2022: A reading list

I love to read but lately I am finding less time to read physical books and having more time with audiobooks. So I made a promise to myself to read more books in general. I am aiming high this year by saying that I am reading a 100 books for 2022.

In the spirit of my goal I decided to share some of the books that I am currently reading or that is on my to read pile:

Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci: this is my current read. I am not much of reader of food theme books however this book was more than just recipes. It was a good blend of personal life stories and recipes which made it more entertaining than I thought it would be.

Olga dies dreaming: A Novel by Xochitl Gonzalez. When I look at various lists of books to read for 2022. This books was a constant staple of books to read for 2022. Plus the plot and book cover sold me on adding this to my to read list.

picture from Print Magazine https://www.printmag.com/book-covers/new-book-pussypedia-is-the-comprehensive-guide-to-the-female-body-we-all-need/

Pussy Pedia: A comprehensive Guide by Zoe Mendelson. I actually saw this book while waiting for my coffee at my local barnes and noble. Any book that gives further information than what I got from my 7th grade sex education course (it was two periods of P.E.) than it deserves a spot on my book shelf.

We Believe the Children: A Moral Panic in the 1980’s by Richard Beck.

I vaguely remembering living through this panic in the media but I never really research on the subject. The only in depth information I remember doing is watching that one episode of the original version of Unsolved Mysteries. There was one segment that discussed “Santanic Panic” and the effects of it. So excited to finally put this book on my list and learn about the origins, the chaos and the after effects of this movement.

The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir by Andre Leon Talley. The amazing and impeccable person that was Andre Leon Talley was one of my forever Icons but I never knew much about his life story. I decided to do the audio version of this book because what better way to heard someone’s life story than hearing that actual person read it? It is like having a private conversation with a friend.

What books are on your 2022 list? Comment below!

Happy reading!

Woman of the Moment: Rose Nylund!

Rose Nylund you are this month’s… WOMAN OF THE MOMENT!!!!

Betty White’s birthday is today!

I thought in order to celebrate the occasion. I would talk about one of my favorite TV characters ever: Rose Nylund.

Rose Nylund was born on March 12, 1930 in St. Oflaf, Minnesota. A town that she remembers fondly and loved to share with her roomates:

Little is known about her mother however her dad was part of a monastery. She spent her baby to early childhood years at an orphanage. And at the age of eight she was adopted by a dairy farmer and his wife You can tell that she loved growing up on the farm. Due to her passionate devotion towards all animals, anything dairy related, the love of outdoors and sense of helping others.

During her teenage years her claim to fame was being the valedictorian of her high school class by picking the biggest straw. Although one of her biggest regret was not being crown St. Olaf Butter Queen due to some controversy of tampering of the butter turn.

She married one of her childhood friends in 1948 named Charlie Nylund. She loved him ever since they were seven years old when he sold her an insurance policy on her red wagon she had. Not surprising at all that Charlie become an insurance salesman when he got older.

The couple had five children but you only meet two out of the five during the show. They were married for twenty two years until Charlie’s death and shortly after that Rose decided to leave her beloved St. Olaf in 1976 and to made a full move Miami, Florida.

She got a job as a grief consular and by happenstance ran into her future roommate Blanche at a supermarket.

And the rest is Golden Girl history.

The reason why Rose Nylund is one of my favorite TV characters is because regardless of how down she feels she is always there to support and help her friends. Also as random as her stories are they are a source of comfort to those who are listening to them.

I know how I am spending my day today: Watching the golden girls!

Until Next time!

Source: Golden Girls Wiki, Youtube

Welcome to the insta-hood: @loxystyles !

Hello everyone! I am kicking off my first interview of 2022 with fellow co-worker and instagrammer @loxystyles!

