Friday, November 30, 2012

Jed Bridges : An Artist Interview & Look Book

I have many passions in life: blogging, fashion, and coffee (to name a few). But my biggest passion is for graphic design and type. That's one of the reasons I started T&CO. As an artist I so enjoy coming across other inspiring people, and artists with fresh ideas, who are able to think and design outside the box, and I believe today's featured artist does just that! I am so excited to introduce Jed Bridges, Director of Design at AppStack, a truly inspirational graphic designer, and great friend. Enjoy!

LWF: Little Woodland Friend 
JB: Jed Bridges

LWD: Where do you work?
JB: I'm currently the Director of Design at AppStack, a start up in Southern California. We are trying to make mobile websites and advertising really simple for small, non tech-savvy business owners. I get to work on everything from our mobile app to our robust custom dashboard. It's really fun!

LWF: What does Inspiration mean to you?
JB: Inspiration is something I'm learning how to use correctly. It takes a lot of studying and really looking to understand the principles being used in someones work. Applying those principles to your own work is the hard part. With the goal being to create something in your own voice, incorrect application of inspiration will lead to plagiarism.

LWF: How do you start the creative process?
JB: Defining the goals of a design/product is usually step one for me. A project is basically a series of decisions. Every decision should revolve around those initial goals.

LWF: What are your top 5 favorite type faces?
JB: So hard to pick just 5! Garamond, Proxima Nova, Minion, Avant Garde Gothic, Lubalin Graph

LWF: Who inspires you?
JB: Just to lista  few in no perticular order. Milton Glaser, Wilson Miner, Saul Bass, Jason Santa Maria, Herb Lubalin, Franklin Zaph, Deter Rams, Frank Chimero, Rogie King, Drew 

 If your interested in seeing more from Jed check out his website and his dribble page!

Thanks Jed for letting me feature you on inspiration den!




-Amber of Inspiration Den

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sweet Sparkle Collars // Quick Inspiration Shout Out!

Two of my favorite things: Sparkle & Collars! These two trends can add a little something needed to dress up a potentially boring outfit.

Friday, November 23, 2012

31 Bit's

Happy day after Thanksgiving! It's the day that you officially pop into Christmas mode. One of my dearest friends put it best: "in two day's it will finally be socially acceptable for me to listen to Christmas music!" So not only am I listening to some old school Christmas tunes while sipping a piping hot cup of joe, but I'm also flipping through magazines and poring over blogs to find some holiday inspiration (future inspiration gift guide coming soon!)! And this spirit of gift-giving brings me to one of my most favorite features to date: 31 Bit's a Jewelry Company!

31 Bits is more than just a Jewelry company. They have a creative concept which truly inspires you to get up, get out, and do more. I love their idea of "Using fashion and design to empower women to rise above poverty." Through selling their beads, 31 Bit's gives these women more than just a paycheck. They get a chance to learn finance training, English, receive spiritual support through a community group, health education, and business training in hopes that after four to five years within their program each woman will graduate with confidence, a voice, a career, and a future. 

When you receive a 31 Bit's piece you also receive an amazing booklet of who 31 Bit's is and what they stand for. As I was reading through the booklet, this quote stood out to me: 

"In our model of development, we believe in a holistic approach, caring for every part of a person life. Education, Health, Faith, Financial Independence, and the capacity to dream, all play a part in an individuals journey to rive above poverty."    

I LOVE this company and I'm sure you will too. Take a gander at their website and blog to see these amazing pieces, and be sure to check out their full story

The bracelet below is one of my favorites, it's called the Whistler and would make an amazing gift! 

Thanks 31 Bit's for allowing me to feature your amazing work!

