VINA SUCCESS STORY: HOW HEY! VINA HELPED TWO WOMEN FOLLOW THEIR ARTISTIC PASSIONS

We’re back with another amazing Hey! VINA success story! Lauren and Megan, two creatives who each run their own Etsy shops, connected through their love of art shows, craft fairs, and trying new foods by connecting through our app.

“The friends that I have, I’ve known since I was in kindergarten. But they don’t always like doing things that I’m interested in, or they don’t have time. You know, work, family, newly married life,” said Lauren when asked about what brought her to use the VINA app. “Time can go by so fast before you even notice how long it’s been since you’ve seen your girls. So I was super excited to discover the Hey! VINA app, which changed that for me.”

Megan and Lauren.

As for Megan, she “had just moved to Chicago, and I wanted to find new friends and grow a new support network in my new city!”

Making lasting friendships wasn’t always the easiest endeavor for Lauren before she discovered VINA. “Sometimes I would meet a girl that I liked and seemed cool, and it never ended up going anywhere. The connections were a miss.” This, however, changed once she met Megan!

“It was friendship at first bite. We met up at DMK Burger bar during the summer over a year ago, and Megan had a big, bright smile on her face and gave me a huge hug. It was over an hour, it was such a blast because the food was so good as well as the company, and the conversations we were having,” she recalled. “I remember it was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm and lots of laughs, which I love!”

Megan and Lauren discussed their love of blue cheese, being creatives, as well as being kindred spirits. “We just went back to DMK burger yesterday to celebrate Galentine’s Day and to the movies afterward and it was the best! We had so much fun,” Lauren shares.

Their friendship elevated to another level when they found out they both created their own products for their Etsy shops. Along with “talk[ing] shop, guys and everything and nothing every time [they] meet,” the two provide each other with advice “on customer problems, marketing ideas and even photo shoots of our products!”

Megan’s business is called Iris Atelier Couture. When asked about how Lauren has helped her, she said, “Lauren has such a vast about of knowledge from working in a creative company, that I can ask her anything, and I really value her opinion, she’s been selling a lot longer than me and she has her own goals and aspirations for her business that I admire.  I think having someone that is going through the same struggle of dealing with an online business has been such a huge help! She’s an amazing and supportive friend. I’ve grown so much, creatively, from having Lauren as one of my best friends!”

Conversely, Lauren weighs in on her business and how Megan has helped her.

“Pineapple Sundays Design Studio is all about celebrating and bringing more positive vibes into your everyday through our products and designs. I started this business back in 2017 after closing my old shop and rebranding.”

“Megan was a big help when I started my first line of products, she was so generous enough to lend me her camera so I could take pictures of my products. She also has modeled for me as well, so we are constantly helping each other out like that, and I love that we have that creative bond,” said Lauren.

“The first line are products that anyone can use in their self-care routine. For me, reading is a form of self-care and one of my favorite me time things to do. I created enamel-chained bookmarks and a metal bookmark in the shape of the golden snitch from Harry Potter, one of my fave reads! This year I’m planning on expanding my line more with additional products centered around self-care; all things I find important when navigating through life.”

Since both girls are “total foodies,” they enjoy checking out new places they find on Instagram.

“During the summer, we love to go to outdoor art fairs like the Renegade Craft fair, Jenny’s to get ice cream and the Lakeview Taco Fest. I was not a beer drinker until I met Megan—I drink it all the time now. She basically says I like beer that doesn’t taste like beer, which is so true,” Lauren said.

Sometimes, the girls vent out their frustrations over brunch and ice cream, while reflecting on how they’ve helped each other grow their creativity.

“Megan is actually the main reason why I took a leap of faith and started to develop my first line of products. Last year, she quit her job and decided to do her business full time. I told myself, ‘if Megan can do that, I can develop and produce my products’— and that’s exactly what I did! She inspired me to go after my dreams as well. When I am working on new designs, I always get her opinion, especially when I’m designing Harry Potter designs because she’s a Potter Head like me,” she added.

