I started working on my first painting last week and I must say, it’s a lot harder than I thought. Perhaps this is why I have prolonged traveling down this road for years but it’s insane how merely applying pigments can get your creativity and brain working at full speed on the process of elimination. Your hands need to be trained to work as the vehicle for what your mind is trying to project onto the blank canvas and this can only happen when you become disciplined in the medium. I love the challenge and look forward to making tons of atrocious paintings until my personal perspective finally starts to take shape. This isn’t something that can be rushed and I enjoy working on it intermediately when I take a break from my other creative dialogs. It really allows me to appreciate the experience of finding the viewpoint in which I want to create from. Getting lost in applying individual paints and seeing them merge into something that didn’t exist before really opens your mind and allows fresh ideas to form. It’s truly therapeutic and even the physical exertion that you feel when you use your body in a new range of motion is nothing short of magical.
Along my journey of success and failure I have always felt that there was something missing. An underlaying void that I could never fill no matter how deep into the ocean of emotion I went. I was stuck and stagnant and unable to grow so I did what any self-loathing artist would do, I masked all of my trauma and dark thoughts with women, drugs and alcohol and partied like tomorrow was for people who had a purpose and I definitely didn’t have one. I figured if I couldn’t get to the bottom of my problems, I might as well get to the bottom of another bottle. I did this for years until I finally hit my breaking point. I was on the ledge and ready to see if I could fly. I mean, why stick around? Money didn’t fix me, accolades and achievements only put a painful smile on my face and I couldn’t seem to find authentic love no matter how many times I would pretend “this is the one”. From the outside I seemed so put together because over the years I became so good at hiding all of my cracks. Mentally I was shattered and those who I let in in my dark hours would see nothing more than a broken person trying to connect to anything that would give him one more dose of false contentment. Pain, depression, evil thoughts and a feeling like I wasn’t good enough for anything was all that greeted me which is why I would constantly justify my drunken actions and why no matter how many times I would try to get sober, I always failed. Trying to heal your trauma and fix your mental state while still indulging in your vices is nothing more than floating in the sea without a sail. You’ll never get anywhere and even if you do, chances are it wasn’t where you wanted to go. I decided to move away from all of the evils that tempt me, let go of everyone and everything that didn’t serve me for the better and really take actions that would finally allow me to confront my demons. I joined a self-help group, changed my diet and went vegan, started reading and running and most importantly, I stopped letting my pride and ego control me. I’m now proud to say that I’ve been completely sober for seven months and found the inner happiness that I’ve always longed for. From experiencing mental and emotional darkness for most of my life I can tell you first-hand that lifestyle changes and mental endurance can seriously bring a light into your life that you couldn’t find before. You truly find your lighthouse that guides you home and you start to discover what’s really important in life. You start to become grateful for the small things that you once overlooked and you begin to appreciate things that you once neglected. And then, the astonishing thing starts to happen, the universe starts hiding little gifts that you would have never been able to find when you were lost. You get to a place where you realize that happiness begins in your mind and you have the ability to control the state of your mood which then turns into forward motion actions that takes you to destinations that you’ve always wanted to go.
We have two options, stay in the dark or fight as hard as we can to find the sunshine. I believe in all of you and I wish you could just for a moment understand how important you are and how the world needs your ideas, your art, your writings, your compassion and your creativity. Never stop fighting.
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February twelfth, the day the curtains raised and my existence on the stage that we call life began. I don’t know why I’ve always hated birthdays. Perhaps it stems from my parents tipping extra to the servers so they would sing happy birthday as loud as possible as I tried my absolute best to keep a smile on my mortified little face. When I analyze it and dig even deeper I realize that all of my birthdays have been depressing. I can’t say I know the root cause but I do know that I dreaded the day and now in my adult age I even neglect to tell anyone about this supposed joyous occasion. Then the craziest thing happened, I woke up on the anniversary of the day in which I was born and actually for the first time in a very long time, if ever, I enjoyed myself. I know this has a lot to do with all of the self-help and mental conditioning that I’ve been relentlessly working on over the past year and a half and a lot to do with the company that I keep but it was so nice to wake up surrounded by love and appreciation. Lately I’ve been counting everyday as a day of birth. A new day for new opportunities. I wake up in gratitude and in a better state of mind than I was in the day prior. But on this day, the twelfth of February, I really loved enjoying the gifts that the universe has given me. Oh, and the homemade vegan pancakes didn’t hurt :)
Friends, I hope you all learn to love your life and appreciate who and what you have. This is our only go at this thing so make it count.
