Judy Quea: Food Activist

Judy

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Judy: I was born in Santa Clara in 1971… native baby. 43 years

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Judy: I started on my creative path probably when I was 15 when I realized I wanted to heal my family and make a difference in the food industry from corporate to grass roots.. By reviving our traditional foods and integrating feeding the masses on a micro to macro level.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Judy: I found my inspiration from experiencing first hand the life of a first generation Portuguese/Peruvian immigrant up-bringing. From watching my entire family work hard and smart when they came to this country… both sides of my family got along great and we cared for eachother’s children while working nights etc to create a foundation and we all hung tight. I learned love. Music. Food. Integrity. Social skills. Sharing. And having my ideas and decisions always supported by my parents to go do you but with compassion and follow through. Be your word. That’s all you have when you have little 🙂

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Judy: I think first piece of vinyl was Salt and Pepper’s “Push It” with the remix but I collected 8 tracks before cassettes were created.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Judy: EAT WELL TAKE CARE OF YOUR TRIBE AND YOU WILL BE WELL! If you want to change the world. Start with your family….

Kufu: Muralist, Educator

Kufu

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Kufu: I have lived in the east bay: Alameda and Oakland, since 1988. I moved here in middle school from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. My father and mothers families are from Pitts, Philly, NYC, and DC.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Kufu: I started my creative journey as a very young child, due to having an older brother who was into Hip Hop since its birth. The only thing that I could hold onto once I knew I was moving to Cali was Hip Hop culture. On the east coast, little kids were always prone to grow up a bit faster and being able to witness the pioneering eras of various elements in Hip Hop where I lived and traveled, I was able to hone in on skill sets from all elements. Doing every element and with skill meant you were a real BGirl or bboy. Definitions have changed over time for some but the original article still prevails.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Kufu: I find my inspiration from just that, originality and authenticity within various cultures and their aesthetic nuances. From the music, food, clothing, antiquity, cosmologies, dance, and language to the physical environments surrounding people of color, all of these are my core influences. Being in tune with the frequencies of other cultures and the rhythms involved in their aesthetics gives me many ideas for letter structures, fill in techniques and the list goes on.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Kufu: The family I come from fortunately supported my hip hop habit and purchased many of the albums and cassettes in the early years but even as a young bad ass kid, I boosted much of my music to be honest. We called it racking and the first time I can recall having to buy vinyl we were on a road trip and UTFO had their first twelve inch out. I begged for it but everyone fronted. I asked for loot to get an action figure but said fuck that and bought the album, big Bruh racked it from me shortly there after. I remember buying Ultramagnetics first twelve inch and my brother used it for doubles smdh.


Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote?
Kufu: These memories are only a few of many that still drive every aspect of my creativity as a writer and educator. I told my family I wanted to do hip hop for a living when I was a child, now I live that dream out daily. Passing it on to the youth the same way it was given to me. Salute, Kufy X North Star Zulu Nation. Grown From Concrete Crew. The Magnificent Team.

Cynthia Toliver: Chef

Cynthia

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Cynthia: NO. I’ve lived here 3 years this month (Nov 2014). This is the 3rd time I have lived here. The first time in 1971 for 3 years (in the Haight). The second time, in 1983, for 12 years (in Western Addition). I was born in Wilmington, NC and grew up in upstate New York.


Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on?
Cynthia: I’ve been cooking off and on for 30 years – and my specialty is vegan and vegetarian food. I’m working on a line of vegan & vegetarian soups. But I really love catering – all kinds of dishes – especially in California, where most vegetables are in season all year long!

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration?
Cynthia: From positive vibrations: meditation, reading, writing in my journal, and from intelligent, nice people.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Cynthia: Wes Montgomery – A Day in the Night – it’s how I got started loving jazz. I used to think it was Sunday music, but that quickly spread to every day of the week.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote?
Cynthia: Never listen to the naysayers.
And my favorite: when one door closes, another opens.

