Category Archives: Clothing

the LIFESTYLE Farewell

Dear Friends and Family,

After three years of facilitating the LIFESTYLE arts collective, we’ve reached a point at which we’ve decided to move on from this project in light of other endeavors. Although our website will continue to exist as a historical reference of the artists and artwork that were featured in this space from 2011-2014, we will no longer be collecting or publishing new content. However, before we officially sign off, we’d like to take some time to look back at what’s been an incredible experience connecting and building with you all.

When we launched the LIFESTYLE in August of 2011, our goal was to create a space for dialogue, expression, collaboration, and artistic exchange rooted in the active processes of Reflection and Response through the arts. We sought to create an interactive, inspiring, and open space where artists from around the world would be able to share their work and their thoughts, centered around the idea of Reflection and Response. We also wanted to maintain the LIFESTYLE as an independent operation, free of ideological constraints or financial directives.

Our various projects have included the Artist Feature Series, Events from the Collective, Talk of the Town, Snapshots from the Collective, Original Mondays, and the Porch Swing Residency. The way we see it, all of the posts in these series add up to a dialogue exploring Reflection and Response from the perspectives of different people, art forms, mediums, and locations. Each person’s contribution to the LIFESTYLE served as a showcase of individual creative expression, while also functioning as an interactive piece of a larger-scale discussion.

We structured the LIFESTYLE around the framework of Reflection and Response – a concept that we believe drives artistic expression, yet rightfully remains open to interpretation. We believe art – in all its forms – serves as a venue through which people express themselves based on their experiences, perspectives, feelings, thoughts, and desires. However, art is often cautiously viewed as a simple, trivial aesthetic activity, providing a basis for it to be marginalized in educational institutions and omitted from broad economic discussions.

The concept of Reflection and Response stands in direct opposition to these traditional views, positioning art instead as a result of an artist’s active, unique processes of reflecting on their surroundings and their experiences, and, in turn, responding through creating something new, and inherently powerful – whether that’s a painting, an installation, a performance, a poem, a song, or any other creative output. Although these processes can be consciously harnessed, they also often indirectly affect a person’s work. We think this concept of Reflection and Response helps explain the essence of creativity.

We’d like to thank all of you who participated in this project as artists and readers, and we hope this space has served and inspired you as powerfully as it has on our end. We’ll forever respect the views and artworks that were shared here, and we’ll continue to build from this foundation as we move forward with future projects. Much love!

Reflection and Response.

– V & P

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Artist Feature: Alba Fernández

Alba Fernzández es una emprendedora Española qué trabaja con las manos para explorar varios mundos usando la tela como su guía. Tiene una energía y dedicación impresionante para gestionar su propia marca de artesanías tejidas y otros productos más. En nuestro diálogo, Alba explora varias facetas del funcionamiento de un trabajo artesanal mientras promueve los positivos de trabajar con las manos y inspirar la creatividad, comparte su propia perspectiva de la Reflexión y Respuesta y comenta en varios tópicos más. ¡Estámos emocionados por dar la palabra a esta mente creativa y trabajadora!

Alba Fernández is a Spanish entrepreneur who works with her hands to explore various worlds using fabric as her guide. She possesses an impressive energy and dedication in managing her own company that produces goods including knit accessories and more. In our conversation, Alba explores different aspects of running her handicraft business while promoting the benefits of working with one’s hands and striving to inspire creativity, shares her unique perspective on Reflection and Response, and speaks on various other topics. We’re excited to give the floor to this creative and hard working individual!

Alba Fernández

Reflexión es plantearte como haces las cosas, para qué, por qué y de que manera las haces. Creo que es positivo reflexionar continuamente y reformularte nuevos retos y maneras de actuar.

Reflection is deciding how to do things, to what end, why, and how you go about doing them. I believe it’s positive to continually reflect, set new goals, and act in new ways.

– Alba Fernández

Para empezar con algunos puntos básicas, de dónde vienes? Dónde estás?

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

AF: Soy de Madrid y actualmente vivo aquí, aun que por temporadas, llevo unos cuantos años pasando temporadas en diferentes lugares por motivos de trabajo.

AF: I’m from, and currently live in, Madrid, though I’ve also lived in a few other places for work reasons over the years.

Que quiere decir “reflexión,” y “respuesta,” para ti?

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

AF: Reflexión es plantearte como haces las cosas, para qué, por qué y de que manera las haces. Creo que es positivo reflexionar continuamente y reformularte nuevos retos y maneras de actuar.

