[The Audiofiles] Enter The Intersection of Music and Art with’Life is Beautiful’ Visual Artists Charlotte Dutoit and Felipe Pantone

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For centuries, the idea of festival has conjured up ideas of celebration and admiration, overflowing happiness and dexterity among the arts; a literal feast for all of the senses. As the fine arts circle and intertwine with each other, there’s been an innate, inexplicable tie between music and the arts. Both works of passion, music paints our auditory experience in much the same way that a painter, sculptor or designer creates in the physical world. This year at Las Vegas’ fabled Life is Beautiful Festival, witness firsthand how music and art intersect on a higher plane.

Purchase Tickets for Life is Beautiful

Landing on the strip this weekend from September 23rd through the 25th, Life is Beautiful is back for their fourth consecutive year. In addition to an internationally respected group of musical acts across the breadth of the spectrum from Bassnectar, Flume, Major Lazer, Bob Moses, Chromeo, Zhu, Crystal Castles and so many more- the festival plays host to equally talented visual artists.   Curated and commissioned by the esteemed mind of Charlotte Dutoit, founder of the JUSTKIDS organization, Life is Beautiful has blossomed into a mecca for world renowned visual artists, featuring murals and installations from all over the globe as well. This weekend’s event will be highlighted by art tycoons including US grown Shepard Fairey of “Obey Giant” fame and Tristan Eaton, while corners of the globe from France, Japan, Spain, Norway, Poland and Argentina are represented with works from Fafi, Mark Drew, Dulk, Bezt from Etam Cru, Martin Whatson and Felipe Pantone respectively.

We were lucky enough to catch up with visionary mastermind Charlotte Dutoit and the kinetic contemporary magnate Felipe Pantone on their craft and influences, the creative process, music, art and all things in betwixt.

The head honcho on the art scene for Life is Beautiful, Charlotte Dutoit has perfected the art of curation. Charlotte has been with Life is Beautiful since its inception four years ago, applying her taste-making abilities to both the murals and installations programs. As founder of the JustKids organization, Charlotte has now even curated people – bringing together an exceptional network of otherworldly creatives, artists, designers and art consultants to collaborate on gallery shows and spaces for high profile clients.  Charlotte has created and designed spaces at first class US festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas and Coachella, internationally acclaimed events in Mexico, Puerto Rico and Berlin’s Urban Nation, not to mention – producing proper gallery shows in Puerto Rico, London, and Berlin.

What goes into curating a large scale event like Life is Beautiful?

Life Is beautiful takes almost a year of preparation. My job ranges from artistic visioning to hands on delivery. It includes the conception of the lineup, the team recruiting and supervision, the locations choice, the equipment and material logistic, the planning, the designing, the marketing, merchandising etc. Of course I am not alone, Life Is Beautiful is a perfect example of a spectacular team work. It’s a collaboration between very specific and specialized talents, and we learn a lot from each other every year.

If we took a walk into your home right now, whose art will we find?

Mostly new Contemporary Artist such as Borondo, Roa, Dates Farmers, Patrick Martinez, Daniel Arsham, Bicicleta Sem Freio, Alexis Diaz, Ana Maria, Saner, Cyrcle… And some Modern Artist like Carlos Cruz-Diaz.

What type of art do you find the most inspiring?

Art with a meaning, that provokes questions and challenges modern society and conventions. Art that brings new discussion toward the art.

Tell me a bit about the Justkids Organization, what drove you to create it and how does it inspire you?

Justkids is a creative house of artists, curators, art events creators and brand marketers. Together we produce, curate and manage art projects for institutions, cities, brands and private clientele. It’s a constant emulation between us and it’s allowed me to collaborate and work with the people I admire. That’s my fuel!

The Life is Beautiful Festival poses the perfect cohabitation of Live Art and Live Music; how does music inspire your work?

I am passionate about music since I was a kid. Actually, my first job in Paris was in the music production. So it’s of course it’s a pleasure to collaborate on a festival where the attendees are real music enthusiasts and culture lovers! Music is a source of inspiration and an infinite niche of references that I appreciate when I recognize them in art, could be in the aesthetic, in the message or in the attitude.

What’s your favorite genre of music?

Hip- Hop, Punk Rock, Electro, Folk…

Who’s in your headphones / stereo at the moment?

