Editor's Note: All Photographs by Adam Weinberg
Hey, Adam! I know a little about you through Jena, who we recently interviewed, but tell me a bit about yourself! I'm Adam, a freelance filmmaker / photographer living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It's hard to narrow down my list of hobbies, but they include recording ambient dance music, tracing concentrated watercolors with the finest tipped micron pens, and scavenging eBay for 1950s Russian M39 lenses.
How did you get involved in photography/video? How long have you been doing it? Was there a significant person or thing that got you doing this? I realized I wanted to be a filmmaker when I went to see "The Score" with Robert DeNiro and Ed Norton; while watching it all I could think about was that this piece of trash had a $68,000,000 budget and I could make a better film with none. Near the end of the movie the film negative caught on fire due to a projector malfunction and I took it as a sign from God I should pursue a career in movie making.
That’s an incredible story! Most people’s story tends to have a blurred transition; I like how straight forward yours is. So you left the theater and became a movie maker . Now what kind of work do you do? It changes every week. I've worked as an editor on TV shows for BBC America and A&E, shot internal-use corporate videos for clients as varied as Starbucks and pharmaceutical companies, and have shot photos for large concert blogs and weddings. Over the past year I've spent a lot of time working with ironic T-shirt models as the photographer for BustedTees.com.
Sounds like a pretty successful start to me! Being the nerd that I am, I’m always interested in the technology people use. What kind of gear do you use? I've made my living for the past 4 years mostly with the Canon 5D MKII, it's a beast. You can get better still cameras and you can get better video cameras, but it's tough to find a better hybrid still and video camera. The RAW files have incredible latitude at ISO 100 and the high ISO low-light performance is great for someone who prefers the aesthetic of natural light.
Well, Adam, thanks for taking time to sit down with us! Keep us in the loop when you release new projects, we are always looking for more art!
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Well I know you from your music, but tell me a little about you.
Health insurance suit by day. Producer by night.
Love, Family, Food, Chukkas & Chinos.
Let’s chat a bit about your music. What’s your set up? Was there a musician who used this gear that made you want to take this route? My current set-up is very simple. I use Fruity Loops and Cool edit pro. I have a microkorg and also a midi. When I first started making beats, Fruity Loops was the first tool I wanted to use - I know that many beat makers start off with Fruity. It’s a great program. I’ve never been able to stop using it. Down the track I know that others like 9th Wonder & Hudmo also use Fruity.
What was your first experience in music? Both as a listener and as a musician.
My pops always had a great record collection. Growing up to Motown and 70's rock. He would always sing around the house as a kid. My cousin and homie growing up in high school exposed me to hip hop and r&b, after that the internet aided me with all other discoveries.
What style would you say that your music is?
That’s a real hard one to answer as I like to make so many different styles. BUT I’ve always called my music SOUL music.
Do you see your style of music personified in what you wear or how you act?
Oh most definitely - music and lifestyle/fashion has always intertwined. I think that is what’s great about music. It helps form a sort of identity, but I also think I’m generalizing. Music isn’t about image at all - BUT it’s funny that you can nearly always tell what kind of music an individual is into when you look at their kit haha.
What can we expect next from Ta-Ku? Any short-term or longer-term plans for your music?
I have some exciting releases coming up! The most recent being a FREE EP with Live For The Funk blog. They are great dudes with an awesome passion for music. I can’t wait to share it with everyone. Down the track I have some releases with Suff Daddy, Miles Bonny, Chet Faker coming up!
Very cool! We’ll keep an eye out for your new stuff. Thanks for taking the time to do this with us!
Thursday, October 18, 2012
You're widely known for your art. Is there a specific reason you got into this?
What made me start making art was when I was starting in the 6th grade, middle school, I had NO friends. All I had was my sister. I wasn't the most popular kid...I wasn't the most unpopular either --just had to point that out before you caught visuals of my childhood-- But during that time MySpace was popular, more popular than it is now at least. And during that time graphic designers were huge on mypsace. If you were a graphic designer, a good one, on MySpace you were the sh*t. Web designers too, because people wanted custom layouts. So I got into that hoping to become one of those famous MySpace folks and soon enough...I did. I did very simple things, but back then I thought I was some sort of pro. So everyday, since I had no friends, I would go to the computer lab during lunch and get on Photoshop. Which eventually led me to where I am today by being consistent in my craft, although I didn't know where it would take me. What drew me into art was that I just wanted to be considered cool somehow, someway. But I've always been an artist. I've always had that artistic mind. Seeing things different. Wondering. Thinking. Etc.
