Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Street Meet SATX No. 2 Recap.

We wrapped up Street Meet SATX No. 2 last weekend with a good turn-out and a lot to shoot. Blocks of downtown were shut down for the annual Chalk It Up event as we were greeted by many interesting faces while we trekked through into the heart of the city. Our group was sporadic and as we lost a few to their dayjobs, we picked up a few more along the way. The meet was much different from the last; I saw a little less shooting but a lot more connecting. Which is good. That is part of the mission of Street Meet SATX, to connect photographers and people with our love for our passions, regardless of what they may be. The initial interaction simply comes through photography and continues through the creative spark we all share. We continue to have a great time and take great photos. Below are some images from our group that day. Thank you for joining us once again, we will see you next month for No. 3, currently in the planning processes. Stand by...

Stay Creative,

Aphro One.


Rene Amado


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Street Meet SATX No. 2.

Last month a group of us gathered and marched through downtown with photographic artillery and took over the streets of DTSA, one block at a time. If you didn't come out, not only did you miss out on a special moment of San Antonio history, but in your absence, you still somehow fueled the need and craving for another. So thank you! :D We all had a ton of fun and were so geeked that we wanted to do it again and share it with more of you. So, on Saturday October 11, 2014 we will gather at TPY once more, this time at 1:00p, to do it all over again. There will be a photo show in the gallery of TPY Urban featuring some of the photographers that were at Street Meet SATX, so stop by early to take a peek (more details on the opening night when I get 'em). It will be a jam packed day as so many cool events are going down, which is why we are starting earlier. I'm hoping we can stop for some food this time as last month we went well into the darker hours and by the end of the thing I was super drained. We crossed through northern downtown into the heart, stopped by the Jazz Fest, and circled all throughout the DTSA streets, meeting so many beautiful and interesting characters that day.

If you missed it last time, I hope you can join us next Saturday. If you love photography and are new to the idea, please come through! As before, anyone with ANY kind of camera is welcome to come shoot and hangout. Any level of experience too, so no excuses! I only ask that you bring your positive attitude, your creative spark, and your open mind. I hope you can join us for Street Meet SATX No. 2 and help to continue this great gathering of photo enthusiasts.

Hashtag, #streetmeetsatx.

Stay Creative,

For a glimpse of the fun we all had, below are some of the images from some of us that were at the meet.

The group.




United Soles.

UNITED SOLES, lead by the legendary n2tha0, my homie Norm. We are invading DTSA so get ready. Norm will be in the house, Freeverse will be in the house, DJ Tech-Neek, ASICS, Dank Customs..This one is for all the sneaker heads and hip hop culture buffs. We will have DJs, sneakers, art, all kinds of raffles, and more--all for the love of sneakers.

This is a Buy-Sell-Trade event so bring all those kicks you locked away in your basements and closets over the years to make some cash or trades and find that holy grail you are looking for too! I will be there with a booth and I have a grip of new stuff for you guys as well as some freebies for my larger orders. I would love to talk with you about providing my creative services for your new projects as well. So come by and let's build!

I am looking forward to seeing you all and being a part of another show that truly represents hip hop culture in San Antonio. Cheers!

Stay Creative,

Thursday, September 4, 2014

NEW Melodic Measures.

Detail of my latest creation, please visit at the Melodic Measures link in the tabs above and check out the full piece! Cheers!

Stay Creative,

Friday, August 22, 2014


Quitate las chancalas, hijos. It's gonna be a long read. Earlier this month I attended a show at the historical music venue, The White Rabbit. The band in play was the new (and revived if you've been watching) Antemasque, with Les Butcherettes in tow. Touted by many as "if At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta had a baby", this new musical endeavor reunites Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez after a heated departure from (and the break up of) The Mars Volta. But that was months behind us and this new group has we ATDI and TMV fans excited for something fresh from the duo. Apparently the duo pulled long-time friend and honorary TMV member, Flea, to complete the record. If you have yet to hear the new concoction, I urge you surf the interwebs and take a listen. The record was available on the new Nadie Sound website for a month before the tour but has since been taken down for some reason. However enough poking around and you'll find it. Antemasque is what so many of us have been waiting for: it's raw, it's energetic, it's matured. It shows us that really talented individuals are capable of damn near reinventing the wheel. The record is fast-paced and the show is a tandem expression of that same energy.

