I had a baby

For the last few months I keep running into metaphors related to having babies. If you know me, you know having babies is the absolute last thing on my radar at the moment so the fact this keeps happening to me is out of control. A few months ago I called my mom complaining about feeling stuck and she told me "life is like giving birth, you usually don't just slide a baby out but you go through contractions. Each hard stage of life is a contraction to birthing something new."  That advice soothed me, it made sense. 

Fast forward and I attend an event where my fav Melina Matsoukas is speaking moderated by Issa Rae. There were a couple of questions where Melina used a metaphor related to giving birth in regardless of birthing something new in her career.

Again – that giving birth thing.

Last night I went to church and heard TD Jakes speak, guess what he said? He spoke about the exact metaphor my mom did, about birthing new lives and taking the labor that comes with it. Before hearing him speak I thought about pushing the release date because of the remaining items on my to-do list. But after hearing about pushing babies out for the third time I decided to go for it. 

So here I am, with a new born. 

I've talked about creating a pin line for at least two years now. I've drooled over countless shops and thought about all the pins I could make. I've also noticed the abundance of pins related to black pop culture but none of the shop owners look like me. One day I just said F#%* it decided to go for it. 

For the first pin I wanted something that would make a literal statement and be 100% unapologetic. Most of my friends have experienced people sticking their unwanted greasy hands in our hair – whether that be because of the natural curls, the overnight box braids, or just because its long. If you've been under a rock Solange made a whole song about it. This pin is an expression, one for my girls of color and beyond (because I can't lie, some of my white friend’s experience this too LOL)

As small as it may seem releasing this to the world is scary as hell. At this very moment I'm wondering what I forgot to do or wishing I wouldn't have stayed in bed watching bad reality shows the other day instead of working. On the flip side I'm reminded that everything is about growth and I won't have all the answers. But putting myself out there is the first step.

I also don't know what having a baby is like, but I feel like I just produced a new life. 

So shop, enjoy, tell everybody you know. I'm already creating the next pin so stay tuned!

Top Podcasts

Top_Podcasts_So_Laci_Like

I really didn't get into podcasts or listening to interviews until 2013ish. Around that time I was working at Imagineering and everyone always had a reference to a recent TED talk (because that's what people at Disney do). I started watching (but really only listening) to TED Talks religiously. I saw it as multi-tasking. I was getting my work done and learning something inspiring at the same damn time. 

From the TED talks I slowly eased into listening to online interviews (like old episodes of the Breakfast Club) into podcasting. When putting together this list I realized I listen to A LOT of podcasts and it honestly doesn't feel like it. Below is a list of my top favs (no particular order) and a quick rundown of why I listen.

The Read

This list isn't in order but The Read is my number one! Every Thursday hosts Kid Fury and Crissle West dive into black excellence, pop culture, fan letters, and the infamous "read portion" (if you don't know what 'read' means pls google). From police brutality, to why Tyga's cars keep getting reposed. You can find it all on The Read. Its the best combination of  sophistication, comedy, and ratchet.  It's the best. Check out the read here

The Brilliant Idiots

Hosts Charlamagne Tha God and Andrew Schulz hosts a weekly podcast covering everything happening in the world from pop culture to politics. Both men have strong personalities but also come from two completly different backgrounds making the dynamic of the show very interesting. If I had one word for this it would be unfiltered. Listen to The Brilliant Idiots here

Rap Radar

Based off the brand Rap Radar, Elliot Wilson and Brian 'Bdot' Miller hosts a show interviewing different people within the music industry. From LA Reid to video directors like Eif Rivera they do a great job at covering the spectrum of the industry and landing interviews that you can't just find anywhere. Listen to Rap Radar here

Revision Path

One of my favorites! Revision Path is a podcast about people of color in the design space hosted by creative Maurice Cherry. This is my one stop shop for all things design. Its so refreshing to listen to other people of color discuss the design industry and challenges. Its also reminds me that its more of us than I think! Listen to Revision Path here

