For anyone looking to channel their inner-Beyonce, James Bond, and leading movie-star - or simply to defy gravity and space, The Scenario Studio in Los Angeles is a photo pop-up event set in the secret underground space at Grand Central Market running through November 4.
On Tuesday, September 17, in the heart of Los Angeles, D’USSE Cognac hosted a Dinner Series with D’USSE Cognac’s Cellar Master, Michel Casavecchia and Global Brand Ambassador, Sullivan Doh. The exclusive dinner featured high profile tastemakers in the world of culinary, mixology and entertainment. Special guests enjoyed a curated two-course D’USSE-paired dining menu.
On Tuesday, July 16, thought-leaders and movers and shakers within the world of art, music and design gathered in Los Angeles to celebrate the launch of the House of Rémy Martin’s limited-edition Rémy Martin XO created in collaboration with artist Steaven Richard, a globally celebrated French metalsmith. The collaboration was inspired by Remy Martin’s vision to combine the world of cognac with the world of an innovating artist.
By Elise Gray
Conception Arts is a platform designed to help those who create and appreciate art. Initially founded in 2011 by Rachel Wilkins and Mike Wolf, Conception Arts has established a multitude of multi-media exhibits that feature thousands of artists all over the U.S and UK.
How did all of this begin? As Conception Arts started its journey, the artists themselves began to take to the nurturing community designed by the dynamic duo.
Conception Arts provides varying services aimed at promoting and developing emerging artists. The current show that LA Pulse had the pleasure of covering is at The Iron Triangle Brewing Co., a brewery in DTLA. With roots reaching back to one of the leading art communities in the U.S, Tribeca, NYC, it's easy to see why hundreds of people flock to each exhibit.
Featured Artists in Los Angeles, CA
If you're an emerging artist like Dani LaRose or Arleen Silva, Conception Arts is a community you want to be involved in.
A quick stop by Arleen Silva's work showcases ink-drawn pieces that can just as easily serve as tattoo inspirations. Silva explains that this is on purpose, as she plans to become a tattoo artist someday. With a pending apprenticeship in the works at an emerging tattoo shop called Eternal Sins, it looks like her dreams are coming to fruition; that's the heart of Conception Arts: Opportunity.
One of Silva's more notable pieces, "The Higher I Get," features a distinct amount of detail and holds a special place in her heart. "It's my favorite piece so far," says Silva, "I love the detail. I got the idea from a Bring Me the Horizon song titled, Can You Feel My Heart. There's a line that I love: The higher I get, the lower I feel––so I was trying to portray a bittersweet type of look."
Arleen Silva isn't the only Conception Arts artist who finds deeper meaning through her work.
Dani LeRose also creates many painted and mixed media pieces that hold cultural significance. All her recent commissioned works hang on the walls of the Iron Triangle Brewing CO., and potential buyers are flooding in as we try to grasp the meaning behind one piece: a gun.
The detail took her weeks to complete, and it's a social commentary on the mass shootings we've seen recently in America. The color combination suggests her sadness with recent events. She explains in grave detail how she reflects her interpretations of these catastrophic moments in history through her paintings. Another buyer casually walks by and takes notice of her acrylic piece, Mad Hatter, which is a depiction of Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka. You'll also see a flow of flowers such as pink carnations in different works that are hanging on her wall.
Dani describes her yearning to create, so much so, that she quit her full-time job to pursue the arts. She initially began drawing as a small child, always attending to every detail and colored within the lines. As her journey took her to college, she was unable to continue pursuing her painting classes as her course load took over. For a time, painting was but a hobby. When she graduated, she realized that her real passion didn't align with her college degree, so she threw it aside. She now finds herself in Los Angeles, CA, creating works for communities like Conception Arts.
How Can Conception Arts Help You?
By providing a platform for those who appreciate and value art in all its forms, Conception Arts can provide various resources for artists all over the U.S and UK. With this arts-based organization, emerging artists can grow their following through the following ways:
Exhibits: Participate in a quarterly curated exhibition and showcase your work to a supportive community in places like Los Angeles, CA!
Awards: At every exhibit, the panel of industry professionals award one Conception Arts artist the coveted 'Award of Excellence' by assessing their Presentation, Craftsmanship, and Originality.
