La Canvas x Squarespace – POMPOM Interview

Photographs by Jeffrey Baum

 Interview by Renee Schmiedeberg for LA Canvas and Square Space.


“POMPOM” is the whimsical moniker she goes by when she’s in LA making music nostalgic for the 80s. Audrey is her name when she’s a regular girl visiting her small hometown in Nevada. Like many other emerging artists, Audrey uses her Squarespace to express her youthful aesthetics while keeping fans updated on her latest work. All artists need great portfolios, take it from the pros and get yourself a subscription to the best DIY website out there. Squarespace has tons of customizable templates and tutorials to express your individual style and aesthetic, so there’s no reason not to make it now. Quit putting it off, get professional and get your own website on Squarespace to showcase your own creativity. Heck, we’re even giving you a coupon code. Use “LACANVAS” for 10% off your first Squarespace purchase!


Find POMPOM’S latest happenings here:

and check out Squarespace here:


LA Canvas: Tell us about yourself.

POMPOM: Hi, I’m Audrey. I grew up in Moapa Valley, a small town 45 minutes from Las Vegas. There’s a lot of nature out there, it’s a great place to grow up. We lived on a kind of farm with goats and peacocks and hedgehogs. My parents always had great taste in music and growing up, I played any instrument I could get my hands on.

I formed POMPOM because I was big on classical music and video game music. The first professional career I wanted was to be a video game music composer. I have my brother to thank for getting me into Final Fantasy! When I got my first synth, you couldn’t get me off it. I would always be playing with it. I majored in Animation in college and worked in a cubicle at Disney and Pixar for years. I left because my soul needed something, needed to reconnect to music again. I love animation and film, but music can make you feel otherworldly. It’s just different from other art forms.

LA Canvas: What makes you “you”?

POMPOM: Everyone has their own voice and I feel like I grew up a little different. I’ve always composed music, and was in a few bands before this one. POMPOM was when I decided to finally name myself. It’s me exploring the mysticism I’ve always felt behind music. I feel like everything has that extra sense that they can get into. Music is something that enters your body, bounces around, and imprints on your heart. All my life, I’ve felt a certain connection to music and like there was something more than the small town I grew up in. POMPOM is me performing everything I love into a single art form—costumes, videos, and music. It’s the project that I put all of me in.

LA Canvas: When did you launch your Squarespace site?

POMPOM: About a year and a half ago, I was looking for web space that was very flexible so people could see exactly who I am instantly. I don’t need a complex website for them to understand who I am and what I want to express. It was a great platform for an emerging artist. I actually learned a lot about building a website through it and it had me learning about how to develop it and use SEO. They have a lot of good tutorials.

LA Canvas: What have you found to be the most impactful on your site?

POMPOM: I love how easy it is to put videos on your site. You can put it in the background, anywhere on the site. I like the newsletter button on the front page, so people can subscribe and keep updated on my music. I only have a few links on the website and the social media buttons are the most useful.

LA Canvas: Which template are you using?

POMPOM: Gravity! It has a splash page, all my social media links and the newsletter. Visitors can easily go straight to my main page.

LA Canvas: How has your site impacted or not impacted your work?

POMPOM: For somebody who’s not a web developer, it’s pretty amazing. If I paid somebody to do this, it would be so expensive. My brother is actually getting into web development! Google Analytics is good, I can see where people are coming from. I know I can put Spotify on it when I release my next album.

LA Canvas: Speaking of a new album, any plans or goals for next year?

POMPOM: I’m releasing my next album this year. And I’m working on a music video for every song! The album is called Esper.

LA Canvas: Where do you get your video inspiration from?

POMPOM: Any mystical realm— I harken back to anything that really grabbed me while I was a kid as beautiful and strange. The Neverending Story, Labyrinth—movies from my childhood. I’m a huge David Lynch fan and adore the magic realism in Twin Peaks. I think it’s fun to bring feelings of wonderment to people who are young now. I love bringing feelings of new nostalgia to young people through my work.

LA Canvas: What advice would you give musicians trying to make it work? Or anyone about to launch their website for their music?

POMPOM: Number one is making connections and being friends with everybody, especially others in your industry. I grew up not knowing that I could choose my friends. My experiences have taught me that I can choose who I surround myself with and the best choice is to choose those who love creating all the time. I don’t ever feel discouraged because of those people. And if you see an opportunity, don’t be afraid to do it. Love yourself enough to pursue your dreams.

LA Canvas: Are you doing any shows soon?

I’m currently working on the new album so after it’s perfect, I’ll perform live.

I have a small song called “Stronger” on Spotify and iTunes now, it’s like a “get ready” song. The album will be way more ambitious. If you sign up for my email list you can find out all updates as they come!

Instagram –

Twitter – @musicPOMPOM

Facebook –

Soundcloud –

Website –


Flash Back Friday: FYF 2015 Recap


FYF was an extraordinary melting pot of talent, genres, fans, fashion, and food.

Described by some as the “urban Coachella,” and although Goldenvoice has been a partner in the festival since 2011, FYF has an utterly unique feel. Its urban element comes from the event being nestled in the heart of downtown LA, taking place in between the California Science Center, Natural History Museum, and Memorial Coliseum. The result is a locational metaphor of the crossing between so many different influences and stylistic tastes reflected both in FYF’s lineup and fanbase. It had been five years since I stepped foot on these nostalgic grounds for a music festival (2010 when Electric Daisy Carnival still called LA home), and this was quite a divergent experience.

“Millennials” (a term that makes me shutter) have caught a lot of flack for being a self-centered generation. People harp on this culture and do not seem to understand forking over hundreds of dollars for what they see as intangible and fleeting experiences, but for music lovers around the world this is the lifeblood of existence. The opportunity to go out into a crowd of strangers, all connected by music and the urge to share meaningful experiences with thousands of people is worth forking over weeks of saved paychecks, because this is the time they feel most alive. It’s about paying their hard earned money to support a festival and artists that speak to them, and make them feel things that no physical object could. It’s an investment in themselves and the underlying messages within music and the entire idea behind FYF.


