Los Angeles Recap: Rémy Martin Announces Limited-Edition XO Designed by French Metalsmith Steaven Richard


By Lainney Dizon

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. The result was a multi-sensory experience - from taste to colour and touch - which fully immersed attendees to the world of Cognac. Speaking on his inspiration behind the limited-edition XO design, Steaven Richard explains, “I took inspiration from Rémy Martin’s centuries-old connection with the soil – its love for nature – and something happened. Something approaching a revelation: from the verticality of the vines that climb to the sky, this piece reaches out towards the stars.” 

Attendees also had the opportunity to try out metalwork for themselves by using tools to engrave their names and messages on sheets of metal. Just trying out the station made you genuinely appreciate how intricate and detail-oriented metalwork is. In addition to the label design, Steaven Richard created the Masterpiece, a metal sculpture and art piece which gently revels Rémy Martin’s emblematic centaur in the “anamorphosis” optical illusion technique, glimpsed through metal pillars that represent the vertical vines of Cognac, France. Thank you Team Rémy Martin, Steaven Richard and Team Ephiphany for an inspiring evening celebrating craftmenship and the world of Cognac.

The limited-edition Rémy Martin XO is available in limited quantities through independent retailers in select markets and online at Reserve Bar for $200.

Check out the photos of the evening below courtesy of Team Epiphany:


Girl Boss Rally Takes Over Los Angeles For A Day of Inspiration and Insight

By Elise Gray

The Girlboss team has yet another successful Girlboss Rally beneath their belt. The community has grown immensely in recent years, as it has been providing millennial women with the tools needed to enhance their professional, personal, and financial lives. These tools are now available through an exclusive online community, which will act as a LinkedIn for millennial women

 This year's rally showcased the expertise of many women in Los Angeles, California, at the UCLA campus. The rally not only shared insight from industry professionals but also showcased female-owned businesses such as Xipi~Teca, a shop featuring Latina inspired clothing and gold-plated jewelry. 

Even female artists on the other side of the world had space at the rally, thanks to exhibitions set up by The Other Art Fair. Their area showcased the work of fifteen incredible artists, who had the chance to sell some of their stand-out pieces at the rally.

Women from all walks of life came to the event to spread their wisdom on subjects like influencer marketing, investing, and even poetry writing. No stone was left unturned at the event, which is why they noted a turnout of over 2,000 attendees. 

We sat in on conversations with industry experts like Yunah Lee, Arlan Hamilton, Ramona Ortega, and Gabby Dunn⁠—who discussed the intimacy of money management during their panel, Money Matters: Yes, it's (Deeply) Personal.

The panel discussed everything from the impacts of systematic racism and survivor’s guilt to the true value of a latte. It's safe to say that when you have so many intelligent women in one room, shit gets real.

“Financial stability is about knowing the rules of the game, sort of like chess. No one wants you to know that the Queen is the most powerful piece on the chess board. You only know that if you know how to play chess. So, buy the damn latte.”  - Nicole Lapin

Rally-goers were also able to attend intimate workshops from professionals like Gina Loring, an accomplished professor and poet, whose work circulates sociopolitical issues. Even Paris Hilton gave her 2 cents on what it means to be a powerful woman in male-driven spaces. Paris discussed how her family's success in business gave her the work ethic needed to run multiple companies, and reach new heights as one of the highest paid DJs in the world

Whether you were in the courtyard or grabbing a bite to eat at one of the many food trucks on premises, the networking and learning opportunities were immense. We cannot wait to see what brilliance next year’s Girlboss Rally will bring.

Pop-Up Experience: Fall Down the Rabbit Hole at WonderWorld in Hollywood

The entrance to Wonder World! Photo via  @WonderWorldSpace

The entrance to Wonder World! Photo via @WonderWorldSpace

Walt Disney said it best, “Imagination has no age.” Often times, we get so busy in the hustle of LA that we forget: Imagination is a super power and it should be exercised daily. Recently, I had the opportunity to check out WonderWorld in Hollywood, an interactive pop-up experience featuring scenes truly only one can imagine and dream of. WonderWorld features a bubble swimming pool with a starlit moon, mushroom garden, giant teacups along with macaroons and more! It’s definitely an inspiring and playful world you’ll get lost in - along with plenty of Instagram-able moments to share.

Definitely one of my favorite experiences was the balloon pool with the moon! Photo:  Kelli Wheeler

Definitely one of my favorite experiences was the balloon pool with the moon! Photo: Kelli Wheeler

WonderWorld, which originally began in New York City, is now open in the heart of Hollywood (7080 Hollywood Blvd, corner of La Brea and Hollywood on the star walk!)

Inspired by the world of Alice In Wonderland, the WonderWorld pop-up experience was originally created by Hua Wang and Jay Yue of Eastern Horizon Ventures, who after a successful run in New York brought the experience to the West Coast, partnering with LA Designer, Joshua Wong for the Los Angeles experience. If you want a moment to experience imagination in it’s fullest form, fall down the Rabbit Hole in Hollywood and whisk yourself away to an animated and bright world.

For more photos check out the @WonderWorldSpace Instagram! Special thanks to Tiffany of Press Pass LA for the private experience! We had a blast!

The Bird Room was gorgeous, with figurines of birds soaring through the blue backdrop. Pic courtesy of  Kelli Wheeler  of  The Single Girl Life .

