Why You Should Work With ArtLoveMagic (A Guest Post by Konnichiwa Zach)

(Photo Credits: SB Freelance, Musico Roots Photography)

So…why should you get ArtLoveMagic for your event?

One word– Interesting.

Now, I don’t mean this in the “Mom, what do you think of my dyed blue Mohawk?” type of “…interesting.”  I mean ‘interesting’ in that you really should take notice in how amazing art is as it’s created around you by those with vision and love for their craft.

There’s a saying that gets floated around the ArtLoveMagic offices whenever events are discussed.  “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall never snap.”  Me, I’m not the flexible type.  I’m the type who frenetically needs twenty things done now.  Luckily, I hand- selected folks who know their craft and can handle the curveballs that are thrown at them with skill and professionalism.

Since I’ve worked on a number of events with the ALM crew, I’ve been lucky enough to develop a personal and professional rapport with the artists, and had my choice of any number of amazing visual artists to choose from.

The show that I was helping to produce was the 2010 Southwest Shootout Poetry Slam—a 16 team spoken word competition held June 11 & 12 at the Kessler Theatre in Dallas, TX.  Now, if you’re familiar with the nature of slam, it’s a very audience interactive aural/visual experience.  For this show, though…I wanted something additional, something memorable.  I wanted something that would be organic…alive…and beautiful– something that the audience would take home with them.

When I came to the ArtLoveMagic folks with the concept of what I was doing, I came in with the show in front of me as…well…a problem I was trying to figure out.

I approached founder Justin Nygren during a workshop on producing live events.  He, along with a number of my classmates, provided me with some wonderful suggestions…but the suggestion that stuck the most with me was “I work with this group called ArtLoveMagic…”  So I knew who I needed to make this show more amazing than it would have been otherwise.

In talking with the artists I’d chosen, I’d asked them to make stuff that the audience could, as I stated earlier, take home.  I had a lot of folks coming in from across the country, and wanted objets d’art that would be portable and affordable for them.

For this show, my first choice of the artists to choose from was, well, the founders of ArtLoveMagic.  Since these guys do such amazing work on the production side, I felt it was important and something of an honor for me to have them work a show as artists, their first love.

Now, Justin, in addition to producing live events, does on-demand screen printing of t-shirts, bags, etc, through his business Shirts=Awesome.  I provided Justin with our logo, and he was able to effectively turn it into a perfect representation and an affordable souvenir for my patrons.  The benefit of having the on-demand service is that you as the purchaser aren’t left with a ton of leftover shirts that wind up as white elephant gifts or dust rags.  We were able to negotiate a very reasonable price, and came out with some very cool on-the spot schwag!

Next, David Rodriguez…I can’t say enough about how talented this dude is.  In the course of four hours, inspired by the work spilling from the stage, the audience was given the pleasure of seeing an 8’X 4’ work created from start to finish in less than 4 hours.  Created from the side of the stage where the poets performed,  overlooking the proceedings was a cobalt blue and shadow nuanced image of  poet and microphone—to see it evoked from canvas in such quick fashion was truly mesmerizing. 

Michael Lagocki’s bright color and deep lined comic-book influence works truly shined outward.  During the evening, I peered over to watch this barefoot wide eyed master bring forth this living, animate robot created in preparation for his next collaboration.  I’ve been privileged to watch Mike create time and time again.  Personality, humor, and charm shine from each piece that this poet/artist creates, and the love and intensity he exudes is genuine.

In addition to these three, I had two more artists added to the mix.  Trayce, a young artist and poet from the University of North Texas handcrafted the iconic visage for our poster work.  The flaming microphone against the brightness of a red Texas sun couldn’t have been more appropriate for the theme of our show.  Bringing him on to our show for live art creation was a no-brainer.  In addition to the poetry he added to the prior nights festivities, his ink sketches created should make your pens jealous, in the fact that they might not be allowed to create something that amazing.  Graffiti influenced, Trayce’s unique style is an earnest portrayal of desiccation and understanding.

Finally, Desiree’ Mazzola’s jewelry rounded out this night of take-home art in its crafting and presentation.  Working in a variety of media, Desiree’s even keel and work is the sign of an artist who likes what she does and ever growing in her craft.  Unpretentious and organic, each piece she makes is a bit of heart warmth you can wear.

Now, one of the apprehensions of bringing live art to your event may be “the mess”.  This should be of very little concern to you and your facility.  One of ArtLoveMagic’s basic tenets is to ‘leave it better than you found it.’  The Kessler Theatre, a recently remodeled theatre in the heart of Oak Cliff, the venue chosen for the event, is a beautiful building with hardwood floors and state of the art equipment.  I had no doubts that these young artisans would ensure that setup/cleanup would be performed swiftly and promptly, with discretion, and care for the building.  Unafraid to ask questions about facility, tempo, and theme of the event, these artists were the picture of professionalism.

As a part of our partnership with ALM for Saturday’s show, we were able to reach a network of people who care about art and art based events with announcements, emails, and general word of mouth through social media.  As the ArtLoveMagic brand grows, it comes to mean an association with events of quality, high interest, and fun.

ArtLoveMagic is also dedicated to networking with those who bring positivity to their community.  Through them, I was able to network with HipHopHelpsHeal, an organization dedicated to using music to helping the homeless of DFW.  Provided with five DJ’s Friday and Saturday, I not only was provided with unique beats and grooves to keep the show moving, but was given an opportunity to bring awareness to folks about an organization doing good things right in their hometown.

The event itself, the second day final round of competition was stunning, to say the least.  The singer for the afterparty band Glowing House was heard to say on mic, and I’m paraphrasing here, that “It’s amazing to come into a city, that you don’t know, and feel like you’re in the coolest place, with the coolest people, at the best event happening in town.”  I couldn’t have agreed more.  Bringing ArtLoveMagic’s collaboration to our event added a level of j’en sais quois that you won’t find anywhere else.  Visual art is entertainment, and to see it created before you, to see process, and to approach the artist about their work is a unique experience.  Watching these artists work in the parameters afforded by their space, yet creating amazing work right before hundreds of eyes of our patrons was just unbelievable.

So…do something different for your next event…bring art to the table!  At your disposal with ArtLoveMagic are any variety of painters, sculptors, poets, musicians, photographers, and volunteers amongst others, with a unique sensibility dedicated to unifying your crowd with captivating artistry of all shapes, forms and media, and educating on the virtue and positive aspects of art, in all its forms.  This sensibility comes from the basic principle that ArtLoveMagic is founded upon—give artists the opportunity to grow in your community, and you will foster growth of your community as a whole.

This is my first blog post anywhere.  But after such a positive experience with those who are so dedicated to nurturing and caring for the growth of people in general, I felt that praises for these folks needed to be sung.  Thank you, ArtLoveMagic for an amazing night.  You certainly made it…interesting.  Let’s do this again sometime.

Konnichiwa Zach

2010 Southwest Shootout Volunteer Coordinator.

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One Response to “Why You Should Work With ArtLoveMagic (A Guest Post by Konnichiwa Zach)”

  1. Love it, KZach. Thanks for the post. It’s cats like you that make this community work.

    And the Shootout was a blast.
    -ML

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