In a recent open letterto FYF founder Sean Carlson published LA Weekly before the festival, long-time fan Art Tavana lamented about the festival losing its punk-centric culture that had originally drawn attendees to FYF over a decade ago. The condescending letter takes jabs at pretty much all that is good in the world including Jason Bentley (KCRW), Flume, Solange, Shlohmo, and the blessing that is Chet Faker (so yeah, we’re pretty sure this guy needs a happy meal). He went on to complain about the walking (yeah.. at a festival), and “fucking up his vans”… (once again, you’re at a festival buddy) while still being hurt that his favorite punk bands were not on the bill. Tavana tells Carlson that he’s lost touch with what the children of Los Angeles (boy was he wrong), but he’s a great reminder that even with a jaw-dropping lineup, you can’t make everyone happy all of the time.

The LA Times posted the perfect counter to the open letter in defense of the festival, raising this question: “Could FYF Fest be the most important music festival of 2015?” They mentioned that yes, this year’s lineup lacked a traditional punk presence, but many of the festival’s main acts including Kanye West, D’Angelo, Run The Jewels, FKA Twigs, and Morrissey exhibit the core of elements of punk music: people who strongly believe in their causes and are not afraid to critique modern day culture and society in the hopes of fostering change.

People may roll their eyes when the self-proclaimed “greatest living rock star” Kanye West is brought up as one of these people, but if they quieted the noise of their eye rolls and opened up their ears to listen to what he is actually saying, they might find that he is delivering similar messages in a more accessible way to millions of people. West replacing Frank Ocean days before the festival was quickly trending across social media, showcasing just how powerful his presence truly has become. He was an obvious highlight, but here are our top moments that will forever remain engrained in our memories after leaving the grounds of FYF and returning to the real world.

Our top moments of FYF

FKA Twigs

Sarah Epperson

It was my first time seeing FKA twigs, and even though I had been obsessing over her as of late, I really had no idea what I was in for. FKA Twigs closed out the festival Sunday night and it could not have ended on a better note, especially because I don’t think anyone could follower her, and I would not want anyone to have to. She was visually awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping and captivating. She performed alongside a number of dancers (she a professionally trained dancer herself) and contortionists, bringing out elements of her music videos and her celebration of the unconventionally beautiful.

For someone who commands and holds such a massive presence, the small dancer with a soft elegant British accent was a statute of bold fearless power. The generous performer took time at the end of her set to introduce all of her dancers and the members of her band.

Kanye West

Get Tiny Photography

People lost their minds when Kanye was announced as the replacement of Frank Ocean for Saturday night’s headlining set. Before he was Kanye West the 2020 presidential candidate he was just Kanye West, (which is still a lot) and somewhere in the middle he was Yeezus. But no matter the name of the day he is hands down one of the most incredible performs we have, with his undeniable stage presence and meticulously planned out stage design clearly mesmerizing the audience. Kanye seemed to be in a rare and refreshing form, smiling and jumping around the stage with a palpable lightness. Instead of his anticipated and now trademark Kanye rants, his only divergence was an impromptu melody about being too high and wondering if your buddy is a high as you during “Runaway.”

Kanye also proved that his catalog of hits is far too large to fit into a festival slot, so for the last ten minutes he played small sections of as many songs as possible with the final tally ending around seven. Special guests included the humble Rihanna, who was just trying to enjoy Kanye like the rest of us in the crowd, but was kind enough to treat us to her parts in “FourFiveSeconds” and “All of the Lights.” G.O.O.D. music affiliate Travi$ Scott joined Kanye earlier in the set, bringing his trademark energy and performing “Upper Echelon” and “Antidote.”

Chet Faker

Get Tiny Photography

I thought I loved Chet Faker more than anyone until I looked over in the crowd and saw many of the people next to me with tears in their eyes. His voice penetrates into the body and souls of people and seemed to conjure a nostalgia for places we know we’ve only ever been in our dreams. He treated fans to the goddess known as Banks who came out to perform her new remix of Chet’s “1998” and it was everything.

Run The Jewels

Get Tiny Photography

Killer Mike and El-P AKA Run The Jewels were excited to point out to the crowd that they had their own billboard next to the festival. Their lighthearted candor and enjoyment of the process was endearing to fans, and while they rap about extremely serious and prominent issues like police brutality in “Close Your Eyes,” they wanted to deliver it in a way where the audience left feeling uplifted and empowered, rather than overwhelmed and hopeless. Their performance included many guests such as Rage Against The Machine’s Zack de la Rocha, Blink 182’s Travis Barker, and Three 6 Mafia’s Gangsta Boo who nailed the female counterpoint to a raunchy sex song “Love Again” (and we all loved it).


Sarah Epperson

Flume’s set was heavy on the special guests, bringing out Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt to sing their collaboration “Some Minds.”  And one of the most noted special guests Lorde, who showed us that you can be quirky pop star from New Zealand that  just wants join Flume onstage to dance around his remix of your song “Tennis Court” there’s nothing wrong with that. You keep doing you Lorde.

Death Grips

Sarah Epperson

Although Death Grips is not my go-to music and I can only handle so much before a little blood starts seeping from my brain, I deeply appreciate their sound and extremely unique style and saw no crowd more excited or pumped up or trying to crawl their way to the stage more than these fans (minus the girl that attempted to jump on stage for Morrissey).


Get Tiny Photography

Props to Morrissey for once again using his stage time as a plea to the masses on the issues around us. Morrissey performed one of his songs “Ganglord” backed by hard to watch videos of police brutality, but when you’re Morrissey and everyone one of your songs sounds like your girlfriend just told you that she hit your dog with a car on the way back from cheating on you on your birthday, you don’t really have to worry about tiptoeing around the issues in the fear of  bumming a crowd out because that’s what they came for. So once again props to you, Morrissey.

