Posts tagged with "social media"

The Gnarled Branch illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Q×A with The Gnarled Branch

Q&A with David Irvine from The Gnarled Branch

David Irvine is the multi-talented artist behind the Gnarled Branch. He is known for his imaginative ‘Re-Directed Paintings’, whimsical furniture, original paintings, painted burnt out light bulb ornaments, salvaged record paintings, and so much more. You can visit his Etsy shop here! You can see throughout his work that there is an interest with popular characters which brings life to the rural paintings he often re-directs. Irvine will match the original artist’s style within the painting or counter it intentionally, but he always leaves the original signature clear to see. There’s a story behind each of his works, including the painting “The Last Trick or Treater” which is one of Irvine’s favorites. Read on to learn more about David’s work, inspiration, and so much more.

What is your background – in addition, did your upbringing prompt a specific reference point within your work? Is your work informed by certain concepts or themes from your childhood, background, socioeconomic status, where you lived or were raised?

DI: I was fortunate to be raised by parents who appreciated all the arts. Going to see theatre shows, music performances, and gallery exhibits were always exciting. I was encouraged to develop with the visual arts and musically as well with regular music lessons and art lessons. They were at first concerned when I decided to pursue a career in the visual arts, as they knew it can be a real struggle – but were fully supportive and excited that I was accepted into art college to study illustration.

How does this impact how you see the world and create art?

DI: It’s no secret the art world can be very snooty, takes itself far too seriously and that is a real shame. In a lot of the genres that I do- I am always considering humor and fun as elements in a piece. Especially during these difficult pandemic times, art needs to uplift and provide smiles and not be staunch, same old -same old themes that have been done over and over.

Do you have an educational background or experiences that have contributed to your evolution as an artist?

DI: I studied illustration at Sheridan College, and throughout my childhood would occasionally take art lessons. The rest was experimenting and being self-taught with various mediums and medium combinations. I taught visual art to a wide range of ages through community night school and was an art tutor to a terrific student with special needs. Those were very memorable years.

What does your work aim to say?

DI: I do so many different genres of art, I think there’s a spectrum of what I want to communicate…. from making people laugh and feel good — to the darker, macabre work to scare and bring the viewer into a world that they may not feel comfortable being in… I guess I make art to get a reaction… not just creating something for its sole purpose is to look pretty and match the sofa.

Is there a particular artist that inspired you to pursue art?

DI: My grandfather was an accomplished amateur painter and I’d watch him work and see the pieces he did… maybe that was the first seed…Other than that I would always sign out art books from the library and soak in everything from master painters to illustrators and cartoonists who worked presently.

Whose techniques do you study or admire?

DI: There are so many — but in high school, I always enjoyed Ralph Steadman ink illustrations, Van Gogh for his boldness, Rene Magritte for the unique and surreal visuals … Currently I’ll search through websites like Tumblr or magazines like Juxtapoz and discover artists both old and new who mix unusual mediums or have their own unique style.

How do you cultivate a collector base?

DI: When I first started as a fine artist, I didn’t have a computer- the internet wasn’t a thing yet, so I was reliant on physically going to galleries and public places to show my work. From little gift or record shops to restaurants and cafes. Now with technology, it’s just a matter of updating and refreshing social media, submitting articles to websites, or being lucky and being featured by a blog, website, or podcast…it all helps and a lot more convenient to be able to post an instructional video from home, or post new work in progress photos to a website, than to lug workaround or mail promo packages out to land a show. Once a collector is on board, having top-notch customer service skills and excellent communication is key…

What inspires you to paint?

DI: I’ll have a lot of eureka moments as I’m sketching or planning out new works or series….and I have to then see that eureka image come to fruition. It would drive me bananas having a good idea sitting there on a page and going nowhere. As well it is my chosen job- so those bills must get paid.

How do you look for new ways to challenge yourself?

DI: I get bored very easily… so challenges are always put in place to not get bored. Every artist has a spectrum of color they usually gravitate to when creating a piece…I like to switch things up and use the colors I don’t normally use or come up with different color combinations/ mixing. I’ll even wear tinted sunglasses so the colors I think I’m using wind up making happy accidents when I look at the piece without the sunglasses. Using oil pastels with acrylic paint… various types of inks and papers …are many variables that can be used to break away from regular tendencies when approaching a piece.

Do you have a favorite painting that you have completed? If so, can you tell us the story behind it?

DI: I did a solo show a few years ago with Halloween as the main theme. A few favorite paintings came out of that show including one called the Last Trick or Treater. It showed a bird’s eye view looking down onto an old tyme small hamlet, and one child in a ghost costume running down a street with a lantern. I think I captured the quiet of the night, and the bit of panic the boy was having as he was quickly trying to get home.

What inspired Re-Directed painting for you?

