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Near and Far: Victory Press x UO


Victory Press is designer Jessica Humphrey and artist Jonathan Cammisa, collaborating to create a collection of men’s clothing inspired by post modern art, prints and silhouettes of ‘80s skate and surf culture, and the functionality, integrity and ideology of ‘90s outdoors wear.

En route to launch a Victory Press pop-up event at our Los Angeles-based concept store Space 15 Twenty, Jess and Jonathan drove across the country, visiting American factories and getting up close and personal with the country’s great outdoors. Here, the design duo lets us in on every adventure of their nationwide trek.







How did you two come together and launch Victory Press?
Jess: Jonathan grew up in South Philadelphia skating. He was heavy into grafitti and hip hop, and he spent his summers at the Jersey Shore. I grew up in Virginia Beach surrounded by surfing and skateboarding, and as a teenager photographed every punk and hardcore band that came through my town. We met about five years ago in Vinegar Hill, a small neighborhood in Brooklyn. We both were obsessed with 1980s and ‘90s vintage clothing and we had the same taste in art and music, so we became best friends. We decided to start a clothing line out of a shared realization that outdoors wear just wasn't cool. We wanted to make outdoors wear that like-minded people want to wear.

Tell us about the Victory Press pop-up that brought you across the country!
Our friend Kyle came to our studio one day and proposed we set up shop at Space 15 Twenty for the summer of 2014. As a new brand, we were stoked on the opportunity to build out a space with our creative vision and spread our ideas to the West Coast. So, we though it was only appropriate to see the country on our way here so we can tell our story to you.







What was your favorite city or pit-stop along the way?
Mystic Hot Springs, Utah was by far the most interesting destination. We spent a few hours soaking in old claw foot tubs filed in with mineral rich hot springs with epic views of the Utah Mountains. Mystic Mike, who hosts the property, has an extensive collection of posters and stickers he's illustrated for touring bands, including the Grateful Dead. He also has a YouTube channel where he hosts live music and does an awesome job recording. There is also a collection of buses previously owned by Deadheads, for which you can rent and sleep over, if you want. It was truly a mystical moment. And then there was Yellowstone National Park—there are no words for how beautiful it is there.

Any travel mishaps?
Not really. We had good vibes on our side!

What was your day-to-day life like on the road?
We woke up. I'd heat us up some Grady's Coffee we cold brewed the night before. I might have some time to make breakfast while the boys break down the camp. If not, it was Early Bird Granola and yogurt and then we were on the road. Some days were long drives—almost 14 hours. We literally drove until it was time to sleep. Our meals that day would be "Jon's Back Seat Turkey Sandwiches" and the good old gas station special. The other days we'd drive for six hours or so and set up camp. We'd cook chili or hamburgers, relax, shoot our BB gun, then go to sleep extra early, wake up, maybe do a hike and then hit the road again. We were lucky enough to spend a good stint in Yellowstone and Utah where we could meander a little more and soak up the environment. We drove through 15 states in seven days, so there wasn't a whole lot of time to stay idle.







What were some of the best and worst meals you had while traveling?
The best meal was the chili we cooked over campfire the first night in Yellowstone. We brought our cast iron dutch oven and made a slow cooked chili and cornbread. We set up camp with the Grand Teton mountains as our backdrop, with no other human in site. It was magical. We actually ruled on the food tip. Even the sixth time we had turkey sandwiches, they were delicious!

What are your top five travel essentials?
Our trusty Birkenstocks, Oberto Beef Jerky, Snowpeak Titanium Stove, our dog, Jasper, and Santa Maria Novella Potpourri (for the stinky truck).

What advice would you give to someone about to embark on a cross-country trip?
Give yourself a good month because there is too much awesomeness to see.





The Victory Press x Ours Gallery summer pop-up shop at Space 15 Twenty (1520 N. Cahunega Blvd) is open now and runs through July 27, 2014.


UPDATE: Now you can watch the video Victory Press made with the help of Nathan Caswell about their cross country trip!

About a Guy: Paul Koneazny

Philadelphia artist Paul Koneazny was kind enough to let us invade his Fishtown apartment for our newest men's photo shoot. Packed with original art and works-in-progress, the space (which he shares with his girlfriend, fellow artist Jamie Felton) was the perfect setting, and we left feeling inspired by Paul's refreshing outlook on art, music and his approach to creating pieces. On a break from shooting, we sat down with Paul to talk about the creative life. 

Photography by Mark Peckmezian



What's your process like for creating a new piece?

Most of the ones here I've been working on a long time. I like to keep a painting going as long as I can to have as many edits with it as possible. The way I look at it, all of the work I make can be opened back up again.

How long is a "long time" for you?

Well, I have been working on some of these for over three or four years [Laughs]. It doesn't look like four years worth of work, does it?



It's great that you're able to remain interested in and actively inclined to work on the same project for that long. That means you're in the right place.

I don't know if I always want to work like that. I envy people who can move from one piece to the next and knock things out, but I feel like after a certain amount of time, the me that started the piece is in a different frame of mind, so it becomes a collaboration with yourself, gives it more range than was originally possible.

Do you ever have a show or display pieces publicly and then get them back and revise them after that point?
If it's in my possession I will change it. It's too hard to resist! My sister has one of my pieces, and it's no different: either she needs to finish it or I do. I'm really not sure what that's about! I'd like if a light show came down over me and said, 'This is done,' or something, but I feel like there's always a way to improve something.





What are you working toward right now?
I feel like I'm at the end of a period of tunnel-vision painting. Just working. Most of these will probably wrap up at the same time; I'm gradually building it all up so that most of these will get sewn up in the same day or two.



You experiment a lot with medium — can you talk about how fabric and experimental "canvases" play into your work?

A lot of my paintings start with a more specific grounding that I leave peeking through in a way that communicates with the piece. That element is a starting point, then I find ways to show how that functions in an opposite way. Any move made or material or style that goes in there has to show opposite purposes. Also, it's just an odd technique to have a rug or carpet soak up paint. This [points to art piece] was originally a blanket from a thrift store. That [another painting] was a Mickey Mouse bed sheet, and I tried to take as much information as I could to try to make it something else.

So they're all playing with the idea of art versus art-objects, and the line between those things?
Yeah, most of these start to go toward the realm of objects. I guess that's what the found fabric is about. I haven't stepped too far into sculpture, but these are all augmented toward sculpture or environment.



You mentioned earlier that music plays a big part in the work you make. Tell us more about that.
I listen to music all the time in general, but I think when I am painting well, the album will end and I'm still painting and I don't realize that the music is off. I think I steal a lot of devices and strategies from musicians as well as visual artists.

