Tag Archives: spaz spotlight

Spaz Spotlight: SketchLife

 July Spotlight

SketchLife. A new and innovative Chicago-based clothing brand that will bring LIFE into your basic tee.  I got the chance to chat with one of the masterminds behind this creative line and share with you guys the cool story that has us spazzing out. Get inspired and check out our Q&A below..


mens tees, art, fashion, menswear(Left: In Sight, Out of Mind Tee $25 | Right: The Static Rose Tee $25 – shop here)

Spaz- What is the story behind SketchLife?
SL: The name SketchLife comes from our desire to draw upon the world around us for inspiration.  We look closer at elements so often overlooked by our preoccupation with human routine and aspire to evoke these elements in each garment we produce, providing our customers with the highest quality wearable art.

Spaz-  Behind every tee there seems to be a story. What can you tell us about that?
SL: Style is very personal.  For better or for worse, it communicates a lot about you.  We feel it should mean something.  Behind each design is powerful, thought-provoking concept that goes along with the greater theme of the collection.

Spaz- Where does your inspiration come from?
SL: It’s really difficult to put that into a box because it comes from so many different sources, whether it be everyday life or studying individuals throughout history who were great at their craft.  You’ll notice that on our Tumblr page.  Often times it will come from simply throwing on some headphones and capturing different elements of the city through a lens.  That’s really the fun of it all. 

Spaz- What advice can you give to someone who might be skeptical about starting their own brand because of the competition, etc.?
SL: There will always be competition in anything you do.  If there’s not, you’ve either come up with the next billion dollar idea or you don’t have a market (which is probably more likely).  Put your heart and soul behind your brand and most importantly, your effort.  You’ll encounter challenges that are enough to make you fall out of love with your vision, but it’s up to you to remember why you started in the first place and maintain the creative energy to persevere.

Spaz- Any exciting/upcoming projects we should know about?
SL: There is a whole new collection of tees coming your way by summer’s end.  We will be adding some additional garments and accessories to our arsenal soon as well.  Stay tuned!

Spaz- Where can spazzers shop your brand/follow SketchLife?
SL: The In Plain Sight collection is available now in our online shop at sketchlifechi.com.  Keep in touch with us through Facebook and Twitter (@sketchlifechi) and follow along on Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest for all sorts of visual inspiration behind the brand.  

I don’t know about you, but I’m totally inspired! It’s always great getting to feature young innovators who actually bring their vision to life. I’m super excited to see what SketchLife has up their sleeves! (no pun intended! ha) Make sure you keep an eye out for their upcoming tee collection that is going to launch at the end of summer as mentioned and check out their site slash some of their cool tees!

Have a spaztastic weekend, everyone!

Spaz Spotlight On: American SPAZ Novelist Greg Kieser

“I believe “to spaz” or “to spaz out” essentially means to suddenly express oneself in a way that is not completely conventional.” -Greg Kieser via SPAZ Q&A

Photo Credit Above: Felicia Kieser


This month I am shining my SPAZ spotlight on Greg Kieser, the talented man behind the novel AMERICAN SPAZ. After reading the title, I spazzed out and knew it would be more than appropriate to feature this novel on my site. I wanted to dig deeper and find out what the story was behind the title. Sure enough, I came into contact with the writer who shared his inspiring story. Greg Kieser tells Spaz Magazine all about American Spaz the novel, his personal journey, and even gushes about fashion! This is one read you don’t want to miss guys!! (Scroll down to read our full SPAZ interview)

ABOUT THE NOVEL: American Spaz is auto-biographical fiction by Greg Kieser and chronicles a decade of his life – from 7  to 17 years old – during which time he lost both parents, moved from place to place, and did whatever he needed to do to survive.  As the youngest of six children, he had many opportunities during that decade to rely on, and sometimes reject, the love of family. On the surface it’s a coming-of-age story about a grieving, angst-filled teen. As you read on...READ MORE…

1. Give us a timeline of how you’ve worked your way up to becoming a published writer. 

I started with studying and writing screenplays more than 10 years ago, and I finished two scripts. But I wasn’t really interested in seeing my stories told by somebody else, so I didn’t shop the scripts around too much. I quickly decided writing novels would be more appropriate for me and would allow me more creative freedom. For five years I worked on my first novel, but then I shelved that a year and a half ago to start American Spaz. Interestingly, every step of the way the stories I’ve told have grown closer to my own story. And now that I’ve published American Spaz I realize that this whole time all I wanted to do was tell my own story.