31 Bit's Web, Social Media, Shop, Blog & More
Photo Credit & Shoot Concept goes to one of my favorite photographers Mark Brooke Photography

-Amber of Team Woodland Friend

Monday, November 19, 2012


See the definition of Inspiration below. This is what Inspiration Den represents, and what it wants to evoke in others and would like to daily aspire to do through these interviews, inspiration boards, and articles! 

nounher work is a real inspiration to othersguiding lightexamplemodel,musemotivationencouragementinfluencespurstimulusliftboost,incentiveimpulsecatalyst.his work lacks inspirationcreativityinventivenessinnovation,ingenuitygeniusimaginationoriginalityartistryinsightvision;finesseflair.she had a sudden inspirationbright idearevelationflashinformal brainwavebrainstormeureka moment.
I find inspiration in scouring through magazines, reading books, surfing the web and many other areas (you can read more about what inspires me here). Recently, as I was clicking my way through pinterest I came across Kelli Murray Art, which led me to Society6. I was immediately drawn in by all their amazing prints! 

I was so interested that I decided to contact Society6 for a Q&A with the founders and was so excited to hear back! Anyways, I'm happy to introduce Lucas Tirigall, Justin Cooper, & Justin Wills of Society 6! 

LWF: Little Woodland Friend (Amber Dunstan)
S6: Society 6 

LWF: Can you tell the Inspiration Den followers how Society 6 was born and about the mission behind it?

S6: Society6 was born over a sandwich in early 2009. The idea was simple, create as many opportunities as possible for the world’s artists. We finally grew tired of seeing so many incredibly talented people (mostly friends) go without exposure for their work. We also noticed that artists and creative people in general were having to make too many sacrifices to make ends meet, and that they were undermining the quality and value of their own work.
Today, Society6 empowers one of the most active, international artist communities in the world to make their artwork immediately available for sale as a variety of products – without giving up control of their rights. We believe that the artistic process is just as important as the end result and that artwork should be made accessible to everyone anywhere in the world.
LWF: Are you guys drawn to a specific art?
S6: Anything visual (illustration, photography, collage, paint, digital, etc.) and as far away from derivative as possible. Society6 artists are doing some of the most progressive work out there today.
LWF: Any words of wisdom or encouragement for an artist who is just beginning to hone their craft or launch a business?
S6: You have to put your work out there for the world to see. If you delay because you feel intimidated, or like it is 'not ready yet' then you will have missed out. Our feeling is that art is intended to be shared, and in our case purchased.
LWF: What inspires you guys?
S6: Anyone that is bold - vulnerability is rewarding.

Thanks Society6 for taking time out to answer our questions! We are truly inspired by your site and love how you provide artists the means to produce their work in this way! 

This feature is just a small taste of Society6, If you would like to see more check out their site! Also know this is an ideal site to find Christmas gifts! So get online and support art and get artwork as gallery quality prints, iPhone cases, t-shirts and other fine products on Society6!

Friday, November 16, 2012


Established in 2010, Factory Records is one of the OC’s best kept secrets. Whether you’re a certified wax-head or just a rookie looking to round out your collection, Factory’s got something for everyone. Shattering the elitist music-snob archetype, Dave Noise (Factory’s owner) won’t roll his eyes if you come in asking for Beatles reissues. And if you’re in need of suggestions, he’s well versed in just about every genre imaginable—everything from “space rock” to “mutant disco.” And with the money you’ll save not having to pay shipping online, you can treat yourself to a few gems from Factory’s fabled Bargain Bin (pictured below).

After swinging by the shop and talking to Dave, you can tell he’s guy who genuinely loves what he does. But don’t think he takes it for granted. In fact, he’ll be the first to tell you that such privileges don’t come cheap. Back in ‘91 he opened Noise Noise Noise Records (now the stuff of local legend) to instant consumer acclaim. “Noise3 just killed it in the 90’s,” says Dave, “I was able to buy a house in a middle-upper class Costa Mesa neighborhood, paid my taxes and bills, had that financial security so many others wished they had—hell, I even had a pretty fat retirement fund going...and then I fucked it all up.” By 2003, Dave had fallen heavy into drugs—to the detriment of his shop. “It was obvious to everyone around that I was fucked… Folks abandoned me and store en masse.” In 2006 he hit rock bottom—“I was broke, in and out of jail, and after skipping out on 5 months’ rent at Noise3, out of a shop and a job.” But with the support of his friends and family, he eventually got his act together (read Dave’s full story here—seriously, read it!). Shortly after, he opened Factory Records. “I opened the shop with some reluctance,” he says, “wondering if I still had my any game left in the record world, and doubtful that a store could thrive in this day and age… But I did, and it has.”

