‘Graffiti artists’ killed by train were ‘common scum and criminals’ says Beckenham Tory

A former TfL board member from Beckenham has faced a fierce backlash after calling three suspected graffiti artists found dead on train tracks “common scum”.

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Nordstrom Partners With the Whitney Museum to Support Emerging and Contemporary Artists

Nordstrom is partnering with the Whitney Museum of Art to support the museum’s commitment to emerging and contemporary artists. The partnership, which began this spring, will continue into fall 2019.
Nordstrom owns a vast collection of work from emerging artists, which the retailer has been cultivating since the Sixties. There are 40 to 140 works in each store, depending on its size and available space. The collection includes regional, national and international artists, many of which were commissioned to create original pieces for Nordstrom. Among the artists featured are John Grade, Gabriel Dawe, Stan Bitters, Dirk De Bruycker, Tanya Aguiniga, Claudia Meyer, Edward Lentsch, Keiko Gonzalez and Chase Langford.
In late 2016, the Art @ Nordstrom app was launched, providing customers with an audio and visual guide to the collections on view. The app is available for three of the Canadian stores, and will be rolled out in New York at the recently opened men’s store, followed by the women’s flagship in the fall of 2019.
“Art and fashion are symbiotic and we care deeply that our store experience supports the communities they are designed to serve and inspire. The opportunity is limitless to evolve the strength of these worlds, and with that

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Spotify CEO admits the company bungled policy on artists like R. Kelly


With the dust settled from the controversy over Spotify’s ban on promoting artists like R. Kelly, its CEO admitted they messed up the rollout.

The streaming company received backlash after announcing its policy on hate speech and hateful conduct, which meant Spotify wouldn’t allow music from artists who contravene this to be promoted on its playlists or anywhere in its service.  

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told Recode’s Code Conference on Wednesday that they “rolled this out wrong” and that they “could’ve done a much better job” on communicating its new policy. Read more…

More about Tech, Entertainment, Music, Spotify, and R Kelly



Diddy’s $21.1 Million Art Buy Is Believed to Be the Highest Ever for a Living African-American Artist’s Work

Sean Combs, the producer, rapper, and impresario better known by stage names including Diddy and Puff Daddy, has been revealed as the buyer of painter Kerry James Marshall’s painting “Past Times” (1997) at Sotheby’s on Wednesday. The $ 21.1 million dollar price tag is widely believed to be the highest ever for the work of a living African-American artist.

“Past Times” depicts a black family enjoying an afternoon at a lakefront park. Like much of Marshall’s work, the image balances anxiety and celebration, depicting a positive image of blackness that can’t avoid tension with America’s racial reality. The piece is 13 feet wide, one of many wall-sized paintings Marshall has produced since the 1990s. The record sale follows a landmark winter 2016 retrospective of Marshall’s work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

kerry james washington past times
Kerry James Marshall’s “Past Times,” 1997.Sotheby’s

The record sale is part of a broad and ongoing art market acceleration that has produced many all-time high prices for individual artists and categories. The art market usually rises with the broader economy, but contributing factors in this cycle have also included increased interest from Chinese collectors. African-American artists in particular are enjoying a spotlight moment, as seen in the enthusiasm that recently greeted Kehinde Wiley’s official portrait of President Barack Obama.

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Combs’ greatest achievement in hip-hop may have been shepherding the career of Christopher Wallace, better known as the Notorious B.I.G., considered by many to remain the greatest rapper to ever live. Combs’ art collection, too, features all-time greats, reportedly including works by Ai Weiwei and Andy Warhol. According to the New York Times, Combs was introduced to Marshall’s work by the hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz, also an art collector.

Marshall, born in 1955, is just a few years too old to be part of the hip-hop generation that Combs represents. But his work shares a lot with the musical genre, including a focus on the black experience and the frequent use of visual sampling, deconstruction, and remixing. One example is found in another of Marshall’s most famous works. “School of Beauty, School of Culture” (2012) contains a wry reference to the 14th-century English painting “The Ambassadors,” which hides an anamorphic skull representing the inevitability of death. In Kerry’s re-envisioning, the head of a blonde white woman is concealed in the image of a black beauty shop–perhaps representing its own kind of looming threat.



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At Dakar Biennale, Africa’s artists urged to seize chance

DAKAR (Reuters) – Senegal’s old Palais de Justice sits among some of the most sought-after real estate in the capital Dakar, where it shares a stunning sea view with the nearby French ambassador’s residence.

Reuters: Arts


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Cuban artists plan to stage alternative Havana biennial

HAVANA (Reuters) – A group of Cuban artists plans on Saturday to launch a biennial independent of state institutions on the Communist-run island, despite fierce opposition from the government, which has called it a “provocative maneuver.”

Reuters: Arts


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Starworks Artists Is Hiring An Assistant To Agent In New York, NY

Starworks Artists, a boutique agency representing wardrobe stylists, hair, and makeup artists to A-list celebrities seeks assistant to agent.  Must be knowledgeable of and interested in beauty industry, fashion, and entertainment. One year entertainment booking experience preferred …

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War gives sense of urgency to collaboration between two Syrian artists

BEIRUT (Reuters) – One is the grandson of an Armenian troubadour who fled to Syria in 1915. The other is a descendant of a Syrian army chief who died fighting the French in 1920. One hails from Aleppo, the other from Damascus. Both Syrian artists call New York, where they met 17 years ago, home.

