Thursday, May 29, 2014

Artist Spotlight: NATASSIA NICOLAU

NORTHWESTERN NOIR is the upcoming solo exhibition of artist Natassia Nicolau's incredible paintings.The show opens Tuesday June 10th, 9 pm, at the Tin Can. We've been working hard to get the show ready, and Natassia sat down with Magic Brotherhood to answer some questions about her work and background.

MAGIC BROTHERHOOD: Your upcoming show at Tin Can is called Northwestern Noir. Please tell us a little bit more about your title choice.

NATASSIA NICOLAU: Northwestern Noir seemed to embody the feel of most of my artwork. I've always been drawn to the muted colors and quietude of a light rain, and the short time I lived in the Northwest was one of the most visually inspiring of my life. I'm a California native and I love the sunshine and beaches, but there's something about the dim light and fog that will always feel a little like a homesick nostalgia for me.

MB: Where did you grow up? Did your upbringing influence your artmaking?

NN: I grew up all over Southern California. From the desert to the edges of LA, from the blight of the Orange Curtain to my current home a short drive to the border. My dad is an architect, and that had a huge impact on my appreciation of the arts. But mostly art was an escape from the experience of a high school in Irvine that was largely made up of people who were nothing like me. I always preferred being in my own headspace to trying to compete in a game that I didn't know how to play. It wasn't until I got out on my own and met other artists and performers that I really started to delve into the creativity, and I'm grateful to San Diego and its wide array of characters for opening me up to that.

MB: Where did you study art? Did this have an impact on you as an artist?

NN: I studied animation at LCAD in Laguna Beach for a year, with designs to break into the video game industry and change everything about it to my liking. It didn't take long to learn that the industry doesn't bend to you, you have to bend to it to even hope to break into the extremely competitive field. I learned more than I can quantify, if nothing else to try to hold myself to the incredibly high standards of the other students there. And I also learned that I'm not very good at doing what other people want. If there's one thing I'm a rebel about, it's when people tell me there's a certain way things should be done when it comes to my art. So I create art for my own gratification now, and take on projects that inspire me, and nothing could make me happier.

MB: What are we going to see at your opening Tuesday June 10th?

NN: A whole lot of muted color palettes! I had (and to be fair, am still in the midst of) a slight obsession with portraiture because I'm fascinated with the structure of the human face and the subtlety of expression. My favorite medium at the moment is ink and inkwash, because of the limitations they present. And my greatest weakness is landscapes. So there'll be a little bit of all of those things.

MB: Who or what inspires you?

NN: The answers here might be obvious, but music and places more than anything. I'm lucky to have a lot of inspiring friends who are artists here in San Diego. And one of the most motivating things to me is hearing someone else talk about the things they are passionate about. A solo trip to Big Sur never hurts either.

MB: Who are you favorite artists?

NN: I'm a big fan of clean illustration, so Alphonse Mucha, J. C. Leyendecker, and I'll take the whole book on Art Deco. I also think that concept art is a grossly overlooked art form, and takes an incredible amount of knowledge, instinct, and speed to create almost-classical digital paintings. A sadly disproportionate amount of it goes uncredited, too.

MB: Favorite musicians?

NN: My forever go-to's for a night of arting are Tom Waits and Nick Cave. The list of favorites would make this a very long article, but if I had to pick my most recent listens I'd say: 16 Horsepower, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Neutral Milk Hotel, Timber Timbre, Josh Tillman, Left Lane Cruiser, and The Kills.

MB: An homage to Mr. James Lipton-- favorite curse word?

NN: I'd love throw some artistic-outcast oddball answer out there, but the truth is I say 'fuck' a LOT. So, fuck.

MB: What can we look forward to from Natassia Nicolau in the future-- distant, near, tomorrow, anything exciting?

NN: A few things to put in your calendars! June 14th will be the album release of Buried by The Midnight Pine at The Hideout, which will feature my artwork on the cover (and excellent music, so you should go for that reason above all else). Al Howard is very soon releasing a book packed to the brim with short stories and illustrations by yours truly. I'm working on a short graphic novel titled Alice is Leaving, which has been on hiatus for a while but will be back on track soon. And I always post current projects and information about future shows at

For more info, check out Natassia's tumblr
and be sure to come to Tin Can Tuesday, June 10th, for the opening of NORTHWESTERN NOIR featuring the music of the talented SISTER JUANITA.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Artist Spotlight: VISUAL MALAISE

VISUAL MALAISE; artist Chris Bilyeu's moniker and title for his upcoming solo exhibition at the Tin Can-- but his artwork is anything but.