Online: Conception Arts provides artists with an online platform where they can showcase a digital portfolio and sell tickets to their exhibits. Sharing your work with a network of over 40,000 followers has never been easier!
Click here to see upcoming shows in cities like Austin, TX, Los Angeles, California, New York City, and more. Who knows, Conception Arts might be having an exhibit down the street from you!
For questions or inquiries about their services, please contact them at Conceptionarts.com.
Follow Conception Arts on social media and keep up with the latest art galleries:
By Elise Gray
Stephanie Monroe, otherwise known as Zeph by her friends, is a SoCal native who has always been a lover of photography. When you live in a city as cool as Los Angeles, it's easy to find your fair share of abandoned buildings, clear beaches, and makeshift sets. Stephanie creates work that is immersive.
The overall aesthetic of each image she creates is as unique as it is vivacious. With poised portfolio of images portraying gleaming diner signs and her Sphynx cats—Michael and Clovis—one can see things the way she does. Whether she's capturing all the colorful tones of the Amalfi Coast or the Santa Monica Pier, she always manages to portray her photos with a blend of bright hues and a classic touch.
Stephanie finds inspiration all around her, which is evident as there's no shortage of vintage pieces in her home. Her cats are wandering on the table behind her as she talks, "I can build an entire idea for a shoot around a single object—that's what I love about photography; the possibilities are endless."
What influences your work?
"So many things—it's hard to put it into words. Colorful things and time periods are big ones for me. I will always have mad love for vintage eras; my automatic instinct is to want to recreate that old-timey feel starting anywhere from the early 1900's to present. It's just so beautifully aesthetic in my opinion."
She sits in the middle of her Culver City apartment with her Sphynx Clovis in hand as she explains the process of begging her parents for disposable cameras. "...that was my thing as a kid. It wasn't until later in my life when I discovered the power of editing that I really started showing a true passion for photography and editing; I equally love doing both."
Stephanie shoots a lot of sceneries and objects on her iPhone, but when she wants a real crisp, professional photo, she busts out either the Sony a5100 or the Nikon d3100.
"I'm simplistic with the cameras I use. It also depends on the subject your photographing everyone has their own style of shooting," says Monroe. When you photograph things that make you feel good, you can't always prepare for the moment—that's how art is born.
When asked what editing tools she uses, she mentions that she bounces back and forth between Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and occasionally VSCO.
You’ve mentioned that you do not focus on subjects specifically, but more on how the image makes you feel. It is an unusual concept; what did you mean by that?
Well, it's clear that there is a strong connection between human memory and the photographs we take. I think so much of our lives are visual. Why wouldn't you want to capture that feeling forever? The similarities between our eyes and a camera aren't that different, and when you look at something it sparks an emotion, a memory, that is the effect I want to give in my photos.
What is something you want people to take away from your images?
I want them to feel something even if it's for 1 second. To also look at life with an open mind and to always have fun. I put my heart and soul into every photo I take—even if it's a picture of a burrito.
You can find Stephanie Monroe's photography by following her @zephy_photography on Instagram. Feel free to DM her or check out her portfolio, zephyphotography.com, for any shoot requests. You can also follow her personal account, @zephaniemonroe for daily shenanigans. Be sure to follow her for any updates about collaborations or future gallery shows.
In Los Angeles, it’s more than having talent. It’s about understanding the importance of hard work and surrounding yourself with the right team. Who are you building with? How will you collectively work to bring your vision to life? With passion and strategy you can make great things happen. For Maricel Meneses, an emerging stylist behind your favorite new artists including rappers Jay IDK and SuperDuperKyle, she understands the importance of this and is just getting started. As a Los Angeles native with an extensive background in streetwear working for streetwear labels HLZBLZ and Dimepiece LA and mastering her craft with Top Dawg Entertainment, Maricel knows what that elevating your hustle is all about putting in the time and dedication. Currently working as the merchandise marketing for Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) and a styling assistant, we spoke with Maricel to talk about her journey so far, the importance of building with the right team and her favorite spots in Los Angeles to find inspiration:
LA Pulse Mag: How did you get into your current career? What words of advice would you give to those interested in getting in the same hustle as yourself?