As for those who may be too nervous to reach out to other girls on VINA, Megan said, “A friend should like you for who you are! So just be yourself, find someone with similar interest or hobbies and start asking questions, and see if you too would be a good match as friends!”

Lauren chimed in to say, “Just go for it! If you’re afraid, just do it anyways. Since being on the Hey! VINA app, it’s given me more confidence when talking with strangers. Megan and I totally made friends with a girl working at Lush; her vibes were amazing, and we were like: ‘We should totally ask her to be our friend.’ We ended up going out to dinner the next week, so that was really cool. It all starts with a hello and a smiley face.”

Go on Instagram and follow both Megan’s business: @iris.atelier &
Lauren’s business: @pineapple.sundays! And while you’re at it, check out
Hey! VINA to find a bestie that will build you up just like Megan and Lauren did for each other.

 

COLORING BOOKS YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU NEEDED IN YOUR LIFE

Adult coloring books had their moment a few years ago—and the category is still going strong. In fact, there are a ton of new coloring books on the market right now that are creating buzz. We all need to release our inner kid, and lucky for us, psychologists have found that there are many benefits linked to coloring, like helping to reduce stress and improving parts of the brain that control vision and creativity. 

So kick back, check these out and get coloring!

THE BADASS FEMINIST COLORING BOOK

Celebrate these 40 modern-day feminists with this coloring book. In between coloring these badass women, this book also has bonus feminist essays included. It’s perfect for vinas who love to color, empower, and embrace being a woman.

Buy it here.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: A COLORING CLASSIC

Jane Austen quotes and beautiful, intricate designs? Count us in! Indulge in artistic renderings of scenes from the iconic novel and accurate depictions of Victorian household objects. And if you haven’t already, pick up the book and enjoy!

Buy it here.

j-kelly-brito-603267-unsplash

CHEER THE F*UCK UP: AN IRREVERENTLY POSITIVE ADULT COLORING BOOK

When you’re in need of cheering up, grab this coloring book. It’s full of positive quotes, casual curse words, and ways to lift your mood. With 37 illustrations ranging from simple to complex, you can color-in mermaids, fairies, animals, and abstract designs while expressing all the things you can’t always say. 

Buy it here.

KICK-ASS WOMEN OF HISTORY & MYTH: ADULT COLORING BOOK

If you loved the first coloring book, but desire other historical and mythical #girlbosses, look no further! It’s filed with illustrations of figures like Cleopatra, Sappho, and a Harlem Renaissance star and not to mention, sassy biographies of these amazing women are also included.

Buy it here.

mint-owl-529338-unsplash.jpg

FRIENDSHIP COLORING BOOK

Whether you buy it for yourself or for one of your vinas, let the zany and fun drawings in this book remind you of the power of friendship that can last a lifetime. This book is perfect for a gift or even a VINA date!

Buy it here.

Want to finding a coloring crew? Join the Artists and Designers community or the DIY Lovers community on VINA and get planning!🎨

THE SUMMER THAT CHANGED MY LIFE

In the summer of 2017, I moved 3,000 miles away from my friends and family and into a world I barely knew. As daunting as it already was, it didn’t help that I had a mild case of FOMO and separation anxiety. Months before my departure to Iceland, I always heard phrases like, “You’re so lucky!” or “I could only dream to do the things you’re doing.” As I am very fortunate to have landed an internship at one of the largest publications in the country and be accepted to a post-graduate program at the University of Iceland, obtaining these opportunities was never a massive struggle for me. It was something that just happened.