2.  We are spazzing over your novel. I just started reading it so don’t give away any juicy details!!! But tell me, what inspired this American story.

In short, I felt I had experiences and something to say about those experiences that people might find interesting.

3. What does the word SPAZ mean to you and why did you decide to include it in your novel’s title?

I think we’re all spazzes deep inside, or at least possess the potential to be spazzes. And I believe “to spaz” or “to spaz out” essentially means to suddenly express oneself in a way that is not completely conventional. For people who do find the spaz deep inside, to spaz is a way of communicating the fact that they have something to say. It doesn’t really matter how they do it – through their clothing, art, film, by dancing in a funny way or through literature – it just matters that they do it. Anybody can be a spaz if they really want to be. And that is why I used spaz in the title of the novel; looking back on my life and how I reacted to the things that happened to me and how I communicated and expressed myself to other people, it was just so obvious that I was a spaz.

4.  Okay so you’re not just a novelist. You’ve taken SPAZ to a whole new level with your new short film. Tell us about that.

I think we are fortunate to live in a time that the constraints of established industries, such as publishing, film, fashion, art, are melting away and we have the means to express ourselves to each other more directly. The masses are increasingly playing a role in deciding what they want to consume, not a small group of elite in any given industry. With that in mind, for my project, I knew from the outset that, to tell my story, I needed, not just the pages of the novel, but also film, photography, the web, social media and even my dog.  We now have at our fingertips almost unlimited resources for communicating with each other and expressing ourselves, and I wanted to make use of a few of those for telling my story.

5.  American Spaz has received so many great reviews from the public.  What has been your all time favorite so far?

Actually, it’s this review by Tom Firestone that I like the most: “American Spaz, not just a novel, but a time machine I recently finished reading AMERICAN SPAZ The Novel by Greg Kieser. This was a fun and fast read that brought back many memories of the eighties. Kieser has a refined prose that cuts to the point and doesn’t linger too long before pushing his readers to the next marker of his journey, his life. The characters are so well developed they feel real, and I suppose that’s part of writing a biography, but this novel makes the 80s, the crazy situations and each and every character seem like your best friends and family, not just Mr. Keisers. When I read the back cover’s tag line: A coming of age story with GIRLS + LOVE + DEATH + FISTS + KNIVES + GUNS, I thought it was just a fun play on words, but I would say if 6 words could sum up the novel, these would be it. I would possible add one more: COOL.”

6. We can’t talk SPAZ without bringing up fashion, so tell us where you got that stellar SPAZ ring showcased on the back of your novel!

Soon after selecting “American Spaz” as the title for the novel I was wandering the streets of the Lower East Side in Manhattan looking for some bling for the short film and I stumbled on this place called “Solid Gold” on Delancey Street. Turns out it’s a secret little spot some folks in fashion go to get custom jewelry made. The owner of the store, is a spaz himself, and readily understood what I was trying to do.

7. Are you working on any current projects? Plans for the future?

Well one thing is for sure, I’m not going to shut up anytime soon. I’ll probably get my first novel ready for publication, and I’m thinking about a second and third novel for American Spaz. And I would love to continue to use film in my work. More to come for sure!

8. Where can our readers learn more and/or purchase your novel? Website? Facebook? Twitter? Youtube?

Purchase American Spaz the novel: Amazon Link here

To learn more about the truth behind the novel: www.americanspaz.com.

To see the short film and learn how to find your spaz deep inside: Click here.

Like on Facebook: AmericanSpaz

Follow on Twitter:  @AmericanSpaz

How spaztastic is Greg Kieser? But wait, that’s not all….Greg is giving us a copy of  his American Spaz novel!–to gift to one of our lucky readers!!

To Enter: Simply like Spaz Magazine’s Facebook fan page & write on our wall that you’re entering this spaztastic giveaway! ENTER AWAY HERE!!!!