Can you cite any specific examples?
Like drum and bass, which is about sensory overload but there still also being a steady rhythm that keeps you from being off-put by it. When I look at certain pieces I sort of hear that playing.



Do you have that same connection with any other art mediums?
I look at images on the Internet all the time as a way to just soak up imagery, but I never really look at that while I'm working—just before or after. As I'm doing it, I never realize it's art-related; I just need to absorb it. 




About a Girl: Keating Sherwin

"You can call me Keating," says Lindsay Keating Sherwin

"Dropping the first name actually came from signing my full name on art pieces," she explains. "It just took up too much space."  

Off with the excess; it's a do-what-works attitude that the young Brooklyn painter abides by, both in her unconventional, self-taught art background and general outlook about what it means to build a creative career in New York. Photography by Andrew Musson
 


We meet on the summer solstice in her sunny Bushwick studio, and Sherwin has a sore neck from a couple bad nights of sleep made worse by the fact that she can't quite find anywhere quiet to escape. Between her studio's location on a busy Brooklyn industrial thoroughfare and her new apartment smack in the middle of Chinatown, it's no wonder that Keating is wanting to install her next art show—an in-the-works series of abstract portraits—inside NoLIta's quiet, lush Elizabeth Street garden gallery space. "I love it there," she says, "But actually, my ideal place would be more like The Secret Garden, you know, with ivy walls and no distractions." 
 
Sherwin has a direct, serious presence and an artist's intuition that results in big, textural and color-driven pieces that are at the same time powerful and delicate. It's a mesmerizing balance founded on instinct. "I don't work this or that way," she says. "I just go!" 

In our studio visit, we talked with Keating about following her nose, finding a place in the "art world," and trying to make her own way amid all the noise.



Tell us about the current series you're working on, a set of portraits all done with live models. 
Well, I'm still trying to figure out how long it takes to make one! I'm seven portraits into this series now, but the sittings have all been kind of spaced out, which is not so good for positioning. I spend a lot of time backtracking. I feel like at this point I should say: It's five sittings for a portrait, but I could work on one for two years! At some point you've got to stop. 

I like the process a lot. When you're painting from your mind you have to make every decision; with this, I feel like I can just get lost in it.  


What else are you working on? 
The other big project is a commission for a film, a portrait that's supposed to be a love homage painted by this character's ex. He painted it when they are in love and now they're separated and it's the big piece he paints in this show. So it had to be kind of this epic thing. I think Alec Baldwin is going to be playing the painter, which is amazing and really hilarious.  

That is amazing! Who is the painting of? 
I painted that from a photograph—this is creepy—that image is a combination of a photograph of me when I was 21 in Savannah….and a selfie of Molly Shannon's face. [Laughs] I don't know! 


Where did you grow up?  
I'm originally from the Northeast but grew up in South Florida on the water. I'm used to constant humidity. When I came here, the first winter I was just pissed off. Then summer came and it's so amazing that you forget winter could ever exist.  

Do you think being in New York matters for work? 
Personally, I'm affected by where I am. I don't think I need the intensity of New York to get work done—in fact, I might be better off from being somewhere else. But I feel like I'm at a place where I'm so close to having a firm hold on my career, and I am not going to walk away from that. I can be very focused here.  

So no summer escapes in the works? 
My only plan is to be here, working and being hot in this studio! I've been on lockdown over here. You know, it's summer but I feel like I am just now coming out of my winter hole. I was recently talking about how I think September is the perfect time to leave. The summer months are overrated! You go to Montauk in September and you have the whole place to yourself. 


You didn't study art in school, and actually came into painting in a roundabout way. Can you talk about your background? 
As a child, I remember having a thought that I would grow up and be an artist in New York. Actually, maybe I made that up in retrospect. But either way, I didn't have a concept of what it meant. So I moved here in 2007, but it took me awhile to step away from just being caught up in the city. I worked in fashion showrooms, and then I worked for a branding company and then I was working in nightlife and met so many interesting people and artists. I think that made me re-remember, like, 'Oh yeah. That's why I'm here.' At the time I was doing makeup on photo shoots, and—this sounds weird—but I just picked up paints and started painting. I didn't have a clue what I was doing.  

Kind of the opposite way of getting into it than most people. 
Right, totally in reverse. I said it, and then I had to become it. But I had no fear to hold me back. I took a drawing class in college and loved it and worked hard in it, and I've always made charcoal drawings. It wasn't something that I was even aware of was 'art.' But sometimes, as far as art is concerned, when you have too much knowledge about a field it can steer you away. 




So what was a turning point then in transitioning from deciding to make art to getting solo shows?
Oil paint. Once I started using it I got a show! Well, first I had a couple solid years of painting and painting and making crap. I didn't feel like I was in control, so I incubated for awhile. I had been working in acrylics and I randomly went out and bought three tubes of oil paint. A friend told me I should enter this art competition so I did, and I ended up winning, and that got me a show.  


Are there people who you look to for advice or guidance with your work? 
I share a workspace with another [hyperrealistic] painter, and from sharing a studio space I have learned a lot about technique. In the past, I just used my own made-up technique! It's been great to observe what he does and take what I want from it. I find it very hard to find people who you trust their opinion of your work, but then there are times when you're alone and frustrated and you're like, 'How did this thing ever get to this place?' I have  a friend back here [in another studio in the same building]… another artist, and it's so valuable to have someone you can express things like that to. You don't want their advice, you just want their mutual understanding that you know they get it, and now you can move on.   


How do you approach that balance then, between relying on your intuition and knowing you have to participate to some extent in order to have a career? 
It's tricky: It's great to be a little bit oblivious, but you don't want to be a moron. Some days people will see what I'm doing and call it out and say whatever painter it looks like, which is so annoying! I don't work that way or think about that at all. I have freedom but it's both an asset and an inhibitor. But, you know, I try to remember that this is a long-term operation; I have some time to discover things. 


UO Exclusive: Robyn and Royksopp "Do It Again"


It's no secret that over here at UO we love all things vinyl. Now available to pre-order only at UO is the new record from electronic pop trio Robyn & Röyksopp called Do It Again. But there's more to it! This UO-exclusive is made of crisp, white vinyl, and will look fabulous in your collection. Also, how cool is the cover art? Totally loving the throwback to an old CD label across the front.

The album features five massive tracks from the trio that are sure to be your new summer favorites. Each track is a perfect combo of European electronic music mixed with Robyn's superb vocals. Robyn, a futuristic pop-princess in her own right, spoke to Billboard Magazine about the new record saying, "It was an outlet for not having to live up to anything but my own expectations." That's the spirit, right? Do It Again opens with the slower, melodic "Monument" and then ramps the energy right back up with the title track. Do It Again was created, produced, and recorded by all three members from scratch.

