Friday, May 10, 2013

Talking to Rod Stewart on the phone half awake is still a dream come true!

The photos that got me the call!
At 7:39 am on May the 10th 2013, Rod Stewart was my personal alarm clock. I do not mean I got a brand new alarm clock set to a song of his to wake me up. I mean the man himself rang me up on my cell. 

   Rod rang me up, because I won a phone call from him via his twitter for sending in a photo of myself with his best record in 20 years "Time." Simple as that. Ha! 
   Back to the story... 
   I had planned when he called me and said hello to go "Hello is this Phyllis?"... I planned to tell him how much through his musical influences, and the artist he has covered in his career that I have learned so much about the origins of rock and roll and have been exposed to so many great artist that I may never have been exposed to otherwise. I wanted to tell him that when I was going to school for design that any of my projects that made sense for me to, I would do it on his music/career. I strangely (but in a good way) found it amusing to see how many projects I could do throughout my time at school on him. I also wanted to educate the class about Rod's contribution to music history. I wanted to tell him that one of the first things people know about me is that I love his music, and that makes an impression on them to remember me. I wanted to tell him about being a member of the best fan club ever the "Rod Stewart Fan Club." I wanted to tell him to keep writing. I wanted to tell him about the fan book of letters Gail and I put together, that Tam so generously gave to him in Scotland back in 2003... However like most things you want in life, they just don't happen as you planned or at all. 
   I had woken at 7 am to take a bit of routine medication. Then 39 mins later my phone rang. I for the life of me don't remember ever hearing it and I don't know how I couldn't. The ringtone was a custom bit of a live recording of Plynth from the Faces. If you know what I'm talking about it is the bit where the music stops , Rod comes in and then Jones thrashes on the drums. Nevertheless I answered it. On the other end was a woman's voice (Lotus I am assuming) she said " Is this Jennifer I have Rod Stewart on the phone for you." I said "yes" and "ok." (Face to palm.. It's happening!). 
  Rod said "Hello." I can't remember if he said "Hello Jennifer," but I assume that it is quite possible. I said "Hello Rod." (Lost the Phyllis line already. Oh here we go). I rose from my bad and sat. I frantically looked for my notes. I found them, but by then Rod had started asking me things. (Notes out the window now). 
   Rod asked me if I had any questions for him. Questions , I thought. What are those? Ah, I didn't really prepare any questions. Funny how "questions" could lead you to more question marks. I did however ask him one that I prepared. 
   I asked him what the story behind recording over his version of Sam Cooke's "A change is going to come" with "I've been drinking again" was all about. Of course the question didn't come out as smoothly. It was filled with a lot of "hmm" "Uh" "...."'s in between words. At any rate he understood. He also asked me if he woke me up and if he should call back later. I said "No, its ok. " That's usually my typical response when people call and wake me up. Plus would he have really called back? I wasn't going to take that chance. 
  About my question. He said something along the lines of "Well we were in the studio probably started with " A change is going to come," but the Sam Cooke version was so incredible... I said "Yeah" and he said "So we ended up not doing it. " I can't remember from then to this, but he said "You are referring to the Jeff Beck song. " I said "yes, that one." As you know Rod had started out doing one song or another before in his career and ended up finishing a recording of The Rolling Stones "Street Fighting Man" for example. I am glad he knew I knew which story went with which. Hopefully that question conveyed that I was a genuine fan. 
   Then he asked me to ask him more questions. QUESTIONS Christ. (Laughs). I am not much of a question asker in life, so this was again getting dicey. He could sense I was floundering and spit fired questions that I could answer about myself for him. Questions about myself? I don't even know where I am right now, but thankfully apart of me did, the part I needed the most... My voice. 
  He asked me "Where are you? Are you at home, at work? Are you married? Do you have kids? " I said "I'm at home, not married, don't have kids. I said "I'm 31 years old and I just graduated from Cal State Long Beach in Graphic Design. " He said "That's wonderful. Are you looking for a job?" I said "What?" (oh god. I just asked Rod to repeat himself.) "Are you looking for a job?" he repeated.  I said "Yes." He said "We are all looking for jobs." I thought could it be possible Rod is applying to retail or thinking of changing careers. Nah. Would be funny if he was a greeter at Walmart though. I'd actually go to Walmart more often then. 
   He asked me or said "You are in California (Los Angeles) " I said "Yes." He said "Im in New York" and said something about "the weather." I looked to my window with the sun barely peeking through my mini blinds. I said "It's sunny here." (What the hell. Really Jennifer. It's 7:40 something in the morning. It's not sunny. You just told a half truth to Rod Stewart. Shame on you.). 
  He asked if I had anymore questions. I was like "Hmm, Uh" . He caught me back on track again and said "I know, what do you think about the new album?" I said "That I can answer for you." (Face to palm again). I told him "I loved it. I said "This is the album that I've been waiting for, for the 20 of the 22 years of being a fan. He told me "Yeah, I had writers block for a long time and the songbook records." I thought "Hmm, where have I heard this answer before... Could it be that he has said this in every interview that he has given for this cd so far? (Laughs) Bless him. 
  I told him my favorite songs off the album are "Can't stop me now," "Brighton Beach," "Time," and "It's over." He said "Oh good, I am singing that one today on Kelly and Michael . " I'm not sure if he told me the song, so I said "Oh great." "He said again "Be sure to watch Kelly and Michael today at 9 am. 9 am." I said "Yes, I will. I've watched all your appearances so far." He said "Thank you. Thank you darling." I said "I really liked the concert from yesterday." He said "The online one" I said "Yes." He said "Thank you, darling." 
   Then his lovely assistant said "Rod we have to go." Rod said "Well I have to go. It was lovely talking to you darling. " I said "It was lovely talking to you too." He said "Bye, darling." I said "Bye." It was done. 
    After two days of anxiety, jotting down notes on what to say, many conversations with Rod friends.... I managed to say two or three things off the list that I wanted to. The rest organically fell where it did. It may not have been all of what I wanted to say, or thought I would say... (Hey it was a surprise call that woke me from my sleep deprived self.) I will probably kick myself for a bit on all of that. In the end however I talked to Rod "The Mod" freaking Stewart on the phone! The man whose music has been at the core of my life and has inspired me to be a creative human being for 22 of my 31 years . Not many people can say that they have chatted to their inspiration in that circumstance, if at all. In that line of thinking I wouldn't change a thing. Not one nervous speechless moment I would take back. I am very grateful. A dream come true. Some girls have all the luck!

