Noted artist Ava Eleven manifests from her strong intuition and the emotional energy she feels all around her. She has an emotional sixth sense that is undefinable and guides her in a daily life.
She is an artist who follows her gut deriving concepts while creating based on personal and observed societal experiences. Her soul shows her the way to create without the conscience mind. The passion of portraying the EMOTION to the viewer is Ava’s addiction. Her acquired conceptual resources remain as an extracted personal experience.
The human body is her all time source of inspiration. This Godly creation cannot be replicated no matter how precise Artificial Intelligence attempts to mirror, yet society continues to strive to mimic human emotion, while erasing feeling. Her goal is to bring back feeling and emotion to the viewer. An attempt to preserve “feeling” again and combat the epidemic of a numb soul. It is a numb soul that personal and societal issues evolve. She will ‘flip a switch’ within her viewers so that they can feel again. An undeniable emotion that cannot be pushed beneath the surface. If we do not feel, we are no longer the true definition of ‘human’ but merely a mutated species incapable of living in the now. Her work is an attempt to pause the human emotional mutation. It is not simply a ‘face value’ creation, but soulful depth.
The method to which she revives these maddening emotions is a mixed media approach. She combine all forms of artistic rendering into one work. She pulls from my plethora of experiences with the primary being the female form and fashion. She creates a photograph, setting the scene for a real life capture to the smallest detail. She has no standard art academia rules in my creations, combining digital methods with raw historical pigments/mediums.She lives to break the mold and follow her heart. Ava has been formally trained with a M.F.A from The Savannah College of Art & Design, majoring in Fashion Design with a minor in Art History. While there, she was able to train with an elite group of professors and art industry icons. She has combined a true life’s experience in and outside of the art world to form Ava Eleven.
Q: Who Is Ava Eleven?
A: I am an extremely sensitive soul, with an empathetic core. I feel too much most of the time and use that energy and feeling to drive my creative process. I try to turn those emotions into a positive form of expression, releasing unwanted or overwhelming feelings. Trapped emotions equal a numb soul, I create to keep my soul vibrant and alive.
Q: Background and what inspired you to get into photography?
A: I am classically trained from a prestigious art school where I earned a full scholarship for both my BFA and MFA. I majored in Fashion Design with a minor in Art History but used full advantage of ALL media methods while doing my studies. I built my own brand and other successful brands as a student and intern for several major fashion company collaborations. I have a “jack of all trades” sort of approach that afforded me the means to pick up my camera again years later. It was the birth of my son that pushed me to use photography as a form of expression yet again. I felt as though my eye/vision had changed in ways I was not able to ‘see’ before. It was through the lens I could create quickly and effectively with the most efficient use of time.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Emotion and feeling. Even though my mantra is ‘feelings are not facts’, I use them as life ‘guides’. I believe that without feelings, there is nothing to be inspired by. No feeling, no inspiration. No inspiration, no life. No emotion, no guidance.
Q: I notice that your work has a lot of ethereal and angelic themes? How did that develop?
A: I feel that everything happens for a reason. People and circumstances come in and out of one’s life with a true intention- Self growth, life lessons, joy, pain, rationalization, pushing one to find their ultimate meaning in this life. It’s those everyday people who turn into ‘angels’ as they help one find themselves again- Find that missing piece to one’s life puzzle. My work is how I express the process I have grown through.
Q: What are your upcoming projects?
A: I am currently doing a series about a ‘numb, heartless, fame driven society’. I am planning to exhibit ‘NUMB’ at ArtBasel 2020. I’m always looking for collaborations with individuals and brands that can truly understand and “get” what my work is all about. As of now, I will continue to let my ‘gut’ guide me. It has no reason to lie and is never wrong.
More about this devoted artist and her artwork at:
Experience a vast range of stories, with a cast of diverse characters,
through the classic dating-sim style we’ve all grown to love. You can decide which character you want to approach, but you’ll have
to find out where and when. You decide what to say and it won’t be
your gender that affects the outcome, but those choices.
You play as whoever you like. You can be male, female or non-binary.
No matter your choice there, every character is open for your
approach. Of course, some may be more hesitant to your approach, some may have other preferences at first.
You have many locations to visit and hone your skills. Just explore
the city to your pleasure. Don’t worry about missing opportunities,
you can’t miss anything that didn’t happen yet. Didn’t meet that cute
guy from the title screen yet? No worries, he’ll be just as eager to
get to know you, no matter if you approached him first, or 10 others
Of course if you keep flirting with all of them, some might start to
notice the game you’re playing.