Robyn & Röyksopp are on tour this summer, will you be catching them? Pre-order the record here. Maddie

Studio Visit: Alia Penner


Alia Penner is a modern-day pop artist based in Los Angeles. Penner lives in a quiet, colorful home atop a hill in the Mount Washington area of Los Angeles that overlooks Downtown. Inside her home you'll also find her studio, where she works her magic. Penner's home is a place of absolute wonder; the rooms are filled with her own work, found objects, and of course, her furry grey cat, Edie. Aside from traditional mediums, Alia also works with fashion and film. Currently she works largely with Cinespia, and recently worked with Anna Sui. I had a quick chat with Alia to learn a bit more about her work, and how much she loves balloons and Miss Piggy.
Interview by Maddie Sensibile

Alia Penner wearing Romance Was Born's 'Dream On' collection.



Hi Alia! Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you came to be an artist.
I grew up in Topanga Canyon, which is a really special place to grow up in. I’m actually third generation; my grandfather lived there and then my dad grew up there too, right next door to where I grew up. Now I live in Mount Washington which is kind of like Topanga-ish, close to Downtown L.A. I always wanted to be an artist. Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a cartoonist, I wanted to be a fashion designer, and I wanted to be anything that had to do with art. I just drew all the time, since before I can remember. I went to art school at Otis, and I’ve just been a freelance artist since I graduated.

Your work is definitely reminiscent of the 1960s and '70s. What about that time period stands out to you?
I guess just the color and freedom. I feel like the '60s and '70s were also pretty inspired by other time periods as well. So it’s kind of like when people say that my art is inspired by '60s and '70s, I feel like there’s so many different places that I’m taking inspiration from, like art nouveau, or deco. There’s just so many points are jumping off points. I love psychedelic artwork.



Other than those decades, what primarily inspires your work?
I’m a big collector of books. I think books are really important, and I think you should have as many as you can fit in your house. I love having things in my hands. I love searching for things, I love treasure hunting, I love going to flea markets and finding crazy things. I just found this insane wheel of fortune from this old carnival. I’m super into movies and I watch them all the time. My boyfriend started the movies at the Hollywood Forever cemetery, so I help program movies there, which is so inspiring. It's fun to curate and create a whole experience. I’m really excited about Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on June 21. But just being able to pick something like that…Gentlemen Prefer Blondes!  The photobooth is going to be amazing!


"DVF Pop Wrap Animation for the Warhol Foundation made by me"

You do a lot of collaborative work as well. What do you enjoy most about pairing fashion with art?
I love working in fashion. I think you should dress as silly and crazy as you want every day. I love dressing up and playing a role which goes back to movies, and being inspired by fashion and movies. Making clothes on my own was really exciting and hopefully I get to do more of that in the future, selling my dresses at Colette. I only made like ten of them or something. I really love working with Anna Sui, and I think we will be working together again soon. I did her backdrop for her fashion show a couple seasons ago, and she’s such a hero and so cool. I got to visit her in her studio and she had books everywhere stacked high as the ceiling.

What are your go to films that have impeccable fashion and art direction?
My favorite, favorite ones…I love Smile with Bruce Dern. That movie is one of my favorites. I love pageants and over the top fashions for that, the ‘70s rad teenage girls in that are really funny. I love musicals, all kinds of musicals. I could watch Esther Williams and all those amazing Ziegfeld Follies all day long. I just watched Witches of Eastwick again, and there’s this one scene in it that blew my mind. I’m obsessed with balloons and re-watching the scene where they’re holding thousands of pink balloons in the ballroom and then they dance through them... I mean, what beats that?


Alia Penner's Balloon Girl Performance starring Labanna Babalon.



Who would you call your style icon?
Miss Piggy, definitely, is a style icon for me. I love Miss Piggy, I love the Muppets. I have a book called Miss Piggy’s Guide to Life and there are some really important lessons.
Zandra Rhodes, another designer that I’ve met and interviewed before, she is just insanely cool. Pink hair. Like, I love how rad you can be when you’re old. You don’t have to be an insane plastic surgery lady. You can be a badass with pink hair and tons of black eyeliner and wear whatever you want. I almost can’t wait to be that.

What has been your favorite project to date?
I directed my first music video for Jena Malone this year, which was a really special experience to work with her. We covered her in flowers and glitter and nothing else. Another favorite project I did last year was painting Katy Perry’s piano. That’s probably the best. It's so special because it’s this object that you know is gonna be around forever. It's covered in red roses and ice cream colors. It was great to work on it over the course of a couple months. I feel like everything has to happen so fast nowadays, so to be able to even spend time painting something is just a pleasure. I wouldn’t mind doing that all the time.


"Katy Perry's piano in my studio"



Who is your dream artistic collaboration?
My dream artistic collaboration would be to create a DREAM Theme Park with Niki de Saint Phalle & Yayoi Kusama.

Alia Penner is represented by Weiss Artists. Check out Alia Penner's website and Instagram.

UO Creative Grant: Samuel Michael Casebolt


It may have taken Samuel Casebolt only one day to pitch his idea for our UO Creative Grant, but he's been working on the concept for years. Here we speak with the artist about his background in film, his love of the great unknown, and the plot for his winning concept, Hell's Belles, up today on his Kickstarter!

Introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your background!
My name is Samuel Michael Casebolt and I live in Oakland, CA, working in downtown San Francisco as a display artist for Urban Outfitters. I have worked as a production designer for a couple of feature films by Ben Wolfinsohn, one of which, called High School Record, made it into the Sundance Film Festival in 2005. I've also produced and directed four other features, a music video for The Mae Shi, and the short Goodbye Sun, which I released in 2012.

Where did you go to school?
I went to the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia, CA. and got a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art. I worked in many mediums including painting, drawing, and sculpture, and was showing in galleries around L.A. almost once a month for a while. 




How did you get involved in filmmaking?
Although I was making so much art, I honestly felt a bit limited. Films just seemed more visceral and really had the power to move me. While it is true that art and film are meant to convey different types of things to a viewer, I never felt that way standing in a gallery and I really wanted to. I began making skateboard videos and abstract art videos with semi-plots on a camcorder and editing on betacam cassettes. Over time, my films began having more and more story driven premises, although I still feel like film is another extension of the art I've always done. In fact, I always make paintings to prepare for and capture the tone of my films.