Some of my beginning Graphic Design Course Work that I have done on Rod:

This is Type 2 course Rolling Stone Magazine project. I got to do it on Rod, and did the title of the article as well as the concept. 




Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"I am All the Creative Fishes in the Sea" My Linked In Profile (Graphic Design, Advertising, Social Media, Marketing, PR, Copywriting)



For more information click here: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jennifer-risinger/62/556/41b?trk=shareTw

Summary:
I am All the Creative Fishes in the Sea :

I am a creative that strives to be as versatile as a recording artist that can jump genres and trends with their voice. Instead of being able to sing anything, I strive to be able to fulfill various creative needs in various creative fields. I am all the creative fishes in the sea!
I believe being able to do design, print advertising, branding, marketing, social media, and advertising copywriting sets me apart from your average run of the mill designer. This creates my identity as a designer, my own prototype that is all of the creative fishes in the sea!
As a creative I get inspired by looking towards other subjects in culture, pop culture, and origins to come up with unique and strong concepts for various creative projects. I also like to inject a sense of humor, a provoking thought, psychology, philosophy, or political statement into my concepts when the assignment allows. I believe a blend of the correct things of which I pull from for inspiration creates a concept more unique than any other method that most creatives use.
I also like to incorporate honest and connection with the target audience of any project, to connect with the consumer on a real down to earth way as well. It has been in my experience that people respond to honesty within the human condition, always. We are all human, we all want to feel seen, heard, loved, and apart of something. It is those places in the human condition that I strive to connect with.
Skill Set: Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 , detail oriented, strong verbal and writing skills.

If you hired me as a creative, I would give you every creative fish in the sea. This is my passion, and this is what I know that would give your company a different edge amongst your competitors.
- Jennifer Risinger

Sunday, April 14, 2013

"A Return to Gasoline Alley" - My guest blog on a look back on Rod Stewart's second solo record!