The Interview

LWF - Little Woodland Friend
DN - Dave Noise (Factory Records)

LWF: Factory has such a well-rounded selection. There seems to be something for everyone. Where do these records come from? How are they chosen?

DN: I want my shop to reflect what I myself would want to find in a store: variety. Just recently, some girl bought a Current 93 album, an Earth album, a Jimmy Smith album, and a bunch of 70s coke-rock, and I thanked her for buying such a mix of stuff. If I was only selling the Pink Floyd and Black Keys records I normally sell to people all day long, and no one bought a cool bag of stuff like she did, I'd be bored silly and should be working at an office cubicle somewhere because at least I'd have health benefits. Also, just the other day, a kid, probably no older than 17 or 18, bought a David Axelrod album. I was stoked! Most kids his age want to buy a TSOL patch to put on their backpack. 

I get my stuff by any means necessary, but most of it comes from people bringing in collections to me. I've always had amazing luck with this, and am very fortunate in this way. You won't find me battling jackasses on my days or mornings off at swap meets or thrift stores or yard sales or auctions. Ebay and those dumb TV shows have turned everyone into wanna-be pickers—and those shows make it seem so fucking easy! They need a show about how many times you strike out compared to the few times you really come up. I spent enough years tweaking my brains out chasing that elusive crate of gold, and it's just not worth it to me. That lifestyle wears one's soul out. If you can do it for a hobby, it's fun, but I find no joy in digging through the endless shit that every other storage warrior in town has torn through just to stay alive. I know these resources are there if I get desperate, but besides a casual visit once in a blue moon, with no expectations, I stay away. And the thought of going blind staring at Craigslist waiting for the word "records" to pop up? No thanks. It's like looking for a needle in a haystack, and the haystack is made up of some great-grandpa's easy listening records that someone looked up on Ebay. I have a few secret tricks that I use to get good records in the shop, and these methods take work, but I'm pretty confident my years of experience allow me to stay ahead of the game by doing what I do. 

I order new stuff too, but it's not much compared to the used vinyl in the shop. New vinyl doesn't have the same markup as used vinyl, and you're stuck with it if it doesn't sell. But I do take risks to keep the selection unique. I'll order stuff that I've never heard of just because it sounds cool, and I know certain customers are willing to trust me if I suggest they buy something. I have to keep Factory Records very balanced...I have to have all the Doors and Beatles and Black Keys and Led Zeppelin and Radiohead and Pink Floyd that the masses want, but I have to have something different from the other shops. I want people to be, like, "Oh, I found the new Myrninerest 'Journey To Avebury' 12" EP at Factory". This is the new project from David Tibet; it's a soundtrack to a Derek Jarman film, and so far, I've sold a few copies and I'm stoked because I'm sure only a few shops in Orange County are brave enough to touch something like this, and I feel so much better selling this than another damn Misfits record. Of course, I get stuck with some gambles. I just started a section called "Factory Records Greatest Misses"; it's a section under the normal racks where I mark down new vinyl since I can't send it back. People are just discovering this section and love it.

LWF: What’s your greatest find? What are you currently digging for?

DN: My greatest find changes day by day. I'll come across some far out electronic record with a wild breakbeat and be in love with it for a day or two, then something new will come in the door, and I'm off and running with that. I had a dude bring two crates of records into the shop the other day: one crate of really nice, basic, easy-to-sell punk and new wave, and a crate of grandma's easy listening albums. I made him an offer, he took a breath, and I knew what he was gonna say: "I think I'm gonna keep the box of punk, but I'll sell you the easy listening records". This happens often. Instead the guy says "I'll never listen to the punk stuff ever again, but I'd like to hang onto the other box." So he took the crap that would have broke my back hauling it to my parking lot sale, and I spent two days listening to some of the awesome punk rock I grew up with, making my money back (and then some) at the end of that second day. For those two days, that crate was the greatest find. Of course, as I mentioned earlier, I've had three Beatles Butcher Covers come in over the past few years, and a Beatles ad-back cover. These are some of the Cadillacs of Beatles collectibles. So when these float in, I'm stoked. One of the Butchers came in with a ton of other rare Beatles, and a bunch of first press punk, a sealed Germs LP, a number of Dangerhouse 45s, and much more. The guys that had it were, like, on the way to the Goodwill and decided to see if they could get any money. I could have given them $30 and they'd have been stoked, instead I offered them $300 and they were in heaven—just blown away. The last Butcher Cover I got, the kid had a big stack of junk plus the Butcher. I asked what he wanted, and he said twenty five or thirty dollars. I gave him $80 and just made his day. But he made mine. Butcher Covers are "greatest find" kind of records. But there are so many greatest find records, and I've had too many of these days to list. 