http://www.ToliverWorksFood.com

Mark Bode: Visual Artist

Bode

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Mark: I was born in Utica in upstate NY. My mother Barbara and I moved to the Bay Area shortly after my father Vaughn passed away in 1975 . I lived in Oakland and Berkeley till 1991, when my wife Molly and daughter Zara moved to Northampton, MA to join my friends that invented the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. After a decade out there we finally returned to SF in 2005. So I consider myself a Bay Area native as I’ve spent the most time here.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Mark: I was highly encouraged by my very creative father at a very early age. At 4 years old he would give me a dollar to do a comic strip for him. Actually he was keeping me busy so he could work on his strips, I’m sure. By the time I was 12 I had honed my skills to the point where my father said “we will be Bode and son” and did great collabs together. He died a few days later. But I was glad my hard work had paid off and I was able to impress him. 3 years later I colored his black and white comic book “ZOOKS” for Heavy Metal magazine. I was still a kid in high school but clocking in dollars following in his foot steps.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Mark: Creativity comes in waves. Some times I can’t find it like a lost sock.. I’ll be looking for it and it just seems to have disappeared. Other times it hits me like a tsunami and I create a huge body of work in a short period. The next story that I’m writing and drawing is a 5th chapter of Cobalt 60. I was standing in front of the Coliseum in Rome and the story hit me hard.. like a million words came flowing out. I couldn’t stop my hand from writing, like it was writing itself, maybe even channeling it from beyond. When I do my mural work it’s really what I want to paint at the time. I don’t like to be preachy or political. I just like to get lost in another world and take people with me.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Mark: If you’re talking music it might be Iron Wolf or Three Dog Night. I was 8 I think. If you’re talking toys it would be Snoopy in an astronaut suit. I slept with it like a lumpy blanket.


Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote?
Mark: My ultimate desire as far as my work goes is to create an erotic theme park for adults complete with cheech’s tunnel of love and tittied ferris wheels and boobie bumper cars. Of course the erotic theme park wouldn’t be complete without a brothel and casino. Just saying.. the masses would love this place!

http://www.markbode.com

Vanessa Solari Espinoza: DJ Agana, Muralist, Teacher

Agana12


Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay?
AGANA: I am Venezuelan and identify as Xicana from Oakland, Califaztlan.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? AGANA: My creative path started in the womb and continues to grow with every wall with my crews, Few and Far Women, TDK and Ex-Vandals.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? AGANA: My inspiration comes from within, finding my own style and constantly elevating my skills and refining my craft.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? AGANA: The first vinyl I purchased was Alice Coltrane in a Salvation Army thrift store for ten cents, her musical legacy continues to inspire my art.


Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote?

“HECHALE CON GANAS” – DJ AGANA

Peps357: Muralist, Educator, Activist

Peps357

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Peps: I wasn’t born in the Bay. I actually came to the Bay when I was 11yrs old, so I’ve been here about 21 yrs.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Peps: I’ve always been visually expressive. The earliest memory I have of me drawing was around when I was 4.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Peps: Since childhood, nature has always been my inspiration.. now older culture gives me a context as to why and how we are so connected to animals in such deep ways and the rest of creation: plants animals bugs and everything in between. But with experience also came the understanding and role of art in changing the physical and social environment, in which I operate.. so now the struggle and life and time of my people has become a source for inspiration and strength.


Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased?
Peps: Man I still remember.. it was Wu-Tang Clan. Bought it at Rasputin.


Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote?
Peps: We are wolves, not sheep…

http://www.instagram.com/357_peps

Dudley Flores: Dancer, Teacher

Dudley

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Dudley: I am a Bay Area Native. Born and raised in San Francisco!


Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on?
Dudley: I dabbled a little in dance through high school musical theater and a few dance recitals here and there. I stopped dancing when I started college (15 units as a biology major while working full time with American Airlines passenger services took up all my time.) I found a Rhythm & Motion class when I was 19 years old and the class helped me fall back in love with movement, music, being inside my body, being around like-minded people. From there I explored different dance forms and continue on my path today.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Dudley: Mostly though life experiences – mine and others.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Dudley: I never purchased any vinyl. (I was a cassette kid when I had money to buy anything.) But, I do remember listening to “Purple Rain” on vinyl. Also, my older brother and his friends were DJs and I remember hearing them “scratch” and work their magic at the turntable. It was amazing!


Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote?
Dudley:

“When you grow up, you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life and try not to bash into the walls too much…that’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact—everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. Shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just going to live in it versus make your mark upon it. Once you learn that, you will never be the same again. Don’t just live a life; build one.” – Steve Jobs