The most anticipated Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) theme event of the year is upon us and you cannot miss the festivities of our Cultura and heritage which celebrates the lives of those that have passed on in the most elegant yet traditional style.
El Velorio has been celebrating with the community of Los Angeles for five years now and the line up of artists, performers and celebrity hosts are become more exclusive each year and I am really looking forward to this year’s MC, Chicano Cartoonist Lalo Alcatraz along with Alysha Del Valle of ABC7 Eyewitness News.
On November 7, 2015 this event will open its doors at Plaza De La Raza, free admission and for all ages from 4:00pm to 6:00pm with lots of activities for the children to do as well as food vendors and face painting. I cannot wait to bring Frida and enjoy our tradition to celebrate the lives of our loved ones. After 6:00pm, the night will turn into a 21 and over party with two stages with my favorite band La Sonora Dinamita as well as a DJ dance floor on the grand garden. So I will be bringing my dancing shoes and dance some cumbias all night long.
Aside to the dancing, the Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) art exhibit curated by Antonio Pelayo will also bring out our beautiful traditions to the public that appreciates our culture; our catrinas, panteones, altares and beautiful fashion will be the highlights of this event.
MAIN STAGE TIMELINE:
7-8pm DJ Sloe Poke
8:15pm – 9:15pm Las Calacas
9:15pm – 9:40 Main Announcements
9:40pm – 10:40pm Santos de Los Angeles
10:40pm to 11pm Announcements
11pm – 12am La Sonora Dinamita
12am – 1am DJ Sloe Poke
This is inside of Plaza de la Raza, it’s 21 and OVER! And you MUST purchase a ticket
I hope to see you all there, I love this time of the year!
Much Love & Respect,
Monica Smiles Tobon
EL VELORIO PRESS RELEASE
Los Angeles, CA (September 23, 2015) –El Velorio is on its way starting November 7th, 2015. Get your tickets early, and put El Velorio on your calendar for one night carnival at the famous Plaza De La Raza filled with live music, a curated art exhibit, culinary food, beer and wine garden, artistic face painting, alters, sugar skulls and bliss! El Velorio has been celebrating and honoring Dia De Los Muertos for five years. Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a traditional holiday dedicated to celebrate the cycle of life. It’s a day to share food, music, and fun with the community. The celebration acknowledges that we still have a relationship with our ancestors and loved ones that have passed away. This year’s El Velorio will also have an ALL AGES section at Plaza de la Raza! From 4-10pm with food booths, skeletal face painting, and art and craft vendors. DIY art projects for kids and adults include ceramic or sugar skull painting, paper stamping and more. Help create an altar, or ofrenda, by bringing photos or stories of loved ones, candles, breads, or flowers to add to the altar. This extraordinary event will also continue this time honoring tradition into the night from 6pm-1am for the 21 and over. El Velorio will be one to be remembered for a new platform for presenting fantastic musicians throughout the night. The night will kick-off with two stages. On the main stage will be Mexican Norteño Grammy-winning La Sonora Dinamita, Santos De Los Angeles, Casa de Calacas and DJ Sloe Poke. While DJ Robert Risque, Tony DjAddiction and D_Rock Drums grace the Garden Stage for your dancing pleasure. MC of this year’s El Velorio 2015 in non-other than nationally-syndicated multi-award-winning Chicano cartoonist and a sought-after writer, currently working on Pixars new Day of the Dead Project, Lalo Alcaraz, alongside hosted by Alysha Del Valle of ABC7 Eyewitness News. El Velorio is brought to you by Exodus Events (www.exodusevents.org). Exodus Events is the fastest growing event agency, who has produced events as La Bulla, La Story, Tatuaje, and El Velorio with a huge lineup of artists appearing at every event that help raise awareness for the arts. El Velorio will benefit Plaza de la Raza. Plaza is also one of the city’s most popular points of interest for visitors, artists and performers, and it is highly regarded by the surrounding community as a “safe haven” for local youth. Saturday, November 7th, 2015, 4:00pm – 10:00pm All AGES (free admission) Saturday, November 7th, 2015, 6:00pm – 1:00am 21 and over. Pre-sale tickets for evening attraction are available $15. To pre-purchase tickets and avoid lines day of the event, please go to: http://www.elvelorio.eventbrite.com . Tickets will be available at the door for $30. Press Pass available to press. Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/exodusevents Follow us on Instagram:@exodus_events Twitter: @exodus_events and YouTube: @ExodusProd.
Los Angeles will host their own original Record Cover Show on October 17, 2015 6pm-11pm. At Shambala Studios which is located at 410 North Bamboo Lane, Los Angeles California 90012 in Historical Chinatown.
