Pink Mocha Cupcake Breakfast

On my way to work this morning I stopped by the downtown gas station to pick up the world’s healthiest breakfast, a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino and a pack of cigs. And by “cigs” I mean a pack of Hostess Cupcakes. I know, I know…you’re impressed with the healthy food options at our gas station. It’s like “farm-to-table”, but with a twist of “shit you should not be putting in your body”. What can I say, this town is a treasure. Speaking of treasure, this is what I walked out of the gas station with.

Not exactly what I planned on, but why not toss some fancy Rosé into the mix with your gross “coffee” and awful “cupcakes”? I have been a long time fan of the Chronic Cellars artwork, but this is my first ever purchase. Of course, I’ve also heard plenty of good things about the wines. And you probably didn’t realize how fancy I am, but I’ve also met Josh a few times. He’s the winemaker and one of the Beckett Brothers that created Chronic Cellars back in 2004. Anyway, I’ve been trying to hunt down this Pink Pedals Rosé for a few weeks. Despite living 3.5 miles away from the Chronic tasting room I’ve been trying to find it at local grocery stores. Going straight to the source is always my first choice, but my work hours conflict with their tasting room hours. I see their other wines in the stores and figured it would be no problem finding the bottle I wanted, but have yet to come across the elusive Pink Pedals. Until now…

So, I was at the gas station and a lady in line before me was buying a bottle and I was like, “What the…? They sell that here?” This place is about one minute away from my shop. It’s like Pink Pedals has been laughing in my face this whole time. Well, I’ve got you now, Pink Pedals!

If I seem a little more talkative and animated (or we’re closed early, but you see me asleep and drooling on the counter) at work tonight you know why.

Rosé all day,
Jeff

Oh yeah, check out Joe’s artwork on IG: @jkalionzes. He’s freakin’ awesome.

Live Work Love Podcast: The Margarita Episode

Listen on iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/ybbcl4dn
Listen on my site: http://tinyurl.com/ybgq843r
Or use one of the gazillion other places that feature podcasts. In fact, leave a comment with your favorite website/app to listen to podcasts. I’m curious. Anyway…

In this episode Jeff and Coral are presented with a very rare and exciting opportunity. All the kids are gone for the night and they have the house to themselves. What will they do with this amazing gift? Do they go out for a fancy date night? See a show? No. They stay home, make enchiladas, drink margaritas and talk about everything from vigilante justice that involves somebody’s hand and a garbage disposal, gender neutral bathrooms, their first drunken experiences, high school house party keggers hosted by Jeff’s sister, turning 40 and we can’t even remember what else.
Cheers!

We don’t ask for much, but if you enjoy this episode please rate it on iTunes and if you’re feeling really generous write a review. We’ve been told that both things help in the iTunes rankings and being a couple of nobody’s we need all the help we can get!

If you have any questions or topics you’d like us to discuss please let us know.

Thanks for listening!
Jeff & Coral

The Secret To Selling Art, Part One

Selling art is weird. Actually, selling art is awesome. Trying to sell it or coming up with ways to sell it is when it gets weird. Let me try that again. I think to put it more accurately, after it sells and you ask yourself how and why it sold is the weird part. The answers could be infinite and if any of the answers made any sense or were consistent we’d all be selling a lot more artwork than we are.

Take this painting for example.

I made it during the Summer of 2016. I happen to be in the very fortunate position to own a shop in the town I live, which means I have a unique opportunity most artists don’t have. I have a venue to display my work in hopes of selling it. This is a pretty amazing thing. It doesn’t take an economist to figure out that the more eyes that see your work the better chances you have of selling it. With that said, every artist should be doing whatever they can to get their work in front of as many people as possible. So, here’s the story of selling this painting and why I think it’s weird.

As soon as I finished making the painting I hung it up in my shop. It was on display from mid summer until October 10th. In that time A LOT of people saw it and yet it remained unsold. I only know I took it off the wall on the 10th of October because I was invited to hang some paintings at a restaurant in a nearby town and I made a dumb video about it. Anyway, it hung on the wall of that restaurant for two months.

