On this episode of behind the madness we manifest a trip to nyc, smoke some ok weed, make friends with a pigeon, and help kidsuper prepare for the opening of his latest art venture on canal street!
I dont have synesthesia, I wish I did.. From my research it seems like a beautiful experience of the senses. I hear it can also be overwhelming at times. It has been a extremely helpful tool for artist and can help in their choosing of different sounds, colors, and textures for a piece. In this post I want to focus on colors. For those of you like me who were born with the traditional "5 senses" there is a way to manipulate color to your advantage. (and no, it does not involve mind altering psychodelics) Instead, all it takes is an understanding of color theory and the emotions of colors. For my makeup artist or art student readers this may be a familiar topic to you. This subject takes me back to my days as a makeup artist student. I took a class all about color theory and mixing traditional colors (ROYGBIV) in order to create a flesh tone color. (its a lot harder than it sounds) later on in my own personal research I read a book on the universal emotions of color. Ive used this knowledge ever since to help create a vibe that best suits the project im working on.
Whether its a music video, a cover art, styling a model, or painting your living room, the colors you choose will have an effect on your emotions and will translate into a universal vibe.This is why advertisements, products on a shelf, and fast food chains are so bright and vivid, they are trying to bring out a specific emotion in you that will make you purchase just about anything.
Each color has a postive spectrum, and a negative spectrum.
EX: Many people associate blue with sadness, but it can also mean calmness...the list goes on.
The chart below shows the emotional range of each color, use this chart as a reference for your next project.
Last year, I directed a photo shoot called 'HYSTERIA'. I knew I wanted to use color theory to portray a large range of emotions. In fact, I wanted to use all colors ( ROYGBIV) in some way. For some pictures, one color dominates the emotion. For other pictures there is a split of colors, which to me represent mixed emotions, or a cocktail of emotions that can stir up inside of us from time to time. Click here to learn more about the 'HYSTERIA" shoot.
There are infinite combinations of colors and emotions, and how we use them will reveal the emotions we want others to feel. Using color or the lack of color ( more on that in another post ) can speak universally even to those who dont share the same language as you. Colors truly bring us all together!
Over the past few months I have been diving deep into the world of storyboarding. For years I have created worlds and characters in my head. I used to put headphones in and blast music; I would close my eyes and escape to another world, a world I created on the spot. Growing up I was banned from watching MTV and VH1. My exposure to music video culture was limited. Creating these alternative music worlds in my head was out of necessity. When I was finally old enough to expose myself to music video culture I realized just how hypersensitive to details I had become. This urge to create stories within music videos (especially for one of my favorite genres, rap and hiphop) stuck with me for years to come. I am finally manifesting a chance for me to scratch that itch. These past few months have really shown me just how much I enjoy storyboarding and the process of it all. For me, storyboarding a direction for a music video begins the same everytime...
LISTEN - listen to the music over and over and over....and over again.
DISECT THE MUSIC - after giving a song many listens I like to write down keywords I hear, emotions, vibes, colors, quirks in the beat... anything my hypersensitive brain can pick up on.
FORM THE STORY & CHARACTERS - Sometimes an artist will make this very easy (especially if a song tells a vivid story and is very descriptive) other times a more abstract approach is taken. Both can be great. I like using those keywords, emotions, colors, and quirks within the song to help form the look and personality of a character, as well as the surroundings (aka world) that character lives in.
VISUAL REPRESENTATIONS - This is a great time to draw out, or find visuals via the internet (Pinterest, Tumblr, Google, Youtube) to act as visual aids / reminders of what I am seeing in my head. It could be inspiration from a video/ photoshoot I once saw, a pantone color I really like, or a camera angle that provides a vibe, etc...
STORYBOARDING - At this point I put these visuals and drawings into the sequence of events that will eventually be filmed, and acted out. Sometimes I like to play off each scene and change in the beat (sometimes I like to do this in step one) in order to have a better understanding of when its time to transition into the next scene.
For me, storyboarding is a combination of different arts that come together to tell a story. A story board can be as simple or as complicated as it needs to be, as long as the sequence of events ( aka story ) come through in the representation.
The story board example I used above is a part of my latest project bloom. You can watch the music video, & the behind the scenes footage to see how it all pieced together. click here to watch!
Here in the underground music and art scene of Orlando there has been a song that first popped up in the open mic scenes and has since become a fan favorite of mines and many. That song is Bloom, by The Mike Wilson.
My approach with bloom began with giving the song a good listening. Then repeating that step about a hundred times. What I love about Bloom is how vivid of a picture Mike is able to paint with his words. The story telling...The innuendos...This song is poetry. I began to think about the beauty in the life cycle of a flower. Flowers, especially flowers blooming have so many meanings. In this song it relates more to the female orgasm, which is lit...but I wanted to draw out other meanings. To me, The life cycle of a flower from seedling, to blooming, and eventually dying reminds me of relationships. Relationships always start small, like a seed, have a moment of beauty, and then for some, it eventually withers away and makes room for something new.
