ARTIST LIFE Artist Spotlight: Danny Herb

Don't let the piercing stare & tattooed sleeves fool you- Danny Herb has a heart of gold.  This man is a POWERHOUSE of creative.  Danny is an actor, writer, director, production house/studio owner AND an INCREDIBLE friend.  Danny is one of those guys you call up, tell your dreams to- and then HE MAKES THEM HAPPEN!!!  He is kind, good, hard-working and talented as hell!  

Prepare to be inspired!  

Name: Danny Herb

Job title: Film Studio Owner/Director

What makes you feel ALIVE!!!:  

New ideas and inspiration. The rush I get when creating is like nothing else in life.

What time of day are you most creative:

There is no time of day I feel more creative than others. However, if my day doesn’t start quickly, I won’t be as productive or motivated. I try to get up right away and not lay around in bed before starting my day, or my whole day’s pace will be determined for me. I also find that forcing myself to start something works more than half the time, but when it’s not there, it’s not there.

What is one of your creative rituals:

I like to go in a room and shut the door, put on headphones, and just zone out to whatever music I feel fits my mood, be it Metal, Indie Experimental, Rock, Electronic, Pop, or just on shuffle. I feel like I can focus better with the slight distraction of music. It occupies my brain just enough to where my thoughts won’t drift away from what I’m trying to create, and I can oddly focus.

Where do you look for inspiration:

I look for inspiration in learning something new, or searching for a new understanding of something. Often trying to fix something I don’t like about myself or life and society in general. Seeing a need for teaching something or someone about something I feel like is not understood will fuel me most often.

What piece of work, that you created, brings you the most joy:

No joke, it’s without a doubt Directing Lishy Lou and Lucky Too. and I’m not just saying that because it was with you. I find so much intense joy and satisfaction with what we made. Other than that, it’s the script I wrote for a future feature film I want to make someday called “Listen”

How do you balance art/work/family/health/spirituality/LIFE:  

Prioritizing. They aren’t balanced at all in my life. Sometimes one gets way more attention than the other, and then it shifts. I have to work in order to take care of family, so that comes first. However, when I work too much and feel myself wearing thin, I just take a break, or time off, whatever to chill out and recharge. I’m lucky enough that I enjoy my work and that my wife understands how my passion works. When I get inspired and start something, I don’t stop until it’s finished and it sort of takes over. My wife waits patiently for me to finish, and then she gets me all to herself when I’m done.

Health is sort of something I am just constantly on top of. Mentally speaking, specifically. If I feel overwhelmed I stop and adjust, or hunker down and get on top of it, but I have to constantly work on not letting anything consume me completely in a negative way. I’m constantly checking in with myself to make sure I’m doing the best I can. Always. I look for new ways to improve myself, and my endeavors, every day. I make new mantras and mottos to remind myself where I want to be and who I want to be. I am never satisfied with who I am, but never unhappy with it either. I can always do better. The same goes with spirituality and Life in general. For me, I am just constantly adjusting. I let things get out of balance, but am aware of it and shift the balance wherever I see fit.

We know you are humble, but can you brag a little for us, pretty please!

I made a feature film (Hardcore Hearts) that I wrote, produced and starred in, directed a short film (Session One), 2 Web-series (Two Guys One Truck, which was sold to Defy Media and All About Manos), 12 music videos, 26 segments for PBS (Lishy Lou and Lucky Too), that went on to win an Emmy, all in give or take 4 years.

I recorded music for Hardcore Hearts and have played in several bands in my youth and recorded about 5 EP’s in my life including the new project “The Devonshire Rising” that I made while I was recovering from surgery on my broken foot.

Anything else we should know about you:  

When I can’t make films I like to fiddle around making furniture or building stuff with my construction background knowledge.

I taught myself how to edit and color correct.

I have a natural knack for understanding how things work. I like to take things apart and see how they fit back together.

I opened a film studio that I rent out to productions and built a Cyclorama wall, sound proof elephant doors, and anything else that needed building.

I also make collage art with my journal documenting my travels and young adult, coming of age, emo writings, to which one day I would like to publish.

Tell us about what you are currently working on or working towards?

I am currently working on 2 short films and a web series that I want to have in the can this year.

Where can we keep watching your awesome career unfold! 

Stay tuned on:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/projectrocksf

Instagram:@dannyherb

Twitter: @Danny_Herb

dannyherb.com

risemotionpictures.net

Thanks Danny!  We love you!