Being isolated from the only life I’ve ever known, I was granted with something extremely valuable: time. Many people go through life and are never able to take a break to reflect upon themselves. Months alone gave me just that. Iceland is where I believe true reflection, creativity, and self-improvement thrives; at least from a foreigner’s perspective.

alone-dawn-daylight-325520

The atmosphere, the nature, the art scene—everything captured me. I have discovered I don’t get this feeling when I am back home because of the difference of my lifestyle there. At home, I live in a constant routine of choosing fun over personal growth. I go to my retail job, spend more money than I should going to concerts with friends—an experience I seldom enjoy—and if I’m not occupied for even a second, I will message anyone just to fill the time. I never give myself the chance to be alone and discover who I am.

I missed the routine of being with friends and being “productive” in ways that didn’t aid in my growth. Inertia at its best. I’m not saying spending time with best friends is hindering, but it takes up so much energy. This energy is not able to put into reflection on who I am becoming as a young adult. If it wasn’t for my friends, there would be a lot I would have not discovered about myself. However, I have learned that they can only take me halfway to self discovery and the rest is up to me. I’ve learned how to be alone and how to enjoy the best moments of my life with no one to share them with. I can only share my stories, and even then, I could never tell them in a way that replicates how I truly felt, but that’s OK. It’s OK because it’s my experience, and it’s changing me for the better.

Not everyone will have the privilege to move far away and be put into a different world, but at some point in everyone’s life, they will be in a situation where they are completely alone. This is when time is on your side. I believe time and loneliness are linked and in a way, it is a unique gift. Having the time to work on yourself – by yourself – is precious. Whenever I let my heartache get the best of me, I use that energy to focus on how I can better myself. I learned how to be emotionally independent and secure in my relationships. There were countless many moments that I felt alone and didn’t know where I was going, but I kept going. It was a long way to travel for something so uncertain, but I found what I was looking for where I least expected it.

If you’re traveling and want to meet new vinas, just join the Hey! VINA app and update your location settings!

30 BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU TURN 30

While many people claim to not be into reading, we like to think that those people just haven’t found the right book to curl up with. While we agree that nothing is better than Netflix, a great read can reduce stress and help you learn something new. So before you’re truly adulting (30 is the new 20, right?), check out these classic books!

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR TALES OF TRIUMPH, READ…

1. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

While it was published in 1969, Maya Angelou’s personal coming-of-age story still stands as one of the best autobiographies you could read.

2. I am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

After surviving her attack, this young activist started an international movement and won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.

3. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Walls’ memoir depicts her childhood raised by dysfunctional and neglecting parents, and her eventual decision to leave.

4.  Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Before it was a movie starring Reese Witherspoon, Wild was the true story of a young woman tackling loss and the PCT trail.

5.  Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxanne Gay

Confronting society’s issues with her plus-size body, Gay isn’t looking for pity, just understanding.

6. Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World by Ann Shen

You’ll buy it for its illustrations, you’ll keep it for the amazing inspiration it gives you.

IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO IMPROVE YOURSELF, READ…

7. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

This self-help book is sarcastic, funny, and just what you might need to hear.

8. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This book may be old but its lessons still stand, even more so today.

9. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Manson focuses less on being positive and more on embracing the scary and uncomfortable parts of life.

10. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

Having spent years studying what makes Denmark the happiest country in the world, Wiking shares his insights in this book.

11. You Do You by Sarah Knight

Recommended for people-pleasers and perfectionists.

12.  Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans

Looking to regain some control in your life? These Silicon Valley designers will teach you how to design a life you’ll love.

sharon-garcia-459696-unsplash

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A COFFEE TABLE BOOK, READ…

13. The Atlas of Beauty: Women of the World in 500 Portraits by Mihaela Noroc

Take a break from Instagram and lose yourself in this visual collection of beauty as seen around the world.

14. Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton

Based on his popular blog, Stanton mixes his photography with the heartwarming and sometimes painful stories of New Yorkers.

15. National Geographic: The Photographs by Leah Bendavid-Val

Immerse yourself in the magazine’s most memorable photography of the past 25 years, along with anecdotes from the photographers.

