Driverseat talks to Hazel and $hady about "blooming" and art culture in Nap

Driverseat talks to Hazel and $hady about "blooming" and art culture in Nap

While many spent their extended weekend cooking out with family or relaxing with friends, six amazing young women were busying blooming in Los Angeles. An art show, put together by six creative, fearless, female artists was brought together a number of different cultures through the magic art and creativity.

Being from Indianapolis, the guys at Driverseat thought it was dope that a few of our friends Shade ($hady) and Rebekah (Hazel) were able to pull off such a fantastic event. While the entire Driverseat crew was unable to attend the show, Dre (@coolassdre) was able to get a first hand view of everything that went down. After his visit, he then sat down with two of the artist individually to get their take on what was a successful weekend for the both of them.

The name of the show, “blooming”, what was the inspiration behind that?

Rebekah: We came up with the concept through a conversation we had discussing growth. We realized that you bloom consistently, you're always growing in various ways. We also took it from Shady's phrase "you can't bloom 365".

Shade: Then we got off into the spill of why not just bloom, we're blooming, like, in this season. The purpose of it was to show that even though you can't bloom 365, this is how you would do it. For example, 24/7. Bloom all day or all week even!

The show was produced by 6 female artists. What was the reasoning behind only using women?

Shade: The reasoning behind using only women for this art show is because we have been apart of art shows or events where it was men and women or only men so we just wanted to do our own thing and showcase women. I believe a lot of things in this country are majority ran and thriving off of a man's power so we just wanted to do our own thing and share our power and not only our power, but our own platform, especially for women of color.

Rebekah: We wanted to curate a platform for women. Women often are behind the spotlight and we are overlooked as well. Instead of waiting for the opportunity, we wanted to create one for ourselves and other talented women like us. Women are limitless and immaculate, we want to continue to show that. ESPECIALLY women of color.

How did you choose the artists? Are you all friends or did someone find someone else’s work and say “Hey, that’s dope. I’d like to work with her” or what happened?

Rebekah: We just chose women we knew were bomb and that we've been peeping for a while. Some people we knew we wanted to include whether we were friends or not. We had two other people in mind, but they backed out and we replaced them with someone else. One artist I met at an event worked out because she wanted to participate in the show and her art has gotten better since the first show where we met. It was almost like destiny.

Shade: I would say we chose the artists based off of what we do. Of course, her being a photographer and myself being a visual artist; we knew we wanted an even spectrum of both parties. I mean, everybody knew of everybody just from social media. It was kinda who's the hottest on our timeline or who's the dopest, more intriguing, or who do we believe would actually take a chance with us and fly out. Those are some of the factors that played into it. I wouldn't say I have the best personal friendships with them but over the weekend of preparing and going into the show I did bond with a few of the ladies so I would say we're friends now!

LA wouldn’t be LA if it’s wasn’t hard to get anything done here, how difficult was it to plan and actually pull this event off?

Shade: It was extremely, extremely, hard. I believe we both wore so many different hats from just being friends, being a therapist to one another, being business partners, being marketers, budgeting, uknow? Like, there's sooo many caps we both wore and it literally just made us so tired. I'm tired. I loved it, it was great, it came together, but this shit was draining. It was very hard.. But, I wouldn't change it. I wouldn't change it for anything in world because within the 6 month time frame that it took to actually get it together, it made me a better person overall. So, I am super grateful of the challenge that it did give me.

Rebekah: Whew baby. Let me tell you it was HARD. It was mostly hard because this is something no one we know has done before. It's harder when you're doing everything yourself for the first time. We had to find people to actually come to the show and it was harder because we didn't know anyone since we aren't from the city. Releasing all the fees that go into the show and supplies. All in all, it was worth it. I believe the hardest part was ensuring that we got the word out there and that we actually promoted the show, got people to buy tickets, and/or donated to the cause.

Not everyone who participated is from or lives in Cali, how difficult was it to get around that obstacle?

Shade: In the beginning that was definitely hard. Even to get the artists to have faith and trust in us that we would actually pull it off. To the women who said "Yes", shoutout to them for believing in us. When I think about it right now, that's a really big leap too. They spent their money to buy a plane ticket to come out there, they spent their money to ship their artwork; we just gave them the platform. I think generally in any platform, getting someone to believe in you or to follow you; it's hard as fuck. That, and also just time issues. There were times where groundwork needed to be done but neither Rebekah or I couldn't cover because we were in 2 different locations, but it all came together. It all came together.

Rebekah: We told them WAY before we told everyone else. That way, they more time to plan, purchase plane tickets, to come to the show, which ultimately was the end result!

What went into picking that particular location?