The show had only one opening act and that made me pretty happy. It's so common to have multiple acts on tour as well as a local opener for musicians today and although I appreciate the support national acts give to other bands and local talent, I gotta say it was a refreshing to show up and just get right into it. To my surprise, the White Rabbit was packed like they were giving away tickets and beer for free. It was exciting but also proposed a slight problem--how am I gonna get to the front to snag some great shots? Far be it for me to sound like the old man on the porch, but I've noticed a decline in crowds' energy and increase in saltiness over the past say ten years of concert-going. When I was younger, shows I would attend would be packed ass to ass and you would fight tough for your spot. You would squeeze, push, wedge, and inch your way through anyone that was in your way to gain a better vantage point. If you made it through, you made it through. End of story. You just wanted it more. This was rap shows, metal shows, hip hop, rock--whatever. Today, crowds have gotten soft. It could be a sold out Deftones show filled to the brim ready to give in to the hellish energy that is their live performance and if so much as lean on another person when your near the stage, you're often met with mean mugs, sarcastic remarks, and whining. Lots of whining. This is adults too, not just the teeny boppers (who I imagine didn't sneak out of the house or lie to be there lol). Today, people throw fits, whine, bitch, and moan. And the others around them join in. Nobody pushes forward to a dope spot. Nobody waits outside the venue at 10am to be against the barricade. Nobody moshes anymore. I just don't get it.


At the time, I hadn't heard any music from Les Butcherettes, but I've seen their name a lot. I'll admit, I didn't "do my job" and research this group, but sometimes I just like going in fresh and just experience the music too. Regardless, I find a decent spot and wait for their entrance. Two ladies came out to greet a small set up of a keyboard-guitar combo and a stage right-facing drum kit. A male bass player made his way to the dark corner and the madness began.

The ladies wore aprons and dresses covered in blood. I knew immediately that this was gonna be special. The group played some amazing music and performed with fantastic energy. Lots of erratic movements and faces that made it all the more maniacal draped in blood. Fucking awesome. I got a few good images of Teri Gender Bender but none of the drummer as the crowd was far too tight at this point. Needless to say, I loved every minute of their set and they succeeded at their purpose as an opener--they got me and everyone else hype as fuck for the main act.

Antemasque at this point had only been around for merely months. I had heard the first tracks they released on the Nadie site and was immediately hooked on the new marriage of their older sounds. I have been waiting to see some form of these two [Cedric and Omar] for many years now and this was no let down. This was to be Antemasque's first stop on the tour and more importantly, their first live performance as this new band. They brought along Omar's brother and Zechs Marquise member Marfred Rodriguez-Lopez on bass and former TMV drummer David Elitch. Performing in such a small space as the White Rabbit made the event so much more fantastic. NOTHING beats watching a really good musician or group of musicians quite like a watching them perform in a hot, close-quarters space amidst a sea of a tight-knit bunch of die-hard people hungry for great music. The folks in attendance ranged from fresh-eared teens thankful this wasn't a school night to long-standing adults lurking for ATDI vibes. During Les Butcherettes' set, I made my way to center stage about three rows back. I imagined how dope my images would be until the trademark fro hit the stage and all hell broke loose. So used to shooting with my old compact, this would my first show shooting with my new (and bulkier) DSLR and it certainly came with it's challenges as the crowd went nuts for damn near every song making it difficult to hold steady. Crowd surfers made their way overhead and some to the stage. It seems those that made it on-stage felt compelled to pat Cedric on the back or wave a big thumbs up in his face mid-song. Mas divertido.

Antemasque plays with that fervor I've seen in all the ATDI videos I've watched. Hard, fast, and loud. Punk rock shit. Cedric was all over the place with his signature dance moves and his voice carried throughout the entire space with extreme presence as the band beat out some of the most amazing music I've heard in this place. David Elitch wrecked shop on those drums as he struggled to catch his breath. This venue is no joke, I've seen performers pass out on-stage. Props, Dave. I certainly learned something that night as well--I definitely need to upgrade this 3.5 for better low-light performance. However if you know me, then you know I make the best of any tool and situation and make it work for me. Adaptation, adaptation, adaptation. Adaptation is one of the most useful skills you can learn and continue to develop throughout your life. I had to pick my shots and watch the people next to me for any and all openings as well as watch my head for any stray surfing feet. I exposed any weaknesses of the crowd to get these shots and had a blast during it all. Seeing a band or musician live is the best as it really shows you how much of what they do is over-polished in the studio and how much of it is just pure soul.

Thank you Cedric and Omar for keeping it real and allowing me to document a straight up piece of your history...the first live performance of Antemasque, ese. Bang.

Stay Creative,

Friday, August 15, 2014

Street Meet NY.

