Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rodrigo Peña Loves a Brooklyn Diner!

It's been almost a year since my last entry...and here I am. Was at a Brooklyn Diner last week with friends "born and raised" in these parts. They've taught me a thing or two about the REAL New York. Pastrami, Egg Creams and Cannoli just to name a few! Oh, and let's not forget about the local bagels...AND a smear! I'm back in Brooklyn, living here, working for myself...and have a few website and apparel projects in the works.

I'm still doing website work for the Heights Chateau Wine & Spirits's been quite a year of learning about eCommerce, but we're still doing my partner Robert and I must be doing something right! Stay Tuned...I'm hoping to keep this updated with "inspirations for my motivations" more regularly.

The first half of 2010 had me involved in another business venture, this time with two other partners—a story that is best not told about here, and forgotten. The experience left me with a least a couple of years of what I might have learned in any reputable business school and I spent practically nothing for it, except for the long hours I put into setting up and managing a small retail store in an urban area. No easy feat when you are doing most of it yourself. Sales, Marketing, Design and a website that was created and never launched. The School of Hard truly the best and fastest way to learn. Luckily, I had my freelance work to fall back on, and by 2011 I plan to be back on track pursuing what I started in 2007. I'm collaborating with some other interested parties and designing t-shirts again! When the projects have developed a bit...I'll have more news! 'Til then, wake up each day and just do your best..always!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's November! And I'm designing websites & newsletters for a Brooklyn Heights Wine store!

It's been a rough and tumble time since my last entry. I have to admit I was on survival mode in the first part of the year, with my freelance gigs drying up. Somehow, I got thru it, and things are somewhat moving again in NYC...Amongst other projects that have miraculously fallen into my lap, I'm upgrading a website for the coolest wine store in Brooklyn Heights, Heights Chateau, Fine Wines & Spirits. They've been around since 1986....I was just a sophomore at UC Berkeley. Don't count the years back!

This store has it all...wines and the best selection of liquor. I will be moving back to Brooklyn soon enough. After living and working in Manhattan all these years since being a grad student at's going to be interesting re-settling back into Brooklyn. I'll be living in the deepest part of Brooklyn to take a breather from least for the next 6-8 months. Bridge and I am.

Anyway, I have no excuses...just trying to get back on solid ground. I'm going back to designing T-SHIRTs in the New Year 2010. What I learned, and didn't kill me from 2007-2008 only made me stronger! The biker shows I took part in, and sold shirts thru, won't be forgotten.

Check out my work on:

And if you're in the area...subscribe to our newsletter...designed by Rodrick NY...LOL!

Check out the Heights Chateau November 2009 Newsletter...and order the perfect Thanksgiving Wines to accompany your turkeys:

who knows...I see Wine Store T-Shirts in my future!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

air brushing and screen printing know-how - holding on and moving on

The last several months I've been mostly researching screen printing equipment. A friend made me realize that air brushing shirts with stencils was also another way to create cool shirts.

I bought a screen printing press, but I have a couple more important pieces of equipment to add to it, before I even begin to buy the supplies like ink, emulsion and screen mesh fabric. I flash back to the photography (dark room) class I took in high school...still exposing screens, and washing them down...who knew?

I have to say the idea of doing all this a major's just the dollars keeping me from moving forward as fast as I want.

Meanwhile, I got my air brush to work. Now, I'm going to start with stencils to practice on first. With airbrushing its all about ink flow, distance and pressure to create the thin and thick lines. I need practice to get my artistic "groove" back.

Looking back to last year...I really did learn a lot about myself and business, as painful as it was to go thru. In the end, I can say I did it. Two event shows later and some leftover shirts to get rid of...I'm getting back on the bike, this time more gradually. The hands-on aspect of creating the shirts myself...and the reward of knowing I will have screen printed my own designs...even if it's only a motivating factor now, makes it all worth it.

My buddy, Oscar, the graffiti artist, is selling his shirts on the west coast as REVEL BRAND.He's partnering with RODRICK NY to get those shirts into stores. You'll see him back in NYC next January 2010...when we do our next big show.

I've been approached by another artist, looking to get back into his graffiti art that could take part in our next show, as well. I'm hopeful, we'll all come together by the end of summer, to organize something really art, cool shirts. Check back in a couple weeks!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

An UPLIFTING New York City subway story....

Not sure how this relates to apparel, but there's an idea here somewhere...divine inspiration I suppose! Courage "on the go" and the Humility to just "walk away".

photo: Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

inspiring images and art from my trip to manila & hong kong, Feb/March 2009

As promised I'm back here to write a little something about these images from my last trip to Manila and Hong Kong. Dismal as the winter was in NYC, it was a no-brainer to decide that I leave for Asia to secure some part-time consulting work and also spend some quality time with my parents in Manila. I spotted this really arresting billboard walking the hilly streets near the LKF area in Hong Kong. I just love the whole concept for the ad. I have always thought about doing a line of tees for the urban set in Manila, and these type tees just reminded me of that.

In Manila, I also got a chance to finally be taken around to some art galleries where I could view the works of emerging contemporary filipino artists. My cousin Mikki and her husband Mike made sure to lead me to the best gallery spots; I even got to meet some of the artists in person. The subject matter of the two paintings I include here intrigue me, because they remind me of the huge economic disparity and social extremes that exist in the Philippines, and yet there is an optimism that has always prevailed in the spirit of the people: life goes on. I will have to sort out the artist names, and give credit where it is due here, but take a look at these paintings. Thanks.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

the art underground, literally

After our 2008 shows, I've not gone back to designing more t-shirt graphics just yet...but I always draw daily inspiration from the NYC streets and the underground world of teeming wildlife that lives below it.

If you take the NYC subway, you might have seen the works of a guy infamously known as, Poster Boy, by the police who are trying to track him down. I love collage-mixed media, but this guy definitly takes it to a whole new level...underground actually. He's a modern-day de-constructivist with a urban poet of sorts.

Click on the You Tube link below if you're curious about his undercover work. Or find the video entitled: Spending Time With Poster Boy.