LoxyStyles x O Street Studios
Photographer: Arielle Lewis
HMUA: Tracey Garcia
  1. Tell me about yourself:

“My name is Roxy Young. I enjoy carbs, drinking coffee and sweat pants. I also wear my hair in a big giant messy bun while listening to the Queen B (Beyoncé). I do what I do best: being a creative diva! I am an international published creative director better known under the social media handle as @loxystyles. I wear many hats in the fashion industry from film to aesthetic set designs. Being a creative is what I’m best at and most known for.

I am originally from a small town in the Appalachian hills of WV called Lost Creek. I came from a very humble blue collar family . My father passed away in 2011 from cancer. He was an extremely hardworking, smart , & humorous guy.

My work ethic and all my good poop jokes I got from my dad. My mom and sister are both artistic people. My mother made ceramics as I was growing up and my sister became a journalist before returning to West Virginia to help take care of my mother and father. She is one of the strongest people I know amongst being such an amazing writer. I did not inherit the good genetics of spelling in my family.

In 2013 while living in West Virginia I was in a terrible car accident that completely changed my life. The car flipped over a guardrail and went down a 50 foot decline before hitting a tree that would eventually stop the car from rolling. I was in the passenger side with no seat belt on. I broke my neck (c2 vertabre), had a bruised spinal cord , 5 broken ribs, a stage 4 lacerated kidney, a collapsed lung, and a torn pcl (knee). It’s a miracle I am able to walk let alone I that I am alive. God spared my life that day and it’s something I’m extremely grateful for & blessed.

After 3 months of bed rest from the accident I started to gain an interest in photography. I started a small business and became part of an organization called RAW. It’s an organization that helps struggling artists. My sister would drive me from WV to Pittsburgh for RAW shows to showcase my photography. I started to realize between photography concepts & Modeling that I had a nitch for creativity. This is where the idea for LoxyStyles began.

In October of 2017 I made the bold decision to leave everything I had ever known to pursue a better life. I packed my car and with $70 in my bank account , not really knowing what the hell I was doing , I moved to Virginia taking a job as a nanny for 2 of the coolest kiddos I could have ever been blessed with to watch over.

Fun fact: coco Chanel was also a Nanny.

In 2019 while still working as a nanny & building LoxyStyles I took on a part time job at Neiman Marcus while doing fashion school through a program from Parsons The New School & Teen Vogue. The hustle and work ethic was at an all time high but I loved every minute of it.

In January of 2021 I embarked on the journey of a film school program through NYU. It’s been a year long program and in a few days I will finally have a film school program under my belt. I plan on creating films to submit into film festivals in the very near future. I feel like creating in film is where I want to be and it’s what I’m good at. We don’t have enough female directors in the film industry and I’m totally up for the challenge.”

2. What is loxystyles?

“LoxyStyles is known for creativity and aesthetic. It’s not so much about just the style and design. It’s a way that story telling is conveyed through fashion while also being able to promote and market brands. That’s what LoxyStyles is. It’s associated marketing while creativity associating marketing & an outlet for creativity. I created on my own along working with different models & photographers to help them creatively promote different products for brands, designers, and social media content. I build sets , design aesthetics and create shoot boards. Currently, my favorite thing is being able to do those things through film.

Behind the scenes of a Loxystyles Shoot
Photographer: Arielle Lewis
HMUA: Tracey Garcia
Model: Michelle Bartenfelder

In 2017, LoxyStyles had originally started out to be a fashion blog & t-shirt company. I had a friend who was an amazing artist who recently passed in 2020. His name was Luke Steffan. The L was taken out of his name and the R was removed from Roxy and there the name Loxy was born. He would design the shirts and I would find a creative way to market them. The t- shirt business didn’t work out the way I had hoped and by the end of that year we both had went our separate ways and I was left with the name for a brand that I had no idea what I was gonna do with. I’m not the type of person who just gives up on things easily so I kept the name and decided I would make it into something on my own. The name Loxy holds sentimental value to me especially after Luke’s passing. I went back to the drawing board in 2018 with the thought of keeping Loxy as a fashion blog but I was not a very consistent writer.”

