"Everyday is a beautiful challenge filled with opportunity and growth. Life can't be easily determined for me." - Taylor Czerwinski.
It's that open and optimistic mindset above that Taylor has, which ultimately lead her to start her own magazine. A South Carolina native and visionary, Taylor Czerwinski, created a music and art magazine called 9 to 5 Magazine, which covers bands in and around the Charleston, South Carolina area. Charleston's music scene is rapidly growing and Taylor saw it as an opportunity to write about the talent in the area.
The name of the magazine is pretty much inspired by the "typical" American 9 to 5 job schedule. Taylor was not happy with her own 9 to 5 job, so she decided to follow her heart and start this magazine and instead focus on something she likes. Desert of my Eye is also like 9 to 5 in the sense that we like to portray the rapidly growing music scene in our city with the hope of spreading the message elsewhere and one day being able to travel to places to discover new bands. I hope everyone enjoys the project that is 9 to 5 Music and Art Magazine and realizes how important it is to support things like this. Supporting independent magazines like this is basically supporting the local bands featured on it as well. You never know when you will find something you like.
The first issue of the magazine is available for pre-order and will be sent out and physically be available in January. 9 to 5 also has a website that includes a more detailed description of the magazine, it's purpose and it's future endeavors. Pictured above is the cover of the first issue of 9 to 5 Music and Art and Magazine, which futures a picture of the band Heyrocco. Heyrocco also happens to be one of the bands that inspired Taylor for this project to begin with.
Taylor hopes that everyone enjoys the magazine as much as she and the 9 to 5 team has enjoyed making it. It's full of great content and beautifully taken pictures. The 9 to 5 Magazine website also has it's own blog and I encourage people to go and read and see what's up in Charleston, South Carolina. Below are a few pictures of the bands that will be featured on issue number 1.
"I’d like to consider myself an earthling child with no defined attachment to imaginary borders, related to everyone and everything on this planet."- Sara Dungo
Sara Dungo is a girl from South Carolina who is currently "seeking grace". In doing so, she has created some very rad things whether it is her temporary tattoo business called Transient Collective or her new home on wheels as pictured below. Sara is currently living in a 90's Ford airport shuttle, which she is continually modifying it until it is fully livable. She calls the van Eva, named after the girl robot from WallŸ E. In explaining her projects, Sara mentioned that Eva is "a nomadic studio, a spaceship for my travels both terrestrial and astral, as well as my tiny home on wheels. Generally my projects revolve around creation. Photography, drawing, exploring, connecting with others to name a few. Out of all of this was born Transient Collective, my hand drawn temporary tattoos and jewelry. The tattoos are a symbol of life’s impermanent beauty. The need to incorporate a connection to earth within my business was a necessity, which is why every tattoo sold helps fund planting one tree through reforestation efforts."
I believe people take trees, life, tattoos (to name a few) for granted and it's people with a project like this that have an impact. Sara said that a lot of events in her life have lead her to make these decisions like living in van, striving for a better world, and staying true to herself. Deep down, she always knew she would end up doing something like this. Sara said that she had been in the house-cleaning business for a long time. She cleaned houses for people who were never home and just slaved away at work all day. She couldn't help but notice everything wrong with that. "Throughout college I had always been on the go and semi living out of a jeep, but always gawking over school bus conversions, airstreams and the likes. A few years later, life presented me with a choice; choose to settle down and accept a marriage proposal with a destructive relationship, or... run. So I ran. All the way across the country from the east coast to the Hawaiian Islands…. Hawaii completely changed my life. It exposed my senses to the beauty that still exists on our planet and the importance of protecting it. Living on Maui was extremely healing."
I really admire what Sara is doing. Her story and choices really resonate with me. Not everyone has the cojones to put their life savings in a van and fulfill their dreams. She admitted that she initially regretted buying the van, but once she bought it she fell in love with it. She admits that even the struggles she faces with it will help her learn, move on and keep on pushing. She hopes that she can achieve a life that aligns with her "values and notions."
To anyone doubting whether they should go chase their dreams, she has this to say: "If there is something someone is trying to chase their dreams but they are unsure, I would ask that person: "Will this endeavor affirm impact for your life and therefore spread positivity outwards?" If the answer is yes; then don’t hesitate. Be persistent and knowledgeable in taking steps today to begin the personal journey of following what feels right. And most importantly, be patient with yourself."
A huge thank you to Sara Dungo for taking the time to tell me about her project and for sharing her light with the world. Follow her projects on Instagram:
Growing up I always used to admire murals, whether they were in El Paso or anywhere else. Something I noticed was that a lot of graffiti murals were signed C/S, but I never knew what it meant and no one ever told me. Years passed and I didn't think about it's mysterious meaning until last year when I went to Los Angeles and saw some of the murals. Sure enough some of them had the C/S. Not only that, but I read a book called Drink Cultura by José Antonio Burciaga and it has a chapter dedicated to Con Safos. He signs off every chapter with an C/S. That is when I learned it's meaning.
