What they don’t tell you about Cruises

They sneak gratuity…pull you way out of cell and WiFi region then auto charge your credit card for gratuity…after you have been cash tipping the whole time…fail

“Washy washy”. There are over enthusiast folks eager to spray you with hand sanitizer everywhere and they say ‘Washy washy’

The cruise director makes random announcements across the ship’s pa system. It feels like you are a participant in the hunger games or in 1984. Our cruise director’s name was Dave ‘Dingo’ he had an Australian accent and was always enthusiastically announcing things like the 20 minute dance party on deck 7 or that deck 4 has sprinkles.

You will not receive an accurate map nor information about your next port unless it relates to booking an overpriced activity or excursion. And Internet service is $30 per day. Best bet is to check your emails when you arrive at your docking destinations most of the restaurants had free wifi…and negotiate when you get places. There is tons to get into.

And all the restaurants on the ship serve the same food. They just arrange it differently.

There are lots of shuffle board courts on decks perfect for socializing and getting the scoop on cruises from fellow cruisers .

The elevators take forever and are always full. Take the stairs, you probably ate 3 plates worth of food for dinner so you should probably take the stairs anyway.

The towels folded as animals and surprisingly very impressive.

Water… bring your own bottled water. The ship’s water taste sketchy and half of the water dispensers are out of order at any given time.

Everyone is super friendly, the workers the passengers…it’s pretty cool. One thing I notices is that the staff don’t get much time off. One of the fitness instructors said that he had been working for 2 weeks straight and within that time had only had 4 hours off…sounds exploitative, but they did seem happy and I don’t know the full details of their working arrangements.

Mind your head if you are sleeping on the bottom bunk

Being vegetarian/vegan, gluten free or pretty much having any kind of “dietary restriction” better yet, if you aren’t into eating heavy salt sugar and starchy meals it’s challenging to eat balanced. The folks on the ship never want to exclude, I guess it’s part of the hospitality so you’ll find yourself asking about 3 people for every dish if it’s dairy free, vegetarian etc. and most likely it won’t be dairy free (gluten free etc.) and if it doesn’t contain dairy (or whatever else you are attempting to stay away from to stay clean) it will be ridiculous salty or sweet. The part that makes it super rough is that you are pretty much trapped on the boat for the majority of the trip. And you are not allowed to bring food from your ports back on the ship.

It’s a great way to visit many places. I’m Belizean on my mom’s side and it was honestly the least expensive way to get there. While I was there I discovered that you can catch a bus up north to Playa Del Carmen Mexico, right outside of Cancun, for about $9 then catch an inexpensive flight back to the U.S. I even ended up meeting folks who jumped ship at certain spots along the cruise…don’t think you are suppose to do that but hey it’s your life

Overall it’s a dope experience, mostly because my folks are dope and central America is dope. Glad to roll with @Kennebrew the 2M2X crew and Tough Dumplin on my first communal yachting experience aka cruise.

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The NYC Future Project!

I’m thrilled to announce a new project I’m working on. It’s called the NYC Future project. It’s a mobile photobooth project. I’m shooting a series of portraits and asking folks to write down one word that they feel embodies NYC 25 Years into the future. Here’s a sneak peak into what I have so far. This is an ongoing project be sure to follow me on twitter//instagram//facebook//tumblr for updates of where I’ll be shooting across NYC.#nycfutureproject

The project site is live but in a beta stage. Here’s  link

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When it comes to buying property, I must admit that the concept of owning a piece of land sounds a bit absurd to me. I understand that wars have and are being waged in the name of land ownership and that a good chunk of the world believes in the concept of land ownership, but I’m not fully drinking the koolaid. Basically, one can’t be ‘owner’ of land. It existed before us and will probably exist after us. Yes, I do acknowledge the work and resources put into building a structure for occupation, but even that is simple a relocation of resources and contracted services. As far as I’m concerned, that’s it. The idea of working 30+ years to own something that can’t really be owned sounds silly. Not to mention the housing and financial crisis we are currently experiencing. I do understand that for many systemic reasons a good chunk of Americans were not able to ‘own’ land. That’s not cool we should all be able to engage in foolishness…equally. that’s a whole different tangent maybe I’ll get back to it one day.