And what am I digging for? Besides all the rad types of records I've been describing above along with the usual shit that pays the bills? Nothing for me, really. I have zillions of records already. Not that doing drugs was good for me, but when I was wasted, I bought tons of albums for myself, and then totally forgot what I bought. I can go to storage and open boxes and be, like, "I own this? Fuck yeah!" So I go digging in my own storage unit and don't have to spend any money. I do buy a handful of albums every week for myself though...mostly off the radar new releases or reissues. Nothing too particular; something will just sound neat and I'll buy the whole album for myself. I guess I do have one holy grail that's eluded me for over a quarter century that I would drop some money on if I could find it: at a high school dance in the 80s, I heard a version of New Order's "Subculture" with female vocals. I've never been able to find any info on who did this record, but it's out there somewhere, so that would be a huge "greatest find" for me.

LWF: What’s trending these days?

DN: At Factory Records, the trending topics are #blackfriday #recordstoreday #dollarrecords #parkinglotsale (Record Store Day's Black Friday event and our same-day $1 record parking lot sale), #blackgoosetavern #tacotuesday (our new neighbors the Black Goose Tavern, who are bringing back Taco Tuesdays to our little shopping center), and #factoryrecordsdavenoise #instagram (self-explanatory I hope).

LWF: Why is there such an enduring interest in vinyl? What’s the allure?

DN: You know, this is one question I've never been good at answering. Some people love the sound quality, but I can't weigh in on that because my hearing sucks. I've always said if you put me in a room and played a record and then a CD or digital file, there's no way I could tell them apart. I can enjoy the music but I don't have the ability to appreciate every little nuance like some freaks do. Our audiophile section at the shop is labelled "Pretentious Audiophile Bullshit", because that's how I feel about that stuff. You can play me David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust on one of those paper-thin Dynaflex records from the 70s and it sounds great to me. The cover art on a record is definitely a draw. CD cover art sucks and I don't own an iPod but I guess you'd have to stare at a little thumbnail of the cover art on that. Fuck that! I want cover model Sandy Warner on Martin Denny's "Primitiva" album at 12" x 12". I certainly love vinyl for DJing. I'm no pro DJ, but I'll throw down some tunes at a bar here and there, and I have a few crates of beat up old rock and funk and reggae records that I don't mind thrashing around to make the crowd move. I think the idea of putting thought into what's gonna be played and hunting down those songs on vinyl and hauling them into a club and making a crowd move says a lot. Any dolt with a laptop can hunt down any song anyone wants to hear, which, for me, steals some of the magic. I guess if you're DJing a wedding and need to be prepared, the laptop is a good thing, but I like the randomness of a few crates of vinyl in a club. 

There are a lot of arguments for the love of vinyl, and while I don't know specifically why I've been fascinated by record albums since I was ten, I'll support any reason anyone has that keeps wax alive.

LWF: Will the 8track or audio cassette ever make a comeback?

DN: 8-track, I doubt it. There are folks that collect them, and even a few souls who utilize them for the music itself, but there are not enough 8-tracks left on this planet in useful working order to support a comeback. Cassettes, much to my surprise, have made a bit of a return. When I closed Noise3, the only cassette buyers we had left were tweakers with unkempt beards pedaling around on old ten-speeds with battery-operated Walkmans. Then I open up Factory, and I get these dudes with shaggy beards with funky yellow Walkman tape players on ten-speeds looking for tapes, but they're not tweakers, they're hipster kids who have suddenly found vinyl too mainstream. There's a whole cassette culture out there. My neighbors at Mesa Music Services across the parking lot have a label called Lavish Womb Recordings and probably 98% of their releases are cassette-only. My friend Todd who runs that shop gave me an old tape deck and I use it all the time. I don't sell tons of tapes, but I move a handful a week and it's a fun item to keep around.