Bloc Party

Jennica Mae Photography

I’m very bummed I missed Bloc Party as they have long been one of my favorite bands, but at this point in the night my boyfriend was chain eating popsicles in attempts to mask his uncontainable eagerness to see his idol live for the first time in his life, and I feared taking him away from the mainstage too close to Kanye’s set time would completely push him over the edge. Love is a sacrifice, but Kanye was totally worth it.  

Until next year!















A Sleek + Modern Seafood Spot: Fin and Fire, DTLA


West Hollywood’s chef of The Church Key is set to launch a new seafood spot in the Arts District in Downtown called Fin and Fire. Specializing in seafood, Steven Fretz spoke a bit about the menu and assured that he would include crudités, tartars, and fish entrees cooked in a wood-fired oven for all of you seafood lovers. He also mentions that the experience will be just as unique as the food with welcoming guests with a kitchen experience and being greeted by the cooks!

As for the aesthetic of this new eatery, Fretz did say that the restaurant will be going for something a bit more sleek, black, and modern, with some copper touches to make things really pop. There is also a rooftop that will have seating for 40 people, and a small bar area beneath the dining room.

There is no word when they are set to open the doors, but Fin and Fire should definitely be on your future visit lists.

Styler Guide: Mauison Kistuné “Paris Desert” Collection

Maison Kitsuné’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection evokes the intense brightness of Sahara Desert coupled with the soft calming nature of a mirage. In “Paris Desert” Kitsune uses subdued neutral contrasted with vibrant blue, indigo, and green. He also experiments with texture, using material that ranges from raw cotton to moleskin. This collection was made to catch the eye of every Parisian, or Angeleno for that matter, who has their heart set on exploration, adventure, and refined design. Have at it above and below:



In The Groove: Free People Flares Through The 70s In New Summer Lookbook

Vintage flare bell bottoms, short playful rompers, long striped pant suites and chunky statement shoes. Free People is transporting you back to a time when the Farrah Faucet mane was celebrated and the wider the pant leg the better, with their newly released “In The Groove” look book collection.


Free People, known for their bohemian lifestyle and cutting-edge threads, takes you on a trip back in time to summer in the 1970s in Venice, Calif., “where the days are longer and the times are more simple.” Mixing clean ‘70s silhouettes with corduroy, knits, suede, and crochet textures, all highlighting a true red, white and denim Americana palette, this collection will have you wanting to swap your modern marble floors and granite counter tops for shag carpet and oak wood-paneled walls and cabinets.


Denim also plays a large role in this collection, appearing in various shapes, including long and short rompers, tops, and the “Free People cult favorite,” the Extreme Vintage Flare. Although accessories are slightly more subdued for this particular collection, Americana-inspired scarves, sun-shielding wide brimmed hats, and bold statement shoes will help every girl channel her inner ‘70s babe.


The “In The Groove” look book collection is available now online at

Shop collection


Model: Alena Blohm @AlenaBlohm
Photographer: Jason Lee Parry @JasonLeeParry
Hair: Tony Vin @TonyVin
Makeup: Samuel Paul @SamuelPaulMakeup


The things we typically do in the morning range from banal to breath-taking: Make eggs, pound coffee, groggily read the newspaper/iPad/Instagram feed, check traffic, take out the dog, drop a load, meditate, medicate, kiss and bang, surf, yoga, sail, kayak, sky jump…. (hey, we’re sure there is someone!). And yet no matter how ambitious, one can rarely say the AM entails joining a dance rave. Until now.

New Yorkers Matthew Brimer and Radha Agrawal started an A.M. dance party, Daybreaker, as a way of igniting spirits and strangers, getting a community together and dancing like hell without unhealthy doses of liquid courage and gnarly hangovers. This simple concept has become, (excuse the pun), all the rave. After taking NYC by storm, it has since spread to San Francisco, London and reached the sunny shores of Venice, CA this Tuesday AM Sept 17th2014.

As curious and fun-loving folks, we found ourselves grumbling at the alarm clock at 6:30 AM, throwing on sneakers and heading to the nearby hot dog and beer joint Wusterkuche in Lincoln. Sure, it wasn’t easy getting up, it wasn’t easy to rally our friends to check it out (“Huh? 6 AM? Dang that’s early! And why on a Tuesday?”) and we’ll be honest, we found ourselves second guessing our motives right before entering: “Dear self. You are pretty much gung-ho for anything, but this behavior has officially lead you to a dance rave at 6 AM on a Tuesday at a hotdog joint. Is this something you should monitor more?” But then we shrugged, reminded our left brain that our right brain deserves a dance party whenever they want a F***ING dance party and headed inside.

The crowd and beats assuaged our uncertainty almost instantly. Evidently there was at least a hundred people who were as crazy as us and better yet, they were dancing harder and happier than we could have ever imagined. The place was packed wall to wall with colorful, glowy, sweaty, smiling people. In fact, we know what you are thinking, but most looked gainfully employed, smart, super-duper humans. Many of them were in some kind of spandex day-glo combo. And seriously, every last one of them was dancing.

The maverick-mustached DJ Eric Sharp built up delectable layers of upbeat, sun-filled deep house so we could not resist rising up and getting down. He chose to share the love by embedding the entire mix here! And, just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, he was accompanied by a full brass section. Oh and hungry? A mix of  Runa Tea, Groundworks coffee and KIND granola bars overflowed the bar.  Then, the band Magic Giant did a sing-along acoustic drum-circle performance to close the morning.

While a 6am dance-athon may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, if you want a morning that is guaranteed to be the exact opposite of banal, you should give it a try… more pics and info on Facebook!




Expansions are the celebratory kind on the corner of 8th and Main in bustling DTLA: vintage-inspired, multi-brand retailer AltHouse opens up shop in DTLA on October 1st, and all in wondrous 1,650 square foot space filled with delicious curations of over 35 womenswear and accessories labels. We’ve already stalked their site and like what we see. The boutique owner and LA lady, Jennifer Althouse, wanted to open up shop where innovation, historic charm and change are still are at work… enter DTLA and all its glory. A few gems we’re gonna definitely take away from this spot are Apiece Apart, Samantha Pleet and Kimem. We also dig what she has to say about her core concept:

“My deepest love and pursuit of fashion was drawn from great designers of the sixties and seventies with my eye towards the future. My store is a reflection of this and a reflection of my lifestyle. I am always seeking that same inspiration as I set out to discover the fashion vanguards of tomorrow. “

*AltHouse will be open Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 7pm and Saturday from 11am to 8pm—head there to browse, congratulate and shop. 



