One of the things that I always say I love about LA is that you never know what you will find behind the doors of this city. No matter what the facade of the building or the area for that matter, you never know.. With the massive amount of creative projects going on at all times in this city, you dont know if you will find a empty warehouse inhabitted by rats and roaches, a movie set for a 50 million dollar movie or a artist studio. While scouting locations for an upcoming shoot, we happened to come across a wide open working space for a little artist you may have heard of by the name of Shepard Fairey and the Public Works project.. With work from Risk, Revok, Ron English, Saber and other well known street artist on the walls, it was a pleasant surprise to see where some of these great artists work.
I recently work on a new brand launch for Roadmate Boot Co. out of Los Angeles. With the team at Innerspin we stripped the brand down to its core and got back to what boots are all about, the person wearing them. We created an identity that would be timeless and transcend time periods just as work boots have done for years. With a long history of manufacturing for some of the worlds most prestigious boot brands, Roadmate’s quality and comfort is something that is second nature to them and therefore is never a question with their products. Because of this, we wanted to focus on the work being done in them so we caught up with a group of guys to listen to their stories and find out where their road has led them…
In Highschool a friend of mine named Carl suffered a severe spinal cord injury during a wrestling match, no one could really comprehend what had happened initially because it was such a freak accident. at first, I didnt want to accept what had happened and avoided the topic entirely, until a few months later when I saw him for the first time. To see such an amazing talent and someone I looked forward to spending practically every day with during the next 2 summers playing baseball confined to a wheel chair was a painful reality of the situation, but when I got to speak with him for the first time and realized how positive he was being and noticed that he was actually making people feel better about his situation rather than them making him feel better, I asked him how he can stay so strong and he replied by saying “negativity wont help me in any way.” He then said it was really hard at first and that of corse he has times that are frustrating, but he tries to stay positive and look at this as his mission now to recover.
Last December a young girl by the name of Margo Gignac was paralyzed after the car she was plowed into a car dealership. I heard about this through mutual friends the night that it happened and as you can imagine, all of them were devastated. Anyone that knows her seemed to be entirely in shock about how something like this could happen to such a great young and talented person. It made me think of my friend Carl and how he had been so strong when everything happened to him, and how he has since earned a degree from Villanova and getting a law degree, then I recently saw the video below that NBC put together about Margos story and was so happy to see she has been making so much positive progress and never letting her love for dance disappear.
Despite how tough it may be for us to see our friends like this, the only thing we can do is try to help in any way possible, sometimes through monitory donations, sometimes simply through an uplifting conversation, letter or even just a smile.
Jeffery Campbell recently designed a ballet flat inspired by Margo which raises money for her recovery and allows her life to continue to be changed through dance which are on sale now.
Their positivity, spirit and drive to recover is what allows these two to create miracles everyday and move further towards recovery.
A few weeks ago I got the chance to catch the LA Galaxy face off against one of my favorite teams in the world, Real Madrid. Last year I was on the east coast when the Madridistas took the stage in Los Angeles, but luckily I made it back west just in time for their match this year. I got some tickets rite behind the goal in hopes that it would be the more active of the two, and luckily I was rite.. I have been saying that I am going to make it out to Spain for a game soon, but since I havnt been able to, I figured this would be the closest thing for now. While the Galaxy have a solid team with some world class players, Madrid, quite possibly the best team in the world at the moment, were too much for them to handle. The difference in speed, precision, communication and all around ball skill really showed why La Liga and the European leagues are on another level. Perhaps one day I will make it out to the Bernabeu for a game, but until then, the Home Depot Center filled with Madrid fans heckling the few Barca fans that showed up will have to do. Hala Madrid!
While on the east side I took a second to stop by Mannion studios to chop it up, cross some i’s and dot some t’s, or something like that… A few weeks after taking a the shuffleboard crown in a grueling game that went down to the final puck (or whatever its called) in the heart of Los Angeles, we met up again, this time on the East coast to discuss some future endeavors and watch nugget sleep in odd positions all over the studio on what was one of the hottest days of the summer.
It’s always an honor to get the chance to sit down and kick around some ideas with someone who has been in the game for such a long time and check out some of the projects that are in the work on the Mannion front. Stay tuned as we both have some really exciting projects in the works, perhaps a shuffle board tour across the country to dominate any and all in our tracks….
I headed back east earlier this month for the 4th of July, some family celebration and all around mayhem. I got to spend some quality time at the real Jersey Shore (or at least the one I grew up knowing) Long Beach Island after spending some time visiting a few friends in NY and shooting a little video in the shop. If you have never been to Long Beach Island, I suggest that you check it out if you want to experience what the Jersey Shore once was before Sea Side and a certain MTV show gave the entire states coastline a black eye by exposing the idiocy that take place in all of about 1 mile stretch of it known as Sea Side Heights. Now I cant deny that I have spent time in the Sea Side area during the summers of old as it was the closest beach to where I grew up only about 45 mins away vs. the 2 hours that it took to get to LBI.. Having friends whos familes owned houses in the seaside area and being able to find houses that will rent to 15 year olds also helped the cause of getting us to Sea Side. If you’re looking for parties, drunken rampages, slutty young girls and needles in the sand you can make your way down to seaside for the night, but if you want to experience a quiet day at the beach with a BBQ and some high lifes (or scotch) at sunset then LBI the place to be.