Reuters: Arts


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Hiring A Financial Planner: How To Separate The Pros From The Con Artists

Hiring a financial planner is one of the most important steps you can take with your finances. The right person can be an invaluable asset to your efforts to build wealth for yourself and your family. On the other hand, shows like CNBC’s American Greed graphically illustrate what can happen when you trust the wrong person with your money. To separate the pros from the con artists, take the following steps before hiring a financial planner.


Whether it’s a boiler-room style cold call with a can’t-miss investment opportunity, an unsolicited e-mail, or traditionally mailed invitation to an investment seminar, a person showing up at your church with your pastor’s blessing, or someone at a table set up at a professional conference, keep your guard up when you get an unsolicited pitch to manage your money from a stranger. It doesn’t always mean you should dismiss them out of hand, but you need to check, double-check and triple-check these people before you even think about doing business with them. There is no such thing as over-investigating a person who wants to help manage your money. Bypass anyone who resists or resents your efforts to find out everything you need to know to protect yourself.

In any case, when it comes to hiring a financial planner, it is nearly always better for you to find them than it is for them to find you. Start with getting referrals from friends, relatives, and associates. Once word gets around that you are looking for help managing your money, there will be plenty of people lining up to help you. However, even if someone comes recommended by your most trusted family member, friend, or business associate, don’t just take his or her word for it; confirm first-hand that this person is who and what they say they are—both qualified and trustworthy to help you manage your money. Start by taking the following steps.


Check for their professional credentials. But don’t just accept any combination of letters after their name. Look for the hard-to-get acronyms, including CFP for Certified Financial Planner and ChFC for Chartered Financial Consultant.

These certifications are valuable because they generally require initial course work and exams, and ongoing education and testing, to earn and maintain them. Those who hold such designations are also usually expected to adhere to a published code of ethics. Other certifications may also be valid, but check to make sure that they didn’t just pay a fee to add fancy-sounding letters after their name.

Check all candidates’ track records with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA.org) and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC.gov) to see if any regulatory actions have been taken against them. Check with the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA.org) to make sure they are registered with your state’s securities department and check for complaints against them. If the planner sells insurance products, also check his or her track record with your state’s division of insurance.

In most cases, you don’t actually need any kind of certification or formal education at all to do business as a financial planner. However, hiring a financial planner who is not a certified professional makes about as much sense as hiring an unlicensed electrician to work on the wiring in your house. It might seem to not matter much, and may even be less expensive—until everything goes up in flames.

By the way, the time to confirm that a financial planner has these credentials is before you share personal financial information, sign anything, or hand over access to your hard-earned money.


Once you’ve sought referrals from family and friends and checked credentials to narrow down the list of candidates, you’ll want to set up initial meetings with the remaining contenders to interview them and ask key questions. Here’s how to approach these first meetings.

First, I must repeat: Never commit to handing over any money in the first meeting. The planner doesn’t work for you yet; you’re just in interview mode. Pass on any planner who wants to charge you for an initial consultation or who pressures you to buy anything in that first meeting. A planner may sell securities and other products, but they shouldn’t being doing any selling before you’ve actually created a financial plan. Be wary of financial pros who are more focused on the selling than they are on the planning.

Before hiring a financial planner, be sure you understand how he or she expects to be paid for services. Is it by the hour? A commission on transactions? A flat fee? Or some combination of these? Have them put their fee policy in writing. (Learn more about fee structures at NerdWallet.com.)

Check for compatibility. Does this planner have experience with clients like you? If you’re a middle-aged family man trying to secure his retirement, you may not want a planner who is more experienced with young, single high-income professionals who may have a higher risk tolerance than you can handle.

When considering hiring a financial planner, think of him or her just as you would your personal physician. Are you comfortable with being honest and transparent about your finances (often called being “financially naked”) with this person? Does he or she actually listen to you? Are they focused on your goals, as opposed to pressing you to serve a separate agenda? If the answer to all of these questions is not a resolute “yes,” it’s a no.


A bad financial adviser, one who is incompetent—or worse, a criminal—can irreparably damage your finances and threaten your future. To avoid the latter when hiring a financial planner, here are some statements that you should take as your signal to back away and hold on to your money:
“Don’t worry if you don’t understand my investment strategy. It’s sophisticated stuff. That’s what you pay me for.”
Wrong! You should completely understand any recommended investment and why it fits your strategy and financial goals. If you don’t get it, you shouldn’t be invested in it. You must have final say on every aspect of your financial plan. If you get even a hint that a financial planner might forget that they work for you, not the other way around, keep it moving.
“I love the Lord, so you can trust me with your money.”
Major red flag. Many incompetent or unscrupulous financial planners will seek undeserved trust via a common church or religious affiliation. Subscribe to the trust-in-God-all-others-pay-cash approach. There’s nothing wrong with a financial planner who is a person of faith, but be prepared to hold them accountable for their performance as a financial professional, not as a fellow believer. The same applies to those who try to use racial solidarity, gender, or another shared attribute that has nothing to do with a planner’s competence and trustworthiness. Scammers will also push these affiliation buttons to get you to use your credibility to help them recruit other victims, such as fellow church members or people with a shared racial, socio-economic, or other background.
“I can guarantee a return on your investment.”
If you hear this sentence come out of any financial professional’s mouth, run. With few exceptions, there’s no such thing as a guaranteed return on any investment, nor is there such thing as an investment with high returns and zero risk.
“I’ve got a hot opportunity, but to get in on it, you have to invest today.”
The inside stock tip or other once-in-a-lifetime investment is a myth, a crime, or both. You should never be pressured to buy anything that you don’t have time to thoroughly review and understand in relationship to your financial strategy and goals, especially if you are admonished to keep it a secret. You should also be able to seek out the independent, expert opinions of others unaffiliated with the planner before taking action on an investment recommendation.
“I can get you a return on investment that is double that of the rest of the market.”
Another major red flag. If the average stock market returns are 8%, anyone who promises you, say, 15%, is either over-promising, taking crazy risks with their clients’ money, or lying (including providing statements and reports showing faked investment returns, a common theme among the crooks profiled on American Greed). The same applies to sellers of investments that keep going up when the market is going down, or whose portfolios continue to deliver steady, rock-solid returns while the rest of the financial markets are gyrating like a malfunctioning roller coaster.