This was the foundation on which the Bloom music video was built. This is where Ricardo Cruz and I started bouncing ideas off of each other. The directing and story-boarding process had begun. We mapped out the entire song & presented it to Mike and a couple of his closest friends. It was almost go-time, all we needed was to cast the rest of our creative team. We chose Denequee Samuels , an actress and close friend of mike's to play alongside him in the music video. We brought on Brill Adium to work the camera, and video editor Corbin to spice up the scenes for us.
With the team fully assembled and MADHOUSE fully packed, it was time to do the damn thing! I let the cast and crew of bloom pass around a cam corder and record all the behind the scenes madness that went down. I have to say the day of the shoot was one of the funniest cast and crew situations I have been in. We laughed, we danced, we ate guac till it came out of our ears. A perfect example of why I call my behind the scenes MADNESS ;) This was my first time directing a music video, which I knew would come with moments of excitement, turmoil, and flexibility. Looking back, everything good or bad happens for a reason. Experience is my greatest teacher!
Special thanks to the cast and crew that helped make this project possible!
I dream of having my own studio "MADHOUSE". A space to create freely. It only recently ocurred to me that I could set one up in my garage. I guess I just realised you gotta start somewhere, anywhere! Funnily enough a lot of the sucessful businesses I look up to also started off in a garage. Over time I have collected different lights,cameras,and gels for this studio and even set up a temporary backdrop for photography. The first project shot at "MADHOUSE" was for musical artist The Mike Wilson. Mike had reached out to photographer and graphic designer Ricardo Cruz to shoot a cover for his latest single, SINNERMAN. Ricardo reached out to me to help create more of a vibe and direction for the cover. I always start by diving deep into a song to fully understand the vibe and meaning. SINNERMAN has a fast, bouncy beat with cool piano riffs that make the song colorful and unpredictable. What started off as a very DIY approach turned into a finished product whos process deserves a deeper look.
Like the name suggests, SINNERMAN has a fun and sinsiter side to it, so creating a "character" if you will to match that energy was necessary. We went for a character that was mysterious, exciting, and colorful. Once at the MADHOUSE we tried different lighting techniques, props, and colors. I suggested laying mike down and letting his hair add texture and movement to our picture, it ended up being a cool approach for the cover. We were shooting in my garage, which meant no studio fees, no rushing against the clock, it was liberating! This wont be the last time you hear about MADHOUSE, im working on a more permanent step towards my creative space, until then I will continue to create wherever I can!
what is your creative process like? leave your comments below!
Over the last 3 years I have popped in and out of the music and art scene to support and work with musicians, photographers, and models local to the scene. These past few fall / winter months have been electric with inspiration and hustle. What better way to close off this year than one last show featuring a handful of my favorite orlando rappers. This time around I worked with graphic designer Ricardo Cruz in the hopes to make a flyer that represented the talent on the show, as well as the brands hosting the event. We brought this project to the "MADHOUSE" to see where we could take this.
Our approach was "ransom letter meets rager!" We began gathering the typical things you might see on the floor of a party after a rager ; Cigarettes, crushed beer cans, bottle caps etc.. We spent two days ripping through magazines hoping to find the perfect letters for the title. In the end a good finished product always comes down to the details. Not everything we gathered was used, but I always think its best to bring in all your ideas, and edit from there.
At the MADHOUSE we lit and shot pics of all of our ideas and then ricardo cruz worked his graphic design magic to add life into this piece! Shout out to Noxcape Studios, TSA Showcase and all of the talent on this flyer, it was our passion for all of you that made making this flyer so much fun!
Over the years of my "figuring it out" artist career I have done many things, and played many roles. After a few years of wearing hats like "make-up artist", "emergency stylist" for sets and models, co-director, and "hype woman" for some of the more timid artist, I began to feel comfortable thinking on my feet. Diving deeper into each indivual aspect of creating a story with a message and meaning, and learning how to respect art for the simplicity and complexity that it is. I have mainly been known as a make-up artist but as I shed that role and take on the role of directing I welcome the many places it might take me. Most recently my mind has manifested an idea about brainwash. The idea that although it seems we have "free will" many sinister things are surrounding us. Infiltrating and seducing our minds on a daily basis.
All i needed at this point were some creative people to help me pull it off..
@EVERYDAYRICHIE - PHOTOGRAPHER
@JAWL_NINI - BTS VIDEO
@GHOSTGIRLTHIRTEEN - MODEL
Without these guys, the ideas I had been writing down and sketching like a mad mind would have been for nothing. Creating a project that everyone felt passionate about was something I had been longing to do . If you havent already, check out the official pics for