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Is West Coast the Best Coast When it Comes to Creativity?



Creatives from Deutsch LA and 180 LA on what Los Angeles has to offer creative people

Is West Coast the Best Coast When it Comes to Creativity?

Neph Trejo, Senior Art Director at Deutsch

The place in LA that inspires me creatively…
LA is vast, and that’s one of the things I dig about it. I especially love downtown and right now it’s on the brink of big changes, lots of new construction and restoration of old high rises. The Arts District in particular is creatively inspiring, and it’s just a stone’s throw from the very heart of Downtown. It has a great balance of Art and Industry. There are rad murals, unique little shops, and the people are so diverse. Just in the building where I live, there’s fashion photographers, social media influencers, a florist, a tattoo artist, a DJ, a transportation designer and everything in between. You bump into someone and you find yourself wrapped up in a conversation on just about anything. Before you know it, you’re collaborating and working together. It just gets your juices flowing. Plus, you never run out of dope spots to hang, from the perfect coffee and the best avocado toast to my favorite brunch spot, a fantastic dinner place and a rad bar. You’re set in the Arts District.


What drew me to LA…
I’m not originally from Los Angeles, but I’ve been here over 20 years so it’s definitely in my blood now. I was born in Mexico City and my parents were missionaries, so as a kid I moved around a lot until we finally landed here in ’91. Even with all the places I’ve been, I’ve never found a city where you can be immersed in so many different cultures and subcultures without going too far. All different types of people constantly rubbing shoulders, living next to one another. It’s an incredible city to be creative in.
As a creative person, the best thing about living and working in LA is…
You can’t beat the weather in LA, no matter who you are. But for an artist, it’s even better. It never gets too cold, so you have access to locations year-round. You’re never stuck in your studio. Even better than the weather, though, is the insane amount of industry here in Los Angeles. Career-wise, the opportunities are numberless. You could be working for a powerhouse like Disney or a big agency like Deutsch. Or on the other end, a rad design shop like Chase Design Group or in-house at a social enterprise like Toms or Vice. If you’ve got the chops, you’ll find a gig no doubt. On an individual basis, the diversity of craft is incredible. It opens up the ability to collaborate with others in just about any industry you can think of. From art to farming to fashion to music, you will find somebody to jam with in this city and you’ll keep growing.


And the worst…
Housing prices in Los Angeles are skyrocketing at the moment, which can be painful. The scarcity of homes and apartments can be overwhelming. The farther out you go east, the easier it can be to find an affordable spot, but then you’ve got traffic. Los Angeles can be gridlocked at any hour of the day. Rush hour to and from work is the biggest headache, but you wouldn't be surprised to be sitting in traffic at 10pm either. If you’re not careful, it can keep you from missing out on some of the best things in our city. LA is so vast. There’s always something new to discover, a cool neighborhood to explore – or on any given night, there’s something creative going on – but traffic can discourage you and you can get stuck in your bubble. If you’re not careful, you could lose out on all this city has to offer.
How the city affects creativity…
Los Angeles is absolutely a city conducive to creativity. I think the California way keeps it tight, with some loose mahalo vibes keeping it in that sweet spot. It has grit, it has chill, and it has hustle. The perfect recipe.
The thing that captures the spirit of LA for me is…
Lawrence Azerrad, a rad LA designer and one of my teachers at Art Center, reminded me of this song a few years ago, I’m absolutely in love with it. It’s perfect for just getting lost in LA, and just driving. (“I Love L.A.” by Randy Newman)

Florian Bodet Associate Creative Director at 180LA 

The place in LA that inspires me creatively…
It’s tricky to narrow it down to one place when everything around you is inspiring! I’d say the street. Definitely. There’s always something happening, someone to look at. I try to wander as much as I can with my camera… So many things to capture. Los Angeles is an open gallery. 

What drew me to LA…
I arrived here over a year ago from Paris, France. At first, Los Angeles wasn’t my first choice (hard to believe now!) I always imagined myself in New York for some reason. But I had the occasion to visit the city before really deciding on a place to go next. And L.A. trapped me instantly! The lifestyle here is really something else. It puts you in a mood. Resets your mind in a way. That’s what I was missing in Paris. This sense of optimism, of moving forward, of seeing the glass half full.

As a creative person, the best thing about living and working in LA is…
The weather, the Ocean.

And the worst…
The weather, the Ocean!

How the city affects creativity…
Los Angeles is the city of dreams. You can really feel it. Everyone has an inspiration here. By the way, I’ve never seen a place with so many over qualified Uber drivers! All these dreams are vehicle to creativity. It kind of drives you, motivates you to do things, express yourself.

What drew me to LA…
I’d say photographers like Hugh Holland or Stephen Shore, who captured this timeless essence of Los Angeles with such iconicity. And most recently in film, which may sound obvious, but La La Land. This film somehow captured a fresh kind of timelessness, which is, in my opinion at least, remarkable.

Check out more of Florian’s 35mm photography can be viewed here @floriandelomme
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LBB Editorial, Mon, 22 May 2017 15:16:25 GMT