Artist Lia Halloran on astrophysics, the LA River, and hanging ten.

Lia Halloran’s catalog of fascinations is considerable. As a self -proclaimed multi tasker, I am still baffled by all of her proclivities, and how she has time in the day to approach each with enthusiasm. I am welcomed into her gorgeous 1910s craftsman home in Eagle Rock, where she makes me a cappuccino and introduces me to her 35-year-old tortoise. We talk shop about art, science, skateboarding, collaboration, and teaching.





What’s a better friend than a Donut Friend? This little North East LA treasure is fulfilling our sweet-tooth cravings with their freshly homemade donuts. With their cutely decorated spot and a build-it-yourself donut bar right in front of your eyes, you can’t go wrong when looking for that afternoon snack. We got a chance to have a chat the owner, Mark Trombino, who also happens to be a music producer who has worked with bands such as Blink 182 and Jimmy Eat World. Nice.

LA CANVAS: Tell us about Donut Friend.

MARK TROMBINO: Donut Friend is a a “Do It Yourself” donut shop.  Meaning, in addition to having a bunch of wonderful donuts prepared for our customers, we allow them to create their own flavor combinations using all these wonderful fillings and toppings we’ve made available.

LAC: What separates Donut Friend from other donut joints?
MT: The main differentiator between us and everyone else is that we allow our customers to customize their donuts. All of our donuts and most of our fillings and toppings are vegan as well, which further sets us apart from most everyone else.

LAC: What would you say is your speciality?
MT: Really great donuts with unique flavor combinations.

LAC: It seems like Donut Friend is becoming a well known addition to the ever-changing Northeast LA area, what made this location stand out in choosing a location?
MT: That’s awesome to hear! I used to live in Eagle Rock and had my eye on Highland Park for quite some time.  When I began looking for a space, York Blvd. was one of the first areas I was interested in.  Mostly because of all the new, first time home buyers that were settling in the area, the proximity to Occidental College, the affordability, and excitement of being a part of a growing community. I still feel like I “nailed” the location – Highland Park is perfect!

LAC: From donuts including bacon, Nutella and even Sriracha, where do these unique donut ideas come from?
MT: Mostly from friends and the internet. I did a lot of research online when I first got the idea for Donut Friend.  That’s where I learned how to make donuts and where I found most of the starting points for my recipes. I also have a lot of friends who are great cooks and even professional chefs, and they’ve had lots of suggestions and given me some great ideas. I couldn’t have done this without them (and YouTube).

Find Donut Friend at 5107 York Blvd. and get acquainted with your new BFF.


The abundance of simplicity is often a concept lost on our generation. Art directed foodie shots tout just as much presence in the digital sphere as Instagram sideboobs, cat Vines, andYouTube makeup tutorials. The art of consumption floods our daily feeds. And we always want more.

It would be a mistake to assume the grass greener or the meat leaner with a fussy approach to a meal’s core ingredients. David Nayfeld agrees. The chef observes a traditional, chivalrous approach to living a proper culinary lifestyle. It’s his love affair with ingredients that resonates after tasting one of his exquisitely prepared dishes.

Trusting in his gut, Nayfeld began his gastronomic expedition in California before heading east to New York’s Eleven Madison Park to hone his craft. Then there was Spain, Paris, and London, before circling back to Los Angeles to set the framework for Fifty Seven, a restaurant that, quite literally, ‘revolves around’ chefs. Now, Nayfeld embraces his future solo. His outlook, passion, and gusto pivot as he finds his balance with a new food tradition and a timeless restaurant space that obliges his way of life.


CHEF DAVID NAYFELD: The underbelly, so to speak, of my cooking was formed in Northern California. I grew up in the Bay Area. Essentially, you don’t figure out until later on in life that you’ve been exposed
to an education of how human beings should eat—having vegetables multiple times a day with fruits as snacks. And not as chores. People have orchard trees in their backyards! Even
in East Oakland, people have apple and orchard trees in their backyards—because you may as well.


DN: I wasn’t planning on becoming a chef. I did love food, but it was all very accidental. When I was working at a produce stand at 13, I didn’t think I was working towards a career,
I thought I was putting my ADD to good use—my absolutehyperactivity to good use.


DN: Stylistically, my cuisine is very much about showcasing and highlighting incredible ingredients and not over manipulating. Over manipulation comes with a level of insecurity—you feel like you have to work harder to make it super interesting or extraordinary. At the end of the day, we’re cooking food. Food is meant to be eaten. It’s meant to create comfort, sustenance, and happiness. Yes, a lot of it is artistic, and I like to plate with an artistic flair. But again, what we’re cooking is meant to satisfy people’s need for nutrition. I would say my style is trying to adhere to simplicity. My cuisine, or the cuisine I’m trying to achieve, is New American, Progressive American, or whatever people want to call it. Really, what I’m trying to adhere to is an abundance in simplicity.



photography JOSH TELLES


Syd tha Kyd—government name, Sydney Loren Bennett—is a singer AND producer responsible for the slinky, soulful vocals woven throughout the adeptly produced tracks of Odd Future’s vibe-y cousin, The Internet. As the only female of the 11-member Odd Future crew, 22-year-old Bennett has evolved from introverted beatmaker, to a poised, assured front woman of the neo-soul group.

It would’ve been completely different without social media. There’s a very big shock factor within Odd Future that we need social media for. It’s the age of viral media.