Kurt Vile

What’s the best live music show you’ve been to and how did that inspire you creatively?

Beastie Boys, Check Your Head Tour! It’s a piece of my childhood, the music I grew up on and I continue to listen. They brought so much coolness, new style and new energy that it’s a constant inspiration for me.

Which other artists on the lineup are you excited for?

Janes Addiction!

In the 21st century, it feels like everything is interconnected these days. How does social media enhance the artist experience and connect you to your fans (and peers)?

It’s a perfect to show a project from scratch to completion or to show the insight of our Art event. It’s also a good way to tell people where we are so the Art enthusiasts that live around can pass by to see it live. It’s a fantastic tool and we all took advantage of it to share on a global scene and it’s really worked for the Art.

As a writer, every once in a while I get writer’s block, and it comes with a pretty specific feeling attached. What does “curators block” feel like and how do you get over it?

It happens all the time and I have learned to deal with them now. It’s annoying when you have a dead-line but I don’t see block as a frozen state, they are entirely part of the creative process and the necessary space and breath to deliver the idea that will satisfy your goal and creativity.

 

Inspired to pick up a spray can at the ripe age of 12, Felipe Pantone firmly found his footing within the graffiti circuit and hasn’t looked back since.Currently a full time artist, Felipe crafts nearly 200 to 250 pieces a year between various mediums from graffiti and canvases to murals. Thematically, his work circles around modern methods of communication and the fast paced world we inhabit. Though you won’t be able to catch him personally at the festival, you’ll be able to marinate in the perspective shifting precision of his work. After Las Vegas he’ll be heading to Detroit, Tahiti, Mexico, Miami and finally back to Europe

 

What’s your preferred artistic medium and what other mediums do you dabble in. Will you be employing any new methods this event?

I always use spray paint. I studied fine arts so I learnt most of the common techniques and I figured that the best for me was the one that I started using as a kid to paint on walls. It’s the most versatile one. With the same tool I can paint from tiny little canvases to huge 10 stories walls. I’m trying something special for LIB, a sort of integration of my sculptural work with my mural.

When art is psychedelic and thought provoking, it deserves music that parallels – how does music influence your work?

I listen to music all the time when I’m working. From songwriters to indie when I’m at the studio, and electronic music mostly when I’m painting outside.

What influences the subject matter of your work?

I reflect on the present and the kind of life that I have. This feeling that a lot of people of my generation are experimenting nowadays. The fact that everything changes really quickly, that you can spend 12 hours on a plane and be on the other side of the planet, and still have a Skype meeting with you from. I try to live and understand the present through my work.

Would you say that your work fits into a particular art movement?

I’m part of the street-art scene since I come from painting on the streets. But street- art, if a movement, is a very loose one. There isn’t an ideology behind it. I wrote the “ULTRADYNAMIC MANIFESTO”, a new art movement, ha, ha. It was more like an exercise, trying to put on paper what I wanted to do. Of course I don’t follow it, I think these are times of dissolving tradition and staying away from collective thinking.

Have you ever done stage design, album, LP, EP or promo artwork for a musical artist? How does that collaboration process work?

I owned a records label for a little while. So I created art works and music videos for the artists. It was really cool since I had full control and they trusted me. I really enjoy these kind of collaborations when the musical artist control the music, and the visual artist control the visuals🙂

What’s the last record your purchased?

Hmm, honestly it’s been a while. I have a Spotify subscription and I stream everything from there or Soundcloud. Probably the last album I bought is Tom Waits “Bad as Me”.

Who’s in your headphones / stereo at the moment?

El Último Vecino.

What’s the best live music show you’ve been to and how did that inspire you creatively?

I really enjoyed that Etienne de Crécy show where he played inside these big cubes and the projections were just amazing. I remember that being very inspiring.

As a writer, every once in a while I get writer’s block, and it comes with a pretty specific feeling attached. What does “artists block” feel like and how do you get over it?

I think that the more you do, the more creative you are, the more ideas you have, so I feel really good these days that I produce so much work. Always – something that you paint today inspires you for the next piece. When I get blocked, visiting museums and watching some of the masters’ works is really refreshing.

One thing I’ve found in life is the best things are usually shared; how do you feel about collaborating on your craft and how is the creative process enhanced when you’re surrounded by a collection of equally talented peers?

