Going out for a Run- Little Tokyo & Toy District (Downtown LA)



Little Tokyo, also known as Little Tokyo Historic District, is an ethnically Japanese American district in downtown Los Angeles and the heart of the largest Japanese-American population in North America.It is one of only three official Japantowns in the United States, all in California (the other two are in San Francisco and San Jose). Founded around the beginning of the 20th century, the area, sometimes called Lil’ Tokyo, J-Town, 小東京 (Shō-tōkyō), is the cultural center for Japanese Americans in Southern California. It was declared a National Historic Landmark District in 1995.

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About these ads

Fix LA’s Sidewalks (Pharrell’s “Happy” Parody)


Check out this funny parody of Pharrell Williams’ video of “Happy” the L.A. Version, Fix LA’s Sidewalks!

Created, Directed, and Edited by Honora Talbott (@honorathexplora)
Director of Photography: Ben Molyneux
Music: Pharrell William’s “Happy”
Produced by “Clive Rice!”, an iO West Mainstage Sketch Team
Leigh Wulff
Lauri Roggenkamp
Dan Banas
Alex Salem
Jeanine Peters
Michael Klimkowski
Joshua Hoover –    Follow:  Youtube/flavahoove   IG: flavahoove 
Honora Talbott
Cynthia Kao
Manny Hagopian

Going out for a Run- Mid-Wilshire (Just Pictures)


Mid-Wilshire is a highly diverse, well-educated and densely populated residential neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California. Its commercial and public-use areas also make it the site of world-class museums and research centers and of widely known shopping districts and restaurants.



Loving Your Hometown- Filipinotown (L.A. Natives)



This article fucking nails it about Los Angelenos! How L.A. Natives have a love/hate relationship about the city we live in and I love the fact the writer is a follow Filipino. No matter how far or high you go in life, you always remember where you came from. I come from the Jungle called L.A.!!!

Originally posted on Sampaguita Girl✿:

I grew up in Los Angeles. I was born in New Jersey, but my family moved away from the Garden State when I was six years old. We moved into an apartment in the Historic Filipinotown neighborhood, in close proximity to my aunt and cousins and several Filipino bake shops, markets, and restaurants on Temple Street. I grew up hearing the elote man blaring his horn in the streets, bought vending machine stickers, Yan Yan, and Roller Coaster chips from Temple Seafood Market, and fell asleep to my neighbors’ ranchera music and their laughing, Spanish voices. After school, my little sister and I would spend hours at the Echo Park Public Library, poring through picture books and later, as a teen, browsing through classic novels and alternative music CDs. Most of my friends were Latin@. My girlfriends and I listened to punk music and wore the statement…

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L.A. Natives- Earthquakes: Before, After & During



L.A. Natives

What to Do?

Earthquakes: Before, After & During

Written by: Ryan Fu @fu_beatz 

“Victory loves Preparation.”

Happy Saint Patty’s Day!!! Not really. Like most people on Sunday night, I like to prepare for the week. For example, I might write things to do that week and form a plan with goals. Most successful people have plans and goals they follow like a form of religion. Naturally, Mother Nature doesn’t give a fuck about your plans. It comes at a moment’s notice, like early on a Monday morning when you are trying to sleep in because you don’t have to go to work. Listen “Shit happens” and you can’t control everything but I believe you can always give yourself a better chance to succeed in anything including surviving an earthquake. If your a L.A. Native like myself, who has lived in earthquake country, I’ve learned a thing or two about Earthquakes. I’m usually jokey about subjects with funny pictures but I’ve learned in my short time on Earth, that Mother Nature is nothing to mess with because it can give life and take it away at the same time. So, please read and follow these tips on how to keep your friends and family safe Before, After & During an Earthquake.


Plan for an Earthquake

Develop a Family Disaster Plan. Please see the “Family Disaster Plan” section for general family planning information. Develop earthquake-specific planning. Learn about earthquake risk in your area. Contact your local emergency management office, American Red Cross chapter, state geological survey, or department of natural resources for historical information and earthquake preparedness for your area. Although there are 41 states or territories at moderate to high risk, many people do not realize the potential for earthquakes in their area.