LWF: Can you offer some good rules of thumb for the aspirant collector?

DN: Well, for all my swap meet and garage sale hating, those places are a fun place to get started. Don't expect any gems after sunrise, but you can get lots of good, basic stuff for a buck or two (or less!). And always offer them $10 for "the whole box". It often works, and you can bring all the leftovers you don't want to Factory Records for store credit. And let’s not forget about the Factory Records World Famous Cheapo Bin. I keep this stocked with $1.99 or less vinyl—people LOVE this section! It's a great way to start a collection, and if you do it on a Tuesday, you can get cheap tacos at the Wild Goose Tavern across the way. For ten bucks you can eat and get some new tunes! 

Don't be afraid of worn records. Most will play just fine, with some minor crackle. If this crackle bugs you, stop buying records RIGHT NOW and just stick with iTunes. And a little scuff does not equal a skipping record. I often see rookies inspecting a beautiful looking album, and mistake a light scuff for a scratch. I want to grab them and yell at them (I never have) and make them understand records are fucking durable!! Just keep them out of the hot sun, because if they warp, your record is RUINED!! 

When I have someone new coming into the shop buying records for the first time, wanting to buy half the store, I recommend they slow down, and only buy what they can listen to in a week or two's time. Going apeshit right outta the gate leads to burnout. Savor the visit, and leave with a reason to come back. (This benefits me, too. Duh.) 

And lastly, avoid those $80 record players you can buy at the big box stores like the plague. I won't name names here, but on the rare occasion someone wants to return a record for skipping, I ask if their player is a such-n-such brand, and it almost always is one of those cheap players. And I'll play their record in the shop and it plays just fine. Buy a Sony or Technics or another brand that has stood the test of time. You can get a great new turntable for $150, $200. Spend the extra money and you'll be much happier. Ohhhh, also...put plastic outer sleeves on your records. Just do this. 
And shop at Factory Records as much as you can.

LWF: Do you have any other interests/hobbies besides records?

DN: I like hanging out with my girlfriend Tara. She's been leading me on this adventure called "showing Dave all the movies he missed while strung out on drugs". We just finished the Lord of the Rings trilogy, so I'm ready for the Hobbit. We're working on the Harry Potter series now, and we watch a lot of other random flicks. I've got a lot of catching up to do. I started the Twilight series on my own. Tara refuses. I saw the first one on cable and thought it was pretty good, and just watched the second one. I love the soundtrack from that one...I knew the soundtrack beforehand so it was cool to hear it all in the film. I'm gonna do part three real soon and hopefully finish up what I need so I can see this last one on the big screen. I love cats. I'm typing this with my cat Tigger on my lap. And one of Tara's cats just pooped out 5 kittens a month ago, so I'm having fun watching these little things grow. I love bodysurfing. I'm no big wave rider, and it's too cold for me now, but I am in the water from like April to October at least a few times a week riding two to five foot waves. Being in the water is where I get to relax and get away from things. I like watching the Lakers, but they haven't inspired me too much yet this season. I have faith though, and I'll get hooked as usual. I love Project Runway, and haven't missed an episode in years. I love anything to do with Star Wars, and have been enjoying all the buzzing about the new movies that are in the works. And, oh, speaking of Star Wars...I'm a world famous A-list cosplayer under the name Boba Phat. I travel to different Comic-Cons in costume and run a Facebook fan page and have thousands of awesome fans who love to stop me for photos and free stickers when I'm dressed up at the cons. It's the closest thing I'll ever be to being a rock star, with the added bonus of being able to take my mask and costume off at the end of the day and be regular old anonymous David James, the record store guy from Costa Mesa. Check it out:

LWF: Thanks Dave. We’ll be seeing you soon!

If you want to know more about Factory Records check out the following link's: // FB // Instagram //

Introduction & Interview By Jesse Dunstan


We recently met up with Dave from Factory Records in Costa Mesa, and asked him to trace the origins of his lifelong obsession with vinyl. We were so blown away by his amazing story that we decided to feature it in its entirety...