I have a couple of assistants and that makes things way easier. Somebody to share your concerns with, ask for second opinions… And of course also helps productivity wise and fun wise.

Make sure you give each area of the festival some proper attention, be prepared to be inspired and open your soul with every experience possible while at Life is Beautiful. For more on Charlotte, the JUSTKIDS Organization, Felipe Pantone and Life is Beautiful – head to their social media channels.

Charlotte Dutoit: Website  | Twitter | Instagram

JUSTKIDS: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Felipe PantoneWebsite | Facebook | Vimeo| Instagram

Life is Beautiful: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

 

 

 

[Tech Talk] 5 Key iPhone Upgrades in iOS 10

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Unless you’ve masterfully been dipping and dodging digital rocks for the last week, then you’re aware that there’s been a new update to the Apple iOS and this time, they’re shaking things up. The opening bugs from the new system have been zapped, and the risk of owning an expensive brick have diminished exponentially so I think it’s safe for everyone to get on the train. As of today, almost a third of prior users have done the damn thing and upgraded their devices.  However, before you climb aboard – it’s helpful to understand what changes you’re getting yourself into.

As a somewhat recent iPhone convert (RIP my beautiful Android and my addition to all things LG), there are some features that I feel I’m still getting used to on the iPhone; other times, it’s as if Apple is taking more and more from Camp Android, and the latest update is absolutely no exception. With the iOS 10 update there’s a handful of both ergonomic changes and functional changes, not to mention a new color to add to your collection. If you have an iPhone6 or earlier, you’ll unfortunately be missing out on a few of the clutch components that iOS 10 has to offer – primarily anything to do with 3D sensors and touch screen, especially as more companies jump in on the fun.  An inconvenient technological ploy to get you to upgrade? Potentially. But –  will it work? Definitely.

There’s No Place Like Home

Of all the changes to get used to, using the Home Button to unlock the phone might be the largest.  For the last few years, we’ve all been swiping like it’s hot, so for me – I have a good amount of unlearning to do.  This is the most intuitive changes that Apple has made to the iPhone in a few iterations, but it’s also proving to be the most difficult to get over.

Lift Up to Light Up

No longer do we have to live in an age of button pressing on your phone to catch up on your notifications or the time.  Now, all you have to do is simply raise your phone to wake it up.  For those of you that are weary of someone else picking up your phone and being able to read the notifications, don’t you fret – there are ways to edit what’s seen.

Swipe to Snap

Seems like Apple finally realized what everyone wants immediately when they reach for their phone, the time, the notifications – and a way to take a quick pic.  Thank goodness one of the two swipe screens is for the Camera. The other side screen is your widgets – instead of being a pull down screen from the top, they’re now a lot more accessible.

Let Bedtime Put You to Sleep

Maybe it’s a symptom of not wanting to completely be an adult yet, but the idea of a ‘bedtime’ is terrifying – and even more so for my fiance whenever I mention having one. Thanks to the update from Apple, now I can actually set a bedtime reminder – just in case I’m busy marathoning Mr. Robot and Penny Dreadful and think I’ll have no problem going on 3 hours of sleep the next day (note to self, you’re 31 going on 32, not 23 going on 13…)

Make Messages Personal

For all those times you’d rather send a handwritten something than a barrage of bitcode, this update is for you.  Next time you’re in your messages, turn the screen into landscape mode to put your words into your own handwriting. If you’re feeling funny – add a GIF straight from Bing’s search schematics; if you’re feeling flirty – try sending a message with invisible ink.

These are just my five favorite updates, but there are plenty more: edit your live photos,  delete root applications like Stocks, utilize the new and improved search tool, play around with Siri now that she’s been linked up to more applications, transcribe voicemails, collaborate on notes, adjust the brightness on the flashlight or use ‘Moments’ to create little slideshows of your recent memories.

What are your favorite updates inside the new iOS? Let me know in the comments below!


 

 

[Traveling Tales] Drink In Oregon’s Willamette Valley: Wine, Spirits and Cider – Oh My!

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If you’ve been spoiled on the finer things in life, chances are you were raised in California.  From the weather and the weed to the wine and the women – the Golden State more than lives up to the golden standard. But for those that choose to venture outside of the luscious landscapes and rolling hilltops of California, our neighbor to the north has a whole hell of a lot to offer.

