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Tag: Blogs

Blog – Upside Down Pyramid (Part 1)

Insight: Three Layers to Ourselves

Wake

A fiery light of red storms into my space. Throws a towel at me, tells me to wipe the look of surprise off my face. “Wake up, WAKE UP!” fingers snapping out of sync with time ticking. Each snap pushing me into deeper layers of wake. 

Blurred vision setting in to focus and before I can fully fathom the fear barrier I crashed through; she walks out the door. I could only catch a glimpse of her beautiful curly hair, fiery red, short dress sequin glimmer red flowing down her body like a river curved. 

legs!

“Follow me” are her instructions I hear from around the corner. As the glimmer of red fades away her voice commands again “hurry” and without thought, I follow

Outside the box?

It’s out of one box into a bigger box.

My body no longer awake, in this new box, I float where the physical realm gives way to abstract and whimsical. The bigger box constructed from my interpretation of the world. These are the things on my mind today, I’m still a slave of the physical. The gravity grounds me sometimes, other times I’ll fly over cities, there are times when I can’t move, other times I walk through walls. 

I can hear what that dog is thinking.

The downs and ups of dreaming.

Float far enough and reality becomes less linear, details get shuffled around, blurs of paint start to manifest, some in colour; others shades of grey. 

That rabbit is laughing at me.

Inside the Rabbit Hole

Deeper in the rabbit hole of consciousness - another light, another layer past awakening, this is the third. In the third,  some laws that applied before are no longer valid, I must become the unlearning. This time red is at a gate guarding my most repressed fantasies, the things I lust for, memories I buried deep inside my psyche. Exes and my past haunt me here and I try to pretend like I don’t know why? Maybe I should get a zed, add a dot below and get over myself [get it? Get the clue!].  

Elevator

On a hill a glass elevator descends from nothing; lands on the hill of giants and peaches.

The universe as I know it disappears as I walkthrough. Just one button lines its glass walls, she stands over there in a corner. “I’m Jessica” is a warm friendly greeting, bright red hair, red dress, red lips and red pupils. Past her, past the glass walls a view with an infinite landscape of nothingness lined with clouds of dust and stars. 

A thousand years of human consciousness rains around us like a warm shower.

Chaos can be misinterpreted by the flesh version of ourselves that’s why we fail; because we run from it. Chaos is the universe itself. Past versions of the self were too blind to see it. Because we were blind, we failed to be an eye in these storms, often making it the part where we wake.

The spiritual version of self is one with the chaos, the mind reflects that hence why our thoughts feel like a thousand wild monkeys when we meditate. 

Sacred geometry manifests. 

It’s a free mind in motion beyond the self. Beyond the self-inside human consciousness the flesh doesn’t matter, time doesn't matter, matter doesn't matter. It's at this level that we realize how we make gods in our own image and only the concept of curiosity and an elevator could ascend us into a deeper madness. Deeper, and see past the edge of god. 

Past the edge of want.

Insight: The Abyss of Failing Someone

The Red Dragon.

Jessica reaches out to me, her being suggests that I should hold her hand. I reach out, she grabs my reaching hand and jumps out the door into another level of nothing. 

At first, I try not to let her go. In life we have to face our dragons to get to this layer and oftentimes that dragon looks like ourselves, it knows us, it knows our sins, our pleasures our pains, what we want, why we suffer. It knows how to fool us and It knows how to make the weight of the physical world holds us back. 

That’s what the devil is and the only way to outwit the devil is by not playing its game

I finally let her go.  

Let go of the things that weighed us down yesterday, fall deeper into the abyss of nothing. Fall and see her become yesterday, another star reflecting on human consciousness.

Dragons slayed brings us past human consciousness. Universal consciousness, the singularity, we are one with the aliens who hide from us, we are one with the matter, we are neither here nor there, there are no yesterdays, no todays or right now.

We are the gods we’re looking for. Here we are the universe articulates itself, like a harmonious soundscape.

Without us, it would be an incomplete sound.

Insight: Hierarchy of Minds

Hierarchy of Minds 2

In the first  Hierarchy of Minds, I talk about the different types of people that make up the hierarchies of society and with The Rabbit Hole in mind I’d like to expand on it.

If I had to simplify power and the construct of our society today into a symbol it would be a pyramid with the brick at the top governing that system, and the slaves at the bottom holding it up.

Those slaves complain about their environment but they never do anything about it.

Above the slave comes the soldier, the soldier has something to fight for, a home and a family, but a soldier will only fight so much before they give up.

