Archive for the ‘Viva Paso’ Category

Closing Shop And Looking For A New Space

In case you haven’t heard by now, my shop, Viva Paso, is no longer at 1211 Pine St. We have NOT permanently closed. In fact, we are very much ALIVE online and are on the hunt for a new retail space. We’re calling this a “to be continued” situation. A mere intermission, if you will.

That’s the short version.

And that might be all you are interested in, but if you’d like to read more about it then get ready because here it comes…

The truth of the matter is that we had a 5 year lease and the 5 years was up on December 31, 2020. It’s really that simple. We did not close because of the pandemic or lack of sales/customers. The rent on that space is more than what we want to pay and signing on for another 5 years seemed more dreadful than it did fun. Who would choose dread over fun? Not me. So, after 5 years of being open 7 days a week I am happy to have a little break right now.

Giving a fully detailed run down of my history being a retail shop owner is something I’ll avoid for now, but I will say this. Since I first opened shop in 2004 until closing Viva Paso 2 weeks ago I have had some sort of retail/gallery space to show and sell my art from. In the past 16 years there are only a few little pockets of time where I had no space for a couple of months, but that’s about it. The biggest gap I can remember when I did not have a retail space at all was the 5 months it took for the construction to be done at Viva Paso before we could open the doors. I’ll bore you with all of those details when I publish my memoir, “Thai Iced Tea, Donuts, And Me”, coming out by Penguin Random House in 2055. Anyway, the point is, I have had a store for a long time. It’s what I know and it’s what I’ve done. Opening in a new location is nothing new to me. I’ve done it before and I can do it again.

The question is, will I do it again? Probably. I mean, right now that is the plan. This is a chance to look back, reevaluate, and open shop in a new space with a fresh vibe. Viva Paso, version 2.0. I look at spaces all the time and am just waiting for the right one that checks off all the boxes I want/need. Decent location, affordable rent. Seems simple enough.

Part of me daydreams about renting something in an industrial area so I can be more of an artist and less of a retail clerk. That would mean very little foot traffic and I’d have to rely on selling more stuff online and through galleries and retail shops that aren’t mine, but I like that idea. It feels more risky than renting a retail space downtown, but I would have the opportunity to make more artwork and that sounds super fun to me. Luckily, this isn’t something I need to decide today. So…

For now, I welcome this break from retail with open arms.

See, I never had a chance to paint rocks with the family on a Friday afternoon before.

Without the retail shop I am now strictly online. So, if there is anything you would like please check out all the goodies online.
For my artwork: jeffclaassen.com – This site is dedicated to everything I make. You’ll find original paintings, limited edition prints, shirts, sticker packs, pins, patches, etc.

And, of course, I always encourage you to see artwork in person. For that, I have a good selection of pieces at Fiona Bleu Gallery. They are at 900 Embarcadero, Morro Bay, CA.

For Viva Paso: vivapaso.com – Here you will find everything you would have seen in our retail shop. There are about 300 items available right now. Everything from serape blankets to stuffed animals, greeting cards to Chilewich mats, books, and even David Bowie socks.

I’d like to give a HUGE thanks to any and all of you that ever stepped foot in Viva Paso. With any luck we’ll be seeing each other again when we find a new space to call home.

See ya!
– Jeff

Unexpected Guest

I was a few minutes late opening up the shop today and when I got there an unexpected guest was waiting for me. Say hello!

Maybe you don’t see him. That’s ok. At first I was like, “what the?” But on closer inspection I realized it was a praying mantis.

Here’s the same photo, flipped over and zoomed in so you can get a better look at him.

Isn’t he adorable?

If you don’t know already, praying manti are my favorite insects. Not sure if manti is the right word or even a real word, but I’m going to go ahead and assume it’s like using the word “octopi”. It just makes sense. And it sounds cool. Manti. Anyway, I had to squeeze by him with my bike when I walked in and had to make sure one of his legs didn’t get caught in the door when it closed. And wouldn’t you know it, just as the door closed he made a leap for it and landed on my bike chain. Had he waited a second longer he probably would have been squished. I should also mention that I had to stop immediately so he didn’t get ground up in the gear of the bike. Mantis burger, anyone? Little daredevil, this guy.

As much as I loved him and wanted to take him in and raise him as one of my own, I decided to put him in a nearby planter.

I’m not sure where he came from, but it was pretty random to find him chilln’ on my door. I hope he’s happy now and eating plenty of French Toast or whatever Praying Manti eat.

Here are some fun facts you might like to know about the Praying Mantis. I posted these years ago, but they never get old and are always fascinating. So, here you go. Praying Matis are the only insect that can turn their heads 180 degrees. They will eat their own kind. The female will sometimes eat a male during or after mating. They have a one year life span. The are loved by farmers because they eat crop destroying insects. Of about 2000 species there are only 18 known species in the entire North American continent. And this last one might be the best one. They have a single ear located on the underside of its belly. What? And why? An ear on their belly? What do they need that for? I won’t judge. I still love them anyway.

Good times.

– Jeff

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Need more? Not to worry. I can talk about myself all night. Just kidding, I can’t. Anyway…
– Check out my other praying mantis post from October 2013.
– Not sure how many people read all the way down here, but if you have dreams of owning a cute shop I will totally sell you Viva Paso. Let me know. I’m totally serious.
– Be sure to check out my Society 6 shop if you’d like phone cases, leggings, totes, etc. with my artwork.

We’re Not Bringing That Fraudulent Shit

Nope, this is the Real Deal Holyfield.

We’re talking REAL cactus with REAL spikes.

And hey, while we’re here, we might as well promote something. After all, we do have bills to pay and food to eat and whatnot. Check it!

Yes, we are experimenting with our Viva Paso online shop and offering FREE shipping on ALL items. No coupon code or any B.S. Just straight up free shipping for you. Happy shopping!

In art news…
I haven’t been very productive lately, which bums me out, but I’ve been using the Procreate app on the iPad and it’s super awesome. For me, NOTHING (at least at this point in my life) could ever replace brushes, ink, paint, and wood, but those 4 things are not the most convenient items to carry around when you’re on the go. I mostly draw using the iPad during Elliott’s gymnastics class or late at night in bed while Coral is listening to an audio book or watching videos about WWII. She loves that stuff. Anyway, Procreate has this really cool feature where it records everything you draw and then you can export the file to your camera roll, email, etc. and have a time lapse of your drawing. It’s the easiest way I have ever seen to make an art time lapse. It’s amazing. Check out the video!

I hope that was worth your while. Thanks for reading/watching and have a great weekend!
– Jeff

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In case that wasn’t enough of me:
– check out my instagraham cracker: @jeffclaassen
– watch all the videos.
– And, of course, read all about The Bite Fight. It has nothing to do with me at all, but still.

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

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