Shade: We actually went through an app called Peerspace. It's like an Airbnb for venues. Rebekah and I spent 4 weeks just going back and forth looking at which ones were decent and fairly priced. It came down to this particular one, it both met our eyes. We saw YG in one of the pictures online and were like "this could be really dope". It was big enough for everybody. Very spacious, white walls.. I know that's something I'm always fond of.

Rebekah: It took months to find a venue. We kept going back and forth with the size and prices of everything. We ended up finding one only 2 weeks before we announced the show and we just decided to go with it. We ended up loving the venue and definitely will be using it again.

How in fact do both of you ladies “bloom”?

Rebekah: How do I bloom? Man I just keep practicing my craft. Not only that, I keep pushing through. This past year has been one of my hardest years I’ve dealt with solo and I did indeed bloom. I lost a lot but I never lost myself in the end. I planted myself and watched myself rise up.

Shade: The way that I bloom, I constantly just rebirth myself after any situation in my life. Rather it be from heartbreak or losses in general, I continue to shine and continue to do my thing after everything. Just being resistant. That's the way I bloom. As for Rebekah, I would say that the way she blooms is to constantly be there for you whenever you need it. Just growing and being a better artist and photographer every step in the way.

Do you feel like Nap has a unique art culture? What does it look like, in your opinion?

Rebekah: I definitely do believe Nap has it’s own culture. We don’t get things handed to us in Nap, we have to create our own opportunity. We are showing the world that we, as a city, have something to say. We have certain sayings and dances that belong to Nap. It’s actually amazing to see and witness.

Shade: I would say Nap definitely has a come up with its own uniqueness. I feel like its a very small percent of the city that is unique. A lot of stuff is washed and recycled and I see a few things here & there that are just like "oh that's different". People are stepping out of their boxes, being themselves, which is making it different. Then you have a large majority that is a lot of repetitive shit that I've seen before. But, it's all a process. I feel like we're all growing in this community, especially with this generation. So, it's a work in process I would say.

How did you incorporate that into your event in LA? How can we continue to put Nap on the map in the world of art and culture?

Shade: We definitely incorporated the Nap culture in with show. Our hashtag just steamed from "how you what", #howyoubloom. The way we could continue to put Nap on the map within the art world and everything is just be open minded, don't be so selfish, and it takes nothing to show people love. Being true and solid; a solid person and genuine especially when it comes to something that you're passionate about.

Rebekah: We incorporated it through “how you bloom”, it’s very similar to “how you what”. We wanted to take a Nap saying and put our own spin to it through the show. How do you bloom? Make sure you reflect on that before and after you come to our art show. Honestly, we need to keep putting ourselves out there and our city on our backs to get our city and names out there. We need to continue to create our own opportunities rather than waiting for them to happen. That’s how we’ll put our culture on the map.

What's your favorite album at the moment?

Shade: I my favorite albums at the moment are split up into 2, I've been listening to Jay-Z's In My Lifetime, Vol. 1, just randomly because I'm trying to find out where wanna be with hip-hop. R&B wise, it would be Ari Lennox's Shae Butter Baby. I feel like music like that is so classic & timeless.

Rebekah: At the moment? Whew, I don’t have just one. I’m a music fannnnnnnn so I have a lot. Um, can I give you top 5?

- Shea Butter Baby

- Supa Dupa Fly (yes I know throwback)

- Ventura

-The Life of Pi’erre 4

- Revenge of the Dreamers III

What's your favorite tv show at the moment?

Shade: I don't really have a one at the moment, I don't really watch like that. I guess I try to catch Grownish every once in a while.

Rebekah: I am in love with POSE right now. It’s such a great show and shows you what gay/trans people had to go through in the 80s. I’m also re-watching CSI: Miami since 9-1-1 is done until next year.

Favorite piece of clothing at the moment? (shirt, shoes, etc.?)

Shade: My Comme des Garçons Chuck Taylors. They're the most comfortable, stylish shoes that go with everything. I need about 3 more pairs. Those are my go-to's, those are my favorites.

Rebekah: Man I LOVE my Driverseat hoodie, if I could wear it everyday I would. I love putting on my Airmax 95s with like every fit or my G fazos. Right now, I’m on chill style so any good biker short, dope sneaker and tight t-shirt, I’m rocking the hell out of that.

What does Driverseat mean to you?

Rebekah: Driverseat: No Backseat Driving... ever. To me, it’s means taking control of your life. Never sitting in the back trying to drive the car of “life”. Taking control but understanding that some things may not be in your control and that is OK. Drive in the front but have fun with it, life may surprise you.

Shade: I'm in charge of my journey. Not sitting back & following others. Going with my own flow & speed.

No backseat driving, ever! Staying focused on your own lane and understanding that every trip has detours, pit stops, and every once in a while you may need a tune up or maybe new wheels. Basically, a metaphor in my life. Life can throw whatever but I have to remind myself every journey is different from mine and to keep going no matter what 🏁

Back to blog

Leave a comment