PHOTOGRAPHY Raymond Molinar
STYLING Laura Kiechle
GROOMING Barbara Yniguez


Clean lines, street style + linear elements elevate to a whole new level in The Dreslyn’s F/W ’14 collection. Los Angeles architecture is the only backdrop one may need for creative confident cuts worn by model Kelly Mittendorf—we especially love her playful nature in the outtakes The D set aside as exclusives for us to share with you below:

LACanvas_KellyM_Outtake1 LACanvas_KellyM_Outtake2 LACanvas_KellyM_Outtake3


creative direction THE DRESLYN – photography EMMAN MONTALVAN – styling SISSY SAINTE-MARIE





We love to focus on an abundance of creatives at LA CANVAS: from behind the scenes glam team squads and cultural tastemakers, to bustling fashion events and in-depth interviews with chefs, getting to talk to the brain child behind the art is simply what makes us tick.

Recently, Budweiser celebrated MADE Underground with a special screening and acoustic performance by X Ambassadors and Jamie N Commons in Malibu, and yes, we attended yet another epic music collaboration.

In Los Angeles, everyone’s doing something big, but being nominated for numerous Grammy Awards with top-notch hits under your belt at a young age naturally sets you apart. While sitting alongside tiki torches with the ocean at our feet, we chatted up the inspiring young gent behind Kid In A Korner Records, Alex Da Kid. His transparency in conversation revolved around one thing: gratitude. Read on and see this young mogul talk shop on Rihanna, what it takes to make a hit song and why you need to get rid of all distractions if you really want to get made:

LA CANVAS MAGAZINE: What are the roots that make up your record label, Kid In A Korner?

ALEX DA KID: The roots are first we want to penetrate popular culture. That’s the whole point of what we’re doing. To move culture. I want to re-focus on artist development. I think the industry is changing. There’s so much more responsibility on the artist themselves to develop themselves and I want to help with that. That’s the foundation of what I’m trying to do.

LAC: What’s the method behind the name?

ADK: I’m Alex da Kid, and I’ve been in a corner most of my life. I feel like the most successful people I’ve met have all been obsessive and I think you kind of have to be like somewhat of a loner to be that. You can’t be super social with a million different crowds and you kind of have to have time to reflect by yourself. Everyone I sign is somewhat similar in that respect. They’re kind of in a corner. Plus, it kind of sounded cool so I went with it.

LAC: Give us some details on what it is you exactly do in the industry.

ADK: I write and produce music first and foremost. Now I’m expanding: I publish and sign bands, I have my own record label management company and acquisitions company. I do a lot of different things but ultimately, as I said before, the goal is to move culture and do cutting edge projects.

LAC: Let’s talk Budweiser and music. 

ADK: Budweiser has been great in supporting a bunch of things we’ve been doing. We just shot a superbowl commercial with Skyler [Grey] this year and we’ve been working a lot together for future projects. We’re doing this Made Underground thing that showcases basking culture and how we can maybe bring that into professional recording and seeing whatthe differences are. The tour is going to be insane. It’s Jamie N. Commons and The X Ambassadors both did jungle together which has pretty much been in every commercial this summer. It’s really taken off.  A big part of what I do when I sign people I definitely work on the live show and make sure that it’s good. It’s a huge part of the artistry.

LAC: You’ve been nominated for numerous Grammy awards. What’s that vibe like? 

ADK: The Grammy thing is kind of insane cause now I’m on the board of The Grammys so I nominate people! Being in England and looking at this from afar and to be able to have influence over The Grammys and to push agendas with them is really cool. I’m just blessed and excited about the future.

LAC: What role did you step into when first entering the music industry? 

ADK: It was always about producing. My whole thing was about how I would get the best results for a song. Then there’s the music and how it sounds. Also, it’s about the song, and I write more and more now. At the foundation of everything it has to be a good song and how it challenges people and makes them think. I’m all about it.

LAC: You’re responsible for producing singles like, “I Need A Doctor” by Dre, “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons and the explosive mega-hit, “Love The Way You Lie” by Eminem featuring Rihanna. What are your creative techniques behind each tune you turn out?

ADK: It’s different for every artist, but what tends to happen is that I write the music, I have a beat and an idea for the chorus or a concept for a song, and I’ll take that to the artist and see what happens from there. I try to put as much of the blueprint as possible down. It comes from conversation, too. I’ll talk for days in the studio with these artists to understand their life and perspective and I’ll go away and kind of think about songs that would challenge them and their fans. I’ll also research what they’ve done before, especially if they’re more established, and I’ll come back and have loads of ideas and they may like one or two and may not like others. We’ll keep refining things until it all makes sense.

LAC: Who are some artists that inspire you? 

ADK: I love Pearl Jam. I love Jay-Z. I love Biggy. I love so many different types of music, it’s very hard to narrow it down. So many, for so many different reasons.

LAC: Who do you want to work with that you haven’t yet?

ADK: I love to do things that are outside the box. I would love to do a song with Pearl Jam and Jay-Z for example. I’d like to be the first to try things that haven’t been done before, and try to make it make sense.

LAC: What are you currently working on? 

ADK: I’m working on Rihanna’s album. Mainly focusing on the things happening on my label. I respect all that Rihanna does. I’m kind of focusing a little bit on that and everything signed to me. I give all of my attention to my artists. They deserve it. I’m kind of focusing a little bit on that and everything signed to me.

LAC: Best advice you’d give to the young producers out there:

ADK: If you’ve got a girlfriend, get rid of her. If you’ve got any friends, get rid of them. Make your whole entire life music. Get rid of all distractions. You’ve got to be single minded especially in the first years. Be all into it. I’m still trying to find a balance in my life: I don’t really have a personal life and I’m trying to figure that out and work obsessively. It’s not easy.

LAC: What would you say to yourself, right now, ten years from now?

ADK: I would say I’m extremely happy and don’t let anything get in the way of that. Be very uncompromising with your happiness. I wake up everyday really happy, and I wouldn’t want anything to change. Happiness is always in the forefront of what I do.


On the 4th floor of Siren Studios in West Hollywood, actor and photographer Lance Gross is scolding the showroom, looking at his pieces, making sure each matte black frame is hanging as flawlessly as the art it houses. White couches and a single bar in effortless sight accents the spaces minimalist décor. Just as the sun nestles into the crevice of Saturday’s back pocket, he’s anxious and excited as guests start to arrive.