Come and support artists from all over the world styling 12″ Vinyl records and express their own creative way to rock music for the eyes! One of the main reason’s I am really looking forward to attend this show is due to the roll call of female artists. It is refreshing to see a lot more of these talented ladies getting involved; love it and cannot wait to meet you all. Aside to the awesome location and exclusive artist roll call; Record Cover Art Show will also have DJ’s on the set. Please check out the flyer below with all the details as well as information of their After party.
Much Love & Respect,
Monica Smiles Tobon
September 11, 2015 we spent Friday night at the Autry Museum with my love Pryer and the Seventh Letter Family; Aloy, Evol & Krush. We were there to support an important charity event which raises awareness in animal adoptions as well as fighting against the killings of animals left behind in animal pounds.
The MTAC More Than A Cone Foundation held its second annual art festival which consisted of a fashion show inspired by plastic cones, carnival games as well as live performances. But the most important part of this event for me was to see our friends execute an awesome live mural painting experience for all art lovers that were present. Like always, in great company of my love Pryer and brother Aloy who we support unconditionally; the night was spent away among family members and loved ones. Although the event itself was an adventure, I found myself most of the night at the wall the Seventh Letter members were painting at which was a great spot because it was next to the stage meaning that I had front row seat to enjoy watching the celebrity hosts and live music performances.
The VIP experience was nice but not as exclusive as one had imagined; with the exception of free drinks for the whole the night. As I will never forget the experience of being cut off at the front of the line for the bar by apparently the event coordinator who was so rude and drunk and kept referring herself as being a “bitch” in front of our children. I have never experienced such rude behavior but it was more guided by her sense of entitlement over us as her guests. She kept on apologizing for being a bitch but kept saying over and over she organized the entire event so pretty much can do as she pleased. And of course I had to say something to her and agreed that she was being a bitch, but that she should not treat her guests that way, explained to her that we came to support and by that time the bartenders got involved and told us how important she was and who her father was. Which in reality the only thing I can say I learned about this nasty experience is that it does not matter how much money you have; you can still be trash based on the way you treat others. I attended last year’s More Than A Cone Art Auction which was held at Plaza de Cultura y Arte in Downtown Los Angeles and I must admit that the experience was so much better than this year’s. Hopefully, it was just the alcohol speaking and this woman, who apparently is the face and event coordinator for such an important cause sponsored by great charities and donors.
After that experience, I tried to forget about it and I met an amazing mother and daughter from Belize which made the night more pleasant with their warm hearted spirits. Thank you ladies for the great vibes and as promised, here are the pictures taken with our talented artist Aloy! Sorry it took so long and thank you for all your kind words and support for Graffiti Art.
As the mural progressed and we joked around with Aloy and Evol; more artists and family began to arrive, which made it more confortable to be among familiar faces. I love and cherish moments like this, where we are all happy, together sharing the same love and support for the artists as well as for each other; great times are spent with extraordinary people!
We stayed at the event until the fellas were done with their masterpiece entitled “Mad Society Kings” along with cool animal characters and bright color shades. The night could not have ended any better as we left carrying cool goodies bags from the sponsors as well as great photo shots of some of the performers and celebrity hosts. I want to thank Aloy and Evol for alowing us to spend an artsy summer night at the Autry Museum; we had fun and cannot wait to do it again!.
Much Love & Respect,
Monica Smiles Tobon
TATU-aje was the multicultural tattoo event of the year; mas Chingon! This past Saturday September 12, 2015, Exodus Events and Plaza de la Raza joined forces and executed the perfect way to celebrate the passion and dedication to beautifying our bodies with ink. This was the first time I have attended an event like this; where a mixture of different cultures, tastes in music and art styles stood strong and proud along side instead of overlapping each other. The respect among the artists, tattoo artists and performers was mutual and I must say this was one of the main reasons this event was such a success. And of course we were all there because we all have one thing in common; the love for tattoos! The A-list of performers and celebrities such as Danny Trejo and Tatu along with their host Mike Flores; made it a memorable night for the fans to remember. No one does it better than The West Coast. The event attracted over 4,000 people and raised $9,000 towards funding Plaza de la Raza so we can all say that it was a successful night for Lincoln Heights.
