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Artist Decoded

"I started this series as a means for exploration, an exploration of self, and an exploration of the perspectives of other artists. This series is an unabridged documentation of conversations between artists. It’s a series dedicated to breaking down the barriers we tend to set up in our own minds. I want to inspire future creatives to have the courage to explore and experiment. This is about making dreams a reality and not about letting our dreams fall to the wayside. My intention is to give my audience a sense of real human connection, something that feels rich and organic. When I was thinking of a title I thought of the word “movement”. In relation to the Renaissance period in art, my goal for this program is to signify a rebirth of consciousness towards the way we look at contemporary art." - Yoshino (@yoshinostudios)
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Now displaying: June, 2020
Jun 28, 2020

https://www.patreon.com/artistdecoded

About CJ: CJ Johnson is an acclaimed Speaker and Digital Marketing Consultant, servicing Fortune 50 clients worldwide and a prominent digital influencer with hundreds of thousands of online supporters. CJ is best known for creating successful influencer marketing campaigns as both an influencer and a Consultant, helping content creators and companies maximize their ROI. As a successful influencer, CJ uses his voice for creative storytelling to provide inspiration, digital marketing tips, and work/life balance advice in our modern era. As a Consultant, CJ specializes in digital brand strategy, creative campaigns, influencer marketing, future of work, diversity & inclusion, and trend forecasting. His work specializes in the technology, fashion, lifestyle, political, travel, and entertainment industries. Currently, CJ is a GQ Insider, Google Next Gen Policy Leader, and a Digital Marketing Consultant to innovative companies.

Topics Discussed In This Episode:

  • The joys of having a daughter
  • Couch surfing while finishing college in Los Angeles
  • Finding success through design and conscious actions
  • Doing marketing for tech companies
  • How money plays into an overall idea of success

www.artistdecoded.com

www.cjjohnsonjr.com

www.instagram.com/cjjohnsonjr

Jun 28, 2020

https://www.patreon.com/artistdecoded

About Steven: Steven Assael (born in 1957), is an award-winning American painter, credited most for his masterful artistry within his figure work and modern re-envisioning of the neo-classical, naturalist, and romantic techniques of old. 

Being captivated with what the human form and image represent, ever-changing and seemingly random elements and deeply rooted emotional intelligence, Assael traverses what it is to be human, and the subtleties included within an organic connection. 

Assael’s latest work includes his collaboration between himself and his represented gallery titled “Now We Meet Again” which focuses on individuals presenting images of loved ones, or individuals of significance to Assael through Zoom calls. Working through the purpose of the painting, Assael paints not only the image, but interweaves the very emotional framework and intentions the recipient presented beforehand.  

Topics Discussed In This Episode:

  • Seeking out advantages within painting and connecting with people during quarantine
  • Separation bringing us together
  • The intimate process of working with models and how they directly or indirectly affect the painting
  • Allowing for change within his overall creative vision
  • Teaching painting over Zoom
  • What makes a good teacher
  • The search for finding the right questions to ask
  • Experience motivating change and providing a renewal of what you want
  • Creating situations of exploration for oneself
  • Extracting the right vocabulary while creating
  • The element of control and power that children express when drawing different objects
  • Understanding the dynamic of copying a subject while painting, and how that evolves into a deeper exploration of shapes, tone, atmospheres, and the figure itself. 
  • Giving breadth to form 
  • A great work of art being infectious
  • The nature of romanticism
  • Working from life being an “inquiry into your own humanness” 
  • The idea of questioning and rebelling within a visual outlook
  • Human nature
  • The environment of New York throughout the last forty years, and how it has changed
  • The importance of theatre and the work of actors
  • Symmetry and asymmetry, and its importance within artform and observation
  • “Everything is everything” approach to life
  • Learning what to see flowing into learning how to paint
  • Nature being sporadic, and how we must become “like water” in order to succeed in our strategies in life
  • A commercialized outlook within the art world
  • Art becoming entertainment
  • Faith and doubt
  • Questioning of spirituality and existence

www.artistdecoded.com

www.stevenassael.com

www.instagram.com/stevenassael

Jun 23, 2020

https://www.patreon.com/artistdecoded

About Damian: Damian Joseph Kulash Jr. (born October 7, 1975) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and music video director who is best known for being the lead singer and guitarist of the American rock band OK Go.

Damien was born in Washington DC and spent a large amount of time studying at the Interlochen Arts Camp. He was active in bands at his time at Brown University, eventually winning a prize in music composition.

From the time span of 2005-2007 while the band released and was touring off of the “Oh No” album, the music video “A Million Ways” ended up being the most downloaded video with over 9 million downloads.

The band decided to cut ties with their major record label deals with EMI and Capitol Records, and eventually started their own label, Paracadute, in 2010.