If you are at risk from earthquakes:

  • Pick “safe places” in each room of your home. A safe place could be under a sturdy table or desk or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases, or tall furniture that could fall on you. The shorter the distance to move to safety, the less likely you will be injured. Injury statistics show that persons moving more than 10 feet during an earthquake’s shaking are most likely to experience injury.
  • Practice drop, cover, and hold-on in each safe place. Drop under a sturdy desk or table, hold on, and protect your eyes by pressing your face against your arm. Practicing will make these actions an automatic response. When an earthquake or other disaster occurs, many people hesitate, trying to remember what they are supposed to do. Responding quickly and automatically may help protect you from injury.
  • Practice drop, cover, and hold-on at least twice a year. Frequent practice will help reinforce safe behavior.
  • Talk with your insurance agent. Different areas have different requirements for earthquake protection. Study locations of active faults, and if you are at risk, consider purchasing earthquake insurance.
  • Inform guests, babysitters, and caregivers of your plan. Everyone in your home should know what to do if an earthquake occurs. Assure yourself that others will respond properly even if you are not at home during the earthquake.
  • Get training. Take a first aid class from your local Red Cross chapter. Get training on how to use a fire extinguisher from your local fire department. Keep your training current. Training will help you to keep calm and know what to do when an earthquake occurs.
  • Discuss earthquakes with your family. Everyone should know what to do in case all family members are not together. Discussing earthquakes ahead of time helps reduce fear and anxiety and lets everyone know how to respond.


Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit

Please see the “Disaster Supplies Kit” section for general supplies kit information. Earthquake-specific supplies should include the following:

    • A flashlight and sturdy shoes by each person’s bedside.
    • Disaster Supplies Kit basics

Evacuation Supply Kit.


What to Do During an Earthquake

  • Drop, cover, and hold on! Move only a few steps to a nearby safe place. Most injured persons in earthquakes move more than five feet during the shaking. It is very dangerous to try to leave a building during an earthquake because objects can fall on you. Many fatalities occur when people run outside of buildings, only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. In U.S. buildings, you are safer to stay where you are.
  • If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow. You are less likely to be injured staying where you are. Broken glass on the floor has caused injury to those who have rolled to the floor or tried to get to doorways.
  • If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines. Drop to the ground and stay there until the shaking stops. Injuries can occur from falling trees, street-lights and power lines, or building debris.
  • If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking has stopped. Trees, power lines, poles, street signs, and other overhead items may fall during earthquakes. Stopping will help reduce your risk, and a hard-topped vehicle will help protect you from flying or falling objects. Once the shaking has stopped, proceed with caution. Avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged by the quake.
  • Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you’re sure it’s safe to exit. More injuries happen when people move during the shaking of an earthquake. After the shaking has stopped, if you go outside, move quickly away from the building to prevent injury from falling debris.
  • Stay away from windows. Windows can shatter with such force that you can be injured several feet away.
  • In a high-rise building, expect the fire alarms and sprinklers to go off during a quake. Earthquakes frequently cause fire alarm and fire sprinkler systems to go off even if there is no fire. Check for and extinguish small fires, and, if exiting, use the stairs.
  • If you are in a coastal area, move to higher ground. Tsunamis are often created by earthquakes. (See the “Tsunami”section for more information).
  • If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris that could be loosened by the earthquake. Landslides commonly happen after earthquakes. (See the“Landslide” section for more information.)