There may very well be one thing that is more foolish than the concept of ‘owning land’ and that is ‘renting land’. In many ways I do buy into this system, because I’m renting a space in a building in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

Well I have finally jumped off the fence and decided to but a building with some like minded folks . Yep you heard right, buy a building on a piece of land in a place that is currently known as Brooklyn new York. I’m calling this endeavour Project Buy a Building A Brooklyn…duh. And what does this means for Junkprints? Well it means more open studios (maybe a store), a larger work space and maybe some rooftop parties

The goal is to be ready to buy no later than this time next year. My hustle is tight right now (real tight, style like crazy, make like crazy, sleep when I can get it, blog on train rides and eat lentils and rice tight) and I’m about 27% there financially, with a great team and 2 months a head of schedule. Guess I’m taking a bite of the apple and drinking the koolaid at the same time.

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It’s a wrap 2011…farewell and good riddens

I spent some time I spent a good chunk of this year restructuring junkprints and developing an awesome team. It’s been interesting meeting and working with all types of folks. Honestly I have met with some real goons but the good ones always sift to the surface. I think I’ve left the knuckleheads behind 😉 Working with a small business is challenging. I’ve worked with a few as well as my own and it’s def a double edge sword. The good part is that everyone and there tasks are quite visible. This is awesome because protocol is determined by real events and the rules are written as you go ie. no corporate bullshit or bureaucracy, just the task at hand and clever way to get it complete. The bad part is that there is no where to hide. If you are accountable for something and it doesn’t get done, you can’t wait for it to blow over or blame the person in the other cubicle. That includes me…in the utmost way. If I’m sick my business is sick, late orders, compensated discounts to make up for it and a lower profit margin, loss of customers and supporters etc. My friend Mary always says, “you will pay for your lessons some how” and that’s never been truer for me than now. Learning how to run a business has been my greatest challenge and I’ve often think that I run a business because I believe in my work more than working for someone else vs wanting to just run a business. Not quite sure if that’s a good head space to run a business in, but for now, it is what it is. This year has been the year of assembling a great team. In many ways I feel like I’m growing up and this is being reflected in my work and the way I interact with folks. Funny part is that I thought I would gain more patience, but I’m discovering that patience spent on nonsense is retarded. Basically, I’m learning to manage my efforts and put my energy into the right places. This year I’ve been a bit introverted as far as social media outlets have been concerned, guess I’ve just been putting that energy into the work and team, you know, minding my business.

The following are some of the highlights of the year

Bikram Yoga,
I discovered over the spring that I’m getting older and my knees creak like a haunted house and hurt every time I run so in late august I started doing bikram and hot yoga pretty regularly. I’m getting real flexible and if I keep this up will be like a wet noodle by this time next year. Yep, I’m working on getting to Cirque du Soleil status. So don’t be surprised if the next time I see you I’m in a knot.

Art in fancy places
Over the holiday season I was commissioned to decorate windows for 6 awesome businesses along myrtle ave in Brooklyn
Junkprints in a Chelsea gallery? What!

Styling for People StyleWatch
I’ve been pinning like crazies for people style watch magazine. The first issue that I styled (way back on october) is this Dec./Jan Issue. This has been pretty regular and I’m currently working on late spring issues.

This year the crew and I took the Junkprints show on the road. Hitting up LA, Philly DC and d town and the goodies were shipping from Toronto to Paris, Mexico and the Netherlands

What’s next?
more art, more up, more traveling, more surprises 😉

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I have been a really bad blogger lately and have been a bit MIA over the last month on social media networks, and ya’ll know how I love me some twitter. Well my friends and frenemies, here’s why. I have been rewiring my brain, and assessing the next major creative move for Junkprints.

I consider my self an artist who happens to be using textiles as a medium, but have never really considered myself a ‘fashion designer’ The reason for that is because generally, the culture around fashion is stuffy (and art’s not right? I’ll get to that later) and I’m not formally trained in it. So in some ways I don’t have the brainwashing that makes me worship it.

That being said, I love clothing, dressing clever, costumes, and vintage archives and many designer collections, I just don’t like the fuss around it, and all the ‘tastemakers’ being ‘nonhuman like’ to boost the importance of wearing the perfect shade of magenta this season…it’s just not the serious. To me clothing and adornment is to support a mood and cover the bits that the public is uncomfortable with seeing, and keep us warm/cool and ‘protected’ while expressing us. It’s to inspire us, not make us feel unworthy.

Here’s the dilemma with having an artist making clothing, well to be perfectly honest, I do not like making things over and over again. I never did. Once the concept, design is resolved in my mind and in execution, I feel like my work is done. That puts one in quite a predicament if the item requires pattern grading, sizing and material sourcing. I’ve never been one to go half on things so for the last few years I have taken this on and with an extreme gusto and passion. Over the last few months I realized that this may be smashing up my creative process. No one wants their creativity all smashed up, so I’ve take  a moment to rewire my brain and come up with a plan of action.