A warrior is a soldier who is willing to die for their cause. Warriors are beyond the flesh, they believe in a purpose greater than themselves. Soldiers are passionate, warriors are willing to give 100% plus taxes. A relentless pursuit to breakthrough. Warriors have found themselves, they have found their calling and therefore become aligned with the universe a paintbrush articulating its story.

Our Legacy.

Passion on that level is seductive. 

Their passion motivates us to become part of it, to follow them, it becomes a movement and only that movement can crown them a king.

A good king understands they aren’t the system, they are a service to that system.  Good kings understand the same rules that got them to the top might not apply to sustain that position. 

Good kings… leaders if you will recognize that the pyramid of power is upside down.

Eventually, that movement becomes bigger than them, sometimes outliving them for generations, that movement becomes their legacy.

The eye above symbolizes the ideal to follow.

Upside Down Pyramid (Part 2)

What if we turned every brick into circles slightly overlapping; an infinite amount of number eights...

To be continued 

Insight: We Evolve Beyond one Place

Blog – We Evolve Beyond One Place

“You're a nobody in this business until you've told someone you can't pay them.”

I was next to my executive director Shannon Cummings at the time, working the Free Geek Toronto table, helping to sell the brand at CSI Annex. “We recycle electronic waste and refurbish the computers back into the community at affordable prices.” A lot of people saw Shannon that day, but she stood out to me. She had an epic scarf on, fiery curls--eye of the storm kind of thing. Through the body’s languages in our vicinity I recognized right away that this person was important.

We Evolve Beyond One Place

I had worked on projects, but they all had failed. I remember that summer vividly; I was all caught up in my woes (going through the 6 with my woes just dropped and that was literally my soundtrack for that year.

That's when I met Shannon at the Public Library at the Waterfront.

How did I get here?

What I have learned about life is that the philosophy of the caterpillar is a constant evolution of self. That life goes in circles and the calendar is a recording of those circles. Years break down to months, months turn to weeks, then weeks to days, and eventually life becomes seconds. Seconds are fleeting. By the time we become aware of the seconds, another cycle has already started.

And that's life: a caterpillar in a constant state of turning in to a butterfly. That's what success is. Success, often times will present itself in the form of chaos. Recognizing the chaos before it overwhelms us makes us the eye of the storm.

Insight – The Abyss of Failing Someone

A Poetry Ago

My journey starts back at Central Tech high school when a teacher would tell me to go across the street to the church. She loved my poetry. Happy-go-lucky at the time, I was throwing parties and selling t-shirts in stores; I'd call it SannaJinn Clothing company - Freedom and versatility of the open mind. We were high school kids barely out of middle school, learning business tactics when brick-sized beepers were still cool.

Eventually those projects would fall through, losses were deep, lessons were painful, and I am not even discussing life itself and the heartbreaks it brings in. Eventually I found myself burned out and looking for answers.

Free Geek Toronto in December

Answers came in the form of people; a friend of mine told me I should stop separating the jobs I take on from entrepreneurship and start doing business development for startups. He told me that I have enough sales experiences from having worked on these projects and jobs. A couple of months later I met Shannon, the executive director at Free Geek Toronto at the time.

By October, November I became the business development manager at Free Geek Toronto and by December we were at a show hosted at CSI Annex. It all happened quickly.

Always A Padewan

Some of the most memorable aspects of that job were in the morning meetings where we’d discuss our goals, our day-to-day struggles, her as a lesbian and me as a black man. We’d discuss leadership, business, and then start our day.

Working at Free Geek Toronto was like working the starship enterprise; we were a social enterprise on the frontier of E Waste trying to solve this trillion-dollar problem that’s threatening our planet on multiple fronts. Every day was a new adventure, every day our money was running out and every day we’d wake up and come to work, sometimes 16 hour shifts.

“You're a nobody in this business until you've told your staff you can't pay them”.

 That line was enough to convince me to join CSI because it showed me that Tonya is a human being who’s gone through the gauntlet but stayed strong enough to light up the room.  

Insight - Something Amazing Happened at #TAAP4

Never-Ending Jazz

Jazz, that's what I would call this place if you told me to summarize it down to 1 word.

An ever-changing mosaic of entrepreneurs making up different songs through the day. Every 2 hours the building hits a crescendo and DECAS must mobilize. I usually sit on the 3rd floor when the sun sets, to meditate through my thoughts, my dreams, and my nightmares while I convert the energy into the projects I work on. The next day the sun would set again.