Your decisions will always have an influence on how the game with the characters moves forward.
On May 9th, Beautiful Disaster and Artists For Trauma will launch their much anticipated collaboration on the “Perfectly Imperfect” campaign at the bucolic Lucky Dog Ranch in Ventura, California. Female trauma survivors’ scars will be highlighted by Glitter Artist Alex from Work of Heart to celebrate their beauty. Photography from Wise by Nicole Photography with testimonies interviewed and filmed by Concrete Pictures.
A delicious lunch will be elegantly presented by Command Performance Catering of Moorpark, California. Sponsors for the event are Artists For Trauma, Beautiful Disaster and Lucky Dog Ranch.
This day will be about supporting women who have experienced physical and emotional trauma in their lives for a beautiful day of creativity, connectivity and community.
“Beautiful disaster and Artists for Trauma align their missions to celebrate that we are all perfectly imperfect,” said Laura T. Sharpe, Founder and President of Artists for Trauma and Christina DuVarney, Beautiful Disaster Clothing Owner.
About Beautiful Disaster:
With every fiber of clothing, it is the Beautiful Disaster mission to empower the Beautifully Broken, and Perfectly Imperfect.
Artist Garyk Lee will be exhibiting his work at the Janssen Artspace ultra-hip group exhibition entitled “Permanent Vacation” during Modernism Preview Weekend in Palm Springs, California. Opening and Cocktail party Friday 10/19/2018 from 5pm-9pm.
Artist Garyk Lee will be exhibiting his work at the Janssen Artspace ultra-hip group exhibition entitled “Permanent Vacation” during Modernism Preview Weekend in Palm Springs, California. The Modernism Art Opening and Cocktail Party will be taking place on Friday October 19th, 2018 from 5pm-9pm. Artwork will be on view from October 18th thru October 21st.
Garyk Lee is a world renowned creator, artist, fashion designer and is set to release his new television show Garyk Lee Style TV in November of this year. His work has been praised by some of the biggest names in the business including Mr. Blackwell, International Fashion Critic and designer Albert Nipon. He created a fashion theater style runway show in honor of Christopher Reeve, where the new name “The Christopher Reeve Foundation” was launched. Dinner chairs for this amazing event included Steven Spielberg, Albert and Pearl Nipon, and Sherry Lansing, CEO of Paramount Studios. For two years in a row he designed the Daytime Emmy Award gala gown for Palm Spring’s own Judith Chapman, star of “The Young and the Restless.”
Garyk continues his Art through commissioned fashion, product design, paintings and murals, including works in the Rancho Las Palmas Marriott Resort as well as historic, “Kim’s Corner Marketplace” in Venice Beach California.
Watch the new trailer for Garyk Lee Style TV coming late November 2018:
This Sunday, March 4th, the Iranian Circle of Women’s Intercultural Network (#ICWIN) proudly presents an International Women’s Day (#IWD) celebration at the Grand Ballroom at 4101 E Willow Street in Long Beach. This momentous event will take place from 12:30-3:30pm and will have many artists and activists in attendance. #ICWIN is honored to have Dr. Niaz Kasravi, a national expert and advocate on criminal justice, social justice and racial justice as the keynote speaker. Gloria Arellanes, the elder of Tongva/Los Angeles who for more than 40 years has been at the forefront of the Chicana and indigenous movements will start the program. Actress and blogger, HPC’s own Vida G. (The Mindy Project, So Very Vida) will MC this event, and Hanieh Jodat Barnes, Director of the Partnership of the Women’s March Foundation LA will moderate a panel of candidates running for public office in Orange County including Kia Hamadanchy (Candidate from District 45) and Rachel Payne (Candidate from District 48), who are running for Congress as well as Farrah Kahn (running for Irvine City Council) and Mona Ghalbi (Volunteer/Advocate at #NextGenAmerica). Other speakers are activists Elahe Amani (Global Chair of ICWIN) and Sudi Farokhnia (Steering Committee of ICWIN).
The talented violinist Justina Jones will play the violin while attendees enjoy the art gallery. The dance group of NKauj Hmoob Long Beach will bring joy to the stage on this International Women’s Day. A rising star, soprano at the age of 15, Ponthea Zahraii, will also take the stage.
