The Dallas illustrator behind Fresh Kaufee on creating wearable art and his solo show at local lifestyle shop Epocha
by CH Contributor in Culture on 21 August 2014
by Chérmelle Edwards
Each morning Lenworth McIntosh—who also goes by Joonbug—opens his Fresh Kaufee Instagram feed with hand-drawn letterings and illustrations that simply say "Good Morning." The simple gesture is an extension of the full-time artist's Fresh Kaufee clothing brand and creative thoughts, which—for the first time—are on view in a solo exhibition at Dallas lifestyle store Epocha. We spoke with McIntosh to learn more about what drives him and his approach to making art.
How did the "Good Morning" series of illustrations begin?
The "Good Morning" project started with deciding to say "good morning." I saw a lot of hand-lettering artists practice drawing a word or a quote, so one morning I got the notion to draw "good morning to you." It was received so well, which was so amazing. People don’t get told "good morning" often enough and it’s such a simple thing to say—to brighten your day, to give you a head start. It’s snowballed into a series on cereal, cartoons and vintage video games.
Fresh Kaufee is more than an Instagram handle for you, it’s also your clothing line and a personal ethos. Can you share a little about your road to having a lifestyle brand?
I’ve been drawing since I was three or four. And, I’ve developed my own style. I draw from things in my head. And, when I draw from life I’m stretching what I see. I like to fuse art and create something new so I’ll play around with everything that I draw to make it fun and interesting. I started the clothing line in 2009. It was molded by my drive to become successful at what I loved to do. I found a niche in creating art that is wearable.
Can you explain what you mean by wearable art?
The Fresh Kaufee concept is to take what coffee does to the body and put it in a wearable platform. Just as coffee wakes you up physically once caffeine takes effect, my brand is like that pick-me-up. It supports a lifestyle of waking people up to what they really want to do. If you have doubts about your career, or you’re looking for support in going against the grain, my brand is here to support you. I use to work at McDonald's and I quit to do my art full time, which I’ve been doing since 2011.
That is inspiring!
Yes. I want to wake people’s creative senses so that they do what they love in life; provide them motivation for success. And success is a whole bunch of things. But at the end of the day, I can say I’ve made $2 more that day or I’m just happy—and that's success.
Having your first solo exhibition as an artist is a success. How did the collaboration with Epocha come to fruition?
Epocha is a menswear boutique and the owner and I are pretty good friends. He’s introducing a work-live environment with his store. It’s an organic environment, with a New York vibe and an old, repurposed basketball gym floor. The kitchen is on the same floor as where the apparel is sold, there’s a backyard, a DJ on site and a front living room-like gallery space where my paintings are. Once it was together, he said I had to come and do a show—over 200 people came out on the opening night.
The show is called "Lenworth, The Righteous Leftie." What are your show's themes and who is it named for?
Lenworth is from my father. But I wasn’t on good terms with my real father so I was against using that name, so I was using Joonbug—my nickname that is synonymous with my illustrations. But, I was always reflecting on what was happening in the world and I wanted to create a third side to my artistry and the things that I observe. Those themes are in the show and it’s under Lenworth to cover the conceptual, raw and thought-provoking things I thought needed to be exposed.
The show tackles the things that I was taught as a child about Christianity like in "Ominous Children," the one with all the eyes. It's a reminder that what we do in front of a child won’t be forgotten. Then there’s my ideas about women and how society deems a woman powerful by things like her shape and hair, so I did a piece where I made her powerful, vulnerable and bald. I wanted to make the show a place where you came, stopped, looked and reflected.
What was your creative process to get to this body of paintings?
There’s a lot of procrastination. Once I’m in the zone, I focus and knock it out. A lot of times the illustration is so easy, you just need a pen or pencil or paper or anything. And it’s so accessible. With painting, I’m priming wood, working with the canvas, setting out paints and colors—I think about that a bit more. But once the first stroke goes on, it’s all impulsive—there’s no thinking. I want it to be completely expressive: whatever goes on there, goes on there. And there’s really no mistakes—it's impulsive so whatever happens, happens.
‘’Lenworth, The Righteous Leftie" is on exhibit at Epocha through 30 August 2014.
Images courtesy of Lenworth McIntosh
The UK-based manufacturer known for sturdy steel frames introduces its first carbon fiber line
by Hans Aschim in Design on 21 August 2014
If there's one thing UK-based Genesis Bikes knows, it's humility. The brand makes no mistakes about its place in the bike industry. They describe themselves as not the biggest, not the oldest, not the most technically advanced, but always striving to make honest bikes that perform and look good—fresh out of the showroom and for years to come. This is, in part, why the brand has historically focused its energies solely on making the absolute best steel bikes across road, mountain, cyclocross and touring categories. This week though, Genesis has taken the long-anticipated leap into the world of carbon, introducing their first carbon fiber frame designs into the all-new Zero line.
Spanning the pro-level race-ready Zero Team (£4500) to the Zero.1 (£1300), an ideal first carbon bike for burgeoning roadies, the line-up has something for riders of all abilities. The six model range appeals to both abilities and preferences. For those looking for the most advanced drivetrain coupling in the form of Shimano's electronic Di2 system along with a surprisingly clean aesthetic, it's hard to find better value than the Zero.i (£3000). In keeping with Genesis's core values, the line-up is notably consistent in carbon fiber grade and manufacturing process across models (many companies use lower grade materials and outsourced labor for cheaper frames). This—paired with a lifetime warranty—makes the Zero line a strong contender in the high-end road category.
Images courtesy of Genesis Bikes
Six thousand years of the written word as explored by a great essayist
by David Graver in Culture on 21 August 2014
In 1996, essayist and editor Alberto Manguel produced a 22-chapter literary adventure solely exploring the act of reading. His passion for turning the pages was met with clever anecdotes and well-researched information, all uniting to form "A History of Reading," a beloved book on the power of words. This non-fiction work traipses through time and space—from Greek carvings and Egyptian scrolls to our modern-day computer consumption. Yes, it's a history book, but it's also a narrative—with 140 illustrations and photographs. There's an allure to understanding how words work, as we noted with "What We See When We Read." The author—first and foremost—alludes to the seduction of literacy; an obsession inside all of us and a compulsion that becomes part of our very identity. The tome is set for re-release on 26 August 2014 thanks to Penguin Book—and this time it's with a brand new introduction, penned by Manguel himself.
"In every literate society, learning to read is something of an initiation, a ritualized passage out of a state of dependency and rudimentary communication," Manguel describes, as he embarks on a panoramic thematic study of reading and its impact. The book isn't told chronologically, but flows attune to the growth of its sub-themes. One moment, a reader is presented with Walt Whitman's opinions on reading and the next censorship is addressed. Vanished library tales give way to thoughts on translations. Even Manguel's own story of learning to read is incorporated. Altogether, the author's excitement provokes thought and a mysterious, daunting subject becomes a tale worth reading.
Pre-order "A History of Reading" on Amazon for $18.
Images by Cool Hunting