So, tell us about the UO Creative Grant contest!
I have been working on the concept for the film Hell's Belles for five or six years and was finishing another film, Goodbye Sun, which is kind of a sequel to Hell's Belles. When UO announced that they were giving a grant to someone who needed funding for a project, I was all over it. I had the concept fairly fleshed out and the thought occurred to me to make a trailer for a crowd-sourcing campaign to raise money for the feature film. I'm not sure if it was intentional, but Urban Outfitters announced the contest on a Tuesday and required submissions by THAT Friday! My first thought was, "Forget it. That's not enough time." But I realized, "This is what everyone else will think, too, which might give me a better chance!"

With this in mind, I made a video proposal in one night, sent it in, and ended up winning! I received $1500 and three weeks paid time off, which paid for most of the wardrobe, props, travel, and food for actors. Everyone else donated their time and efforts for the project, which was amazing! I spent the three weeks off editing, organizing and shooting scenes for the trailer.  


What is Hell's Belles about?
Set in the 1970s, Hell's Belles is a mockumentary about the 4444 Cult, which consisted of four women that had left society to live in the desert and then disappeared. The women had attempted to control reality with their minds in a series of exercises or "spells" to manifest objects and life forms, travel through space and time, and possibly transcend the physical realm altogether. Evidence of their abilities, which they believed all humans are capable of, was found in the form of photographs, film reels and other various objects, locked in a trunk on the bottom of the ocean. In Hell's Belles, scientists and other experts analyze the footage and eyewitness accounts of terrifying encounters in the desert, leading the filmmaker to take an expedition to the desert to find the church.


What inspired you?
I was inspired by regular trips to Joshua Tree National Park with friends. It's easy to come up with crazy stories when you are surrounded by interesting people in that environment. It would be harder to come up with a boring idea there. I am totally fascinated with physics and science and how it could be used to explain the mysteries of existence, which is partially what this film is attempting to do. I have also been inspired by UFO and Bigfoot documentaries as a kid, most specifically in this case by a film called Overlords of the UFO ( I love their dead serious delivery of "facts" about UFOs that are just silly at times, but still intriguing to watch).



What are your…

Top five films of all time?
This is a really difficult question to answer because there are so many films that I put in the flawless category, which don't get sorted from best to worst. They are untouchable, but I think lovability is as important as the avant garde. There is something to be said for a film that can make you love a character, whether it's a Disney film or a Criterion Collection film.  The Shining, Rushmore, Pulp Fiction, American Graffiti, and Boogie Nights stand out to me as films that have a lot of both.

Top five actors?
Sorry I can't choose five: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jack Nicholson, Daniel Day-Lewis, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, Samuel L. Jackson.

What do you want to do in your future? Do you plan on continuing with film? 
I have several films at various stages of production and will continue to find ways to make them happen one way or another because I just feel the need to. I have a haunted house story, a horror film, and a short about the origin of mermaids. I love the challenge of making my thoughts become reality. It's something I am really passionate about. 



When does Hell's Belles come out? Give us all the details!
I don't have a release date for Hell's Belles the feature. I will have to make a plan for shooting once I know what the budget will be. Possibly as far off as 2016.

What's the number one reason we should watch your film?
It will be pretty funny.


Make sure to check out Samuel's Kickstarter page to help make this film happen!

Interview: Abbey Watkins for Morning Warrior


Tobacco & Leather's Abbey Watkins is an London-based illustrator and print designer with a penchant for skulls, women and a bit of warping. When Los Angeles clothing company Morning Warrior asked Abbey to work on a few summer tank tops for them, she conjured up the energetic warrior spirit of the brand and brought her earth-inspired designs to a whole new world. Here we talk to the 25-year-old beauty to get a glimpse inside her life, workspace and a sneak peek at the look book for the collection.
Interview by Ally Mullen


Introduce yourself!
I'm Abbey Watkins of Tobacco & Leather. I'm 25, living in London and working as an illustrator and print designer.

Where did you go to school?
I went to Manchester Metroplitan Universirty and studied textile design for fashion. I chose Manchester because it's a vibrant city, but it's not too overwhelming. At the time I struggled a lot with my confidence so this played a big part in my decision. 

I always wanted to study fashion in London, but this was the best I could do with the tools and finances I had. It worked out well in the end as I ended up with the best tutor, Alex Russell, and I got a career out of it which I'm very grateful for. I'm from a very small town in the middle of nowhere so university was my way out and my first experience of a real city.




How did you get involved with Morning Warrior and when and how did this collaboration come together?
I was already aware of Morning Warrior when they got in touch about working together; it was obvious we shared some interests and creative visions so we got together and created these three designs.

Tell us about the influences behind your art! 
There are many, many influences but it's really hard to name them! I'm influenced by mythology and ancient gods, strange creatures—especially the mixture of animal and human. I'm interested in things like the occult and witchcraft, shamanism, and hallucingenic visions. I have this deep-rooted love for tribes and people that live closely to the earth, treating nature like a language that can be interpreted and returned. I guess all of that mixed with some '60s pychedelia and old metal album covers is somehwere near my vision. I've still got a lot of work to do to bring it all together though.



What was the driving inspiration behind your collaboration?
There was a loose brief for the collaboration, but with themes like "Mystical", "Animal" and "Bad Girl Biker", Morning Warrior and I were already pretty much on the same page, so it flowed nicely.

How would you describe your style of art to someone who hasn't seen it yet?
I still can't find an answer that satisfies, but the basis of my work is set in pencil realism, with subjects of naked women, skulls, animals, mythic elements and hints of surrealism.

What is your favorite medium to use when creating your illustrations?
Pencil. It's the only one that comforts. If there's color, it's done digitally.


Of the shirts you designed, which is your personal favorite?


I haven't seen them in the flesh yet! But my favorite is the grey Eagles Tank Top. That was my favorite one because I remember learning from it. You are always learning every time you draw but sometimes you can feel it, and I enjoyed that time.

What are your favorite things to draw?
Naked women, skulls, anything where I can play with its form and mold it into something else. That's my new favorite thing to do!



Are you going to wear your own designs?
I never wear my own designs. I hope nobody takes that personally! I just feel weird wearing something that I drew. Like it's somehow saying, "Look what I did!” And that makes me uncomfortable.

What was the… 
Last song or album you listened to: "Desert Ceremony" by Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats 
Last movie you watched: Iron Monkey
Last purchase you made: A black, leather, bondage thigh-harness from Etsy that clips onto your belt loops and wraps around your thigh.
Best part about doing this collaboration: That I got to draw and create and was given artistic freedom. Morning Warrior were an absolute pleasure to work for. It's not always that way with commissions.