DI: When I first started as a fine artist, I had very little money and art supplies and framing was expensive. I would frequent yard sales and thrift shops to purchase old frames, lithographs on board, and existing canvas prints to paint over and frame. Around 2009 I started to paint weird imagery in an existing piece and then later one piece my Mom was getting rid of was a seascape -where I had the immediate vision of two reapers playing with a beachball. I painted them in, shared them on social media and things snowballed rather quickly from there. I came up with the term re-directed as I used that as a tag and hoped people would begin to associate it with me…and it worked! Other people now use that term – which is fine… I prefer that to ‘Improved Painting’…as I never meant to demean the original artist. All these redirected pieces were salvaged and unwanted and quite likely wind up as landfill. I hate waste and seeing potential thrown away. This was just another method to upcycle. I’ll spend considerable time touching up the piece from scratches, buffs or sun/ water damage then I’ll add in my own visions. ..never covering the signature of the original artist. Research is always done prior to any painting to insure it’s not of significant value. I rarely work on originals, always lithographs, canvas prints, or anonymous paint by numbers.

Is there anything that you would like to add?

DI: Even though most know my work through my ongoing Re-Directed thrift art series, I look forward to continuing my upcycling work (hand-painted ornaments using salvaged burnt-out light bulbs, pop art paintings on discarded, damaged vinyl records, beer cap pins, and redoing/painting discarded wooden furniture…) and preventing landfill.

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Photo Credit: David Irvine
Photo Credit: David Irvine
Photo Credit: David Irvine
Photo Credit: David Irvine
Kelly Dooley shot by Baz for 360 Magazine

Kelly Dooley QxA

Here at 360 Magazine, we were honored to speak with the athleisure pioneer and cannabis queen, Kelly Dooley. With her impressive, luxurious brands–Luxe Branding Haus and BodyRock Sport–Dooley stays busy revolutionizing how athletic wear can empower her customers. When she isn’t designing her avant-garde, fabulous pieces, Dooley can be found working with lifestyle and luxury cannabis brands, as well as involving herself with several real estate and technology projects. Dooley is a trailblazer who sets forth on her dreams with determination and undeniable spunk. We sat down with Kelly Dooley to speak about her recent sports bra design for Britney Spears, her best solutions for combatting stigma surrounding the cannabis industry, and how she finds inspiration.

What was it like creating a bra for superstar Britney Spears? How did you feel when you first found out about the project?

When I first launched BodyRock Sport in January 2010, I had an insatiable desire to beautify activewear for like-minded women that combined fitness and fashion in a way that had not been done before.

The moment that I found out that Britney Spears was rocking my $20,011 Eternal Love Sports Bra from my most popular Zip’ Up collection with the Jessica Moto leggings from my Show ‘Em Some Swagger collection in her comeback “Twister” music video was absolutely surreal. My baby, BodyRock Sport, was on fire. I was breaking all the rules and taking names–one celeb at a time. I was empowering women to love the skin they’re in, while pursuing my dream with reckless abandonment in the heart of New York City.

I neither made the sports bra nor the leggings specifically for her, but due to the intricacy of the design­–which included black and silver French silk and a diamond-eyed skull tassel attached to a solid gold zipper pull–and based on the purposely inflated price, I knew that the design would inevitably adorn an A-List celebrity. Britney was on my manifestation list and my dream came true with Godspeed. I was honored and proud of myself for achieving my goal. 2012 represented a dramatic turning point in the overwhelmingly lackluster world of athleisure, and I–the avant-garde, fabulous, over-educated and extremely quirky SoCal girl–was being heralded as one of the pioneers of the activewear industry.

I knew that my Dad was beaming down at me from heaven with pride. I recall getting hundreds of Google alerts because the music video went viral–not only because of the extravagant sports bra that she wore– but also because Britney Spears finally returned to the stage with a vengeance after overcoming her former hardships. She was also often seen out and about in Los Angeles rocking some of my other sports bra designs and booty shorts. Every now and then, I spot her in the tabloids or online wearing a design that I created a decade ago. The surge of gratitude never dissipates.

At the time, luxury activewear was virtually impossible to find so I felt passionate about innovating the industry that so desperately needed to evolve. Believe it or not, the first sports bra EVER was not even invented until 1977. The design looked as though it had been produced solely for hospital patients–not for vivacious women, like me, who prioritize both their inner and outer beauty. If wanting to look and feel my best makes me narcissistic, then I will unapologetically own that title. My entire squad of customers, all of whom represent a constellation of stars, are stellar in their own ways.

What is your artistic process in creating a new piece? More specifically, how did you come up with the design for the iconic bra?

My creative process is very Faulknerian in nature. I instinctively follow a stream-of-consciousness approach for everything in life when it comes to creativity­­–whether that be a sports bra design, a customized piece of furniture or a lavish dinner for a loved one. I go with, and grow with, the flow. My overarching objective in creating extravagant sports bras was two-fold.

On the one hand, I knew that I capitalize on the white space in the activewear industry by targeting my demographic, which had been egregiously disregarded for so long. I could not comprehend why bras like the one I envisioned in my head had not yet existed!

On the other hand, because I got my M.A. in Media, Culture and Communication Studies with an emphasis in social media and luxury consumption from New York University in 2008, I knew that I could strategically leverage social media at a time when Instagram was still in its infancy and when Facebook was ubiquitous, still existing as the epicenter for digital communication. Therefore, my ridiculously expensive, bespoke sports bra designs had viral appeal that would boost my website traffic; thereby introducing customers to my other eclectic, yet more affordable, designs that ranged from $44-$85. At the time, these prices were considered outrageous since the median, high end sports bra price industry wide was around $30.

