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Killer Youth

 
I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Killer Youth for their awesome, and unique blog.  Their founder Tony, a graphic designer, started his site to highlight creative people in our community. These posts serve as a source of personal inspiration, as well as hub of interest, and content for like-minded people
 
 
Tita Suicide is an inspiring model and artist who is doing many interesting things in the creative world. 
Tita’s career got started when she joined Suicide Girls as a model. Suicide Girls are alternative pin up girls who do sets that are usually more artistic than sexual but it depends on the model. The concept behind Suicide Girls is “beauty redefined” which means they strive to be unconventional but still beautiful. Here at Killer Youth we believe that everybody should live life “their” way and be unique, so when we saw Suicide Girls we fell in love and were fortunate enough to feature and interview Tita. 
When we asked her what her favorite thing about modeling is she said, “I see modeling as a really interesting, varied, and creative challenge. From digital shoots where you can literally be anything you want to be, to analog content that requires perfection from top to toe, right on to video where voice, movement, and personality are showcased, I love creating art that can be enjoyed again, and again. As a professional performer I of course aim for perfection, and beauty, but all of the training, and preparation comes down to one show, one performance, one moment. Tangible art, like photos, and paintings live forever.” While speaking with Tita we could hear the passion and emotion in her voice when she talks about the work she does. She loves the work she produces and truly cares about what she is doing. She shows us that we can all be living our dreams if we work hard to get there. 
When we asked her when she knew she wanted to be a model she said, “I don’t know that I ever decided to be a “model”. I was attracted to the idea of “celebrating alternative beauty” presented by the SuicideGirls Brand, and became a member of that community as a fan first. In late 2005 I submitted a photo set to them, partly to push myself in a new direction (I love challenges). I saw this application as a task, rather than a career move. This program has produced some incredibly beautiful models, who have gone on to make an impact on the industry.” 
Celebrating alternative beauty truly is a beautiful thing! There are so many different definitions to the word beautiful, so seeing them take one definition of it and celebrating it is amazing, it reminds you that everyone has beauty in them. Tita took this and used her creativity as a model to produce great things and inspire many through her art as a model. She didn’t get into Suicide Girls for a modeling career, she joined because she liked the idea of celebrating alternative beauty. It is inspiring to see someone not worried about the career moves in life and just doing the things they are passionate about. The fact that she is always looking for a way to challenge herself shows how she is constantly becoming more and more talented at what she does. 
When she told us that she is always looking for challenges, it prompted us to ask her if there are any other career paths she is pursuing in which she said, “Yes! I currently work as a coach, and mentor to young athletes. I focus on specific technical aspects, and share the aesthetic I developed during my 13 years as a principal skater, in professional ice shows. When not on the ice, or in the gym, I run a social media marketing company called in “Du Jour Marketing” that allows me to flex my scholarly side. We offer social media training, management, event production, PR, and strategic campaign initiatives. Our sister brand, Darwin Collective, created by Sash Suicide, and I, holds down the development side of things, by offering clean web design, development, and e commerce solutions. My next big project is the official launch of my fitness brand – “Du Jour Fitness”, which will offer fitness training, and lifestyle coaching, anchored by my certification as a professional coach, and personal trainer.” 
Tita truly is a jack of all trades! She doesn’t just stop at one thing, she pursues all that she wants to do in life. Having more than one dream or passion does not stop her from going out there and making them all a reality, which is so amazing to see. If you want to connect with Tita or see some of the awesome things she is doing, you can find her at any of the following social links below. 
Instagram: @cupcakedujour
 
Follow Killer Youth for the latest news, and info on inspiring artists from all over the world:
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Buena Onda

Buena Onda
My latest set “Buena Onda” is now live in member review!
Shot by Talena Suicide during my trip to Chile last year, it’s not only my fave set to date, it also evokes very happy memories from my time in South America.
The lovely Paloma Suicide showed me around Santiago, introduced me to her lovely friends, Suicidegirls, and hopefuls, and assisted Talena & I on this shoot!
She also took me to meet her tattoo artist Georgi, at Amor Real Tattoo where I had my cassette tattoo completed, just hours before this set was shot!