Bottom line: When it comes to hiring a financial planner, as with most things, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Good financial planners can’t work miracles with your finances, but they can—and should—perform the following important services:

-Help you define your financial goals and develop a plan to meet them.
-Help educate and keep you updated on what they are doing with your money (never without your approval) and why.
-Help you to build a diversified, low-cost investment portfolio, aligned with your goals and tolerance for risk.
-Ensure that you have the right insurance coverage for your needs at the lowest possible rates.
-Help you with tax planning, to ensure that you pay no more than necessary and no less than what you owe, and to reduce taxation on your investments.
-Help you with estate planning, ensuring that your assets are passed on to your heirs and otherwise handled according to your wishes should you die or become unable to make decisions for yourself.
A good financial planner should also be able to connect you with tax experts, estate planning attorneys, insurance specialists, and other professionals who can help you to execute your financial plan.
It will take time to find the right financial planner for your needs, but it will be worth it.

The post Hiring A Financial Planner: How To Separate The Pros From The Con Artists appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise


Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

The former first couple’s portraits, unveiled Monday at the Smithsonian, were highly anticipated, largely because of the artists the Obamas selected

Barack and Michelle Obama re-emerged on the public stage Monday in Washington, only this time for an event that has nothing to do with politics.

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Paris atelier provides safe haven for exiled artists

PARIS (Reuters) – Paris, whose bohemian culture attracted some of the world’s finest painters at the turn of the 20th century, is opening its doors to a new wave of talent, driven its way this time by war and poverty.

Reuters: Arts


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Sotheby’s displays surrealist Magritte and rare works by other artists

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Paintings by Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte will be displayed by Sotheby’s in Brussels this week among dozens of rare art works before being sold at auction.

Reuters: Arts


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Li Edelkoort to Open Paris Gallery to Spotlight Artists, New Voices

WATCH THIS SPACE: Having first opened a private art salon in Paris more than three decades ago, Trend Union founder Li Edelkoort will soon take her career full circle by unveiling a public design gallery in her company’s headquarters.
Set to open its doors Jan. 18 at 30 Boulevard Saint-Jacques, the space will showcase design and arts and crafts — “what deserves to be shown collected and cherished at this moment in time,” according to the trend forecaster. To that end, a Heartwear pop-up shop will be among the planned events.
Created in 1993 by Edelkoort and some of her fashion designer friends, Heartwear is a nonprofit that collaborates with artisans by helping them scale up their creations without compromising their design integrity, culture or environment that they live and work in. With the assistance of department stores and magazines, Heartwear develops high-level goods with broader distribution. The nonprofit’s aim is to create a lasting connection with a collective or region. Khadi cotton from India and indigo-colored textiles from Benin are two of the projects that have been executed. To try to help the specific regions become self sustainable, profits are reinvested in those where the artists are based.
Trend Union will also

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Patreon’s New “Transparent” Fee Structure Has Artists Worried. Here’s Why

For everyone who uses Patreon, funding for creative projects just got a little more complicated.

This week, the creative crowdfunding platform announced that its fee structure will soon change. Rather than taking payment processing fees out of an artist’s monthly payouts, Patreon will begin charging those fees to patrons (donors).

This change is set to take place on Dec. 18, and some long-time Patreon users are alarmed by what it could mean for them and their backers.

How Patreon Works

Patreon relies on many backers offering small donations over an extended period of time, rather than large, one-time donations.

In this way, artists and makers have a more constant stream of support that helps them continue creating and working on larger projects that they otherwise wouldn’t have the financial resources or time to commit to.

Patreon backers, or “patrons,” can choose a funding tier that dictates how much they pay each month, along with what exclusive content, products or experiences they receive.

This allows creatives of all types to receive predictable income so they can devote more time to their craft, whether it be painting, music, knitting or dancing — or anything in between.

What Patreon’s New Fee Structure Looks Like

With the old fee structure, monthly fees could take anywhere from 7-15% of an artist’s Patreon income.

With the new fee structure, which places the responsibility of processing fees partially on donors, artists will be charged a flat 5% of their income each month — meaning they’ll be able to predict exactly how much they’ll pocket. This, Patreon says, is in an effort to provide artists with even more financial security.

Under the new structure, patrons will pay an additional 2.9% + 35 cents on each individual pledge.

This added fee, Patreon says, will allow donors to understand exactly how much of their donation the artist keeps. In the past, patrons had no way of knowing how little of their pledge the artist was actually able to keep.