LoxyStyles x Illusions
Photographer: Arielle Lewis

3. If you had to invite 3 pop culture figures to a dinner who would you invite and why?

“That’s a super great & hard question because I would want to invite everyone like Beyoncé, Muhamed Ali ,Yves St Laurent, Grace Coddington , Robert Dinero, Nipsey Hustle Sophia Loren, Sinatra , etc…. I could go on and on. I have a huge list for that dinner party!!

I hope Beyoncé forgives me for this , but I think My top 3 guests for this dinner would be Jayz , Franca Sozzani & Mother Teresa. One guest to keep me gangsta , one guest to keep me creative , and guest to keep me holy.

I would invite Jayz because I feel I can relate to his life. That man goes hard at everything. I didn’t grow up in the projects , but I did grow up in one of the poorest states in the U.S. Poverty is a very real thing as well as the drug epidemic in West Virginia. What I admire about Jayz is the fact the people always doubted his ability to make it. He came from a place where not many people make it out of . As well as being crazy intelligent and doesn’t let people tell him what he can or can not do. He beat the odds that were against him. He knows his capabilities as a person and an artist. It resonates with me a lot. He has also stayed himself through out his whole career. That’s real and that respectable. He gives back to his community which is something I also admire and plan on being able to do.

Secondly, I would invite Franca Sozzani. When Franca was alive she was the editor and chief of Vogue Italia. She challenged the industry and that’s why I love her and her work. The fashion industry is very cut throat especially for women. She was controversial and not afraid to be controversial within her work. She didn’t really give a shit who liked her work or not by her statements and concepts about what was going on in the world.

Two of my favorite editorial shoots she did was on women having plastic surgery and the other on domestic violence. The photos and her work speak for itself. I love how she took the concepts of real things going on in the world and made them important in a industry where image is considered everything. It challenged the perception of the industry and society. She was an amazing creator to whom I have much respect and admiration for. I’m not in my industry to be liked but I know that with my artistic creativity I’m in this industry to make a difference and at some point in my career I think my work and path in this industry will be much like that of Francas.

And last but certainly not least I would invite Mother Teresa. I think it’s important for people to be kind & to give back. She did a lot for people and helped many. As well as aided people that others deemed as unwanted and uncared for. She knew that there was more to life. She knew that people matter, along with their struggles. She dedicated her life to making life better spreading love. That makes her a true humanitarian.”

4. What was the most memorable project you worked on and why was it so memorable?

Tommy Maksanty x LoxyStyles Photo Shoot Collab at The Watergate Hotel.
Photographer: Arielle Lewis
Hair & Make Up: Tracey Garcia

“Hands down the short fashion film projects for my new business ilox are the most memorable projects thus far. I’ve gotten to work with a lot of really phenomenal people in this industry but I think by far my favorite person to work & collaborate with is 1000% Tommy Maksanty. We first started working together about a year ago on a collaboration at the Watergate. Tommy is an extremely talented individual & person. I don’t think he truly realizes his talents and gifts yet but he is a lot more than just a good looking male model. I’m so excited to see the things he accomplishes in the future within his career. We work pretty well together and both have fun creating film work. He works really well in front of the camera along with taking direction and his Instinct to know how to improvise while thinking on his feet are pretty on point.

LoxyStyles and Tommy Maksanty In Behind The Scenes out takes of Filming Room 212.

We were putting together a short film for Halloween at an old retro motel in Fairfax Virginia called the Breezeway Motel. The management on the property of the location was not happy with us filming outside. We were told we could not film anywhere on the grounds of the hotel except for the room we had booked to get ready in. The film being produced was mainly mapped out for filming outside of the hotel. It put everybody working on the production in a not so great spot of

….what do we do now? We couldn’t shoot outside the motel so we had to stay in the room and think how we would be able to film. Tommy was going to be wearing wardrobe from a suit shop located in Springfield Virginia called Lawrence Clothier. The wardrobe was specifically picked to fit the design and aesthetic of the outsiders the motel. The hair and make up was set to go with the wardrobe & aesthetic of what was already planned to film for the outside scenes.