ARTIST LIFE Artist Spotlight: Genevieve Goings

The powerhouse that you are soon to read about is not only an INCREDIBLE singer, songwriter, performer, rapper, television personality, VO artist, BUT ALSO an entrepreneur, businesswoman, producer- AND advocate for girl empowerment, and literacy.  GENEVIEVE GOINGS is absolutely incredible.  She is one of those people that walks into a room and everyone looks because her light is so bright! She beams positivity, grace, and strength.  But she is also a hustler and hard worker.  And trust us- that perfect smile- it's real.  

We are glad to call her a dear friend, and YOU will be glad that she is now in your life!  Get ready to get inspired!

Here's what we asked her... 

Name: Genevieve Goings

Job title: Children's Entertainer, Producer and Voiceover artist

What makes you feel ALIVE!!!:  

Being on stage makes me feel alive, connecting with a live crowd and seeing little smiling faces and dancing kids!

What time of day are you most creative:

My creativity comes at all hours, sometimes it wakes me up in the middle of the night! I wish I could funnel it into one time of day and create a "normal" schedule, but ... "normal" is boring, right? :)

What is one of your creative rituals:

One of my creative rituals is to "freestyle" over a music track. If I am trying to write a piece of music or an idea, I will press record and force myself to perform whatever comes to my mind. Sometimes what I come up with isn't great, but sometimes that natural flow brings out cool new ideas!

Where do you look for inspiration:

This may sound funny, but I tend to look at what is needed in the world, or what is currently irking me, for inspiration. For example.... If I feel that little girls shorts are getting shorter and shorter?????? I will write a song about wearing pants and a tie. If come across a child that has lost his parent in a store, I will write a song helping them to memorize their phone number. 

What piece of work, that you created, brings you the most joy:

 I have a song called "All Grown Up" that is about sleeping in your own bed like a big boy/girl. To me this song is just so sweet, and embodies my style as an artist and my brand mission all in one! 

How do you balance art/work/family/health/spirituality/LIFE:  

Balancing everything feels almost impossible sometimes. I try my best to turn off the devices and be present at a certain time each night, and to not talk about "work" after a certain hour. It is difficult as an artist, however, when your brand IS you! I'm still working on this, so if you are an artist reading this, don't worry, we ALL struggle with this!

We know you are humble, but can you brag a little for us, pretty please!!  Brag? Ok.. haha

I was part of creating an idea that became a huge success on Disney Junior, and expanded into writing musical curriculum for Disney, voicing Disney Princess Stories, and hosting a show on Radio Disney Junior! I have had the honor of writing and producing for Fisher-Price, in a year-long project that re-vamped one of their iconic toy lines. I have read stories on the White House Lawn, toured the country, and performed for hundreds of thousands of families. I created a new brand for myself outside of Disney called "Do You Know?," sustaining my place in the Children's Entertainment business and teaching toddlers the fundamentals of life. I'd say I'm leaving my mark on the world! :)

Anything else we should know about you:  

My career began in hip-hop music and I have been featured on over 80 albums. Aside from hip-hop I also write pop & R&B music with other songwriters in LA. I have been on projects with Mos Def, Kenny G, and Mickey Mouse! What a random resume!

I am currently working on expanding the Radio Disney Junior concept, recording Voiceovers and touring for 2017. I released a Tie, Bow Tie, & suspender line for kids on Walmart.com in November and plan to expand into clothing in the coming year! My big dream is to create a performing arts camp that can be franchised and expand globally. (Can you tell I want to expand? I've used the word 3 times!)

Troy James Check Bow Tie.jpg

 

Where can we keep watching your awesome career unfold! 

Stay tuned on:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/genevieve.goings

Instagram:@genevievegoings

Snapchat: @genevievegoings

Twitter: @choochoogirl

 

 

www.genevievegoings.com 

http://www.singwithgenevieve.com/ (school tour) 

Thank you so much!!!!!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7PZAzS0sBQ&feature=youtu.be

No- Thank YOU Gen!  WOW!  

 

 

ARTIST LIFE Artist Spotlight: Jeremy Johnson

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Tell us your name, location and chosen media of work:

 My name is Jeremy Johnson. I live in the Central Valley in my hometown, Stockton California.  I love working with all mediums of art but my focus as of late, is dancing back and forth between pen and ink and painting. 