Respuesta: Se supone que la respuesta, es la consecuencia directa de la reflexión, pero en mi caso, muchas veces la respuesta sale sola, sin pensar, de manera impulsiva. Luego te toca reflexionar sobre la respuesta.

AF: Reflection is deciding how to do things, to what end, why, and how you go about doing them. I believe it’s positive to continually reflect, set new goals, and act in new ways.

Response should be the direct response that comes from Reflection, but for me many times Response happens on it’s own, impulsively, without thinking. Then, it’s time to Reflect about that Response.

Alba Fernández - Knit Cap

Cómo se mete tu arte en esta definición?

How does your work fit in with that definition?

AF: Bueno las cosas que yo hago artesanalmente, en parte tienen una reflexión previa de cara a nuevas formas, nuevos materiales, replantear cosas ya hechas que funcionan, se venden bien. Adaptarte a los gustos del momento, investigar nuevas técnicas…

Como respuesta, vería el producto ya acabado, las creaciones, el feed back de la gente cuando ve tu artesanía y te da su opinión. La manera de venderla. También te cambia mucho el concepto como compradora en tu vida diaria, cuando tu inviertes tu tiempo y esfuerzo en hacer artesanía, te vuelves más crítica con los productos de los demás, los valoras de un modo más positivo, ya que entiendes el trabajo que lleva hacerlos. Por el contrario, las cosas que no son elaboradas artesanalmente, pierden mucho valor para tí y dejas de pagar por ellas las cantidades que antes podrías pagar. 

AF: The artisan handicrafts I work on involve initial reflections on new forms [of objects], new materials and repeating previous ideas that were successful and that sold well. [Also, Reflection and Response includes] adapting to current tastes and trends and researching new techniques.   

I would say Response [is activated] when I receive  feedback and opinions from people about my finished products. [Response is also important] when looking at sales. Producing artisan goods can change one’s thinking when making purchases throughout daily life; you can become [more interested] in others’ pieces when [you yourself] are investing time and energy in creating crafts, [which leads to a greater] understanding the time and effort that goes into craftsmanship. On the other hand, pieces that are not made through complex craft processes are less valuable to you and you find yourself paying less for them than you might have before.

Alba Fernández - Knit Scarf

Que más estás haciendo actualmente? Que proyectos estás pensando trabajar próximamente?

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

Continue reading

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Feature: Keenan Hartsten

For this week’s installment in the Feature Series, we’re honored to present one of our true inspirations: artist Keenan Hartsten. First off, just know that if you’re open to experiencing something new, this one will touch you. The organics of Keenan’s feature are pure and well cultivated—Reflection and Response really gets moving here! It may take a little bit longer to process the energy, but when it hits it’s sure to activate appropriately. You may find yourself off balance at first as it bumps you off the rhythm of the everyday hustle and bustle – don’t sleep though, cause it pounds a direct message—this one packs a big punch. Independence is at the core of the LIFESTYLE movement and the dude Keenan is definitely putting down his indie grind as he creates new spaces and waves in the world. So sit back, kick aside the stress of the week, put on some chill tunes if you please, and digg on his interview along with photos of his various creative endeavors. This one deserves two green-thumbs-up in approval…enough from us though; enjoy and watch it blossom. Peace.

Keenan Hartsten

Reflection and Response is really part of a larger set of processes including absorption/assimilation, digestion, and growth…I feel that to be a well rounded person/artist/liver/lover, you are constantly receiving, receiving, receiving.. especially if you are consciously open to it. I feel like life is there always willing to give, whatever it is that you need to see, hear, think, taste, and ultimately feel…I think that the most interesting thing is the way in which one takes all these seemingly disparate bits and actively responds with whatever is right there, here, now.

– Keenan Hartsten

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

KH: I originally hail from a town in the middle of the state of Oregon named Bend. It was a beautiful place to grow up with an abundance of opportunities to be close to nature… rivers filled with trout, crystal clear lakes, epic mountains, overall a really amazing place to cut one’s teeth. Needing to see new sights and meet new people I moved to San Diego 7 years ago and have worked to make this place feel like home.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

KH: Well, for me Reflection and Response is really part of a larger set of processes including absorption/assimilation, digestion, and growth. I think you could liken it to the act of eating. In order to fuel my body I take in calories through my food consumption. So I’m eating, eating, eating, everyday, all day, chewing, chewing, chewing. Chewing along with saliva, which helps to start digesting the starch in the food, are the first acts of accepting consumable molecules into my body—the first acts of digestion. Once the food is sufficiently chewed, my internal systems start to work by taking those larger molecules and breaking them down into smaller more manageable bits. These manageable bits are then further broken down and ultimately used for their energy potential. I think Reflection and Response are the second and third bits of a trilateral experience of being alive, especially for someone pursuing creative endeavors.