My guest blog for Newspaper columnist/ reporter, & advertising copywriter Shaun Tatarka's popular Rod Stewart Blog. He has written & interviewed Rod Stewart for his official 2010 tour book along with liner notes for three of Rod Stewart's unreleased material for Rhino Records.
Rod is releasing a new original cd next month. This is a look back on my thoughts on his second solo record. 

Read it Here: " A Return to Gasoline Alley."http://www.rodstewartblog.com/2013/04/a-return-to-gasoline-alley.html
 Read my past guest blog here: Rod Stewart: The Construction of an Archetype : 
http://www.rodstewartblog.com/2012/08/rod-construction-of-archtype.html

Monday, April 8, 2013

I'll Show You Mine, If You Show Me Yours Erotic Art Show coming to Downtown Los Angeles!


“I’ll Show You Mine, If You Show Me Yours” 
April 27th- May 25th 
7pm-Midnight 
@ Suede Studios 
133 East 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90033
One artist in the show : Marvel Comic/ Showtime’s Dexter Artist : David Mack.. 
Mark your calendars! The erotic art show lands Saturday evening, April 27th in downtown Los Angeles! The night’s filled with rose petals, sensual treats, drinks, music & the luscious surrealist, whimsy & emotionally charged erotic work from both established & virtually unknown artists from around the world. Bring a hot date cause the sexual tension will be floating through the air. I hope you all can make it ♥

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Iconoclast Recommends: Art Visionary Polaris Castillo's "BalloonHead" Short Film Screening & Artwork!

Come see Art Visionary Polaris Castillo’s short film BalloonHead screening & artwork at Epic Lounge in Downey tomorrow from 6pm - 9pm. It is sure to be huge! Put on by @downeyarts . It's going to be huge!!!!!!!

Watch the teaser here: 
 www.vimeo.com/53385138

Follow @polariscastillo



Monday, November 12, 2012

Downey Museum of Art Presents "A Day in Downey" A Pop Up Art Show: A Change Is Gonna Come!


Downey Museum of Art
***Disclaimer: By no means am I simplifying or saying that the Civil Rights Movement, is on the same level as the art movement in Downey. In fact it holds a huge significant place in history and within human culture. I am simply stating that the parallel is of knowing that a change is going to come in the arts movement in Downey. Plus this song holds a special place in my heart.***
   