I started collecting vinyl as a pre-teen (I guess it's called a "tween" now). I got my first records from my mom when I was ten or so—some Beatles albums. And while my dad wouldn't give me his albums, I loved listening to his Johnny Cash records (especially the "Everybody Loves a Nut" album), and was exposed to Ray Charles long before it was cool to like him because of a movie. Other artists my parents introduced me to were Neil Diamond, Lou Rawls, and Barry Manilow. Of course, my younger brothers and I had a bunch of dumb kids’ records, too, but I loved flipping through the grown-up stuff and looking at the covers while listening to the music on the stereo. 

The seed was planted. 

Anyways, I had a paper route when I was ten years old until I was about 15 ½ (that means I was a paperboy, which is kinda a lost art these days). I'd deliver Daily Pilot newspapers in my Costa Mesa neighborhood weekday afternoons after school, and weekends around sunrise. I'd finish the deliveries on weekends just as the neighborhood garage sales were opening for business, so I had first crack at the crates of records. This was before the internet and TV shows like American Pickers and Pawn Stars, when you could relax and find cool albums all across the neighborhood almost every Saturday morning. (Nowadays, garage sales are ruined by coked-up, crate-digging hipsters who think they're gonna get rich on Ebay with all of their tattered Pickwick label Elvis records.) Thus I was able to build a nice collection of what's now considered classic rock: Beatles, The Stones, The Who—stuff like that. (And I loved the solo Beatles stuff—a Wings record was just as big of a score as, say, Revolver. My first Beatles Butcher Cover came from a garage sale right across the street from my house. It was either a quarter or fifty cents. What's crazy is that I've had three of these come into the shop in the past two years or so, sold by sellers who didn't have a clue. Butcher Covers are still out there! I can only imagine, being so naive and focused on mostly one type of music at an early age, what gems I let slip through my hands! Oh well!) 

In my early teens, while still a paperboy, I was turned on to the local independent record stores in Costa Mesa. One of these was called Music Market, located just three blocks outside of my neighborhood. It wasn't the size of a modern superstore like Amoeba Records, but for its size in the 80’s, it was fucking huge—and it had everything, in every genre imaginable. I'd take my paper route earnings and buy a bunch of used records. They had a fifty cent bin that was amazing (The first fifty cent record I ever bought from Music Market was The Specials eponymous debut LP), and tons of great used LPs for 99 cents, $1.99...I remember thinking $2.99 or $3.99 was kinda pricey for a used album, so it must be something really rad. On occasion I'd pick out a new album for $5.98, $6.44, or $6.98. Imports could cost anywhere from $8.98 to $10.98, so it’d have to be something REALLY special, like a Beatles soundtrack album (without the shitty instrumental tracks). There were other stores to frequent: Discount Records and Licorice Pizza were cool. And in the early 80’s, Orange Coast College started a swap meet that was great for used album digging (the big swap meet at the OC Fairgrounds pretty much sucked for record shopping). 
In 1988, shortly after high school graduation (Class of '87, Costa Mesa High!), while unenthusiastic about my higher education at OCC, I scored a job at Music Market. This proved to be the most important learning experience of my life. I worked my way into being in charge of all the used merchandise. I was the import buyer, and was able to observe the inner workings of an independent record store. I briefly left Music Market to work across the street at Discount Records, which taught me all about the basic bookkeeping and maintenance of a mom and pop shop. Shortly after returning to Music Market, they got bought out by a chain, and I realized there was no future for me sticking around there. One day my mom spotted a vacant shop on the corner of Mesa Verde Drive and Harbor Blvd., behind a 7-11. She gave me the number, I checked the place out, and the rest is history. 