I feel that to be a well rounded person/artist/liver/lover, you are constantly receiving, receiving, receiving.. especially if you are consciously open to it. I feel like life is there always willing to give, whatever it is that you need to see, hear, think, taste, and ultimately feel. For me, the Reflection part of the tertiary equation is that process of digestion; taking these different particles and breaking them down into smaller bits, being present to and appreciating what I have received by letting those things not only come into me but also become one with me. We are given much in life to reflect on and the feedback is always there if I want to look. The Response part of the equation is that process of using what I have taken in and doing something with it. What is interesting for me about Response is that there are all these little bits banging around from all of the time that we are all tapping into. I saw something when I was five, or had a particular experience, only to find that years later in my twenties that experience is still with me and I am responding to it at some level, consciously or not. I think that the most interesting thing is the way in which one takes all these seemingly disparate bits and actively responds with whatever is right there, here, now.

Keenan Hartsten - When To Water

How does your piece When to Water fit in with that definition?

KH: Well, “When to Water” is an installation/exhibition I have up now at my buddy’s coffee shop, the Coffee & Tea Collective. The exhibition is twofold in that I have made an installation on the walls of the space consisting of these floating shelves that accommodate planters which contain all these different variety of plants that work together to create a very crisp, alive essence in the space. The name of the show “When to Water” is very in line with this notion of Reflection and Response. When one is attempting to nurture and take care of a plant, a very important thing to know is when to water. That water is crucial to the energetic functionality of that plant, without it it will eventually wither and die. When you water that plant, the plant is involved in its own version of Reflection and Response: the taking in of that life giving substance to the plant, its cells pulsing with new liquid, and its response in the form of lifting its arms to the sky and driving its roots deeper and further into the soil. The connection between human beings and plants is amazing. There have been countless scientific studies that have pointed to the fact that there is no separation between us and plants; we are both completely sentient beings, and interconnected, affected by our surroundings, in the process of reflection at all times, and responding to all that we are feeling, sensing, etc.

Keenan Hartsten - When To Water

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

KH: I’m also currently working on some large private garden commissions. I really love that, helping people live with more aliveness in their lives.. plants and creativity and all.

Keenan Hartsten Installation

Keenan Hartsten Installation

Keenan Hartsten Installation

Keenan Hartsten Wood Wall Design

Keenan Hartsten Wood Wall Design

Keenan Hartsten Plant Installation

Too, as part of the exhibition I have currently, “When to Water,” I am throwing a musical gathering and making a crazy handmade instrument to be a part of the event. For the instrument, I have been going to thrift stores buying all kinds of kitchenware/utensils that will be transformed into a percussion instrument. Pots, pans, lids, cookie sheets, silverware, cups, dishes, and utensils are all coming together to form this original percussion instrument. For the gathering I am hosting, I am inviting a bunch of talented musicians to come together and play a percussive set on this instrument, them having never played this instrument before, completely improvised. I am really excited to see how this turns out, the way that all these different pieces sound are amazing.. Wish you could be there to hear!

Besides that, I have a line of limited edition clothing, one off clothing I am making called ffiisshh, which can be found at ffiisshh.com. I am taking retro patterned sweaters and cutting them up and remixing them into one of a kind creations.

Keenan Hartsten - ffiisshh sweater

Keenan Hartsten - ffiisshh sweater

Keenan Hartsten - ffiisshh sweater

Who or what inspires you?

KH: I am inspired by much… I think we live in a pretty wondrous world. I am inspired by the hummingbirds that I have been seeing nearly every day without fail. Wow, those little creatures are magic to me! I am inspired by music, always. I am inspired by the people I encounter each day that just seem to be open to connecting, whether through a smile in passing, a quick conversation, or a heart to heart with a friend, sibling, or parent. I know I have talked a bit about this but I am really inspired by plants, I think they are magical and worth being close friends with.

Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

KH: That I am proud of what you guys are up to!

Shout out to…?

KH: My mom: Probably first on the list because without her I wouldn’t be half of me.. or me at all in that case!

My dad: Thank you for being a barometer in my life!

My sisters: You always give me room to be but are amazing and supportive.. Thank you!

My roommates: For being great inspiring people to be closely related to.

My Teachers: The many they may be, for helping and encouraging my growth.

Vicken: You’ve been a crystalline example of what a solid man can be in this world.. keep doing your thing and thanks for inviting me into the collective!

Driftwood Wave installation

Reflection and Response.