I try to make it a point to go running Monday through Friday around 5am. I like starting my day with motion, fresh air and a clear mind to get the creativity flowing. I won’t lie, some days are harder than others and I’ve really been trying to trade in my horrible coffee addiction for a more healthier option. Preferably one that doesn’t serve me up some dehydration with a side of mid-day crash and as much as I love my old sponsor, Redbull, I just can’t go back down that rabbit hole. Cruising down the isles I happened to stumble upon Trader Joe’s cold pressed juice. I won’t lie, I’m not a health or juice expert by any means but I have had pressed juices from Erehwon, Whole Foods, Earthbar and Sunlife just to name a few. I can’t say they benefited anything other than my tastebuds and maybe it’s just me but for $10-$12 a juice you would think it would at least add a little pep in my step which is exactly what this green monster has been doing. I’ve been drinking it for about a month now and I’ve discovered two things; one, it lifts my mood when I’m feeling sluggish which has me down to a cup of coffee a day or sometimes none at all. And two, I’m not nearly as hungry throughout the day which means I might finally be able to wear a Speedo next summer (watchout ladies). Now comes the harsh honesty that I feel that I must divulge in order for this to be a non-bias “review”. When I first started drinking it, my initial reaction was to spit it out. The bitter aftertaste has a strong kick and just sort of lingers on the palette like an old damp sock that’s duct taped to your foot. You want to get it off but you can’t. This part passes though so just stick with it until the green little organic fairies start singing their sweet little symphony. And lastly, the price, you can purchase 1 quart of this green concoction for a whopping $5.99 at your local TJ. It’s no secret that as much as I love making money, I equally love saving it as well. So boom! There’s my take on it for those of you whom are like me and felt the need to part ways with your java bean love affair and are desperately seeking a new connection.
A lot of people were texting me on Thursday night telling me that my photo of Roxy was hanging in the Gagosian Gallery at the much anticipated Richard Prince opening in Beverly Hills. I’ve known about him using my Instagram photo for a year or so and the question I’ve always battled with is, how do I feel about it? Am I mad? Do I think it’s cool that such a celebrated artist highjacked my image and reappropriated it as his own (and sells it for $50,000 a show)? I knew the only way I could finally be able to resolve this question was to come face to face with it and interpret my feelings in a physical setting. I walked in, turned to the right and was instantaneously confronted with the quandary that has poked at me since the day I found out about it. There it was, my photo, now claimed by another artist and hanging in one of the most prestigious galleries in the world. I stood there, analyzed it and the only thing that I could think about is when I took the actual photograph on my phone. I remember I was so upset about Instagram banning my account numerous times for uncensored content. In that moment I wanted to make peace with the fact that I will never win against a machine that has full control of how and what we post from a creative standpoint. It was me fighting a censorship that I knew I would never win. I posted the image and then the oddest thing began to happen. I started seeing so many other people censoring their photos with their fingers or in other creative ways which means this one post gave birth to a ton of images that didn’t exist prior. I wasn’t upset that people used it as inspiration. I thought it was amazing because that’s what art is, visualizing something, being inspired by it and then bringing it to life from your own viewpoint. As I walked away to go admire all of the other work I finally felt closure. Out of the billions of photo’s floating around on Instagram, Richard Prince took notice of one of mine. There was something there that spoke to him and he paid it the greatest compliment that another artist can give, he turned it into his own and then hung it on a white wall where it may have never been able to exist on without his influence.
Everyone go check out the show running until March 21st.
It was amazing to sellout of our sweatshirts on the day of the release but I forgot how crazy it is to pack and ship so many orders over a weekend. We spent a solid 48hrs folding, packing and making labels just to make sure everything heads out to you as soon as possible. As fun as it was, we’re already on to the next one.
Now available in our Gift Shop.
We’re releasing a couple of new pieces today. Stay tuned
It’s been over a year since we’ve released anything. To be completely honest, SS has always been a passion project. I would get a little idea and just want to see if I could make it, maybe even sell it. Then the gift and curse happened, things would sellout in a day, sometimes even less. Once money and outside voices start to saturate your motives, it’s almost guaranteed that your fire will begin to burn out. I felt like I didn’t have full control anymore which is why I knew I needed to take a break. It’s really funny because I get so many DM’s asking where I’ve been? We’ll get into that another time but long story short, for this new year I decided to completely start over and make sure we’re more hands on with everything we produce. Take it back to the humble beginning and DIY mindset that started this whole thing. It feels amazing to get back to a place again where it’s not about the money but purely about the magic of turning an idea into reality.