But unfortunately, many artists who rely on funding from the site, along with patrons who donate a little money across many campaigns, are worried about how this new fee structure will affect them.

Users say the problem is “serial backers,” or those who support a large pool of campaigns with constant but small donations, may pull out when they realize that it will now cost them an extra 38 cents to make a $ 1.00 donation.

So, if a backer is supporting 50 artists with a single dollar each, they’ll now be paying an extra $ 19 in fees for each round of donations. If patrons’ donations are confined by a budget, they may end up being forced to cut funding from certain artists.

“This fee hits low tiers the hardest,” a webcomic creator who uses Patreon told Motherboard,  “and these dollar tip jar tiers really are the foundation of so many small creator patreon campaigns.”

Too many low-tier backers pulling funding completely due to fees on their end could ultimately end up hurting artists more than the fluctuating incomes did to begin with.

Questions, Answers and What You Should Know

Patreon claims that these changes have been a long time coming. According to a spokesperson from the company, the company has been considering and working out this new fee structure for almost a year.

However, it seems that even after taking quite some time to evaluate this decision, Patreon still anticipated some pushback. In a Q&A post shared on Patreon’s site, the company includes an answer to the hypothetical question, “What if I want to take the hit for my patrons? Can I pay those fees?”

Unfortunately, the answer is no — leaving artists worried about how the next couple of months will pan out after the new fees are included in the first billing cycle of the new year.

In the meantime, Patreon encourages artists to educate their backers and to explain the new fee structure to them in the hopes that this new level of transparency between Patreon, artists and patrons will encourage them to continue supporting their favorite artists financially.

If you’re a creator, artist or maker who relies on Patreon, talk to your backers about the new fee structure and encourage them to continue giving what they can.

If you’re a patron, consider reworking your donor budget to include these fees (even if that means lowering your donation amounts slightly) rather than pulling your funding all together. You will have until December 31 to edit your monthly pledges.

If you’d like to know more about the reasoning behind this decision or how it will affect you as either a backer or an artist, you can read more about the new fee structure here.

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Champion Teams Up With Graphic Artists on T-shirt Capsule

CHAMPION CAPSULE: Champion has teamed with three graphic artists on a limited-edition T-shirt capsule range. It will be exclusively sold at the brand’s store in London.
“Soho has been the authentic heart of London for creativity and experimentation for well over a century,” said Chris Haggarty, managing director of Champion products Europe Limited. “So the launch of our Artists Series limited-edition T-shirt collection from our London flagship allows us to showcase the integrity and heritage of Champion while putting a spotlight on graphic artists who embody what is now and what’s next. Jean Jullien, Jody Barton and Yu Nagaba epitomize that spirit and we’re proud to be working with them on the Artists Series by Champion.”
The sportswear brand has tapped Jullien, Barton and Nagaba, who have given their own artsy take on the “C” logo. London-based Jullien is a French graphic artist who graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2008 and from the Royal College of Art in 2010. His work spans clothing, costumes, illustrations, installations, photography and videos. Barton, who is based in Copenhagen, counts on clients such as Stussy and Frame Denim, while Nagaba is best known for his illustrations. He has worked with companies including Panasonic, Toyota, Netflix,

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German artists build Holocaust memorial near far-right leader’s home

BERLIN (Reuters) – A German political art group on Wednesday said it had built a pared-down version of Berlin’s Holocaust memorial near the home of a far-right politician who sparked outrage by suggesting history books should more focus on German World War Two victims.

Reuters: Arts


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New Identities: 3 Artists Exploring What It Means to Live In A Digitally Connected But Politically Divided World

3 current shows in London — by Arthur Jafa, Laure Prouvost and Yuri Patterson — are exploring modern identity in radical new ways.

The post New Identities: 3 Artists Exploring What It Means to Live In A Digitally Connected But Politically Divided World appeared first on sleek mag.

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10 New Artists You Need to Know: October 2017

Once again, we talked to 10 of the hottest artists who are climbing the charts, breaking the Internet or just dominating our office stereos. This month: New York rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, class rock revivalists Greta Van Fleet, self-described "social music activist"

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: 10 New Artists You Need to Know: October 2017

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2017 CMT Artists of the Year Red Carpet Arrivals: See Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman and More Stars

Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, 2017 CMT Artists Of The YearCountry music’s biggest stars are ready for a night of hope and healing.
The 2017 CMT Artists of the Year special is finally here with Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line and more…

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Country stars honor shooting victims at CMT Artists show

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Singer Jason Aldean and other stars honored victims of a mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas instead of accepting awards at the CMT Artists of the Year show Wednesday night.
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Let’s paint about sex: racy feminist artists enjoy mainstream success

LONDON (Reuters) – A three-foot phallus in a child’s dress seems like an unlikely symbol of female empowerment, but for artist Renate Bertlmann its presence at a major art show is a sign she has gained an acceptance denied her for decades.

Reuters: Arts


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This Entrepreneur’s Mobile Recording Studio Can Save Emerging Artists Big Money

Brandyn Armstrong is CEO, founder, and inventor of the Studio Stick, a device that allows artists—musicians, podcasters, lecturers, book recorders and others—to record their songs/ideas at the moment they’re inspired while giving them a full mobile recording studio experience.

