L.Angels don’t come with a glowing light or anything. Not even with wings. No singing, no harps. They come in all different shapes and sizes. And – in one way or another – they all come from L.A., City of Angels.
They come with a pure intention of living their city, their potential, the message of their soul, that is: to create. They express themselves with what they do, they create what resonates with them.
And: they inspire.
Scents of Awe
Paula Ferraro is an alchemical artist, weaving her passions for healing through nature-reconnection into internal and external wellness solutions. She is the creator of Scents Of Awe, an organic essential oil skincare line based in Malibu. Through her non-profit M4tK (Music 4 the Kids) she has been awarded for her healing work with chronically ill youth.
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: "The City of Angels is a portal of rebirth. Throughout my life the city has revealed many layers of magic, as the inner alchemy of being harmonizes with the sacred pockets of paradise this landscape brings. Health warriors, art activists and cultural creatives are drawn into this open forum realm for similar reasons: the desire to thrive. The zeitgeist of the city reveals itself through the continuously emerging spirit of creativity blooming in every heart. The superb abundance of the natural landscape on all sides, and the availability of great depths of talent at every level of expression lend this city it's legacy of being one of the most creative epicenters of rebirth and consciousness this planet has ever seen."
Spooksvilla, aka Shahrzad Ghadjar is an L.A. based draw-er and do-er of other visual things. NY, Iran, L.A. all these places have inspired her work in different ways. Shahrzad creates things that just pop up into he head which sometimes work, sometimes don't. All of her work is derived from sex, drugs and mysticism because those three things are wonderfully inspiring.
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: "L.A. is a trip. I hate it I love it I hate it I love it. It's the most confusing place in the world and yet an incredibly inspiring place to create and evolve as a person. All the struggles L.A. has thrown my way has only made me a stronger, crazier and more creative."
Ren Ariel Sano
The Good Girl Collective
“My jewelry is a collection of bewitching pieces for girls who have a dark side,” says Reno. Magic, myth and mysticism fuel the inspiration for these shiny bits of spiritual armor. Each piece is cast in recycled metal and all the stones are natural and mined ethically. Ren is a native Californian and learned the lost wax process from her father when she was 16. Using ancient symbols, animals and alchemy she creates pieces that draw in positive energy and cast out negativity. Each crystal and stone is carefully chosen to enhance the power and intention of its wearer.
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you:
“Los Angeles is a city that embraces creativity and spirituality. It's the perfect home for people who make things with love and want to make the world a more beautiful place.”
Taylor, AKA Jap Inder Kau, is a scent alchemist, kundalini yoga teacher and spirit counseling coach. Between blissful bouts of creating, healing and leading, you can find the urban goddess writing, traveling, creating art projects and drinking tea. “I am guided by the clear intention of feeling and embodying more vibrancy, joy and clarity in every moment,”, says Taylor. Her ever-unfolding yogic path has led her to the very forefront of the wellness movement, guiding others toward their own expression of their highest potential. With EyeWalker Elements, Taylor created an organic perfumery line that believes in the symbiotic relationship between humans and plants. Taylor: “I created Eyewalker Elements so that one may experience sensual beauty and the healing power through the plant kingdom.”
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: “L.A. is the lover I’ll never let go of, crystallized in my heart with the pristine memories of becoming my true self; wherever I go and however long I choose to stay, you’ll always be home because that’s where I found myself.”
Born under the sign of Aquarius in Germany and raised in the US, Meike lives and works in an antique trolley power station in L.A., the Huron SubStation. “As my sense of smell had guided many profound moments in my life, I began designing luxe candles,” she says. “I wanted to create an almost three-dimensional scent blueprint, starting with an antique image, where I would conjure up a forgotten life, tell their story and have that story define the scent.”
Her most recent line, Lux Aeterna, is an almost holographic interpretation of scent and is inspired by the mystery and intrigue of LA NOIR. The centerpiece is called Tabloid and shows a neo-noir image of an alluring woman with a gun. Meike: “The scent emanating from the candle is inspired by the talcum-based Max Factor compacts of the post-war era, alongside Narcissus, Russian Leather and, yes, the metallic scent of a gun.”
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: “Los Angeles being the land of stories, whether conjured or true, added to my inspiration. Manifest Destiny is a reinterpretation of pioneerism, whereby venturing out into the unknown can be accomplished with grace and intellectual awareness: a positive take on the American Dream.”