I’m so very proud of this set, and super duper excited to share it with all of you.
I am positively overwhelmed by all the love it has received in just a few short hours!
Keep the good vibes comin…
After all, that’s what this set is all about!
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Motivation Monday

#motivationmonday


I’m baaaack! 

After a 4 week break from the gym, and almost all forms of activity – rigorous, or otherwise, I headed to Spartacus Gym for my first work out, since spraining my back.


Having noticed an unmistakable improvement in my range of motion, and ability to do everything from carry household items, to just plain old stand for extended periods of time (yup, those were a no go for the past few weeks) I literally woke up determined to make my return to the gym today.

As if on cue, a brand new pair of Asics running shoes arrived in the mail from pro runner Lanni Marchant.  Not only was I super excited to have a new pair of trainers, but they feature incredible support, and cushioning – which let’s face it, is ideal for my current state. 

And best of all… They match my hair!!! 


To be honest, in light of some additional stresses this month, I am super proud of myself for being patient, and taking the full month to heal properly.  These shoes, though not necessary for my basic work out this evening, felt like “a perfect gift at the right time”, and really made me remember how lucky I am to have incredible people in my life, and the opportunity to return to the activities I love.  

Life is funny.  
Small things can be a big deal. 
Sometimes this means the little things get you down, but in my case, the little things always lift me up.



Catch my full routine on my Facebook page: facebook.com/TitaCupcakedujour
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Tita Tuesday – Landyachtz

It’s not as egocentric as it sounds…

Landyachtz Skateboards

I recently had the pleasure of shooting with Steve Prue for rad Vancouver based skateboard brand Landyachtz!

Landyauchtz has been creating boards since 1997, but so much has happened since it’s creators “met back up” after skating together as kids, that to simply stamp the brand EST does it little justice.  What we have with Landyachtz is an engineered board, that was born, raised, and now bred in Canada.  Better still, it’s made right here in my hometown!  The ways in which they have contributed to the long boarding scene worldwide is evident not just in their history, but also in the fact that Mr. Prue was moved to purchase his all the way in California.  

As a long time skateboarder, Steve is not only familiar with long boards, at 6’4 he is built for it!  Having owned, and skated on many brands in the past, his current Rockstar lifestyle lead him to look for a size that stands up to his build, but also fits in a suitcase.  (Lucky for me, that also means it’s Tita sized).

Last June in Venice, after taking a few boards for a test run, he picked up his first new board in years… An “Awesome Little Cruiser” The Landyachtz Arrows Dingy.  We took it for a cruise down the boardwalk, played with it in the parking lot, and inevitably photographed it with a bunch of babes.

Mylee, Bob, Lexi & I

Lexi Belle

I’m thrilled, and excited to get my hands on my very own board, next month in Edison New Jersey, when Steve, Lexi & I reunite at EXXXOTICA NJ!
Stay tuned for pictures, videos, and silliness with my new Landyachtz board, and my fave babes!  

Until then, follow Landyachtz!!!
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Motivation Monday

#motivationmonday


Since beginning this blog, I have spoken about my friends, fun, adventures, creations, and triumphs.  If you really follow along you’ll also know that I’ve written of my disappointments, heart breaks, and discouragement. 

Good, bad or sideways, I’m not writing to “talk about myself” I’m speaking to share myself, and my experiences, with a group of friends, fans, and followers, who for one reason or another landed right here.

Of the many things contained within this site, I have shared a lot of fitness content, which I think can be broken down into 3 main areas:  My knowledge, my goals, and my lifestyle.
Last year, I experienced a major challenge to all 3 categories, when I injured my neck.

I didn’t immediately know how severe my injuries were.  
I felt like I couldn’t maintain momentum towards my goals.
I couldn’t do the things I wanted to, and had grown accustomed to.


