My Week In Photos

In this blog post I captured several images of the main events that made up my past week. Enjoy.

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Here are two images of my usual street art stroll

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I play on two softball teams during the week

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I took my girlfriends son to play some Putt Putt 🙂

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Watched my little sisters varsity cheer leading team from St. Pius X High School perform at the state championships. They took 5th place.

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Artists Who Influenced My Passion of Street Art & Graffiti

For this week’s blog post I wanted to compose a post in which I talk about the artists who influenced me to become a street artist. Prior to taking up this “hobby” of composing stencils, stickers and wheat pastes, I did not have a favorite artist. I was a little oblivious to famous artists as well as the various types of art that existed. Once I began partaking in stencil making back in 2012 was when my eyes were opened to the composers of the street. I would regularly post my artwork on Twitter and Instagram not thinking much of what I had made would end up being viewed as something special in the eyes of my audience. Eventually, several of my friends and followers on Twitter would comment on my work and would make remarks such as, “You are like the modern day Banksy” or “You are the Albuquerque version of Banksy”. Even though I found these comments to be flattering I had no idea who or what Banksy was. I was then quick to look up whom this Banksy was and why I was being compared to this artist. Once I did my research on who he was I could totally see the resemblance in the work we both produced (However, my work is nowhere near that greatness of his). I am now obsessed with Banksy and the work he has composed. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Banksy, he is a unanimous graffiti artist who portrays political messages accompanied with dark humor. Another artist who has been a major influence for me is known as Shepard Fairey. Most famously known for his Obey clothing company, Shepard Fairey was once an artist like me, exploring the world of street art and making a name for himself. The way in which I stumbled upon Shepard Fairey was by surfing YouTube regarding the topic wheat paste recipes. This was when I was new to making stickers and slaps and wanted to broaden my skills as an artist. I then came across a short documentary entitled, “Street Basics by Shepard Fairey”. This twenty minute documentary completely blew me away and opened my eyes to a whole new concept of street art. Both of these artists vary in their styles but produce mesmerizing messages to their viewers around the world. These two artists remind me each day of why I fell in love with street art and graffiti and why I continue to push myself to everyday.

Iphone Anxiety: Its Real

I really enjoyed reading a post from Beth’s Blog regarding Iphone Anxiety. This blog post basically addressed how we rely heavily on our electronic devices (particularly our phones) and how it is not good for us. Some of the habits we develop with our smartphones that are considered  to be “not good” for us are as follows: Sleeping with your phone, having phantom alerts and eating with your phone. I have been an Iphone user for the past four years and I can honestly say that I have developed bad habits regarding the use of my smartphone. First off, I always sleep with my phone. I tend to fall asleep with it underneath my pillow or occasionally with it in my hand. According to Beth’s blog post, “you need to put your phone away at least an hour before sleep to avoid disruptive sleep” (BethsBlog, 2015). There are rare occasions in which I get a full nights sleep without waking up. Often times I tend to wake up once or twice for the usual bathroom break. Prior to getting up I automatically check my phone. Its usually pointless to check my phone at 3:00 in the morning and I always question myself on why I am quick to check my phone as soon as I wake up. Another bad habit I practice regularly using my smartphone is eating with my phone at the table. This is considered to be a bad habit and is seen as a rude practice to those around you. By having your phone out at the table, this indicates that you are not fully engaged with those you are eating with and most importantly are not focused on what you are eating. I really enjoyed reading this article from this blog post and how the site was managed and setup. One thing I liked the most about this blog post was how direct it was with the information it delivered to its viewers. The entire blog post was no longer than one page. Due to its shortness this blog delivered precise and efficient information regarding the topic. The main thing I liked about this blog was how it provided me with information I can relate to. After reading this blog and reviewing the recommended tips regarding “Iphone Anxiety”, I found new ways in which I can address these bad habits and reduce the levels of stress my body endures due to my addiction of smartphone technology. The information I gained regarding Iphone Anxiety can be accessed from the following blog/site:

http://www.bethkanter.org/fitbippides/

Albuquerque Graffiti and Street Art: Crime or Art?

Just like any other form of art, there are those who adore it and those who criticize it. Graffiti and Street art in general has both its pros and cons but it’s all in perspective to its viewers. There has been an ongoing debate since the origin of this art medium on whether or not graffiti and street art is considered to be a crime or art. Recently, Albuquerque graffiti made local headlines but not for the most positive reasons. Many artists have been pushing the boundaries and have begun tagging up major bridges and businesses in the Albuquerque area. For example the tags DMT, Geko, Believe and Plugs have been sited on the overpass connecting I-40 to Coors Boulevard and have also been seen at the top of the Sunshine Theater downtown. To the eyes of many citizens here in Albuquerque, this is seen as vandalizing and the destruction of public property. Under these extreme circumstances it is highly destructive to businesses and the city as a whole. One reason many people criticize graffiti and street art here in Albuquerque is due to the fact that it is still in its developing stages. Compared to major cities such as LA and New York, they are considered to be mainstream when it comes to graffiti and street art. For example, I recently went to San Diego and took a few days to wonder the city and view some of its graffiti and street art. From what I saw it covers everything. From street lights and stop signs to underpasses of bridges, tags and characters were scattered across the walls of the city. While exploring the city, I decided to ask some locals a few questions regarding graffiti and street art in San Diego. Of the five individuals I questioned, four stated they did not have a problem with it and believed it to be seen as normal. I feel as though in order for the public to accept graffiti and street here in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it must be displayed in galleries in order for it to be appreciated as a style of art rather than vandalism. What the general public does not understand is that displaying this type of art in galleries and museums takes away from the pieces overall meaning and message. Artists use their environment to relay messages to their viewers and to make their presence known. Under some circumstances graffiti and street art is considered a crime. It is ultimately based on its viewers to determine whether or not this art style should be stopped. Not all beautiful things want to be seen.