I will continue to make engaging work…no matter what!  I am shifting gears a bit and am creating art…just art, not art for a tee…just art. Recently I’ve sold some large pieces including the one below. I also have a show coming up in a swanky Chelsea Gallery as well as a solo show in Delaware next year. Deets soon to come.

In addition to the art I’m gearing up for licensing. Yep that’s right, I’ll be playing with the corporate world, but don’t worry I’ll be wise with my licensing and will be more on the L.A.M.B. side of the table than the god awful Ed Hardy (believe it or not the dude is talented he’s just a licensing whore) side of the table.  The plan is to be extremely hands on while utilizing there resources and distribution. I still need all the work that stems for Junkprints to have integrity and am excited about working with the grown ups. This licensing thing is in the works and I probably won’t have stuff to show for a while, giants move slow you know, but I’m working with some great business folks on getting this done and it will be most amazing.

So with all this new stuff going on, you may see lots of one of a kind items on junkprints including clothing and I apologies in advance if it’s not available in your size, for now I will be prototyping, just like when I first started…keeping, the creative juices flowing. Due to all these changes, many items currently on the Junkprints.com will be ending there editions early, basically I’m selling what I have in stock and will not be making more, particularly on the clothing.  So if you see a tee or hoodie you have your eye on, snag it now…cuz once it’s gone it’s gone.

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Hip Hop Word Count

In today’s music industry, lyrical content is usually overshadowed by the instrumentals of the song or the lyrical content is so downplayed that songs only consist of a few words. Tahir Hemphill is a designer, photographer, and an entrepreneur who is hosting a special project entitled “Hip Hop Word Count.”

“The Hip-Hop Word Count is a searchable ethnographic database built from the lyrics of over 40,000 Hip-Hop songs from 1979 to present day.The Hip-Hop Word Count describes the technical details of most of your favorite hip-hop songs. This data can then be used to not only figure out interesting stats about the songs themselves, but also describe the culture behind the music. The Hip-Hop Word Count locks in a time and geographic location for every metaphor, simile, cultural reference, phrase, rhyme style, meme and socio-political idea used in the corpus of Hip-Hop.”

His goal is to convert his findings into visuals to help us comprehend different cultures; to map a geography of language. For a visual, look at his video. Its interesting to find out what educational level the song you’re listenting to is in. Are you songs smarter than a 5th grader?

The Hip-Hop Word Count x Keyword Search from Staple Crops on Vimeo.

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The BUST Magazine spring shopping extravaganza is back and better than ever!  This year, we’re bringing together 100+ unique vendors and food artisans for one day in the heart of SoHo including your favorite junkmaker rump shaker, moi and Junkprints. Stop by for the best handmade goodies. Plus: raffles, DJs, book signings, and a free goodie bag for the first 300 people!
Saturday, May 21st, 2011 82 Mercer Street Between Broome and Spring New York, NY 11am-8pm 1 day only!

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“Let’s Collab”…but first read this


1. Work jointly on an activity, esp. to produce or create something.

With in the last year I’ve noticed a spike in Junkprints collaboration inquiries. In one way this is awesome, because it means that I am making stuff that others want to be apart of and have hopes of contributing.  I can definitely appreciate that. Sadly, more often than not these so called collaborations are request to do some form of what I do for junkprints for another line, company or individual. In this case, the request is not actually ‘collaboration’ it’s a request for a donated commission (a.k.a. a favor).

A perfect collaboration should result in something new and valuable to all parties involved.  I’ve done a few of those and they are amazing. So I decided create a list of Rules of Engagement based off what I’ve learned from those and the bad ‘collaborations’.


The terms must be clear. What do you want and what do you want from me? How long do you propose this would take? what would be the final outcome, etc.  If you are requesting to ‘collab’. You should have clarity for what you’re seeking. We’re all busy bees. If you are unsure what you want to it wastes my time and your time.

Two companies that offer the same thing don’t generally make good collaborators. For example: ‘Hi I’m a tee shirt designer/illustrator/graphic designer, I’d love to collaborate on some tees with Junkprints’ This translates to: ‘Hi, I want to do what you do, and would like to cross into your market, utilize your manufacturing resources and will you work on some tees for free for me so that I can brag about it (and you can brag about it too) and we can share the success.’ Well all that is fine and dandy, but unless you have a substantial larger audience than I do then what’s in it for me?