Look Book Information: 
Photography by Emman Montalvan
Hair and Makeup by Brittany Sullivan
Model: Courtney Money at PhotoGenics L.A.
Styling by Julie Swinford & Renee Garcia
Clothing by Morning Warrior: Twitter | Instagram

Better Together: Monica Ramos and Leah Goren

If you don’t know them by name, you probably know Monica Ramos and Leah Goren through their work or have purchased their items on Etsy. Monica and Leah, both Brooklyn-based, share a studio with lots of light, plants and snacks. Between illustrating for publications like The New York Times and designing book covers, they also work on sticker packs, make a Sad Girls Zine, and do impressively accurate drawings of what they wear to the studio. Here’s what they had to say about being better together, as friends and as artists.
Interview by Maitri Mehta


Totes by Leah and Monica

So the feature is called Better Together— how are you ladies better together?
Leah: That’s so cute! Before I moved in here I worked at home by myself, or I guess with my boyfriend, but he’s not an illustrator so I was basically alone. It’s amazing to have Monica around to talk to about my work.
Monica: She keeps me from being a total bum.
Leah: It’s good teamwork to get here at a good time and make coffee or tea and talk about what we’re working on—
Monica: And share frustrations.
Leah: It makes us feel like we’re part of a bigger picture of illustration work rather than just being cooped up alone. You can go crazy working alone.

How long have you been in this studio?
Leah: Almost a year!
Monica: I was working in my living room before. It was so depressing! I would be there every day and I wouldn’t go out.

Where are y’all from?
Monica: The Philippines.
Leah: San Diego. Both warmer climates.
Monica: People think I’m from California, I think because how I talk.
Leah: We were talking about moving to California some day, but we’d ALL have to go, because otherwise it’d be too lonely.

And you two met at Parsons?
Leah: Yes. We were trying to figure out what class it was but it’s all kind of a blur—
Monica: I think we met in a printmaking class because I remember Leah did all these block prints of girls’ faces—
Leah: We were making .gifs! I don’t even know anymore! We have a lot of friends from school but I don’t know when we all met. They just showed up at some point.

How did you decide to move into a studio together?
Leah: I started here with Rachel [Levit] and some other friends, and then we convinced Monica to move in.
Monica: I was actually really resistant because I was so comfortable in my living room. I was like, I’m just never gonna leave. But no, it’s been so good. I feel like a normal person here [laughs], with a place to do work.


Catdish by Leah


Alpacas by Monica

What are you working on right now, individually?
Monica: I have this one group show in Copenhagen, it’s about swimming. And a few months later I have another duo show also in Denmark, and I’m hoping to fly there.
Leah: I got an editorial thing this morning! So I worked on sketches today. It’s for an essay. I’m learning things about writing today. It’s a quick turnaround as usual, and then just answering emails, always.

I get bad email anxiety, do you?
Monica: If I answer an email at 1 AM, is that bad?
Leah: I don’t think it’s bad, I think it just means you’re on the clock all the time.
Monica: But not like, 4 AM, right? 4 AM is bad.

What are you working on together?
Monica: We’re working on a ceramics pop-up show, which is how we spend most of our time—
Leah: Yeah, I think it’s the most fun thing I do, because it doesn’t feel like work. Not that my work isn’t fun. We’ve been taking ceramics for maybe a year, or a little over. I started just making things with my mom who’s an art teacher and then taking actual classes in New York.
Monica: I took one class in high school, because my grandmother on my dad’s side used to have a ceramics studio, and then I started maybe half a year ago here in New York because Leah was taking classes and it seemed like a lot of fun. They had all this cool stuff! We just hang out at the ceramics studio, talking and making things. I mostly make a lot of alpacas.
Leah: She’s notorious at the studio for her alpacas.


Ceramics by Leah and Monica

Is it hard making art for business?
Monica: Yeah, it’s strange. Because you want to pursue something like illustration and then you’re like, "OMG I’m gonna love my career," and then it ends up giving you stress at the same time.
Leah: It puts an edge on it, yeah.

Do you guys talk to each other about your own personal projects?
Leah: Yeah, I would say since we’re still just starting out, two years out of school, there are a lot of questions we have to figure out and apply, like pricing and how to answer clients’ questions. Even more basic stuff like, “Is this sketch good?”
Monica: It’s reassuring, too. It helps just being in the same room as people who are doing things that are creative. I think it’s a pretty tough industry to get into and it’s nice to see other friends at the same point. We’re all trying to get to the same place. I don’t know what I would do if not for the studio at this point. I feel so at home here.
Leah: And we’re always so excited for each other when we get jobs! And we also get really mad at things together.
Monica: Also, Leah has been helping me get better at Instagram! She is amazing at it.
Leah: No, you’re really good at it, but you don’t post enough. I grade her Instagrams. "A minus."


Illustration by Monica


Illustration by Leah

What do y’all like to do together that’s not work?
Leah: Go to Vanessa’s Dumplings.
Monica: Yes, dumplings.
Leah: Go to the movies, buy plants… we love to go plant shopping.
Monica: We had a poker night before! We also love to go to ceramics together.

Tell me more about your pop-up shop.
Leah: It’s gonna be in Greenpoint!
Monica: Originally we were thinking of doing a gallery show but then as we were making things it just seemed like a lot of the things were functional so it would be better as a pop-up.
Leah: I think even though Monica does more group shows in a fine arts context, I think our ceramics are more commercial and it makes sense to sell them that way.
Monica: And we wanna be more in control of how our ceramics are sold.
Leah: I think having these nice little home objects that are decorative and affordable is relevant to our interests right now, and we have some other friends who are putting stuff in the show, like quilts and jewelry.
Monica: We’ve been talking about shelves. It’s a totally empty space so we get to put whatever we want in there. It’s gonna be so much fun.

Friday Download: December 27, 2013


We made it to the end of the year, y'all. And while we don't have a comprehensive breakdown of everything that happened this year (the internet told us it would explode if another "Year End" list was made), our links do have some things to look forward to in 2014, and some good cheer to take us into the new year. See everyone in 2014! Katie



Stereogum 100 Most Anticipated Albums of 2014
Okay, we're including one end-of-year list, but it's a good one. We love Stereogum's Most Anticipated Albums of 2014 list because it doesn't recap a bunch of stuff that's already happened, but rather a bunch of albums coming out that we can look forward to. *Waits patiently for new Robyn.*



Pitchfork Guide to NYE
The Pitchfork Guide to NYE is exactly that - a guide to some of the coolest shows happening across the globe on New Year's Eve. Sure, it's easy for NYE to be the worst (forced fun and drunk bros), but getting a chance to see your favorite band makes everything just a littttle bit better.



Yuck "Somewhere"
I'm happy that these guys are back this year, and to end the year with a new video was a good way to go out. This song also makes me feel super nostalgic and mopey, and if that isn't fitting for the end of the year, then I don't know what is.



