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Sticker Graffiti Artist El Toro Stuck On Philly

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philly el toro

Graffiti Artist El Toro is a popular name in Philly. If you’re traveling in the city of Philadelphia, you might notice the large amount of street art around every corner, particularly stickers. Since the early 2000’s, Philly graffiti artist Frost215 has been creating El Toro and posting him everywhere. He is arguably one of the first to pioneer stickering in the City of Brotherly Love along with Bob Will Reign. His presence has been solidified and now creates more than just stickers, including his very own pin that launched earlier this year.

The mastermind behind El Toro tells us about how graffiti has evolved and a few surprises coming up very soon.

Graffiti Artist El Toro

 

How did it all begin?


I went to Art Institute of Philadelphia in 2001 for graphic design. I was already toying around with graffiti in high school, but coming from a small town in North Jersey I wasn’t exposed to the talent and dedication Philly writers had. I was excited to see so much creativity and style oozing from the walls. For 2 years I worked on my craft, studied Philly writers, admired artists from Europe and drew almost every day. I knew I couldn’t compete with these established writers in Philly. I knew I had to come up with something unique of my own. In 2003, I read
Shepard Fairey’s manifesto about Phenomology and loved everything it stood for. I remember I was in class, I was doodling like usual, that’s where I ended up drawing the very first EL TORO head. As soon as I drew him, I thought of the name and I was hooked, I wanted to draw more of him.

Describe your creative process.

Draw, draw and draw some more. Walt Stanchfield said

“We all have 10,000 bad drawings in us. The sooner we get them out the better.”

What inspires you?

Everything inspires me. From a phrase I heard walking down the street, the music I listen to, podcasts, cartoons, comics, and pop culture. I try to take a lil piece of everything and then combine it to make it my own.

Graffiti Artist El Toro


What are your goals?

My goal is to continue to make art for a living with EL TORO like my heroes: Jeremy Fish, Bigfoot, Flying Fortress and D Face. They have all made iconic characters that helped them be successful artists and now they just create beautiful works of art for other people to enjoy. I would like to create with that freedom and not deal with any financial responsibilities hanging over me.

How has the street art scene changed since you first started?

The street art scene has grown beyond what I could’ve ever imagined. With the internet and content being so accessible to the masses, the information on how to do things and how to achieve them has become so much easier. I think I bridge the gap of old and new school. When I was starting out, you really had to dig for street art pics, especially sticker art, in different Graffiti Forum pages around the web.  There wasn’t much social media back then. I think my first page was a fotolog.com. It was mostly international users, so I got exposed to artists in Europe, Australia and South America in my early years. I wanted to see that same culture, passion and art work in the streets of Philadelphia.

What are some obstacles that you’ve come across?

There was this one time where a rogue police officer tried to bait me to engage with him online and off. I knew right away to get a lawyer and make sure my civil rights were not being broken while he was taunting me and seizing my works. My lawyer did a great job in protecting me and it quickly got dropped. I even sold some work to my lawyer and his colleagues.  Plus, ended up in the front page of Arts & Entertainment section of the Philadelphia Inquirer. I think I still got a stockpile of those somewhere in my mom’s basement.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

I mentioned several above. Those guys are pros and doing their thing. My other favorite artists are my fellow crew members who constantly inspire, motivate and when needed tell the truth about your work. You can check them on Instagram: Bob Will Reign, UnderWaterPirates, slobnoxious, deelove, Downtimer, Revilo.33, etorious33, phillyticky, werms two, Old Broads, Question Josh

Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

I’d love to collaborate with Nickelodean, Cartoon Network or Adult Swim. I’ve always wanted to see an EL TORO cartoon!

Graffiti Artist El Toro

What are some of your favorite materials to use?

My favorite piece of tool right now is my red pencil. It’s a Prismacolor Col-Erase 20045 Carmine Red. I sketch and doodle so much with these I buy them by the dozens.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is you have to me be self motivated. No one else is going to pick up that pencil, write that email, pursue that client or send that file. I don’t have a team working for me, it’s all me. If I don’t like where I’m at it’s simply because I didn’t push hard enough to where I want to be.

What motivates you to continue creating art after so many years?