You can find the prolific San Diegan's work on skateboards, in zines, on fliers plastered all over the city, on Doods Foods shirts (if you're familiar with the Tin Can, he won the Doods Foods shirt contest!), and soon his work will be up in the Tin Can for a whole month. VISUAL MALAISE opens Tuesday, May 13th at Tin Can featuring live music by heavyheads CRYPTIC LANGUAGES

Bilyeu answered a few questions for Magic Brotherhood, read now:

MAGIC BROTHERHOOD: Your upcoming show at Tin Can is called Visual Malaise. What can you tell us about this name/moniker? 
CB: a good friend of mine suggested i find something a bit cooler sounding than my name to present my work under. I let the idea marinate in my head a bit, and realized I should go with one of my zine titles seeing as how i already had a bunch made up. Visual Malaise stuck out to me the most, and i just went with that. French words sound fancy, and the meaning of the word "malaise" strikes me as funny also.

 MB: What can we expect to see at this show? 
CB: I'm gonna have 20-30 pieces Ive done over the past year and a half for zines or various projects. Pretty much all of them are sharpie on vellum, and a couple are sharpie on fancy paper. I heard theres gonna be beer, burgers, and a band too.
 MB: How did you get your start in visual art? 

CB: I was always encouraged to express myself, and drawing stuck early on. My mom was a metalhead, so I was raised on that scene, comic books, skateboarding, cartoons, horror movies, all that kind of stuff was seen as expression and art. So, a steady diet of that, and, its pretty much a free way to entertain yourself.

 MB: Who are your favorite artists?
CB: Ooooh, too many. Esad Ribic, Junji Ito, Egon Schiele. I'll keep it at those three for now, or else I'll be typing all night.

 MB: Favorite musicians?
CB: Lately, Ive been listening to Death From Above 1979, Slim Whitman, some old Soundgarden, Every Time I Die, Brenton Wood. I'm pretty much down for anything.

 MB: Anything new to look forward to in the future from Visual Malaise? 
 CB: Well, the Tin Can show, Ive got some stuff with Lurkville Skateboards that should be out soon, and another art show with my very talented friend Taylor Johnson, also known as youngparasites on the intsagram and internet at Gym Standard, July 26th? Its during Comic-Con weekend, so Im pretty sure its Saturday July 26th. Im not sure what else. Im just gonna keep drawing, and see what opportunities come my way!

VISUAL MALAISE opens at Tin Can Tuesday, May 13th at 9 pm. 21+ event, no cover, Doods Foods served til 10 pm, CRYPTIC LANGUAGES perform at 10:30.

Follow @visualmalaise & find out more at

Monday, March 31, 2014


Sean Burdeaux and I were in the first grade together, we were the only two left-handed kids, and we've been good pals for a very long time. We were in our first band together and later collaborated on some other musical experiments. Sean, my fellow lefty, certainly possesses the necessary right-brained attributes for making obscure, comedic, one-of-a-kind, creative weirdness, and I truly love seeing the genius that transpires from all of his undertakings.
With that being said, on Tuesday, April 8th, Magic Brotherhood will bring you WORD: A Night of Spoken Lit, Art, & Music featuring live readings by Sean Burdeaux along with fellow creative writers Yesi Padilla and Tashi. He has also collaborated with visual artist Sergio Sanchez on several paintings which will be shown that night, and for the duration of that month. 
Show starts at 8 pm, live reading at 9 pm, and be sure to give your ears some goodness by catching Idyll Wild perform at 10:30. 21+, no cover, Doods Foods served til 10. 

TIN CAN | 1863 5th Ave.

Check out the interview Magic Brotherhood had with Sean about his upcoming exhibition, creative endeavors, plus info on the other artists contributing to the show!

