Street Pulse: Los Angeles

Text by Isis Ebony Copeland
Photography by Miguel Starcevich

The best things in life come from Los Angeles—Movies, Music and Fashion. SOMA sought out some of LA’s most creative to discuss the economy, president elect Barack Obama and new years resolutions. 1 How do you feel about the state of the economy? 2 How is the downturn in the economy affecting the creative business? 3 Do you think that president-elect Barack Obama will be able to help the situation? 4 What is your New Year’s resolution?

Zen Sekizawa, Photographer
1 Worried that the worst is yet to come. 2 I just had a conversation last night about how commercial aesthetics are going toward more organic/less slick imagery, which might work in my favor. Overall, I don’t think opportunities are as plentiful and generous as they once were. 3 I’m holding my breath. 4 Every time I make a New Year’s resolution I seem to subconsciously go out of my way to do the opposite. I stop making them awhile ago.

Daniel Desure, Artist/Designer
1 I’m afraid it’s going to get worse before it gets better. I’m truly feeling the effects and seeing it affect my peers. 2 A lot of design and architecture projects have been put on hold. Advertising budgets quickly get cut when the economy turns south. Creatively, these times should make art that much more interesting. It’s all going to be OK… 3 It’s going to be difficult but anything is possible. 4 Create more, give more, sleep less.

Dina Chang, Producer
1 I hope we don’t go back to the barter system, but if we do I’ll be just fine. 2 It’s hard to come up with a nickname for this depression. The ‘Dirty Thirties’ is hard to top. The ‘Horrible 0’s’ maybe? 3 Clinton used the Internet to get us out of recession. Obama will have to rely on holograms to spark the next economic boom. 4 Stop eating so many chocolate covered raisins. Start paying my taxes on time. See family more.

Scott Trattner, Creative Director
1 I feel scared. And I feel it’s OK to be scared. We should all be scared. At least we can all be scared together. That’s the one thing that is reassuring. 2 It’s showing us that innovative ideas will always have value. 3 Beyond whatever things Obama does he is offering us all hope. That can change things. 4 Spend more quality time with my family. That is the most important thing in the world. Put out positive energy.

Barbara Bestor, Architect
1 I want to hold on to my illusions and postpone worrying until after the inauguration. 2 The time is right to go all out and do what feels the most exciting. Our office has a motto: “We want everyone to experience strange beauty everyday.” Hopefully the economy will help us in that mission. 3 I think our new president is the most exciting political development in America since the ‘60s. We’ll have a better, stronger, faster and more fun America. 4 To stay madly in love.

Hana Mae Lee, Actor/Model
1 It’s a shit hole. But what can you expect when people voted for Bush? Either people are losing jobs or are afraid of losing their jobs. Everywhere you go it’s a bit depressing. I hate being a grownup. Whatever happened to just worrying about what you’re going to wear? 2 People are buying less and a lot of people are afraid to take risks now. Although, as cheesy as it may sound, the “blue” period is inspiring for interesting collections. It’s helped people become vulnerable which is beautiful. But then again there are some people who are just vomiting out shit and it’s tragic. 3 Who? Just kidding. It’s so great to have Obama as the next president. I know we didn’t get into this economic state over night, so I really do hope that he can bring us out of it. It might take some time but you know the saying, “impossible really means, i-m-possible.” 4 Who cares? Kidding again. Yes, I am a comedian. I really hope I can keep This one. My New Year’s resolution is to inspire, be fierce and never be ugly.