This week, a follower who has become a part of my fit fam, Long Vo, wrote a blog post speaking to his struggles following loss, and injury. I know what it feels like to have others looking towards you for inspiration, or some kind of other worldly talents, and finding you have only “real life” to report on.  

My fitness mentors, Kmaecags & MyleeYC are incredible individuals who have surmounted huge obstacles in their quest for self betterment, healing, and recovery.  

Today, I invite you to read Long Vo’s words.  Not to feel sorry for him, and certainly not to sympathize with him.  I invite you, my friends, fans, and followers, my peers, and my fellow fitness fans, to read this post, and consider your own defeats.  They aren’t insurmountable.  Sometimes you just need a boost to get over them.  

Earlier this year my boxing trainer passed away. He died doing what he loved as cardiac arrest following after taking a blow to the chest in a sparring match. I was heartbroken and traumatized by it as I lost my passion for boxing. As I tried to tell my training peers about his death, no one really understood or can empathize how much he meant to me. I even got, “man that sucks.”
A few months later I got word there was a boxing fight happening within 2 days. Something in my heart told me to take it even though I haven’t been boxing for awhile. It was the only way for me to greve over my trainer James Buggs passing away. So I took the fight.
When the bell rang, my opponent came swinging hard first. When I got hit, I felt my feet not being able to move as swiftly as I usually do. What had happen was:
“The boxer’s feet are often the first clear signal that he is on the verge of being knocked out. When the neural networks that emanate from the cerebellum (the part of the brain responsible for coordinating motor activity) are disrupted by a concussion, a fighter loses his ability to coordinate foot movements.”
In my mind I knew I had to pull a “Plan C” and fight more defensively with a philly shell defense and try to bait him in. We ended up trading blows back and forth and ending up being the fight of the night. To this day people on the street from time to time recognize me and ask me when am I going to fight again.
Months after the fight I went through recovery mode. My neck would seize up time to time, my body wouldn’t move as well as it should, everything ached. I would have black outs time to time or would have extreme anxiety in pubic. Emotionally I felt that my whole identity was taken. Everyone knew me as the “Fitness Guy” and was the explosive plyometrics personal trainer. I slipped in a deep depression.
I think what was worse that I felt that I had to go through it on my own. I disconnected from my coworkers as they didn’t relate and I couldn’t join them with their workouts. Fitness blogs on tumblr didn’t help me either as most of the messages consisted things like “Lift Hard or Go home” or “Just go in there and work hard.” Yet I couldn’t do any workouts at all. Any attempt I tried it hurt my body worse.
Not all was lost as my saving grace was Tita Suicide. At the time were were casual Fitness pen pals, just talking shop about fitness. However she was going through some back problems and was very transparent and open about it on her blog. We shared our experiences about our injuries and we were able to empathize. She helped me realize to love my body and for all the work and performance it gave me, it was time to give it love back and let it heal.
Moral of the story:
-Empathize and understand what people are going through, don’t “sympathize” and narrow down their experience.
PS. Tita, Get Well Soon! Thank you for empathizing. It was only a few words but it really helped. You’re my hero

Remember! We’re all in this together. 
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Tita Tuesday – Dimes Brand

It’s not as egocentric as it sounds…

Dimes Brand


“Clothes & lifestyle lessons from the Pacific NorthWest” 


As some of you may know, I’ve been working on a little clothing project for just over a year now…

Summer Essentials 2013
Originally a pet project, engineered to investigate the inside of the apparel industry, Dimes Brand has recently begun to take shape in a new and exciting way!

In February I travelled to Hong Kong, and China on a bit of recognizance mission for clients, and seized the opportunity to get some hands on experience of garment design, production, import.  

The result is a brand new direction for Dimes Brand, taking it from fun Summer tees, to Fall, and Winter garments, designed, and created from scratch in one of the best run factories in Asia!

Of course, it just wouldn’t have been summer without the BC special – Summer Essentials tee.  This year we updated it to reach a wider audience, and introduce our new fave colour – orange!