The Circle is focused on raising consciousness on issues related to Iranian women both inside Iran and in the diasporas. In addition, the Circle aims to serve as a bridge, not only connecting the Iranian women’s communities, but also is in line with the idea of intersectionality in connecting them with other women of race, color, ethnicity, social and economic standing at a global level. Tickets are available at:
MODA 360, an innovative exhibit of international art, fashion and film, presents a special event benefitting the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens’ conservation program and celebrating the Zoo’s 50th anniversary August 1, 2017, 3 to 9 pm, at The New Mart in Downtown L.A.
Incorporating exhibits and live presentations by international fashion designers, artists and filmmakers, Moda 360 encourages collaborations between the three creative industries. The 2017 edition of Moda 360 shines the spotlight on sustainability and the importance of preserving the habitats and inhabitants of our planet. A unique feature is “A Walk on the Wild Side,” a sustainable runway fashion show with creations by artists and designers reflecting the species, habitats and conservation projects championed by the L.A. Zoo.
“Moda 360 will be a more intimate event this year to focus on the important issue of environmental stewardship and support the Zoo’s international programs,” says Debora Pokallus, producer of Moda 360. “Preserving our environment has become even more critical today and it’s important to raise awareness and support organizations that do this important work.”
Proceeds from this event support the L.A. Zoo’s new Species Conservation Action Network (SCAN), including a dedicated Curator of Conservation whose sole focus will be to identify and respond to urgent animal conservation issues around the world. The L.A. Zoo dedicates funds, expertise, and staff to a wide variety of conservation projects all over the globe, with a special focus on those that target wild counterparts of animals in their collection. While the reach is global, two of its greatest conservation successes have been local in nature: the California Condor Recovery Plan and the Peninsular Pronghorn Recovery Plan, both restoring populations of critically endangered animals to their native habitats. The private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) has supported the Zoo in partnership with the City of Los Angeles for more than five decades and provides funding for and operates seven essential Zoo departments,
According to GLAZA President Connie Morgan, “As the Zoo celebrates 50 years of leadership in exceptional animal welfare and its role as a key player in major conservation projects that protect animal species from extinction, GLAZA’s Board of Trustees builds upon five decades of major support for the Zoo and looks ahead to the next 50 by funding SCAN’s Curator of Conservation position into the future.”
L.A. Zoo Director John Lewis says, “The Zoo, with its decades of institutional knowledge and scientific expertise, will utilize SCAN to build solutions and connect the best people and programs, inside and outside the zoo profession, to act in a coordinated effort to address pressing and critical species survival issues. The Zoo may not be the Ark but we are shipbuilders!”
Moda 360 promises an eclectic and entertaining program representing three creative industries and presenting the ideas, inspiration, and ethics that drive the independent artist, designer and filmmaker forward in their work. Showing the best of contemporary creation, Moda 360 gives a look behind the art to show the contribution these talented exhibitors offer the commercial and cultural market.
Moda 360 will also screen fashion videos from international filmmakers, and premiere a video homage of LA fashion by Lucinda Luuvas.
CE Jordan will perform her all-too-true tales of modeling in LA and NY in “A Model Life,” a journey down the runway of life. Jordan is a former model and professional storyteller who will share reflections from her modeling career in the 1970s, weaving anecdotes about the many personalities she encountered in her work: Karl Lagerfeld, Gianni Versace, Andy Warhol, Michaele Vollbracht, Bill Blass, Givenchy. She has entertained audiences throughout Los Angeles with her warmth and wit, offering a fascinating look at life during fashion’s heyday. Wielding her signature combination of storytelling, music, dance, and an imaginative use of props, this versatile writer/performer will kick up her high heels in this model bash for the ageless. “A Model Life” performance is at 3 pm (seating begins at 2:45).
A screening of “Strangers in a Book,” written by Pedram Navab and directed by Marc Rezvani, takes place at 4 pm (seating begins at 3:45). The film follows Sara in actress (and HPC’s own) Vida G’s (The Mindy Project, Mind of Mencia) dramatic debut, a hip and melancholic Iranian-American, who finds a misplaced book in a café. Intrigued by its contents, but unable to find the owner, she decides to interview the people in the notebook to decipher the identity of the mysterious man. The strangers whom she meets, considered the dregs of society, tell Sara stories about the enigmatic owner of the book, who is considered both diabolical and kind. In her relentless pursuit of the ultimate stranger, Sara is thus plunged into the horror of the unknown, where reality merges with art, and where existence itself is questioned. The film has also received 7 nominations at the prestigious Film Festival in San Diego and won Best Guerrilla Film at the popular Action on Film (AOF) Festival in Monrovia, California and the noted Finow Film and Script Festival in Eberswalde, Germany.Vida Ghaffari will introduce the film.