Lip Service

Now this one is a little risqué. The show's hosts Angela Yee, Stephanie Santiago, and Gigi Maguire go into a deep dive about everything sex. You can find a variety of guests, from rappers to singers to digital influencers. I'm sure you'll have a few "I've never even thought of that" moments. Listen to lip service here

The Friend Zone

I'm going to use the description on their soundcloud because its better than anything I have to say "Listen along every Wednesday as Dustin Ross, HeyFranHey & Assanté explore mental hygiene, because who in the hell wants a musty brain?" This trio is amazing and a great mixture of comedy and real talk about keeping your mental healthy. Listen to The Friend Zone here

Tax Season

You know that one guy in your family who would really shoot somebody but is changing his life for the better until someone tries him again? (if not just go to the next one) but if you're still with me that person is Tax. Tax is the one who could be in jail but was asked to create his own podcast after being a great apperance on The Brilliant Idiots. In a short amount of time Tax has interviewed hitters from Russell Simmons to Fat Joe and Remy Ma. Tune into Tax Season here

Another Round

Buzzfeed writers Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton created this weekly, booze-filled podcast where they come together for hilarious coversation and a rundown of the latest world events. This podcast is full of black girl magic, they've had guests from Issa Rae to Ava DuVernay. Check out Another Round here

A Waste of Time

You may know brothers Eric and Jeff Rosenthal also known as "ItsTheReal" from their hip-hop comedy sketches and videos. Besides that the duo hosts a music based podcast interviewing some of the players in the music industry. I love this one because they tend to interview people who work in the industry but aren't rappers like Charlamagne tha God and Angie Martinez. Listen to A Waste of Time here.

Color Full Lives

The podcast series brings radio show host Angela YeeHey Fran Hey‘s Francheska, and tech queen Tatiana King-Jones together to discuss topics relevant to women (especially women of color) ranging from self care to navigating your career. Its one that I learn a lot from weekly. Listen to Color Full Lives here.

Call your Girlfriend

This one is a newer one for me but I love it! This show is described as “a podcast for long-distance besties everywhere.” Co-hosted by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, this free-form conversational podcast gives the you best of everything. Listen to Call Your Girlfriend here.

Bodega Boys

Desus Nice and the Kid Mero are the undisputed Twitter kings. These two have been on a few MTV shows and always keep people rolling with their crazy comedy. Listen to the Kid Mero and Desus tear apart the week’s headlines here.

Fan Bros

DJ Benhameen, Tatiana King-Jones, Chico Leo and a few others hosts a show once a week to talk about the latest news from the geek world perspective. They've interviewed people like the current editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, to Just Blaze. You can get a good dose of both worlds on this one. Listen to Fan Bros here.

There's a few podcasts that aren't on the list but are still favs such as: The Combat Jack Show – a podcast about the music industry. Design Matters – a design based podcast by Debbie Millman. I love this one but its no diversity. All all. Another really popular one is Serial – a podcast that follows real life court cases from the citizen level. I highly recommend season 1. 


There's a few things I've noticed about myself after I started listening to podcasts. 1. I watch less television 2. I have knowledge about a bunch of random information that comes in handy at the most random times (a lot of times at work). 3. I learn a lot about the things I love. For instance, I love music so I'm curious about the lives of musicians and the people who make things happen in the industry. After listening to different shows I've become so fluent in pop culture and music.

I know podcasting is still new to some people but check it out. It may be weird initially but I guarantee you'll get something from this form of entertainment. Listen to a few shows and let me know what you think! 

Creative Crush Wednesday: Kelly Shami

Meet Kelly Shami, designer and illustrator. I started following Kelly a couple of years ago on Instagram. Instantly I fell in love with her design work and feed. Sometimes you just land on a page and can immediately tell "oh yeah, she gets it" and that's what I got from her.