What to Do After an Earthquake

  • Check yourself for injuries. Often people tend to others without checking their own injuries. You will be better able to care for others if you are not injured or if you have received first aid for your injuries.
  • Protect yourself from further danger by putting on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes, and work gloves. This will protect your from further injury by broken objects.
  • After you have taken care of yourself, help injured or trapped persons. If you have it in your area, call 9-1-1, then give first aid when appropriate. Don’t try to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury.
  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Eliminate fire hazards. Putting out small fires quickly, using available resources, will prevent them from spreading. Fire is the most common hazard following earthquakes. Fires followed the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 for three days, creating more damage than the earthquake.
  • Leave the gas on at the main valve, unless you smell gas or think it’s leaking. It may be weeks or months before professionals can turn gas back on using the correct procedures. Explosions have caused injury and death when homeowners have improperly turned their gas back on by themselves.
  • Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline, or other flammable liquids immediately. Avoid the hazard of a chemical emergency.
  • Open closet and cabinet doors cautiously. Contents may have shifted during the shaking of an earthquake and could fall, creating further damage or injury.
  • Inspect your home for damage. Get everyone out if your home is unsafe. Aftershocks following earthquakes can cause further damage to unstable buildings. If your home has experienced damage, get out before aftershocks happen.
  • Help neighbors who may require special assistance. Elderly people and people with disabilities may require additional assistance. People who care for them or who have large families may need additional assistance in emergency situations.
  • Listen to a portable, battery-operated radio (or television) for updated emergency information and instructions. If the electricity is out, this may be your main source of information. Local radio and local officials provide the most appropriate advice for your particular situation.
  • Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, drop, cover, and hold on! Aftershocks frequently occur minutes, days, weeks, and even months following an earthquake.
  • Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines, and stay out of damaged areas. Hazards caused by earthquakes are often difficult to see, and you could be easily injured.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings. If you are away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe. Damaged buildings may be destroyed by aftershocks following the main quake.
  • Use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights to inspect your home. Kerosene lanterns, torches, candles, and matches may tip over or ignite flammables inside.
  • Inspect the entire length of chimneys carefully for damage. Unnoticed damage could lead to fire or injury from falling debris during an aftershock. Cracks in chimneys can be the cause of a fire years later.
  • Take pictures of the damage, both to the house and its contents, for insurance claims.
  • Avoid smoking inside buildings. Smoking in confined areas can cause fires.

Sorry about the funny pictures, I couldn’t resist but take this shit seriouly because John Cusack is not coming to rescue you…


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Swagger- Mike the Barber Interview (Worst Haircuts of All-Time)




Mike the Barber Interview

Worst Haircuts of All-Time 

Written by: Ryan Fu @fu_beatz 

Confidence is a funny thing, especially when your man. When you’re confident about yourself, you are willing to take on the world.  When you’re not confident, you don’t even want to leave your house. You can gain confidence thru experience but sometimes you have to fake it until you get experience from it. One way to feel confident is making yourself look presentable to other people. As the adage goes, “if you look good, then you feel good.” Naturally, the first thing people notice is a person’s face. It’s all about perception to people, if you are well groomed then it is likely you are more successful, then a person, who doesn’t take care of their appearance. Miguel Topete is a well-groomed man, which he has more swagger then the Dos Equis Guy. He has been a kick ass barber in SoCal for several years and he knows how to make men feel more confident about themselves through a pair of scissors. In this great interview with Mike the Barber we talk about shop, hair and the paparazzi. Also, we have add the worst haircuts that you should never rock outside in the real world, no matter how much swagger you got, just don’t jock these styles unless you don’t like getting laid.

The 70’s Ear Cover


Among the foremost wearers of this were Pete Rose and Bobby Brady. We all know what it looks like but wish we didn’t.



Ryan Fu:  Do you like being called a barber or a hair technician? Do you have a different term for it? 

Mike:   Barber. Keep it simple it is what it is.

Ryan Fu:   How long have you’ve been a barber? 

Mike:   I’ve been a barber for 9 years. On and off, working at a shop.


Ryan Fu:   Why did you decide to become a barber and how did you get started?

Mike:    I became a barber because I lacked direction. I wasn’t meant for school. I grew up in a family somehow linked to barbering. So it came naturally.

Ryan Fu:    Do you like being a barber? Why?

Mike:    I do. I get satisfaction in knowing I’ve hooked someone up and they are comfortable with the work I’ve produced. A sense of pride for my client and me.


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Ryan Fu:   Besides being a barber were you also a Photo Journalist? Aka a paparazzi

Mike:   Yeah I was paparazzo for quite a while.

Ryan Fu:    Do you like being paparazzi? What was the best/ worst thing about being a pap?

Mike:     I did. The best thing about being paparazzi was the rush of getting the “money shot”. The adrenaline that pumps the through your veins as you start a follow on a celeb. It’s difficult to replace now that I’ve stopped. The worst is mostly the hate and ignorance you run into.

Ryan Fu:    You got any fun celebrity stories?

Mike:    Don’t we all? It’s hard to pin point a favorite. As long as they were chaotic it was fun for me. Frustration in everyone was fun for me. Made it actually feel like work to me. 


Ryan Fu:   Did your experiences as a Pap help you out as a barber or in life?

Mike:    I’m sure it has. I know how to deal with people coming at you with negative attitudes and resentment, and flip it around and make things livable. Oh, and the streets of L.A. I know them very well now.