“A Walk on the Wild Side,” which takes place at 5:30 pm (seating begins at 5:15 pm, is a sustainable runway show of fashions by ethical designers from three continents to show that sustainability is vibrant and creative. It features the work of Atelier Tammam, a London couture house of 100% vegan and ethical fashion whose designs have graced the red carpet at the BAFTA awards; Juan Pablo Martinez, a collection fusing sustainability, fine tailoring and rock and roll from Bogata Colombia who began his career in the atelier of Christian LaCroix; designer Lucy Tammam, a fierce advocate of sustainable fashion who has been a force in the ethical fashion movement for over a decade; and LA’s own Deborah Lindquist who has spent 30 years designing eclectic, and striking fashion from reclaimed, recycled and sustainable materials. A special feature of the runway will be unique creations by artists and designers reflecting the species, habitats and conservation projects championed by the L.A. Zoo. These exceptional designers will hit the runway to support the L.A. Zoo and will be joined by other talented artists and designers creating one of a kind surprises that reflect the animals, habitats and conservation programs the L.A. Zoo champions. A team of hair and makeup artists from TNT Agency will create looks with a touch of the jungle.
Moda 360 celebrates the innovation and creativity of designers and artists and welcomes exciting new innovations and ideas. Returning to Moda 360, Philadelphia designer Machele Nettles will show her latest Idol-Light collection of prism jewelry made from reclaimed optical glass. These sleek and modern designs refract light, making not just a fashion statement, but demonstrating the wonders of science. Machele is creating a special piece for the Zoo runway design challenge. Vanessa Wishart from Toronto, Ontario, is a fashion artist, designer and costumer for theater, films and music tours. Internationally known for her ability to take the most banal items and transform it into wearable art, she creates fashion items from currency and is showing her latest Luut collection at Moda 360. Kor?áta from Guatemala, are high-quality ethical fashion products handwoven by Guatemalan artisans. The bright, colorful ties and wallets reflect the culture and spirit of the native artisans. Moda 360 welcomes returning artist Andrea Bogdan who will again live paint during the event. Andrea will debut an art and fashion collaboration on the runway to support the Zoo. The U.K. feminist art organization FiLiArt is organizing a special exhibition to make the statement that preserving our world is a feminist issue. Photographer Jenna Amaya also returns to Moda to show her expressive studies of exploration of human form and body art. Mark Campana joins fellow Philadelphian Machele Nettles showing his beautiful paintings of the historical architecture in his hometown. These creators will be joined by a growing roster of designers and artists.
Bel Essence the natural skincare and certified cruelty-free company, returns as sponsor of Moda 360 for this special event.
The New Mart is located at 127 E. 9th Street, 3rd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90015.
ABOUT BEL ESPRIT – The Bel Esprit Showroom showcases international designers of ethical fashion, and the sister showroom, Showroom International, presents the collections of international independent designers. The showrooms offer 30 years of industry experience identifying and assisting the needs of both designers and retailers to facilitate a strong business relationship, and partner with international fashion industry organizations and events to give independent designers maximum exposure. Bel Esprit promotes ethical principles through education to designers, retailers and consumers, and through a number of global initiatives works to create and develop more ethical resources for the fashion industry. Learn more at www.BelEsprit.net.
ABOUT THE NEW MART – The New Mart Building, a registered Los Angeles historical landmark located in the center of Downtown LA’s fashion district, is home to 100+ showrooms representing hundreds of top lines. With both high profile and cutting edge showrooms, The New Mart is the most sought-after venue for wholesale fashion buyers from around the world. Learn more at www.newmart.net.
ABOUT BEL ESSENCE – Bel Essence is a natural skincare collection based on a simple idea: give skin the nutrition it needs to heal, regenerate and rejuvenate itself. Bel Essence combines natural and organic oils that are the richest sources of vitamins, antioxidants, omega 3’s and fatty acids, the essential components for healthy, youthful skin. Bel Essence gives skin what nature intended and selects and combines oils with beneficial properties to maximize results without harmful chemicals and colorings. Natural oils, known for their skin health benefits, are combined to treat and nourish skin giving both instant improvement and long-term transformation. Learn more at www.belessence.com.