The Bird Room was gorgeous, with figurines of birds soaring through the blue backdrop. Pic courtesy of Kelli Wheeler of The Single Girl Life.

What’s a Alice In Wonderland experience without the tea room? The life-sized tea cups and macaroons were adorable. Pic by  Kelli Wheeler  of  The Single Girl Life .

What’s a Alice In Wonderland experience without the tea room? The life-sized tea cups and macaroons were adorable. Pic by Kelli Wheeler of The Single Girl Life.

Conception Arts Exhibits Hit Los Angeles, California

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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! 

Photography courtesy of  Concept Arts .

Photography courtesy of Concept Arts.

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:

Zephy Photography: A Celebration of LA Culture with a Classic, Colorful Touch

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.

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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."

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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. 

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"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.

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Meet Sarah Shen, the Up-and-Coming Photographer with Vogue-Like Shots

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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."

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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.

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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!

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Fiverr Presents: Music Masterclass with Wyclef Jean

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By Lainney Dizon

“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.”

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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.



What Does Los Angeles Really Look Like?

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By Elise Gray 

Ah, Los Angeles, California, where do we begin? We're all used to seeing The City of Angels in the movies. For many people, this is the Promised Land. Most Americans have a general idea of what it looks like, as it is the breeding grounds for the rich and famous. A lot of outside assumptions about LA are accurate. Yes, perfect people are running around with designer footwear, and dogs are allowed everywhere. Trimmed palm trees and luxury vehicles do line the streets with well-groomed lawns in a uniformed fashion. The first time you step foot in LA, it's sort of like a surreal #instastory coming alive. How can one place be so beautiful? Contrary to popular belief, Los Angeles also offers more than conventional beauty. Rodeo Drive isn't the only place that native Los Angelenos see every day. In fact, unless you're a well-paid individual, you might not ever step foot on Rodeo Drive – that's where Matthew Grant Anson comes in. He uses Lightroom to edit this still-life portraits of LA's backstreets and staples, like Santee Alley and the Metro. His work presents a depiction of LA that is free from designer boutiques and high-end cafes. Matthew's work offers a more honest and raw look at the city of Los Angeles, in all its urban glory.

LA Pulse had the opportunity to talk with the rising LA-based photographer. Read on to meet Matthew Grant Anson and how he brings LA to life with his photography: 

What do you want people to take away from your photography?

 I want them to come away thinking "Huh, this is some real shit." 

Your work is different. You don't capture the glamorous side of LA or the slim physiques of IG models. In my opinion, your work portrays the side of Los Angeles that people do not usually see. What made you want to shoot this way? Please elaborate on your style.

 I am shooting what interests me, and I have pretty much no interest in shooting models or any moments that don't feel authentic and candid to me. When I was a kid being driven around LA by my parents, I was always interested in the sides of freeways and alleys in the city...when I became an adult, I just started going to the places I used to stare at from the car. I have a photojournalism mindset to what I'm doing, and my goal is to document the city as frequently, as long, and as well as I can. I like going through old work and seeing the skyline change, and the tags get painted over and redone and, unfortunately, the city becoming gentrified block by block.

How exactly did you first get started with photography and was it something you always wanted to do or did you stumble into it?

I became interested in photography about seven years ago. I was doing primarily music photography for my college newspaper, and I would shoot a lot of backyard punk shows around LA. After a few years, I lost interest in the shows and was more interested in capturing the environments that the shows were held in. I transitioned to street photography, and for the last five years, I've been exploring the parts of LA that appeal to me most. 

What camera or device(s) do you use to capture your work? 

I use a Sony a7sii and have been for the last few months. I like it because it has a silent shutter option. I also keep a few disposable cameras in my backpack and car, but I don't share the results of those efforts anywhere because they’ve sucked so far.

Where do you prefer to shoot? 

My favorite spots are Santee Alley, MacArthur Park, the LA River, the 110 Freeway above the tunnels, and the top of the Bendix building. 

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What advice would you give to anyone looking to pursue photography?

Photography has been nothing but a positive in my life so I'd encourage anyone to pursue it. If someone wanted to get into street photography in particular, I'd advise them to take stock of who they are and how they present to the world and operate with that in mind. If you're a person of color, female, disabled, etc., my impression is that you are more likely to encounter conflict, depending on how upfront you are with your photography. If you're white, or especially if you're a white male or white-passing male like me, you can basically drift through the world with people at the least treading lightly around you, or at most thinking you're a cop. If that's the case, I think it's required you be aware of that advantage and try to contribute to your community in some way, by filming police you encounter and speaking up when you see something that's not right. 

How do you feel the digital age has contributed to your success as a photographer? Has the community been welcoming and supportive?

I think the digital age supplied the inspiration I needed to get started, and without it, I don't think I would have stuck to this as long as I have. 

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What influences your work?

Mostly other photographers on Instagram and Tumblr. 

Where do you see yourself going with your photography?

Nowhere – this is a hobby. I have a career that has nothing to do with photography, and I like it that way. If I could shoot streets for money, I'd do that, but I don't think that's a realistic goal, and the reality is that I'm not interested in shooting anything but streets.  

Can we expect any meetups or collaborations in the future?

I'll be meeting up with my cats to collaborate on editing pictures I took two months ago, which is the size of my backlog right now. 

All photography by Matthew Grant Anson. Check out MatthewGrantAnson.com for his latest work or follow him on social @MatthewGrantAnson