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Feature: Carlo Mejino

Greetings! The Feature Series Rolls On. Today the LIFESTYLE’s Collective heads back up to the Pacific Northwest city of Seattle, home of dope Thrift Shops, Marshawn Lynch, and Stefan Paul George. My man Carlo Mejino brings us his perspective as a young and accomplished creator. His clothing brand GAJ has a growing presence around the Seattle Streetwear scene in multiple shops, his own store, and online. Clothing is only one of his creative outlets with music and videography providing other ways for this Craftsperson to practice Reflection and Response. Peep the interview below for words from a new voice and check the links for looks on GAJ and his other projects. Peace!

Carlo

 

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

CM: I am from Seattle WA, born pure of 100% Filipino blood from my two parents who moved over to the U.S. in the 70’s and 80’s, respectively. I was raised in the north side where I went to Catholic school through the age of 18 until I went to the University of Washington, my first public school. Basically I grew up on lumpia, church, rain and the Seattle Supersonics.
Right now I am back in Seattle after spending a couple years in Los Angeles chasing TV and film production work after college. I started my own clothing company called GAJ that is currently available in a couple local shops as well as my website (www.GAJSeattle.com) and I am currently working on that passion project among other creative outlets such as music and video production. I play in a band with some college friends (Victory Lap) and from time to time I make videos to try and make my friends laugh. In summary, my life is clothes, Internet, music, videos and friends. Basically, I picked back up where I left off before I moved from Seattle back in ’09 haha. Old habits die hard.

 

What does Reflection and Response mean to you? How do GAJ and your other projects  fit in with that definition?

CM: To be honest, I haven’t had a lot of time for reflection because I am constantly on the move as I work on one project and quickly go to the next one after the last one is completed. My work is constant in that I’ll be working on, say, a new design for a shirt, then I’ll be working on an event, then a new song, then something for the website or Facebook page, and then back to working a new piece of clothing, and so on and so forth. I’ve never really been able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor, so to speak. My hands are constantly in different pots and I wear many hats, so there is always something going on.
Maybe that time for reflection is right now. 
My response? I still have more work to do. I’m never satisfied

 

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

CM: Recently, I’ve slowed down on the clothing aspect as it has taken up pretty much all of my time during the past year and I believe it’s at a point that is very manageable for a one man operation (because in the beginning it was a struggle in every sense of the word) so I’ve sort of re-molded it into a side-project that I can do along with a 9 to 5er. Production of new product is a bit slower, but I really focus on doing quality releases so those that have the patience will be handsomely rewarded.
Next up for me is a new music project. After getting the ol’ band back together (minus our talented and gifted guitar player, Peter Muller) for the Victory Lap show at the KeyArena, I’ve been fiending to get back on stage and perform again. Even though we played some pretty cool shows back in college, I feel as though I’ve gotten better at performing with those years away from the stage in terms of confidence and stage presence. The problem is that I’ve realized I can’t just rely on these other guys in the band to get my jollies, playing pretend on stage since everyone has their own lives and obligations, so I’ve started recording my own tracks produced by one of my oldest collaborators, Moynilectric, along with some new producers. I’m hoping to get some sort of mixtape done by year’s end. We’ll see though because so far I’ve only finished one new track and I’m still writing for others.

 

Who or what inspires you?

CM: My inspiration really comes from the people around me; my friends and family. Even though we’re all in different lanes and lifestyles (mine very different than most), I look at all of their accomplishments and success and try my damnedest to reach the level that they all occupy. The best part is seeing how very happy they all are with their lives and achievements, and their strength and confidence in taking themselves to a higher level. The funny part is that we are all so proud of and support one another that it is almost sickening haha. As much as I tell all of them how I’m so proud of them and how inspiring they are to me, they never hesitate to turn it around and say the same about me, even when I don’t feel the same way about myself. I’m surrounded by people who make me want to do better! Talk about first world problems…

 

Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

CM: As cool as it is to do such an introspective piece and doing the inadvertent reflection & response within that I’ve never really been able to fulfill until now, I don’t believe that I deserve to do any such feature haha. It goes along with never being truly satisfied since I don’t believe I’ve earned the attention of anyone that would find any piece of my story interesting (yet), but I am very thankful that I’ve gotten the type of attention that someone believed is worth the time for a feature. It feels pretty good when someone’s paying attention. (Let me say “attention” one more time…..thanks.

 

Shout out to…?

S/O to Peter for asking me to do the feature because the lens should really be pointed in his direction since he’s more interesting than I am.And shout out to everyone who still enjoy my various creations and endeavors because they’re the real motivation since I tend to get tired of what I’m doing.

-Reflection and Response.

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