Maricel Meneses: I was always into fashion growing up. My mom refused to buy my sisters and I toys to play with because she thought they just made the house messy (I know, weird, I think?), but always took us shopping! I hated that, but now I'm thankful for it because I probably wouldn't have gotten into this industry otherwise. In regards to streetwear, my older sister played a lot (if not only) hip-hop around the house when I was a kid. That definitely played a factor in the type of fashion I got into as an adult. My first experience in this industry was interning for women's streetwear brand HLZBLZ. I was a sales intern there and learned how to find wholesale accounts and close sales.
The next summer I actually became the wholesale coordinator for another women's streetwear brand Dimepiece LA. I wasn't even looking for a job! This is while I was going to school full time pursuing social work, which I now have my B.A in. While I was in school, I just pursued fashion for fun. I worked little retail jobs and looked for internships. I actually started off as an intern at Dimepiece too and 2 months after interning, I notified them I had to resign because that semester I had to have a mandatory internship that was related to my major, which Dimepiece obviously was not. They then offered me the wholesale coordinator position, which was great because I was able to quit my retail job and I split my time in the campus library working on homework and closing sales or would go to the office on days I got out early from class.
Two years later in my senior year of college, Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) was looking for assistance in their merchandise department. I was a huge TDE fan and applied right away. By this time, I already had a lot of experience and knowledge in fashion and streetwear, which impressed them. I then quit Dimepiece and after graduation only had TDE on my schedule, which I hated because I'm someone who has to be busy every second of every day. I was with TDE for maybe 7 or 8 months by this time and started learning more about the team behind an artist and became interested in styling. Without a good stylist, it is hard to completely elevate an entertainers career. So I started emailing different stylist and actually only got one response. It was from Debbie Gonzales, who I now assist and who taught me literally everything. I am so grateful for her! Side note: it was perfect that we began working together because she cares about social justice just as much as I do and does tons of volunteer work. Because of her, I am able to live out both of my passions. Anyway, I interned for a couple of months, left TDE after 2 years and then became her assistant.
The advice I would give to those interested in getting in the same hustle would be to work hard, have patience, don't be entitled, build genuine relationships and intern, intern, intern! I would not have had big opportunities if it wasn't for interning. Even though I had paid positions, I still took on an internship even after I graduated college. This is definitely an industry where you will have to pay your dues, multiple times. You are going to have to make a lot of sacrifices. It really depends how bad you want it!
What was the most exciting project/projects you worked on?
I just did my first VMA's! That was major for me since growing up the VMA's was a big award show for our generation. I assisted Debbie with styling Super Duper Kyle and Noah Cyrus. Both of them looked so bomb! Earlier in the summer, I was part of the styling team for Big Sean's looks for YG's "Big Bank". Those are probably the biggest projects I've done for styling so far. Also, Noah's feature in Hypebae was a significant project for me too because I've been following them for forever. At TDE, I made some mock packages for Kendrick Lamar's DAMN. merchandise. They didn't go into production or anything, but it was cool to even be in a position for that.
What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
Not to be scared, not to quit when something is hard and that being assertive is not being mean. Tons of experiences have taught me those same lessons over and over again. I am someone who always had to do everything perfect the first time doing it. Being scared of not being perfect has stopped me from doing so many things in the past and I absolutely regret it. It's a gift and a curse because it makes me perform as an overachiever because I make sure there's no room for any criticism, but it definitely is not always that serious.
My first day of college was a full day (literally it was like a 8 hour class because we only met once a week and it was 4 hours of learning and 4 hours of "lab") of a sewing class. I am someone who is not gifted with anything that requires physical coordination. In 8th grade, our teacher was really into knitting and required all of us to buy supplies to knit and I hated it because it would stress me out that I wasn't perfect or familiar with it. I used to get intimidated really easily. We did like 7 hours of learning that day and 1 hour of playing with the sewing machine and I was STRESSED. I literally dropped that class the same night. I am so mad at myself for that because now that I'm in styling that is such a valuable skill that I'm currently learning. And it was all because of fear! Definitely don't quit because you're scared or because it is hard. All experiences are useful! Overtime you'll learn, so these things won't be "hard" in like a week or a month honestly.