Spotlight On: So Sique

SPAZ SPOTLIGHT: One-on-One with So Sique!

Website: www.sosique.com
Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/sosique

I am so thrilled to introduce…

So Sique is one of my long time buddies who I am so excited to feature in this week’s Spaz Spotlight!  So Sique is a talented, ambitious and hardworking music artist who has devoted his life to music.

**Learn More (Read So Sique’s full bio HERE.)

We recently caught up with the busy artist who shared his advice and told us about his upcoming projects, his hopes for the future, and more!

SPAZ: You are about to release your next mix tape, “The First Rule.” Tell us what inspired the title, and what we can expect to hear from this new mix tape.
So Sique: I have a painting at home of the cast from Fight Club with Brad Pitt and Ed Norton. I took a picture in front of it one time, and I noticed the words “The First Rule” on it. A friend of mine edited the picture and I really liked it, so I used it as the cover to some of my recent music releases. I just thought I should go with that as the title of the entire mix tape since I loved the picture so much. I also am a huge Chuck Palahniuk fan, the author of fight club. His philosophies are strong. He goes into detail about how messed up society is and how everyone is stuck in a routine. This mix tape breaks away from the traditional mainstream hip hop we hear a lot of today.

SPAZ: You are also a current finalist in the national contest called, “Making the Next Hit.” Tell us a little bit more about that and how that opportunity came about.
So Sique: I received a call the day before the open auditions in Downtown Dallas.  A good friend of mine, Moe J, who is another Dallas Artist that I recorded “All Eyes on the D” with, told me about the contest on the very last day of registration.  Luckily I got through and showed up to the audition. There were hundreds of people there at the first round auditions. We had to rap on the spot in front of the judges, and they would tell us right there if we made it to the next round or not. I gave it my all, and the judges complimented my passion and style saying I was the best they had heard in Dallas thus far. The second round was a performance.  I was ranked number 2 in all of Dallas. They announced the finalist for Dallas, the next night, and me and my friends listened to the radio, and rejoiced. It was a great moment. 3rd round, we went to the studio and recorded a hit in a set amount of time. Now I just have to wait for the song to be released in august, and that’s when voting starts, so guys vote for me on www.hot247.net in august ! Winner receive a 100,000 recording contract with Universal Records. Under CTE…Young Jeezy’s record label!

SPAZ: What  sets your music apart from others out there.
So Sique: I pride myself in being a diverse artist and I think that is one of my strongest assets as an artist. I think my music is universal and something anyone can enjoy. Coming from Dallas, Texas,  the majority of the music from this region sounds the same. No disrespect, but there is not a lot of diversity in sound and content or style for that matter. When people hear my music for the first time they have a hard time believing that I’m a Southern Artist.  I have more of a Mid-West vibe to my music. In my recent music, you hear it all. I have something for people who love soulful Chicago style music, jams for people who are east coast fans, empowering music for women, and even music for the real back pack hip hop heads.

SPAZ: You have a background in poetry writing.  What role does poetry play in your music career? Did it spark your interest in becoming a songwriter?
So Sique: I started off as a poet. I had just got my first book published my freshman year of college when a good friend of mine, Young Hope,  asked me if I ever considered writing music. I became interested as he helped me pick out some original beats, and he let me get on one of his songs which really helped guide me into a solo artist.

SPAZ: Tell us one thing about you that very many people do not know.
So Sique:  I write about 90 percent of all my music before 10 Am. My brain works at such an efficient rate early in the mornings. When I want to get a song done,  I will wake up really early and start writing the song. I can usually write a complete song in about 20 to 30 minutes if its in the morning.

SPAZ: What is one of the most memorable moments or experiences you’ve had in your career thus far?
So Sique: My very first concert, which was “The Cool Kids” at the Granda Theatre in Dallas. The show started late so I took part in a free style battle that was going on at the concert. When I  jumped in the battle,  5 more free-style rappers came in as we took turns rapping in a circle. The crowd went nuts. For those minutes, we were the stars at the theatre. It was so much fun to be at my first concert and having an experience like that. It really set in stone that this is what I want to do with my life.