Each design that launched was inspired by women who have inspired me. These woman include my Mom, who is my hero; my bestie Jasmine Kingsley, who is a queen in her own right currently dominating as a lawyer for HUDL in Lincoln, Nebraska and raising two beautiful mixed children with the love of her life. Further, the ZuZu Bra was named after my beautiful hair stylist and make-up artist, Zuleika Acosta. She now owns hair salon in Brooklyn called ZuZu Studio. I am so proud of all of the dreams that she manifested with unwavering intention since the second I met her while getting my hair styled at Bumble and Bumble’s styling bar at Bloomingdales on 59th in New York City back in 2010. Even Angelina Jolie, when she starred in Tomb Raider sexily clad in black leather [has been an inspiration].

Every creation that I created was different, just like the plethora of exceptional women who inspired the design. [These creations] empower women to love the skin they’re in. [The designs] encourage them to fully embrace their femininity with just enough bite to remain authentic in a society that has successfully brainwashed females into idealizing an unrealistic standard of beauty. [This unrealistic standard of beauty] exacerbates mental health issues worldwide by diminishing self-esteem, which has proven globally to be utterly detrimental.

There were seven staple collections based on women’s respective needs, dubbed: (1) Dim Your Headlights; (2) Keep ’em in; (3) Lock ’em Down, (4) Show ’em Off; (5) The Empower ’em Collection, which was marketed as the world’s most fashionable mastectomy bra endorsed by Giuliana Rancic; (6) Yogansita; and (7) Zip ’em Up. I also had an assortment of booty shorts, capris, cycling shorts, gloves, leggings, moto-jackets, swimwear, and tops.

The Zip ’em Up Collection was hands down the most popular collection. From that collection came The Sophia Bra: a pink, ditsy, floral Supplex adorned with a gold zipper. [The Sophie Bra], embellished with a combination of gold studs and Swarovski crystals on the piping, was the star of the show. The same month that Britney Spears reminded the world of who she was by wearing The Eternal Love Bra, The Sophia Bra got confirmed for Oprah’s O List, which was another goal that I was determined to manifest.

Where do you usually find inspiration for designing with your company Luxe Branding Haus? 

The world is my playground. I’ve had the unique privilege of living in Southern California, Boston, New York City, and studied abroad in 8 different countries, from middle school through graduate school . I travel all over the world as an explorer.

This montage of vivid experiences has helped me develop a global perspective and a sophisticated eye that is heavily influenced by architecture and interior design. Luxury fashion from the world’s most reputable brands, [including] Louis Vuitton, sets the precedent not only for customer service. [Vuitton’s] artful, fashion-forward yet elegant design, and overall quality [sets the standard].

[Dooley finds inspiration] by being a voracious reader with a monomaniacal desire to eternally innovate, whilst blazing a purposeful trail in every industry that I strut my fancy feet into while living a life of purpose. More than anything, it’s my heart and hustle that sets me, as the founder, apart. Coupled with the juxtaposition of luxury design, social media marketing, and postmodernism, that is what makes Luxe Branding Haus such an avant-garde and purpose-driven company.

Rather than thinking outside-the-box, as many creatives are naturally inclined to do, I design as if there is no box– because the norm does not interest me. Basic [fashion]–such as Coach, Lululemon and Michael Kors, for example– are of no interest to me. In a world of disempowering monotony, standing out is an absolute anomaly and is a surefire way to create positive change in a world that is controlled with fear, rather than trusted with faith. Why blend in when I was born to stand out?

We all live in the same world, but not on the same frequency. Luxe Branding Haus follows the same luxury strategies invented in Europe and [has been] developed worldwide by predominantly French and Italian brands. We have several lifestyle and luxury cannabis brands launching in California this year as well as several game-changing real estate and technology projects. [They] are going to influence each respective industry indefinitely through integrated, cause-based marketing and other non-traditional strategies. [Through these projects, Dooley aims] to create positive change in a world that so desperately needs authenticity, genuine inspiration and a resurgence of utilitarian principles that will make the world a better place.

Is your personal style reflected in the pieces and styles you do for other people, or are the designs more-so dependent on the individual?

My designs are, often, heavily dependent on the individual. I have styled countless men and women over the last 13, years and I treat each project differently. To me, the human body is the equivalent of a blank canvas to an artist. Take, for example, Johannes Vermeer’s famous painting, “Girl with a Pearl Earring” from 1665. The combination of paint that he used and the brushes that he chose to create that world-renowned masterpiece is the same refined yet free-flowing process that I utilize when it comes to my designs. The only difference is that consumer products and humans are my canvas, and luxury design is the vehicle through which my visions come to life in full form.

How can the stigma surrounding the cannabis industry be best combatted?

