Chance encounters can cause a shift in perceptions. This issue reminded us that we are here to be a voice, a platform for people who are underrepresented and a medium to showcase all the people doing some really cool stuff.
Editor’s Letter: In May, I was fortunate to travel to Los Angeles to personally interview Nick Vujicic for this issue. It was my first time back to my college stomping grounds since graduating. It was such a surreal experience being back in the place I called home for nearly five years of my life that I didn’t even mind it when I was confronted with the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 405. In fact, I felt a small sense of satisfaction as I jumped onto the 10-W toward Santa Monica, knowing that I could take the scenic route down Pacific Coast Highway (or PCH as the locals call it) up to Malibu and still get to my same destination. I had been feeling slightly deflated back in Honolulu, the weight of running a small business resting quite heavily on my shoulders, hustling for ad dollars in an economy that’s constantly insisting it’s pulling back, coordinating schedules and assigning editorial, trying to do side projects to bring in some extra revenue.
Then I sat down with Nick, an inspirational speaker who travels 40 weeks out of the year, speaking approximately 250 times. Nick, a man born without arm or legs. I felt humbled and inspired to have had the opportunity to speak to a person with such a strong grasp on his vision and purpose – only now I felt that I had to do more! I returned to Honolulu after three nights in Los Angeles feeling relieved (that surreal infatuation quickly fades) to be home. I immersed myself in editorial, the deadline for Issue III hurtling toward us, all the while those same frustrations creeping its way in.
Then little things started happening. I began meeting people in the community with similar visions. Rich Richardson, the creative director of Mark’s Garage, and his vision to revitalize and unify the arts community in Chinatown; Mari Matsuda, and her band of volunteers with Creative Modern Activism, initiating broad conversations about peace, equality and justice, by using art and music to work for change; Christa Wittmier, a major supporter of local talent and every local band or business’ favorite groupie, because when she’s stoked on something, the whole world will know it; Maika‘i Tubbs, an enthusiastic up-and-coming Hawaiian contemporary artist trying to “make it” in Hawai‘i.
These little moments, these chance encounters with influencers helped me remember with a unique clarity why I went into this business, and I found my own perceptions beginning to shift. We are here to be a voice, a platform for people who are underrepresented and a medium to showcase all the people doing some really cool stuff. Buried in the details, I think I was beginning to forget that. Something about a short conversation I had with Maika‘i just days away from deadline helped me to understand the importance of this magazine. Maybe it was his excessive extolling (which, never gets old hearing, by the way), but more so I think it was his ecstatic gratefulness, a genuine humility at the chance to be featured. That said, I hope all you local creatives keep doing what you’re doing. We’re watching and waiting.
What is Art? As TCM gears up for their fourth Biennial exhibition this September, we sit down with participating artists, Scott Yoell and Maika’i Tubbs with hopes of answering the enigmatic question: What is art?