Since we were restricted to the room, Tommy & I had to be resourceful in order to figure out how we would re style the wardrobe, looks, and also how the new room location would effect the story line of the film. Tommy put his best actors hat on and we were able to get creative with under the circumstances. We had to make what we were filming fit with everything that had previously been filmed for the story line. He did an amazing job and went all out on his acting abilities. We were able to make the setting we had flow with the film. I ended up naming the film “Room 212“.
I thought it was fitting Title seeing how crazy of a day that had been with the property owners. I think my favorite part of that day was ordering delivery food and the delivery guy showing up to the motel door with two crazy looking people that had giant teased hair that were wearing creepy white contacts. We didn’t get kicked out of the motel but we did create a pretty badass fashion film for Halloween.”

5.  Do you have any upcoming events or news you would like to share?

“I’ve opened up a creative one of a kind film business under Loxystyles and its called ilox. It’s for creating creative films and content for contracted clients. We help our clients plan a creative approach to what they are wanting to showcase. We welcome all but mostly our aim to work with fashion, arts, & entertainment. We give our clients the option of creating 1 minute video clips or 30 second video clips for their social media’s to help promote their selves, their brands or whatever they love and love to do. It’s similar to creative directing & associated marketing I do with Loxystyles. However this is only with film & video work.

Through ilox, I will also be working on creating short fashion films to send into film festivals this year, one of which will be Fashion Film Festival Milano. I’m excited to see what will happen with that as it will be my first submission to a film festival. Clients looking to book with ilox can book through DM @loxystyles or @ilox.”

B.U.R.N.T out

Hello my name is Clarissa. The month is January and we had just entered the year 2022.


In 2021…..

I had one major surgery, eight months of being unemployment, four intense months of work, and one fragile broken heart.

I took one trip to Nebraska to see the man I absolutely love. He felt like home.

Also in 2021….

I’d found a new full time job.

Met nice people.

Interviewed over 20 people for this blog.

Mailed out over 250 cards and mailed them to almost every state on the map.

Watched some great new shows. Too many to list.

Listen to many podcasts and audiobooks. Again too many to list.

Listen to The Cure on full rotation for a full 24 hours. Because since I was six I thought Robert Smith was a super hero. (I still believe he is:) )

In 2021 I also…..

posted more than 50 blogs posts.

Spent countless hours laughing, crying, fighting:

So what is left for me to do in 2022:


I am going to shift this blog a bit of a personal direction. I will write about more personal experiences. But first I need some down time. The winter months will hopefully let me slow down a bit and be able to spark my excitement for things and finally get to that big pile of books I want to read.

Self care is important. The first person you should not be at odds with is yourself. Be kind of others and also yourself.

Until next time!

Thank you Anne Rice

When I was in 3rd grade I had a fascination with vampires. Something about their alluring personality and gothic fashion sense hit a nerve with my active imagination.

So it was no surprise that my brother took me to see the movie Interview with the Vampire.

I absolutely loved that movie. I fell in love with New Orleans, the fashion, the mannerisms and the seductiveness of the vampire world. It captured my little but growing mind to a romantic and deadly world of vampires.

A couple of weeks later I found out that the movie was also a book. My brother knowing my fascination with vampires got me the whole series of the vampire chronicles for Christmas. I remember that I didn’t open any other gifts after that. Those books were the only thing that existed.

I did not know that there was an order to which book needed to be read first. The only thing that made me want to read Interview with the Vampire was the cover. Something about the gold color jacket and the bold gothic writing was very alluring and I felt like I was reading something luxurious.