Clinical trials, the decriminalization of cannabis, education, and luxury branding­, in my opinion, will play the most fundamental roles in de-stigmatizing the cannabis industry. Luxe Branding Haus is revolutionizing the cannabis industry. I am so excited for the slow trickle of our diverse assortment of brands, all of which will resonate with different demographics. At the same time, [these brands will aid in] educating and enhancing the lifestyles of our vast clientele and hopefully helping them achieve true bliss through holistic health via cannabis­–which is THE TRUTH–the universal panacea for virtually every ailment. All our brands are tied to a cause with the intention of boosting morality by imbuing the industry with pay-it-forward principles that will help mitigate some of the issues that have been so detrimental to humanity. My most fervent philanthropic passions are domestic violence awareness, mental health awareness, social equity, and suicide prevention.

How do you see the LA cannabis industry evolving in the next few years?

The LA cannabis industry will gradually commoditize and therefore become ubiquitous and normalized. Once cannabis goes federally legal, consumers will need to be more educated than ever to avoid being manipulated by the sociopaths who lead big pharma, one of the most evil juggernauts in the world. [Big Pharma] takes more lives than it saves lives, and that does more harm than good.

Do you have any other exciting projects coming up in 2021?

2021 is stacked with a vast array of blessed projects, and I could share all my secrets, but I’d rather wet your palates. All I can say is to be sure to prepare your tastebuds for the most luxurious branding and the most superb quality in the cannabis industry.

LaJune illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

LaJune Performs LIVE!

*360 MAGAZINE Presents @IamLaJune ‘Mind’ LIVE Performance via 360TV on YouTube

Hip-Hop songstress LaJune resurrects with new music YA, off her new project Insecure. Available now at iamlajune.com and all streaming platforms. The follow up to Go girl off her debut EP entitled Body. June’s new track is reminiscent of iconic Timbaland and Neptunes tracks. Ears aroused from the beginning, base transitions crescendo in the background of the melodic hook. A true “Party & Bullshit” vibe, witty and wise with her pen combined with textured tones proves she’s far from insecure.

The title of her 2nd EP takes a glimpse at the structure, mind and soul this new artist is comfortable with exploring. Taking her artistry to the next degree, the first female established into 106 & Park Freestyle Friday hall of fame. No stranger to the stage, showcasing her talents opening for R&B legend Joe, Touch ME Tease ME Case and Grammy-winning singer Chrisette Michele.

Set to release her third EP Mind at the top of the New Year. The follow-up to her Insure EP released summer of 2020. A trilogy of transparency reflecting the mind, body and soul expected of a budding artist. Timing is everything, and at 12:21 am Lajune will release her 2nd video to date entitled “What you got”. 

To commemorate the conjunction of the two largest planets Jupiter X Saturn; in Aquarius on 12/21 which seemingly occurs every 200 years. A representation of the planets appearing to touch. Instigating a new cycle, a shift in power and alignment. A befitting release is relevant to an artist who is aware of herself and her destiny. The visual treatment takes you on a  journey of consciousness and self-reflection. If 2020 ironically hasn’t questioned us what you got? 

Cinematography by Tukes productions and directed by Ameer Copper the visual journey depicts the conflict of the higher and lower self. The duality portrayed with care but not to shy away from the harsh realities. Far from second-guessing, Lajune exudes confidence and strength. The opening scene draws you into Lajune’s environment, digesting the recent televised injustices of African Americans. Sporting custom designs of AOHSOA derived from stylist/designer Armon and beauty provided by Tykima

Her performance scene allows a glimpse of the artist’s personality, overflowing with animation. “Life is for the lesson” is an understatement considering the year, LaJune challenges her audience to be equipped with awareness; encouraging mental health and celebratory culture. Therefore the leap to a higher vibration through her thought-provoking in-your-face lyrical content proves this arises toes no lines. 

Challenging social norms without judgment, the Vh100 podcast host exhibits her acting chops in the interrogation scene with actor Jim Shearer. Be sure to check out the BTS of “What you got “ by Amenze Victor for a closer look at the highly anticipated project and artist who needs no explanation.

About LaJune

Currently, she is the Co-host to VH1’s podcast V100 devoted to discussing Pop culture and more. Stick shifting her career, LaJune navigates the release of a new project and motherhood. A year in the making, time only knows the length it takes a Rose to bloom.

As of late, LaJune teamed up with Armon Hayes for creative direction and visuals shot by artist Tony Anderson. Inspired by her love for the hit HBO series Insecure now in its 4th season staring and created by Issa Rae. Join LaJune on her musical journey, an independent artist who’s talent refuses to be shut-in.

LaJune,   360 magazine
Eating disorder illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Eating Disorders × Covid-19

Eating Disorders and Covid-19

More than 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from eating disorders

COVID-19 can be a nightmare for thembecause of the following triggers:

  • Empty grocery shelves
  • Feelings of uncertainty and loss of control
  • Social media messages about avoiding the “Quarantine 15” pound weight gain are especially harmful to those with existing eating disorders.

A recent study conducted by the International Journal for Eating Disorders found that symptoms worsened across the board for people with anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorders nationwide since the lockdowns in March. Among respondents, 62% of people with anorexia have experienced more severe restriction and food fear during the pandemic, while 30% of those with bulimia and binge-eating disorder reported experiencing more binge-eating episodes, and a greater urge to binge.

