PRODUCT FOCUS: MY MOLESKINE 2017 INTERNATIONAL ARTIST’S SKETCH SERIES

Very little needs to be said about the world’s premier stationery brand ~ Moleskine. I’ve been using them for years and in 2017, they sent me a selection of their notebooks to take on the road. I kept organized with their planner, took notes on artists and recorded random thoughts in their lined notebooks, and one of my favorite endeavors with Moleskine this year, was to do an international artist sketch series in their blank notebook. It was a great way for me to merge my passions of writing/traveling with street art, and at the same time garner some attention to these well-deserving artists.

https://us.moleskine.com/en/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA9_LRBRDZARIsAAcLXjdwzbuVXUf8EyYEJPP8hQhE8Wd9toX9UuU-IFbHd2gqiQGTkvJcGN0aAi54EALw_wcB

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  1. City Kitty ~ with a background in painting and fine art, City Kitty brings his unique style to the streets…it’s all hand drawn and/or silkscreens that are all individually colored, so that every piece you see is unique in its own right. https://www.facebook.com/citykittystreetart/

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2. Praxis ~ Bogota, Colombia-born and now based in New York City, he is one of the premier stencil artists circulating right now. He is a passionate vegan and his art is tied directly to spreading animal rights’ awareness. https://www.facebook.com/praxis.graff

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3. CRiSP ~ Another premier stencil artist based in Australia, but really gained a following when living for years in Bogota, Colombia before returning to his homeland. He is very much anti – the 1%. https://www.facebook.com/Crispstreetart/

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4. Fumero ~ “The intent has always been to be direct with his approach to painting.  Fumeroism art is an extension of Fumero’s character, bold and uninhibited, assertive and unorthodox.  He is a product of the late 20th and early 21st century’s contemporary-urban-expressionist movement.  His personal road of artistic journey began with cartooning as a child, graffiti as a teenager, logo design in county college, and the art of the abstracted figure or caricature in art school.  These are influences which all meet at the crossroads of a harmonious interaction and unification among line, shape and color to form a unique path of artistic exploration.” https://www.fumeroism.com

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5. David Rothman ~ ‘David M. Rothman studied graphic art as a minor at Y-bor City community college and went on to receive a bachelor of fine arts from University of Tampa in 2006.  Since then he has been an instructor for Prodigy Cultural Arts Program ,  exhibiting in Tampa and Miami galleries, and conducting curation and art history workshops in New York.  Prodigy was a deviation process for at-risk youth.  Rothman taught visual arts to ages 7-17 for five years, while doing so he discovered he would like to study further into Art Therapy and Social-Psychology; for means to facilitate a community based program to embrace unity.  “I believe art is healing through the exploration of self.”‘ https://www.drothmanart.com

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6. Izzy Izvne ~ Arguably the most prolific street artist in Chisinau, Moldova. Prefers animals to people. Heart of gold and a free spirit. She’s graff, street, and everything in between. https://www.facebook.com/izzyizvne

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7. JODO ~ strong and fearless street artist with one of the most recognizable characters on the streets of New York City. 

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8. The Primate of NYC ~ Vandal Expressionist Joseph Meloy creates in the best of both worlds – his Primate is all over New York City making him one of the most prolific NYC street artists, and he is also a painter. https://www.josephmeloy.com

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9. HiSS ~ “Hiss is a Queens based artist and illustrator who’s primary interests include cute animals and dead things.” http://hiss.storenvy.com

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10. Ceteo ~ Bogota, Colombia-based artist. https://www.instagram.com/ceteo_1/

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11. Baston ~ Filmmaker, photographer, and street artist in New York City. https://www.instagram.com/baston777/

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12. Mitrooper ~ “The Mitrooper represents the fighting spirit in everyone who has been a “trooper” at some point in life. We all have stood strong through hard time and good times. Mi stands for me, and trooper is within you. The Mitrooper is a protective soul, guarding each individual and the universe. Mitrooper gives hope to the hopeless, courage to the doubtful, and and strength to the weak. At the end of each tunnel there is a light. Stay positive. Stay humble.” https://www.mitroopers.com

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13. Tee Pop ~ Miami, Florida-based multimedia artist. https://www.instagram.com/teepopart/

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14. Daniel Osorno ~ Medellin, Colombia-born artist now based in Miami, Florida. A good, authentic soul just beginning his domination of the streets as a mural artist (in the past, he was a prolific graffiti writer.) https://www.facebook.com/Trapism-the-new-Cubism-by-Daniel-Osorno-159175610798111/

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15. FLUKE ~ Montreal-based multi-talented artist and member of the A-Shop Crew. https://www.facebook.com/fluke.art.1/about?lst=832465127%3A516752147%3A1513955408

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16. SEEN ~ “Richard “Richie” Mirando, known as Seen UA, born 1961 in the Bronx, New York City, is one of the most well known graffiti artists in the world, often referred to as the Godfather of Graffiti, although he did not pioneer the movement. Seen first started to paint on New York City Subway system in 1973. His crew United Artists (or simply UA) quickly gained the reputation for producing full-color throw-ups on whole cars with members such as Duster, Sin, and his brother Mad.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seen_(artist)