A few years ago while on a sales trip to Miami, I was told by a few accounts to go to “The Webster” on Collins. Not knowing what it was, I took a trip to check it out but quickly realized they address of the webster was to an old Hotel called the webster and the doors were not opened.. So I saw a few guys standing on the porch of the building a few doors down and went to ask them if they knew anything about it. as I walk towards them a big body guard looking guy starts to approach me and I begin to ask him if he knew where the webster was, as I finished my question, a familiar looking guy turns around and says yea they are in a temporary space down the street until they finish the build out next door.. Then I realized it was Pusha T from the Clipse and Pharrell. So i said thanks and ventured down to their temporary space.. As I walked in, I felt like I was in a beach cabin owned by the editor of Vogue, Trussardi, YSL, Givenchy and Lanvin pieces were sprawled across the floor..and a young french salesman walked up to me and asked if he could help me.. as I began to tell him about my line, one of the partners walked up and began to speak with me about what I was doing and I gave him a few pieces before leaving..
Keeping in contact through Email and visiting every time I returned to Miami and sending some pieces now and then, I grew a friendship with the people at the Webster and have gotten some of the best advice in the fashion industry from them. So when I heard that Target had chosen to do a collection with them, I couldnt think of a better, more humble group of people for them to work with and am honored to call them friends.Watching The Webster go from a small temporary store to working with one of the most progressive big box stores in the states has influenced my career in so many ways and now it will hopefully influence many other young designers as well..
Yesterday, we lost someone special. A true pioneer of creativity and a modern day renesance man, Hillman Curtis.
I first heard of Hilman in college while working on a site and video project with my friend Chet who was studying interactive design in Philadelphia and had the pleasure of meeting him. His vision, style and ability to communicate raw human emotion had a big influence on my work at that time and helped me become the designer and creative I am today.
While he was a pioneer in many areas of graphic design, new media and film, many people dont realize that Hillman is responsible for a lot of the video styles that have become popular in the modern day DSLR and Internet lifestyle video genre.. His “video portraits” and lifestyle videos were made popular through his artist series where he profiled some of the great artists, designers and thinkers of our time. His style can be seen everywhere from small film makers such as Jake Davis and The Selby all the way up to broadcast television shows such as Travel channels No Reservations.
His ability to communicate stories through his work in the most basic form across a wide range of platforms is something that set Hillman apart. He has influenced countless designers and film makers alike and has left his mark on the world with his work. I can only say that I wish I had the chance to meet Hillman myself, and I will always be thankful the influence he has had on my work and his vision will last forever through his influence on the world.
A few months ago I started working on some new mixed media art work. I tend to use wheatpaste a lot when working on mixed media pieces so I decided to create a how to make wheatpaste video to reference when making wheatpaste at home. Its extremely simple to make and effective. Hopefully it will help some of you out, simply multiply the proportions depending on how much you need to make..
I miss this place. Nestled on the Caribbean coast of Mexico in a town known as Cancun, Live Aqua is a unique getaway in a town known in much of America for its madness and meatheads. This isn’t the Cancun you have seen on MTV, Its a modern, relaxing quiet and beautiful Cancun. With 3 restaurants at the hotel including one fine dining establishment you never have to leave the confines of Aqua if you chose. at this point I would normally describe the best french toast I have had in my life, but they have decided to change the chef and restaurant (formerly Mb) so I will refrain as I don’t want to get anyone to excited (including myself) to only have them (or myself) travel to Mexico in search of it only to find out that it will never be found again.
The rooms have quality toilet phones, great views, comfortable beds, tubs and separate showers so for the little time I spent in mine, it was more than satisfactory. The modern architecture against the beach and wizardly blue water creates one hell of an atmosphere for relaxing after a ridiculously amazing massage, which you can conveniently get at their spa if you feel so inclined to.
Overall this place is great if you feel like getting away and relaxing a bit. The food is good at all the restaurants, the spa is great, the pools and beach are beautiful as long as you can get a seat and the people are kind enough to give you a hand massage when ever you want. (I didn’t experience it, but everyone I was with did) If you do make your way down to Live Aqua, I recommend getting a suite that gives you access to the lounge on the 12th floor which is a great place to meet up before dinner or just kick it and watch some ESPN while sippin on some drinks.
This past Saturday The Hollywood Palladium was blessed with the presence of two of my favorite musicians, Rodrigo y Gabriela. The dynamic duo hit the stage backed by C.U.B.A. to perform jams from their album “Area 52” and other songs from their 11:11 album and self-titled debut.
This was the second time I have had the privilege of seeing Rodrigo y Gabriella perform live and if you have the chance, I suggest you go. As long as you enjoy music, guitars, watching and listening to people do things with guitars that will blow your mind, that sort of thing, you will enjoy their show. The duo compliment each other like milk and cookies while Gabriela jams out with knuckle slaps that make it look like she has no bones in her hand, Rodrigo rocks out mean rifts that will make your ears bleed with happiness.
One of the things that really makes these concerts enjoyable is the pure enjoyment that the duo have while playing. Their chemistry, respect and admiration for one another radiates a sense of unity that gives the crowd a great energy.
Their tickets are usually fairly cheap while they are available so if they are playing around you, take your lady out for the night and check them out.