OK Go released their most recent album completely free on their website, which includes rarities, B-sides, and covers of other songs. 

Topics Discussed In This Episode:

  • Damian discusses how both he and his family contracted coronavirus and how in hindsight, the time spent quarantined yielded different effects and revelations that Damian was not expecting.
  • Damian speaks on how he personally finds hope within the world and how it comes to him emotionally rather than a linearly or algorithmically.
  • “When the world breaks down or the rules shift in such a drastic way, it’s a little like the shackles come off and everything begins to reconfigure. That is terrifying but it also brings an element of hope…” 
  • Deconstruction and equalization of power structures within the world and hope shining through the cracks of society shifting. 
  • The depth of what we experience and how it relates to the “Truth”.
  • Life being a puzzle with the pieces everchanging, how it relates to our humanity, and how we see others and ourselves change. 
  • Giving yourself the freedom to tread new waters, and to genuinely feel emotions.
  • Dynamic of how we are all working together for a common goal.
  • Collaboration and calling back to others who have to tread the path before us. “We are not individual actors”

www.artistdecoded.com

Damian’s Letter For “All Together Now”

Rebecca Solnit - “'The Impossible Has Already Happened': What Coronavirus Can Teach Us About Hope”

Jun 19, 2020

https://www.patreon.com/artistdecoded

About Blake: Blake Mills is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, composer, producer, and owner of “Record Collection” and a Grammy Award-winning artist based in California. 

Mills has performed on over two hundred recordings, released four solo records, and worked with artists such as Lana Del Rey, Fiona Apple, and Bob Dylan.

Playing as both a session guitarist and composing his own material, Mills meticulously masters both the abstract and intentionality of multiple instruments and seeks to explore the sounds they each have to offer. 

After working with artists such as Fiona Apple, and Andrew Bird, Mills revisited the studio and developed the sounds and resonant textures that became “Mutable Set” - a collection of eleven songs that focus on the dissonance of modern life. 

Show Notes:

  • 0:00:00​ - Introduction
  • 0:04:38​ - Origin of the Name of New Record "Mutable Set"
  • 0:07:19​ - The Bigger Picture of the Album
  • 0:11:41​ - The Self Above Any Specific Role in Music
  • 0:17:44​ - Working On Own Projects VS For A Client
  • 0:22:09​ - Collaborating and Experimenting with Perfume Genius on "Set My Heart On Fire Immediately"
  • 0:26:28​ - Creating Unique Tones and Characteristics Lead to Artistic Fulfillment
  • 0:31:16​ - Using The Environment and Studio as a Unique Characteristic of the Process
  • 0:37:27​ - Sound City Studio, The Hybrid of Professional and Home Studio
  • 0:40:40​ - Partnership With Tony Berg Through The Years
  • 0:44:12​ - Mystery Job of Record Production
  • 0:46:48​ - Constant Desire to Write New Songs
  • 0:49:32​ - How "Mutable Set" Began and the Many Collaborations
  • 0:56:23​ - In Love With A Sound That Can't Be Recreated
  • 1:04:43​ - Future Plans
  • 1:06:53​ - Wrap Up

www.artistdecoded.com

Blake Mills Instagram 

Jun 16, 2020

https://www.patreon.com/artistdecoded

About Christine: Christine Yuan is an Emmy-award winning director whose television documentaries have won Best Culture & History Documentary at the 2018 LA Area Emmy, Best Documentary at the 2018 Golden Mic Awards, and Best Feature Documentary at the 2017 National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards. Her narrative work has screened at the Cannes Film Festival Court Metrage, Marfa Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival, The Massachusetts Independent Film Festival, San Francisco International Festival of Short Films, and more. Her commercial work has been shortlisted for D&AD’s Next Director Award, 1.4 Awards Show, Young Guns 15 Awards, and Shoot’s Director’s Showcase. Her short films and music videos have been featured on Nowness, i-D, Dazed, Fader, booooooom, Vice, and more.

Topics Discussed In This Episode:

  • Discipline being instilled through the act of running and physical activities
  • Haruki Murakami’s book “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”
  • Painting as an introduction to Yuan’s interest in creating
  • Lessons she learned from her grandmother about the joy of living a simple life
  • Staying grounded and present
  • Her short film, “DIYU”
  • Kundalini Yoga
  • Her background growing up in Christian schools
  • Talent and discipline
  • The idea of “Imposter Syndrome”
  • Creating substance in one’s own being
  • Growing up as an only child
  • Accepting and finding catharsis in loneliness
  • The differences between directing a commercial, music video, and/or a short film
  • Gender inequality that exists in the film industry

www.artistdecoded.com

christineyuan.com

instagram.com/christineyuan

Jun 11, 2020

https://www.patreon.com/artistdecoded

About Bao: Bao Nguyen is an award-winning filmmaker based in Los Angeles and Saigon. As the child of Vietnamese war refugees, he first pursued law to appease his parents but soon found his passion in film. His directorial debut, Live from New York!, opened the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. He is an alumnus of Berlinale Talents and the Firelight Media Documentary Lab. He earned his BA at New York University and his MFA at the School of Visual Arts.