As we walked to Plaza de la Raza on a hot summer night with my love Pryer One, we were welcomed to the venue with a few choppers and low riders. It almost felt as if we were walking up to these vatos getting ready for a cruise night thru our beautiful city of Los Angeles. I must say that although we arrived early, the venue was completely in full force and packed. The red carpet with its photo shoot backdrop of sponsors gave it the perfect touch of exclusiveness as the guests arrived. Most of the night I kept going back to the entrance of the venue; as many more celebrities, artists and beautiful fans took pictures. I did not want to miss a familiar face to capture for my followers to see. And as always, my first stop was straight to the gallery which was curate by legendary Freddy Negrete. And there it was, our brother Trigz at the entrance of the art gallery show welcoming us and reminded us that he is also here with us as he had been years before with his crew members and tattoo partners. This amazing Trigz portrait by our young and talented artist Isaac Pelayo, he is and a such a humble artist and you all know how much I love and respect humble individuals. I truly enjoyed the gallery layout, and one thing we can all agree on is that the frames used for every piece of work were elegant and made the entire show appear mysterious and tasteful for the eyes. One of my favorite piece was of our brother Big Flaks SKA Mob, it is an iconic picture that can be seen as the ultimate form of respect to this talented tattoo artist and graffiti writer; Pryer must have felt like a proud Papa that night. Not only Big Flaks, but Phowl and Big Gus are also part of his crew so it was a special moment for us to view all art. Firme way to begin our evening, being welcomed by Trigz and seeing the works of our friends made us feel right at home along with every tattoo lover.
As the night progressed and as we realized we were outnumbered by bikers, pin-up beauties and rockabilly’s more Graffiti writers began to arrive, our friend Saul Mora and his beautiful lady Kim, Jackie Boy, Huero, Young Chavo, Tyson and many of the SKA crew members made their presence known as well as the Seventh Letter fellas. Always good times with my family! Shout out to Mona Lisa too! Haven’t seen you in a minute girl. Also, got to hang out again with Susie Cue, we all know her for her skills in body art as well as canvas work. You did a great job that night; it came out really nice. I also got to hang out with dear friend Eriberto Oriol, I always enjoy his conversation because he is always open to teach you and share great experiences with me. I learned about not being intimidated on the equipment of a camera but to have the eye for it. It is meaningless to walk around snapping pictures if you cannot capture the emotions of the people; thank you Eriberto for the great advice. It was a bit interesting for me to walk around with a professional camera because as opposed to feeling as a writer; I felt the pressure of a photographer. Which we all know I am not and it was interesting as how intimidated I felt as I saw other photographers doing their magic. But hey, at the end of the day, I was able to know I was among the best, Pocho photography, Eriberto Oriol and among other great photographers; please do not judge my amateur pictures of you guys!.
But one of the best spots to hang out at was the stage, the live performances were so awesome, the crowd went wild all night long. Another great touch was the all female tattoo competition that was going on throughout the event, I think that was a smart way to balance out the male dominant presence of artists and performer as I did not se too many female artists as part of the gallery show. Hopefully next year we have more ladies participating, step it up ladies, the opportunities are there.
The presence of the Wardrobe divas were also there and they are such energetic and approachable ladies to talk to; you are all so beautiful and love how you are turning our subculture and style into high fashion. And that is something important for us all to learn about this night, yes it was a festivity of tattoos and art but it is deeper than that because if you step back and see that this movement was not always accepted. These styles of fashion were not presentable to society, especially being covered in tattoos; one can easily get discriminated against. One can be easily be judged by appearances without even having the opportunity to show who we are as humans and I think this was the perfect way to show how much this subculture has grown, the acceptance and respect given to these tattooed creative individuals is a step closer to lose judgment on others. I must say that overall this TATU-aje event kicked ass, the art, the music, the celebrities and the ambient will be talked about and remembered forever!
Thank you Antonio Pelayo and Natily Gonzalez for allowing me to document yet another proud moment of being Chingones Chicanos. I Love our Cultura. And a big shout out to everyone that hung out with me and showed me love, Lea Monique it was a treat to see you again! Please enjoy the gallery of photos from this firme night in Lincoln Heights!
Much Love & Respect,
Monica Smiles Tobon
This summer 2015, Los Angeles has been really good to us; the countless hot nights with awesome art, music and Cultura has been nonstop fun for us Angelinos. And Exodus Events is getting ready to host yet another huge event this coming Saturday September 12, 2015 at Plaza de la Raza which is located at 3540 North Mission Road, Los Angeles, CA. 90031. 7pm-1 Am. You cannot miss this homage to our Tattoo subculture.
TATUaje is a multicultural tattoo event which will exhibit a large collection of art inspired by tattoos; curate by Freddy Negrete. The event will host a variety of live performances; an all female tattoo competition as well as live body painting by our dear talented friend Susie Cue. There will be so many different things to do there, especially on the dance floor. As always Plaza de la Raza will have vendors, food and drinks to make the evening more pleasant.
Awesome hosts Danny Trejo and Bernadette Macias, as well as actor Mike Flores as their evening MC will keep you all entertained. My extended SKA family will also be there, Flaks, Phowl and Big Gus representing for the West Coast their dope talents both in tattooing and canvas art. And the list of exclusive artists and performers are not to be missed!
As always, I will be there covering this event, so hope to see you all there and do not be shy and say hello to me! And add you to my photo gallery for the TATUaje event on my website.