Do you have any idea how many people eat at a popular restaurant on a weekend? Hundreds. That’s a lot of eyes. Obviously, people are not there for the art. They are there to eat, but you know some people have to notice the artwork on the walls. After two months and probably a couple thousand people seeing this painting it still had not found a home. After the restaurant gig I hung it back up in my shop. This would have been December, which is the biggest sales month for probably every store in America. Still, it sat. Or rather, hung. Unsold. It hung all the way until April when I removed it from the wall again. This time I was invited to display some paintings at Sally Loo’s Wholesome Cafe, which is an awesome cafe/coffeeshop in a different nearby town. While hanging at Sally Loo’s somebody, a saint, bought the painting

Obviously, I was thrilled. Like I said, selling artwork is awesome. And then it gets weird. So, consider the logistics of this. If you think about it too much your head could explode. Literally, thousands of people saw this painting in three different venues, each in a different town, spread out over the course of 9 months. That’s A LOT of effort to sell a piece of artwork. I easily drove that painting over 100 miles back and forth from venue to venue. Then consider the time of having to coordinate with the venues and hanging the artwork, promoting the art shows online, etc. It’s kind of mind boggling. And just plain weird. It only takes one person to buy the painting, but in this case it took having to be seen by 1000’s before the right person finally saw it. What if that one person would have walked into my shop in August the day after I hung it on my wall? Would they have bought it then? What if that one person went to a different coffee shop that day? Would somebody else have purchased it while it hung at Sally Loo’s? Maybe the painting would be hanging on the wall in my shop right now?

YOU NEVER KNOW.

That’s the weird. If you came here looking for The Secret To Selling Art there is no surefire guarantee to sell a painting. The best thing I can tell you is that the secret is you have to keep showing it to people. Just keep showing. That’s it. Sometimes a painting sells within the first two minutes of posting it on Instagram and sometimes it takes showing it in three different venues over the course of 9 months. You just never know. Some people buy after seeing the image on their phone and others need to see it in person while they’re eating a bowl of granola and drinking a latte at a coffee shop.

Like Dory says, just keep showing.

See ya!

– Jeff

Viva Paso Heatwave Sale Is In Full Effect

So yeah, it’s been H O T where we live. Yeah yeah yeah, I know if you live in Arizona or some desert place then coming to the 100 degree heat in Paso Robles is your version of “cooling off”, but it’s still pretty damn hot. The kind of hot where it’s just too uncomfortable outside and you’re better off staying indoors and parking your ass next to the air conditioning vent. Or on the vent! Anyway…

To encourage you to stay cool during the heat of the day we are having a HEATWAVE sale on our site. There’s really no need to melt or put yourself at risk of spontaneously combusting. Shop from home and take 20% off your entire order! Use code HEATWAVE during checkout at www.vivapaso.com!

Happy shopping!
– Jeff

Making Our Shop Instagrammable And You Can Too

Yesterday, I uploaded a video to my YouTube Channel. Not a big deal when you consider the fact that 60 hours worth of video are uploaded to YouTube every single minute. That’s a pretty staggering number when you think about it. With that much video to choose from it seems virtually IMPOSSIBLE to get anybody outside of your direct circle of friends and family to watch anything you put on YouTube. In fact, it’s even hard to get those people to watch a video. Anyway…that’s a whole other post that I will probably never write.

So, this video I posted took me forever to finish. It’s the editing and my inner struggle with overthinking, which I guess is not really “inner” since I’m talking about it. I bet there is a lot of people out there that struggle with overthinking, but that’s such a broad term. To really get down to the heart of the matter I’d say the real issue is choice paralysis. You might be familiar with that term already, but if not here is what Wikipedia says about it: “Choice paralysis is the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, so that a choice is never made.”

I take pride in my spontaneity and often think of myself as the type of person that jumps off a cliff and builds his wings on the way down. Despite that philosophy, there are some things that creep in under the radar and wreck me. Editing this video was one of those things. Allow me to take you on a journey inside of my head. This will be a glimpse of the inner dialogue I have with myself. Of course, I have it with myself. It’s not like you can have “inner dialogue” with others, but you know what I mean and since I already typed that I don’t feel like crafting a new, more appropriate sentence. Also, the last three sentences were just a way to prepare you for what’s coming ahead. Ok, here we go. The inner conversation I had (with myself) about this damn video.

Just make a video about spray painting the floor. Plain and simple. No, there’s an opportunity here to make a “how to” video and “how to” videos can get lots of views. What am I going to title the video so it gets the most views? Should I talk in the video or keep it strictly just a video of me painting the floor with stencils? Maybe this could be about Instagram. Am I supposed to include a slideshow of what used to be painted on the floor? I should probably not talk. I sound like a total douche nozzle when I talk to the camera. Why am I so awkward in front of a camera? Ok, no talking. Just turn this video into something that is 60 seconds long so I can put it on Instagram. Or toss it into some sort of compilation video like I did at Christmas. Who is this video for anyway? If it’s only painting the floor then maybe only fans of my artwork will want to watch. And if it’s more of a how to video then fans of my artwork will probably have no interest in watching, but it might get some views from people that are totally outside of my circle. Shit, man…I really have no idea what to do with this thing. It’s not like I can upload 4 different versions of the same footage just so I can attempt to please every possible person that might click the play button. That would be stupid. Why can’t I just decide?!?! ARGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

So, that is what was going on in my head every single time I sat down to edit this thing and it reminds me of this painting I made back in 2001.