Some of the facts about eating disorders are sobering:

  • 9% of the US population will suffer from an eating disorder in their lifetime
  • Almost 1% of us suffer from anorexia nervosa
  • Between 2-3% of us have bulimia nervosa
  • Binge eating disorder (BED) is experienced by between 2-3% of us
  • 10% of those with eating disorders lose their lives as a result
  • Eating disorders are second only to opioid overdose as the deadliest mental illnesses
  • About 26% of people with eating disorders attempt suicide

Eating Recovery Center is the nation’s largest eating disorder treatment center (with offices around the country, & virtual treatment options).  Eating Recovery Center provides comprehensive treatment for anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and other unspecified eating disorders.

Keith Washing and KEM illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Keith Washington × KEM

TV ONE’S CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED DOCU-SERIES, UNSUNG AND UNCENSORED CONTINUES WITH R&B GREATS KEITH WASHINGTON AND KEM THIS SUNDAY, APRIL 11 AT 9 P.M. ET/8C

New Episodes of UNSUNG Features Mystikal, Syleena Johnson, Bobby V, Lyfe Jennings and The Jones Girls

New Episodes of UNCENSORED Features Remy Ma, Marsha Ambrosius, Lisa Leslie and Jaleel White

All-new episodes of TV One’s original docu-series UNSUNG and UNCENSORED continue this Sunday, April 11. UNSUNG leads the night with Keith Washington at 9 p.m ET/8C immediately followed by UNCENSORED with KEM at 10 p.m. ET/9C This season, fans are treated to a sneak-peek look at episodes with the new digital series Unwind with Syleena Johnson. Each episode will be published on TVOne.TV and TV One’s social media platforms. Syleena will react to clips, share anecdotes, and provide cocktail recipes for viewers to unwind to as they watch both UNSUNG and UNCENSORED. She’ll end each episode reminding viewers of their chance to win a $250 Amazon gift card.

UNSUNG: Keith Washington

Singer Keith Washington burst onto the 90s R&B scene with a sensual, smooth style that was undeniable. Keith reveals the trials he overcame to become a star and the struggle to regain his passion and purpose after reaching the lowest depths.

The six-time NAACP Image Award-winning series UNSUNG continues the season with equally unforgettable stories from a wide array of artists including Mystikal, Syleena Johnson, Bobby V, Lyfe Jennings, and The Jones Girls. UNSUNG, one of the network’s longest-running series, highlights the careers and explores the personal lives of some of the most talented, versatile, and influential black vocal artists.

UNSUNG is narrated by actor Gary Anthony Williams and is Executive Produced by Arthur Smith and Frank Sinton of A. Smith & Co. Productions. Mark Rowland also serves as Executive Producer. For TV One, Jason Ryan is Executive in Charge of Production; Donyell Kennedy-McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting; and Robyn Arrington Greene is Head of Original Programming and Production.

UNCENSORED: KEM

The hit autobiographical series UNCENSORED explores the lives of your favorite personalities as they provide first-hand accounts of their success and the obstacles they faced throughout their careers. This week’s episode hits a high note with R&B trailblazer KEM. The “Love Calls” singer is a three-time Grammy-nominated artist. However, his journey to success wasn’t easy. He struggled with addiction and homelessness before using music to help him find his way through.

This season of UNCENSORED profiles Remy Ma, Marsha Ambrosius, Lisa Leslie and Jaleel White.

UNCENSORED is produced for TV One by Eric Tomosunas, Keith Neal, James Seppelfrick and Paul Hall (Executive Producers), Jay Allen (Co-Executive Producer), and Nikki Byles (Producer) of Swirl Films. For TV One, Jason Ryan is Executive in Charge of Production; Donyell Kennedy-McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting; and Robyn Greene Arrington is Vice President of Original Programming and Production.

For more information on UNCENSORED and UNSUNG, visit TV One’s YouTube Channel and check out exclusive, behind-the-scenes content on the website. Viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on TV One’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Be sure to follow UNCENSORED and UNSUNG on Facebook and Instagram.

Star Trek illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Star Trek: Mission Chicago

ReedPop and ViacomCBS Consumer Products Unite to Produce 

STAR TREK: MISSION CHICAGO in Spring 2022

ReedPop to Beam into the Windy City for Star Trek: Mission Chicago on April 8 -10, 2022

ReedPop, the world’s leading producer of pop culture events, announced today that they are joining forces with ViacomCBS Consumer Products as the official convention partner for the Star Trek franchise. The partnership will kick off in 2022 with an all-new event that will serve as the ultimate destination for fans of the iconic franchise – Star Trek: Mission Chicago. Produced in partnership with ViacomCBS Consumer Products, Star Trek: Mission Chicago is a three-day immersive experience that will take place at Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center from April 8 – 10, 2022. 

Star Trek: Mission Chicago will feature celebrity guests, interactive exhibits, exclusive merchandise, photo opportunities, costume exhibits, autograph sessions, gameplay and other special surprises all set within the ever evolving and expansive Star TrekUniverse. Mission Chicago will give fans the opportunity to boldly explore the past, present and future of the franchise, while embracing the ideals of a diverse and inclusive future that remains at the center of Gene Roddenberry’s beloved creation. 

Following the inaugural event in Chicago, future Star Trek: Missions will travel to a new city each year, offering thousands of fans around the country the opportunity to convene with fellow Star Trek lovers and celebrate the iconic franchise.