Ryan Fu:    Give me some insights as a barber when a new customer comes into your shop, do you automatically know what haircut they want or do you suggest or even tell the person that would be a stupid haircut on you?

Mike:    Most people know what they want coming in the door. I do my best to give them that haircut and make it best suited for them. If it just simply doesn’t suit them I change their mind pretty easily. My main concern is to make them comfortable and befriend them so they feel confident leaving the shop.

Ryan Fu:   What’s your favorite haircut all-time?

Mike:   The pompadour. Its classic, stylin’ and its rock & roll.





Ryan Fu:   Give me the dos and Don’ts in the shop?


Mike:   Don’t bring your lady. Don’t let your kids run around. Don’t forget to tip your barber. Do keep on coming in. 

Ryan Fu:   What do you dislike about being a barber? 

Mike:    The standing. But I can live with it.

Ryan Fu:    What do you love about being a barber?

Mike:    The relationships you build with your clientele. Very different from being a paparazzi. Barbers are a part of the community. 

Ryan Fu:     Are you the fucking best at what you do? 

Mike:    In this business most barbers “think” they’re the best. We all know I hold that title. Ha-ha. Just like in life, you never stop learning.





Ryan Fu:   What makes your so successful?

Mike:    The hustle man. I’m not there yet, but I’m on my way. What I do know is that I’m blessed. 

Ryan Fu:   What is your Philosophy on relationships, business and life?

Mike:    Relationships are tough. Business is the work I put out, so I make sure to give my very best. Life is a journey I’ve been given to make my way through. Let’s see how I do. Till’ then I say to death “not today.” hahaha

razor sweeney todd johnny depp 1920x1200 wallpaper_www.wallmay.net_67

Come visit Mike and get a great haircut @

The Takeover Barber Shop

14515 Valley View Ave
Ste S
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670

FB: Facebook.com/thetakeoverbarbershop

IG: thetakeoverbarbershop

Follow Mike on his Instagram @ switchblademike

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Going out for a Run: Koreatown (Just Pictures)


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"Oxymoron" by Schoolboy Q

Oxymoronic Expectations


Schoolboy Q is one of my favorite rappers in the game and he is highly underrated as a lyricists. This a great article about his new album Oxymoron and how Q is dealing with his new found success. Personally, I liked the album but then again I have always loved all the West Coast artists. Westside Ryder!!!

Originally posted on hungryhippopotamus:

I’ve made no secret of my TDE fandom. I write about them more than any other group and constantly profess my admiration for the quality and impact of their work. In the last five years, Top Dawg Entertainment has gone from being a regional curiosity to an independent critical darling to a full fledged major player in the rap game. They have played everything to perfection, building off of each success and positioning themselves for the inevitable industry takeover. After using Kendrick’s coronation to expand their empire, 2014 finds them in full on attack mode. Thus Oxymoron, Schoolboy Q’s first major label album, represents the most important moment for the young label. It’s a chance to prove that Kendrick’s commercial success was more than just a fluke, that the label is more than just a one trick pony. And if you don’t know, now you know: TDE runs deep. Oxymoron 

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Midnight Cities Band Review- Locals Only (L.A. Natives)


Midnight Cities

Band Review

Locals Only

(L.A. Natives)

Written by: Ryan Fu @fu_beatz 

Fuck Hollywood.

Fuck all the fake ass people you meet on the daily, talking about industry bullshit, sexting their lives away on their crackberry. Every time I talk to someone in Holly-weird I feel like I’m talking to a robot with their generic answers about how they feel about life and their bullshit 9 to 5 jobs. Take it from Neo; you can’t experience life from a cubicle. Fuck all the tourists and the annoying paparazzi with their flashing lights. KimYe and Paris are overrated.

Fuck their dress code and fancy attire,

Fuck the fake smiles and the lies they tell you. The streets aren’t paved in gold but in the blood of people’s dreams that are smashed in year after year.

But if you’re tough and determined enough, you just might make it in the Jungle we call L.A.


One Friday night, I might have found a band that might be tough enough for the mean streets of Cali and can find success in Hollywood. I found myself far away from the hated Hollywood scene to check out Midnight Cities at the Lot 1 Café in Echo Park. If you lived in Los Angeles for a little but you’ve probably have heard about Echo Park. It’s not much of a tourist attraction with the exception of the park but you wouldn’t come here for anything else except if you worked or lived here.