I had no idea that I was reading adult books at the time. I just wanted to read and be drenched in the world of Lestat. I absorb the words and fell in love with Anne Rice’s words, her vision and the way she shaped these characters.

After I read all of the books that my brother got me (five in total) within two weeks. I felt weird… like drained but I needed more. So I got a journal and a pen and started writing my own world. At that time I thought that writing was only for school. That it had to be something that was reviewed and graded. But I found out in my own way that wasn’t the case. Writing can be fun. Writing can make a small child’s active imagination into words and actions. So without that push from Anne Rice I would never have the courage or self realization that writing is more than what I thought it was.

So from my inner 3rd grade self. Thank you Anne Rice for writing your words. Creating your worlds and sharing them them to the world.

“have yourself a Merry little…ahhhh!!!”

Hello everyone !

How is everyone’s holiday season going so far? Mine is going pretty quickly and it is almost like I don’t really feel like it’s the holiday season? The only reminder that it is the holidays is the constant 24/7 holiday music that has been playing everywhere.

Some of my staple Christmas tunes are:

Billy Squier- Christmas is the Time to Say I love You

Wham!- Last Christmas:

Wizzard- I Wish It Could be Christmas Everyday:

Sparks: Thank God It’s Not Christmas:

And finally. Dolly Parton- Hard Candy Christmas:

I hope everyone is enjoy my interview portion of my blog. I am so happy when I am able to highlight an amazing people and their work. I will come back to regular posting in January but I just wanted to touch base with everyone.

Some things I have been watching lately and listening to:

Pen15 ( it is truly like reliving my awkward and funny pre-teen years):

One of my favorite directors Lina Wertmuller has passed away today so I’ll be re watching a lot of her amazing films. One of my many many favorites of hers is a movie called Ciao, Professore!

Not Another True Crime Podcast:

This is your latest go to update on true crime but without the seriousness to it. I found about about this podcast last summer and have been listening every week ever since.

Link is here for more info: https://betches.com/podcast-channel/not-another-true-crime/

I recently did a secret santa wish list exchange (thank you Corey!) and asked for this puzzle from Piecework puzzles. They are my favorite puzzle line because they have such unique and challenging puzzles that will probably give your mind a good workout.

I want to get back into the habit of reading actually books closer to the holiday season. I have been immersed in the land of the audio books. So it will be nice to actually cozy up to a good hardback or paperback book to read around my Christmas tree. So any new book recommends on history or true crime please share!

Overall please keep in mind that this season is stressful for everyone. So take the time to be kind to yourself and to others. Even a phone call or a text to friends near or far (or both) can be the greatest gift of all.

Until next time!!


Artist’s Spotlight: @muttermilk !

  1. Tell me about yourself:

“I was born in El Salvador to immigrant parents but grew up in San Francisco. I didn’t really become interested in art until I was 14 or so, but then I never really took it seriously. Eventually when I turned 17 I moved to LA and lived there for about 5 years or so. I did some odd jobs, acting gigs, and eventually when I turned 21, perhaps out of boredom or desperation, I decided I would really learn to draw better and get better at my artwork in general. I was only doing it as a hobby at the time, but now I am glad I did so. Drawing and creative work is what i have done for so long, so I guess it was time to stop ignoring my hunches and just go all in.”

2. What was the first pop culture character that left a lasting impression on you?

“Maybe the characters from Toy Story. Buzz lightyear and Potato Head. I was kind of the right age for that. Eventually when I was maybe 7 or so my mom took me to the library and I discovered Garfield. I read every single book they had. I loved those books and that dumb cat. I remember liking the pages because the backgrounds were always so colorful. So maybe that’s a better answer. To this day that cat has a grip on my life and imagination.”