Much Love & Respect,
Monica Smiles Tobon
Exodus Events invites you to experience
A multicultural event dedicated to the tattoo and the amazing culture that surrounds it. Tatuaje is a 21+ only event and will feature a tattoo themed art exhibit, live concert, live tattooing, live body painting, hot rods, and pin up girls.
Partial event proceeds benefit our good friends at Plaza De La Raza, a cultural center for the arts and education
Hosted by Danny Trejo & Bernadette Macias
Special Guest Appearance Tatu Baby
Master of ceremony actor Mike Flores
The Walking Phoenixes
LP3 & The Tragedy
Exhibit Curation by Freddy Negrete
Featuring the works of rising stars and the most prolific Tattoo artists
For tix www.Tatuajeevent.eventbrite.com
Plaza de la Raza
3540 N Mission Rd
Los Angeles CA 90031
Shout out to all the great family, artists, fans and people who came out to La Vida Tattoo Shop’s “The Wild West Art Show” last night. So proud to call this my city and most importantly to be part of this Wild West Coast California lifestyle.
As always the team of La Vida Tattoo Shop is welcoming to all of us and this day was yet another example of the magic that happens when creative minds work together; successful event that marks another milestone for our Graffiti and Tattoo Art community. And I am forever supportive to the visions Honey or Leslie want to make a reality!. I was really excited to have Pryer One be a part of this show and so proud on the art pieces “Billy the Kid”canvas which textures and rough-looking colors made the silver letter define how really skilled he is as a Graffiti Artist, and as well as the photography “The Feeling I get when I look to the West” modeled by our lil Frida in Downtown Los Angeles in front of legendary mural of our very own West Coast Tattoo pioneer Mister Cartoon. Both Lil Frida and myself personally delivered Pryer ‘s art work hours before the show started so we were lucky to take a sneak peek of all the pieces and had the opportunity to photograph all of them before the show started. We were looking at a show that was not only representing our West Coast Art family but also international artists from as far as Australia and the United Kingdom.
Every art piece was so unique and the way it was exhibited made them all have their own spotlight even though the space appeared crowded. But most importantly, the depictions of our brother Trigz all throughout the show was a sole reminder that if it weren’t for him and his love for both Graffiti and Tattoos; none of us will be there together last night. TRIGZ FOREVER. The list of artists was legendary, too many to name but among them, Estevan Oriol, Risky, Swan, Pryer, Mr. Glare, Ozer, Antonio Pelayo, Issac Pelayo, and many others.
We started the night a little bit late but still enough time to enjoy the show, as we walked to the venue; we were welcomed by a slick white dropped Cadillac and some of the crew members from J4F Crew. As we entered the gallery space with its final touch and every piece included in the space; the elaborated set up was brilliant and most pleasant; an aesthetic exquisite taste for our eyes. But the party was really happening in the back of the venue, with over 100 art and tattoo lovers from all walks of lives. Honey as always on hustle mode, loyal to her hubby’s dream and brand, selling Trigz gear throughout the night while Vida ran around and played with Frida while we all hung out. The presence of J4F, MSK, WCA, UTI & THE SEVENTH LETTER members were strong last night and I want to send you all a big shout out for the good time we spent last night! Among familiar faces and top Graffiti and Tattoo artists such as Pryer, Norm, Risky, Drew and other great friends; a particular couple caught my eye. Pedro and his girlfriend just came to America from Mexico City and apparently, he had been following Pryer online, the youngster made it a mission to hang out with all the guys he had been looking up to all these years in another country and online. Walked around with a box of Modelos and introduced himself to all these top heads in the Art scene; genuine awesomeness! The stories he will take back to his friends, kicking with all these legends on a hot Saturday night in Califas.
I want to say thank you to all the ladies that kept me company all night; always make me feel like family! Photoshoots for days lol! And especially of our hubbies; who say men do not enjoy taking photos? And speaking of photos, the talented photographer Birdman was also there with his beautiful lady as well as my personal hero Siva MSK. Wendy Random Chavez was also there but no pictures, just leisure time for her. The pressure of taking photos of them and in front of them is real. Do not judge me as you see them. As the night progressed, everybody came in peace and showed nothing but respect to the venue, but we all know there is always going to be that one that ruins it. And yes, I am referring to the asshole that decided to steal a piece of art work from the show, not only was that shady and disrespectful, that train was painted specially as a gift for Vida of her Daddy Trigz; I hope it was worth you taking something from Trigz home and family.
But aside to that, we all had a great time and the show was a success and a lot of art work was sold so congrats to Leslie and Honey for an awesome night! The show will be up for two weeks and it will be open during regular business hours for those of you that missed the show or would like to purchase some art. Show your support!
So much love and respect to Leslie, Honey, Kim, Remy, Kimberlynn and eveybody that showed me so much love last night!
Much Love & Respect,
Monica Smiles Tobon