We evolve beyond one place

Shannon alongside a myriad of things came together and made me understand failure; I don't fear failure anymore because that’s what life is: a caterpillar in a constant state of turning in to a butterfly

It made me understand that a plan and foundation are important, but execution is equally important and that failure is part of the game. Sometimes success requires throwing a calculated assumption to gauge how reality will react to it, and then making adjustments.

Business is 75% course correction a constant cycle of molding us into the next version of ourselves, the butterfly. 

 

 

5 Movies from TIFF 2018 to Watch Out For


With another year in festivals almost passed, it’s  time to look at some of the new film releases. Handpicked from 2018’s Toronto International Film Festival, we’ve been lucky to see more and more work that showcase characters and storylines that are not only relatable, but that still allow us to fantasize about the possibilities that the world of cinema has to offer.

The Fireflies are Gone

Director: Sébastien Pilote

Starring Karelle Tremblay, Pierre-Luc Brilliant

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

We kick off our list with a French-Canadian coming-of-age flick La disparition des lucioles, which follows Léo, a teenage girl who longs to escape her dull home life in a small town in rural Quebec. As her high school graduation gets closer, she befriends an older musician named Steve, who teaches her guitar and gives her an outlet to become the person she longs to be. In between all this, Léo experiences frustration with her stepfather, a locally known talk show host who’s on the side of the political divide that caused her union worker dad to leave town. Despite its raw subject matter, the film still manages to hold a certain air of fantasy, which allows us to better connect with the main protagonist.

Theatrical Release: Unknown, Independent screenings across Quebec September 28th-October 4th 2018

https://youtu.be/FeY_FHcWhMo

 

Edge of the Knife

Directors: Gwaai Edenshaw, Helen Haig-Brown

Starring Tyler York

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Making history as the first film spoken only in dialects of the Haida language, the story of Sgaawaay K’uuna is set in 19th century Haida Gwaii (on what’s now considered the Pacific East Coast of Canada), and is based off a myth of the Haida people. It  follows two large families on a fishing retreat. Kwa’s son is tragically killed in an accident caused by Adiits’ii (York) a nobleman. Tormented by guilt, Adiits’ii goes off into the wild and becomes the supernatural being Gaagiixiid. Despite everything, the families put all their efforts to have him turned back into human form. What makes this film even more compelling, is when we consider that right now less than twenty people in the Haida Gwaii community speak the Haida language fluently. Most of the cast had to learn it to appear in the film. Luckily it’s being taught once again in local schools, with elders hoping new generations will be able to preserve this part of their culture. Let’s hope Edge of the Knife gets some kind of distribution deal.

Theatrical Release: Unknown, Currently showing in different festivals

https://youtu.be/CzVwX7SgicA

 

Widows

Director: Steve McQueen

Starring Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabath Debicki, Liam Neeson

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Inspired by the 1980s tv series of the same name, the story begins with Veronica Rawlins (Davis) and her husband, Harry (Neeson). The story quickly cuts to a bank heist gone wrong that causes three robbers to be led to their death. Rawlins is left widowed, with a $2 million debt. The wives band together to finish what they started by organizing a heist themselves, but unlike typical heist movies, here were offered a cold glimpse into the reality of these women. Being in a society that taught us it’s every man/woman/person to themselves, has forced them to do the unthinkable, all to be able to survive and come out on top. 

Theatrical Release: November 16th 2018

https://youtu.be/nN2yBBSRC78

 

The Hate U Give

Director: George Tillman Jr.

Starring Amandla Stenberg, Algee Smith

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Based on the novel by Angie Thomas, here we follow Starr (Stenberg), a teenage girl born and raised in a lower class neighbourhood with a mostly black community. Yet between that she attends prep school, where most students are white. The tension between both worlds gets shattered, when one night her best friend Khalil (Smith) is shot by police, forcing her to step into a role that involves standing up for what’s right. The film manages to bring to the forefront issues around race that are often easily swept under other narratives. Unlike other similar titles, it doesn’t gloss over the reality of the main character and instead allows the audience completely into her world.

 Theatrical Release: October 12th 2018

https://youtu.be/3MM8OkVT0hw

 

A Star is Born

Director: Bradley Cooper

Starring Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

In his directorial debut, Bradley Cooper stars  alongside Lady Gaga in the fourth adaptation of the classic story. Not quite a remake, each generation gets a version of a similar plot, which involves a male musician suffering from alcohol issues who encounters an aspiring actress and singer. What each adaptation brings to the table, depends on what era it is. Country singer Jackson Maine (Cooper) hears waitress Ally (Gaga) performing in a drag club one night. The two of them hit it off from there, and Ally becomes a music star when Jackson brings her on stage during one of his concerts. The adaptation manages to be relatable, while still offering hope in a time in modern history where not a lot of people have the chance to dream, and the soundtrack is brilliant.