Creating art to me is like an itch I NEED to scratch. If I haven’t drawn or doodle in a while I become a very grumpy person. I also like hearing the reactions of younger artists and how I motivate them to create and pursue art in their own fashion. That responsibility of teaching the younger generation has been instilled in me when I started with street art. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded with several writers that took time to explain what caps I should be using, what type of sticker I need and just explaining history of the craft. I like to repay that back and will answer anything a young artist may need help with.

Why did you move from Philly to LA?

Philly will be forever be my chosen home, but me and my wife had to leave it to get better work and experience for our careers. We miss Philly a ton and try to go back whenever we can. It has this gravitational pull on us.

Graffiti Artist El Toro

What are some of your proudest achievements?

One of my proudest achievements was celebrating my 10 years doing EL TORO at Ps & Qs. Before opening the art show, I held a small talk to showcase 10 years worth of work in front of about 90 – 100 people. Seeing the sea of faces looking at me and following my story was very touching for me. Especially seeing my mom, wife, in-laws and friends in the crowd. I remember taking a moment, breathing slowly and really taking it in.

I hear you recently launched an El Toro pin. Are there any other products in the works?

I got something awesome lined up for Black Friday this year that’s gonna be black and gold. Can’t say anything more than that for now.

How has your life changed because of your art?

I took an interest in art since I was around 7 and it has been dictating my life ever since. Art is like my north star, I knew if I kept following it, I couldn’t go the wrong way. It helped me get into college, establish a good paying career, and it even played a part in meeting my wife.

What is something you would like to tell your fans?

  1. Keep creating art that you enjoy. If it makes you smile or laugh, keep pursuing that.
  2. Be Excellent to Each Other and Party On Dudes!

 

Graffiti Artist El Toro

Jie writes about influencers and startups in various industries. She is a designer turned techie, and when she is not writing, you can find her in her workshop working on her next big project.

Business

How To Get Rid Of Office Gossip

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Office gossip is a negativity that affects almost every office. No company encourages rumor or gossip, but it is present everywhere. A little gossip is not that harmful. However, rumors and gossip can cast a spell of mistrust among employees. Handling harmful gossip can be difficult for managers. It is not very comfortable for them to bring the issue into the daylight. As a leader, you should control the gossip and let your employees know the actual situation. Here are some ways to get rid of the continuous flow of gossip.

Do not take work gossip to heart

In most of the cases, office gossip is deliberately created to spread malicious nonsense. Some people want to create a sense of fear and insecurity in the minds of the employees. So, you should not take the rumors personally or defensively. The management of the company should take strong actions against spreading false stories. Focus on the present and try to find the reason behind the rapid growth of gossip inside the company. You should try to deal with issue objectively avoiding all kinds of personal attacks.

Do not participate in any kinds of gossip

As a management head or a team lead, you should not participate in any kind of gossip inside the office premises. It would be a wrong signal for your subordinates. Do not belittle yourself in front of the employees of the company. Try to keep a distance from the groups who believe in big talks. Be aware of all the happenings in the company. Keep the facts ready to assure your team when they are in doubt. Motivate your team to stay away from the gossip mills.  

Get your facts right

You know you need to stop the flow of gossip and rumors to keep the office environment professional. Before you can act, you should know the true facts. Try to know where the office gossip started. Ask the team leads and departmental managers what they have heard. You should maintain an easy relationship with them. They can come and speak freely to you. It would be easier for you to fathom how much the gossip have spread and who are behind the wall.

Address the problem frankly

The first step to stopping the gossip is directly talking to the person who is spreading it. You should always remember that there are other people too who are indirectly related to it. There are some people who always believe the story and are responsible for spreading it in no time. So, as a leader of your company you need to address the entire team and if it is a very serious issue you need to address the entire company. If your employees are concerned about certain issues, answer them frankly. You can keep a suggestion box where your employees can post anything anonymously. If their identity is protected, they will cooperate with you to get rid of the harmful rumors spreading inside the company.

Make it a company policy to prevent gossip

It is important to draft a strong policy against spreading of rumors. All the employees should know how creating negative stories about the company will be treated. Provide them with examples how to keep the office environment free from rumors. Tell them how to curb negative interaction and discourage gossip-lovers.