16. The Polaroid Book by Barbara Hitchcock

This book showcases more than 400 amateur individual photos taken with a Polaroid.

17. Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places by National Geographic

Another National Geographic pick, this book showcases the most breathtaking vacation destinations along with information for future travelers.

18. 1000 Record Covers by Michael Ochs

Featuring album art from the ’60s to the ’90s, this book acts as a gallery for record covers and is sure to make you feel a little nostalgic.

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR SOME CAREER INSPIRATION, READ…

19. Ask a Manager by Alison Green

From workplace gossip to holiday parties, this book is the guide to navigating the workplace.

20. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

This Facebook COO shares her insight after years in the workplace. Recommended for recently-graduated vinas.

21. Mistakes I Made at Work by Jessica Bacal

Everybody makes mistakes—and the influential women in this book share what they’ve learned from them.

22. The Kinfolk Entrepreneur by Nathan Williams

Perfect for aspiring entrepreneurs, this book showcases individuals from different industries and different countries.

23. In The Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists and Entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney

Featuring over 100 women in creative fields, this book is inspiration for any vina with a passion.

24. Little Black Book: A Toolkit for Working Women by Otegha Uwagba

This travel size handbook is perfect if you’re looking for quick, no-nonsense advice.

IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO REVISIT THE CLASSICS, READ…

25. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This coming-of-age story depicts serious issues like racism, yet still manages to warm your heart.

26. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

We love Leonardo DiCaprio, but this story of love and deception in 1920s America is much better read than watched.

27. 1984 by George Orwell

“Big Brother is watching” will forever be an iconic line with this dystopian novel.

28. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The love story between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy is not only iconic, it’s charming and hilarious.

29. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Get ready to cry with this beautiful story of friendship, betrayal and redemption spanning several years and set in Afghanistan.

30. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Following a young shepherd’s journey to find a treasure, this story is one that will stay with you for a long time.

How many of these books have you read and loved? If you’re looking for a friend to talk books with or to start a book club, download Hey! VINA and join the Lit Lovers community!

SOMEWHERE WOMEN ARE ALWAYS THRIVING: ARTIST MARKETS

Art is an ineffable thing. That little word attempts to describe so many different mediums of the creative mind. Most of us are artists in our own way; even if we are not, there are many different types of art out in the world to be appreciated by all.

A few weekends ago I attended a Makers Mart in Sacramento, both as a vendor and consumer. I, myself, was not selling any of my own creations; however, I was assisting my friend sell her film photography prints. The Makers Market is held twice a year and the vendors sell everything from paintings to jewelry, cool metal mobiles to vegan gelato! Equipped with live music, beer and food, a person could spend an entire day there (as I did).

There were so many female creatives there, it was baffling. As I perused the items for sale, I interrogated a couple of the vendors. Below, I highlighted three of the merchants. I asked each of them one question pertaining to the market and all their answers shared a similar theme of community, support and persistence (all the best attributes of a feminist attitude).

ROXANNE YOUNG

Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 2.50.13 PM

Emily Baedeker wearing Young’s Rainbow Fiber Earrings, via @leblondewhisperer

Roxanne Young is a jewelry designer based in San Francisco. She specializes in textile jewelry and wearable art. When asked if she has a “nine to five” in addition to her jewelry business, her response was authentic and unintentionally humorous. She rolled her eyes (just slightly) and said, “kind of… I have a four year old son.” So you can say, without hesitation, she definitely has another full time job; and he probably monopolizes her time during all hours of the day (not just nine to five).

Young has participated in many markets like this and she asserts that there is never a guarantee that one will break even. The best way to utilize a market is to network. There was one particular market that Young was a participant in a few years ago, at which she actually lost money. However, she met a business owner who started selling her jewelry in their brick-and-mortar store where Young’s jewelry has been sold ever since. Two key takeaways here are: don’t lose hope if you do not find immediate results, and make as many friends as possible.