MAGIC BROTHERHOOD: Your upcoming show at Tin Can is called WORD. What can we expect to see/hear at this show?
SEAN BURDEAUX: This show will be an amalgamation of visual art, poetry/spoken word, and music. I will be releasing my book titled "Pharmaceuticals, Lemonade" and am excited to read both excerpts from the book and some new stuff I've been working on.

MB: The show features writers Yesi Padilla and Tashi as well. How did the three of you develop a creative relationship? Have you ever collaborated on a project before?
SB: Tashi is a prolific writer with a fantastic sense of rhythm and rhyme. We've shared poetry over the years and her stuff is second to none. I saw Yesi perform at The Void (RIP) and thought she'd be a perfect fit for the show. 

MB: You are a jack of all trades in this show because you will also be displaying some work you produced with artist Sergio Sanchez. Tell us about the collaborations that the two of you worked on.
SB: Sergio is a regular Renaissance man: skateboarder, videographer, photographer, painter. I was working on some drip paintings and showed them to Sergio, asking if he'd want to collaborate. He took my paintings (think Jackson Pollock but really boring), picked out the most prominent colors, and then worked with the direction of the dried paint flows to create these really stunning subjects. I like to say that he turned my paintings into real art. 

MB: What else can we look forward to at this show?
SB:I might cry.

MB: How did you get your start in creative writing / visual art? Do you find any parallels between the two or are they completely different for you?
SB: I've always loved a good turn of phrase. I took creative writing classes from middle school through high school and they were always my favorite. It's very liberating and fun to play with words and the limitations intrinsic to agreed-upon structures of grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. Is not it? 
Painting is purely stress release for me. I can't impose too much order on what I'm painting. I have tried and the results are underwhelming. I love watching the colors drip slowly down the canvas over the course of a few days and then trying to find something beautiful in the mess that's there. 
So I think poetry and painting are pretty different for me. Words have (arbitrary) meanings and are more like puzzle pieces that I can fit together in interesting ways, while visual art (at least the way I do visual art) is a playground of colorful meaninglessness whose significance is applied after the fact and mostly independent of the parts involved in the process. Sort of. 

MB: What else can we look forward to in the near future from Sean Burdeaux?
SB: Wow. It's these kinds of questions that induce these little existential traumas in me...
I hope to continue writing. I want to work on another book, hopefully one that is longer and maybe a little more focused. Or maybe not focused, but a little less 15-year-old-valley-girl-writing-on-her-tumblr and a little more I-hopefully-have-something-kind-of-meaningful-to-say. 

MB: Where can we find yours, Yesi's, Tashi's, Sergio's, or Idyll Wild online?
SB: I'm a big fan of an almost non-existent art movement called slart. slart (lowercase "s"), whose biggest exponent is the quasi-anonymous figure known simply as "Douglas", describes intentionally really bad and totally hilarious drawings, video/sound combinations (aka "movies" or "videos" or "vids" for the internet kids) , and approaches to life that rely heavily on overwhelming amounts of douchey sarcasm and making it a point to not make a point. Some of this stuff can be found on instagram on the accounts @harnessthemadness and @recycleddolphin
I was hoping that my book would be a continuation of the slart movement, but I haven't gotten word back from the main guys as to whether my work is really as slartty as I hoped it would be. 
You can check out some of Sergio's stuff on instagram at @sergiorolli

As far as us word-writers, I don't think we really have anything online. Maybe I'll grow up and get a website sometime soon.  
Idyll Wild is all up on dat bandcamp tip: is the one-stop shop for drugged-out, long-haired spacey dark pop.

Be sure to catch Sean's big night Tuesday April 8th at the Tin Can, opening begins at 8 pm. See you there!

Friday, February 21, 2014


Sarah Jane, aka Children of Creation, is an amazing artist friend of mine, and her work is constantly getting more and more incredible. There is a dreamlike, enchanting quality to her drawings quite apparently paying homage to Gustav Klimt and art nouveau, simultaneously referencing the tripped out, rock-n-roll poster style of the Woodstock days. You'll be able to see Children of Creation's solo show HEAVY DREAMER at her opening Tuesday, March 11th at the Tin Can. Check out this interview I got to have with Children of Creation about some of her inspirations and body of work:

MAGIC BROTHERHOOD: Sarah Jane, it's an honor to be showing a collection of your work this coming Tuesday, March 11 at the Tin Can! If you can, please tell us a little bit about what we're going to see at this show.
Your show is titled "Heavy Dreamer". What is the significance of this in relation to the body of work you'll be showing?