Though it’s not the same as the Mediterranean climate of the Californian Coast, some (including myself) could make a convincing argument that the Oregon Coast boasts  equally beautiful conditions. The persistent Winter (…Fall and Spring…) rain paves the way for gorgeous green valleys with trees and wildflowers as far as the eye can see, a perfect pairing with the belated sunsets the Summer months offer.

If you rack your brain for the best in micropubs, I’m guessing San Francisco is one of the first – if not the first – city to come into mind.  But the reality is that Portland has more microbrews than any other US City.  Though the Willamette Valley isn’t exactly Portland’s neighbor, the gorgeous countryside is only a hop, skip and an hour drive away – and offers has so much to offer in the way of delicious distilleries and wonderful wineries.

The Hard Stuff

For the longest time, I thought that Wine Tasting was the only sort of alcohol tasting one could do – so when I discovered that distilleries also had tastings, I’d colored myself fascinated.  Oregon’s climate provides great opportunities for home grown spirits, and these are some of my favorites.

4 Spirits Distillery

Ever since a very memorable night my Freshman year of college, I’ve been convinced beyond belief that I’m not a rum girl; no way, no how. Enter, 4 Spirits Rum. For the first time in over a decade, I’ve not only drank – but enjoyed the flavor – of a variety of rums.  I’m also a sucker for a business venture with a community service flair, and 4 Spirits meets that mark – a portion of the proceeds of every bottle go to the Wounder Warrior Project.

Website | Facebook 

Vivacity

Ever hear of a spirit that’s been distilled hundreds of times?  How about thousands? Chances are, there’s still a ton of sediment in them; it’s why when you drink shitty alcohol, you feel shitty at the end of the mind.  The genius minds at Vivacity have their cauldrons set to be constantly distilling – almost infinitely, if you will. They’re distilling all of the toxins out and leaving you with the tastiest, cleanest, crispest gin I’ve ever tasted.  In addition to their gins, they have a kickass Coffee Liquor and a smooth as all hell vodka.

Website | Facebok

Spiritopia

Half science experiment, half distillery and all the fun – Spiritopia offers a fresh take on specialty liqueurs.  As we toured the facility and learned about the process of producing their delicious drinks, I browsed through the lab equipment in the warehouse and quickly reassessed why I’d switched my major from Biochem in the first place. The Apple and Pomegranate Liqueurs are dare I say perfect, but I have a major penchant for the Ginger.

Website | Facebook

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A Little Bit Softer Now

Liquor tasting is all fun and games until someone gets too drunk, if you’d like to err on the softer side of alcohol tasting – the Willamette Valley also offers a great variety of local wines and ciders.

2 Towns Ciderhouse

For the last decade, beer has almost become a sub-food group for me – it’s been delicious, it’s thirst quenching and yeah, I love a good tipsy feeling.  But, over the last few months I’ve felt a shift in the tasting wind if you will and have been etching over to the cider side.  Granted, I could kill a whole bottle of Martenelli’s Sparkling Cider to my face and have no thoughts about it – it’s no wonder I’ve found a new affinity for cider.  What I didn’t know until recently was just how many flavors of cider exist – all the varieties of apple, Wildflower, Elderflower, Marionberry, Ginga Ninja (a personal fav), Hollow Jack (a pumpkin cider), and so many more; and for $4, you can get a flight of four. Located in the heart of Corvallis (which, mind you, isn’t all that big), 2 Towns is open 12-7 Sunday through Wednesday, and 12-9 from Thursday through Saturday. The Ciderhouse is also featured at many local grocery stores.

Website | Yelp

Airlie Winery

Perfectly poised on a beautiful hilltop in the sleepy town of Monmouth, Airlie Winery has been a staple of the Oregon wine scene for over 30 years.  A female owned and operated venture featuring a few adorable dogs and a wide variety of wines to imbibe, Airlie features awe inspiring views and delicious wine, served with a smile and warm conversation.  For  a $5 tasting fee – which is donated to local food banks – you can tantalize your tastebuds with everything from roses to reds and whites, and my personal favorite – pairing consecutive years of the same wine to understand the nuanced differences a season can make. Airlie is open to the public Thursday to Monday from 12 to 5pm.

