Meet Jeff from Visual Contrast

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Tell us a little bit about Visual Contrast, and what drove you to start the company.

I started the company because I saw an opportunity to bring a new perspective to the B2B art world. All of Visual Contrast's art is designed with the end consumer in mind while also serving the spirit of the artist. Too often art serves the aesthetic and need of its distributor, limiting the scope and creativity of what is out there. The best part of our business model is connecting talented artists in LA with opportunities to share their work on a larger platform. It's really an excuse to do what I love to do, which is working with artists to create new ways of seeing, sharing and doing.

 

How do you stand out from your competition? What makes you different?

Our collaborative approach is what's different. You have me, a curator with a background in distribution, working closely with artists to create works that leverage their talent and my understanding of the market and customer. It's a great marriage of two perspectives that become one in the work. With that said, we're never too analytical about things. We let our imaginations run wild and hopefully the fun we have comes through in the playful nature of our exhibitions.

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What experiences or relationships have impacted you most in your career?

The best part of the past year has been connecting with new artists. We're collaborating with a very talented group of people right now and have some great art in the works for spring and summer '18.

 

What is the biggest risk you taken with your business and what did you learn from it?

I don't really look at my business as a risk because I see the value in what we are doing and believe in our artists. Making art is inherently risky, people are always going to have an opinion and making art everyone likes defeats the purpose of sharing a perspective. We don't expect everyone to like everything, but hopefully, in our exhibitions, you can find something that resonates.

 

What advice would you give to a first time art buyer?

Buy what you like, not what you think you should like or have been told to like. You should feel like you can’t live without it.

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What are some bad recommendations you’ve heard given to people about collecting art?

I’ve heard it many times….. collect art to make money. Or that you should buy something that you can sell in a few years. I think art isn't (and shouldn’t be) created as an object of speculation.

 

How do you define success?

Success to me isn't defined only by sales but by how the artists I work with feel about what they're making. If they feel good about what they're creating and the feedback they're getting from customers, then I feel great.

 

Outside of work, if you could be any where in the world right now, where would you be?

My wife and I have a top 5 list that we're chipping away at. In order of anticipation: Japan, the Amalfi coast, Berlin, Machu Picchu and taking her back to where I grew up- Bangkok.

 

If you had to pick two words to serve as a mantra for your life, what would they be?

Faith and love.

 

For more from Visual Contrast:

@visual_contrast

www.visualcontrast.co

Save the Date for Salone Del Mobile

 
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At GC Collaborative, we believe in the power and importance of creating community and inspiring experiences. It is at the cornerstone of every event we plan, every marketing strategy we launch, and every strategic collaboration we spearhead. 

This Spring we continue the tradition with our incredible partners, Snyder Diamond and Flexform LA & SF, as we create a tailored VIP experience for a community of designers to attend this year's Salone del Mobile.

The initiative will include private parties, previews, events, dinners, and special tours, as well as a list of recommendations on where to stay, eat, shop and what to see while in Milan.

Our first event takes place stateside with a Pre-Milan Party hosted by Flexform LA & SF and Snyder Diamond at the Flexform LA Showroom. This will be followed by a welcome to Italy luncheon and tour hosted by Fantini on April 16th.

We hope you will join us and celebrate the inspiration and innovation that is Salone.

 

 

Look who's Hiring!

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Are you looking for a change or know someone who is?

 

We have the deistic pleasure of working with Flexform and would love to help find the right person to work for this incredible company.  

SALES MANAGER at FlexForm

The Sales Manager will help with building and maintaining sales strategies to support sales channels and increase market share.

 

Here are a couple other job postings:

 

SENIOR DESIGNER at Timothy Corrigan

Busy high-end residential interior design firm is seeking a Senior Designer with strong project management skills.


DESIGN ASSISTANT at Timothy Corrigan

Busy high-end residential interior design firm is seeking a Designer Assistant to join our team. 

If you or someone you know might be a right fit, please contact: 
ginna@gccollaborative.com 

Notes from New York

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On a rainy Tuesday morning, I ventured out into the streets of NYC to attend my first networking event as a bi-coastal citizen. I was filled with excitement and a yearning to find my tribe here on the east coast. The talk I was to attend was being held at NeueHouse and lead by the people who created Summit, an organization that curates conferences, gatherings and experiences to bring together thought leaders and up and comers from all disciplines. I attended the 3-day long Summit conference held in LA this past October and it was magical for me. I have never experienced or witnessed such kindnesses and generosity towards strangers in my life, and as I brave a new city, I feel like I could use a few extra kindnesses.

 

“Hi,” I said to the smiling man that was working the checking desk. “I am here for the Summit breakfast.” I continued removing my hat and unzipping my coat. He looked at me quizzically and then typed a few keys on his computer before responding.

“Do you mean the talk we are hosting?” he asked pointing to a brochure with Anne Pasternak’s name and likeness on the cover.

“No,” I replied with a slight sound of frustration in my voice. “I am here for the Summit breakfast.”