I opened Noise Noise Noise Records on April 2, 1991. I didn't have a ton of money, but with lots of love and labor from family and a few friends, it was done. Noise Noise Noise was a total DIY shop, nothing fancy: white-washed walls with some posters, a counter from the Goodwill, record and CD racks cobbled together, stocked with records from my own collection, along with a few lots bought at the OCC swap meet. Business did well right from the start. A few months after opening a guy came in with a box of records. He told me it was "rave" music, that DJs liked these records. (I was already hip to the rave scene, which was quickly gaining momentum in Los Angeles. I'd been attending these warehouse parties for a year or so: crazy, underground clubs thrown—illegally—in warehouses. The promoter would break in, set up a crazy sound system and weird visuals, sell everyone LSD or ecstasy, and the DJs would play far out music until the next morning—unless the cops shut the party down. Whenever that happened, we, the attendees, would have to run like hell, out of our minds on psychedelics, to another party, or somewhere safe. It wasn’t anything like these boring, corporate Electric Daisy parties kids do these days. We paved the way for them, and it was a wild ride.) So, I bought two of each record this guy had. They sold out within days, and when he returned the next week with more old and new titles, I bought three or four of each. Suddenly Noise Noise Noise was the place to go for this far out rave music—the DJ culture exploded. We started selling tons of techno, house, and all the micro-genres of this dance culture, along with hip hop, reggae, dancehall, and so on. Suddenly, everyone was a DJ or a producer and wanted all the original jazz, funk, and soul records that artists were sampling, so we started pushing those genres, too. As all this was happening, bands like Green Day and the Offspring had ignited the pop punk explosion, while Sublime and No Doubt were rocketing the third wave of ska. (The Offspring, Sublime, and No Doubt, being from Orange County, put the area on the map, which only fueled the local music scene.) Before the internet, your local record store was ground zero for hearing new sounds, gossip about your favorite band, or grabbing flyers for upcoming shows. You'd come to a shop like Noise Noise Noise to pick up fanzines, t-shirts, posters, tickets for shows, and so on. It was insane. We also became friends with a lot of the DJs at the University of California, Irvine's KUCI radio station, and, as customers, they opened my eyes to all sorts of underground music genres I'd never been super deep into: ambient, prog rock, space rock, IDM, noise, experimental, and much, much more. Noise3 had an amazing mutual relationship with the KUCI crew, and I credit them for many of the music styles we sold at Noise3. I'll hear them say it was because of Noise Noise Noise that they did this or heard that, and I'm like, "No! No! You've got it backwards!" 

There were lots of stores in Southern California at this time, but none sold the variety of sounds that we did (save for a few shops in LA). We were so diverse in our selection—and I say "we" because there were a handful of us there responsible for what we stocked. I signed the check when the UPS guy brought the orders, but I wasn’t the only selector. Noise3 just killed it in the 90’s. I was able to buy a house in a middle-upper class Costa Mesa neighborhood (total Descendents "Suburban Home" style!), was responsible for others getting paychecks so they could survive, paid my taxes and bills, had that financial security so many others wished they had—hell, I even had a pretty fat retirement fund going...and then I fucked it all up. 

Throughout the early 2000s, I was hopelessly hooked on drugs, and, subsequently, the store started slipping. By 2003, it was obvious to everyone that I was fucked. Folks abandoned me and the shop en masse (only a couple guys stayed on). Customers, meanwhile, were shopping elsewhere. In denial, I blamed Napster. (MP3s and downloading, of course, were killing the independent record store, but not as quickly as I was on my own.) Come 2006 I was broke, in and out of jail, and after skipping out on 5 months’ rent at Noise3, out of a shop and a job. 

Eventually, though, I got my shit together—working odd jobs, touring the US with my brother's band Six, and holding a huge record-only garage sale each year on Record Store Day (unloading tons of killer records previously stuffed in storage for a buck each—unwittingly keeping myself in the game). Somehow I wound up working at Second Spin in 2009, which was my first time working at a corporate record (ok, CD/DVD) store. Ten months in, a guy I knew stopped in and asked if I'd be interested in opening up a shop again—a store called Sound Trolley was vacating a small space behind his girlfriend’s barbershop on East 17th Street in Costa Mesa. I knew of the location, and told him “no,” thinking it was too small. He told me to take a look anyways, so I did—the rest is history. I signed the lease on April 1, 2010—almost 19 years to the day after I opened Noise Noise Noise—and I opened Factory Records on April 24, 2010. It's named after the record label of one of my all-time favorite bands, New Order. I opened the shop with some reluctance, wondering if I still had my any game left in the record world, and doubtful that a store could thrive in this day and age. 