“The Star Trek franchise has one of the most passionate and spirited fan bases out there, and we at ReedPop are excited to welcome them and ViacomCBS Consumer Products into our family,” said Lance Fensterman, Global President of ReedPop. “Together we plan to give the fans an incredible experience to remember, and I speak for all of us at ReedPop when I say that we can’t wait to experience the energy that Star Trek fans will bring to Chicago next April.”

Veronica Hart, executive vice president, global franchise management, ViacomCBS Consumer Products added, “As the Star Trek franchise continues to grow and evolve, so too is our convention business evolving. We are excited to partner with ReedPop as our official Star Trek convention partner to take this next step in creating an event that will introduce the Trek experience to loyal and new fans alike each year.”

For more information and updates on Star Trek: Mission Chicago, please visit Star Trek Mission’s website and follow the event on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

Mena Garcia illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Mena Garcia

By: Katherine Fleischman

Argentine-born “it” girl, stunner, and globe trotter Mena Garcia is in the process of launching her sustainable, vegan, and cruelty free fashion and beauty brands, as she searches to keep mother nature at the top of her priority list. Gone are the days of harmful damage to our beautiful earth as we move towards ensuring a green future and Mena wants to play her part in proving that fashion doesn’t have to be harmful to the planet. “In the past technology and the science of materials was limited to just niche sectors such as medical clothing, technical clothing, and sportswear. I’m here to put my spin on things and bring the fantastic technology we have to the forefront and prove that we can all wear sustainable clothing,” said Mena.

As scientists, researchers and designers join forces to try to reduce the carbon footprint that the fashion industry currently stamps, independent designers like Mena will be crucial to leading the way and showing fashion giants that if she can do it, so can they. “I believe we can really make a difference by using our voice on social media platforms and by setting online trends to really catch the attention of the largest fashion brands around the world. Independent brands like mine can truly make the difference here.” Mena, who has been modeling since her teens, has almost three-quarters of a million Instagram followers and this platform will undoubtedly help her cause. 

She talks passionately about using “waste from oranges to make silk,” or “pineapple leaf for a leather alternative” and spectacularly “agricultural waste bacteria.” As Mena continues to learn more, she’s using her education to find out interesting new ways to create sustainable fashion in a term she coins as “trash fashion” – using literal waste to create something new. “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure certainly comes to mind!”

“I’ve been studying with expert Mila at Estudio MG in a special collaboration with Closet Sustenable in Argentina. I’ve learned so much, including some incredible things. One of the main focuses is creating materials inspired in nature where cells and proteins are being used to create different types of real leather but in a totally sustainable, vegan and cruelty-free way.”

However, it’s not all smooth-sailing or simple. To be true to the cause, it is essential to be sustainable throughout the whole process. Everything from material sourcing, grading, dyes, and packaging needs to be clean and green. Mena said “I want to also make sure that workers during the production process are treated fairly, with respect, are safe, and paid fairly. To be truly sustainable, the entire process needs to be true to the terms “sustainable, cruelty-free, and vegan.”

Mena is certainly one to watch in 2021 and 2022. She says “it will take some time because piecing it all together perfectly is crucial, but I’m ready for the challenge and encourage everyone to join the cause! You can follow Mena on Instagram or her website for more about her modeling, image-consulting, and her upcoming brands.

Mena Garcia image courtesy of  Do-Tell Publicity
Lil Nas X 'Satan Sneaker' illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

NIKE vs MSCHF

Nike has filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit against MSCHF shoes that released a controversial customized version of its sneakers “Satan Shoes” with rapper Lil Nas X. In the lawsuit filed today, Nike accused MSCHF Product Studio, Inc. of trademark infringement over the designer’s 666 pairs of modified Nike sneakers made in collaboration with the “Old Town Road” singer. All 666 pairs sold out Monday.

Fara Sunderji is a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney in its New York office. Sunderji has extensive expertise in all stages of trademark, copyright, clearance, prosecution, maintenance, enforcement, and litigation. Of the lawsuit she says, 

“Nike’s swoosh is probably one of the most recognizable non-word trademarks in the world.  You see it and you automatically think of Nike as the source of the good on which it appears.  This is how trademarks are supposed to operate, as a source identified.  Nike’s case here is pretty simple to understand:  MSCHF is selling Nike Air Max 97’s that have been modified in a way in which Nike does not approve.  People see these “Satan Shoes” and think they come from Nike and some people don’t like that.  Nike, therefore, claims that the release of these “Santa Shoes” is harming its valuable brand,” Sunderji says. 

“MSCHF will likely argue that they are protected under a theory called the First Sale Doctrine, which allows third parties to resell trademarked goods that have already entered the marketplace.  But the doctrine is limited to the sale of genuine goods.  The doctrine is based on the premise that consumers are not being deceived because they are receiving what they have bargained for, the trademarked good. Under Second Circuit case law, goods are not genuine if they do not conform to the brand owner’s quality control standards, and it is easy to guess Nike’s take on this issue – Just don’t do it,” Sunderji says. 