Website | Facebook | Yelp

Cardwell Hill Cellars

Just one glance at the landscape of Cardwell Hill Cellars would turn any average wine drinker into a full fledged oenophile.  Sitting in the shadow of Mary’s Peak, the highest peak in Oregon’s Coast Range, Cardwell Hill has been perfecting the art of both Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris for the last 16 years. In addition to their wide assortment of award winning wine, Cardwell Hill also offers a picnic area and boche ball court in addition to winery tours.  Each taste is $1, and the tasting room is open daily from 12pm until 5:30.

Website | Facebook 

What’s your favorite city for trying out new drinks?  Discover anything recently that you’ve fallen mouth over mind for?  Let me know in the comments below!

[The Audiofiles] Chet Faker: From Drop the Game to Dropping the Name

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Known as the crooning sensation that seemingly drops as many falsettos as panties, the voice of many features and collaborations with Flume including the ‘Lockjaw’ EP and ‘Drop the Game’ – plus the brainchild behind albums like ‘Built on Glass’ and ‘Work’ and – Chet Faker – is now working under a new pseudonym: Nick Murphy. Who’s name is that you ask? Well, for starters – it’s his given name. That’s right, after five years of immeasurable success as Chet Faker, Nick is ready to shed that snake skin and come back into the music circuit renewed, rejuvenated and ready. The announcement came through both Facebook and Twitter last night.

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For now, his social media channels have slowly taken to the currents of change – his profile and cover photo from Facebook have gone dark, his given name on Twitter has officially been switched to Nick Murphy while the Twitter handle has stayed, and his Soundcloud offers a nod to the name change as well. Music fans, let’s face it: no matter what name he works under – Chet Faker, Nick Murphy, Santa Clause, The Cat in the Hat – with his raw, emotive tone, moving lyrics and delectable delivery, he could sing me the alphabet and it would sound like gold. Keep on keepin’ on, Nick – we can’t wait to see where your musical prowess takes you next.

For more, head to Nick’s socials and catch up on the latest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

[Life Hack] Bring Your Color Schemes and Dreams To Life

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Life is like a canvas, and with each moment we fling technicolor paint onto it over and over again, haphazardly layering abstract vision onto linear paths; the continual result is a personal universe, vibrant and blossoming to the brim with color.  Fortunately, coloring the rest of our lives from our apartments, homes and dorm rooms to websites  and weddings is a bit more straightforward.  While an affinity towards individual colors is a simple formula of RGB, choosing the breadth of a color scheme can become slightly overwhelming – especially, apparently, if you’re me.  Every time I pick two colors I enjoy, then try and settle on a third I’m reminded that two is a party but three is definitely a crowd – so you have to choose right.  Enter: the internet.

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Thanks to some technological geniuses, there are a variety of apps that make the process essentially dummy proof and in the midst of my (re)search for help, I found a treasure trove of answers.  I was trying to paint two birds with one brush, looking to re-do the office in our apartment and wrapping my head around a color scheme for my wedding. Each came with their own monsters.  Back when I was a kid, my mom was redoing the inside of our house and after pouring through scraps of carpet and paint swatches for the living room and her room – she did, at that time, what I fathomed to be unthinkable: let me decide how I wanted my room to look.  Looking back on it, I’d have to say that light blue walls with pink door trim and a lavender carpet still stands as an eccentric expression of my fourth grade mind, a decision that I relive every blue moon when I go back home and visit. As for picking colors for my wedding, let’s just say this – though I’m most certainly a novice at this wedding game, I don’t plan on staying one but I do plan on doing this wedding thing only once – and doing it all sorts of right.

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For the wedding inspired, Wedding Wire has an insurmountable repository of resources – which includes a very simple decision tree for wedding colors.  Personally, I think they’re a good place to start, but beyond being a great jumping off point it’s nothing to write home about.  Instead, I would lean towards a tried and true favorite – AdobePaletton or ColourLovers, well – when they’re back online.  With Colour Lovers – you can create a personal profile, save your palettes and browse for ideas.  On the other hand, Paletton offers multitudes of preset ways to break down the color wheel – Tetrads, Triads, and Adjacent Colors – in addition to Freeform, plus you have the ability to export your information. I have to hand it to Adobe though, their site is beautifully ergonomic and allows you to upload your own images to create an easy breezy color scheme, but Paletton has my attention.

