face (who doesn't look so angry here). Enjoy that 1-Up! Just don't let Mario find out. He's the avenging type.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Today Rabbit and I will be heading out to the Zumiez Best Foot Forward Am Contest at the park in Peoria. This is gonna be ill. We went to the Transworld Come Up Tour a few weeks ago there and the locals were killing it. I'm hoping to see some familiar riders from the eLEment Tour as well to put some names to some of my photos I shot that day. Bones will be in the house. That's ill. Adidas, DGK, Girl, Chocolate, Lakai, Vans, Volcom and others all got their hands in this too. It's gonna be gnarly yo. Putting my best forward and hoping to get this camera cleaned before we head out. Look for updates during the weekend at blue731.com. Uno.
Well it's been a daunting day. It's been hot but today we copped a fan so that it's a little cooler in here and won't have to run the A/C all day. We did some cleaning in our studio and I worked on a new proposal for an upcoming project. I pretty tired but excited for tomorrow for tomorrow is a new day with new challenges and more importantly new blessings. New creative pursuits as well.
Also, I'm updating from my phone so I will see how it looks online tomorrow. Blogspot has changed and including photos usually jacks up the layout. Lucky for this post there are no fliks.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
This day (yesterday, actually) was mad exhausting. It has been about a month since we landed in Phoenix and though it's been hot every damn day but the first two, today was especially crispy. It was the first time I think Rabs or myself had seen triple digits on our phones' weather apps. At least since maybe last summer. San Antonio gets hot, no joke, but it's a different heat. It's much more humid and it's crazy cause you can actually feel the air weighing down on you like an overbearing school teacher or parent. Fortunately I didn't have much of either in my youth. Overprotective?, maybe haha.
Anyway, the stress level has been different since we got here. What many of you don't know is that when we left San Antonio, we left a lot behind. We left jobs, we left family, we left a big network of friends, artists, musicians, promoters and the like, we left great flour tortillas, we left Tellez tamales--we left our support system. All in the pursuit of a bigger goal. A greater vision that San Antonio just couldn't fulfill for us anymore. Since we've been here we have worked some part time jobs but overall, we are in this for ourselves. We are pursuing a life of working for ourselves. Many of you may know that I worked at a screen print shop for the passed three years. What many of you don't know is that after the first year, I was pretty miserable there. And it only got worse as the days wore on. There were a lot of things about the company I wasn't happy with and overall I put up with a lot. This isn't a call for pity or to talk down of that place, it's just the truth. Current and past employees there would agree. I can't front like I didn't learn shit or make decent money, I did. However the job itself became super routine and uncreative. After Rabbit moved in with me, she began to see this first hand. And how much I hated it, how much I felt I had to work there. It ate her up inside how unhappy I was every day. That in turn picked away at myself. My self esteem, my passions, my belief in not putting up with shit from others. It picked away at that 16 year old Blue that drew anarchy As everywhere, screaming RATM's "Know Your Enemy", and skating 8 hours in the heat saying, "Yo what the fuck happened to you bro?". It got to a point where I knew I was gonna quit. I just didn't know how soon.
The day it came though, I can't express how it felt. I play my life decisions pretty close to the chest most times, so not many knew what I was doing or where I was going. But the day it came I felt relief. I was trying my best to make it til the end of my lease, but I left that job about a month earlier. I jus couldn't do it anymore. I spent the next few weeks stacking chips, selling work, and shooting photos at the skateparks. It was very liberating knowing that from here on out, I work for myself.
So, having said all that, today's stress was no different. Working for yourself as an artist has it's hardships. Especially leaving your familiar surroundings and immediate supporters for a city where you are virtually unknown and shit is just different. Cue The Doors' "People Are Strange" bass line. Rabbit and I had our work cutout today and the heat kicked me on my ass for sure. It's a different heat here. In San Antonio, you feel the air on you. Here in Phoenix, you feel the heat. And it burns, son. The worse part?--it ain't even summer, kid. I hear this a lot and it's gotten old quick but hey, everything's a trade off. After a long day of planning, meetings, and pursuing work, we hit the pool. Rabs has her first [Phoenix] show tonight and that has come with it's own uncertainties and comfort zone shakeups. We relaxed and talked things through, cooling off in more areas than one in the process. After dinner we were both faded from vino and pool muscle workouts and decided to call it an early night. I still have trouble making it to bed before eleven. Tonight I was out by ten thirty. I woke up at three thirty, wide-eyed and just awake. I didn't understand why, I didn't wake up worried or mind running, I was just awake. And craving sugar. I grabbed some books, the rest of the Jello from the fridge, and some green tea.