(This dude’s head is about to explode with all that stuff going on in there.)

I’ve been attempting to edit this video since February. Despite how long it’s taken me you would expect a masterpiece, which it is clearly not. If I could just manage to harness the spontaneity I have with painting and apply that towards video editing, then this would have been uploaded months ago. In the end, it worked out fine and that delay in editing gave me the opportunity to collect photos on Instagram that people tagged Viva Paso on. Because of all of those IG tags and shout outs something really cool ended up happening and that became the deciding factor on what direction to take this video. Well, if I haven’t bored you to tears yet here is what this blog post is all about…sharing this video with you. Enjoy!

If the video doesn’t play for you then try this link.

This is the part where I ask for a little favor. If you know anybody that might find this video interesting or helpful in someway, please share it with them. You can copy and paste the following link into a text message, email or even paste the link onto their Facebook page.

https://youtu.be/y-dQ8ZrAr0w

Any of those things will help spread the word.
Thanks for watching! And reading.

– Jeff

Live Work Love Podcast: Retail Rant

Listen on iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/ydgxrure
Listen on my site: http://tinyurl.com/yaasq2mt
Or use one of the gazillion other places that feature podcasts. Anyway…

Welcome to Episode 10: RETAIL RANT! Jeff and Coral sit down for a late night discussion about how Jeff needs to find “his style”, bad yelp reviews, loving customers while wanting to fire other customers, the infamous barf bouquet and other unsavory things that go down on the Viva Paso bench. If you’ve ever owned or worked in a retail shop you can certainly relate and if you haven’t this might give you a little taste of what working retail is like.

BONUS: Coral loses her marbles (she was drinking rosé) and offers a freebie to listeners, so be sure to keep your ears open for that.

We don’t ask for much, but if you enjoy this episode please rate it and if you’re feeling really generous write a review. We’ve been told that both things help in the iTunes rankings and being a couple of nobody’s we need all the help we can get!

If you have any questions or topics you’d like us to discuss please let us know.

Thanks for listening!
Jeff & Coral

* This episode is lovingly sponsored by “The Stupid People.”
** We don’t like to admit it, but we’re stupid sometimes too.

Scrumptious Steve: The Best Goodwill Find Ever

No, a card of smoking angels is not the best Goodwill find ever. It’s the message inside that’s the prize. But before we get to that let me tell you how I came across this. I’ve been making little paintings on old record sleeve inserts. Stuff like painting a face over an ad for a Dean Martin album. They’re all small and I’ve been getting frames for them at Goodwill. So, when I bought this smoking angels card I had no idea it was even a card. It was just a picture in a frame that I needed. When it came time to frame my little painting I removed the beer guzzling angels from the frame and what do you know…it was a card. Naturally, I opened it and that’s when I realized I was holding the best Goodwill find ever in my hands. And now, it is my great honor to share it with all of you…my two loyal readers. Enjoy!

My first thought when I read this was, “Steve, you dirty little devil! What on Earth did you do to receive such an amazing little note? I want to be thought of as a scrumptious man. Teach me!” But that was my first thought and when I thought about it more I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to these two. Admittedly, I can’t make out the girl’s name. Why is it the only thing written in cursive? Isn’t cursive obsolete at this point? I suppose that’s a whole other story that I’ll ignore for now. I’m guessing Steve must have thought pretty highly of T (we’ll just call her that for now) since he framed the card. But what happened? How many decadent dates were there? Did Steve become less scrumptious over time? Did they live happily ever after? If not, will T ever find another man as amazing as Steve? Why would Steve donate this to the Goodwill? Or maybe in a fit of rage T donated it because Steve’s scrumptiousness evolved into assholeness and she couldn’t stand the fact that there was written proof that once there was a time when she loved Steve. Sadly, only Steve and T know the truth. I sincerely hope the two of them are still sharing decadent nights together and that maybe they’ve had a baby or two.

As for you, loyal reader, get out there and share a decadent night with your own scrumptious Steve or Samantha or whoever. Just make sure it’s decadent and delicious. Then, after you’ve had your fun donate all the evidence to your local Goodwill.

See ya!
– Jeff

Live Work Love Podcast: The Foodie Episode

It’s been a long time coming, but we FINALLY posted a new episode for our Live Work Love podcast.


We discuss very important things. You know, things like soup, pizza and donuts. We also talk about our first “food date”, 80’s mom diets and boiling cucumbers.

Listen on iTunes.
And if you’re anti-iTunes you can also listen on my site.

We hope you enjoy it. Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes so you can catch upcoming episodes. Also, we’d be super stoked if you leave a review on iTunes. It helps out in the search rankings….and our egos. And, of course, we would just love to hear what you think.