Brown Bag Book
She’s a reader. And a lover of “story”. Lynn Klopfer is obsessed with books: “For as long as I can remember, books have held my creative interest,” she says. “Vintage illustrations and book covers have continuously encouraged my use of books in the art that I create.”
Lynn takes old books and gives them a new life. She replaces the fading pages with high quality white paper, which then gets embraced by the old cover and back, opening doors for new stories, dreams and fantasies. Some of the images or cool quotes of the original story stay in the book; glued in on the first or last page. Lynn: “It's important to capture these images, and the actual texture of the book as we head more toward a digitized age.” And there is an important message in every Brown Bag Book, too: “If anything, I feel this is the time we need to reflect on what might be lost if we're not careful.”
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: “As a world-class city, Los Angeles continues to amaze and delight. Angelenos are my best customers. There's a sense of humor that floats around L.A., which I find is captured in our journals; a sense of not taking things so seriously, and people like that. Maybe these journals are the response to all the craziness we endure while living here?”
Robert and Marie
A love story. Art. Marie, a ceramicist and painter, Robert, a designer and woodworker, dreamt of a line of functional products that combined their mediums and offered whimsical, yet sophisticated home goods. “Our different approaches to similar goals evolved into a partnership in craft and life,”, says Marie. “In 2013 we launched Lustered Walnut and also had our first child!”
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: “Los Angeles is our community! It is where we go to see our friends, sell our wares and find creative inspiration. L.A. has helped us get closer to our dreams and we are so thankful for this city!”
Emily Paints And Draws
Growing up in Long Beach, Emily was always an artist from the time she could grip a crayon. “Something in me pushes me to do the art,” says Emily. “I do, and I try not to question my mostly crazy ideas because those are the ones that shine the most.” Her most recent work has involved her painting on antique and orphaned cups and plates. “I like to explore ideas of domesticity, femininity and lost traditions with my odd sense of humor,” says Emily. “I am also very influenced by ‘90s west coast rap and g-funk music because that’s what I grew up with, and I love how it celebrates California culture. Even though the ideas may seem very disparate, I like how they go together!”
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: “I have actually never lived outside of Los Angeles County. Sometimes it feels like the whole city is the house I grew up in. L.A. is full of so many different kinds of people, and when we are having one of our really beautiful California days, I like to think about how wonderful it is that we all get to enjoy this naturally lovely and amazing place together!”
Veronica Rose Jewellery
Being told by a Native American Shaman that it was her life’s path to facilitate healing for others by working with crystals, Gemma creates unique, one of a kind and limited edition pieces of jewelry, using healing stones. “I channel healing energy into each piece I create, amplifying the already inherent curative qualities of the crystals and gemstones,” says Gemma. “There is a process for each item I make: First, I start each day with yoga and meditation before going into the studio. I then cleanse the stones by smudging them with burning sage. Before shipping, I channel healing energy from the angelic realm into each piece. This process provides you with not just jewelry, but a tool for your healing journey.”
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: “L.A. is a place where so many doors open for you! I just couldn't resist the pull.”
Benjamin Phillips and Florence Tang
Lot, Stock And Barrel
Benjamin and Florence are infinitely curious creatives with a passion for global exploration, perpetually seeking out the most unique items with even more engaging background stories. The Lot, Stock and Barrel partners currently work out of their creative space in the Arts District of downtown Los Angeles. “We aim to share historical and inspiring narratives with a design-minded perspective,”, says Benjamin. They focus on customization, tailoring and sustainable vintage garments, always careful to ensure every vintage piece has a purpose. “Our coolest must-haves are the patches,” says Florence. “They are all handmade and an hommage to old school tattoos.” For L.Angels, Lot, Stock and Barrel did a custom edition of colored patches on military green jackets; every piece one of a kind.
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: Los Angeles is a city dense with history and culture both light and dark. We like to explore both.
Woods from the West: Tim carves beauty out of different types of wood, ranging from Bigleaf maple, sugar maple, claro walnut and oak, to the rarer varieties of buckeye or spalted white alder local to North America. If given the choice, he will use local California woods. He has been working out of Covina, a suburb of Los Angeles, since 2014.
Each piece is hand-shaped, carved and finished with traditional woodcraft techniques he learned from his father and grandfather using tools from an English shipbuilder’s toolset from the 1830s. “It takes me up to three days to complete, sand and treat the wood with Sam Maloof poly oil,” says Tim. “For me working with wood is meditation, it connects me to nature.”