I was on your site and I kept seeing all these elaborate paintings that look like they belong in museums, but their all of rappers! Why did you choose to use your talent this way? What made me start using my talent to paint Hip-Hop artist was basically a marketing strategy that somehow turned into an interest. I paint what will get facebook likes, retweets, reblogs, etc. And soon that will lead to catching people's attention to the point where I paint random things and they'll like it, and just because It's a good design of their favorite artist that will look good on their tumblr page.
When did you start painting?
I actually started painting about 3 weeks ago when I bought myself a Wacom Tablet. I've had a tablet before but It didn't amount to the capabilities of the Wacom Intuos. I am an artist with multiple passions, although you probably can't see it because most of my works only show a couple of different styles, I have a lot of passions. Digital Painting. Vector illustration. Photography. Motion Graphics. Fashion. Music. Sneaker design. Technology. And more. Some of my passions may seem irrelevant but it's the bits and pieces of and artist's life that you see composed into their work.
What do you hope to accomplish with your art?
My dreams for art are to just to just be influential and make it so that people will always remember my name. My hype will last forever. One day I hope this art leads me to a presidential Rolex, white benz, and staring out of my loft in NYC. In the art world my heart truly lies in inspiration. It's one thing to create art and have people like it, but it's another to have people like it and be inspired to pursue the same dreams as mine or to pursue their dreams period, by doing what they love, and not being focused on being different but focused on doing them.
I got in contact with you because my friend turned me on to your website. Why HypeForever?
Why HypeForever?... I ask myself that everyday. At first I thought of the name because It sounded cool, simple, logo material you know. But then as the days passed by and I was starting to get asked that question more and more, I suddenly started to think of an answer. I can't tell you much right now about the name HypeForever but It does have a bit to do with my fashion inspiration...that's not the full story though.
Oh, A cliff hanger! I like the mysteriousness of it. Thanks for the interview!
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Hey, Lauren! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this! Why don’t you start off by telling us all a little background? Well, I'm Lauren Randolph, but also known as Lauren Lemon across the internet and through friends. I'm a freelance photographer based out of Los Angeles, but originally from Reno, NV where I grew up and went to school. When I'm not shooting I spend my time traveling, and trying to find my favorite brunch spot in LA.
I’ve always wanted to go out to LA! You’ll have to tell me where to eat when I’m down there. So how and when did you get into photography? I'm addicted to documenting, and usually always have a camera on me wherever I go. Since middle school, I've always been the person in my group of friends who takes pictures of everything we do - I didn't necessarily try to become a photographer, I just didn't like doing anything else as much as I love making photos! In college, I started out studying journalism because I knew I had a passion for media & magazines. I quickly realized it wasn't the journalistic side I was drawn to; it was the visual art side. I've always been inspired by movies and television, so it only makes sense for me to be in the visual world, being a story teller.
What has been your favorite project to work on?
I absolutely love the collaborations I've made with Ryan Schude at Phoot Camp, and just about anything made at Phoot Camp in general. It's an incredible experience for a group of photographers to get together just for the sake of fun and creation. The amount of time, effort, and planning that we put into making those group shots possible makes it all worth it when I'm surrounded by 35 fellow photographers who inspire me to push myself. It's always fun to work on a project like that, and then in the end have it turn out better than you could have expected because of the help and participation of everyone involved.
That sounds so awesome! I was following the event a little because you were posting on Instagram, but I’m sure that’s no comparison to actually being there. I did notice you seem to do a lot of staged photos with large groups of people like the stuff from Photo Camp, is that your favorite style to shoot? I definitely love shooting staged portraiture. Being able to make up a scene with everything from location, wardrobe, cast, and props is what get most excited to do, mostly because the end results feel so rewarding - knowing you put your entire voice into making a photo come to life. I love capturing candid moments, and shooting snapshots of everything around me, but it really is the entire creation process that gives me my "photo high." However, I enjoy shooting a single person as much as I enjoy shooting with a large group - just depends on the project. It's all about the visual story for me, and being able to get a reaction out of the viewer when they look at my work.
Do you prefer to work for big companies or individual people?
As a freelancer, I work for anyone who will hire me! I aim for big clients and large ad jobs, but also love working for individuals and on smaller projects. I'm a collaborator, and am always open to new ideas and new subjects. If someone has the right project for me, I definitely wouldn't turn it down because it wasn't a huge brand. That being said, I also love working for people who hired me because of my work, so I try to always shoot what I want to be shooting, and don't let clients walk all over me.