ABOUT THE LOS ANGELES ZOO – The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens marks its 50th anniversary with a yearlong “ZooLAbration” that began on November 28, 2016, which is the 50th anniversary of the opening at its current location. Throughout the 50th anniversary year, the Zoo spotlights not only its key role as a world-class destination and an important community asset but also its critical successes in conservation, quality of life and premier care for animals. Having recently completed a $172 million master plan which significantly improved the Zoo facility, the Zoo now embarks upon developing a new Master Plan, which will serve as a road map for the future. The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing nearly 1.8 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered, as well as a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife. Its responsibility toward wildlife conservation not only encompasses safeguarding the animals in its care but also actively participating in the preservation of some of the world’s most critically endangered species and their habitats. The Zoo’s many conservation successes include having led the charge in saving California condors from extinction and restoring populations of these critically endangered animals to their native habitats.
March 17, 2017 – New York City artist, Beth B, has known and worked with Lydia Lunch since they were teenagers. They grew up in the late 1970s New York music/film/art scene and brought their radical visions to the underground where they broke boundaries, both shocking and enticing their audiences with their uncensored music and films.
Together, they are now embarking on a Kickstarter campaign to fund a film documentary called LYDIA LUNCH The War is Never Over.
This project will capture the voice and visualize the extraordinary, outrageous work and life of spoken word artist and singer, Lydia Lunch. The film will follow Lydia on the road back to her hometown of Rochester, New York. On tour, backstage, and in interviews, this film will reveal the radical mind, the visceral music, and the edgy, philosophical, and humorous personality of Lydia Lunch.
Lydia Lunch is an icon/poet of the New York City No Wave art scene. In 1976 at the age of sixteen, a teenage runaway, Lydia Lunch, arrived in New York City inspired by the ravings of Lester Bangs in Creem Magazine. The Velvet Underground’s sarcastic wit, the glamour of the New York Dolls, and the poetic scat of Patti Smith’s Piss Factory all influenced her. In 1977, she founded the hugely influential No Wave band, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks. Lydia went on to star in legendary underground films like Beth B’s “Vortex” and Richard Kern’s “Fingered.”
Beth B is known for being one of the most recognized artists from the No Wave art scene of the 1970s. Her independent film called “Vortex” was a legend in underground film making. This was a time before the internet when films could only be screened with a 16mm projector. Beth B remains an icon of the New York City art scene.
This Kickstarter project seeks to raise $50,000 for Beth B to film Lydia on tour with her band, RETROVIRUS. Lydia will be performing her spoken word while Beth B will be interviewing pivotal people in Lydia’s life: people like Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth and JG Thirwell from Fetus.
Please contribute! No contribution is too small! LYDIA LUNCH The War is Never Over, with its wit, honesty, balls out, mouth open attitude, will help us all to kick the ball forward, toward a future in which we truly have liberation of the mind and body and a new sense of healing from trauma.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Circus Magazine, the new film media outlet from Steve Shaw, founder and editor of treats! Magazine, presented the 89th Academy Awards luxurious black-tie party at the private residence of Jonas Tåhlin, CEO Absolut Elyx.
The exclusive event attracted over 500 guests and celebrities who came out to celebrate people in the fields of art and entertainment.
Circus Magazine, LA’s first consumer focused film title launching later this year, presented the Academy Awards red carpet and ceremony on Samsung screens throughout Jonas’ house, a beautiful sprawling Hollywood Hills estate.
Other partners for the event included Volvo who provided a fleet of new vehicles to escort guests to the venue, and Vaseline who provided the photo booth for guests to take ‘old Hollywood’ style photos as a memento of the night.
Guests started to arrive at 3:30pm. Chanel West Coast was one of the first celebrities to arrive, joining as the award show had just got started. Absolut Elyx provided delicious signature cocktails such as the Butterfly consisting of Elyx, jasmine tea, lemon and Lillet. Spencer Garrett was seen in all black with a pineapple Absolut Elyx pin on his jacket.
Sitting pretty as always was Julia Clancey in a beautiful bright pink and orange gown topped with a sparkling headband. Everyone was tuned into the Oscar viewing and astonished by the award mix up creating buzz all evening.