Lance has been busy traveling across China as Howard University’s newest global ambassador, wrapping up acting gigs with the season finale of Crisis airing just a few weeks back. He’s also preparing to welcome a baby into the mix with longtime girlfriend, stylist Rebecca Jefferson and now, hosting his first private exhibit. We got the invite and an exclusive with this creative to shed some light on the inspiration behind the exhibit—and to pick his brain about photo taking technique.

LA CANVAS: What is the first thing that comes to mind before opening your first exhibit?

LANCE GROSS: The details. I’m a stickler for details. I’ve been to a lot of shows […] I don’t want to diss anybody on presentation but I’m all about the details. I want it to look good, I want everything to be uniform, framed, matted and I emphasize that.

LAC: People hear Lance Gross and could immediately jump to Marcus Finley, Calvin Payne or any other character you’ve played on TV. Tell me about Lance Gross the photographer + what about expanding beyond performing arts sparked your interest?

LG: I know it sounds cliché but there is something about capturing moments that are timeless and that can live forever. I’ve always been interested in it, since I was younger. Photography for me, it’s mine. When I get called to act in a play or movie or TV show, it’s not mine; it’s someone else’s script. But this is truly mine, my outlet, my therapy if you will. It’s a hobby I’ve had for a while and I just enjoy doing it.

LAC: What was the inspiration behind Greyscale?

LG: This is my first show and brainstorming the concept, I wanted to do something that was important to me and that was darker-toned African-American women. It’s because I’m a darker-toned African-American male. I was picked on when I was young for being that and I feel like there’s a void still. It’s getting better. I don’t want to turn it into a light-skinned versus dark-skinned thing but I am team darksin so I wanted to represent what I know.

LAC: Judging by your work, you’re no amateur. You showcase a series of portraits, landscapes, architecture, and even a little bit of glamour via your Instagram account. How would you describe your style?

LG: My style switches up a lot, so it’s really just based in the mood I’m in. It’s really about capturing a moment with an image that I love and so I like to switch it up often.

LAC: How do you choose your subjects?

LG: It’s really just something or someone that catches my eye. It could be an agency model, it could be celebrity or just someone walking down the street I think is interesting.

LAC: You would stop them?

LG: [Laughs] Yea, well it’s a constant struggle. I’m shy and nobody really believes that I’m shy and that’s the awkward part, asking people to shoot. I’ll have my friends ask for me or sometimes I’ll have my fiancée ask for me. That’s the part I’m still working on.

LAC: Tell us what we can expect from Lance Gross the photographer in the future.

LG: It’s growing; I’m getting a lot of clientele. I just shot the cover art for Goapele’s new album. The sky is the limit at this point. I do want to stress that this is a hobby, my side hustle, my outlet, my therapy. I’m an actor and it’ll always be my first love. This is the fun stuff for me.

Lance Gross Photography ONLINE Gallery will be launching on Sept 15. It will be open for viewing as well as purchase. To view his gallery of one-of-a kind art pieces, click here.


Men, we’ve found your soft spot. It’s called i love ugly, a New Zealand-based brand that drops a tasteful flavor for the Angeleno gent on LaBrea Avenue this weekend—on August 23rd—which is right around the corner. In conjunction with the ILU store drop debut, the brand collaborated with LA-based blogger Ne.Street for a city-wide editorial musing while capturing the dope fashions against a backdrop of the hidden gems and architecture we may surpass at times. Shop in-house or online, we’re they have the brand’s beautified digital culture on lock; while zoning out to their Instagram feed, we did the screenshot deed to provide you with the gallery below as a bonus eye-feast. Get amped. 




What’s summer without a good BBQ? Everything from the food, the company, the outdoors and waisted plaid shirts give us the notion that it’s oh so necessary. Floss Gloss however, is serving up something new with their honey and biscuits—and their version of ribs are a cooking up some style. We’re devouring their “ALL THE FIXINS” Spring/Summer ’14 Lookbook and now we’re thirsty for Fall. Our late-summer cravings have never been more digestible:


Click through the FLOSS GLOSS previous lookbooks here, where you’ll find bursts of flavorful nail swag. You might also want to grab a napkin — to wipe the drool off your chin when you’re through.

Photography: Janine Lee + Aretha Sack
Models: Emily + Alison Cisneros + Lauren Williams
Make Up: Cassie Ancira
Wardrobe: Emily + Alison Cisneros
Nails: Janine Lee
Application Assist: Monica Kim Garza
All Props: Floss Gloss Ltd


Zoom in, do a double-take, gaze, or however else you refer to as ‘getting fixated’ on luxurious items. LURA Eyewear touts a minimalist approach to eye-bling in its debut Summer 2014 collection with hand-crafted, 24k gold metalwork for those beautiful windows to the soul. The launch collection consists of four frame styles, all handmade in Italy and fitted with Carl Zeiss lenses, styled with 24-karat gold-plated, .925 sterling silver accents that beautify each pair. Their modern yet timeless and simple enough to dress up or dress down. Get some. Photography by: Nic Alegre


Ink on paper normally gets us in a subtle and surreal mood… a brisk night with a cape, walking under the moonlight kind of mood. Spanish artist Pablo S. Herrero, normally known for large-scale street murals, has translated his branches into versions that quite possibly should be available for one’s latest design-porn-art-crush for a live work situation. Yeah, we know, they’d look damn good hung. Search the walls when you’re in Spain, you won’t miss his mysterious and gravitating art — otherwise, muse on this gallery for now. We




We’ve heard the praise, the excitement, and the anticipation that surrounds any of the establishments of the culinary power couple Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb. Between one of the most recognized farm-to-table restaurants in Los Angeles, Rustic Canyon and the passion-filled baking that is Huckleberry, to delectable, ice cream perfection at Sweet Rose Creamery and the rustic grains and pizzas at Milo and Olive, busy might sound like an understatement. And all while double-teaming parental duties for two adorable, young children, Milo and Tallulah. *So how does the duo successfully manage to master it all without sacrificing quality, innovation, and most importantly, taste? The simple answer—teamwork. We let Josh and Zoe interview each other about their upcoming projects, inspirations, visions for their futures, and how they continue to transform Los Angeles’ westside by staying true to the culinary needs of their community. *Trust us, they’re cheek-pinching adorable.
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ZOE: I think it is getting better all the time. When I started, there was just a handful of chef-owned restaurants, and now I think every week you are hearing of an awesome new chef who is opening his own place. To me that is the real sign of a food community. LA is actually becoming a real food place, with real bakeries actually owned by bakers. It used to feel like there was one voice in LA. Now there are hundreds. Our list of places we want to go to now is so long!