But I did, and it has. 

The shop has been very successful since I opened it. (January 2013 marks 25 years of slingin’ wax for me!) That said, I’m able to do this because I live with my parents at 43 years of age (that house I owned was gradually shot into my veins every time I did my heroin). But at least now I know that, if necessary, I could survive on my own.

Read complete interview here.

Introduction & Interview By Jesse Dunstan

Friday, November 9, 2012

Wesley Bird - Illustration - Design - Art

Happy Friday everyone! Get happy, today we're showcasing Wesley Bird: artist, illustrator & designer! Friday is already a great day because it's the end of the work week, but when you can top that off with some inspiration like this it makes it a whole lot better! 

I first stumbled up Wesley Bird after seeing her prints at the online shop, society6. The "Not All Who Wonder Are Lost" design particularly appealed to me. After this discovery, I needed to see more, so I dug a little further, and was totally inspired!

I'm thrilled to introduce Wesley Bird to my Inspiration Den readers. Not only is her art beautiful and inspiring, but her words of encouragement for aspiring artists is brilliant!

P.S. Keep an eye out for Wesley Bird designs, which may be appearing on some tee's for a big clothing brand! Don't know who it is or where it will be sold... All we know is, once we see them, we'll be all over them! 

Artist Interview with Wesley Bird: 

LWF - Little Woodland Friend (Amber Dunstan)
WB - Wesley Bird 

LWF: How did you get started in your art? Do you have any advice for other artists just honing their craft?

WB: I've always had that creative gene inside of me, but I really dove into art my senior year of high school. That's when I made the decision to study painting and printmaking in college. Although I have been creating art ever since I can remember, I didn't really start to develop a personal style until the end of my junior year in college. Even now my style keeps changing and evolving! It's funny, I look back on old art and I can see the phase I was in at the time. I'm sure a lot of people feel that way, it's like reading an old journal.

Let's see, advice for aspiring artists...When I was first starting to focus in on my art, I tried everything. I took so many different art classes in school to really find my niche. I think that is important, try everything! Once I discovered that I absolutely LOVED my life drawing classes, I made sure to take at least one every semester to learn as many techniques as I could. Now, if there is something that I want to create that I am not sure I can, I try until I make it work.  

LWF: What and Who inspires you?

WB: Inspiration comes from everywhere for me! An amazing scenic view, an awesome textile print, novels, music, literally everything. It is important to me to spend time outside of my work really absorbing what is around me. I can't force myself to be creative, I have to allow myself to take that break and just be aware. Artists who really made a name for themselves are a big inspiration to me, Warhol, Koons, Pollock, O'Keefe. Not because they achieved fortune or fame, but because they can or could do something that nobody else at that time could do. It's all about innovation as an artist. Taking the ordinary to the next level.

LWF: Do you have a favorite piece of art you've created lately? Do you have anything new in the works?

WB: Hmm, I recently did just a little fun little personal piece called "Holla Back". It started because I ran out of little note cards to send to friends and family and I wanted to create something quirky and fun! Now everybody can have these little cards through my Society6 shop :)

As far as projects in the works go, I can't really talk about it until it launches, but I have been collaborating with one of my all time favorite clothing brands, big at Urban Outfitters, to create a bunch of tee graphics for them. I'm super busy outside of my day job working on that, but it's definitely going to be worth it, I'm pretty stoked on it right now!

LWF: How do you begin the creative process?

WB: I start my creative process by getting inspired by any of the things I mentioned above in question 2 and then I really just focus in on the project at hand. I spend time sketching out concepts and once I'm happy with one I move to pen and ink drawings. Unless the finished product is a drawing or painting, it gets scanned in and worked on in photo shop or illustrator! Basically it's a lot of stepping away from what I've been working on and coming back with a fresh perspective.

LOVE these "HOLLA BACK, YO!" notecards!

Water Color and tribal prints! 

One of my personal fave's!

Contact & Media info for Wesley Bird
INSTAGRAM: wesleybird 

-Team Woodland Friend