Dennis is crazy in love with color. In 1971 the Southern California native was sitting on the famous Venice Boardwalk, airbrushing one of a kind T-shirts. All the tourists and locals loved his work and so “I had to get my own factory,” says Dennis. He moved his operation to an artist loft in downtown L.A. and learned all the techiques to prints with sponges and brushes on fabric. “I also developed my own techniques of applying pigment to garment,” says Dennis. “Our list of techniques is now endless: We do paint spraying / splattering / splashing / dripping/ brushing / dip dye / foiling; along with various types of other hand-painting methods, including the stamping and rolling of complex patterns using hand-carved printing implements; as well as expert water-based and plastisol silkscreen printing on almost all types of garments.” Everybody loves his work including the big names like True Religion, 7 For All Mankind, Ed Hardy or Juicy Couture.
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you:
“I love L.A. and I found love in the City of Angels: I met my wife 30 years ago, on Abbot Kinney! We are still toghether and happy. Los Angeles to me is also a great place to develop and experiment. I've worked with hundreds of designers, beginners and experienced, and I love learning from them. Lots of times I've caught myself thinking, ‘I wish I would have thought of that,’ and then I realize that there is no end to learnig. I still learn so much new stuff about prinitng and color. And I love it.”
Hayworth and Heart
Hayworth and Heart began as a way for Suraiya to share her love for the art of handmade goods. “I feel a deep need in myself to always be creating,” says Suraiya. After she moved from Vancouver to L.A., years were spent exploring the worlds of fashion, art and design, which eventually lead to the creation of one of a kind hand-woven wall hangings and goods for the home. “I focus on color and texture and use a mix of cotton rope, vintage trim, wool and leather,” says Suraiya. All her materials are hand-picked and gathered through her travels; each piece is completely unique in both look and feel.
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: “L.A. is a big, beautiful and crazy place. The opportunities and inspiration the city has to offer are endless. It is impossible to live here and not feel inspired to create.”
Jason Graham, Jessi & Kelsea
LOVE is the key to happiness. That is what Jason firmly believes in. Ever since he was a child, he has uttered the words, “I am healthy, I am wealthy, I am LOVE.” It was during a meditation session that he was open to receiving a desire to spread LOVE all around the world through affirmations. “And what better way than having these messages appear before you while you're in down dog on your yoga mat,” says Jason. Affirmats – Yoga mats with affimations on them – were born. “Down dog just feels better when you are smiling,” says Jessi, sales guru for the Affirmats team. “Our mats add an emotional layer to yoga,” assures Kelsea, COO at Affirmats. The mats are comfortable and stylish; they are high quality, biodegradable, slip resistant and ergonomically friendly, too.
One sentence to describe LA / what this city is and means to you: “To us, Los Angeles is the land of opportunity. It’s sunshine. It’s dynamic, blissful vibes. Its happy thoughts... And thoughts become things. Affirm. Affirm. Affirmats!”
Allegra drives around L.A. in her classic Dodge Van, showing her carefully curated emporium of iconic American mercantile. And she is a woodcarver, too. Allegra travels the country to find the best US made collectibles, found objects and time-honored ephemera. Each piece is well-lived, full of character, history and story; a story which she passes on. “My life is a story,” says Allegra. She’s had a successful career in television, winning a Peabody Award and two Digital Emmy Awards, and she’d been working with everyone from Jerry Garcia to Francis Ford Coppola, Al Gore to Oprah Winfrey before she decided to retire from the business.
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: “At 50 years old I picked up a pocket knife and reignited my childhood love of woodcarving. I live my dream. I am who I want to be. L.A. is the place to do this kinda stuff!”
Alycia Anthony and Mabel Martinez
3rd Season is comprised of Alycia Anthony and Mabel Martinez. We created 3rd Season in 2012 to explore traditional hand-dying techniques, like screenprinting and discharge printing. We print on natural fabrics that we then use for our fashion and home line. We focus our designs on contemporary imagery and applying it to timeless silhouettes. As designers, we create our pieces from many influences.
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: “We find constant inspiration in our city, Los Angeles, with its mixture of cultures and its vibrant love of art. Our travels also let us explore not just faraway lands, but also the visual language they express. Those experiences, partnered with our passion for fashion, the art we admire, the music we sing and dance to, and the people we meet, are the heart of our creative process.”