This is why I like to come to Echo Park because it is far away from all the Hollywood bullshit. You get that feel of “Locals Only” as soon as you step into Lot 1 Café. There is no waiting in line, no ugly bouncer, no rude greeter at the door, just alcohol, real people and good music. This is where I met and heard the sound of Midnight Cities.


The bar is small as fuck but it feels like home with no weird funky drink names. You ask for a beer and you get a beer, no bullshit. People, who live around the neighborhood, gather there with their friends for a drink and to listen to good music. Not once, while I was there did I hear anything concerning about the Crapdashians or any Hollywood jargon. It was real people having real conversations about life. The music was the same way with each band playing from their hearts regardless if anyone was listening to them or not. Midnight Cities is one of these bands playing tonight.

If you thought the bar was small, the room where the bands played where even smaller. Just imagine a rock band and a dozen of your friends playing in your Master Bedroom.

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But I liked it.

Just four walls, a couple of lights and a band that’s all you really need. There’s something personal and romantic about watching a band that is seriously two feet away from you. I was right in front, two feet away, watching Midnight Cities killing it.


They are much louder and play faster then the rest of the bands I heard that night. You could hear that their music is heavily influenced by bands in the 90s like Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, and Nirvana. The band consists of Nick, the drummer, Martin, the bassist and the leader/singer-songwriter, Simon Cardoza.


Nick is the straight forward, no nonsense type of guy. When he asks for a beer, he gets a beer. This is how he plays the drums with confidence and the bravado of a man, who knows who he is and knows want he wants. He has a day job but want he really wants is just to be a musician and play in a good band. Right now he is crushing on the drums, adding the thudding sounds of Midnight Cities. You can hear the pain, the frustrations and the love as he beats the living the hell out of the drums, trying to leave everything he has out there on the stage like a samurai on the battlefield.

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Martin, a warrior himself, is more elegant with his instrument as he looks like he’s playing on a cloud. If Nick is the heart of the band with his beats then Martin would be the spirit of the band. As he plays so effortlessly and without a care in the world even though he just found out he just got laid off from his job, that doesn’t deter him from having a good time and play good music. He is very philosophical in the way he lives his life and how he plays music as he goes with the flow musically and spiritually.


But it wouldn’t be Voltron without their captain and fearless leader Simon Cardoza. Simon formed this group and he is charge of everything, from the music, the marketing and even when they should eat a grilled cheese sandwich or not before performing. He is a man with a plan. This plan involves playing music for a living and not as a side gig. He wants to make music that people will love and enjoy. Music is his passion in which he would gladly risk it all and put himself out there to see one person enjoy his music. Just like Nick and Martin, Simon is there for the love of music and you can see it when they perform.

Far away from the broken dreams of Hollywood Boulevard, I saw a band still trying to reach for stars. There’s something awesome about watching a relatively new band performing in a small room with only a couple of people watching them, playing their asses off like they were playing on the Main Stage at Coachella. This is why I think Midnight Cities is going to be a successful band. With the Simon’s passion about music and his band member’s work ethic, this band is ready to launch into to space and into the stars where nothing matters except for the things that really matter to you. But for now I like knowing Midnight Cities before they become rock stars, it’s like a “Local’s Only” thing.



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It’s Much More than Street Art – Morley Interview By Ryan Fu


It’s Much More than Street Art

Morley Interview

L.A. Natives

Written by: Ryan Fu @fu_beatz

“People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish… but that’s only if it’s done properly.”  – Banksy

You’ve seen it while driving around Los Angeles, a poster with a guy with glasses, a stencil marker in his hand sometimes looking at you or just writing a simple message about life but it’s thought provoking. Once you see the piece of street art, you keep thinking about the message like a song that you can’t get out of your head. If you’re wondering which street artists made the piece? It was probably Morley, contemporary graffiti artists, who uses paste prints to delivery his message. You can see him in the day time, putting up is paste prints all over the streets of L.A, trying to change people’s mind and grabbing their hearts at the same time.


This leads me to a question, is street art more than something cool you saw on a wall or in an alley? Should street art just be considered like any form of art regardless if you see it in a fancy gallery or not? I think so. All the street artists I know and love have the artistic and creative abilities like well-known artists like Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh. In the past decade, street art has become more accepted in the mainstream, thanks to the creative genius of Banksy and the success of Mr. Brainwash’s documentary, Exit Through the Giftshop. There are more street artists than ever and street art itself has become more evolved. Sometimes you’ll see street art of people or characters that viewers have to really think and understand the message.