Internationally renowned health and fitness photographer Per Bernal’s well attended gallery opening in West Los Angeles was the talk of the town and THE art event of the season bringing some much needed and well deserved attention to the thriving LA art scene.
“Per Bernal is a world class photographer praised for his talents in capturing the strength and excellence of the human body, thus has garnered the nickname; “The Annie Leibovitz of the Fitness World.” This exhibition, aptly titled “Oh Shoot,” was an eclectic evening featuring photography, graffiti, street, and fine art. There were new works featured by Per Bernal and RISK. There was an unveiling of a portrait of action hero Dolph Lundgren, which was an incredible collaboration by Per and Risk. Guests viewed some politically correct art, right in time for the election, including the “Trump Wall,” featured on CNN and BBC, by Plastic Jesus and famous portraits by the late Pop Artist, Steve Kaufman. Additionally, it was truly an honor to be partnering with Artists for Trauma,” said Megan Phillips, the Founder of Sur le Mur. Phillips represents Bernal and other acclaimed artists in addition to offering art advisory and acquisitions, curating, and custom work.
“I have been a photographer for over 30 years and have shot close to 1000 fitness covers, which have been published worldwide. The opening of my US studio this past weekend was a dream come true, for me, and I now feel the freedom to explore my fine art photography, including celebrity portraiture. I find it very inspiring to work with other artists and I want my studio to be an artists’ colony, where creative minds and creative ideas can meet and merge together. Working with Megan Phillips, of Sur Le Mur, has given me tremendous momentum and she has encouraged me to expand my art and to take it to an entirely new level,” said Per Bernal.
Bernal also shot Artist For Trauma (AFT) Ambassadors Aaron Baker, Tamara Mena, and Steve Bogna for this opening exhibition. “I was impressed, overjoyed and proud for the AFT Ambassadors Adaptive Health & Fitness Models, Aaron, Tamara and Steve. Equally I was grateful to these brave and courageous individuals for trusting AFT and Per Bernal to present and represent them with respect and elegance. Each model exemplifies ‘The Power of the Human Spirit’, an intangible essence that is the key to the quality of life success for all of us. Per captured ‘this’ and ‘it’ communicated visually through the photos, their joyful spirit transcending beyond their physical challenges. We are grateful for the extraordinary opportunity to partner with Per Bernal and Megan Phillips of Sur le Mur. This strategic partnership is a perfect example of the signature, empowering adaptive arts & entertainment opportunities Artists for Trauma is proud to provide,” said Laura Sharpe, CEO and Founder of Artists For Trauma.
Attendees viewed photography and artworks by Per Bernal and his renowned peers who are a true Who’s Who’s of the art world such as Kelly Risk Graval, Alexandra Grant, Lincoln Townley, Billy Morrison, Plastic Jesus, HRH Prince Lorenzo de Medici, Steve Kaufman, Geoff Melville, Glenn David, Unfukyourself and Black Brain.
Numerous celebrities, fitness gurus, actors, martial artists, renowned artists and VIPs are expected at this event such as Per Bernal, Megan Phillips, Founder of Sur le Mur, Laura Sharpe, Founder and CEO of Artists For Trauma, actors and martial artists Bianca Van Damme and Hank Garrett (3 Days of the Condor, Car 54, Where are you, GI Joe the Animated Series and Martial Arts and Wrestling Hall of Fame), and actors Mel Novak (Bruce Lee’s Game of Death, Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance), Robert Wall (Walker Texas Ranger, Bruce Lee’s Game of Death), Dawna Lee Heising (Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance, Blade Runner), Vida Ghaffari (Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Mindy Project), Diane Franklin (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Better Off Dead), Rico E. Anderson (The Fosters, Grey’s Anatomy), Jon Mack (Saw VI, Blunt Force Trauma), Anna Easteden (Two and A Half Men, Junkie), Katherine Kampko (Graceland, Trust No One), actor/filmmaker/on-air host Tyrone Tann (Lavanderia, Blooob, Stauros Entertainment), Ed Connors, former owner of the Golds Gym Franchise, Gudrun Giddings, Producer and President Swedish American Chamber of Commerce Los Angeles, Samir Bannout, 1 time Mr. Olympia, Danny Hester, 1 time Classic Physique Mr. Olympia, Eric The Trainer, Hollywood Celebrity, noted artists Kelly Risk Graval, Alexandra Grant, Plastic Jesus, Geoff Melville and HRH Prince Davood Roostaei (Persian Qajar dynasty), renowned artist and founder of Cryptorealism, Dr. Sarah Brindle Ph.D of Inclusivity Clinical Consulting Services (ICCS), Dr. Mary Nasmyth, Co-Chief Medical Officer, CRI and Clinical Chief for Physical Medicine and Rehab at Cedars Sinai Hospital, Entertainment Attorney Nadia Davari and countless other VIPs.