 What is your earliest creative memory? 

 My earliest creative memory was in kindergarten, when our whole class had to draw a flower with red petals and a green stem. Of course did the complete opposite and colored the stem red and petals green. When we finished our drawing, the kid sitting next to me with a look of horror, said "you can't do that!". It was from that point on, the pandemonium of my artistic journey began. 

 

 At what age did you decide to become a professional artist?

 I'm not sure I would consider my self a professional artist per say. I still juggle a laborious day job, to support the family and I fit the art in, when windows of opportunity open up. I'd say, within the past year, I have really made steps towards the professional end of being an artist. I'm still trying to figuring it all out. 

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Are there any other artists in your family?  Where they an influence on your work?

 My mother Mellissa Hays, is an artist by trade, with a focus ranging from watercolor, painting, to interior design. I'm pretty sure she planted the seed, for my love of color and design. My oldest brother Christian Johnson, is a successful, professional working artist, focusing around the human figure. He is currently my biggest cheerleader and driving force, to becoming a more professional artist.

Who or what is inspiring you currently?

 I find inspiration almost everywhere. Our children love drawing and I get a great amount of inspiration from collaborating with them.  For instance, when our kids were old enough to hold a crayon, they would scribble on big sheets of paper and I would find characters to pull out of their scribbles. It's an exercise recommend for all ages.  I do have a rotating list of top fiveartists, that influence and inspire me. Currently, these are some of my favorite working artists: 

1.Greg Simkins (Craola) 

2.Creaturebox

3.Erik Abel (AbelArts) 

4.Erik Otto

5.Blaine Fontana. 

 What advice can you give other creatives out there? How would you recommend they start, monetize or go about finding opportunities?

 Stay inspired and never stop doing the things you love. Persistence in my experience, almost always wins. I'm in the thick of it now but I have a great art collective family (The 1850 Collective), that has been super supportive. If your just starting out in the field, I recommend going to local art shows or shows in more art rich communities. Connect with other artists who are working in the industry, that you may be interested in. Also, social media has made the people that inspire us, within reach to connect and get questions answered. Generally they are more than happy to answer your questions. 

 

Where can we see or hear your current work? 

 I am in the process of procrastinating putting my website together but in the interim, you can find my work on Instagram @Kolourlab or Facebook at "Kolourlab Studios". 

 Anything else you’d like to add?

 Your biggest critic is yourself. Don't be so hard on yourself. It can paralyze your progress. You ARE good enough! Critique your work with people you trust artistically. Make sure you don't take, what they say, personally. Its ONLY an opinion. In the end your product is the sum of YOUR creative decision making and your personal standard of honest quality. 

 Instagram: @Kolourlab

Facebook: @Kolourlab Studios

Facebook: @1850 Collective

 

The Power of No.

By Lucky.

Last night, I finally was able to catch the Sharon Jones documentary on Netflix. Miss Sharon Jones- it tells the story of the incredibly gifted soul singer Sharon Jones and her fight with cancer (she recently died of cancer on November 18, 2016). She didn't cut her debut album until she was 40!

Much of her life was spent working other jobs and singing in a wedding band. She tells a story of how a Sony exec told her she was too fat, too short, too black, and too old to ever make it as a singer. I couldn't help but shed a tear when during the film she was dancing with Ellen and singing on a thanksgiving day parade float with her incredible band the Dap-Kings. SHE WAS A SUCCESSFUL SOLO SINGER!!  (All while fighting cancer no less). I mean, talk about not giving the hell up!! Seems Sharon Jones took all the No's and turned them into YESes.  

Sometimes, NO is the biggest YES you can eventually get. Which brings me to- 

The Power of No.

The Power of No is a real nuclear powerhouse of motivation to draw from. And chances are, it may be in ample supply from time to time. I know from being in the creative business for over 20 years that for every "YES" I heard, I heard hundreds of no's. (There a few "maybes" sprinkled in there and turning those "maybes" into YES's is another topic). 

Let's focus on how hearing No, No Thanks, I'm sorry, and other no derivatives can be turned into a positive experience. 