As a mentor, what is one piece of advice you can give or have given to someone who wants to start a career in the music industry?
So Sique: The advice I would give to any up and coming artist out there, is to work harder than you ever have to get to where you want to go. Some people think that things will be handed to them and that they are going to be a megastar making millions really quick. You have to know more about the business side than you do music. If you don’t, you can end up broke and not able to release music because you have a crappy contract. So I tell you this, know your business, and don’t trust anyone who says they are going to help you. A wise man told me once that “In the music business, there are so many sharks and not enough water.” Keep your eyes open.

What do you want to accomplish with your music? What legacy do you want to leave behind?
So Sique: I just want to put out quality music until I can’t speak anymore. Music is the soundtrack to people’s lives, and I want to return the feelings I use to get as a kid when I heard real hip hop music. I want to be the artist that you listen to when you work out, on your first date, when you go to sleep, when you wake up  and when you’re having the time of your life. I want people to look to my style of music and feel encouraged to step outside of the norm, and be themselves.

How inspiring!! Well, I would wish So Sique the best of luck, but it’s obvious he doesn’t need much of it. His star qualities are shining brighter than ever as his career is taking off at fast speed. Make sure you all download his incredible mix tapes and look out for his new one, “The First Rule”, which will be released soon! Check out www.sosique.com and ‘like’ his facebook fan page to uncover the latest on his upcoming projects! Let’s face it, we’ll never get ‘sique’ of you mister So Sique! :)

Copyright: All images in this post are owned by www.spazmag.com.

Spotlight on: NEMO NISI MORS

image via nnmluxe.com shopping

Meet NNM’s visionaries.

Creators: Sayran (right) & Leila (left)
Website: www.nnmluxe.com
Twitter: NNMLUXE
Facebook: “Like” the NNM facebook fanpage!

We sat down with the creators of Nemo Nisi Mors and uncovered the must-know facts about these creative gals, their inspirations, and an exciting NNMLUXE giveaway! They’ve got lots of surprises up their sleeves so make sure you read all about them! We are so inspired by these two talented besties who have worked together to create the ultimate shopping website.

SPAZ: Tell us where the title Nemo Nisi Mors originated from and exactly what it means?
It is a Latin saying, meaning “nothing except death will do us part.” Its kind of morbid but Marc Jacobs came out with a leather bracelet with this saying years ago, and we each got one and have since been wearing it everyday. It has double meaning because it’s relatable to fashion and our friendship.

SPAZ: What can we expect to see when we visit www.nnmluxe.com?
We like to think that it’s a complete representation of what we are passionate about, fashion. Our goal is to make it easy for you to find not only things that you want to buy but also things that you can afford. Of course, there are some higher end items on the website but if we post them, we feel that they are well worth the price. We also feel that we have a personal aspect that sets us apart from the rest, when you shop with us, you are not shopping with a corporation doing market research on what you SHOULD like. We are real girls who are doing this because its what we love and we want to share it with you.

SPAZ: Are there any exclusive shopping offers or giveaways we should know about on Nemo Nisi Mors?
Yes! Our first giveaway of many is this week. It’s a bracelet from a designer we absolutely adore, Sarah Aghili.

SPAZ: You gals have been friends for over ten years. Not very many people can say that! What sets your friendship apart from others, making it special?
Since we met, our friendship has grown very organically. We probably know each other a little too well but having that basis makes what we do fun and we know not to ever take things too seriously. Also, our styles have always been very complimentary and we feel like that is what makes our website really work and stand apart from the rest. It’s that Pisces/Capricorn combination, you can’t really go wrong with that.

SPAZ: Are there any future plans or projects you hope to accomplish in the fashion industry?
Shopping online can be overwhelming and people don’t always have time to keep up with the latest trends. Our goal for NNM is to simplify your shopping experience and make it fun. You can always rely on us to be an oasis in this fashion desert. We also plan to add a mens section as well as a feature that will allow you to use us as your own personal shopping search engine. Stay tuned, we definitely have a few things up our sleeves.

SPAZ: What is one piece of fashion advice that you can give our readers?
Wear what you want as long as it fits well. Never wear anything just because it’s trendy & remember to stay true to your own personal style and have fun with it!

Make sure you guys check out NEMO NISI MORS. Trust us, you won’t regret it.