This is why love Morley because he just tells you what he is feeling, then you decide if you like it or not. Simplicity.

 “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” – Albert Einstein


Also, I have never seen street artists actually putting themselves on their pieces. A lot of street artists prefer to keep their identity a secret because they work in a grey area in the eye’s of the law. Not Morley, he wants people to know who made this piece of art. I personally like it because it makes his art more personable and relatable because we can see ourselves doing and thinking about those same things.

I first saw a piece of Morley’s prints a year ago, not on a busy street or intersection but on a board in front of an abandon lot. It stood out from anything around it and was memorable. I think that’s why so many people love street art. It makes other things around it more beautiful especially if you are in a shitty area. Street art doesn’t care if millions of people get a chance to look at it but if it can affect one person then it has done what it’s supposed to do. For example, evoking people’s feelings about how they feel about the art piece.  To change people’s mind or least have them thinking about the subject differently. Street art is all about Hearts and Minds.

Live Well Love Easy Framed Lets Fall In Love Like Both Our Parents Arent Divorced Framed

Morley understands this and this is one of the reasons why I believe he is one of the best street artists in Los Angeles.

Check out this great interview with Morley:

Ryan Fu:   What are you famous for?

Morley:    Other than my prize-winning skills in animal husbandry, I’m known by some for the posters I wheat paste around Los Angeles and beyond.

Ryan Fu:   Do you like being an artist?

Morley:   Like any activity that gives us purpose, there’s always a little bit of agony that goes along the gratification. It’s enough to scare off the timid but not enough to kill the intoxicating high one can have in putting on paper the contents of their heart. It’s the fear of ridicule and rejection that’s the hangover you get the next morning.


Ryan Fu:   I read your Wikipedia page and it said you were from Iowa. Is there a lot of street art there and why did you move to L.A.?

Morley:   There may be street art in Iowa now, but I never saw any of it when I lived there. I like to think of my move to LA as a journey not unlike that of an immigrant traveling to America at the turn of the century, chasing a naive dream built on the myths that floated out of Hollywood of independent filmmakers of the 90s finding fortune and creative glory making the films that inspired me as a kid. Once I got here, I discovered that I was just one of about a billion people hoping to distinguish myself from the rest of the crowd. It was my inability to find success and my hunger to express myself in some public way that led to making my posters.


Ryan Fu:    Who was your role model or inspiration when you were growing up?

Morley:   Growing up I took most of my cues from the artists I admired. Rivers Cuomo of the band Weezer was a big one for me as a kid. This was in the Blue album-Pinkerton era when he was (in my mind) a much more appropriate hero to me than Kurt Cobain or Eddie Vedder could ever have been. As much as I liked their music- I always knew deep down that I wasn’t as ruggedly handsome or fashionably rebellious as either of them. Rivers Cuomo on the other hand would sing about playing. Dungeons and Dragons in his garage and dreaming of getting to dance with the girl he liked. Needless to say, he was speaking my language.

Ryan Fu:    If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing with your life?

Morley:   I’d like to think I’d find way of expressing myself no matter what I was doing. The other day I was fantasizing about being a curator at a museum but decided I’d probably be fired for setting up an elaborate display of a flying squirrels attacking a cowboy riding a tyrannosaurus rex and his sidekick, a shark with a jetpack.

Ryan Fu:   How did you get started in street art?


Morley:  The great thing about street art is that there’s no application and no one who gives one permission to do it. I had gotten my first taste of street art when I moved to New York to attend college at The School of Visual Arts. Soon after I started putting up stickers with my slogans on them around the subway, once I moved to LA, the fact that so few people take the subway led me to go bigger, as to be noticed by a passing car or bus.

 Ryan Fu:   Do you think street art is more accepted now than it was ten years ago?

Morley:    Without a question. I think like most counter-culture artistic expressions, it goes from being seductively taboo to being dismissed by our elders, to being slowly accepted as a benign method of rebellious articulation, to being common and then being exploited and eventually neutered. See also Dadaism, beat poetry, hippie culture, punk rock, etc. This may sound sort of glum or pessimistic but it’s kind of the way of all artistic movements. I think street art is somewhere in the middle of that cycle. It’s up to not only the artists but those who embrace them to keep it a relevant and vital art form.