Kelly is a NY Native and if you look at her work you can tell she draws inspirations from the hustle attitude of the city. Along with NYC inspiration, her work is inspired by a love for sneakers and hip hop culture. 

When I initially followed Kelly she worked at NYLON as a graphic designer but quickly worked her way up to Associate Art Director, becoming the lead of the NYLON Guys section and also the one behind the quirky illustrations throughout the magazine. I remember seeing an IG post from Kelly saying something in reference to missing her NYLON family. In my mind I’m like “girl you have it good, where you going” *insert nosey eye emoji here. Long and behold she had a real POWER MOVE under her sleeve. She left NYLON to become the design manager at Parkwood Entertainment where her boss is the queen. And by queen I mean Beyoncé. Kelly is the design force behind the Formation tour merch, album, and tour visuals – a dream job. 

PHOTO: ILLUSTRATION BY KELLY SHAMI 

PHOTO: ILLUSTRATION BY KELLY SHAMI 

PHOTO: ILLUSTRATION BY KELLY SHAMI

PHOTO: ILLUSTRATION BY KELLY SHAMI

PHOTO: ART BY KELLY SHAMI

PHOTO: ART BY KELLY SHAMI

PHOTO: JEWELRY BY KELLY SHAMI

PHOTO: JEWELRY BY KELLY SHAMI

PHOTO: ART BY KELLY SHAMI

PHOTO: ART BY KELLY SHAMI

PHOTO: ALBUM ART BY KELLY SHAMI

PHOTO: ALBUM ART BY KELLY SHAMI

Let me stop right here to say while all this is going on she also has a jewelry line that celebrates her favorite things. This line has been featured in Nylon, Urban Outfitters, and more. BOSS SHIT.

You know those comparison people you look at and think “damn can I get on that level” that’s what Kelly is for me. While I’m writing my own story I’ve identified her and her work as a kindred spirit.

PHOTO: ART BY KELLY SHAMI

PHOTO: ART BY KELLY SHAMI

On another note while the numbers are better there are only few women who live in the streetwear/urban culture space. Not only when it comes to fashion but design aesthetic wise as well. In a world where a lot of designers/influencers have the same style it’s so refreshing to see other designers flourish who have a more gritty aesthetic. It gives ya girl hope. Social media is powerful for so many different reasons but I’m learning to use it as a tool not only to connect but highlight people (especially women) who I’ve identified as being dope as shit. While healthy competition is great, its more about linking together and not being a hater. So if you have a fav reach out and say hello. We’re all just trying to make it.

Check out Kelly’s work here

And her jewelry line here

*all art images by kelly shami

 

August Playlist

If consistency is key I don’t have any damn keys or locks. The hardest part about blogging is keeping up everything. Hell the issue at life is keeping up with everything. With the addition of snap to instagram I can barely keep up with social media. Needless to say this last month has been a busy one. Between my 9-5, dealing with family/personal drama, and trying to carve out a great future for myself I’ve been EXHAUSTED! One thing that always keeps me afloat is music, I really can’t live without it. With the stress of the last month I’ve been trying to stay in a chill/mellow mood which is the inspiration for this playlist. Tune in and follow my August playlist. If you have new music recommendations I’m all ears.

*The playlist is available on iTunes, Tidal, and Spotify. Some songs weren’t available for each platform (aka Frank Ocean’s new album).

LISTEN & FOLLOW ON

Downloadable Wallpaper: hustle n rose

SLL_HustleRose
SLL_HustleRose

Last night I was working when I received an instagram notification that my work was shared by a profile called Hustle n Rose.  Hustle n Rose is a podcast for business-savvy women and people of color. Along with podcasting they make an effort to highlight the work of black artists on their instagram. Let me tell you, designing and blogging is hard and its even harder to break in if you're a person of color. It still scares me to put my work out into the public so I really appreciate when I receive love and shares from other people/creatives. This is the second time they've shared my work and as a token of appreciation I was inspired to create a rose centered wallpaper. Enjoy.