You will be taken advantage of in this industry if you aren't assertive. You will be walked all over and never paid. That's all I can really say. It's super straight forward. Oh also, set boundaries. I was just an "Ok, ok, ok" person for the longest time because I did not want to ruin opportunities. No. Lol.
Describe a normal day working on your craft.
Most people think styling is so glamorous and just putting an outfit together. There is so much more to it than that! You one, have to be really organized. Sometimes you'll have 8 showroom appointments and a few store pulls in one day and in order to stay on top of it, you have to have time management, plan your day geographically and keep in mind the wardrobe budget. It's a lot of driving, answering emails in between driving and visiting showrooms for incoming pieces and making sure you meet deadlines with brands/showrooms to ship on time for the event, keeping up to date with tracking. Honestly, it's a perfect work day for someone like me who has be stressed 24/7 lol just kidding.
On brainstorming days, it's much more chill. It's a lot of reading up on the Vogues, Hypebeasts, Highsnobiety sites to learn about upcoming collections or just browsing the web for hours looking for new cool brands. Styling is a 24/7 hour job, which I love! Also, styling is the most physically demanding job I've EVER had! I think that aspect surprises a lot of people. Sometimes you have to carry 5 full garment bags over your shoulders and walk 2 big blocks in Downtown Los Angeles because there's no parking. I'm 5'1" and do not work out at all, so I don't necessarily have muscles built for this but you gotta get it done!
Did you have any mentors growing up?
Mentors in fashion growing up, no not really. Mentors in my work ethic, yes. My mom has been a single mom since I was in the 4th grade and even before then, always worked multiple jobs. From when I was in grade school to my earlier college years she worked from 8am-11pm, took my sisters and I to school every morning and picked us up from school between jobs, would drop us off then go to a new shift. Maybe that's where I get my "I have to work 24/7" mentality from now that I think of it. She mentored me without even knowing, I guess. But my oldest sister, Michelle, definitely made sure I worked hard and went for what I wanted but in a smart way.
I do have mentors now though that guide me through all the craziness of this industry. Obviously, Debbie who I previously mentioned. She's the greatest! But I do give credit to my boss at TDE, Matt Genius and an old coworker of mine at Dimepiece, Janelle Hethcoat. The three of them make sure I do what is best for my personal wellness and professional life too. Janelle is the definition of a real boss and is someone I aspire to be as I continue to grow. She's so fearless and just always know what to do! I can be really indecisive and she will snap me back into my senses. Matt talked me through a lot of my growing pains. Like I mentioned a couple times, this industry can be a tough one. Without Matt reminding me that everything happens for a reason and that I should always look out for myself, I would not have surpassed a lot of my fears.
What's your next hustle?
I've covered a lot of departments in fashion: buying, wholesale, merchandise marketing, e-commerce and obviously of course now styling. As of now, styling is where I really want to grow. I do want to continue my own personal client list and make history somehow in streetwear. I'm still figuring that out and growing. I can't even think of the future because I'm so focused on succeeding here. Designing would be cool.
Any favorite underrated spots in Los Angeles for shooting or finding fashion inspiration?
I do know overrated spots: those painted pink walls with wings. Half kidding.. To be honest, I really think for fashion photos the simpler the better for backgrounds. You want the outfit to be the main focus, not really where you are. Find some cool, clean and simple walls and let your outfit define the photo! As far as fashion inspiration, I go back in time a lot. I look at old magazines, watch old music videos and just google a lot. Inspiration can come from anywhere though if you really are present in the moment.
Check out more of Maricel Meneses’ work on her website: MaricelMeneses.com
By Elise Gray
Due to a highly-competitive industry, fashion photography is an endeavor that holds great potential for many, but true prospects for few. A student by day and photographer by night, Sarah Shen—who creates wildly Vogue-like shots for Rosalie Agency—is an exception to the rule: Her knack for fashion was ignited through an internship at GUESS® and now takes precedence through images showcasing brands in fun and creative ways.