Thanks for listening!
Jeff & Coral

Where Did All My Cocaine Go?

It’s not everyday you find a treasure like this waiting for you at your door in the morning. And what great timing because I was fresh out of needles. It’s like the universe just knew.

Ok, jokes aside. This baggie of mysterious white powder and used needle were found outside the door of my downtown shop. It’s just cute little boutiques in downtown Paso Robles. By night, I guess, it turns into a sleazy shooting factory? Who knows? What I do know is that it’s enough to make me say…

Ok, now let’s talk about how wasteful this junkie is. There is a lot of “stuff” they left behind. I guess when you’re high you’re not thinking about being conservative and thrifty. I mean, you’re high, right? But you do have enough brains to not get caught walking down the street with a bunch of illegal paraphernalia. Well, at least not until you consume some of it. And I guess once you get your fill you just leave all incriminating evidence for me to find, which is fantastic because I really needed a pick me this morning after only getting 2 hours of sleep.

Totally kidding, people. That shit is nasty. Coral and I were shocked to find this and were totally disgusted. Neither one of us realized that this was a thing that happened. Of course, the level of disgust increased significantly when we thought about our 5 year old running around the shop. Imagining your toddler stepping out the side door and walking back in waving a used syringe asking, “What’s this?” is beyond…I don’t even know…beyond words.

With that said…

Dear drug users,

Please clean up after yourself like a responsible adult.

Thanks.
The Management

And for all you readers out there, thanks for tuning in. It’s much appreciated.

See ya!
– Jeff

PS. While looking over this before hitting the “publish” button I noticed the snowman on the baggie. Oh, druggies…your sense of humor always amazes me.

Live Work Love Episode 8: Coral Goes To The Women’s March

I know, I know…this is old news news at this point, but I forgot to post about it when it was hot off the press. In case you missed it back in January you can hear it now.

Listen on iTunes

Listen on my site

You’d have to be dead or living under a rock to not know about the Women’s March that took place on January 21, 2017, the day after the U.S. Presidential Inauguration. We are lucky enough to live close to a town that hosted one of the 100’s of marches that took place around the globe and this episode is Coral’s account of her experience marching in solidarity with more people than she ever thought possible. We hope you enjoy it.

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes so you can catch upcoming episodes. Also, we’d be super stoked if you leave a review on iTunes. It helps out in the search rankings….and our egos. And, of course, we would just love to hear what you think.

Thanks for listening!
– Jeff & Coral

A Little Late, But Here It Is…

I film a lot of video and I’m super good at saving it to my hard drive and then never doing anything with it. And I mean SUPER good. I finally got the idea to put together a compilation video, which seems a lot less daunting than making a video for each separate event I film. I say “film” like I know what I’m doing, but I don’t. I just turn the camera on and hope I get something worthwhile. This video is a compilation from all the stuff I filmed in Decemeber, which is a fun month for obvious reasons. Elliott is pretty much the star, but when you have a 5 year old that’s just what happens. This is also a lot more personal or family oriented than the typical things I upload to YouTube, but there is more to my life than making weird paintings.

Enjoy!
If the video below gives you trouble and doesn’t play then visit: https://youtu.be/MxFNzA-JJ_g

The Newsletter I Just Emailed

In case you’re not on the e-list, here’s what I just sent out.

Hello!

I just wanted to let you know that I’m wheelin’ n’ dealin’ this weekend. Now through Sunday when you order two prints you get a third one for free. This is a great opportunity to start collecting art or to add to your growing collection. There is no coupon code for this deal. Simply add the first two prints to your cart and leave a note during checkout with the title of the third print you’d like. That’s it! Easy peasy nice and easy.

I currently offer 37 signed 8″ x 10″ prints. This is a standard size for easy framing and each print is signed on the back. These are high quality matte finished prints made in a real photo lab using state of the art equipment. In other words, they are not printed on a store bought ink jet printer using that cheap “photo” paper.

You can see all the 8×10 prints here or simply click the above image.

In other art nerdy news:
– Here’s a video of me painting a broken drum cymbal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mQCnkX63q4&t=1s

– I’ll be having a show at Sally Loo’s in San Luis Obispo in April. I haven’t had an official show in years, so this is exciting. I’m making all new paintings for that right now, so it will be a very busy time from now until opening night.

– Coral and I have jumped on the podcasting bandwagon. We launched “Live/Work/Love” in September and have uploaded 8 episodes with more in the works. Check it out on iTunes if you get a chance.

And last, but not least…if you haven’t checked out Viva Paso (my new shop) yet, make a trip to Paso Robles and say hello.

Thanks for all your support!
I hope you have a great weekend!

– Jeff

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