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The discovery of a stunning color combination is one thing, but an active and informed direction is quite another.   Kiss your interior decorating color woes goodbye because bless their hearts, the good folks at Sherwin-Williams went ahead and made a color app for their collection of paints called Color Snap for iOS.  You can also access the database via Android, or through their website.

For the iPad lovers, go and get your paws on ColoRotate – where you can work with a 3D render of the color scale to find your perfect palette. Even better? It can sync up with Photoshop.

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For good measure, if the curioisity is getting at your cat – try a book on color therapy, or Chromotherapy, and understand the colors on a more intuitive, intimate level.

What sort of ingenious methods have you used to curate your perfect color collection? Let me know in the comments below!

[Self Discovery] Yoga: Soothe Your Mind, Body and Soul

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When I was a kid, it seemed so much simpler to squeeze everything into one solid day – school here, homework there, sports teams, arts and crafts, hanging out with friends and alone time all seemed to fit within the confines of a 24 hour period  The older I get, the more I wonder what happened to all those seemingly infinite minutes and seconds. Some days I’m the world’s youngest adult, other it feels I’m the world’s oldest child and I find that I often oscillate between the two feelings rather frequently. My mind is more reminiscent of a child, full of wonder and amazement – but my body, well – it likes to remind me that I’m getting older; and older bodies tend to pop, crack and ache far more than young ones.

Between grinding on the job, keeping up the apartment and a few hobbies which I refuse to give up – it sometimes feels hard to strike a balance that puts my mind, body and soul at ease.  Between my eager drive to engage myself in what feels like every activity and an urge to fully immerse myself in the moment without anxiety, it’s a blessing that I finally discovered how to calm my nerves with yoga.

The practice itself wasn’t new for me, back when I lived in West Hollywood I found a Groupon for a place called Liberation Yoga.  The studio was lovely, but dim, and the instructors were better suited for the more advanced classes – meaning I quite often felt left in the dust.  When the Groupon expired, so did my presence from the facility – but my interest in yoga only grew.  I got a few DVDs and a mat, searched for a few podcasts – but it wasn’t until recently, with frequency and repetition, that I’ve truly noticed a formidable change in my emotional and mental temperaments while my body relaxes and my soul expands.

As a former athlete, my body craves physical challenges like an intellectual drinks literature and eats crossword puzzles for brunch.  Running can clear my mind and the gym always pumps me up, but there’s a soothing rhythm that yoga places me in for the day that’s unlike anything else I’ve experienced. Exercise shouldn’t only be good for one vertical of your ever changing reality, it must be good for all three of your bodies – your mental body, your emotional body and your physical body.

 

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I could write a whole post just listing the health benefits of yoga – so the Cliffnotes version goes something like this: a regular yoga practice can improve flexibility and posture, increases blood flow, reduces joint inflammation, lower blood pressure, improves balance and develops muscle tone.

With the multitude of yoga studios popping up around towns like hot cakes you’ll definitely find a class that’s tailored for you, and whether you elect to join a ‘chill’ class or prefer a kickass cardio boost, you’ll get your blood pumping and heart opening in no time. Not to mention, most studios have monthly packages which give you a discount rate if you go to enough classes – my weapon of choice, if you will.

Classes themselves aren’t without their challenges, but for me that’s half the fun – daring my body to try new poses, push my mind clear of all thought and marinate in my time on the mat. Yoga naturally limbers your body, muscles, joints and all – while stretching every fiber of your being. I’ve never been more aware of the muscles in the back of my legs until I met the chair pose, and I’ve yet to find a flexibility pose that my body doesn’t melt into.

Yoga is a lot like sex ,or pizza – depending on how you view the world: it’s never bad, and you always leave feeling fulfilled. Beyond it’s physical benefits, the repeated, deep breathing paired with meditation allows your mind to enter a mindful universe where only the room, your yoga squad and your yogi reside. To be fully aware of the moment means that you need to fully engage and immerse yourself within its depths, reject anxiety and fear as unnecessary and commit to simply being while your breathing finds a resonant pattern.  I always find myself walking away from class with an extra bounce in my step and a smile on my face, ready to tackle the day in a confident manner.