JENNA RAE

I swear I possess no bias because she is my friend… Jenna Rae Gundelach is an uber talented photographer. As a California native, she currently resides in Oakland and like any good photographer, she always has her camera ready. Gundelach can make some of the most uptight and unphotogenic people look très chic (i.e. my mom).

 

This market was her first (ever) attempt at selling her prints in a public venue. Her set up was laid-back and inviting, with the hope of enticing the passive shoppers to step under her tent and take a gander at her selection of entirely film photography prints.

Gundelach’s advice to other artists looking to dip their toes into the market of artist markets: bring some of your friends to be advocates for your art. It can be really difficult to sell yourself, for no one wants to come across narcissistic. So have some of your more talkative and supportive friends with you in order to brag to perspective buyers about how amazing you are at whatever it is you do. I talked her up to a someone from Sunset Magazine, a local barber who is looking for a photographer to collaborate on a cool look-book for his business, and many more potentially life-altering networking opportunities. It helps, of course, that her prints are truly breathtaking.

SAVANNAH

One of the youngest vendors present, at twenty-three, Savannah Nicholson is already able to support herself solely on her jewelry business, Anahata Rae. She has a bright smile and a beautiful soul, maintaining that each item she designs is “intended to bring joy and beauty into the world.” How sweet is that? Her jewelry is trendy (in the best way), and beautifully presented.

Nicholson was able to become fully dependent on Anahata Rae in January of this year. Having lived in Sacramento, the Bay Area, and now San Luis Obispo, she has participated in many markets. She upholds that there is a definite learning curve when it comes to selling in a market setting. The first couple of times are not guaranteed success, but after one figures out the best way for their products to draw people in, one will see a steady increase in sales.

After spending all day in the ninety-something degree heat, I left having only made one purchase (besides the vegan gelato, twice), and it was the Luna Necklace from Anahata Rae.

All of these artists held a common sentiment about the Makers Mart. At marts like these, there is always a chance of a competitive atmosphere; however, all of the vendors seemed to be happy to come together as a community of artists in order to build each other up. I saw multiple vendors buying from each other, making business connections, and becoming friends.

Always support your vinas in their creative endeavors and make sure you have vinas who will do so for you. If not (or if you just want more), download the Hey! VINA app to meet more great gals in your area.

If you are looking for a market like this to attend or sell at, here are a few that are coming up:

Renegade Craft Fair
San Francisco: July 15 + 16 (this weekend)
Chicago: July 14-16
Seattle: July 22 + 23
Portland (OR): July 29 + 30
(additional locations/dates can be found by following the link above)

Artists and Fleas
Williamsburg: every Sat-Sun
Soho: All week, every week!
LA- Venice: Every 2nd and 4th Saturday

And if you don’t reside near a big city, google your local flea markets to support the creatives in your area!

Comment below your favorite markets to attend and/or the coolest thing you ever bought at a market. 

(Feature image via @rstreetblockparty)

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATIVE SIDE PROJECTS

There are so many advantages to having a side project, especially if it’s something that pulls out your creativity. I love my job. I truly do. But my job doesn’t define me, nor is it what my life revolves around.

To stay sane, I freelance and work on a couple of passion projects. And you know what? My boss loves it because it keeps me happy and motivated, which in turn, makes me a better worker for my company.

I am a firm believer in the fact you need to make time for the things you love. By doing so, you’ll create a healthy work/life balance and not feel drained by your day job. It should go without saying, but it’s important to not lose your passions after you accept a job, especially if your new profession is demanding.

When you have a steady income, that can make the side projects you have feel much more fulfilling. There isn’t pressure to hold down your creative side, You have the freedom to try different things, like taking the cooking class you always wanted to try. Take up painting or photography. I write in my spare time; throughout the work day, I’m able to write a bit on breaks and over lunch. Not only does it feed my soul, it boosts my brain and gives me a burst of energy, especially when I have hit a wall.