The Producer of Marketing: Helpful Tips

This week’s web readings and online video clips opened my world to a career in the film industry known as The Producer of Marketing and Distribution. To some individuals in the film industry, the producer of marketing and distribution is just a title for a “social media manager”. I for one, think this is false in that this career in the film industry is entitled to various tasks that are not related to updating a company’s social media account. According to Jon Reiss of Filmmaker Magazine states, “To be a PMD, a person must be involved in all aspects of a film’s distribution and marketing, including audience identification and engagement, creating a distribution and marketing plan, budgeting that plan, creating marketing elements, creating and managing other assets to help promote the film”. The PMD position is entitled to these responsibilities which play a huge role in the outcome of a film’s success. After reading and viewing several web videos regarding the PMD position I have learned several tools and fundamentals I can implement from this career into my daily usage of my social media accounts. One of the main roles of the PMD position I can incorporate into social media work is learning how to successfully identify my target audience. When blogging about a topic you are passionate about it is crucial that your writing is geared towards the audience you wish to address. For example I am an artist and write a blog regarding my life as an artist in the city I currently live in. At first it was hard for me to identify a specific audience in order to have views on my blog. I would ask myself: “Do I want my blog to address all artists in the area where I am from or do I want it to speak to those who only specialize in the style of art I partake in?” Just like filmmakers I did not fully understand how to address my target audience right off the bat. Another key component from the PMD position I can administer into the usage of my social media applications is engaging my audience. In order to promote what I do and increase my audience I must engage in some sort of activity with my followers. I have learned that the PMD position requires audience engagement in order to promote a film. I have actually participated in audience engagement with my audience as an artist. For example I have an Instagram account where the majority of my work is published. Through this social media application followers and fans of my work see what I do on a regular basis. As a result I offer free pieces and samples to followers who show major interest in my work. These are just a few ideas and concepts from the PMD position I can incorporate into my own personal life.

San Diego Gets a Taste of The 505

This past week I had the privilege to travel to the wonderful city of San Diego, California. The main purpose of this trip was for vacation, which usually means I have the opportunity to venture off into the city and get to work. Usually when I travel out of town I tend to prep what I will be taking with me whether it be spray paint, markers, stickers, wheat paste or stencils. Since I spent a total of four days in San Diego, I made sure to cut out more than enough stickers for this trip. I have over ten different styles of slaps (stickers) that I throw up all over town. I spent a total of twelve hours pressing and cutting my stickers for this trip. Even though I have a love/hate relationship with this process it was well worth the hard labor. I was excited to go to San Diego because the first time I had gone, I was still in the process of finding who I was as an artist. I ended up staying in a very nice hotel near seaport village where tons of tourist from around the globe travel to stroll along the bay area. Within this small area of the city there where what I like to call “gold mines,” which are ideal areas to post stickers and tags. These spots consisted of old phone booths, power boxes, street lights, stop signs and trash cans. Many of these spots had been filled with artist both local and foreign. I made sure to acquire any spot available with my artwork. Day two in Dan Diego I stumbled upon an ideal spot of graffiti and street art. I was taking a casual walk down the bay and came across a cement picnic area near the edge of the water. I walked around to the rocks surrounding this area and underneath I hit the jackpot. Tags covered every inch of the wall underneath this small area of the bay. I immediately went to work and threw up my own tags. I had never stumbled upon such a beautiful spot before. Usually, most graffiti tags and throw ups are within the city covering alley ways. This unique spot was right on the edge of Coronado beach. It gave a whole new meaning to what this type of art is and how artist push boundaries to allow the surrounding environment influence their scribbled messages. While in San Diego I arrived with 326 stickers and returned with 207. I represented the Duke City and made a statement about the type of artist I am and where I came from. I look forward to return to San Diego to see both my old artwork and how I will evolve as an artist.

Vans: Social Media Usage

One of my all-time favorite clothing brands is known as Vans. This clothing brand is primarily tailored to those who like to dress with a skateboard style. Better known as “Vans off the wall,” this company specializes in skateboards and shoes. I can honestly say that the majority of my wardrobe, including all of my shoes, are from this company Vans. One reason why this clothing brand is so successful is due to how they portray themselves through their social media accounts. I follow Vans clothing company on the following social media outlets: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube. The way in which I gain insight to potential store sales and promotions is through Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. On my free time I spend the majority of my time scrolling through my Tumblr account and posting images to my blog. I have really enjoyed what the official Vans Tumblr account offers to those who follow them on this social media site. Through this social media outlet I see a different side of the company. The majority of this company’s posts on Tumblr are not in hopes to help promote or increase sales. They post images and stories of the athletes they sponsor as well as post images about skate and art events they host throughout the year. Through these posts I find it easy to connect to this company on different levels. They inspire me to push myself not only in one aspect of my life but in any way possible. So when I wear my Vans off the wall gear I am representing this company and the image they wish to deliver to their audience. Another reason I enjoy following the official Vans account on Tumblr is due to the amount of interaction they have with their followers. For those of you unfamiliar with Tumblr, this site allows you to ask questions to a blogger you are following. Both your question and the response from the blog will be posted on the blogs news feed. I find this tool to be very useful and beneficial to the company. This allows the company to have a genuine conversation with its audience providing timely feedback. I honestly cannot point out any flaws this company has when it comes down to how they handle their social media accounts. The company Vans efficiently updates their social media accounts and interacts with their audience constantly. The way in which this company is handling the usage of their social media accounts is effective and delivers a positive message to its intended audience.