Growing up, I heard no all the time. From strangers, friends and family. In one shape or another. Some intended, others not. I also had a lot of unsung heroes in my life that really made a difference for me. For them, I am eternally grateful. But it was those that doubted me that gave me the most motivation to prove them all wrong. "No, you can't play music for a living", "You're a terrible singer and your song sucks." "You're ugly and fat." "You'll never amount to anything. You should consider joining the army." (Which is actually a total insult to the fine, bright men and women who enlist in the armed services.) These, and many more, I heard on multiple occasions. That doesn't include all the "No" I've heard (and still hear) for a pitch or submission, so on and so forth. But it was proving all the naysayers wrong that really (makes) made me get off my ass.

Let me say that again: proving all the naysayers wrong is what really makes me get off my ass.  I will turn their NO into MY YES.  

Turning NO into YES is your fuel. You'll make it happen.  WE WILL SHOW THEM!  (and ultimately show yourself). Channeling the motivation of proving them wrong and finding the wherewithal in yourself will win. 

Sharon Jones wasn't too old, wasn't too fat, or too short.  

AND YOU ARE NOT TOO TALL SHORT SKINNY FAT YOUNG OLD UGLY PRETTY ETC ETC ETC.

Now get off your ass and go get some YES.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Showing Up.

By Lucky: You guys! We're having a great time learning about your projects out there. It's exciting to learn and hear about what so many of you are passionate about and are going to achieve.

It's a blast getting involved and we're grateful that we're able to help our friends and clients with insight on how our know how can help.

This all said, I'm about to get real with you.

You're not showing up.

What? Yeah I said it.

There it is. 

Let me explain. I once had a great conversation with a very successful Los Angeles photographer. He shoots Film, TV, Editorial, Fashion, Celebrities all around the world. A person many of you aspire to become. Being a total geek about photography and yearning to know more about creative success, I asked him a very basic question, in which I expected a very typical answer to. I asked-

What do you think the key to your success is?

Without even blinking he said:

"I show up."

For a moment I was dumbfounded. I expected something of the sort like it's "blind luck" or "I work my ass off". Which are also variables in the success in the creative field (or any field for that matter). 

But showing up. Wow. Right- showing up.

He said, you'd be surprised how many times people don't show. Maybe I'm on set, the call time comes and goes. That PA who finally landed any kinda job in a professional situation...no show. That person maybe thought it wasn't "good enough" or just partied too hard the night before and said. Ah forget it, someone else can get the coffee.

But wait, in not showing up this person is missing out meeting this new friend who is also a PA but today's PA is tomorrow director and bam -there you go. But not only are they not meeting that one contact they are not meeting EVERYONE on that set that date. No one will remember how brilliant he was at grabbing that coffee, or that he was so passionate about this business and was willing to put in the extra time to grow. Nope. No one will know. they never existed. He might as well been Marty Mcfly in that picture from Disneyland... poof.

I mean let's look at these examples of showing up:

Remember that one time when you finally had the guts to talk to that girl or guy that you were in love with? Showing Up.

Or how about the other time you were determined to get that perfect house or apartment you found on Craiglist but a million other people wanted? Showing Up.

Maybe there was that audition you dragged yourself to, signed in and did. Even though you felt it was a waste of time. But you were there...SHOWING UP.

Did you land that guy or girl, get that house or part? Who knows?!  But what you did get is closer to your dream partner/dwelling/creative career JUST BY SHOWING UP. 

Many people have reached out timidly asking how our services can help them. We then reply back that we should schedule a time to chat about it directly and see what they want to actually do. Guess what? Many people don't set up the call. poof, Marty McFly style. poof.

I get it. It's hard to ask for help. We are raised in a society that looks at asking for assistance as a weakness, but that's another blog for another time.

But man, just imagine all the things we can get done if we simply showed up. It's actually not that hard. 

That guy was right. Showing up wins. Every time. 

And as badly as I wish, we don't have a Delorean to make it all ok when we don't.

 

 

 

 

It's never too late for your moment

By Lucky Diaz:

What a 2017 it's been already and we're only 5 days in! We're definitely witnessing huge changes from our friends and clients in the New Year. Yesterday was especially exciting and inspirational.

A dear friend delivered a set of twins, another decided to leave a "sure thing/big deal" gig for new uncharted waters, a friend walked away from the faith he'd known his whole life for a new spiritual quest.

And a huge one- one of our dearest friends received an official pardon after 20 years for a crime he didn't committed but served time in prison for. Imagine that. I certainly did as I received a text containing a photo with a caption that read: "look what came in the mail today". Both Alisha and I became quite emotional about it all. He worked tirelessly for 20 years, writing letters, making phone call after call. Being denied. Hearing no and no and NO. Finally, by never giving up- it happened. I was reminded about the power of determination. Beautiful. A moment I needed.