A couple weeks ago I came across a post on Instagram from one of the illest brands out now, The Hundreds. The post was promoting another Street Meet with Van Styles. For those who don't know, The Hundreds along with Van Styles host Street Meets where anyone with any kind of camera is invited out to roam the streets together for the love and passion of photography. The first happened in LA followed by another in San Francisco with street photographer Travis Jensen. This latest Street Meet though was to be met with surprise--a new guest photographer, one of my favorites. The one and only 13th Witness would be joining the fun, this time in New York. It was posted a week before it was to go down and I wasn't sure whether to make it out to this rare occasion or not. I had to ask myself one simple question: "In five years, am I gonna be kicking myself for not going to this?". And with that, I booked a room and rental the Sunday night prior from the same tiny, cornered Starbucks table that I'm typing this post. My girlfriend and I packed up and with our puppy boy Ollie, we hit the open road Monday morning. Flying is always fun and a much faster way to travel. However, driving cross-country has it's benefits too. The biggest being that you can stop and see whatever you want, anytime. I have been through Tennessee plenty of times and it is still one of my favorite states to drive through when heading east. It's state highways are lush with beautiful green trees much taller than the Pecans I'm used to here.

If you're from Texas or live in Texas or have driven through here, then you know it's a fucking journey in itself just to get out of the state. Coming from San Antonio headed in any direction will literally take one HOURS to get out to a neighboring state (or country; S/O to all mine south of the Rio!). So I've grown such an appreciation for interstate road trips. This one was much more exciting though as I was with my girlfriend, our puppy, and a thirst for a photographic adventure in the city of New York to shoot alongside two favorites. Dope.

After our long journey, we landed in Brooklyn at about 3 a.m. and checked in, fucking exhausted. Ollie wouldn't sleep the entire ride and it hit him hard when we finally got into the bed. We all woke up the next morning and were all recharged and excited to be in NY. We ate breakfast and headed out to the city. I'll save the headaches I experienced that is driving through NY and get straight to the good stuff lol. After parking our car and getting Ollie some wet food, we headed North a few blocks in the heat. New York gets hot for sure, but I think SATX still got em beat with Phoenix still remaining the solar champs. Rabbit treated us to Baohaus which not only has great food, but a dope staff too. Thanks to all who prepared our food and accepted our gifts. We headed out to GRND soon after to meet up with what turned out to be damn near 100 people of varying backgrounds and tools. We walked through THNY and after a brief wait for 13th Witness, we began to shut shit down. Literally, we stopped traffic. MULTIPLE times.

Fuccit, keep it movin'.

We were joined by a good homie and our NY guide, Levi Dopeness, as walked through Chinatown, down by the river, and ending at the Brooklyn Bridge. I've always held a huge appreciation and fascination with bridges. When I first came out to NY at 18, I took a few photos of the many bridges from a great distance away. This time though, I got to shoot on the bridge which made my fucking day. We ended the meet shortly after and we headed out back to Brooklyn. Just in time too, as it started to rain. I drove out after dropping my loved ones off at the room to get a huge ass Sicilian pie that was damn near the best pizza I've ever had. Yes, I could've eaten so many other foods while out there but I'm a Ninja Turtle at heart and I love trying new pizza. Plus, at 11pm and tired as fuck with your family feeling the same, it's the best option. J & V is the TRUTH, yo. S/O to VICE and Frank Pinello for the heads up (I couldn't make it in time to the spot you told me Tim, so it's on me next time I'm in town). We slept it off and hit the road back to SA the next morning. It was a short trip, but we do have our obligations back home and had to make it happen. We experienced some staleness in New Jersey at the Secret Stash, but let's not sully the amazing time that was had overall.

The trip was so amazing and one that lives with me as if I went last week. I learned so much about myself, my relationship, my family, and my skillset & techniques. Below you'll find a few images from the Street Meet, hit the rest (along with a few more stories) right here, here, here, and here. I know it seems a bit odd with these back and forth posts between sites, please bear with me; sometimes I just need to get the stuff out. I'm still playing catch up with my photos and personal work all together as well. I have photos to edit and share from the actual road trip itself as well as some more in New York, before and after the Street Meet. For those that don't mind, I see you and thank you for sticking with me through it all, hope you enjoy what I share as much as I enjoy creating it all!

Stay Creative,

PS. Big thanks to The Hundreds, The Hundreds NY, Van, Levi, 13th, my girlfriend, our dog Ollie, all the photographers that we met and shot with, and lastly the citizens of New York for providing some great images and experiences. THANK YOU.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Woozy K-60.

I haven't been able to get to drawing as much as I'd like this year. It's been a bit of a roller coaster getting my life in order but I'm happy to have knocked this one out the other night in time for the Krink contest being held over at TPY Urban. This is my rendition of my favorite marker, the phat K-60. I used the K-70 and K-60 to create it. I hope to get some colors on this some time soon, it was a lot of fun to create. Join in on the fun and submit your entry! :D

Stay Creative,