When we leave our egos at the door, our yoga practices have the opportunity to engage us on an emotional level. My teacher said in class this week that our practices reflect our lifestyles, If we find ourselves rushed, our practice will also be rushed; if we are aggressive with the world, we discover that we’re aggressive with ourselves in practice.  For the last few weeks, I’ve been struggling with finding my internal balance, truly struggling but in beautiful dichotomy, I’ll always find a way to compromise between people, or things, or whatever.  Suffice it to say, I’ve found I’m an incredibly bendy yogi that has terrible, awful balance – but as I learn to center myself within my life, I’ve found I can center myself in my practice.

Have you gone over to the yogi side? What are your favorite benefits of practicing yoga? Let me know in the comments below!

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[Tech Talk] Painting and Photography Collide with Prisma

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Have you ever wanted to marinate inside of a moment? Venture into mind melding visions of alternate realities while mediating comfortably in place? If you’re my kind of human, then you’re answer is undeniably, unequivocally – yes.  In my opinion, we’re all several shades of guilty – from real dreaming to daydreaming, and everything in between, as humans our escape fantasies eagerly, effortlessly and egregiously effuse from our souls like pheromones in search of a higher purpose, catalyzing creativity and breaking us free of old molds and mindsets.  To me, it’s part of the reason we create, coddle and crave the arts: through music, literature, art and theater – we discover new, previously hidden parts of our personalities while filling our soul with passion like a warm meal on a cold night.

Photography is an out of body experience where distortions of reality, mind melding visions of what’s possible and bends in time and space, painting – double so.  But unfortunately some of us (waves hand), weren’t blessed with a drawing gene or with a paintbrush in their hand  My stick figures are relatively lackluster and the cat face I’ve been trying to draw for the last 31 years hasn’t gotten much better. Suffice it to say, I’m in awe of true artistry when it comes to painting, drawing and all things in between and will try ad nauseam. So, when I caught wind of a photo app that alters your images with filters of popular artists – I was immediately sold; hook, line and sinker.

It’s happened before, and my heart swoons as it happens over, and over again: every once in a blue moon, a smart phone photography fad stops me dead in my tracks and requires hours of endless exploration.  Now that we’re 7 solid months into this year, I can safely proclaim that Prisma has been that app. Just a quick upload of a square sized photo (thank you, Instagram), and you’ll be on your way to fantastical results.  Once inside the app, Prisma applies an intricate and advanced learning algorithm to your photos that combines artificial intelligence with neural networks.  Basically, it’s like Deep Dream, Photoshop and Instagram had a psychedelic love child and it doesn’t matter if that last sentence made sense to you or not – because any way that cookie crumbles, the results are simply stunning.

Try on the tantalizing stylings of esteemed artists ranging from contemporary pop art legends Roy Litchenstein and Andy Warhol to classic stylings of Van Gaugh and Picasso, with detailed renderings that from a repository that looks like the lovechild of Android Jones art, fractals and street art.  There are also nods to artists such as Miyazaki, Kadinsky, Mucha, Chagall, Hokusai and Kadinsky – as well as eras of artistic prowess like Impressionism, Gothic Art, Manga, and more. Once your new work of art manifests in front of your eyes, you’ll have the option of taking the photo at 100 proof, or adjusting the edits down to a smaller scale.  If you just tap into your settings you can remove the watermark from the app, and last but certainly not least – it’s free! The only slight downfall of the application is the need to be connected to the Internet to query the algorithms to work – as the app gains popularity, the servers are also noticing a surge and have rendered themselves as over capacity; quick solution – just try, as try again – you’ll get through eventually!


From top, Left to Right: Tears, Urban, Tokyo, #GettUrban, Illegal Beauty, Dreams, Mononoke, Gothic, Curly Hair

My current favorite filters include Tokyo, Urban, and the Natalie Ratkovski-inspired Illegal Beauty – and I think I’ve even found a favorite way of manipulating the photos a second time using Instagram’s Layout app and creating a photo stack from the same image.  The results? All sorts of magical.

 

Did I pique your photography curiosity? i surely hope so, this is one of the most fun photography apps I’ve played with in a while – and admittedly, I play with a LOT!  The proof is in the blogged pudding, head here to check it out

Download for iOS | Download for Android

For fantastic edits and more information on Prisma, head to their website or social channels:

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