The other nice thing about having a day job and with various passion projects on the side is that it not only shows you can manage your time well, but that you have a diverse set of interests. This builds your set of skills too, which makes your resume look great when you’re looking for a new job.

You can even turn your creative side projects into money makers. Become an expert in something you enjoy by taking an online class or getting a certification, then doing some freelance work on the side.

Keeping a creative side hustle keeps your brain sharp, your resume stacked, and your life full. Make time for something you love each day – your soul will thank you!

Do you have a side hustle or creative project to keep you sane outside of working hours? Let us know how it keeps you or your vina happy in the comments!

(Featured Image via Wattpad

HOW TO DESIGN BUSINESS CARDS THAT WILL IMPROVE YOUR NETWORKING GAME

Picture this, vinas: you’re at a killer networking event with influential people in your industry. You’re shaking hands, having inspiring conversations with total game changers and sharing the latest with your new networking circle. Just as you’re finishing a totally stellar conversation, they ask for your business card. Your heart skips because you haven’t updated your business card in a while. They hand over their totally innovative card. Here’s how to beat the anxiety and wow them back with your stellar stationary!

BASIC BE GONE 

The basic weight of a business card is expected. Yawn. But you can chose a business card that is a bit heavier than normal. When you hand over the card, you’ll leave the impression that you are willing to go the extra mile with even the smallest details.

Image result for thick business card

Photo via Template.net

GET WITH THE FEELING

The texture of a business card can also make a difference. Incorporating as many senses as possible really helps. You can get a business card that is textured or sleek. There are even business cards that are textured in a special way so that they are eco-friendly and grow into flowers! Don’t be afraid to get creative!

SHAPE SHIFTING

The ho-hum standard rectangle is out. Triangles, circles, or stars are a fun way to make your business card stand out. You could even have cutouts of different shapes on your business card. If you’re a musician, you could make your card in the shape of a music note. If you are a stylist, you could make a card in the shape of a hanger! It’s totally adorable and also shows you know how to brand your business well.

Image result for circle business card

Photo via Got Print

LISA FRANK TOLD ME TO

If there’s something that Lisa Frank knows…it’s how to make use of color! White backgrounds have been used over and over, again. Some colors that stand out are silver, gold, neon or transparent. If your business or service is already associated with a particular color, go for that one! Don’t forget to add your logo if you have one that identifies your product or service.

GET SOCIAL

With the tech-savvy world that we live in, today, it is completely beneficial to include your social media information on your business cards. This has two benefits: people can see that you are a total pro at managing your social media accounts and they can be led directly your website or to purchase your product or service (or learn more about you)!

Image result for social media business card

Photo via Dribbble

SPACE OUT

The days of the one-sided business card are over, vinas! Make use of your creative space by using both side of the business card for your information. For example, if you’re an artist, you could use one side of the business card to display your contact and social media information. On the other side of the business card you could show off your latest piece.

Image result for double sided business card

Photo via Pintrest

MEMORABLE PARTING

The best way to leave a lasting impression when you hand over your business card is to use open body language, flash a killer smile, and let them know you would love to follow up with them by “x” date. Let the awesome person you are giving your business card to know that this isn’t just a piece of paper with information on it, but a opportunity to create an awesome new relationship!

So, next time someone asks for your contact information, you can proudly hand over your killer business card with confidence! Now go out there and rock your new social networks, vinas!

What’s your fave business card design? Tag a vina and comment below! 


(Featured Image via Grants from the Government)

THE PERFECT AFTERNOON FOR ARTSY BAY AREA GALS

Hey vinas! I know vina dates are usually all about brunch and bars, but the Bay Area is actually home to some of the coolest street art! So, grab your vina and let’s take a walk!

OAKLAND

We’ll start our journey in North Oakland at 6510 San Pablo Ave. to find an elaborate mural of a super trippy, squid-like faces on the side of the building!