Couple Shoots Up-inspired Photos

This is just a cute, cute, cute "oh-my-god-I'm-crying" story about a couple (married for 61 years) who shot some photos inspired by the movie Up. It is just adorable, and will take us all into 2014 with smiles on our faces and songs in our hearts.

Photo Diary: Art Basel Miami Beach

Photo Diary by Jackie Linton

Art Basel Miami Beach is a mad dash; by cab, foot or rented bike, it’s nearly impossible to see all the absurdity, abundance and amazement that the fairs, events and parties have to offerespecially if you sometimes secretly just want to be at the beach! Banner planes fly overhead promoting energy drinks and club nights, and soon enough, once you’ve immersed yourself in the culture of this art week, it won’t seem foreign or unappetizing, to consider either option. There are certainly more things I wish I saw and experienced while I was there, but I’m already looking forward to next year. Here are some of my highlights from three top art fairs, and my first trip to Miami. 



 
With UNTITLED. Fair only in its second year, it was impressive to see it located right at the beach on Ocean Drive. My favorite galleries included Cooper ColeBeverly’s, and Rawson Projects, as well as this sculpture by Allen Glatter.

 
If you take an even casual interest in cars, there’s plenty to see outside the fairs—this '60s Porsche 550 Spyder is a legend for being the car that James Dean famously crashed. It's practically a pop art installation in itself.
 
 
On the way into Art Basel Miami, I stopped by Printed Matter, one of the best artist edition bookstores, as well as the world’s largest non-profit dedicated to print culture. Here’s Jordan and Keith manning the booth. They had just released a new art book edition, Sender, with photographer Peter Sutherland.


It was cool to see the latest issue of Bad Day there too.


Art Basel is colossal; the whole thing is so definitive that it's difficult to describe it with any shade of personality. Pretty much every established artist in the world is on display. All of it is very institutional, and yet, here I am taking a picture of my reflection against a mirror with garbage.


Many people were attracted to this optical piece Female Stretch by Evan Penny at Sperone Westwater.


As a lot of the work on show draws attention to the spectacle of art and commodity, there’s no better example than Barbara Kruger, showing Untitled (Value) at Mary Boone.


You’ll hear people tell you that NADA Art Miami is the best art fair to see, and this is fairly true. It certainly shows the most international showcase of emerging artists and galleries. It's also a fair with a great sense of humor, which I like. Here’s an artist edition T-shirt that Andrew Kuo made on sale outside. 


Running through the show quickly, I was most taken by this piece by Margaret Lee at Jack Hanley Gallery. I love her use of dots with a ceramic dalmatian, as well as the sense of utility and playfulness. 


Another great thing about NADA is it backs out onto a hotel pool. Really great to combine these two Miami must-dos in one place!


I ran into UO's Assistant Photo Director, Julia Sadler, down by the beach!


More cars for Piston Head in the Herzog & de Meuron parking garage where a whole floor was transformed with artist-commissioned vintage cars. Here’s a classic Buick, once painted by Keith Haring. 


Later, on the final night of the weekend, Bad Day hosted a party with Petra Collins. It was great to relax, see everyone one last time, and celebrate the insanity. We're already talking about what to do for next year!


Dana’s purse was a real weekend party trick. Woof!

Jackie Linton is the Publisher of Bad Day Magazine, a biannual arts and culture magazine. You can find her writing at Alldayeveryday and you can follow her on Twitter @linton_weeks!

Read Your Heart Out: Kim Krans



For this series, we've been reaching out to some of our favorite people to ask for themed book suggestions. We then make those books available for you to purchase online. Easy! What better way to get to know some authors you might have overlooked?

For this installment,
we spoke to Kim Krans, the incredibly talented artist behind The Wild Unknown. In the spirit of the season, we found out what books Kim recommends to keep the mind mystical.
(Photo above by Daniel Arnold)

Kim's choices:


The Book of Imaginary Beings by Jorge Luis Borges
"The perfect bedtime book for anyone with a mystical mind. Borges tells the tales of over a hundred magical creatures, the likes of which you’ve never imagined before. My very favorites are the Animals That Live Inside The Mirror. And then there’s the classic tales of the Phoenix, Fairies, Gnomes, and Dragons. Oh but wait… you’ve never heard their stories told like this before."


The Art of Dreaming by Carlos Castaneda
"If you want to fall asleep at night and feel like you’re steering the dream wheel (at least a little bit), this is the book for you. Don Juan drops super knowledge on how to be a true 'sorcerer' and walk consciously through the sleeping hours. Believe it or not, your dream life is there for the taking – it’s just a matter of practice."


Shakti Woman by Vicki Noble
"Ladies, its time to get down with the Dark Goddess. Here’s why: Vicki Noble (author of the Motherpeace Tarot) gives us like a million reasons why not acknowledging this force within keeps us from finding inner peace, true creativity, and power. And then she gives us lots of ways to unearth this shakti, allowing it to unfold and brighten our lives. Ladies night book club, here we come."


Dune by Frank Herbert
"For years I made the mistake of thinking this was a sci-fi book for dudes only. Totally wrong. This is the most beautiful, spiritual, and intensely yogic story ever told. I am obsessed. If stranded on a desert island and I had to pick one book, this would be it. It’s wild and otherworldly and will have you sweating and crying at the same time. HBO, will you make a series out of this please?"

Shop The Wild Unknown Tarot

Interview: Moffat Nyangau

19-years-old Moffat Nyangau is an illustration student at Rhode Island School of Design. Moffat moved to the US as a young boy and, inspired by American cartoons, he started to draw. Last year, Moffat visited our Urban Outfitters SoHo store and ended up submitting drawings for a sketch contest at UO's Night Outinspired by our Women's Silence + Noise design Fall 2013 concept

The sweater featured in these photos come from his winning design, which (along with a cash prize) was chosen by Dossier Journal’s Polina Aronova, stylist Doria Santlofer, designer Katie Gallagher and Urban Outfitters’ very own Marissa Maximo to be turned from rough draft into reality.


Hi Moffat! Give us a description of your background.
I moved from Kenya, Africa around the year 2001 and continued to grow with the American culture, which at an early age influenced my love for art—all these new things widen my vision of what could be. Now I attend Rhode Island School of Design.

How did you get involved with the competition?
My friends and I were at UO's Night Out to see Icona Pop. While they were setting up, we went upstairs and found the competition was still going on, so I entered.

Silence + Noise X Moffat Nyangau Intarsia Knit Pullover Sweater

Describe your winning design!
It's a combination of a cat, fish scales and water. The cat would be centered, and it was also my intention to give it huge Buddha beads and added gold to make it look very ancient and majestic.