Recently, Armstrong pitched his product on Steve Harvey’s Funderdome. Brandon Andrews of Values Partnerships sat down with Armstrong for an interview.

With a small upfront fee, the artist can then record high-quality audio whenever they want, and wherever they want. With some professional studios cost hundreds of dollars per hour, the Studio Stick could be the ideal solution to solving the problems of expensive studio costs.


Studio Stick mobile recording studio with case (The Studio Stick. Image: Studio Stick)


Brandon Andrews: At their core, entrepreneurs are problem solvers. Tell us how Studio Stick solves the problem of expensive studio sessions for emerging artists.  

Brandyn Armstrong: The Studio Stick allows artists—musicians, podcasters, lecturers, book recorders and others—to record their songs/ideas at the moment they’re inspired while giving them a full mobile recording studio experience.

With one small upfront cost of $ 299, the artist can then record high-quality audio whenever they want, and wherever they want. With the cost of some professional studios costing hundreds of dollars per hour, and even in-house basement studios costing about $ 50 per hour, the Studio Stick would really be the ideal solution to solving the problems of expensive studio costs.

There has been a lot of talk about empowering independent artists in recent years. How does Studio Stick help artists like you take control of their careers?   

With our mobile app that is used in conjunction with the Studio Stick, users will have the option to distribute their own songs, which will give them the ability to be in control; track sales and royalties that they receive from the sales. Many artists, especially African American artists, have been taken advantage of by corrupt managers in the music industry. Once artists begin to become equipped with more knowledge of how to do things on their own, such as distribute and collect royalties, they will then begin to lower the risk that they have in artist management and being taken advantage of.


Studio Stick Mobile App (The mobile app. Image: Studio Stick)



You created a mobile app and a physical product. Which came first? What tips do you have for entrepreneurs that want to create an app and product?  


I thought of both the physical product and app software around the same time but the actual physical product was created first. We created the physical product first because nothing like our physical product had been created before and we had to make sure that it was possible to complete before working on something that we knew could be completed already. We knew the software could be completed because similar recording software that isn’t user-friendly had already been made before. Our job is just to simplify the software in order to make it easy for anyone to use while giving great quality. What also differentiates our app software from others are the features to purchase and sell beats, and the option to distribute.

I feel that as an entrepreneur who wants to create a product or app for your first time, you have to surround yourself with people that are in similar spaces to what you are trying to do. I met so many people just by being in the right places at the right time. By pitching at my first business competition, I won $ 1,500 for Studio Stick and met my engineer Ron Brengartner Jr. who designed the Studio Stick, and from there, I’ve been on a roll. So I’d recommend you to attend local business competitions, go to business events, set up coffee/lunches with people that you meet that are doing what you want to do, and most importantly, take action. Nothing comes to a sleeper but a dream.


How did you feel pitching your business in the Funderdome? How did you prepare for the pitch?


I felt very confident. I knew that I really needed to take full advantage of this opportunity not only for me, but for the children and people from the urban communities that look up to me. I speak to children at schools and events and one thing that I always tell them is “Anything you put your mind to is possible.” I think me just being on the Funderdome showed them that. I went out there and did what I had to do using my city of Cleveland, the youth, and the urban community as my fuel to go out there and set an example.

I prepared by practicing my pitch over and over. I know that practice makes perfect so I made myself as perfect as possible. One of my most important preparations was in my dressing room right before I went out and pitched. In my dressing room, I made a list thanking God for the many things that I was thankful for and I also prayed to him that he gave me the strength and energy to go inside the Funderdome and give it my all.

STEVE HARVEY’S FUNDERDOME - "Episode 107" - The seed-funding competition reality series "Steve Harvey's FUNDERDOME," featuring two aspiring inventors going head-to-head to win over a live studio audience to fund their ideas, products or companies. The season finale airs SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Lisa Rose) CARLOS SUAREZ (TRUXX), STEVE HARVEY, BRANDYN ARMSTRONG (STUDIO STICK) (Carlos Suarez, Steve Harvey, and Brandyn Armstrong on Funderdome. Image: The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Lisa Rose))


What did you learn from being on the show?

I think that even though I knew that “anything is possible,” the show gave me re-validation of that. I’d been working my ass off to the point where some people even stopped believing in me. Now everyone all of a sudden believes in me again, [laughs]. This show showed me that if you believe in something, then continue to go hard no matter what obstacles come in your way.


How do you plan to grow your business in 2017?

I recently launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign simultaneously to the airing of my episode on Funderdome. With that campaign, people can actually begin to pre-order Studio Sticks. Not only will you just be pre-ordering, you would also be helping me in gaining the rest of the materials needed for me to scale up the Studio Stick brand.

You can check that campaign out now on Kickstarter as it is currently live and taking orders. Just go to kickstarter.com and search Studio Stick. The money that we receive from our Kickstarter earnings will be used to purchase our tools needed for manufacturing, and also allow us to manufacture about 2,000 units.

With everything going as planned, we will be releasing the Studio Stick to the public in the beginning of 2018. You can find out all new updates and get discounts if you subscribe to our mailing list now at www.studiostick.com.



(Steve Harvey and Brandyn Armstrong on Funderdome. Image: The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Lisa Rose))


What do entrepreneurs like you need to succeed?