At present, Sarah Shen is currently a senior at USC studying business with a minor in advertising. "I love working with others who are equally as passionate about creating. When I shoot, I focus on the people working alongside me. Feeling everyone's energy on set is a beautiful thing to me. I also love making my subjects feel beautiful and confident," says Shen, "Being able to spread that energy motivates me to keep shooting photos." With the help of mentors at Rosalie Agency, a content creation agency for beauty brands, Shen creates magic with her Canon 70D and a 50mm 1.8 lens. Inspired by the work of brands and other photographers on Instagram, Shen turns to mood boards to create the perfect aesthetic on set and camera. "I spend a lot of time planning before each shoot to help me create a concept that ties the shoot together. I like to get everyone on my teams involved and invested in the projects, so I make mood boards to effectively communicate the direction I would like to take for a shoot. I always ask if there's anything they'd like to do as well," says Shen, "I find that having a team that is actively involved and cares about the end-result is the most essential component in bringing a concept into fruition."
As a female in what can sometimes seem like a male-driven creative space, most of Sarah Shen's female-assembled teams have generated amazing results with images that accentuate an atmosphere of empowerment. As a young professional, Shen looks forward to creating enticing fashion editorials with new and exciting brands. She continues to create a name by showcasing her work via Instagram, posting the photographs she's shot for brands such as Garcia Companies, Frankie Phoenix, Dreamingless and more.
Instead of settling for the norm, Shen encourages other artists to step out of their comfort zones. "All of my best opportunities were thanks to cold calling people," says Shen, "There's also no "right" way to do something, you just have to do it and figure out what went right and what went wrong, so you can improve and prepare yourself for the next time you do it."
As the Vice President of USC Photo Club, Shen will be helping hold a Fashion Shoot this coming semester. Any models or photographers in Los Angeles can apply to take part in this event. You can check out their website for details. For more of Sarah Shen's monumental work, check out her Instagram @sarahshenphoto, Facebook, and her portfolio for inquiries!
“You’re not doing it because it’s easy, you’re supposed to do it because it’s hard and it will be worth it.” Haitian rapper, musician and actor Wyclef Jean said these words and I felt it. Being great isn’t convenient. Making your dreams come true is supposed to be a struggle, because that’s how you’ll grow.
Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend Fiverr Presents: Do With Wyclef Jean with my hip-hop sister Vashti. Here’s some of my key takeaways during the Q&A:
When you’re creating music, don’t think about the language first put the vibration first.
Vibration is global. People react to vibration first. I noticed this firsthand when I got stuck with French Hip-Hop during my trip to Paris. I had no idea what they were saying but my shoulders were bouncing, and THAT’s when you know it’s a jam. Your shoulders will never deny the rhythm. Wyclef mentioned how when he creates music, he listens first to the vibration of a track. “When you’re creating music, don’t think about the language first, put the vibration first. Vibration is global, people react to vibration first.”
Behind every big, new artist’s DNA is an OG.
“When there’s a big new artist, there is an OG behind it that will make it last 20-30 years. Look at Bruno Mars, look at Drake. If you look at their DNA, there is an OG there that supported them early in their career. For The Fugees, we had Kalis Baon who produced for Earth, Wind, and Fire. If you want longevity find out who the OGs are and learn from them.
Find out how to get in the right room.
Wyclef shared a story about learning the importance of finding how to get in the right room. One time, him and his brother heard that Rakim would be in their town for a video shoot. Wyclef found out where the location brought band equipment to the front of the house. The security stopped him and asked, “What are you doing here?” Wyclef responded, “What do you mean what I’m doing here? I’m the band for Rakim.” The security told him to set up by the pool in the backyard. If you go watch Don’t Sweat the Technique - Rakim you can find Wyclef and his brother in the back with their instruments.
Create your own community.
There’s power in social media and your talent. Once you build your following to 100K you create your own community. Wyclef admits, “You shouldn’t do it because it’s easy, do it because it’s hard. Once your consistent, it’ll explode and you can have a career.” And if people criticize you along the way, spit it back with your art.
Fun fact: Did you know there's now Fiverr Pro? This is Fiverr's community of top quality, hand-picked professionals, trusted by the world's biggest brands. You can get your logo made by the same guy who created the Apple logo. Epic, right? Check out Fiverr Pro here.