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17. JUS10 ~ Miami-based artist. https://www.instagram.com/jus10it/

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18. Studioflop ~ “Fábio Panone Lopes aka “FLOP”, is Brazilian, and was born on November 13, 1985. Architect and artist, he has worked with urban art for 17 years. FLOP has a remarkable art. From the mixture of expressive lines of his profession of architecture, added to super colorful fills graffiti art, his works result in a style super differentiated, with native, indigenous and tropical themes.” https://aimfulcoloringbooks.com/?artist=flop

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19. Mr. June ~ “Harmonizing graffiti, graphic design and abstract art.” http://www.mrjune.com

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20. Apitatan ~ “Apitatán (Quito, 1987) is an artist who paints everyday stories. His sketches are inspired by fragments of conversations overheard throughout the city. They are a reflection of Latin American culture and featuring people with sharp, geometric outlines, often giving dark looks or wide smiles with missing teeth.” https://www.apitatan.com/bio

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21. Monique Lassooij ~ “My vision is to maintain the integrity of my art while deleting as much superfluous detail as possible. Telling all of the story can be fun, but most of the time it is just distracting. I hone in to the details that inspire me to create.” Born in The Netherlands and now based in Miami, Florida. Greatest introduction I had all year. This woman’s work is PHENOMENAL. Check out more of her work here: https://www.facebook.com/moniquelassooijart/?timeline_context_item_type=intro_card_work&timeline_context_item_source=1562990066&pnref=lhc

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22. Erni Vales ~ a.k.a. EVLWORLD ~ Nothing to do with ‘evil,’ everything to do with talent. Check him out at https://www.evlworld.com

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23. ATOMIK! ~ Arguably the most prolific street artist in the 305 and that is saying A LOT, considering all of the hardworking artists hustling there! Miami-based Atomiko has created one of the most famous street characters that people from home or abroad can easily recognizehttp://atomik.bigcartel.com

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24. NERV ~ Los Angeles-based graffiti artist. http://nervfastlife.blogspot.com

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My Moleskine Daily Planner on the move with me around the globe this year. Needless to say, it got FILLED: 

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My Moleskine travelled with me in 2017 to:

Beirut, Lebanon ~ Cocoa Beach, Florida ~ Chisinau, Moldova ~ Bucharest, Brasov, Sibiu, Timisoara, Romania ~ Salzburg, Vienna, Austria ~ Budapest, Hungary ~ Munich, Frankfurt, Germany ~ London, England ~ New York City ~ Miami, Florida

December 2017.

 

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END OF YEAR PRODUCT REVIEW: RHODIA NOTEBOOKS & WRITING PADS

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” ― Anaïs Nin

Last December I was sitting in a cafe and got to thinking about what a friend had suggested to me ~ she said “since your blog is growing and you lead a rather unique existence traveling from city to city, country to country all year long, why not ask for some sponsors to help you along your journey?” 

I didn’t know what to think of that because I don’t want a lot of stuff, I just need the essentials. In the cafe, I looked at what was in front of me: a coffee (Hey Lavazza, wanna sponsor me?) and a pen and my Rhodia pad. And I thought, since I’m always buying a supply of Rhodia pads once a year to get me through to the next — why not try to email them and see if I might be able to explain my history with their stationery and to see if I could get a few for my 2017 travels and to help promote their brand at the same time ~ the response came quickly and within a couple of weeks, I got my Rhodias for the year! 

I use my Rhodia pads for trip planning, for artist interview notes, for anecdotes intended to go into a much larger written work at some point, and for general observations on my adventures. 

I love my Rhodias because of the various sizes I can use, and because sometimes I want dotted, sometimes blank, and most of the time, lined paper to write on.

I took my Rhodia Pads all over the world with me this year to:

Beirut, Lebanon ~ Cocoa Beach, Florida ~ Bucharest, Brasov, Sibiu, Timisoara, Romania ~ Budapest, Hungary ~ Salzburg, Vienna, Austria ~ Munich, Frankfurt Germany ~ New York City ~ Chisinau, Moldova ~ Transnistria

Please check out their website for all of their stationery collections. There will be a collection that’s just perfect for you: https://rhodiapads.com

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Leaning against a mural for an artist interview in Cocoa Beach, Florida
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Writing thoughts on a train from Salzburg, Austria to Munich, Germany.
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Writing morning thoughts on my balcony in Beirut, Lebanon.
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Sitting in a garden in Bucharest, Romania.
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Trying to figure out where to go next whilst sitting somewhere in Romania
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With me on my very first visit to the most famous restaurant in Bucharest, Romania: Caru cu Bere!
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Artist interview with Izzy Izvne in Chisinau, Moldova
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Writing notes in Transnistria. Photo by: Svitlana Bulkina
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Having a beer at Caru cu Bere in Bucharest, Romania
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For jotting thoughts down on long bike rides
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On the subway in New York City

December 2017

END OF YEAR PRODUCT REVIEW: CARABINER – LIGHTNING FROM NOMAD

“OWN LESS, LIVE MORE”

https://www.hellonomad.com

I’m a nomad. I’m a minimalist. I own a few things. My things will never own me. I do not want to travel the world with anything that I don’t need; that I don’t see as practical, useful, and light. For this reason, last December, I sought out a few companies that shared my philosophy about life, adventure, and travel. I found Nomad’s website and searched to see if there was anything I could use, and to reciprocate, if there was anything I could help promote.

