Lately, we haven’t been buying each other any gifts. Instead, we save it for shared travel (#BuyExperiencesNotThings). This time though, I decided to do a quick portrait of us at the beach where it all first started: Waimea!
If you would like to get her a gift, please consider donating to her fundraiser. Mahalo!
Muscleada: A play on “Malasada” (Portuguese donut). There was a vendor on the Big Island with a nice physique and a muscle shirt on, almost taunting customers what they would be sacrificing should they buy into the empty calories he was selling. Carmela thought it would be funny if his stand was called “Muscleada”
Kanak Attack: The feeling of intense laziness that one gets from eating too much. Also known as, “food coma” or “the itis”
Mele Kalikimaka: “Merry Christmas” in Hawaiian. Carmela loves Christmas. It’s her favorite holiday of the year. While it was great to experience an unusually warm Christmas in paradise, we really missed being near our family, and, of course, having our own tree. So I made one.
One of the most unexpected surprises out here in Hawaii is that the slaps game is on point. No, I’m not talking about an underground fight scene, but sticker culture. Every store seems to shop out their own stickers, from surf companies to convenience stores and vape shops. Sometimes, I would even go into a store simply to seek out what type of sticker art they were working with.
I couldn’t figure out what the big deal was. (Maybe it was the same on the mainland and I just hadn’t noticed?) A part of me didn’t care to unravel the mystery because the inner child in me welcomed the wave of nostalgia.
Apparently, when my aunt offered me anything for my (hopefully <7 year old) birthday, all I ever wanted was Bazooka Joe and stickers. I know. I was a weird kid. Around the same time, video game consoles and arcades like Razzmatazz would have my cousin and I plotting to one day own a laundromat for the quarters. You know, so we could play at the arcade “FORRREEEEVER.”
The point is that I wanted in. What better way to commemorate my time in Hawaii than to design my very own “Hawaiian Sticker Pack”? The plan was to have them printed and ready to hand out during Pow Wow Hawaii 2016 but progress was moving too slowly. Most of the ideas were only half finished, safely tucked in my sketchbook, which was gradually getting less love as time passed. I needed something portable, immediate, responsive and fresh. Enter the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.
I seriously can’t stress enough how much I love this new combo! Although the final designs were finished in Adobe Illustrator, the majority of the legwork was handled on the iPad.
Interested in buying a sticker pack? Shoot me a message.
Printing and packaging was done by a company out in Oregon called Rockin Stickers.
For those of you just interested in pictures, here is a recent portrait I did of Madlib, aka Lord Quas, aka Quasimoto.
The main references I used to create it were:
Screenshots from “Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton”: an amazing documentary about Stones Throw Record label, which is available on Netflix. Go watch it if you haven’t already.
Quasimoto’s “Low Class Conspiracy” (Official Video)
“Baby costume animal head” search in google (ha!)
When I was in college, I would spend entirely too much of my money on CDs. Obtaining new music was more important than eating in certain cases—a rice cooker and some canned tuna goes a long way for an art student. Napster and Kazaa were absolutely essential tools for building libraries and exploring new artists. But, there was nothing more exciting than heading down to Other Music, Joe’s CDs, Discorama, Virgin Megastore, Kim’s Video or Fat Beats and actually purchasing physical CDs with the booklets.
Sometimes, I would impulse buy 5 or more at a time, but like De La Soul said, “3” was indeed the magic number. Any more, and I ran the chance of glazing over heaters, overwhelmed with too many options. It was a truly addicting experience. Making a random purchase solely by the looks of the cover or the blurb written up by one of the staff eventually graduated to “who produced it?” and “what label is it on?”
Don’t get me wrong. [I feel like] I was a wannabe, a toy, a frontrunner. I can’t recall album release dates at whim. And my knowledge of how genres connected or what break original samples came from was pretty sad, maybe even blasphemous. But I was a fan, nonetheless. And I was hooked. I was a beachcomber on the sands of sound searching for audible treats to feed my soul.
Madlib was one of those rare finds that really called out to me ‘in the year 2000’ like Conan and Andy. More specifically, it was his alter ego, Quasimoto. There was something really intriguing about creating art under an alias, allowing the artist to venture off into unfamiliar territory. I was obsessed.
Then, the following year (yes, I had to google all of this to refresh my memory) he played instruments as various musicians in a fictional quintet! Say what now?! Yes, he pretended to be multiple members of a jazz group called Yesterday’s New Quintet. I loved it. Conceptually, it was off the wall, and it led to a groundbreaking album.
I wanted to have an alias for each of my art styles too. I even went as far as creating a super complicated, user-unfriendly flash based soundboard to introduce the gang. Thankfully, I never finished this side project. I don’t even remember who was supposed to be The Photographer or The Painter (probably “Layerboy”, if I had to guess).
Horrible, I know. But it’s funny to look back on the randomness of my past. Maybe, I will get around to slowly resurrecting these fictional characters in the future.
Lastly, I couldn’t leave you without your own Planar Surface Mad Lib to play:
Open a new email doc or click here and type out the following:
Aloha! Thanks to everyone who took the time to drop me a message. It was super helpful to get feedback and opinions about something I’m so passionate about. Please see below for the final results of my poll and video of the self portrait time lapse.
The traditional approach won, hands down (realistic: 51, abstract: 13, both: 3). In the end, I totally agreed with the general consensus: though the abstract piece might have stood out aesthetically, I thought that for this particular contest, a more conservative and traditional style was more appropriate.