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End of an Era

I remember sharing on Instagram some of the final pictures of the studio as it was sitting there, bare naked, with just a couple miscellaneous items left on the floor.  A friend had commented “End of an era.”  And indeed, it was.  I had just closed down the studio that I maintained from 2018 through 2021.  That day, I remember feeling relieved, anxious, nostalgic… not necessarily sad, nor empty, but in the back of my mind, I knew that I was about to enter a new phase of my life.

Those 3 and a half years were very defining for me as an entrepreneur.  I was able to put into practice everything that I learned from a past life of being dependent on an employer’s salary, and risked it all for following my natural instincts of seeing what I was really made of.

At the beginning of this era, just before I had the opportunity to take on the studio, I was renting a small space in a shared studio, which was right next door.  It was run by Bryant Sina, who I had known through my Union City friends Keane & Judy.  We were acquaintances through IG, and at the time of Spring ’18, Bryant had put out a call on IG, saying that there was space at his studio for interested artists.

At the time, I had already been working from home.  In fact, I’ve been working from home since 2012, when I got laid off, at my last full-time job which was being the Brand Manager for the Jabbawockeez (whole other story).  So by the time 2018 hit, I was 6 years deep into freelancing and  was ready to transition to get out my house, and I was in search of a place where I could be more public with my practice to no longer be a freelancer.  Bryant’s Haus of Godspeed Studio, gave me a chance at the minimal price point of $200/month, to have a 4’x10′ space where clients could actually come to see me in “my studio.”

Haus of Godspeed

The couple months I spent at Haus of Godspeed were amazing.  I was immediately connected with the next generation of local artists in Oakland / East Bay.  And since I was the eldest in the room of the dozen or so artists that shared the space, it was invigorating for me to catch a second wind of youthful energy, who were passionate about their crafts, and who had also not yet met with becoming jaded by the realities of  sustaining as an artist in the Bay Area.  I was in the perfect bubble for a 30-something year old artist, shielded by ignorance, and shielded from falling into the category of artists who hang it all up, because this bubble was inhabited with believers.

I recall staking my claim in the Haus of Godspeed, and transforming my little area in this eclectic underground art gallery, into my signature style of motion design studio fung shui.  I knew my presence was felt by all the visitors in the studio, even when I wasn’t there..  Because even in the beautiful mess it was, my ability to transform a space and make it inviting and comfortable, calm, peaceful and productive is … pretty damn good.  I’ve been doing it since 2005, when I had my first full-time design job out of college at Meezy Art.


Later that summer in 2018, I was invited by one of  my past interns, Paul Idrobo, (who had come all the way from Paris to spend  summer ’12 with me in Oakland), to his upcoming wedding in Medellin, Colombia.  (I have a post about my success story with Paul here)  After Paul returned home from his internship with me in 2012, we stayed connected, and he continues to this day, to be a trusted collaborator.  So of course I went to his wedding.  I got to travel to Colombia for the first time, and I got to see what a French/Colombian wedding was like.  After the wedding, we were supposed to go to the coast of Colombia and spend a couple days there…  But of course, I was working on a project, which at the time was a new client Samsung, and even while on the estate leading up to the wedding, I found myself not as present with the festivities, because it was important for me to see the success of this new client project into completion.  So I opted to come home early, and the day after I landed, I’m right back at the Godspeed studio, which would be the very first time that I see the door open of the studio next door…

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