weather report: may day

the tides-are-a-turnin’ and we see only brighter days ahead. this month we talked to a trio of artists, who bring their colorful tags to life on and off the streets.  on loop was some les- all-female skating power, followed by some hooked-on-a-spring rockaway radio feeling and naturally, sips of our plant-powered drinks.

lauren asta is a traveling muralist and artist who specializes in illustration, oddity art, doodle art, street art and murals.

ROCKAWAY: Where are you from?

LA:  I like to exclaim that "I am a citizen of the world!"... I have traveled so much for work, and lived in so many places. I was born and raised in the Bay Area and I've lived in NYC, Nashville, Chicago, Savannah...the list seems to keep on growing!

ROCKAWAY: How do you feel when you are staring at a blank wall or a blank canvas — and what is your process for doing the work? 

LA: If we're walking down a street, it's not unusual for me to touch walls and look closely at brick textures. When I see a blank wall, my heart beats a little faster. Get me up on a scissor lift or boom in front of a blank white huge wall and I'm in my happiest place. All I need is time, good weather and my favorite supplies... then it's game on! I create my murals freestyle and start by painting my character's eyes. From then on it's like an art puzzle that just falls into place and a story that reveals itself!

ROCKAWAY: Growing up what kind of kid were you? 

LA: I think I was a mix of many characteristics (just like my characters in my art!). If I was with friends or family, I was the biggest ham. But I also remember the strong desire to want to be by myself in my room to create my own little worlds. I've early memories of my gal pals writing in diaries about boys etc and all I remember is that my journals were filled with faces and doodles. Actually... I am pretty much the same way today!

ROCKAWAY: What inspires or influences your art? 

LA: I used to say: "I want my art to look like how Prince's music sounds"... Music inspires me very much. The power of melody, words and lyrics... well it feels very similar to let's say the combination of color and lines and drawn imagery. I also get inspired by humor and humility. I think Jerry Seinfeld is a genius. You watch him and it's so easy to laugh at all the silly things us humans do. I try to convey that in my art.

ROCKAWAY: What are you working on now? 

LA: I'm working on a lot of art from the studio these days! I have traveled so much for work the last 7 years, that It has always been a goal to be able to sit in one spot for a small while and just create at home. I’ve been experimenting with screen printing and riso printing. 

ROCKAWAY: What's your spring mantra? 

LA: An older Mantra is "Flex Your Hustle"... get out and do it while you still can! Another one is "Today And Everyday"... get to know yourself and your art. Once you've produced, produced, produced and have the confidence to be you... be all about it! Also: "This Could Work"... even a decade or two into making art and being an artist, I still make mistakes. But failure is part of the process of the road to success. Failure only exists if you give up. Failure can be the greatest gift because it's a clue... Maybe you're onto something, but it doesn't quite work that way... but maybe it could work this way... Exploration and production are two big key ingredients to any successful artist! 

nyc-based andrea von bujdoss (aka "queen andrea") a fine artist, muralist, graffiti artist, typographer and graphic designer.  wanna see more? deep dive into andrea's ig!

ROCKAWAY: Where are you from?

QUEEN ANDREA: I’m from the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan in downtown New York City.

ROCKAWAY: How do you feel when you are staring at a blank wall or a blank canvas — and what is your process for doing the work?

QA: It depends on the situation. If it’s graffiti, I get amped up to stylize my name and to get loose with spraypaint. If it’s a large-scale mural wall, then I’m thinking about logistics… how am I gonna pull off this giant canvas? Ha! I’ve hand painted some huge walls that were crazy complicated and I used different tools like spray guns and boom lifts that really help me cover a lot of square feet with paint.  I always enjoy a challenge and taking part in exploring the places I paint, they’re all unique in their own ways. 

ROCKAWAY: Growing up what kind of kid were you?

QA: Before my teens I was an artistic kid who enjoyed living downtown Manhattan.  Later when I was about 14 and I got really interested in hip hop music, tagging my name and graffiti art.  I was always looking to paint walls and get better at graffiti lettering.  I would practice lettering constantly in my blackbooks… if I wasn’t out somewhere painting or exploring NYC, scheming on getting paint and other antics. I was also a typical downtown party kid, we went to clubs and raves and just roamed the streets downtown smoking weed. At that time in the early 1990’s, NYC was a mecca of urban subcultures, it was a vibrant and pivotal time in the city.