Lili T. California
Before becoming a designer and an artisan Lili was a writer, an art critic, columnist, copywriter, novelist. Originally from Switzerland she has been living in California for many years now – in the middle of the Mojave Desert in Twentynine Palms and in Venice. Her designs all have an inherent simplicity and functionality to them, yet they’re sumptuous, colorful and one of a kind. And she published a postcard set of bullriding cowboys that she shot herself. First, Lili designs everything for herself and test-drives it. If she likes it and people respond to it unprompted, it’s a go. After all, a lady wanted to buy the first bag she ever made for herself from her; in a foul smelling parking lot elevator of all places. By now, her small Lili T. label of gorgeous leather pieces and jewelry has its devout cult following, around Joshua Tree and in L.A.
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: “I love meandering through the multi-cultural density that is Los Angeles and be inspired by it,” says Lili. “And I love being swallowed by the solitary desert vastness that opens my mind in all directions and lets me be and work.”
Obessed with fashion: Ken and Lib are the fun behind all the flash colored charm at Stoney Clover Lane. The sisters had no idea they were going to start their own business one summer day in 2009, sitting cross-legged on the bedroom floor making little bracelets, just for fun. “People starting asking us if they could buy them,” says Ken. “And just like that our biz was born, and it’s been growing like crazy ever since.” The colorful tokens brighten your day, and one is never enough. “We’re still pinching ourselves that we’re able to live our dream and can’t believe we get to call this our ‘job’ because of how much fun we have each day,” says Lib. This is why they decided to give back and share the love: “We donate a portion of our sales to Dream Foundation to help make other people’s dreams come true.”
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: “L.A. has inspired us in so many ways. Most of all, L.A. stands for this ‘live your dream’ idea and people take it literally here. All our bracelets are made in our favorite city and they carry this message, this energy in them.
She looks like a fairy and draws magic into every old painting that appeals to her: Native Californian Lindsay Stroemer takes vintage oil paintings and enhances them, re-interprets them, adds her story to them and kisses them back to life. “I always used art as my gateway to express my feelings,” says Lindsay. She unveils her longing for a fanciful life with her paintings of flora and fauna overlays on portraiture. “The colors and symbols I use are inspired by things we do not see in the moonlight yet are realized as being present,” she says. Her paintings are energetic and simple, and the figures are lit form within. Lindsay: “I believe in the possibility of a world we cannot see.”
She makes every piece one of a kind using mixed mediums and creating texture. “I put as much love and positive energy into each individual painting, hoping it brings positive energy and symbolism to every person that sees it.”
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: “Los Angeles is more than a city, it is a place where magic emerges and inspiration flows. I want to inspire people to open their mind and to see the endless oppurtunities with believing in the mystic journey.”
Yaocihuatl Organic Skin Care Products
This native daughter of Honduras spent most of her formative years in her country of birth until destiny brought her to the City of Angels. From Mayan country to metropolis, Carmen blended her influences to create Yaocihuatl Organic Skin Care products composed of organic herbs and natural essences which promote healthy skin that satisfies the body, mind and soul. A certified herbalist and botanical artisan, Carmen brings to us her own special blend of earth friendly, natural skincare remedies influenced by the deep-rooted mixtures characteristic of her native land. Carmen: “I believe in the innate beauty of all human beings and strive to enhance everyone’s inherent potential for healthy skin.”
One sentence to describe L.A./what this city is and means to you: “All roads lead to the City of Angels. Los Angeles is an extension of our roots, regardless of origin. Los Angeles opens its welcoming arms to all who come and receive its embrace.”
a small group of designers
They all love Venice as being synonymous with motion and style. Born of the sun, surf and sand, LMNADE is a hands-on boardwalk. All vintage and ‘70s inspired. Their goal is to infuse beauty and grace back into the nostalgia of the strand.
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: “We love L.A. and we can't wait to show the world why the boardwalk is a timeless realm that should be accessible to all.”
Paul & Courtney
They are unpredictable, beautiful, spontaneous, powerful! Von Paul and Courtney pop up and paint. They use Sharpies and their imagination. Beautiful drawings inspired by magical symbols, plants, animals and images which they have witnessed while traveling up and down the coastline. They only sell original art pieces, no print copies. They are, and their art is, one of a kind.
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: "We live in L.A. / in a magical Heaven on Earth, with a bubbling fountain and smiling stone Buddha sat in a bamboo grove oxygen meditation garden."
Marcellus Ronell Shelby Jr.