What was your initial reaction when you heard you won?
It was a lot more than I could handle! It was just another regular day of me checking my mail. It took a couple of minutes to register that I had won, which isn’t something I thought would happen. I walked around the room cheering, but no actual words coming out, rolling my arm in the air.



What's your personal style like?
I’ve grown in style of what I’ve worn over the years after having seen what other is out there, from what was only limited to me. I'm an Urban dresser. I wear anything from my granddad's sweaters to Obey and Stussy. The kinds of shirts I like to wear are simple and less graphic. I’m still trying to find new styles that are better than the last, while still maturing with my age — I can’t dress the same way forever.

What's your dream label to design for?
Obey. I love the color choices, which influence me in a lot of ways as an artist.

What do you want to do in the future?
Illustration for a published comic book company, which is something I really want to accomplish—specifically drawing for a continuing Superman story and some of it's covers. I love to create from my mind and create stories. Animation would be next in line — being able to bring ideas to life. My goal is to spread the magic of art to another child, like it was to me. Thanks to constantly watching Dragonball Z, my love for art grew into every form. 

Be honest. Are you going to buy the sweater?
Without question. Seeing something I have made displayed in Urban Outfitters is an achievement worthy of doing so. 

Moffat's Original Design  
Why would you want to collaborate with Urban Outfitters?
"I would like to introduce people to my unique sense of style, so that I'm not the only one dressing like this."

BloodMilk Jewelry

BloodMilk Jewelry, based right here in Philadelphia, has some awesomely creepy  jewelry for sale. Whether it's the owl skull rings pictured above, or the bear tooth engagement ring, there's something for everybody (assuming everybody you know has a penchant for skulls and teeth). I know if someone proposed to me with a bear tooth ring I'd have a hard time saying no. (Hint hint, Scott Speedman. HINT! HINT!) —Katie






Recap: Station to Station Happening, Los Angeles

For three days last week, I joined the merry band of artists, musicians, craftspeople, chefs, coworkers and documentarians on Doug Aitken’s cross-country art train for Station to Station: A Nomadic Happening, made possible by Levi’s®. —Dave


I nearly bumped into Beck walking out of an art yurt. That was how my Station to Station journey began, really.


I had wandered onto the South Patio at Union Station to find crews in the process of setting up for LA Happening. The guys from No Age checked amps and drums at the center of a formal garden. Film crews milled about, preparing and documenting. Artists from Folk Fibers and Junkyard Jeans crafted their wares in the skeletal Levi’s® Makers tent. 




And in the middle of it all, I found the Station to Station yurts. So I did what you’re supposed to do: I explored.


Ernesto Neto’s monochromatic, biomorphic interior, begging to be touched.


Photo via Misha Vladimirskiy


Kenneth Anger’s blood red videodome, with a pentagram-shaped seat from which to reckon with his experimental films.


Photo via Misha Vladimirskiy


A hallucinogenic disco nap in Urs Fischer’s glimmering, smoke-filled dream bed.


Photo via Misha Vladimirskiy


And finally, a light-absorbing felt maze from Liz Glynn. During the proper operating hours of the Happening, Glynn could be found inside her creation, lecturing visitors on the history of the universe. But during my visit, no one was there. Until I walked out. And that’s when I nearly bumped into Beck! So we did what two guys on either end of a cosmic art yurt experience would do: we nodded politely and went our separate ways. Bottles and cans and just clap your hands.


Photo via Misha Vladimirskiy


After that, it wasn’t very long until the front gates opened and the Happening began. People filtered in, exploring the grounds and experiencing the yurts as I had done. Then, from the depths of the train station marched a procession of drummers led by world champion whip cracker Chris “The Whip Guy” Camp. They led a crowd to the center of the South Patio, passing the torch of performance to No Age.


 


No Age played a sprawling, noisy instrumental set, at times sounding very much like the train at the philosophical center of the Station to Station project. They skronked, thunked, willed feedback from contact mics and then they were done.  


The crowd broke up and wandered through the giant space, ultimately catching on to the fact that the show was continuing inside the massive space of the station’s original Ticket Lobby. So inside we went to find legendary Jamaican reggae group The Congos performing with Sun Araw, M. Geddes Gengras and friends. It’s a combination that barely makes sense on paper, but the result is a kind of slightly glitchy take on roots reggae that feels entirely right on.


Art films played as sound crews switched stage rigs between sets. And before long, Dan Deacon was ready to party. Set up on the floor at the foot of the stage, in the crowd and of the crowd, Deacon led the room through one of his undeniably (almost aggressively) fun performances. Tweaking an improvised hypercolor sound board and singing through a haze of pitch-altered vocal effects, Deacon was hilarious, engaging and completely insistent that you join his dance party. Late in the set, audience members used his Dan Deacon iPhone app (it’s available for Android, too), creating an interactive light and sound show powered by Deacon’s music. Felt a bit like the future.




After another short break, headliner Beck took the stage. His set was created specifically for the Station to Station shows and featured an absolutely massive Gospel choir, who lent disembodied voices to a chilling “The Golden Age,” singing from the sidelines before joining Beck on stage for the remainder of the night. Things quickly went to church, as the choir bolstered down-home renditions of “One Foot in the Grave,”  “Fourteen Rivers Fourteen Floods” and “Where It’s At.”



Beck’s set felt at once informed by and dislodged from the past; songs old and new, reimagined with Gospel choir force and performed in a forgotten wing of the last great American railroad station. The place itself held significance for Beck, who grew up in LA and spent childhood days reading in the station's lobby. He has fond memories of Union Station. I think I’ll have them too.


I took the Metro Rail back to my hotel. There was an after-party there. I stopped in, but I didn’t stay long. I needed to get some rest. The next morning, I was getting on the Station to Station train for an epic 12-hour journey to Oakland. More to come...


Visit the Station to Station site for additional (incredible) coverage.


Shop: Women's Levi’s® / Men's Levi’s®

Toro Y Moi: "Rose Quartz"

Toro Y Moi just released this magnificent video for "Rose Quartz," off his third upcoming record, Anything in Return. Created by artist Lauren Gregory, the video depicts lead singer Chaz Bundick (as well as his backing band) as a moving painting. I've never seen such a visually interesting music video in my life! Toro Y Moi's slow jam goes along quite well with this painterly stop motion-like animation - oh, and not to mention all of that lovely glitter. I'm pretty sure something like this could only be imagined from a dream. Too cool. Anything in Return is out on Carpark Records on January 22nd. Maddie

Friday the 13th Tattoos

Ben Kopp

It's Friday the 13th so you know what that means... it's time to dig through your couch and old purses for some change to take to TD Bank, so you can scrounge up enough money to get a $13 tattoo of something FT13th-inspired!  