ROCKAWAY: What inspires or influences your art?

QA: I love interactions of color and enjoy creating color palettes. I’m also an endless fan of lettering and typography. Combining lettering with unique phrases that lean towards positivity and empowerment is a huge focus of my work. Graffiti lettering and history are my all time biggest inspirations. Books like Subway Art and movies like Style Wars are old school favorites and I love what the Museum of Graffiti in Miami is doing.

ROCKAWAY: What are you working on now?

QA: I’m kicking off new murals and I love painting in this city during the summer!  I’m also working on my studio practice, developing paintings on canvas and new 3D sculptural works, but I get so busy with murals.  I’ve been traveling and working on my new jewelry brand called Letters Forever NYC which is based on my typography phrases.

ROCKAWAY: What is your spring mantra? 

QA: Have fun and do what you love!

mixed media artist and teacher grace lang who uses two and three dimensional work to tell stories of triumph. 

ROCKAWAY: Where are you from? 

GL: I grew up in Bedford Hills, NY. I lived in NYC for 12 years and have spent the past 2 years in a small town in the Hudson Valley.

ROCKAWAY: How do you feel when you are staring at a blank wall or a blank canvas — and what is your process for doing the work?

GL: I usually feel a mix of intimidation and excitement. I don’t have a consistent process for approaching work, as I have been trying to give myself more freedom. I work with children now, so I am trying to internalize how easily and openly they make marks on canvas without thinking too hard about it. Right now, I am trying to plan less and just try things. 

ROCKAWAY: Growing up what kind of kid were you? 

GL: I was into art, books, and animals. Very sensitive. 

ROCKAWAY: What inspires or influences your art? 

GL: I'm  inspired and influenced by the children I work with as an art teacher.  I'm focusing more on processes that I enjoy instead of  final products. Influence can be a tough thing to pin down because artists tend to absorb everything around them without always realizing it. Lately I've been inspired by playful and silly art.

ROCKAWAY: What are you working on now?

GL: I'm working on a series of goofy plaster creatures. I made the first one as a sample for a class and then fell in love with the process. They are very unlike my past sculptures, but something about them is making me happy, so I’m just going with it! 

ROCKAWAY: What is your spring mantra? 



the new york bo-de-ga. from the bronx to brooklyn, queens to staten island and into manhattan, it’s always an iconic sight. we’re digging this photo collection showing these essential places that make our city go tick-tock 24/7. (psst: you’ll find our cans in the ‘frig).





"I just wanted to show that girls can do things that they think they can't do” - Crystal Moselle

Flips. Ollies. Grinds. And then some. This indie-flick follows a lonely girl from the sticks called Camille as she joins a bad-ass, all-female LES skate crew. A bit of fiction and docu-drama combined, we’re in all the action with friendship and romance. As for that banana icon, it was inspired by the irl-NYC-based Skate Kitchen collective.

the 411: adaptogens (part deux)

Wait, what are they?  Used in Chinese + Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, these powerful herbs “adapt” to meet your body’s needs: from boosting energy to keeping us nice n’ chill.

The Drink: Last Stop Chill (feat. ashwagandha and valerian root)

Ashwagandha: No doubt you’ve heard about this one, a small n’ mighty evergreen herb (Indian, Middle East, Africa) known to help you maintain some calm and keep inflammation in check.  

Valerian Root: A flowering plant used in herbal medicine since ancient Greek and Roman times.  We like to call this nature’s chill pill, a remedy to help you chillax and stay asleep longer.

What does it all do?  Feeling anxious or wanna wind down? Sip for some stress relief and overall good vibes.  Also helps improve your zzzz’s. 

founder freestyle flow :

skater girls and graffiti rockstars got me hyped this month. plus our season of pleasure + business (double down, always) is nearly upon us. lots of events and new places to find our drinks coming at you soon. in the meantime, hang tight and let’s coast for an awesome may!

rock on. x b

where the streets meet the beach. @drinkrockaway