According to NBC News, the lawsuit states “We don’t have any further details to share on pending legal matters,” Nike said. “However, we can tell you we do not have a relationship with Lil Nas X or MSCHF.”

Trademark attorney Josh Gerben of Gerben Perrott PLLC stated to CNN Business that “It’s a legal rationale that grants artists who purchase and repurpose individual copyrighted products the ability to express and profit off their own creativity.”. He also pointed out Nike shoe redesigners like MSCHF commonly sell their work on online marketplaces. “You’ve got all kinds of artists that go out there and they take a shoe, and they’ll do a whole bunch of custom art on the shoe and maybe resell it for $1,000-3,000,” Gerben said. “This is something Nike is well aware of and has done absolutely nothing to mess with because there’s a sneaker culture here.”

Lil Nas X isn’t named as a party in the lawsuit. Representatives for the musician did not respond to calls or emails requesting comment.

The backlash from social media is incredible with thousands of people expressing their opinions with the shoes and the representation they bring:

  •  South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem tweeted “Our kids are being told that this kind of product, is not only okay, it’s “exclusive.” But do you know what’s more exclusive? Their God-given eternal soul. We are in a fight for the soul of our nation. We need to fight hard. And we need to fight smart. We have to win.”.
  • NBA star Nick Young tweeted “My kids will never play Old Town Road again… I’m still debating about wearing Nike after this come Nike a drop of blood for real”.
  • On Instagram, celebrity musician Miley Cyrus shares a photo proudly wearing the controversial sneakers, captioning the post “Can you see Satan?”.

The controversial ‘Satan Shoes’ were strategically dropped after the release of Lil Nas X’s music video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”, which has already been viewed more than 54 million times.

Lil Nas X took to Twitter in his true fashion posting “I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the shit y’all preached would happen to me because I was gay. So I hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.”

Music illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

iHeartMedia Greenlights Storytime Podcast

IHEARTMEDIA GREENLIGHTS COLLAB’S “STORYTIME” PODCAST FOR FOUR MORE SEASONS

With 165M total followers, creators Spencer X, Culture Crash, DreaKnowsBest and more share entertaining and bizarre stories; bonus features added

iHeartMedia, the No. 1 podcasting publisher globally, along with leading digital talent network and brand agency Collab, announced today that their Storytime podcast series has been greenlit for an incredible and unprecedented four more seasons. Featuring top creators from TikTok and YouTube, Storytime is the first podcast series to launch from iHeartMedia and Collab’s joint venture, a partnership that unites Collab’s roster of digital talent with iHeartMedia’s unparalleled podcasting expertise to co-produce an exciting new slate of podcasts.

Storytime features many of the most watched and loved digital content stars in a new format, wherein they will share their own interesting, bizarre and sometimes scary stories. New this season, Storytime will add listener-created content as a bonus feature. The added features will supplement the in-depth discussions between host Will McFadden, Collab’s Chief Creative Officer, and guests Spencer X, Culture Crash, DreaKnowsBest, Alex Meyers and more. Storytime has also added new bonus episodes to season one showcasing interesting stories submitted from listeners around the world. Storytime is available now on iHeartRadio and all major podcast platforms.

For many young listeners, today’s digital content stars are the biggest celebrities. “This series will take the energy, excitement and originality of these digital personalities and deliver it in one of the most loved, fastest growing mediums”, said Conal Byrne, CEO of iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group. We’ve worked closely with Collab to develop a show that taps into the talent listeners love and brings a fresh new side of those personalities and their incredible stories to podcasting. We are excited to continue to bring Storytime for several more seasons.

“We could not be more excited to partner with iHeartMedia to bring this massive opportunity to Collab’s talent, in addition to many other amazing creators from around the world. Podcasts have become the next big frontier for Creators, so it was natural to partner with the largest podcast company in the world, to not only bring that opportunity to our talent, but supercharge it”, says Eric Jacks, Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Producer of the podcast.

About the Storytime series, Collab Chief Creative Officer and series host Will McFadden said: “Who doesn’t love a good story?! Each episode of Storytime features beloved creators from YouTube, TikTok, Reddit and beyond sharing their most hilarious, horrifying and cringe inducing stories. The audience gets a rare view into the lives of some of the most watched, most loved creators on the planet. For example, when the MacFarlands’ told their story about getting rejected for Family Feud in Episode 8. That’s an incredible story you can’t hear anywhere else!”.

The initial 33 batch of creators signed have a combined social following of over 165 million fans. This list includes the following:

Spencer X (54.7M), Jon Klaasen (18M), Penguinz0 (12.2M), Daily Dose of Internet (11.5M), Elyssa Klaasen (10.2M), DreaKnowsBest (5.5M), Marlon Webb (4.2M), Eric Artell (4M), Tabbes (3.5M), BeerBongJohn (3.4M), Brady Smith (3M), GrannyCoy Bundy (2.7M), Lonnie Marts (2.7M), Zack Lugo (2.7M), Alex Meyers (2.5M), The McFarlands (2.4M), Matt & Abby Howard (2.4M), The Kaplan Twins (2M), Scrubs (1.6M), Wansee Entertainment (1.2M), The Human Fountains (1.1M), HeyParis (1.1M), Jason Horton (979K), Olivia Cara (712K), Jessica Lesaca (650K), Liya Hizkias (458K), Goblin (399K), Corey & Russ (383K), Culture Crash (209K), Zac Clejan (207K), Nyra Williams (66K), and Sin Cindy (34K).