Keep it classy (that word is funny to me, but it does apply) Don’t hit up the person you would like to collaborate with in a public social network. i.e, a tweet of facebook wall. I know it seems easy and direct, but can you really convince someone of your worth as far as collaborating in less than 140 characters? You are tying your own hands. Do some research get the persons email address, figure out a good time to call them and state your proposal. If you don’t hear back from them follow up…let me tell ya barely anyone follows up, you’d be amazed at the results persistence and consistency yields.

If while you are figuring out what you want from the person/company that you want to collaborate with and you discover that you have nothing to offer towards the collaboration besides ‘talent’ then you are looking to commission work from them and you should be prepared to pay for this commission in some form or another.

Keep in mind that requesting a collaboration is a bit like courting. Be creative, clear, honest and confident about you can bring to the table. Make your services/resources of value to the person/company you wish to collaborate.

Featured picture: Robbed Tee by Junkprints available on Junkprints.com

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Do you ever wish art was a full contact sport like Luche Libre Wresting? Well thanks to the Council on the Art & Humanities for Staten Island it now is! The teams of 5 have been chosen to battle to the death (well, kind of). Will my team the DINGLE BOTS conquer, slaying all so called artists  or will we drown in a bottomless pit of paint? Find out at art‐OFF, a monthly competition kicking‐off Second Saturdays Art Walk starting in March and running through June. At each event, a secret material will be revealed to those in attendance and each team will have an hour to create a work of art related to a theme chosen at random at the start of the event. Come out and cheer us on!
Art @ Bay 70 Bay Street Staten Island, NY, near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal

Click here for more info and to purchase tickets.

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Humpty Dumpty Health Care Bill Part 3

Its been almost a year and we still have millions of people without health care. I mean the bill said 2014 will be the year where we will see the details of the bill finally come through, but aren’t we supposed to blow up, be eaten by aliens, and move to the moon by then ? WHAT IS TAKING SO LONG. I’ll tell you, nobody sitting in the House or the Senate wants to give us the same health care plan that they have because apparently we are different. Don’t we all deserve to be fixed if we so happened to accidentally engage ourselves in Final Destination movie scenarios? They rather have us all look like Humpty Dumpty (after the fall or– the push), and tell us everything will be o.k. because we made falling to your death without any funds to fix yourself seem cute by making it a child’s nursery rhyme. What if the clumsy egg was your 80 year old grandma, I think you would want all the king’s horses and all the king’s men to put grandma who needs treatment for her diabetes and funds for her Hover Chair to be put back together again. As of now, the bill is in the midst of being repealed because its unconstitutional. It is labeled unconstitutional because Obama wants “everyone” to have health care and not just some people. It is said to create death panels, raise taxes, and create nuclear waste and transform us all into New York pigeons. Republicans say it will cripple job growth and ruin the economy, they want to cut spending and by repealing this bill they think it will do that. I wouldn’t call it spending, I would call it helping. People, now or in the future, are going to need health care. There may be a consensus between the parties of what may have to happen first before health care can be truly reformed and that’s Immigration Reform. But as of now, total concentration within the government is to watch Sarah Palin’s “Alaska” TV show and to repeal the “Obama-care” instead of finding ways to be Canada-like. Because over there, overseas from what Brittney Spears thinks it is, they have  free health care and the only problem they have are the long lines. Canada’s heath care system does not effect job growth at all. You sign up for the same health care everyone else gets. For Canada to be so close, how far away we have become. We make long lines seem like a problem, but the drive-thrus at McDonald’s seem to be a line more appetising. We propose that if everyone in America had free health care then everyone would just run to the doctor for everything and the doctors wouldn’t get paid their half a million dollar salaries, but mind you the teachers motivating little Bobby to become that doctor get little to nothing. 70% of Canada’s health care is paid by their government in comparison to less than 50% in America, and in France, the government pays for nearly 80%. Did you know in Canada you can call your family physician to come by and check up on you, and here calling the doctors office sends you to a robot and a reason not to call. Why is it so hard.

Still to this day, I find it amazing how we can go to the moon, plant probes on Mars, build faster computers, faster cars, but cant figure simple things out like heath care. Its not unmarked territory, but it may be unwanted territory. See America has always wanted to be the first to do things, I guess we would feel dumb following in the footsteps of other countries. We have lost so much time in not wanting heath care reform instead of finding ways to make it better. We can bailout car companies, oil companies, and all of Wall Street, but we cant fix our own people. Its time for our government to take all of the king’s horses and all of the king’s men and put America together again.

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