3. Did you ever have a birthday party at McDonald’s or Chuck E. Cheese? 

“I have never. I remember vividly the commercials Chuck E cheese would show and wanting to go so bad, but the nearest one was too far away. I remember the time I actually DID get near one, I was in middle school. I tried going into the place with friends and the lady who greeted us said we needed a parent or to be 18 to get in. So we left. To this day that place is just shrouded in myth and obscurity because I never really got to experience it.”

4.  What is the most requested pop culture character when doing commissions? Why do you think that character is frequently asked for?

“Probably Garfield. He is just so malleable and stone cold that if you put him in any situation it becomes humorous. I don’t blame them. He really is perfect. 2nd would probably be Bart Simpson, another classic character who already has a great reputation of being bootlegged and ripped off. I especially like the way he looks when he is made into 3 dimensions. He always looks so kooky.”

5. What two pop culture figures describe your personality best?

“Maybe Gromit from Wallace and Gromit. Because he is a mute character yet does all of these crazy things. I can be quiet sometimes, but I feel I am able to do things that people wouldn’t expect. And then maybe even Pingu from the British claymation series. Whenever I see clips of that show I see myself in that wacky penguin. I guess it’s just the extreme emotions that pingu has while also remaining deadpan in other moments. One moment he is stiff as a rock and the other he is literally bouncing off the walls. Something about him is oddly relatable.”

6. Do you have any exciting news or events that you would like to share?

“I have just started painting again. Eventually I will put my paintings up for sale on my website, and maybe some will go to galleries. I also plan on doing another run of prints in the future as well.  I will post on my instagram with any news!”

If you like to learn more about Mutter Milk. His instagram info is below:


@rjcity the interview… PART TWO!

@rjcity is a multifaceted person who always has a bunch of evolving projects. So I decided to do a second interview with him!

  1. What made you want to start this podcast?

“I actually didn’t want to start one. Somebody from a big podcast network contacted me saying they wanted to do a show with me. Neurotically, I figured I better get my shit together, so I started doing these short-form episodes as tests and keeping them semi-secret for the first 10 weeks – only my YouTube members knew about it. Needless to say, nothing went anywhere with that podcast network and I went “Well, I guess I have my own podcast now.” So blame that guy.”

2. What has been your favorite you have done so far and why?

” Every 5th episode is a Top 3 of something, so I love opening people up to appreciating new/different stuff, like when I did Top 3 Muppets and praised the singing duo of Wayne & Wanda. But my absolute favorite is the episode called “The Man Who Was For Not”. It was a children’s story I wrote years ago, stumbled on and realized it needed to be told. It’s really only appropriate if you’re a child going through an existential crisis (which, to me, is the definition of an adult). I loved being able to share something like that, that people did not expect from me, and then have it affect them in a “don’t forget about your own mortality” kind of way.”

3. If you could pick three guest stars (alive or dead) to have on your podcast. Who would you pick and why?

No one. I don’t want to have guests, because I don’t want to bother people to ask them to be on my podcast. This is a characteristic more people should share. However, let’s say the podcast gets very popular, I can’t handle all the acclaim and I flee to the Falkland Islands for 3 weeks, my guest hosts would be:1. Mario Cantone (who would be tasked with explaining all of my obscure references to get everyone on the same page)2. Brother Theodore (he did not get the love he deserves for pioneering entertaining content around existential dread)3. Sharon Gless (I will not explain).”

Listen to More Content with RJ City wherever you normally listen to podcasts:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3fGPkIrCPQc1dTuQLXAK8j?si=f23e8138c21f4184

Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/more-content-with-rj-city/id1580244871

“New episodes drop Wednesday nights, and they’re short, so I’m doing you a favor here.”

Thank you so much for the interview!!!

Until next time!

Great small Businesses: @vedatoys !

This week I interviewed a great small business: @vedatoys !