     Sam Cooke's  powerful song "A Change Is Gonna Come" filled the speakers and the atmosphere at one point towards the end of the Downey Museum of Arts pop up art show. This song, in this atmosphere made an impression on me. Sam Cooke originally wrote the song about discrimination and racism about America in 1963. I found a parallel within this song and within the art movement trying to re-establish itself in Downey. This parallel was that of overcoming the stigma of how people in Downey see their local artist and museum, as well as how the art movement not only within the city, but amongst the art community can be seen and changed for the better. This review is composed of the highlights of the change that I can see coming for the arts and suggestions for how the Downey Museum of Art can continue to raise the bar to make sure that the change is gonna come.
    The beginning of the change was the choice of venue for the pop up art show, which was held at the Paramount Auto Center.  The space for the venue was generously donated by the owners, the Beltran Family. You might think that this would be an odd place to hold a pop up art show, but the reality of it was that it wasn't.  It was an unconventional space turned into a visual interest that did not distract but only enhanced the viewing experience for this one night.
   The way that the visual experience was enhanced was merely the show room's structure. The show room was shaped in a half circle, which led the people experiencing the art show to start at one point and to walk the half circle path toward the end. They then would come out to an opening filled with tables and chairs to sit and watch the live acts. The live acts, Eddie Grey, Harvey Birdman Trio, and a mystery band that night were appropriately placed in the venue, were appropriate for the patrons coming to see the art show, and were overall quality acts.
   The highlights of the pop up art show was the quality of the artwork and that the art reflected the theme of the show. The theme of the show was "A Day in Downey." The different types of art medium that was curated by George Manzanilla and Don Lamkin ranged from paintings, mixed media, illustration, and photography. The other highlight was the presentation of the artwork, especially the proper set up of the title cards for each piece, that were expertly done by George Redfox. The correct set up of the title cards was something that impressed me in a pop up art show setting. It just made it feel very professional. I am also sure that it helped the viewer to know what medium they were looking at, and help potential buyers of the artwork make their decisions on what to purchase that night.
    There were many great pieces in the exhibit. The talents of Ricky Ostendi, Bumblebee, Lana Joy were also pieces I admired.  However the piece that really griped me was a painted portrait piece by artist Miki Lorena K. This piece had facial features that were exaggerated, and that exaggeration of small and big were done asymmetrically. The piece not only was painted beautifully, but it also conveyed to me a real feeling of sadness, and depth. You could really feel that the artist had something to say, and that she has lived a life that she has gained wisdom from and expresses it through her art. I would have loved to have seen more pieces that either were conceptual or made you think, feel, and relate such as this piece did in future shows. This is what successful art pieces are all about.
   The few pieces that they displayed from their permanent collection was breath taking, and reminded myself and everyone why they donated and came again in the first place. That we all want to preserve pieces from the first Contemporary Art Museum in LA County back from when it started in Downey in 1955. As well as to see many more exhibits eventually in a permanent location for the museum.
   The food and beverages of the night were appropriately placed, priced, and selected by generous donations from many places from Downey one of which was LA Buns. The sliders that they provided were absolutely delicious. This was what I expected from an art pop up show, as far as the food and beverages are concerned.
   The clothing that all the members of the Downey Museum of Art, and the volunteers was appropriate for this event. I truly appreciated the fact that everyone came to the event with class not only in how they conducted themselves with the people that came to the show, but in their overall visual appearance. You can tell that they took this event seriously and with great pride in what they accomplished. This I'm sure resonated with other people at the event, which is important for the guest to know that you take the show you put on seriously from top to bottom.
   What also was successful about this art show was the mere fact that the art and the appreciation for each artist in the show came first. That the food, drinks, and entertainment did not become the main priority or attraction to the Downey Museum of Art, or to the people that came to see the art. This is something that came across clear, and that could only continue to propel the mission of the arts movement in Downey forward toward change.
   The small suggestions I would give to the Downey Museum of Art for future art shows is to expand the different mediums that are curated into the shows. The mediums I suggest would be metal work, jewelry, sculpture, fiber, and possibly graphic design. Exposing these different mediums would give more variety for the people to see, and would open the minds of future artist perhaps to a medium they could fall in love with and exercise their creativity with. The jewelry and fiber pieces could also bring in money, as who doesn't want to buy wearable pieces of art? As well as to put more emphasis on all the important information, such as the art, artist names, and where future artist that want to show in the future can make contact with the museum in the first half of the program. I would shy away from dispersing the important info amongst the wonderful sponsors that took part in the event. Programs are tricky things, and people generally don't look much further if they see a bunch of ads, and you don't want them to miss the important information about the event and the artist/artwork that they will be seeing.
   Overall "A Day in Downey" pop up art show was a successful event, put on by the Downey Museum of Art. A show that art was the event, the artist were given respect, and the food, entertainment, dress code etc came second as it should be. It was definitely a breath of fresh air that a pop up art show could put on such an amazing and polished show in an unconventional setting. It is reassuring to me that as long as the Downey Museum of Art can continue to raise the bar on the different mediums of art that they can show, have many more unconventional or conventional locations to exhibit the art, bring a more conceptual meaning to the title/theme for future shows, that the art movement in Downey will prevail over the stigma of art in Downey, or art in general. I can say with out a doubt that a change is gonna come!

For more information & some photos of the night :

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Iconoclast Recommendation - Experience the Revival: Follow @downeymoa & Attend Their Nov. 8th Art Show!

Downey Museum of Art

Downey Museum of Art
The first contemporary art museum in LA County was right here in Downey.  The Downey Museum of Art presented works from Southern California’s best post-war artists, including Boris Deutsch and Donna Schuster.  The Museum closed its doors in 2009 over some legal trouble, but has an active board of directors with a plan to re-open the museum within the year.  George Redfox, president, leads a board that includes Barbara Beard, George Manzanilla, Alex Saab, Harold Tseklenis, Don Lamkin and others. Soon to be live again at www.downeymoa.org http://www.facebook.com/downeymoa  https://twitter.com/downeymoa
Come Support Local Artist and the Permanent Collection of the FIRST Contemporary Art Museum in LA County. The money raised for this show will be put toward housing the fine art work that the Downey of Museum possesses permanently . Help us reach our goal!



Iconoclast Quote of the Day - "If it's a comeback you want / Then get your hands raised." - Hospital for Sinners by The Wallflowers