Entrepreneurs like “me” really need more motivation. When I say entrepreneurs like “me,” I’m referring to that young, African American child from the urban community. Growing up where most children, including myself, lose their fathers to the streets can be tough. I grew up in the ghetto of East Cleveland and it’s a pretty rough city here. It’s kind of hard to find good role models or people who can actually show you a better way of life because a majority of the people here are either currently living the street life or trying to find a better life themselves.

There was a point in my life where I began to lose direction as well. I ended up dropping out of high school to kick it in the streets more but it was only because I was losing motivation and didn’t really have any good role models to look up to. Before high school, I was a straight-A student. That goes to show how anybody no matter how smart you are can get caught up in the wrong things.

Luckily, I ended up getting a spark of realization that I had to get my life back on the right track or I’d end up like most of the older hustlers that are still on the block at the age of 50. It was then that I went to get my GED. After receiving my GED, I then went to Cuyahoga Community College where I received two degrees, one being in business. After graduating, I transferred to Cleveland State, and there I was introduced to the Startup Vikes business competition that changed my life and gave official birth to the Studio Stick.

With that being said, I think entrepreneurs need to know that anything is possible no matter where you are in life. You will always find what you are looking for so if you’re looking for success and hop on the path to it, success will definitely come your way. The recipe to success is to believe, take action, and have faith.


Watch Brandyn pitch Studio Stick on the Season 1 premiere of Steve Harvey’s Funderdome – Sept. 24, 2017, at 9PM ET on ABC.

Small Business – Black Enterprise


Meet Street Artists Remaking Miami’s Wynwood Neighborhood

Miami may conjure up postcard-perfect images of sunny beaches and sexy nightlife for many people, but for the past decade, the cosmopolitan South Florida city has quietly become a mecca for those on the prowl for cutting-edge art. With new museums and Art Basel Miami Beach attracting jet setters and art-world insiders, Miami is becoming a destination for global collectors looking for a

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Meet Street Artists Remaking Miami’s Wynwood Neighborhood

Rolling Stone Latest Culture News


Rick Ross looking for ‘dopest’ hip-hop artists on new reality show

Maybach Music Group CEO William “Rick Ross” Roberts is moving from the recording world to TV — as a mentor on the new VH1 series “Signed.” Ross, the acclaimed rapper and CEO of Maybach Music Group, joins Grammy-winning songwriter/producer The-Dream (Radio Killa Records) and Roc Nation A&R senior VP Lenny S. on the eight-episode series,…
Entertainment | New York Post


Kelsea Ballerini Excited to Face Off Against Maren Morris and Celebrate Female Country Artists

Win or lose, Kelsea Ballerini is just thrilled that her nomination brings greater attention to female country artists.

The singer will face off against fellow country star Maren Morris in the best new artist category, and talked to the PEOPLE/Entertainment Weekly Network about how happy she is to be included.

“There was a big conversation for a long time about the lack of females on country radio, and I think that, if nothing else, whether I win, she wins, neither of wins, we both win because the fact that two female country artists are in this category I think is a really beautiful thing just for Nashville and for our genre,” Ballerini says.

RELATED VIDEO: What Music’s Biggest Stars Wore to Their First Grammy Awards

The Grammys will air live from Los Angeles’ Staples Center beginning at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Expect performances from Adele, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, John Legend, Metallica, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Chance the Rapper, Little Big Town, Sturgill Simpson, William Bell, Gary Clark Jr. and a pregnant Beyoncé.

To watch the full PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly Grammy Red Carpet special, tune in to the People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the app for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, Chromecast, Xfinity, iOS and Android devices.

Several exciting collaborations will also take place: A Tribe Called Quest with Anderson Paak and Dave Grohl; Alicia Keys with Maren Morris; Lady Gaga with Metallica; and the Weeknd with “Starboy” conspirators Daft Punk.

See the full list of nominees here.


Fashion Deals Update:

How Outsider Artists Are Advancing the Luxury Watch World

Brands are teaming up with tattoers, graffiti artists, and more.

Style – Esquire


The Plains Indians: Artists Of Earth And Sky

The Plains Indians: Artists Of Earth And Sky

Accompanying a groundbreaking exhibition, this is the first comprehensive survey of the magnificent artistic traditions of the Plains Indians. The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky celebrates the extraordinary beauty, power, and spiritual resonance of Plains Indian art throughout time. Richly illustrated, this monumental volume includes a wealth of masterworks from European and North American collections, ranging from a 2,000-year-old Human Effigy stone pipe to a 2011 beaded adaptation of designer shoes. Works of art collected centuries ago by French traders and travelers are presented together with those acquired by Lewis and Clark on their famous expedition of 1804–6, along with objects from the early reservation era and contemporary works based in traditional forms and ideas. The distinct Plains aesthetic—intertwined with the natural world, ephemeral, and materially rich—is revealed through an array of forms and mediums: painting and drawing; sculptural works in stone, wood, antler, and shell; porcupine quill and glass bead embroidery; feather work; painted robes depicting figures and geometric shapes; and richly ornamented clothing and ceremonial objects. Many nations are represented—Osage, Quapaw, Omaha, Crow, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Lakota, Blackfeet, Pawnee, Kiowa, Comanche, Mesquakie, Kansa, and others. With newly researched texts by leading scholars, this important book charts the continuum of centuries of artistic tradition and reflects the significant place that Plains Indian culture holds in European history and in the heritage of North America.
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In the New York Film Fest the Outsize Egos of Artists Rule

There’s sometimes a common theme or recurring character that threads through a film festival. This can be especially striking in a fest as tightly curated as the New York Film Festival. Such convergences usually happen by accident, according to Kent Jones, director of programming at the NYFF.