MB: How did you come up with the moniker Children of Creation?

SJ: Haha well its some lyrics from "Thrill of it All", a Black Sabbath song. Love me some Sabbath. It was just one of those things that happened- that song came on and I heard these lyrics: "inclination of direction, walk the turned and twisted rift/ with the children of creation futuristic dreams we sift". And it was just like this giant bright light bulb that went off in my head. I felt incredibly connected with these words. Black Sabbath is heavy but if you actually read the lyrics they can be quite poetic and beautiful.  

MB: You've explored many mediums besides drawing and painting and you're an incredibly talented artist who has been making work for a long time. What is your background with the arts and other mediums?

SJ: I was a country kid with a weird imagination I guess; always sprawled out on the floor with paper and pens and markers. My teachers were really encouraging with my creative side and put me in a lot of art contests. My home as a child was always creative, with my mom being a concert pianist, my dad did all kinds of art, and my brother and sister played music. They supported us being the weirdos we were and continue to be. I did the whole school thing, got a degree in Fashion Design, but what has always been my number one love is the art of picking up a pen and inducing a crazy vision on a piece of blank paper. I wasn't confident with sharing my work publicly until very recently in my life. I see it as a rite of passage I suppose, i needed to get over some personal things that had gotten in the way and held my ass back. 
MB: Who are some of your favorite artists?

SJ: Such a complicated question! There are too many to name. But the heaviest influences classically are Mucha and Klimt. They were these very strange dudes for their time who could illustrate the female form as if they were women themselves. They had a softness about them even though they incorporated hard, linear movement. 

As far as contemporary artists I have an unbelievable amount of respect for Alan Forbes. He's this rad dude in SF who has been doing killer band poster art for quite some time. He inspires me so much because every piece of art he does is not only fresh but it's also done in such a classic, clean way. He kinda just put himself out there without having to say, "Here I am who the fuck cares if you don't like it", which I suppose is more or less how I feel about my art. Alan has made me feel ok with the kind of work I do, and for that I'm extremely appreciative. 

MB: favorite musicians?

SJ: I would have very little meaning in my life if it weren't for Sabbath, Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Yes, Velvet Underground, George Harrison, Miles Davis, Skip James, Leadbelly, just to name some ...... All these musicians made me feel things on a deeper level. Much of my work is heavily inspired by rock n roll and what has happened in society (positively) because of it.

And present day? Man there is so much amazing shit out there in a sea of mediocrity. Im lucky enough to be a part of this weird little creative society that churns out some bad ass bands. Artifact, Psicomagia, Glitter Wizard, Wild Honey, Sacri Monti, just to name a few...

MB: Favorite place to make art?

SJ: On the floor, in a room with decent lighting, completely alone.
MB: favorite curse word?

SJ: I love every single curse word under the sun! They are just words but there is something so satisfying to yell "fuck" really loud. It's like oral therapy. 
MB: What can we look forward to see from Children of Creation in the future?

SJ: I hope to continue doing rad projects for other small businesses for a very long time! But also right now I'm working on getting this 5 person creative collective off the ground. We are all bringing different elements with our individual talents (art, clothing design, vintage seekers, writing, jewelry design, music) and creating a bigger monster collective that all of us can show to the world. The goal is to travel and create awareness of all these rad things we are doing, and I feel so lucky that I have found these people to work with and experience life with. Check out what we are doing on instagram @therodadoracollective. 

You can follow Children of Creation on instagram @childrenofcreation
and follow her collective @therodadoracollective
To contact Children of Creation email

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Artist Spotlight: CHULAFACE

Chulaface, aka Ashlona, aka Ashley is a totally adorable and talented lady, and she is having her first-ever solo exhibition Tuesday, February 11 at the Tin Can. We got to talking a little bit about her show, and a bunch of other juicy stuff as well. Check out our interview here:

Magic Brotherhood: Your first solo art show is coming up Feb 11 at Tin Can, and I am so super stoked for you! What have you been working on for this exhibition?
Chulaface: Lots of new stuff. New paintings, a few black-and-white illustrations. Some Teen Angels Magazine inspired pieces. I've been really into the whole mi vida loca, low rider art kinda stuff for a while now. Tryin' to see where I can incorporate it into my own style. Um..what else? A Virgin Mary Tina.. Boobs. Lots of boobs and crystals. 