Marcello is young; born up north in San Francisco. A Designer/Rapper/Founder of IBIAIRI. HE was raised alone by his mother in Venice, dropped out of high school to pursue spontaneous dreams and network. "I've always had this idea that I could make anything better and dramatically enhance it," says Marcellus. "My clothes and music to inspire society to aspire to a higher BAR , to help every individual create an eternal internal source of inspiration and overall overcome ANYTHING!”. His motto: Believe, act, receive.
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: I feel like LA is a challenge to how long one can maintain a positive mind set.
Designer – Livin Anonymous™
California born and raised, Ryan Crupi has used his childhood influences from the streets of East LA where he grew up to shape his ever-evolving life. His carrer is colorful: BMX Pro with his own bicycle parts company „Crupi Parts“. Ryan also was involved in creating a line of custom Low-Rider Beach Cruisers inspired by his Los Angeles roots. Ryans style and styling always garnered him the attention of many and he eventually started designing clothes. In 2010 Ryan released a Signature Series Limited Edition "Chucks" All-Star sneakers each signed and numbered with his birth year 1976 and sold exclusively to the greater Los Angeles area. Ready to take on his next challenge, Ryan went back to his roots – he comes from a family of hairstylists – and tried his hand at hair styling. His ability to bring to life beautiful, effortless hair earned him a well-deserved reputation; he also has his own magic product „Ocean Spray“. Ryan just launched „Livin Anonymous™“, a lifestyle brand designed around recovering Alcoholics, Drug Addicts, and Ex-Gang Members turning over a new leaf on life. „ Our goal is to just carry the message to the people that are still suffering“, says Ryan. „We are just doing it in a inconspicuous way to express a Vision of You and For You.“
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: "Los Angeles is the reality for the make believe. Unique in its own way where heritage and culture cover every square inch. Created by hell and wealth... It's paradise!"
Born in Italy in 1972, Michele spent his formative years in Rome, studied graphic design in Milan and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts at the Fashion Institute of Technology (SUNY) in New York. He has won awards in art direction, photography and film. With his art direction and design firm Acrylic Airlines, Michele has a leg up on the propagandic subliminalities of advertising and design. His art series have appeared in numerous galleries and exhibitions; recently in Los Angeles at Fresh 2014 curated by the maverick Coagula curator Mat Gleason and at Gallery 825 curated by the Los Angeles Times art critic David Pagel.
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: "The light. I love the light in Los Angels; it is optimism and it carries that wonderful feeling that everything is possible." - Michele Castagnetti
Erin Ferro is a collection of magical hand-dyed and woven Dreamweavers ~ a new take on an ancient art form. Dreaming Gypset is defined by a global gypsy-meets-jet-set spirit, bringing together the urban energy of Los Angeles where Erin grew up. „I have a love for beachy things and frequent Mexico once or twice a year where I gather inspiration“, says Erin. „My son Cairo helps me come up with names of the Dreamweaver. I love naming each color way and that invites the dream-lover to take in the sensation & the feeling of the piece and visualize a personal connection.“
String Dyes are all One-of-a-kind items ~ all hand-dyed at my home/studio in Santa Monica ~ no piece will be exactly alike and every Dreamweaver tells a story and is made with intention and love. Weave some dreams in color!
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: Los Angeles. Born in Eagle Rock just east of DTLA, I have vivid memories of driving in my Moms blue VW Beetle going through the tunnels that lead downtown, holding my breath, making a wish and magically appearing at Santa Monica Beach where we would skate and swing and play all day long on summer days.
Venice Diamonds / GRAFFSTONE
Susan Rich is a Venice artist who graduated valedictorian from UCLA Film School. Between film jobs, she worked as an art model for some of the greatest artists of L.A.. Absorbing fine art discipline in such a naked state lead her to become an artist of opportunity - upcycling found objects from all over Venice into collages and wearable totems. After her first forays to Burningman, she segued into a performance artist of sorts, working as a highly sought after dominatrix. One client, a prolific graffiti artist, inspired her to spend a lot of time at the Venice Art Walls. There she discovered, and became fascinated with, the visible strata of decades worth of countless layers of vibrantly colored spray paint. She knew she had found her medium and fixated solely on the material for the next 10 years. GRAFFSTONE is now her trademarked product with which she loves to form Dogtown Dogtags, Venice Diamond rings and other totemic adornment.
One sentence to describe L.A. / what this city is and means to you: LA is the best spot on the planet to be a bottom feeder, all my art is upcycled from other people's art!