This event is sponsored by Sur le Mur, Per Bernal, Artists For Trauma and Coco Taps by Vincent Zaldivar aka “CocoVinny.” Renowned artist Kelly Risk Graval summed up the evening perfectly by saying it was “good times.” Good times indeed!
Superheroes saved the day at Paris Comic Con. Angel Lopez and Kevin Cardona, founders of Fusion Designs Caricatures, and their crew Sandra Carrano, Amy Jimenez, Erick Macias, Alex Casanova, Sam Sellers, Chris Meesey and Damion Dunn flew all the way from LA to attend one of the most pop-cultured and artistic convention. They are talented artists who come from different backgrounds. Most of them worked at Universal Studios or Six Flags before conquering the world’s greatest conventions. Now they travel the world together and produce amazing caricatures and artworks.
Hollywood Press Corps had the pleasure of meeting Fusion Designs at Comic Con Paris 2016. They are approchable guys with a great sens of humour. Their booth atmosphere is laid-back and friendly. Although poorly located on the mezzanine of the convention center, they didn’t go unnoticed. Armed with pastels and air paint, they were busy drawing and connecting with the public.
“Caricature me like one of your French Girls” should have been how the quote goes. Because what’s more amazing than a piece of art done by a caricaturist. Portraits on oil canvases or photoshoots are overrated; caricatures are the real deal. Cheaper, faster and funnier, they bring something more to the picture. Moreover, their talent and the quality of their works are way higher than the usual caricatures you may find in the streets.
I had the honour of getting my caricature done by Chris Meesey (aka Meesimo). Trained by Tom Richmond and Ed Steckley, he is regarded as the most talented artist by his colleagues. Illustrator, caricaturist, painter… he wears many hats. He has published several books and produced comic books (Knucklehead Comics, SWALLOW, Extremities). On his website, you can check out his amazing artworks: http://meesimo.com
He is really easy to talk to. Everyone was gathering around, admiring the prodigy at work. Seeing the result of the caricature was impressive. The way he captures one’s personality in a caricature is rare.
Erick Macias and I got to talk and know each other while Chris was drawing me. “The most popular demand from people is to be drawn as Harley Quinn.”, Erick told me jokingly adding that they don’t seem to care how insane of a character she was. But that’s what caricatures are about, self-deprecation. Erick produces beautiful caricatures. He is a skilled and self-taught artist and knows the value of communicating with the person he is drawing.
Dustin Brown also had his caricature done by Chris. Here is his experience:
“I had the opportunity to get a Caricature drawn by Chris at the Paris Comic Con. Chris is a talented artist that draws caricatures for Fusion Designs. The Comic Con event was winding down on the the Sunday that I attended. Fusion Designs was busy drawing some of the people in attendance. Chris chatted with me as he drew. I asked him to make me a superhero. We decided Batman would be the best choice. Chris works so fast. I couldn’t see what he was drawing. We talked about comedy writers from Saturday Night Live and Chris’ experience as a caricature artist at Universal Studios in Hollywood. The end result was just amazing. Chris is truly a master level artist. I didn’t get a chance to speak with Chris after he showed me the drawing he made as he had to start on another one. I will cherish the drawing of me as Batman with an over sized chin. I’ll always remember the 2016 Paris Comic Con and the great day I had. All the people at Fusion Designs were so nice. It was such a great experience. “
The friendliness of the artists at Fusion Designs takes away the intimidating process of getting one’s caricature done. For 10 to 20 minutes, you get to sit, talk and laugh with the caricaturist. At the end, it feels like you have to say goodbye to an old friend.
Damion Dunn’s artworks were also spectacular. He worked at Universal Studios Hollywood as a caricature artist and is now illustrating and working with Fusion Designs. His drawings of futuristic, estranged creatures are fascinating. He has is own style and brings something unique to his caricatures. On his blog http://damion009.blogspot.fr, he shares his latest pieces and his love for art. He also showed us a caricature of the crew he had done as a gift. It allow us to see the Fusion Designs crew as one big family, passionate about what they are doing.