Art in Motion: Interview with Ambreia Stephens

Art comes in many forms: sculpture, painting, ceramics, photography and more. Most artists seldom stick to one form of art to express themselves, like Ambreia Stephens. This young lady is an amazing painter and has started her journey in tattooing. Her work has been showcased at The Baltimore Gallery, Riopelle Studio, Lithouse, and more. Incorporating her love of portraits, the human body, and her unique outlook she has been able to make a mark and will continue to blaze a colorful trail.

When did you decide you wanted to be an artist?

I  decided that I wanted to be a full-time visual artist in December of 2015; it was right after a rocky breakup and losing a good job. Art is what kept me afloat that winter, been at it ever since...

What made you start tattooing?

I wanted my art to be a lasting impression. I want people to take it with them wherever they go..

How is a body different than a canvas?

Your canvas is alive and responsive so that always adds fun to your project! Your time is also limited when working on human canvas compared to leaving a canvas and returning to it at your leisure.

Who or what inspires you?

The city and my creative peers inspire me to be honest. You can find art everywhere in almost anything and that is how I get out of my creative slumps most of the time. Simply leaving the house, seeing people and the atmosphere helps. Working with Krissy The Butcher has definitely been a life changing experience as well! She is so full of life and creativity, it’s hard not to be inspired by her!

What is your role with Art with a Spark?

I'm the head instructor at Art With A Spark. My job is teaching people of all backgrounds that art can be enjoyable, whether you are a beginner or a Basquiat! Also, who doesn't like a smoke friendly paint class?

What has been your biggest achievement?

Being able to travel with my art has been one of my biggest dreams! So having the opportunity to be able to tattoo in Los Angeles for the Ladies Of Ink Tour has been an absolute blessing.

Where do you see yourself in a year?

Happy, healthy and expanding my brand in all ranges. Collaborations with more like-minded artists, more community functions, and Urban Truth Projects. Progression is always the goal. I'll still be tattooing and painting so I'll be traveling more to share my gift with people all over the world.

Identity Crisis (A Short Read)

“I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my s***”
– Call Tyrone (Erykah Badu)

There has been a lot of theivery and trickery going on in the creative community. Feeble-minded, wannabe creatives have been stealing concepts, designs, and artwork from various trendsetters in Detroit who will remain nameless. This isn’t a new occurance, but social media is the store that allows us as customers to witness the fake transactions before our very eyes.

If you REALLY are about the creation of content and art, you shouldn’t have to steal from someone else. There’s way too much public knowledge, books and others pieces of material that you can use in order to ignite the flame of creativity. I’ve personally had whole stories of mine stolen from lifestyle sites, so I know how it feels to have someone copy your hard-work. In closing, copying someone is the biggest form of flattery, but this theory goes oit the window if the content is down-right terrbile.



Mars visits the Octopus

September 2007.


A young me walks fresh out of the local, and long since closed, CD and record shop with Kanye's "Graduation" album tucked. I had been reminded by 106 & Park that the battle between Kanye West and 50 Cent for album sale supremacy had begun, and I had to go support my mans. Little did I know I was also purchasing a piece of artwork: the album cover by famed master contemporary artist, Takashi Murakami.
Fast-forward to the year 2017. I get word from a friend that the Chicago Museum Of Contemporary Art is having an exhibition that will be featuring Takashi's artwork throughout the years. Soon after, I flew out to visit the exhibit titled "The Octopus That Eats Its Own Leg" and was blown away by the work of the Japanese artist, as well as the many works of the local talents on display. I could go on and on about my Indica induced adventure through historically magnificent contemporary works, but my words would not do it justice. Instead, I took photos to help!
"The Octopus That Eats Its Own Leg" wraps up and leaves Chicago Sep 24, 2017. If you happen to be in the area, stop in and check out a fine display of brilliance by the master.


Three Things Learned From Swizz Beatz Interview with Drink Champs

Today’s version of Hip-Hop is vastly different from the golden age of yesteryear. Artists of young and seasoned age are discovering that there are other ways to make money and create content then they may be accustomed to. Drink Champs Podcast happens to come from this ideology.

If you’ve watched a Drink Champs episode, then you may be familiar with the overzealous “Make some noiiiiiiise,” intro that Hip-Hop legends Noreaga and DJ EFN belt out at least 2,000 times every second. This energy that they exude comes from Noregea’s philosophy of giving the legends in Hip-Hop their flowers while they can still smell them. Drink Champs has interviewed practically every legend in your top 5, 10, or 20 lists (Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Ice-T, etc) and they continuously bring on intriguing guests for hip-hop’s fans viewing pleasure.