About
“Be Water
 
In 1971, before his superstardom, Bruce Lee returned to Hong Kong to get the opportunities to be a lead actor that eluded him in America. In the two years before his untimely death, Lee completed four films, which changed the history of film and made him a household name. Through rare archival footage, memories of family and friends, and his own words, the story of that time and Lee’s prior experiences are told with an intimacy and immediacy that have infrequently been used in earlier tellings of his legend.

Growing up and living between the West and the East, Lee was ahead of his time in thinking about the transnational audience. He experienced the racist reaction of an American film industry inundated by a subservient and menacing image of Asian people—and learned he’d have to tell his own stories to escape it. Director Bao Nguyen elegantly weaves Lee’s personal struggle for visibility with that of his times and reminds us that though it was for a short time, Lee’s star burned so brightly we still see it today. 
 
Topics Discussed In This Episode:
  • Nguyen’s views on the coronavirus and the recent protests in the US
  • Racial equality
  • Nguyen’s experiences as a child, having parents who were war refugees from Vietnam, his experiences drawing out of curiosity for storytelling, and how it eventually developed into a multi-dimensional, intentional, and intimate form of filmmaking
  • Bruce Lee’s impact on American and Asian American culture, which captured Bao’s attention in a unique way
  • Within his early films, Bruce “was fighting for his voice to be heard.”
  • As Bao matured and entered college, his views on social justice and the stories that could be told through these particular individuals began to flourish.
  • The more intimate, immature version of Bruce’s life stood out within Bao’s research. Within this point of time, Lee was taught how to have a strong sense of identity as an Asian American.
  • Bao and Yoshino speak on the idea of having no regrets and letting go with particular things in life, and how being grateful and present-minded is vital.
  • Yoshino and Bao talk about the role of a teacher and the dynamic they have with their students. A great teacher differs from a normal teacher in their ability to allow students to explore themselves honestly.
  • Bruce’s desired to have his cultural viewpoints expressed in American culture
  • Creating an atmosphere of connectivity

www.artistdecoded.com

Vimeo - Bao Nguyen

Sundance - “Be Water”

Jun 8, 2020

https://www.patreon.com/artistdecoded

About Ludovic: On October 16, 1994, Ludovic Nkoth (LNkoth) was born in Cameroon, West Africa. Growing up in African, Ludovic learned to express himself creatively at a very young age. Through his vibrant use of color and ability to capture life through a distinct lens, Ludovic’s past time was consumed with rough sketches of the beautiful cities of Cameroon.

Ludovic’s work is heavily informed by the events in his life which led him to move, as a young boy of 13 years old, from his native Cameroon to the United States. Leaving his birth-mother and family, the young man found solace and comfort in the creative process while being raised primarily as a stranger in a strange land. It wasn’t until he migrated to the united states that he began to reconsider his own culture as a catalyst to locate his identity. For Ludovic, who learned to speak English as a teenager in a world completely alien to him, still – at times – finds himself displaced in his adopted country. In the states, he is viewed as an African, but in Africa, he is viewed American – leaving the passionate young artist in a sort of ambiguous and cyclical displacement of identity. Given the contentious issues of identity, patriotism, Confederate ideologies and racial bias growing in the States at the time of this writing, the paintings and his perspective seem of increasing relevance.

As such, the work presents a complex but highly personal investigation of a very personalized view of Africa; his family history; and the cultures, traditions, and ideas of Africa and its diaspora pre-and post-colonialism. They are approached with a type of naive brusqueness, an immediacy and boldness of colour that suggests both a passion and sense of discovery. African symbols such as masks, patterns, and other symbols of identity and culture remain consistent throughout. He states that through creation, the works attempt to “regain the things that were taking away from [his] people. Things such as power, culture, the idea of self and the idea of being black and proud.”

Topics Discussed In This Episode:

  • Film by Werner Herzog “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”
  • The origins of creativity
  • Growing up in Cameroon and moving to the US at the age of 13
  • Meeting artist Kerry James Marshall
  • Identity
  • The civil war in his native country of Cameroon
  • Loving one’s self
  • Understanding traditional “voodoo” practices in Africa versus the demonization of “voodoo” by European settlers
  • Comparing the historical colonization patterns of the United States and Africa
  • The importance of preserving Cameroonian tradition
  • Clarity through the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine
  • Political structures in Cameroon

www.artistdecoded.com

www.lnkoth.com

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