Theatrical Release: October 5th 2018

https://youtu.be/nSbzyEJ8X9E

Blog – Hierarchy of Minds: 4 kinds of Mindsets

Hierarchy of Minds: 4 kinds of Mindsets

The slave mind is a victim of circumstance; life beat them down and now they are trapped. Not trapped inside a physical space, but their own mental state.

 

The second type of person is beyond the victim.

This is the soldier: the soldier has something to fight for, but deep down that “slave” voice didn’t die. There is still doubt and fear in a soldier’s eyes, and someone with a soldier mindset will only go so far before they quit.

 

There is a thin line a soldier can cross over and find a burning desire

Think of the people who inspire us, the champions we follow, people who push us to be the best versions of ourselves. It doesn’t have to be big name, this person can be our mother.

 

The warrior.

A warrior is a soldier who is in alignment with their passion. They have found the burning desire to pursue it. You can feel their gravity; they have a fire that seduces us and inspires us to be better versions of ourselves, they can define generations, and evolve cultures.

 

The leader

Once the warrior gains a following, that following crowns them the leader

 

The Hierarchy of Minds is a module for our Sell Yourself in 30 Seconds workshop

Click here - For more information on our workshops

#TAAP5 – The Annex Art Party: Unicorn Awards Event Outline

  • Vendors - The deadline to register and buy your space is on August 22th, 2018.

Vendors click through to register your table

https://tinyurl.com/zuqwgtx

Patrons the 1st 50 get food and wine

https://www.facebook.com/events/1801850766548149/

The Annex Art Party

Creative community + positive vibes

  • The Annex Art Party is an event featuring positive vibes for a creative community; emerging artists of Toronto can connect through a series of beautifully choreographed events that include vending their art, mixing and mingling, and performing live art like dance or music. The event also offers food and beverages to artists and vendors alike.

The theme for TAAP5 is Find Your Sunshine

Event dates

  • The deadline to register and buy your space is on August 22nd, 2018.
  • The event will be hosted on Saturday, August 25th.

Event schedule

  • Setup starts at 1 p.m. For vendors
  • doors open to the public at 2:30 p.m.

Wine, Cheese & Soul Food

  • First 50 event goers get a free meal and beer at the bar.

Performers start

  • Performances start at 2:30 p.m.

Unicorn Awards

I'm introducing award show for #TAAP5 #FindYrSunshine – Voting will be done at the event through ballots as well as on the @CreativeUTO IG page for most hearts and or comments (let's call it volume).

  • Voting for Unicorn Awards starts at 3 p.m. on IG
  • Voting on the floor starts at 2:30 p.m.
  • Eventgoers and Judges walk around with ballots of artists to visit
  • Votes are counted and revealed at 6 p.m.
  • The awards will be presented to artists starting at 6:00 p.m.

Golden Unicorns

  • Artists who get the most votes get golden unicorns
  • Runner ups get silver unicorns

The categories will be

Live painting of the summer – You have 6 hours to capture the philosophy of the event, which is #FindYrSunshine
Best art installation - focusing on the best table presentation Strongly encouraging artist to start thinking beyond a table and set up art installations?
Art of the Summer - Focusing on a single piece of work that captures and defines the philosophy of the event with an award/certificate presented to the artist.
Emerging Artist of 2018 - Is awarded to an artist who has never featured at a TAAP event before with the most volume
Cosplayer of the summer - We encourage artist and patrons alike to be creative and dress free. Come in as a work of art and get the most volume and win.
Tinkerer of the Summer – Are you in to arts and craft? Jewelry? Enamel pins? Steampunk? The artist with the most volume on IG gets Tinkerer of the Summer
Curator of the Summer – Art curators are welcome, this includes collectors, galleries, or if you have your own collection. Curator with the most volume wins
Performer of the Summer – Videos of our performers will be uploaded on IG, and the performer with the most volume wins

Note: All votes are separated in to 3 categories,

  • The vote their top 3 most memorable artists (each category)
  • event vote top 3, gives up to 3 points
  • Instagram comment gets 2 points
  • and 1 heart gets 1 point.

Judges

  • Judges award their own set of points to artists
  • Will include industry insiders, art collectors, and art experts
  • The panel of judges will award the judges favorites, at 5pm
  • as well as with Unicorn Plaques

10 Reasons Emerging Toronto Artists Should Publish on #CUTO

Our current strategy?