  1. Tell me  a little about yourself.

” My name is Tim Sepulveda, I’m a designer / toy sculptor / 3d artist / other things from Chicago, I’ve lived in the city and burbs for almost my whole life, minus 2 where I was in NYC. I grew up an only child, so toys and tv shows were kinda like my best friends growing up. My grandparents took care of me growing up for a long time, as both my parents worked crazy hours and such, so they, to me, were like my parents for the first chunk of my life. I still remember how excited I was to go over to their place everyday, because my mom would drive me there, and before we’d get there we went to the same McDonald’s and I always brought my Pound Puppy with me, EVERY DAY. I’d even make it (the puppy) order food for me. Then we’d drive to her parents house, where I’d get jacked up on coffee (grandpa’s idea) and McD’s, then watch CABLE TV….. they had cable!!!!!! It was amazing, early days of Nickelodeon and stuff, just hitting my eyeballs and sparking crazy ideas.      It wasn’t until I was a little older, maybe 6-7 yo, my best buddy at the time, Herschel, was going to a summer art camp, and my mom was like maybe you should try this too. I just was happy to go cause he was going. I recall the instructor’s name but I won’t attempt to butcher that, but she was the nicest older woman ever, and she gave us homework…. yes, summer art homework. I remember one time she gave me an old Disney magazine and said choose an image from it and redraw that, so I did the sorcerer Mickey, from Fantasia or something (not a giant Disney fan), and I recall her being amazed that I could see it and just replicate it, but with my own style, so she kept letting me choose things to draw and I’d just bash these things out, that kinda was the beginning of my love for art.     Highschool came and a lot of us from my grade school went separate ways and I ended up in a really good highschool with probably the most influential person in my life as far as art, Mr. Gary Davis, my highschool art teacher. He saw I could draw decently, I was far from great, lots of things made me stop drawing, but he pushed me to keep going. One day he got a computer for the class for those interested, literally myself and one other student were into it. He got a copy of Corel Painter and Ray Dream Studio. He had no clue how to use it, so the other student and I just went at it. I created a ton of art digitally, it just clicked, like there was no real learning curve for my brain other than button commands and names of tools. I had him for 98% of my highschool art classes minus 1 semester or quarter, I can’t recall what we did, but that 1 chunk of time I failed art, lol. I had a teacher that didn’t believe in digital, she only considered art to be art if it was hand painted or made. We argued…. a lot… lol.     After graduating I had no clue what to do, so I did automotive school, and I hated that for lots of reasons, and one day I drove past an art school out here, pulled in and said, fuck it, I want to do art again, I can’t toss it away. So I applied and actually started that evening, it was kinda crazy, but fun. I graduated in 2005 and haven’t looked back, it was a combo of the best and worst schooling of my life. But soon after I got hired doing vfx in tv commercials and just kept going. In 2014 I suffered a major case of burnout from my old job. I was sick to my stomach from stress and people pulling me in different directions mentally, I felt like a kid in a divorce again, and it was NOT healthy. So I walked away from it and went back freelance.”

2. How did you come up with your business and what is the story behind your business name?

“Bridging off the first answer, VedaToys actually started off as VedaFx, I still wanted to keep the technology part of visual effects involved in what I do but in the end going with “toys” just made sense, and easier to grasp for others. Veda, is obviously the easy chunk of my last name, Sepulveda. Normally people from California know the name asap, so shortening to Veda just made it easier and more of an entity rather than a person. Working in advertising for over 16 years I’ve learned what it takes to make a successful pitch for a client to win trust and business, and I really wanted to integrate that into who I am as a, I guess, toy designer / sculptor. So branding and recognizability is always top of my list, not just for myself but clients whose work I do. I always say, “do it right, or don’t bother” and I still stick to that. If I can’t get it right, it doesn’t ship. “