GATS.jpg

Artist: GATS

Next, let’s head south on San Pablo toward Adeline to meet some stunning giants wearing exquisite headdresses!

colombo.png

Artist: Joey Colombo

Now that we’re on Adeline, we’ll peep some cool pink art by the bada** crew, “Girl Mobb”! Make sure not to miss the big pursed lips, passing 34thgirlmobb.jpg

And since we’re almost in West Oakland anyway, let’s keep walkin’!

On 24th and Mandela Pkwy, we’ll find a big ole group of monsters hanging out behind Buchanan Auto Shop.

CAOAKmonsters_dk6257_620x300.jpg

Artists: Ernest Doty, Griffin One, Skinner

And as we head further west, we can spot the awesome futuristic goddess surrounded by all kinds of geometric designs, on 17th and Peralta.

Oakland1.jpg

Artists: Joshua Mays, Santos Shelton, David Polka

Now, we’ll head uptown to the ultimate mural—The Oakland Palestine Solidarity mural, which spans a whole block! The cultural and political imagery is quite striking, and it’ll definitely remind you why Oakland is such a wonderful place.

PalestineSolidarityleft.jpg

Collaboration of ten artists including Emory Douglas, Deadeyes, Susan Greene, Nidal El Khairy, and Dina Matar

 

Honestly vinas, this little walk is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to public art in the Bay Area! So next time you’re just out and about, look around you because I guarantee you will find hidden gems if not grand murals!

Feature Image via Instagram @sharmaine_xo

Which one of these is your fave? Let us know in the comments!

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH FEATURE: AFENI SHAKUR

It’s Women’s History Month and we want to make sure we give props where props are due! So, here are some cool facts about Afeni Shakur!

The late Afeni Shakur was much more than just the mother of hip hop legend, 2pac. She was a revolutionary.

Born Alice Faye Williams in Lumberton, North Carolina she changed her name to Afeni Shakur when she moved to New York City and became a member of the Black Panther Party, a revolutionary black socialist and nationalist organization.  

In 1969, Shakur along with others were arrested for conspiring to bomb public buildings. Against everyone’s advice, she acted as her own criminal defense lawyer and with no formal education, won her freedom in 1971. She gave birth to one of the most iconic and memorable artists in history, Tupac Shakur just thirty-four days after being released from prison.

pacandma

In 1995, Tupac made her the subject of his classic song, “Dear Mama” in which he shared his undying love and support for his mother. And after his death in 1996, she founded the Tupac Amaru Shakur foundation, which provided art programs for young people.

In 2003, she produced and even starred in a documentary film about the life, career and death of her son, titled Tupac: Resurrection. She also produced a Broadway musical titled, Holla if Ya Hear Me also based on her son’s life.  She died last May at the age of 69, but, like her son, she left a legacy. There’s a biopic, All Eyez on Me  about her sons life in the works, in which Afeni was an executive producer, where actress Danai Gurira plays Afeni Shakur.

Throughout her life, Afeni Shakur stayed dedicated to supporting and fighting for the rights of voiceless people while also maintaining her late son’s legacy. From revolutionary, mother, philanthropist and producer – we take time to honor the late Afeni Shakur for her many contributions to the world.

And in the words of her late son we let her know, “You are appreciated”.

How has Afeni’s story inspired you? Tell us in the comments!

[NSFW] PUSSY ART WE LOVE: IN HONOR OF INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ZERO TOLERANCE FOR FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION

Even though hardly anything is NSFW anymore, if you’ve got a strict boss you may want to save this one for home. This post contains anatomically correct art of vaginas!!

Today is International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. From the war on reproductive rights in the US to the cutting of female genitals in Somalia, the claim on and brutalization of women’s bodies seems universal. Today, February 6th, we advocate the abandonment of FGM everywhere. And as we reject the violation of the rights of women and girls around the world, we must also celebrate the bodies of those with vaginas! These artists do so beautifully, check out the pussy art we love!