Storytime is distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network which is home to more than 750 original podcasts with over 253 million downloads each month. iHeartRadio Original Podcasts span every category from business, sports, spirituality and technology to entertainment, family, comedy and true crime and everything in between making iHeartRadio the largest publisher of podcast content in the world.

About Collab:

Collab is the most watched independent digital entertainment network, generating 25 Billion views every month across digital platforms. Founded in 2012, Collab has become a leader in building digital Creator careers. Collab is the number one TikTok Creator network and a top ten provider of content on YouTube.

About iHeartMedia, Inc.

iHeartMedia, Inc. [Nasdaq: IHRT] is the leading audio media company in America, reaching over 250 million people each month. It is number one in broadcast and streaming radio as well as podcasting and audio ad tech and includes three segments: The iHeartMedia Multiplatform Group; the iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group; and the Audio and Media Services Group.

Quantum Mirror by Adrian Stein Rendering courtesy of Carol Fox and Associates Public Relations for use by 360 Magazine

Adrian Stein – Quantum Mirror

World’s First Physical NFT Installation, “Quantum Mirror” by Adrian Stein, Debuts in Chicago. 

The Immersive Work Contextualizes the Nature of NFT Art in the Real World.

As NFTs Have the Capability to be Infinitely Reproduced, “Quantum Mirror” Explores the Concept of Infinite Consciousness in the Digital Era.

In recent months, Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have rushed the cryptocurrency scene and taken the art world by storm. This new way of buying and selling digital art using blockchain technology has disrupted the art market and created overnight sensations out of formerly obscure artists such as Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, who recently sold a collage of his digital works for the staggering sum of $69.3 million. Another rising artist in the new media art world, Adrian Stein, is unveiling what he describes as the world’s first immersive NFT installation in Chicago’s contemporary art gallery ARTSPACE 8.

“Quantum Mirror,” a 300-square-foot immersive installation, is an environment where the digital and physical worlds of art merge and multiply in a kaleidoscopic array created by over 150 mirrored surfaces. In-person visitors can see their own reflection infinitely juxtaposed alongside Stein’s digital works of human figures, which will be screened within the mirrored installation and accompanied by resonate soundtracks.

Stein’s digital art, available as NFTs that can be acquired via online marketplace Mintable, are displayed on screens in the center of the installation, representing the original copy of each NFT. These images are then reproduced within the geometrically mirrored walls, representing how NFTs exist online: they commonly have a single “original” with the ability to be infinitely duplicated. The installation acts as a physical representation of our virtual environment, using light and reflections to visualize how human consciousness and the economy have become entangled in a network of blockchains and social media.

Speaking to humanity’s deep dependence on technology, the installation lays inactive without its virtual core, in the same way as modern consciousness would be paralyzed without virtual connection – representing how everyday human life has crossed over to become a spectrum between raw humanity and cyborg consciousness.

“This work is meant to continue the conversation that Yayoi Kuzama began with her infinity rooms, by recontextualizing it into the digital world of artists like Beeple” said artist Adrian Stein. “As Kuzama’s work encourages the viewer to contemplate their place in the never-ending cosmos, “Quantum Mirror” encourages the viewer to contemplate their digital existence within the never-ending world online.”

The installation is viewable at ARTSPACE 8 on the third floor of 900 N. Michigan, starting March 20 through late April and viewable Monday through Saturday from 12:30 – 5:30pm at no charge. Online registration is required through this website, allowing ten people in the gallery at a time while following COVID-19 safety guidelines. More of Stein’s artwork can be viewed on Instagram.

ABOUT ADRIAN STEIN

Guatemalan-born, Chicago-based new media artist Adrian Stein seeks to understand how humans view themselves through the many mirrors viewed in everyday life which reveal the borders, glass walls, and masks built between one another in the process.

By representing the human form as a prismatic lens in constant shift, dynamically morphed and affected by the medium it is inhabiting, Stein’s work engages the concept that different states of consciousness give rise to different views of the self, elaborating on how perceived identities can create a hybrid existence that merges both virtual and physical personas.

Through the use of colloquial digital languages and visual commonalities, he seeks to create an aesthetic medium to reveal how his own duality as a Guatemalan-born American has given rise to a hybrid identity, forcing him to exist in both places at the same time.

ABOUT ARTSPACE 8

The 14,000 square foot gallery is located in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, specializing in contemporary fine art showing a number of paintings, prints, sculpture, and works on paper from emerging and established artists, based both locally and abroad. ARTSPACE 8 prides itself on taking a democratic approach to its affluent surroundings, engaging experienced collectors and the masses alike in the viewing and collecting of intriguing artworks through highly-curated exhibitions and events.

Quantum Mirror by Adrian Stein Rendering courtesy of Carol Fox and Associates Public Relations for use by 360 Magazine Quantum Mirror by Adrian Stein Rendering courtesy of Carol Fox and Associates Public Relations for use by 360 Magazine