Later that evening, I came across the story of 105 year old Robert Marchand. Robert just broke a cycling record at 105!!! He cycled 14 miles in an hour. You can read the story here. 105 GUYS!!!

He was told by a coach nearly a century ago that he would never achieve anything in cycling. Yet a century later it's a trending news story. Here's his amazing smile following his achievement:

THIS DUDE! I mean come on! There are teenagers out there that can't ride a bike. Let alone ride one for 14 miles. THIS guy is my new spirit animal. Hands down. 

What does this mean to us? 

Well, I felt the universe speaking in a very profound way yesterday. Basically SCREAMING-Don't be afraid. Let's be brave. IT'S NEVER TOO LATE. Ever.

Are you sitting miserable at some desk telling yourself  yeah "one day...", "Well i got kids, or this or that or the other thing." Excuses we all give ourselves (including myself). I'm not saying quit your day job. In fact, that would be a bad idea for many of you. That's a topic for another blog post. (There are many great books on that subject like this one.) But what I am saying is that we can make a choice today and BE BRAVE. 

Let's take a step today. Any step. Big or small Even drawing a line in the sand TODAY that says THIS is is my goal. I'm on my way. Your true self is out there. Let's go meet them. If we could each do one small thing towards our goal every day after a decade I'm going to guarantee that you'll be a lot closer to your destination than you are now. Most likely you'd arrive by then.

So let's all be THE Richard Marchand today. 

Ok, I'm off to Target to buy a bike.

Take small bites to finish the Behemoth

by Lucky Diaz:

Me on another burger safari. The legendary Brick in Jonesville, Indiana

Me on another burger safari. The legendary Brick in Jonesville, Indiana

One of our most favorite places to have a hamburger in Los Angeles is place called Grill Em All in Alhambra. It's rated as one of the best burger joints in LA for good reason. Simply delicious. It's also pretty fun because it's a heavy metal themed situation. Many of the menu items are named appropriately within the theme. My favorite burger is the Dee Snider. It's basically a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with bacon, grilled onions and bacon (I accidentally typed bacon twice, because BACON is that good). INSANELY GOOD. I highly recommend it!

One of their many claims to fame is a burger named The Behemoth. True to it's name, The Behemoth is a HUGE cheese burger with two grilled cheese sandwiches making up the bread portion, and all the trimmings. It's BIG. I tackled this sandwich only once on a birthday trip. The rest of the birthday consisted of basically unbuttoning my jeans watching History channel asking not to be touched. You see a meal like a Behemoth will tear you apart. It's too much. Granted the challenge was fun, but it's really meant for two- or maybe a small European family of 5.

Anyway, I'm not here to discuss the awesomeness of hamburgers, metal themed restaurants or craft beers (but I can be if needed). We're here to discuss actually tackling our creative goals and making them a reality.

I mention all of this because I recently had a session with a client that was biting off way more than she could chew. A TV show creation, development and production, pitching said TV project,  several different book titles, booking appearances, and meetings on top of meetings to make all the projects go. (we've all been there- the hustle is real). Could she handle the Behemoth? Perhaps. Could she complete and/or survive the Behemoth? Not likely.

There's always a cost to things like this. Whether it's a food coma on the couch on your birthday, or personal, emotional and/or financial ruin-the risks lie. The issue here with our client is that even though her creative projects are great and she's giving it all she's got- nothing is hitting it's stride. Nothing really taking off. Why? Well I think it's because our client is literally trying to eat a table of behemoth burgers in one single bite.

I think it's important to want the table of behemoth burgers. Seriously, I want them all. Like you, we are hustlers tackling several projects on all at once. I get it. But if we spread ourselves too thin and not give each project it's due- it won't have enough fuel or thrust to take off into the sky. I've learned this lesson the hard way. A little focus will go a long way. One bite at a time. One song at a time. One project at a time. Until it's got some legs underneath it to do the walking for itself. Then we can move onto other things that need our attention.

Order the biggest burger on the menu.  And just take one bite, then the next, then the next. Soon, you will have a full belly, a satisfied situation, and you will have tackled YOUR Behemoth.  Wasn't that tasty?!