I then took out my phone to show him the ticket I had purchased for the talk.

“Oh my God,” I said, “It’s tomorrow.” I am an idiot! I thought to myself.

 

 

What happened next both surprised and delighted me. The man at the front desk smiled again, and taking the brochure he had pointed to earlier in his hand he said, “You are welcome to stay for this.”

I knew then that this might have not been the talk I came to hear, but it would be the talk I needed to hear, and as I looked through the brochure I become more grounded and excited about what was to come.

For those of you who don’t know, Anne Pasternak is the Director of the Brooklyn Museum, a museum that holds a special place in my heart. It is located in the borough where I was made. It showed me the power of art, the effects it could have on the politic climate of NY and it made me curious about artists such Andres Serrano who I met and formed a friendship with in my 20’s. Needless to say, it is an encyclopedic museum that is controversial and innovative, just like it’s Director.

Before joining the Brooklyn Museum, Pasternak served as the President and Artistic Director of Creative Time, a NY based non-profit that commissions and presents adventurous public art projects. Anne is known as a field innovator giving voice to artists to comment on the issues currently facing our society. One of those projects was TRIBUTE IN LIGHT, the memorial to the former World Trade Center after 9/11.

As I heard Anne speak about her past work, current role as Museum Director, and her views on how to manage a team, it became clear that she is a boundary breaker. So I wanted to know where does her courage and confidence come from? How does she cultivate the strength to combat the harsh voices of the status quo as well as her own voices of doubt?

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Her answer was as follows:

Well I am glad that I had you fooled. I mean aren’t we all just basket cases? But in all seriousness, it’s not about confidence. It’s about PURPOSE. It’s about LISTENING, and LEARNING and BELIEVING and LEADING. For me PURPOSE is defined through LEADING and LEADERSHIP means standing on the tallest ladder in the room, looking out to the future and carving out the path. I believe in the path we are carving even though I get criticized for it everyday, but I try not to listen to the criticism too closely unless I feel like I can learn something from it. If the criticism is blind, I ignore it and keep moving forward carving the path with PURPOSE.

I love this answer and it got me thinking about my own PURPOSE, which made me think about a poem I wrote a few years ago.

 

Who will miss you?

 

Who will miss you?

when you are gone

and say

years from now

when coming across your picture

in some old magazine

 

She did work that mattered.

 

Ultimately this is my purpose, to make enough of a difference in the lives of women, my employees, my clients, and their businesses to be missed when I am gone.

 

What is your PURPOSE?

New Year, New City

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New Year, New City!


We are so excited to announce that Ginna Christensen Collaborative is going bi-coastal! Ginna has made the jump to expand the company and launch the New York office this month.

We had so much success in our first year that we’re bringing LA Design to the big apple and opening new doors.
 

A few of this year’s big events:

  • Snyder Diamond Holiday Party

  • Marc Phillips Karaoke Party

  • Marc Phillips Monday

  • Legaspi Courts Marine Street Housewarming  

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We will be continuing with our current roster of amazing clients in the design industry like Marc Phillips, Snyder Diamond, and Black Crow Studios as well as signing on new clients based on the east coast.

This bi-coastal expansion is a strong position for both our new clients in New York as well as clients in LA that will benefit from the in-person connections made with editors and tastemakers on the east coast. Clients will also benefit from the continued network in Los Angeles that will be furthered by the team in the LA office. The media network in New York is thriving and Ginna will be able to solidify existing relationships to further our reach in print and digital publications.

Even though GCC is getting a new office, Ginna won’t be leaving LA for long with frequent visits back to the west coast!

We look forward to continuing to service and grow the LA market while building the New York office!

Life lessons from my mentors

When has mentorship played a role in your life?


I’ve never had a mentor.  Well not a living breathing one that I could call over the phone. The mentors in my life have come in the form of books, which provided me with endless inspiration and guided me closer and closer to becoming the woman I was created to be.

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If books have served as my mentors, then my first mentor was Now Discover Your Strengths, a book we talked about during a 2017 Women at Work book club meeting. This book completely changed the way I work. It gave me the confidence to concentrate on my strengths, putting a plan into motion, strategic planning, and creating initiatives which allow my clients’ to stand out within an overcrowded marketplace.  This approach, in turn, led me to feel happier and more fulfilled.

 

My next mentor posed the question: “Why do you do what you do?” In Start With Why, author Simon Sinek talks about how great leaders inspire others to take action and the importance of integrating who you are into the work you do.  This book changed the way I talk about my business. It caused me to go deep, really look at what matters to me - to tell meaningful stories, create experiences that create community, find authentic pathways for growth for my team, myself and my clients. The book and Sinek’s message inspired me to take what others might call a risk.