We know tattoos last like, a really long time or whatever, so to make it easier for you to choose on this super-duper-stitious day, our lovely team in the art department have provided us with awesome designs to share with you! 

It's simple: Just print one of these bad boys out, take it to your local parlor, and get it tattooed on you! We suggest your face as the best possible spot.

P.S. If you DO happen to get one done, please send us an email of it at blog@urbanout.com! —Ally

This tattoo will remain timeless as your body withers away and dies.

And it's only 13 calories!

What a tough pussy.

BOOOOoOOOoOOoooooOOo!


I feel like I just lost 10 years of my life by just POSTING this last one.

Ben Sifel
2 cute 2 resist. Seriously, try to tell me with a straight face you don't want this right now.

Judy Gelles: Fourth Grade Project


Right now Judy Gelles portrait series, titled “Fourth Grade Project,” is available for viewing at the Gallery at 543 Urban Outfitters at the Navy Yard, Philadelphia (5000 S. Broad St.). The photos will be on display from September 4 – October 3, Monday-Friday 8-5.

For this project, Gelles spent the last 4 years photographing children of various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. To get a sense of their various upbringings, Gelles asked the children the same three questions to see how their answers would differ: With whom do you live? What do you wish for? What do you worry about? These simple questions prove to show a lot more about the childrens' lives than one might think. The entire exhibit is definitely worth a look if you find yourself in the Philadelphia area in the next month. —Katie






Cartoons at NYFW

In honor of the start of NYFW, Swagger New York put up a really fun post that features 6 cartoons from the '90s all decked out in designer clothes. My favorite is Sailor Moon up there. SO CUTE. The designer, Michele Moricci, also put the characters in actual clothes from the designers' F/W '13 shows. Daria is looking so elegantè. —Katie
(via R29)










2nd Annual Teen Creeps Art Exhibition

Not busy next Friday? Then I've found something cool for you to do. On Friday, September 6th at The Vex in Los Angeles, the 2nd Annual Teen Creeps Art Exhibition, sponsored by Vans, Blood Is The New Black, and Origami Vinyl is happening. Named after the No Age song, "Teen Creeps," the event is being put on for a second year by Clara Polito, whom you may have heard of because of her awesome baking company, Clara Cakes. The art show has an excellent DIY mentality, and features artwork created by teenagers of LA. Admission is free, but make sure you bring a little cash for tasty treats that will be sold at the show, and wear your dancing shoes because there will be performances by Cherry Glazerr and Party Jail, plus a DJ set by Origami Vinyl. Come out and support independent art! RSVP here!


Interview: Tepsic Magazine

Tepsic Magazine is the large-format brainchild of Morgan Tepsic, who sends customized disposable cameras to artists and asks them to document their lives. The results are poster-sized spreads of a rarely seen perspective; a trip behind the scenes with musicians like recent cover subjects A$AP Rocky and Toro Y Moi. I spoke with Morgan about the simplicity of disposable cameras, making a DIY magazine and what's next for the mag. Angelo


When did you first realize you wanted to make magazines?
I don't think I ever realized that I wanted to make magazines, really. I just really wanted to share with people great pictures and art from artists that I really respected and liked. I guess magazines were really just the cheapest outlet for me to get stuff I liked out there. The first time I worked on a magazine was in 2009 when I contributed some weird art for a friend's zine. But I wanted to take a concept of a magazine and see how far I could take it.



What drew you to disposable cameras?
The most important thing to me was getting cameras out to as many artists as possible, and so that really left me with no other choice than disposable cameras. But then after I began decorating them for the artists, I really embraced the realness that disposable cameras capture. It can be spontaneously glamorous at times and capture the energy of the night really well, because people aren't afraid of being themselves with a dinky, funky looking camera around. The camera becomes a part of the party and knows that the next night everyone is gonna forget about the pics they took anyway. That's the beauty of it. A camera that's hidden in plain sight.



To me, the large format is nostalgic to when my room used to be plastered with posters and magazine covers. Is that a vibe you were going for? 
Exactly. I remember my brother having a stack of Transworld mags that went up like 5 feet, and I would just spend all day picking out my favorite pics from different issues. I never understood why music magazines were heavily focused on the opinion-side of things. If I had the choice to pay good money to spend on nothing but dope pictures or pages filled with opinions I may not agree with and corny interviews, I'm gonna want the pics every time. I'm doing the magazine for those people who dig looking at pictures.



How do you typically approach an artist you want to feature? How has the response been from musicians?
The approach has always been from the standpoint of a fan. Once the artist realizes that there is a mutual understanding of art in its many forms and how their contribution would be dope, then it's cake. The response has definitely changed since the first issue. I got ignored by a lot of artists that I ended up printing in future issues because THEY contacted me. Just goes to show being persistent pays off.



People like A$AP Rocky, Toro Y Moi, even Anthony Bourdain — those are huge gets. Do you feel like now nobody is out of your reach? Who's somebody huge you would love to feature in Tepsic, or can you give a hint at who might show up in the next issue or two?
Nobody is out of my reach. I may not get an artist immediately when I want to, but I usually find a way to eventually explain to their crew what I'm doing is something they need to be a part of. I'm never going to give out hints of who's in the next issue, but I will say that I would print an entire issue shot by Kanye if I ever got the chance. I need to get that on the record just in case he's out there shopping on UO or something.



The mag is almost entirely image based. Is that a direct refusal of text-heavy publications? Do you plan to feature more writing in the future or is Tepsic inherently an image driven project? 
I'm not going to say I'll never feature writing in the magazine, because at the end of the day it's a magazine created by the artists featured...so if an artist felt the need to express themselves using text, then I wouldn't be opposed to it. But as for now, I like to keep it with as many photos as possible without anything you don't need. I'm creating a personal commentary between the pictures the artists take and the readers of the magazine. 



What advice would you give to kids who want to make magazines but think it might be too hard or expensive?
If you're strapped for cash use a Xerox machine and do what you can. Letting loose of your creative side is the best thing you can do for your mind. Even if the project you're working on kinda sucks, it's still one step closer to another great idea/project/whatever. The first magazines I ever made were used making a simple word-processing app that was free, and if you don't have a computer then I'm wondering how you can read this right now.

Who are 3 artists you're especially digging right now?
Kanye, Drake, DJ Shadow 

Where do you see Tepsic in 3.66 years? 

I'm not gonna stop evolving and changing how I deliver the message of Tepsic. Times change, people change what they like, technology changes how we see things and I change my mind pretty much every 30 minutes. But if you stick around for the ride, I guarantee the journey is exciting to watch.