Production maestro Swizz Beatz recently guest starred on the wildly popular and gave arguably one of the best interviews of his career. You may need to take a few bathroom breaks in between (the interview is over 3 hours long) but per usual, Swizz provided golden nuggets about his personal life, art, and the music business. These are the three things I gathered from his interview with the Drink Champs Podcast.

Swizz Beatz Hates To See DMX Suffer:

“I go home to a very comfortable lifestyle that I worked hard for, slept on studio floors for, everything. And to see my brother that I started with not be where he should be, it f— with me every night.”

Swizz Beatz is the representation of a real friend. Since DMX started out with the Ruff Ryders in the 90’s, he’s seen his big hits come to fruition on the strength of his bars, and Mr. Showtime’s grand production skills. X has had drug issues and run-in’s with law enforcement, but none of this has deterred his relationship with DMX which is highly commendable in today’s fickle world of friendships.

X Has Always Been A Giving Soul:

“X gave his money away, he didn’t blow his money.”

Another running narrative in Dark Man X’s career is the notion that he blew his money on drugs and women. Swizz put this to rest in speaking on how DMX would give his money out to the homeless, give the shoes off of his feet to people, and also help individuals who needed bills paid.

Swizz Beatz (Technically) Retired From Music In 2009:

“I retired from music once I made “On To The Next One,” for Jay-Z.

One of Jay-z’s biggest singles off of 2009’s “The Blueprint 3” was created by way of Swizz bowing out from the music game to pursue other endeavors. He foreshadowed what other artists are now doing in the year 2017.

Check out Swizz Beatz Drink Champs episode right here.


The Art of Death: Jamie Roadkill

Road trips are filled with sites of cities, small towns, mountains, trees, and inevitably roadkill. Most times we are grossed out by these severed animal bodies, but Jamie Roadkill sees art.

I stumbled upon her page on Instagram and was instantly infatuated with these golden skeletons I saw all over her page. Born in Pennsylvania, raised in New Jersey, and now residing in Brooklyn this artist creates these pieces to “promote awareness of the stigmas around death and decay, and promote the power of transformation”.

She uses 24k gold to gild over animal skeletons that are roadkill or died of natural causes including Fawns, Coyotes, Raccoons, and more! She turns these, otherwise, nasty dead animals into beauty. These statues are awesome conversational pieces that combat the stigmas of death and dead animals that are usually seen as a nuisance.

Check out her art below and her website JamieRoadKill.Com

Adam Reverie shines on ‘PASSION’

Adam Reverie is like a chameleon in the way he approaches his music. Being from the mighty area of Linwood, in Detroit,  he incorporates the aura of street life, but with a twist. Positive vibes are the main ingredient in his cookbook of music which boils out onto each track that he releases. This is what made me take heed to “PASSION.”

PASSION is a self-explanatory song. It’s brazen, it’s braggadocious and straightforward. On the 2:30-minute track, he doesn’t hold his tongue or his opinion on today’s version of rappers.

“I am coming, running, gunning, never fronting
You Gone Love it This I Know
Yo Favorite rapper dissed his favorite rapper
With his favorite rapper’s stolen flow”

Everyone has an answer to the solution, but very rarely do people go back and study the question. Adam Reverie does that, plus more in his “state of the union address” toward Detroit, women, old foes, and those pesky new age rappers.

Check out “PASSION”


Louis Picasso Presents “The GOLD Experience” Listening Party

Artists love to use their imagination and let their minds run free at the expense of their fans.  And to his fans delight, Louis Picasso happens to work in this particular head-space. In the heart of Ypsilanti at Friends Closet, Picasso hosted a listening party for his new project “Gold.” Gold is the long-awaited project that Picasso has promoted on social media for months. Artwork from local talent hung on the walls, merchandise was sold, and the event was being catered by Ypsilanti’s own, Tot’s Spot. Picasso is known for his high-energy and business acumen but just for tonight, the artist let his dreads down and celebrated with friends, family, and his lovely muse CJ Rene. In the midst of the event, Picasso premiered a one-minute snippet of his new video for the single “GOLD” and played the entire project throughout the night.

GOLD will be released on April 1, 2017.