ZOE: Because I am a baker. That’s what I like to do. That is what I love. That’s what I feel I can bring to our business. That is where my passion is. When I went to cooking school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t know if I wanted to be a cook, or a baker, or a pastry chef, or go into catering. But every year I grow up more and more. It is a lot of growing with my family and figuring out what my career means now, but the thing that is always constant in my life is that I love to bake. I just love it. My mom always baked. To me it is about love and simplicity. It’s immediate. I love the idea of starting people’s mornings off right, with love and lots of generosity. I never felt like a pastry chef. I never wanted to be at the end of a meal. That’s an amazing place, but for me, I get tired and ready to sleep at the end of a meal. It never felt like a genuine place for me to be. I feel like the morning is where I shine. I will always be a baker. The minute I popped Tallulah out, two months later, I was back in the kitchen with her on my chest.


ZOE: I think that you have to be willing to work really hard and be willing to make a lot of mistakes. I also think you still have to stay authentic to yourself. If I was talking to someone who was just starting out, I guess I would say don’t show up with makeup on your face, don’t show up with painted nails, put your head down, and learn everything that someone is willing to teach you. You come into a new kitchen and someone asks you, ‘Do you know how to make pastry cream?’ You say, ‘I don’t know how to make your pastry cream, please teach me.’ Don’t try to get there before you’re there. I think people come out of cooking school and think they know what they are talking about. But sucks for them, because they won’t learn. Luckily, I always felt like I didn’t know anything. Frankly, sometimes I show up at work and I think someone’s going to figure out that I have no idea what I am talking about! Try to learn, be nice, and don’t yell.

LA is actually becoming a real food place. It used to feel like there was one voice in LA. Now, there are hundreds. Our list of places we want to go to now is so long!


ZOE: I want them to understand that food is for both nourishment and celebration. You know what I mean? There are moments and times for both. I feel like there is a lot of guilt around food —especially around the kind of stuff that I make. That bums me out. I want them to get in touch with their bodies and stomachs so that they can enjoy things without the fear, or weird ideas like I am going to eat these cookies in secret or eat a hundred of them at once. Eat a cookie or a piece of cake and sit down and enjoy it. But also eat your vegetables, not because you must eat your vegetables, but because they are beautiful and grown. We have a garden at home and Milo and I are growing so many things, it’s fun. I want them to just have an awareness of food and its nourishment and the celebration associated with it. And, of course, I hope they cook. Shit, I am not always going to always be making Thanksgiving dinner for everyone.



JOSH: Yah, I think it is pretty exciting for us. Because even besides the accolades, which are also fun to hear, It means Rustic is a better restaurant than when it opened. And aside from a few hiccups, it has gotten progressively better every year. That has always been our goal. I think restaurants can easily rest on their laurels, and there are many restaurants that have been around for years and years and just do what they have done forever. One of the reasons that I wanted Rustic to have a changing menu is because, with a lot of love and little pretense, I wanted the chef to evolve. That’s what is so fun about working with
Jeremy [Fox]. He is constantly evolving. He is so creative that he could be here for twenty years and the menu would change, his style would change. He is not married to one particular style. I felt that the Jonathan Gold piece was just affirmation of what our goals are.
Frankly, I want to continue to be better, whether that means moving farther up a list just in our own eyes, or in the eyes of our customers.


JOSH: This is always an ongoing discussion with us. Zoe, you always wanted to have one place and have no headaches. And I always want the headaches and do new and interesting things. You wanted your shop and a community related to that. To me, it is like a big puzzle.
One of my goals was to do a bunch of places that complimented each other. For me, it is a creative outlet, and I like bringing a place to fruition. I think a huge chunk of my job is to put the vision and team together and guide it to where it needs to be.

ZOE: Yah, before I met you, I had no idea what a restaurateur did. I thought it was some rich asshole that just funded everything.

JOSH: Wait, let’s be clear, you didn’t think I was an asshole, just restaurateurs.

ZOE: (laughs) I just thought you were cute. But now I understand that the restaurateur is a real puppeteer. You have to be good at finding amazing, talented people and putting them in the right positions. A job one can be very bad at.

JOSH: It is a matter of the right time and place. In five or six years I would like to have six to eight chef-partnered restaurants. I want these things to go on so that if I am pulled away, the restaurants still continue to get better. With all of our places I make an effort
to bring in not just employees, but people who are going to have an ownership stake—not just financially, but emotionally. At the end of the day, it is, of course, about great food. That is why I like to bring in chef partners as opposed to other partners. That is what is going to ensure the place will be great. Selfishly, we were both raised on the westside and we want places we love. We didn’t want to have to drive across town for amazing pizza. We didn’t feel like there was a great bakery. When I opened Rustic, I didn’t feel that there was a great farmer’s market-driven restaurant that wasn’t a formal, fine dining
experience. My intuition is that we will create new places for the next five or six years and then hone it in.


JOSH: Probably, the most memorable were the croissants the first week we first started dating. Your parents were out of town and we had to go see someone at their place and you said, ‘Let’s go to the house, and I’ll make you some croissants.’ And you made these ham and cheese croissants. And chocolate ones. Little mini ones. And they were so good. There are a so many memorable dishes you’ve made, but that one really sticks out in my mind.