Often… what it has to do with is the time. Obviously, when people are all making movies at the same time, it’s inevitable that some of them are going to be responding to similar events, occurrences… what’s happening on the horizon… you get movies that talk to each other and that’s always great.

I’m not sure how it’s related to the times, but the 52nd New York Film Fest abounds in characters who make art — on the page, in a concert hall, in movies and theater, or on a canvas. Why so many artists inhabit the fest lineup in this supremely materialistic age I’m not sure. Like most everything, it’s likely connected with the modern plague of economic inequity. Yes, the folks who increasingly own much of the planet can “buy” an artist. But no one can buy talent. Thus the artist’s become a sort of unlikely hero for our times.

Top ranked among these artist-centric films is the not-to-be-missed Mr. Turner by Mike Leigh. It resurrects JMW Turner, the English Romantic landscape painter (late 1700’s to the mid 1800s) known as “the painter of light,” along with a supporting cast of eccentrics to delight Dickens. Awarded Best Actor at Cannes, the superb Timothy Spall captures Turner in his last 25 years in all his curmudgeonly glory. The film departs from Leigh’s trademark loosey goosey accounts of Britain’s working and underclass, harking back to the meticulous period recreation of Topsy Turvy and Gilbert and Sullivan’s creation of The Mikado.

Some will find Turner plotless — but in fact, Turner offers a deep-in plot, as Leigh traces an artist’s inner journey to push his gift to its farthest limits. And going the distance means, for Turner, to hell with everyone else! Leigh’s portrait is unsparing in its revelations of Turner’s odious treatment of a cast-off wife and daughters, as well as a devoted woman servant he occasionally humps like a beast.

This sorry business is leavened by an interlude depicting Turner’s rather charming romance with his landlady at the seaside town of Margate, the inspirational site of much of his work. Leigh drenches the screen in images that arguably make Turner the most gorgeous film of the year. On display are not just the glorious landscapes — Leigh and his brilliant production designer and DP Dick Pope have bottled and put up on the screen nothing less than the palette and light of Turner’s paintings ; the viewer is literally bathed in them.

There are brief, throwaway images — Turner sitting in a boat on a shadowed pond amidst shafts of light, anyone? — that will make you sit up and gasp. Timothy Spall’s ingenious arsenal of grunts seems the perfect “language” to convey his unique style of courtship, dismissal of critics, struggle to surpass his own art — and the sheer difficulty of living.

Featuring Jason Schwartzman as a Philip Rothian-type novelist, Listen Up, Philip offers a way less illuminating portrait of the artist’s swollen ego. Much of Alex Ross Perry’s film tracks the interaction of the writer as self-centered shit with his live-in girlfriend Elizabeth Moss (miscast and misused). Jonathan Pryce, an older, once-eminent writer who has equally alienated most everyone, invites Philip to his upstate country house to write and regroup. This leads to a college teaching gig that gives Philip a fresh opportunity to play toxic boyfriend.

The film’s fearless display of metastatic ego and satire of things literary is, I suppose, good for a few hollow laughs. And a drunken bacchanal involving Schwartzman, Pryce, and two game women they’ve picked up at a singles event is shot in lurching, tipsy verite. But the treatment of the women as mere furniture in a male escapade — they literally get tossed out into the night — leaves a sour taste. And if I never see a woman tearing up over some asshole behaving badly, even if he is a literary genius, it won’t be too soon. Perry’s quirky, off-balance style offers a welcome antidote to canned studio fare. Even so, how did his minor effort make the fest’s main slate?

Musical artists take center stage in Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash. Anchored by Miles Teller and his awards-fodder turn as a jazz drummer, this may just be the feelgood film of the year. This despite the suffering the artist-musician undergoes in his drive for perfection. I have nothing to add to the glowing reviews, except: great screenplay, great acting, jazz to die for — what’s not to love? It’s in theaters. Go see it.

Then there’s the curious case of NYFF closer Birdman. A departure in style for gloom mongering Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, it’s an antic, literally high-flying account of a former iconic film star’s attempt to make a comeback by mounting a Broadway play. Given all the buzz and plaudits from the Venice Film Fest, I came with high expectations. Just think: Michael Keaton in a barn burning role that parallels his own Batmanic past as a movie franchise star; Edward Norton as a loose cannon of an actor intent on screwing up Keaton’s production of a play based on a story by Raymond Carver; and presiding over it all, the genius of D.P. Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity, The Tree of Life).

The seamless sweep of the camera tunneling through the backstage corridors and planing over the great old theaters of Broadway — not to mention Keaton taking to the sky, birdman style, in cunning CG segments — gives the illusion of a film created in a single take. But will the average moviegoer get that? I doubt it. They’ll get the adrenalin rush, but not the technical leger-de-main. Sometimes programmers paint themselves into a vacuum.

As Keaton’s strung-out daughter, Emma Stone uncorks an impassioned monologue about how the viral world has made old dad obsolete (a highlight, though her features are so harsh they belong on Mount Rushmore). Stone’s tirade echos and “talks to” a similar one by Kristen Stewart giving Juliette Binoche the news that she and her ilk are old school, over.