No one knows the exact origin of Con Safos or who was the first to use it, but it is used a lot in graffiti. Con Safos literally means "with safety". "It was meant as a safety precaution, a barrio copyright, patent pending." (Burciaga, 1993) Con Safos is like an honor code or even an "amen". In other words it means "anything you say against me will bounce back to you." (Burciaga, 1993) In literature, the C/S is also more of that of an "amen."
Burciaga does a good job of explaining it, I finally understand why it's so important. Every time I see one, I smile back in respect. I hope everyone can one day why it is important: both symbolically and culturally.
Burciaga, J. A. (1993). Drink Cultura. Santa Barbara, CA: Joshua Odell Editions.
Man-made Machinations will take you on a journey and make you reflect on some of societies ills.
Dream Chasers Club has recently under gone some renovations and last week it opened up with an exhibition by Ashton Kaleigh called Man-made Machinations. I was really struck by the paintings as I walked in. I noticed that the titles below them were hashtagged. It was easy to see what Ashton was trying to convey with her art. Society has really reached a new point in fragility and huge dependence on technology and it has affected us. I recommend this exhibition to any one in the El Paso region. It will be up all month.
I was able to ask Ashton what some of her paintings meant and she walked me through some of her masterpieces. Obviously I will not mention all the paintings for those who go check it out. The first one is called #TINKER and it "has to do with the fragility of everybody and she is working on her heart because we constantly try to fix ourselves and the mechanical thing is basically how we go through our daily grind." There is another painting that is called #BARELYFUNCTIONING that also touches on that gear motif presented in the previous painting mentioned.
Another painting called #THEBIGFIVE refers to the five biggest companies that basically own the media "so it's a controlling of what we know and he is going through the sunflower field. The sunflowers are representative of us. He is killing the things that go along it."
Ashton then pointed to the painting next to that one which were of two sunflowers and explained why those represented us as humans. This whole exhibition is an analogy of society today. There are hidden truths in these paintings, some are more obvious than others. They are all wonderfully done. Please if you are reading this, go support local art.
Below is some of her artwork that was mentioned above, If you want to see more of her artwork then her on Instagram: ashton_kaleigh !!!
I recently went to Golden Goose Tattoo Shop to talk to Joshua Perez a.k.a Cuidado con el Tren! He is a talented artist here in the Sun City who happened to do an art show along side "dotdotjulio" at Dream Chasers Club a few months ago. Not only does he do art shows, but he also does graffiti, murals, tattoos, and much more. You might recognize his art work featured in the Pizza Joint restaurants and Tinman bars around town.
He has been doing art for as long as he can remember. He was that "one kid in class always drawing stuff." In high school, Joshua got really into street art and graffiti. Never in his mind did he believe that he would be doing art for a living. Graffiti was something that he worked on and slowly improved, but once he got the hang of it, he did it professionally and even did some murals. Joshua did not stop there, he kept improving his skill and eventually he started getting paid for commission.
When I talked to Joshua, he told me a story about him and his mentor (who is a tattoo artist) who one day while they were painting trains told him that he could be his apprentice. Joshua was very happy about it since it was something he had been wanting to do. He mentioned that although graffiti was fun while it lasted, he enjoys tattooing since it is still fairly new to him and he has fun doing it as well. He said "I was tired of painting my name over and over and tattooing has allowed me to do something different." With that being said, Josh continues to improve his tattooing as well as creating new designs.
In the past, Joshua has worked with Dream Chasers Club and I asked him whether he was planning on doing another art show in the near feature. He recently had one at ODE Brewery and he mentioned that he might be doing another one with Jam (owner of DCC) this upcoming year. Joshua mentioned that the art shows can get a little hectic due to the fact that there are deadlines and many things to get done, but he still enjoys doing them.
I asked him whether these next exhibitions will have a certain theme to them and he mentioned "my style is always changing and I'm trying to find my own. I do more of the illustrative stuff, but I am all over the place so it's hard for me to settle down and do one theme. My art work at my shows are all different styles." What he said is true, his artwork speaks for itself and after seeing it, I can absolutely agree.
To conclude our conversation I asked him about his fascination with trains, considering that he posts about them and his Instagram name is "cuidadoconeltren". He said that the reason why he loves trains so much was that his grandparents lived next to one of the train crossings. "As a kid I would hear the train coming and I would beg them to let me go see them. When I got older I actually started painting on trains and it was exciting because there was that adrenaline rush of 'oh shit I shouldn't be here' in the train yard and it can be dangerous at times." He mentioned that it was fun for him to graffiti trains with his artwork because he started seeing the trains with his artwork all over the country and people took pictures of them and posted them online. "I was obsessed with painting more trains and seeing them out there."
He also added that his son, now, is also fascinated by trains and he loves seeing them go by as well. It now makes sense to see why Joshua has an affinity with trains and why it sometimes translates into his artwork. Below are a few examples of some of the work he has done (except for the self-portrait):