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There is just one Small, and one Large left in the shop – If you haven’t gotten your hands on one yet, now’s your chance!


Additional items were produced for experience, and quality control, including pocket tees, and hoodies.

Sash Suicide
But as the leaves turn, and the temperature drops, it’s this Dimes Brand flannel that I’m super excited about!

Available in two colour ways, and featuring fun details like embroidery, and complimentary polka dot lining, these super soft, but structured flannels are the only thing I plan to wear from here on in…
Pyspher

Buttoned up, or buttoned down, it’s a versatile, wearable piece that I am incredibly proud of!


Sabbath
To graduate so quickly from developing screen printed t-shirts, to design of full scale original garments, is not something I could have ever imagined for myself.  This process has been incredibly educational, and enlightening on many levels.  I have a new found appreciation for not only the street wear industry, but all of the players from the start to very end of the production line.

Bob Suicide
These garments are in production now, and pre-sales begin very soon…  The response I’ve had from the parties involved, and the models who have sampled them is really positive!  I can’t wait to see the rest of my community, and friends, and followers in these clothes.  What do you think?!?  They’re definitely “A Perfect Ten” in my eyes.

Gracie Hagen
#ispyadime
DimesBrand.com

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Motivation Monday

#motivationmonday


After several weeks filled with work, have tos, want tos, and a surprise injury, I decided to spend a few days lakeside with my favourite partner in crime…  
After hearing a terrific interview on CBC Radio with author Michael Harris, I challenged myself to disconnect… so I could reconnect!

“The daydreaming silences in our lives are filled; the burning solitudes are extinguished. There’s no true “free time” when you carry a smartphone” 

My break from social media, text, and all things digital media came along thanks to the discovery of Mr. Harris’s incredible book, titled “The End of Absence”.  In this book he surmises that children born after the early eighties don’t know a world without the Internet.  The idea of being “unreachable” or information being “unknown” has simply never existed to them.  

Harris suggests we learn to “carve out space for absence in our life” so that we don’t miss the wonderful, creative, and endless things our internal systems are capable of, when not overburdened by our digital diets.  

It usually takes several hours before my brain adjusts to the lack of computer stimuli, but once I change my frame of mind, and stop thinking like a marketing, impulsive, over-sharer, I find a delicious sort of new noise fills the void…  
It sounds a lot like peace of mind.



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Motivation… Wednesday

#motivationmonday edited on Wednesday because…
“My back hurts!!!”


When you work hard to make everything perfect, the one piece that gets out of line can leave you feeling like everything else will follow…  

Fortunately my athletic background has helped prepare me for times like these, and so with a healthy dose of discipline, and a fresh round of red lips, I am taking it all in stride. 

I recently experienced some back pain that left me basically immobile for a couple of days.  After surveying the discomfort, I realized a rest was warranted, and said goodbye to the gym for a week…

Since then my back has been diagnosed as a sprain in the SI L5 region.


For those of you who were following along last year, you will recall I had a neck sprain at roughly the same time in 2013.  (See “Focus”)


This time around the pain is much lower down, located where my sacrum meets my L5. 

Lucky for me, I had some amazing encounters along the way to make sure I didn’t get too bogged down.

Marlo Lavonne & James Wyper brought their lovely dog Ana round for a sleepover, while en route to Calgary. 


We enjoyed my fave neighbourhood waffle joint Scandilicious, talked about upcoming projects (including Marlo’s book!), and discussed our tricks, and tips for breaking out of creative slumps, personal let downs, and in my case, physical setbacks.  


Afterwards, we stopped by to see Jules at Love Jules Leather, the incredible brand of hand made artisan boat shoes, that operates across the street from me.  Jules, and Josh are new friends, who inspire me each, and every day with their incredible work ethic, and strong sense of self. 

Photo by Marlo Lavonne
Finally, after a hearty lunch laugh sesh with my best friend Rydell, and a fresh iced brew from my friends at JJ Bean, I realized (as I always do) that things may not always be perfect.  But they are always worth it.  