Ryan Fu: Where do you get your creative ideas or inspiration from?

Morley:  I try to mine the frustrations and disappointments of myself and my friends as well as the overall sense of those living and dreaming in Los Angeles. Where as many of my contemporaries may find their fuel in protesting injustice or examining the iconography of celebrity culture, I’m more interested in lending a voice of encouragement or hope through an intimate and perhaps more emotional tone.

Ryan Fu: Do you believe that words or pictures are more powerful?


Morley:    I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me- the pictures painted by the RIGHT words have a profound effect that’s unrivaled.

Ryan Fu:   Due to the nature of street art, have you ever been harassed by law enforcement, if so, how did you deal with it?

Morley:    I’ve been stopped and questioned by the cops. I’ve had my background checked and gotten more than a few lectures- but haven’t yet been arrested. If the police are only a little ambivalent to what I do, it’s probably because I make a point to avoid doing significant property damage and keep my messages positive. For me, the key is always to respectfully listen, take down whatever poster I’ve been caught putting up and promise to never ever ever do it again. Thankfully I’ve managed to convince them and avoid jail time.

Ryan Fu:   What is your process on deciding how to say in your pieces and how do you figure out where to place them?

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Morley:    The phrases in my pieces come to me throughout the day and then I write them down and begin trying to decide how exactly to phrase them. The science is just in trying to convey ideas in as concise a manner as possible. Once I get it, I then try to figure out how it should look on the page. The moment when the piece is done is when it just magically feels “right.” Some times, this can manifest quickly and without much exploration, other times though, it can be annoyingly elusive.

Ryan Fu:    What do you hope for when you put your art up for the public to view?

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Morley:    The dream is that it relates to each person who happens upon it in a unique and significant way. Maybe it provides a kind word that keeps them going, maybe it makes them examine some part of their lives that they’ve left dormant, maybe it just makes them laugh. In any case, if it gives them something unexpected and ideally, leaves them with something to think about.

Ryan Fu:   How do you handle criticism?

Morley: Up to now, I have a lot more experience with rejection than with criticism. I wish I could say that nothing bothers me, but one needs some pretty heroic calluses to weather most pointed criticism. I feel like I have a considerably thick skin those with people simply saying “NO” to me, but the moment when you’re embraced by any establishment, it opens a door to a new kind of horror. It’s hard to say what hurts more, if you’re in a band, it would be like every record label rejecting your album- or finding one that will and being made a laughing-stock by every blog and magazine that sniffs out a little blood in the water.

Ryan Fu:    Which other street artists do you respect in the game and why?

Morley:   I respect any and all artists that have the guts to demand their voices be heard. The thing that I like most is when an artist has such a distinct style that their work is unmistakable. It’s rare to find an artist bold enough to avoid being derivative of the artists they admire.

Ryan Fu:   What is your philosophy on: business, relationships, life & art.

Morley:   Simply put, just don’t be a jerk. That pretty much sums it all up I think. It’s amazing to me how difficult that seems to be for some people.

Ryan Fu:   What are your hopes or goals in life?

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Morley:   My hopes are for a better, brighter world, full of people who are good at forgiving those who bump into them. My goals are to try to help the world get just a little bit closer to that reality.

Ryan Fu:    How long do you see yourself doing street art?

Morley:    I’ll do it as long as I feel like it bestows me with a sense of purpose. Putting up posters that may have played some small part in improving the disposition of those trudging through this life, searching for love, validity and acceptance has been what gets me up most mornings. The day that I feel like I’ve said all I can say is the day I’ll finally shut my mouth, so to speak.

Ryan Fu:    What advice can you give for young aspiring artists?

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Morley:    Embrace what makes you distinctive. We all want to be cool- but cool is boring and easily forgotten. It’s un-cool to celebrate your frailty, to raise your weak humanity like a flag and carry it into battle. The great thing is, even if you lose the battle- no one will forget the bravery it takes to enter the fray as you are, without a justification or an apology. And really- isn’t that the kind of glory we all want to be remembered for?

Morley as has book coming out April 15th, 2014. You can check it out along with his art pieces on his website @ www.MorleyBook.com or is personal website is www.IAmMorley.com

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