MB: You're under the moniker Chulaface. What is the origin of this name?
CHULA: Nickname given to me a few years back by my off and on again, and again, and again "boyfriend" Aldo. I used to just go by Ashlona, a nickname given to me by an older homegirl I use to smoke with after work when I was like 18. She said Ashley sounded too much like a white valley girl name. So she made up a new one and it just kinda stuck. 
Chulaface fits me better, I think. Aldo was my first really Mexican boyfriend and before him I wasn't really into pet names.. but I don't know, something about hearing them in Spanish just made me melt. So no matter what's going on between us I use it. It came from a sweet place and it always makes me smile. It's mine.. It's me on a good day. I still really love him and the time we've spent together. I guess simple words can really change things coming from the right person. He's had a very positive influence on my artwork and character in general. 
I've honestly had a shit ton of nicknames though, second favorite is "Lil Chips" for sure. 

MB: What are some things that inform you when you are making your work?
CHULA: Beautiful women. Sexy curves. Big hair, big boobs. Make up. Old prison art I used to see on the walls of my Tia's bedroom growing up. Love letters. Lots of bad decisions. Lots of hurt feelings. All my blessings. Finding the perfection in the imperfections.
MB: When did you start making art?
CHULA: I've been drawing ever since I can remember. It's always come naturally. It's kinda the only thing I'm really really good at. I remember showing work in a few small art shows when I was in grade school and being in the newspaper at least 4 or 5 times for various art accomplishments in high school.
But I didn't start live painting or really giving a fuck if anyone saw my work until college. That's when I joined CA (Creative Aesthetics), an art group made up of painters, illustrators, graff writers, musicians, live performers etc. in LA. We all support each other, and share gig info. 
Agapito, the founder and I have been friends for years now, I guess you could say he's my art mentor. He keeps me hungry, always reminding me to push on and work harder; challenge myself. He also makes me yummy home-cooked dinners when I'm broke and babysits my puppy when I go out of town. Art friends forever. CA everyday.

MB: How has your work developed over time?
CHULA: More detail, intricate patterns, more color. Right now I've been trying to create more of an environment for my figures, to try and tell more of a story rather than just floating.
I wasted 3 years in design college. Didn't learn a damn thing. I wasn't focused, and it was hard. Too much to remember and I am not a people pleaser. I just didn't care enough I guess.
Drawing and painting on the other hand have always been my passion and have always been fun for me. No matter how tedious it can be, sitting quietly painting is when I feel the most fulfilled. So gonna just stick to that from now on.   
I get stuck sometimes just painting "pretty" paintings but I'm working on being a bigger risk taker. Fuck it, if it's not prefect just keep working. Always growing, moving forward. 

MB: Favorite artists?
CHULA: Elrod, Neckface, Pedro Perez, Glenn Arthur... I LOVE Ise Ananphada's work! Namio Harukawa!!!  The list gose on and on. 

MB: Favorite music?
CHULA: Kinda hate this question. There's no right answer. I'm not a music nerd. I like all kinds of stuff. 
I like getting drunk and dancing the night away with my gays. 
Sometimes I like listening to the same lame heartbroken pop song over and over again laying in bed crying over something stupid. 

I love music videos though, even the bad ones! Sometimes I think I should have gone to film school instead. 

MB: Favorite curse word and why?
CHULA: Fuck.. Yeah I'm gonna say fuck. That's fucking amazing! That's so fucking stupid. It works for everything. 

MB:Is there anything new in the works for Chulaface we can look forward to?
CHULA: Lots of colorful penises and hopefully a lot more shows.. Thats all I'll say for now. :) 
Chulaface's show I JUST WANT TO CRY ALL DAY & PARTY ALL NIGHT opens Tuesday, February 11 at the Tin Can. The show begins at 9 pm, no cover. 21+