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Business

How To Be More Productive During A Slow Week

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There’s always something that needs to be done when you’re very busy with work. But what happens when a project is finished and you get a few days before it all starts again? A slowdown in work is normal but it can be boring especially if you’re used to being in the thick of the action at work. During this time you’re probably looking for some things to do just to remain productive. Here are some great ideas to consider if you want to remain productive during a slow week.

Lend A Hand

Other departments or co-workers could be struggling to meet deadlines. Lend a hand to show that you are a team player. Ask if there is anything you can do to help (with your boss’ approval). Aside from staying productive, you could learn something new or get a glimpse of how co-workers or other departments work or function and how it affects your side of the job.

Succession Planning

Have you thought about what happens to your work or teammates should you go up in smoke tomorrow? You should consider this seriously and think about succession planning. You basically take your job description and break it down so that each task is outlined per month. If this document does not exist, create it. It will make your job easier should you leave your job and your boss will thank you for it.

If you have one, update it. It is important to keep your succession plan alive.

Call To Follow-up

When you’re busy, you don’t have a lot of time to spend talking to people on the phone. Now that you have a slow week, it’s time to pick up the phone to catch up with clients, suppliers and stakeholders. Start with small talk because this will gradually become a lengthy discussion when you ask for their thoughts on how things are going. You can also bounce ideas around in order to gain their trust and foster the spirit of teamwork.

Give Yourself An Annual Review

Reflect on your performance this past year and think of ways you can do your job better. Aside from this, you can ask yourself if you’re happy with your career or which direction you want to take it. Thinking about these things can help yourself grow as a person and employee. Bring up these insights during your next evaluation. Supervisors like employees who see the big picture.

Check In With Your Boss

Now that you have time to catch your breath, check in with your boss verbally or through email to update achievements and discuss the next steps. Employees sometimes forget to pass on good news to their superiors or to update on the future direction of projects. Catching your breath during a slow week is a good way to get managers up to speed. Aside from this, checking in with your boss reinforces your capabilities for bigger things in the future.

Slow days at work are rare, which is why doing these kinds of things are important. Focusing on your interests and staying proactive can help advance your career, improve professional knowledge and keep you on top of things.

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Business

How To Attract Millennials To Your City

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Location matters in the means of professional success. Millennials are reported to be getting married and starting families later than their parents. This means that their main focus is strictly on their professional career, so these matters are taken seriously, as they involve these factors into determining where to live. Millennials select cities that will help them thrive. This goes vice versa, cities need to attract people in order to be sustainable. The city of Camden has been successful with this process. With the increase of millennial entrepreneurs entering the city, the better the economy gets, as it is shown around the waterfront.

To create more jobs and attraction, cities must attract the job-seeking millennials. There are 3 determinants for millennials to move into your city:

Affordability

Someone who is financially responsible will always consider the cost of living foremost. Cities that contain a high population of millennials often have low employment rates and affordability. If the city is popular but does not meet within millennial’s budget, then it wouldn’t be worth the cost. Money is the only physical asset that holds us restricted. The city of Camden holds that title of affordability. Tax cuts are what attracts entrepreneurs mainly, however the overall value of the stay is well worth it. Camden is located outside of Philadelphia, just close enough to go into their city to network without paying Philadelphia’s cost of living.

Entrepreneurship

Millennials are an ambitious generation. A reporting claimed that 54% have either wanted to start a business or have started one already. This characterized millennials as hard-working and motivated individuals. A location that showcases trails of entrepreneurship deliver a desirable reality to people. Silicon Valley embodies this example, as it is the most known startup hub for technology companies in America. Famous companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google are in that area, so the status of Silicon Valley is held at a high standard.

Another location that is maintaining that status is Camden. Due to Camden’s location outside of Philadelphia and surrounding fortune 500 companies, millennial entrepreneurs are inspired to bring their startup here. There are multiple different types of organizations located here with 76ers as one.

Accessibility

Millennials are attracted to cities that cater to their needs. About 66% of Millennials identified  decent quality transportation as a main influence to choosing a location to live. People typically pick the option that meets their social needs. To obtain that, a low cost transit is ideally looked for in a city. Cities with an ineffective quality transit fail to attract Millennials. 

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