Well, I don’t have a phone. I already told you I was a minimalist. So, that left out any need of their awesome accessories for smartphone cases or smartwatch straps. I’m a blogger and a photographer. I do need constant charging capabilities for my iPad and cameras with usb cables (preferably short with no messy wires.) I took a chance and let the guys know who I was, what I did, and what I would love from Nomad to take around the globe with me.

They gave me a Lightning carabiner that I still have and still use constantly, a carabiner for my GoPro (sad to say that was lost or stolen somewhere in Beirut – hey, that’s the life of a nomad, and hopefully someone else is out there using it,) and a rugged cable, which they say lasts at least five years, but I can’t imagine it not still working for me in a decade from now.

Take my word for it – my year’s experience with these products – if there was any problem at all, I would share it here, as I’m not guaranteed to get any more gear from them for 2018. I’m staying true to who I am and I want other minimalist adventurers to have the opportunity to travel as light and efficiently as possible, too.

My Nomad goods travelled with me in 2017 to:

Beirut, Lebanon ~ Cocoa Beach, Florida ~ Chisinau, Moldova ~ Bucharest, Brasov, Sibiu, and Timisoara, Romania ~ Salzburg and Vienna, Austria ~ Budapest, Hungary ~ Munich and Frankfurt, Germany ~ London, England ~ New York City, New York ~ Miami, Florida 

and it kept my stuff charged up so that I could keep my blog going everywhere along the way!

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On the beach in Cocoa Beach, Florida – so small and light, just hooks onto my backpack
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On location for a photo shoot for my blog at artist David Rothman’s mural in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
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Charging my iPad with the lightning carabiner connected to my laptop
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On location for a photo shoot for my blog at artist Izzy Izvne’s wall in Chisinau, Moldova.
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An end-of-the-year return to Cocoa Beach and the Nomad carabiner is still going strong

December 2017

If you are interested in checking out all of the minimalist gear that Nomad has to offer, please click on the link at the top of the page ~ Happy New Year!!

 

 

 

PRODUCT REVIEW: NOMAD CARABINER LIGHTNING CLIP

As a true minimalist, and as airport security standards were becoming more stressful and cumbersome, I found myself seeking solutions for traveling with as little as possible at the outset of this year. The first thing I did, was ask myself how I could have one lightning cable to sync devices (not 3 or 4 – every reduction of items counts when your aim is to travel as lightly as possible, trust me!) Then, I wondered how I could have something that was easily accessible (not having to search numerous pockets in bags for it) and I found this Nomad Carabiner-Lightning Clip. It truly has been the answer to my travel quandary. https://www.hellonomad.com/carabiner-lightning?gclid=Cj0KEQjwmIrJBRCRmJ_x7KDo-9oBEiQAuUPKMl5LdtR4h8W4NM3jLgavFPceIxNwXGbnFOB3U3tMCy0aAtuo8P8HAQ
I love it because I can clip it on and take it off of any bag at any moment, depending on my needs. It is so compact that I don’t have to deal with unruly cables when I sync my Mini iPad to my laptop. There’s no “mess” when I need to do this quickly, like on a short layover in an airport or a transfer at a bus station (and it doesn’t draw attention to all of the devices I’m carrying, with cables expansively spread – in case ‘strangers’ are curious and want to illegally obtain my belongings.)
Thus far this year, I’ve taken it to Beirut, Lebanon, on my street art adventures in New York City, on my trail adventures in upstate New York, on graffiti hunts in Orlando, Florida, and on bike riding excursions along the beach coast in Florida. It is durable, the clip stays strong, it hasn’t loosened at all. It’s capable of rugged living, for sure, but it is not certified to serve as an actual climbing carabiner if you’re planning an Everest trip, let’s say. For more information on this incredible minimalist travel accessory, please check it (and all of the other products they offer!) out at: https://www.hellonomad.com

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Strong and durable clip. 
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Charging and syncing in a hotel in Beirut, Lebanon. Feb2017
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At the beach. April 2017.
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Being “rugged” in upstate New York. March 2017.
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As a keychain…
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With the iPAD mini. (Apple MFi approved)
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Hanging out on a rucksack on Florida’s Space Coast. May 2017
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More charging and syncing in Cocoa Beach, FL. May 2017.