Build a creative community for Toronto artists so they may use #CUTO Marketplace and CreativeUTO.ca as a platform where they can shop art, participate in or publish workshops (we can sell “how to” posts), services (we can go as far as selling downloads, and memberships on your behalf), and exchange skills with other creative entrepreneurs.

Our aim is to publish 100 artists by December 2019.

Artists - Click here to publish your content

CreativeUTO in context

It is like UBER for artists; the membership fee pays for their marketing (customer service, sales, advertisement). This removes about 80% of their workload when it comes to selling art, allowing artists to focus on creation.

We are no longer restrained by the logistics of space; this makes artists free to develop or create art installations that make a statement (sometimes alongside pop culture references) and go viral.

No longer restrained by space

#CreativeUTO - With CreativeUTO, artists don't necessarily have to bring their art to a show we're participating in. Based on their membership we can sell remotely, or at one of our studios.

Publishing cycle

Artist of the Week will be published on Monday, Wednesday,  and or Friday. #AotW will be announced on Fridays based on who generates the most volume

Getting a CreativeUTO membership

The membership packages available are Introduction, Featured Artist, and Cover Artist, with Cover Artists getting maximum exposure in our quarterly photobook and its marketing. Marketing includes 1,000 advertising posters per 3 months published, placed in neighborhoods and targeted in Toronto.

Follow this link - To get more info on #CUTO memberships

Promoting Artists of the Week

  • Publishing your shop is free
  • Follow up interviews are also free (just send in the content or fill out the form again).
  • We will start publishing a single picture every 3 hours for e
  • Every single picture will have a link back to your store.

For the Artists of the Week

  • #AotW Gets to become the featured artist on our social media platform
  • We publish 3 posts focused on the #AotW
  • We heavily promote it on Facebook and Instagram by paying for ads and sharing posts manually
  • We use videos and picture ads
  • Artist of the Week gets featured in our weekly art pop up at CSI Annex (valued $60)
  • 2 month membership with CreativeUTO (valued at $60)
  • Business canvas model workshop, a sales funnel hierarchy (1 hour per class 4 hours) ($160)
  • A free table at the next Annex Art Party ($45 per table)
  • Gets automatically entered in our #100GiftIdeas 2019 edition for the holidays

Congolese Dancer Fumu Jahmez Returns for #TAAP5

About being a knucklehead: an elder once told me that as a Congolese brother I have the lineage of one thousand ancestors coursing through me and that I should listen to the universe and trust what it's telling me.

Fumu says in his interview that he needs to be connected to himself in his artistic process; this immediately struck a cord with me. It strikes a cord because I believe channeling oneself is one passage towards mastery; being able to look at ourselves in the mirror and accept ourselves, including the monsters that haunt us.

It is important to learn to connect with those monsters, become a single entity with them, and dare I say, let them drive us. Somewhere along the lines of this meditation process there is a spark that moves us, a spark that explodes into dance. This explosion is what Fumu Jahmez brings to the table every time I see him dance at events, including the Annex Art Party. 

Fumu returns for a 3rd time at The Annex Art Party #TAAP5 at 720 Bathurst Street starting at 2:00pm on Saturday August 25th.

Congolese dancer Fumu Jahmez

Fumu Jahmez, I am Congolese born artist who came to Canada as a child. I grew up in Quebec City and Toronto.

What do you do? 

I am multidisciplinary artist who engages in dance, song, poetry, teaching, playing instruments and percussion. I also write songs and arrange music.

What are you working on right now?*

I am currently working on a musical project

Why did you get started?

I got started because of the fire that was burning inside of me and my parents supported my artistic qualities.

Describe your creative process?

I need to be connected with myself in order to create. Spending time alone at times is what helps me translate the things I see and hear in my mind. Aligning myself with people who can help bring the vision alive is also extremely important. Being genuine with the creation is a requirement and it has to truly speak to me first.

Who is your art for? Why is it important?

My art is for me and everyone it reaches. It is important because I was created to bring a contribution on earth with gifts given to me. It is important because it keeps me healthy emotionally, mentally and physically and that translate to others as well.

If you could tell your younger self anything what would it be and why? 

To only put your energy on something you love doing and to do it wholeheartedly because it is easy to get lost in other people's dreams and visions.

What are your views on homelessness, mental health in the arts community?

My views on these issues are that we need balance where people lose it abs we should create less of a stigma around people who are experiencing these things in the arts community. Healing can be obtained through the arts for people to find their centre again.

What is your Instagram (or Portfolio) Url? *

fumujahmez

Vendors

Register - for The Annex Art Party

more info - about The Annex Art Party and The Unicorn Awards

Or

Publish your work Artist of the week