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Next came Seth Godin and All Marketers Tell Stories. Mind blown. It was after devouring this book that I finally realized my calling. I had been telling stories for as long as I can remember, even working with imaginary friends to help bring these stories to life. But, up until this point, I had never seen a way to integrate storytelling into my work. It was Godin’s words that lead me to put my passion for storytelling into practice. I created a line of street-art rugs with Retna and Shepard Fairey, and the rest is history. Well, not really. But, as all journeys go, this step into the unknown ultimately lead me to launch GC Collaborative and Women at Work.

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Now I find myself working with my incredible GCC team and Women at Work members, and it recently dawned on me: I have become a mentor. To see Gintare from my GCC team tagging be inspired on a graffiti wall in Austin, and to recieve a thank-you note from a WAW member describing me as a magical unicorn, brings tears of joy to my eyes.  It is this work, this role of being a mentor that is the most meaningful for me. It is important to me because of my why and my desire to empower people to not only do their best work but also live their best lives. While we are always a work in progress, I truly am becoming the woman I was created to be, and I want to continue to help others do the same.

 
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GCC The Year in Review

As I look back at 2017, I am amazed and grateful for all that has happened in less than a year. I took a risk in mid January of 2017, to follow my heart and my dream of starting my own creative agency, GC Collaborative. I started with three clients and zero employees and as the year progressed I have grown my team as well as my client base. It has not been an easy year, in fact I spent what feels like 70% of the year being sick, but it has also been the most exciting adventure of my life thus far.  


The driving force behind everything I do is to maximize potential, the potential of my clients to stand out in an overcrowded marketplace, the potential of my team to become shining stars, and my own potential to inspire as many people as possible to do their best work. This is my passion, the reason that I get out of bed every morning, and so now I just want to share a few highlights from the year.


Black Crow Studios x Raise the Caliber
–Launch at Holly Hunt and show at Art Basel Miami

This year, Black Crow Studios was invited to participate in “Mood Swings” a group show of 20+ influential trendsetting artists, curated by Marcel Katz.

Along with Black Crow Studios participation in the group show, we are THRILLED to announce the exclusive new collection at Holly Hunt! 

The inspiration for her signature color bombs came when she heard she was going to be receiving gun parts that had been shredded so that they could never harm another person and the ideas became clear. The paint represents a form of release from the destroyed guns, a freedom from the harm they have caused.

This year, Black Crow Studios was invited to participate in “Mood Swings” a group show of 20+ influential trendsetting artists, curated by Marcel Katz.

Along with Black Crow Studios participation in the group show, we are THRILLED to announce the exclusive new collection at Holly Hunt! 

The inspiration for her signature color bombs came when she heard she was going to be receiving gun parts that had been shredded so that they could never harm another person and the ideas became clear. The paint represents a form of release from the destroyed guns, a freedom from the harm they have caused.

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Legaspi Courts Design Showcase House

Through a series of strategic collaborations, events, and programming, we introduced the art and design community to Legaspi Courts Design. The husband and wife duo of architect Christopher Courts and interior designer Edelweiss Legaspi showcase their combined talent of innovation in design.

As part of our campaign for LCD Marine Street Project, we connected LCD with various vendors (including Snyder Diamond, A. Rudin, Marc Phillips and Cerno) in order to complete Edel’s vision instead of hiring a professional stager.  The result was a beautifully cohesive showhouse full of LCD’s personal style and in celebration of CA design.  

Once the home was complete, we engaged with top social media influencers and editors to take part in an intimate “Housewarming” which led to 1m+ impressions across social media and national/regional press.  

Phase two included a grander scale cocktail party with a top tier guest list filled with prominent players in the world of art & design, local tastemakers, social media influencers and members of the editorial community.

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Custom Comfort Mattress Holiday

For the Custom Comfort Mattress West Hollywood Holiday event, we hosted nearly 200 guests.  The food and drinks were delicious and plentiful, guests were able to get up close and personal with the window installation by friend of GCC, and incredible designer Hyla Frank, and take home one of her customized holiday pillows, made exclusively for the #ccmholiday event. 

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Snyder Diamond Holiday Party

We really outdid ourselves with this years Snyder Diamond holiday party.  We transformed the kitchen and bath showroom into an extravagant tasting room, boasting 20 of the most rare wines from around the world, catering from the ultra-hip Craig’s in West Hollywood and a live auction hosted by renowned interior designer Cesar Giraldo that raised over 11k for the Community Foundation Sonoma County Fund, which addresses the mid to long-term needs of those impacted by the devastating fires in Sonoma County this past October.

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Marc Phillips Holiday Karaoke

Our last event of the season was a SMASH.  Marc Phillips, along with California Home + Design brought together the best of the best in the interior design world for a night of cocktails, socializing and most importantly, karaoke which benefited the SIA Projects Charity!  Lindsey Shook kicked off the evening with a beautiful rendition of “All I want for Christmas is you”, Mat Sanders and Brandon Quattrone stole the show with one hit after the other, “A Whole New World” anyone?

Our judges panel consisted of the aforementioned Mat and Brandon, accompanied by Jaime Rummerfeld, Ron Woodson, and Gray Malin, who kept tabs on all those who dared step on the stage.  

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