3. What was the first toy you made for your line and what made you want to create that toy first?

“The first real piece I made was actually for Pallbearer Press. Craig I believe had the license for this incredibly bad / good horror movie called Rocktober Blood that I love the soundtrack to. I was at FlashBack Chicago, a horror festival out here, years back, and he saw some 3d prints I did of the Halloween 3 masks, the pumpkin, skull, and witch. I painted them and asked my partner at the time if I could throw these on the table and see if anyone wants them. He literally came by and snagged them up, all 3. Then asked me if I would be down for helping create this toy as a collectible. I said sure, scared out of my brain but I had to know that I could do this and do it well. I made, I think, 20 and things just kinda kept going from there. “

4. Can you talk a little about your process about making your toys?

” The process for what I do is a bit complex but I’ll do my best lol. So being that I work in vfx, I have used all types of 3d software for years, so that background of software knowledge didn’t just happen overnight like some think, it’s taken YEARS. Working in high-end commercials you have to make things look legit, and I mean LEGIT, animals have to look real, products real, cars real. So all that knowledge I took and moved that over to toy sculpting / design. I have several Google Docs just loaded with info about sculpts I wanna do, movies I think need toys, even 80’s toys that need to be redone in some form, so there is a never ending stream of ideas coming from me. So I use a piece of software called ZBrush, it’s basically digital clay. I start with a sphere and just start carving, pushing / pulling, like someone with a ball of clay would. Normally sculpts can take a day, or up to a week or longer depending on detail, scale, use, all of that. Once I finish the first pass, I normally have a client review and show them progress, tweak if need be then I have to prep the files to be 3d printed from resin, which I do myself. That isn’t the worst, but it is super time consuming, if I do something wrong, then most likely the print will fail, and then I have to clean up and start over kinda lol, not fun. Once I get the print made, 4-5 Hours, maybe longer depending how crazy large I go, I have to clean it properly, then cure it with uv light. From there, depending on the final use of the piece, sometimes it is a 1 off item, sometimes it’s multiple, in which case I would make a silicone mold and then cast those pieces in resin, because printing that many is kinda goofy.     Once the piece is ready for paint, I then spray prime everything in grey usually, it’s not too dark, not too light. Once that dries I move onto hand painting each piece. This is the hardest part for me, I’m very meticulous with how things look going out, my standard is prob my biggest flaw. I’ve had people tell me that if I just let the quality slip I can make more items, honestly though, that would not make me happy. I don’t like my pieces to look like paint is slopped onto something, especially for the price I charge for commissions and pieces that wouldn’t be fair.      I almost forgot that I do my own packaging too, all the art is done by myself too, printed and mounted in my small studio also. I like not just taking images from a movie and copy pasting them onto a background with words. I like to redraw and reimagine things be it hand drawn or in an oil painted style, why just give someone something basic? Toys in total take 3-4 weeks, then longer sometimes, I am almost at a year on 1 piece now due to shortages in supplies and paint, the pandemic really threw a fast curveball at a lot of artists that rely on certain paints or colors / materials. Just finding the 1 primer that I normally use has resulted in driving to multiple states searching every hobby store I can find. Even then if I do find something, I’ve been finding bottles that are over 2 plus years old, and just trash, so it has been tough in some aspects. “

5. Do you have any exciting news or events that you would like to share?

“The hobby is growing, my client list is growing, and most importantly people are excited to see what I can come up with, and I think that means a lot. I have a great friend / customer that told me something once when I was super down, they said, “Your work is something special man. You honestly have an incredible vision for items that people have only dreamed of. Figures and toys that we wish we had growing up. You remind us what it was like to be a child.” That last line is what got to me, in a good way. That is why I do this honestly. To get excited about something, being an adult blows hard a lot of the time, we cry, are stressed, and a whole bunch of garbage hits us, especially now. I like people remembering their childhoods, and not just as a way for me to make a buck, but for them to say, omfg that is so rad, then they run and watch that movie again, or for the first time ever. Sculpting goofy toys is the one thing I do really well and I definitely want to keep that going for as long as I can.”

If you would like more information. The following contact info is below:

Website: https://www.vedatoys.com/

Email: vedatoyshop

Ig: @Vedatoys