JOSH: In general, the biggest flops haven’t been dishes you’ve made, but ideas we had for dishes. Well, actually, I wasn’t crazy about the chia chocolate pudding last night. We are trying to be healthy, and I appreciated that, but we both have sweet tooths. It was almost good.

ZOE: Except it had the texture of mucus. . .

JOSH: (laughs) Yes, mucus and an aftertaste of something bitter.






There’s something about fashion designers Ashley Jones + Laura Fama. It’s DIMEPIECE. It’s the epitome of TEAMWORK. The Los Angeles based clothing label has been around the block for 7 years, and the progression of female empowerment through the brand’s urban-inspired fashion + accessories has churned a global aesthetic that’s second to none.

As LA CANVAS celebrates all things that go hand in hand to make a dream work, we salute the DimePiece Summer 2014 “Ride My Vibe” collection. Yet more importantly, a feverish interview manifested with lady boss, Ashley Jones — she dishes on what DTLA means for the brand, the advice she would give her designer self ten years ago, and her favorite quote you may be familiar with if you’re down with the DimePiece zest:

LA CANVAS MAGAZINE: What’s the rock behind your explosive fashion label, DimePiece?

ASHLEY JONES: DimePiece has been around for about 7 years now, we have been very fearless + experimental with designing and marketing our brand since the beginning.

LAC: Who’s the female that wears your brand?

AJ: The DimePiece girl is bold, fashionable and always carries strong opinions on various topics. Femininity is key, but she isn’t afraid of embracing her masculinity. She is influenced by music, art and everything creative.

LAC: Congrats on dropping the “Ride My Vibe” collection. Inspo, please!

AJ: Ride my Vibe was a simplistic take on streetwear here in Los Angeles. We wanted to bring a collection that merges popular influences in West Coast Culture with contemporary perspective on womenswear. The collection boasts a wide range of Summer 2014 MUST HA VES. Our favorite piece in the drop has to be our swimsuit immortalized with the image of West Coast’s most recognizable bad boy.

*If you don’t know who she’s talkin’ about, it’s Tupac.

LAC: Any collaborative or LA-based projects in the works we can keep on our radar?

AJ: Tons! We are working on some very special shoe collaborations for our lifestyle brand. We just started our visual DimePiece “State Of Mind” campaigns around the Los Angeles area Fairfax locations. Check them out while your driving. We are constantly working with new ideas + collaborations with international brands and we are planning a big launch party to release our new collection, online store and website. Stay tuned at @dimepiecela and It’s very exciting for our team!


LAC: What would you say to your designer self ten years ago?

AJ: Thats an AWESOME question. First things first — a ton of blood, sweat, and tears will go into your passions if you are consistently driven towards your goals. Always ask questions about apparel sourcing, designing, business advice, and ideas. Always surround yourself with amazing peers that will uplift your goals and dreams, stay positive and keep working hard. Keep a balance of business, fun and learning…never stop learning. Inspire others and inspire yourself.

LAC: And now?

AJ: THINK GLOBALLY in trends, fashion and business!

LAC: DTLA means a lot to you. How do you think fashion culture fits in that schematic?

AJ: Downtown LA is super special to us because of it’s amazing fashion resources and manufacturing companies that allowed us to grow our brand independently. The community of downtown LA is unlike anywhere in the world. People are constantly supporting each other, trading resources, talents and hard work. The Los Angeles creative community is buzzing with new energy and design juices! We are lucky and super happy to be a part of it everyday in the fashion district — watching new talents come in and help out is a beautiful thing to watch. We love DTLA. Our generation is going to leave a mark in the fashion industry for west coast culture.

LAC: Favorite part or time of the creative process?

AJ: I think the best part of the creative process in our industry is being able to create ideas and projects with your close friends. A fashion shoot, a graphic design for a print, an event or a fashion film. Truly, the best part of our creative process is being able to BUILD goals with your friends and peers.

LAC: What advice can you dish to some of the aspiring fashion designers and entrepreneurs out there?

AJ: Best advice I can give to fashion designers is too never stop trying. Find a niche of the market that you love and design towards that specific niche, street-wear, haute-couture, handbags, accessories, whatever you love go for it. Do something that other designers and brands aren’t doing and do it the best. Try your best and always keep positive and find solutions. Find a team and people that you vibe with and work hard with, only success will come out it!

LAC: What are you wearing right now besides your own creations? Who’s making you tick?

AJ: We love sportswear right now, mostly rocking DimePiece and vintage pieces. We’re definitely feeling the nostalgic 90’s throwbacks; Adidas, Nike, work out gear in sportswear.

LAC: Quote to live by:

AJ: “Love Don’t Pay The Bills”.


You know RAF SIMONS? He’s that Belgian guy, the one who designs the menswear line for ADIDAS and creatively directs at DIOR. Well, he and L.A. artist STERLING RUBY have combined their contrasting yet complementary aesthetics not only to create Raf’s explosive F/W 2014 MENSWEAR COLLECTION, but to also curate a limited-time only “IN THE NAME OF” online pop-up shop to coincide. ‘Collided’ is Raf’s perfectly tailored silhouettes and garments with Sterling’s messy and chaotic punk fever. Expect paint splatter, raw edge + patchwork. It’s a heavy contrast to the typically subtle Raf Simons with a new look created, executed and sold every week. The special pop-up lasts until September 1st and we encourage you to get all up on it.

Photos Via i-D and STERLING RUBY

Model Behavior with Leila Goldkuhl

You may recognize Leila Goldkuhl. With notable campaigns with Mink Pink, Urban Outfitters, and BCBG under her belt, the former 3rd place contestant of America’s Next Top Model (cycle 19) is now living in LA and signed with NEXT Model Management.


The Massachusetts native grew up playing sports and was initially hesitant to enter the modeling world. But with a little success and a few trips around the globe later—she’s since changed her tune. Our gal, Hillary Comstock sat down with the 5’11 beauty to talk travel, competition, and marine biology.



styling + interview HILLARY COMSTOCK