I cracked open a book I've been eager to finish since I have opened it which brings me to this post and that I wanted to share with you. Earlier this year I was introduced to a man named Eddie Huang. Not personally, but rather through these interwebs. I found this guy through a post on The Hundreds just by chance (and by my love of streetwear, of course). As I further pursue streetwear, I find myself being exposed to a myriad of characters from all walks of life. In this case, food. The name Eddie Huang didn't do much for me as I read it that day, as I haven't ever heard of it at the time. The title of his show on Vice, however, did. Fresh Off the Boat. Woah. What an interesting title. I for one am a bit angered on race. I feel it is jus something that shouldn't be so determining of people's outcomes or personalities. Race is so quick to judge. To stereotype. But this isn't a post about race, it's a post about culture and pursuit. The pursuit of one's self.
After seeing that title, cosigned by Vice, I knew I had to give it a shot. I watched the links in the post and couldn't believe it. I was sold before the opening music came on. Shoutouts to TiDUS. (**Reader pause for a minute--holy shit I jus looked up from the computer screen, saw the light from the studio, turned around to look out my balcony and the suns out lol. Fuck.**) I watched every single episode of Fresh Off the Boat in the next day or two. Eddie Huang is the mother fucker, yo. No joke. Dude is hood and well spoken. More than that though, he is passionate about his line of work. There is always something immediately respectable of those who love what they do so much that they pursue it to the max. After reading more into this guy, I found that he had a book by the same title. I knew I was gonna get this book. I had to. There is something very special and inspiring about people that tell their story. Especially those I look up to or follow. To hear of their successes and failures and compare them to your own not for the sake of "who's better", but rather for "it's ok". It's ok to fuck up. It's ok to stress. To worry. To rejoice when those feelings dissipate. You're not alone. Everyone has a struggle. In our line of work though, in the "creative field", sometimes it's just nice to hear that you aren't the only one. That someone along their own path faced a similar adversity, overcame it, and ultimately came out ok (or better) as a result, still succeeding. It's taking comfort that what you're feeling is normal. Common. And that's a relief, straight up.
I know this post is long and winded, perhaps this post was more about getting some things off my chest about our move since I haven't written about it much than it was about the book. But it is all pertinent to the book. This book is something I hold very dear, one of my favorites in our library which includes books from Swoon, Wayne Dyer, and Frank Miller (DKR stand up!!). This book is a great reminder of the enigma we all face at some point in life..."Who Am I?". Watch that movie if you haven't, by the way.
And then get this book. Read it. READ. IT. There's a vast amount of knowledge, humor, and inspiration in these pages and only pushes the idea of my own book even closer to the forefront. I've always known I'd write a memoir one day and was even encouraged to do so years ago but I always felt I was too young for something like that. Reading this and Eddie's reasoning, however, helped me understand that maybe it's better this way. To write these things down while they are fresh, reflect on them in the present, and grow from them. For now though, I'll continue telling my story through my art, my clothing, and my music.
Thank you Eddie Huang for this book and for your show on Vice. The show has helped me have more fun in my kitchen and at restaurants--hell in my overall eating experiences all around. And your book has helped me in my personal life; in my own growth and pursuit of "me", in understanding who I am and what I am doing. Thank you. More than that, I am glad I get to share all this with my lady. She loves your show and will likely be reading this book now that I'm done bogarting the pages.
Who would've thought that what started out as wanting my art on tees like Food would lead me to pursuing streetwear which would, with the help of my love for Hennessy, lead me to finding the hood equivalent to Anthony Bourdain. Life is funny like that and I love it.
To anyone still with me, cop this shit asap and don't be afraid to knock a foo out for tryna shit on your beliefs.
This is forever, Uno.