chicago is for lovers
Oh my, how did we get here already? It's February? Well, at least we're a few steps closer to warmer weather!!! Wooo!
2018 has been really amazing to me already. I hope the same for you as I always do! I enjoyed my new years. It was pretty mild! I'm just not into going out like I used to. I had a craving for Hibachi/Teppanyaki with that delicious egg sauce and there was a brand new Benihana that opened up in the Hancock Tower. If you've never had Hibachi it's when a chef comes out and cooks Japanese food in front of you. I didn't find out they didn't carry the egg sauce until the chef came by to start our order on the hot plate. Shoot!! I ordered a few more champagnes and enjoyed my grilled veggies, shrimp and white rice like a true basic. After I went to one of my favorite restaurants called Bavette's. If you ever get the chance, you must absolutely get a reservation, spend a good amount of money on a great meal and end it with the Chocolate Pie. Thank me later.
I don't know about you but I'm a crypto fiend. Yes, I have invested in Bitcoin. Yes, I have altcoins. Yes, I am just as annoying as the last person who told you they were, too! But I just don't care. I'm hooked. I'd suggest learning about how to invest and do it smart. It can be very lucrative as I have seen with a few of my friends with my own eyes. Cryptocurrency is here to stay. I found myself being attached to my phone this month watching all my investments shrivel into a measly nothing but as they say on the internets, "HODL." In other words- hold.
I've been skiing before. It was in 2014 and it was my first time. It was painful but for some reason I felt that snowboarding would be easier, so this time around I chose the good old snowboard to try for the first time in Vail, Colorado. We started off too quickly, I think. Headed up the mountain on a gondola I knew that I was sealing my fate but I kept being egged on to continue - I had to learn. I should've started on the bunny slope, looking back. After the second accidental front flip that knocked the wind out of me, I stayed lying on the ground wondering if this is learning? or just pure hell. To be quite honest, feeling like death and all, I had so much fun and I can't wait to go back. The second day I figured out it was best to do a bunch of back and forths on the bunny slope and I quickly found my footing. I'm ready for round two. Oh and the smoke shops weren't so bad either.
I'm a big fan of commissioning up and coming artists. It's so confusing to me when someone is so talented but they sell themselves so short. If I could do anything to support and show them they're art is worthy of praise monetarily, I'd gladly do. The first commission this month was by @mjanetmars based on an image that my friend Dennis shot. The second is by @acornfriend.
I had the chance to take over the Chicago Bulls Instagram this month, as well. Such an honor to be involved with the 6 time championship team that is THE BULLS. One of the most iconic teams in the world. I was contacted by my great friend Chuck, @nopattern, to shoot the Bulls versus Lakers. It was so much fun! But extremely tiring. I was asked if I was bringing an editor, i thought that was a funny question but looking back now with the way you have to quickly turnover live images - you need one. I'd even consider myself one of the best mobile editors but even this had me stumped. It would take me another game or two to get the hang of it, but it was such an amazing experience. Oh yeah and my mom was at the game, too! Ha!
I always love to give back any way I can. When people ask about my goals, and aspirations, I can't help but immediately think, "To Inspire." I mean it. Even through my failures, my imperfections, my immediate regrets - I hope to inspire. This month I packed lunches for the homeless through Hashtag Lunchbag. I had a good rhythm going while making sandwiches and think I packed about well over 100. As a collective, Hashtag Lunchbag packs over 1,000 lunches each event then hands them out afterwards at churches, or safe spaces. I plan on doing much more community service this year, it always feels good for the soul.
DJ Swopes has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? I think so. So much so that I even might start DJing way more after the amazing set that I had at AuxCordDJ's. My awesome friend Emma, aka StitchGawd, contacted me about DJing because she wanted a super girl group to join her, including the out of this world talented Jas Petersen. I said yes immediately even though I felt reluctant because I had never DJ'd anything in my life, let alone get passed the AUX. As a connoisseur of putting myself in uncomfortable situations for self prosperity, it just seemed right. I had my friend Evie teach me her skills and it was all up hill from there. Check out a 15 second clip of my set here. You'll definitely catch me spinning more soon!
That's all folks! Thanks for reading and please have an amazing rest of your February. Keep your imagination alive!
I am so hyped we made it to #SwopesNote 5! I was so happy the way the last vlog went. I hope you all liked it as much as I loved making it. This time around I am going back to showing you a little behind the scene of my editing style. Towards the end of the video I do a Q&A from a few tweets I got from people, so be sure to watch or simple skip towards the end if you're interested. Again, thank you so much for tuning in and I hope you learn a thing or two. Feel free to send me a comment. Be on the lookout for the next Twitter giveaway, too!
krystal m. flores
Krystal, a New York based Graphic Designer, whom I had e-met randomly in a Twitter chat, quickly became one of my best friends. We would talk almost every single day for more than a year before actually meeting face to face while I was on a visit to New York. It was funny actually, I had a small stop in New York for a few hours before heading out to Iceland, but I made my friends I was traveling with grab a bite to eat at the Meatball Shop in the Lower East Side with me. I managed to get Krystal to meet us, too! When she came into the restaurant we jumped and screamed and hugged each other. My friend goes, "You guys childhood friends?" We both burst out laughing. "Nah," We go, "Just met."
Krystal is one of those people who makes you want to be real and honest with life. Someone who doesn't take the bullshit life throws at you quietly. Her creations exude her personal characteristics of a sexy, fire-driven Latina. There's a lot to learn from someone so fierce and talented, which is why I consider her a sister who I can share anything with and find complete intrigue and inspiration in her art. Check out more of her work here.
What are five words that best describe you?
Creative, Emotional, Nurturing, Passionate, and Inquisitive
What’s it like being a woman in the art world?
I feel things very deeply, and I love everything about being a woman. The art world can be an odd, beautiful, and intimidating place to be. It is very polycentric and there is so much to be exposed to. The social aspect of the art world doesn't entice me as much. I've encountered artists, curators, and collectors and definitely feel there is a sense of hierarchy around it. When it really comes down to it, I’m an artist for myself and I choose to do things that will allow me to better understand who I am, therefore, I am grateful for my experience.
What’s your dream project?
My dream project is to be granted a massive space and fill it up with whatever I want without any rules.
Best advice you’ve learned in life?
To let go of the motion that failure exists. I now look forward to making mistakes because it forces us to take a closer look.
health is wealth
I'm a firm believer in what we think we become. When you practice enthusiasm and calmness every single morning and night, it can't help but be inside you naturally. Make this thinking a ritual by finding a sacred place in your home to wake up and go to, or be before bed to write. Continue to read new affirmations, and understand Dharma, meaning "the way things are." Once you accept the way the world is, you become a lot less consumed with it's negativity. Also, find a way to give back to others.
When you really start to practice self-care, a super amazing transformation takes place in your brain. The constant rewiring of our brains is called "neuroplasticity." Neuroplasticity is driven by a few things: whatever a person loves, or hates, whatever they pay attention to focuses the activity of the brain and repeatedly concentrating on the same thing causes new links to form. So basically, whatever you consume you become. The same goes for the opposite. Whatever a person tends to ignore, they will have no neuron links.
By repeatedly placing attention and remaining aware of the flow of your thoughts you can and WILL change yourself to the way you want to be. I guarantee it.