Well I am impressed with everything you put out, no matter what style. What do you hope
to accomplish with your photography skills? Where do you want to be in 5 years? My main goal as a professional photographer is just to continue being able to do what I love. I hope to always continue to grow and evolve as an artist, but so long as photography is my main passion then I can think of nothing better than being able to make photos for the rest of my life.
Thanks for taking the time to interview with us, Lauren. We’ll definitely keep an eye out
for your work! Thank you so much! I'm always happy to get the chance to share my work.
Friday, October 12, 2012
As some of you may know, one of our writer's, Meg, works with a shop called Yellowcake. If you don't know what Yellowcake is and you live in Cleveland, you're are severely missing out! The shop is run by the one and only Ms. Valerie Mayen. If you recognize the name, it's probably because she was on Project Runway (Cool, we know!). Being a fellow Cleveland Business, the Predicate team went down to support Meg and Yellowcake.
(I took a few photos because all the designs were incredible, but all I had was my iPhone. Sorry!)
(This was my favorite piece.. Just saying!)
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Hey, Taylor! Thanks so much for sitting down with us! I really appreciate your time. Why don't you tell everyone a little bit about yourself? Hello Tom! Thank you so much for this golden opportunity. So I’m Taylor Jayne, and I’m from Mesa, AZ. Around the Phoenix/Tempe/Mesa areas, I have come to find myself as a local folk-blues musician. I am currently 19 years old and work at a Dutch Brothers coffee stand in Tempe. Okay random pieces of information! Being from AZ, I naturally love the rain (because I don’t see enough of it). Let’s see, I’m also keen on knitting, painting, farmers’ markets, combat boots, and star gazing. I have recently grown fond of comics and have been applying this appreciation in ways to establish images to my music. Acting is another ambition of mine that I often find useful in carrying out my musical performances. I always hear voices in my head of past acting coaches, “Don’t play at the emotions, feel them!” - “Diversify and be unpredictable!”
How long have you been making music? What inspired you to start?
I’ve been making music since I was 9. I remember distinctly the first song I wrote. Although, I don’t care to ever sing it again - it’s a tad embarrassing. Any who, I started playing guitar around 8th grade, and that’s when the writing really started to kick in (writing songs without an instrument isn’t near as fun). I feel very cliché saying this, but I suppose I’ve always been very inspired by music. My favorite songs as a kid were “Oh Marie” by Sheryl Crow and “Change the World” by Eric Clapton. I was fascinated by the construction of songs and tried to decipher what elements made songs catchy. I thought vocal harmonies were the coolest thing in the world. I heard my mom sing a harmony to a song in the car once, and I thought, “Wow, I need to learn how to do that.”
What's the inspiration in both your lyrics and style?
My EP, The Day After Rain, is a collection of songs about accepting life’s imperfections and about learning to enjoy thoroughly. They’re playfully pensive - which also describes the place in life I was at, at the time. I wrote them all near the end of my high school career and was finding ways to make friends with my restless energy. I was getting a kick out of looking at unfortunate situations through new perspectives. Even if I had to get creative (with a slightly off humor at times), I searched for ways to appreciate them or at least free myself from the need to focus on them. I remember feeling a relieving clarity with this notion of realizing even just a small degree of happiness despite other matters. This idea I tried to incorporate in my songs - but with a bit of vagueness, so as not to clobber other people’s venturing to find other unintentional interpretations of the songs. I was all about exploring viewpoints. Actually, this is still true.
What is your goal as an artist? What do you hope to accomplish?
I want to say something that matters, you know? I want to break free of the chain hooked onto this idea that we all need to be replicates of one another. I want to empower people to feel their own emotions and to respect them. There are a lot of hit songs out there that talk casually about dirty sex. Then you’ve got the ones that directly or indirectly disrespect groups of people and just a whole bunch of other un-classy nonsense. It’s discouraging to see, first-hand, this kind of crap affecting my generation and probably multiple others. I believe there are sparks of a movement in the music industry. You see people like Taylor Swift, Mumford & Sons, Of Monsters and Men (to mention a few) appearing on the top charts, putting some honest and good vibes out there. I want to be a part of this movement. Not necessarily to be on the top charts, but wherever it is I land - just to make something real and from the heart. Helping give music the true art I believe it deserves.
I totally agree! There is a lot of music out there that is having a horrible effect on our generation. I'm glad you're out there trying to change that. Thanks for the interview, Taylor! Thanks so much again Tom!
Check out Taylor's new album, The Day after Rain, available now! http://ht.ly/ediKH
Stay in touch with Taylor!