Our culture of celebratory selfies, and highly edited highlights makes it easy to forget that we’re all imperfect.  And that those flaws whether personal or professional are what make life interesting, and varied, and well… real.  


So here I am being real with you now, in the hopes that my little hiccup in the confidence department helps you through your next one.  I may be down, but I’m not out.  I’m too busy laughing at my smushed post sports therapy face.



It’s just a sprain.  It’s just time.  It’s just movement. 

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Tita Tuesday – Sash Suicide

It’s not as egocentric as it sounds…

Sash Suicide




In the years since I first met Sash, we have covered numerous conventions together, (including San Diego Comiccon!), had photoshoots together, collaborated on digital media projects, and and forged a very strong friendship.


You can definitely see how close we’ve become, particularly in our photos by Steve Prue.

This year, we have teamed up behind our computers, as well as in front of them, for a new business startup called “Darwin Collective“.  
Darwin Collective is a group dedicated to clean web design, quality branding & social media dominance.  An off shoot of my social media business Du Jour Marketing, based in Vancouver, Canada, DC is the head of our stateside operations.  The business offers full service design, and development services, utilizing Sash’s incredible talents as a web designer, web developer, and all around digital media specialist.  







We have spent many a night this past summer in front of our 
computers.  It’s been incredibly rewarding to support each other, and foster growth in our personal, and combined collection of skills.  Seeing our ideas, and concepts come to fruition has, and will continue to be an incredible process, and I can’t wait to see what projects we will work on next!




What better time to share our latest photo set together!  Shot by Steve Prue in LA this summer, this new new set of fun girlie photos, showcases our love of all things Hello Kitty, and each other.

Hello Kitties


Follow her, and I guarantee you’ll fall in love with her too!
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Motivation Monday

#motivationmonday


“Who are you?!?”

Society is obsessed with titles, categories, and accomplishments, and when you choose not to subscribe to them, or do things in an unusual order, you’re often left on the outer limits of social circles, and even jobs.  

The need to collect data, and connect like things is used to access risk, identify reward, and tell us how something may fit in to our world.  

When the visual that accompanies you, or your responses do not fall within the expected list of acceptable answers, you’re often met with confusion, or fear.  Worse still, when we choose to act differently, or pursue paths not populated by our peers, we are written up as high risk, or written off completely.

For some of us, being different is a choice.  We have tattoos, dress as we please, or colour our hair in ways that do not mirror the status quo.  Of course, these things in, and of themselves do not mean our personal leanings, beliefs, or lifestyles are as alternative as we appear, but they certainly present a warning to viewers that we are not assimilators.  

But what if you are dissimilar in ways you haven’t chosen?  What if our health, or lifestyle, or station dictate that we do not look like, or live exactly like those around us? 

When we are pigeonholed for these reasons, it can very quickly catch even the most outrageous, and outspoken of us off guard.  


“Yes, I have pink hair, and different interests than you, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be invited to your BBQ, night out, or wedding.”

“Yes, I dress in revealing clothing, and have body modifications, but that doesn’t mean I want to be challenged, or mocked for my diet, health, or appearance.”


Unfortunately, our peers are not always interested in correcting their ignorance, pursuing challenges, or including people who do not “fit in” into their life.  

Being yourself requires fortitude, and a kind of mental toughness that may never show on the outside.  You constantly have to access, and consider the messages around you, and decide whether the additional time it takes to be different is worth it.   

If you’re like me, you made the decision long ago, and have accepted your fate as a fringe member of “normal society”.  Like me, you may also have found yourself a source of support, and comfort for people who are still being stung for their lifestyle choices. 

At the end of the day, if you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance you are open-minded, flexible, creative, or on the fringes yourself.   

So, it should come as no surprise to you then, that my answer to the question at hand is ” I am me”… Now get outta my way, or I’ll skate right over you.

“I’m not different for the sake of being different, only for the desperate sake of being myself. I can’t join your gang: you’d think I was a phony and I’d know it” – Vivian Stanshall

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