Less riveting is the ego battle between Keaton and Edward Norton, the latter scampering about in his skivvies, displaying a gut in need of gym time. Birdman unwittingly betrays a disgust with human bodies; Norton’s come-on line, “play with my balls,” stands in for witty repartee. The women revolving around the two alpha males, including an ex wife, abandoned gf, and hot-to-trot daughter, are too carelessly drawn to engage us. Given the many challenges of life in 21st century America, it’s no wonder that Birdman takes to the skies.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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I Respect Music: Artists’ Pay for Radio Play

Inspired by the over 40,000 “likes” that Blake Morgan received last December on his Huffington Post article, “Art and Music Are Professions Worth Fighting For,” Morgan decided the time was right to launch a petition, I Respect Music, supporting a musician’s right to receive pay for radio airplay.

The idea for I Respect Music was born in an op-ed I wrote for The Huffington Post in mid-December. Once the article went viral and passed 40,000 ‘likes,’ it was clear that the idea — and those three words — had resonated far more deeply than anyone could have expected.

It turns out that United States is the only democratic country in the world that doesn’t pay artists for airplay and shares that distinction with a handful of other nations including Iran, China, North Korea, Vietnam and Rwanda.

So far, with little fanfare, the petition has received nearly 10,000 signatures and brought much-needed attention to one of many inequalities facing artists today.

On Tuesday, February 25, the newly formed NYC Chapter of the Content Creators Coalition will be staging a free concert and rally, Artists’ Pay for Radio Play, featuring David Byrne from Talking Heads, Marilyn Carino, Mike Mills from REM, John McCrea from Cake and other guests.

The timing couldn’t be better. Congress, for the first time since 1976, is reviewing and rewriting copyright law and doing so within the context of the Internet and the digital distribution of creative works. The stakes couldn’t be higher, as the creative community and Silicon Valley struggle to find a middle ground that will serve both sides.

To say the creative community is overmatched in power, money and influence would be a serious understatement. But the situation is not hopeless. After all, artists are gifted communicators. If they choose to step forward, unite and share their concerns about their survival in the digital economy, artists can move the needle of public opinion.

Fortunately for artists, after over a decade of standing in the shadows of the Internet, the darkness is finally lifting and musicians, filmmakers, authors, photographers and all artists are finally speaking out about their future. A future that is unravelling right before their very eyes.

The value of copyrights is being quickly depreciated, a crisis that hits hardest not best-selling authors like me, who have benefited from most of the recent changes in bookselling, but new and so-called midlist writers. — Scott Turow, president of The Authors Guild.

Because of artists reluctance to speak out in the past, the serious struggle that mid-level artists are experiencing is something only the artist community is really aware of. People who aren’t working artists have no idea how devastating ad-supported piracy has been; let alone how difficult it has become for artists to receive reasonable compensation for their work on the Internet through legal sites.

Fortunately, last year was a breakout year for musicians speaking out. In addition to Blake Morgan, Lou Reed, Don Henley, David Byrne, The Black Keys, Thom Yorke, Zoe Keating and others have stepped up, joining artists like David Lowery, who has been on the front line of this debate for years.

In a recent interview in the L.A. Times, Don Henley had this to say:

“….my musical brethren and I are no longer artists; we’re not creators — we are merely “content providers.” Copyright and intellectual property mean nothing to the technocracy. They’ve built multi-billion dollar global empires on the backs of creative, working people who are uncompensated.”

For many, music is simply the prize in a box of Cracker Jacks.

People, especially those who grew up with the Internet, don’t see art as work and believe that unlimited exposure is the best thing that ever happened to artists. Tragically, after being available for free for so long on thousands of ad-supported pirate sites, music is now perceived by many as valueless.

But if artists can’t earn a living from their work, how can they continue to focus and commit to creating?  And as a society how much do we value music, film, literature and all art forms in our lives? These are important questions that need to be addressed before it is too late.

There is no question that those who represent technology will aggressively move their agenda forward in Congress on Copyright reform. Reform that will favor their business interests over the future of art in America.

Could I Respect Music be a beginning, where more artists join together and start a loud, public conversation about fair compensation and greater control over the distribution of their work?

Blake Morgan is opening the door with this petition; it’s a numbers game. If you’re a musician or a fan and you haven’t signed the petition you need to ask yourself, why not?
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Flash MX Games: ActionScript for Artists

Flash MX Games: ActionScript for Artists

Learn the professional skills you need to make the best use of Flash for creating interactive animation and producing exciting, dynamic Internet content. Nik Lever, writing as an artist for artists, takes you through the entire process from creating the art and animation for games in Flash, to adding the interactivity using Flash’s ActionScripting language. He also provides valuable extra coverage of how Flash integrates with Director 8.5 Shockwave studio and C++.As a designer using Flash you will see how you can apply your creative skills to the many stages of game production and produce your own interactive games with this versatile package. As an animator you will be able to add interactive functionality to your own animation and produce a game. As a web developer you will see how to make the best use of the sophisticated development environment Flash offers for the production of both artwork and code to create low bandwidth, animated web content that sells!The free CD-Rom includes all the code and files you need to try out each tutorial from the book so you can see exactly how each game was created. Learn from the many different types of games provided as examples, from simple quizzes to platform-based games. High score tables and multi-player games using sockets, vital to higher level online games, are also covered in detail to ensure you have the complete skill set needed to succeed in this competitive arena.

Price: $
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