Visual by Van Styles
Welcome to V/SUAL by Van Styles. NY-born, LA-bred, the skateboarder - turned adult film director - turned self-taught photographer parlays his diverse loves into one blogumentary experience. A day in the life of Van consists of beautiful women, skate scenery, and everything in between. So sit back and enjoy the ride.
A few weeks back I was invited out to see graffiti artist Ewok do his thing on a wall offered up by the good people at Red Bull for one of their satellite offices in Los Angeles. See, aside from providing athletes with opportunities to break skydiving records and amazing obstacles to jump over, they also like to give back to what might be considered a subculture such as graffiti. That is pretty rad when you think of the big picture; a big company like Red Bull recognizing graffiti as an art form to the point where they open the doors to their office for someone to come in and create. I hung out for a bit to snap some flicks and peep what I got.
Ironlak provided the paint.
Ewok getting started.
Ryan of Ironlak and clothing brand Read the Label stopped by to check it out..
As was his partner Bob.
Brandon of Red Bull over seeing the video capture.
Hello everyone, I am back with another test shot segment. It has been a minute since I have done one of these given my busy schedule the past month but trust me this one is worth the wait. While on my travels to Miami I had the opportunity to link up and shoot with a latin beauty by the name of Susie. Through the workings of the internet we were able to get together for a photo shoot, but it turned out she is also friends with Claudia Sampedro who I had shot some months earlier for my collection with Primitive Apparel. Lucky for me we figured out a day to link up and she cruised over to my location in North Miami beach early in the morning for a fun session. She had explained to me that this was only her third time having someone take her picture but if you ask me I really couldn’t tell. She showed a level of confidence when working and that goes a long way in photos. This was the first set we did and I immediately loved it. Simply due to the styling,the lighting and because I knew how good these shots would look in black and white. So sit back and enjoy some photos of Susie along with her interview and happy monday everyone.
So Susie how old are you?
I’m 23 yrs old
Word, and what is your ethnicity?
My background is Peru and Nicaragua.
And where were you born?
I was born and raised in the County of Dade.
Where are you currently living?
I live in beautiful Miami, Fl
Now that we got some formalities out of the way give me some of your likes?
I like animals, makeup, nature, music, reality t.v., and chocolate.
What about the dislikes?
I don’t like mosquitos, dishonesty, and confrontation.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I am currently studying environmental science and look forward to pursuing a career in helping to change the world.
Name some of your influences in life.
I have to say my friends are my biggest influences, they help me keep a good head on my shoulders.
Do you have a favorite place you have traveled to?
For sure, my favorite place traveled was Machu Picchu. Peru is simply breathtaking.
What about a place you want to visit before you die?
Before I die I want to visit Ireland. I’m beyond intrigued by all the landscapes,castles and I love the Irish accent.
What is your current form of employment?
I am currently a makeup artist for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and a student at FIU.
What types of music are you into?
I listen to a lot of hip hop and R&B but lately I’m having a Lana Del Rey obsession.
Follow Susie on instagram
A couple of months back, I had the opportunity to shoot a beautiful model by the name of Denise Schaefer for my test shot segment. Well, that first set I posted definitely got a lot of attention and people asking to see more photos of her. Figured it was time to showcase another set ,and what better place than to do it here where it all started. This was during the same day that we shot the prior set of photos, but for this one I had Denise throw on some comfy sweat shorts courtesy of The Hundreds, along with a black laced bra and some sneakers. We figured using an artistic mural in the warehouse would serve as a good backdrop. Turns out we were right. So take a look below to see for yourself and enjoy some more photos of Denise.
If there’s one word that can be commonly used to describe skateboarders, it’s resourceful. Throughout my time in skateboarding, it’s been really awesome to see so many skaters take what they’ve learned, and apply it to the world beyond kickflips and ollies. We have always figured out a way to achieve what we wanted, whether it was an approach to a trick or building an obstacle. One thing for sure is never tell a skateboarder they can’t do something. One such person who can be filed under this group is Jimmy Gorecki, a skateboarder from Philly who now resides in the Los Angeles area, and has taken what he’s learned and launched a new upstart company with his partner Jarrod Lee, simply entitled JSP (Jimmy Sweatpants). What started out as a nickname, quickly turned into an entire brand, but not just any ordinary clothing line. It began with the intention to fill a void that Jimmy felt existed in the market. When asked about his new endeavor, Jimmy put it like this, “JSP is a brand built around producing quality sweatpants. I came up in the Dub, Aesthetics, and Elwood era where these particular skateboard brands produced sweats cool enough to be worn on any occasion. It was something completely different than what you saw other clothing brands doing. JSP is just an extension of that idea. Sweats you can run, skate, or chill in.”
And that is a statement I can back. Not being swayed by current trends or looking at what other people are doing, but rather focusing on something that he was influenced by and processing it in his own way for people to enjoy. You gotta love that, and you gotta appreciate a resourceful skateboarder. To check out the first offerings from JSP click here.
Some might say I’ve lived an exciting life (depending on who you ask), and in doing so I’ve come across some pretty amazing people I can call my friends. Two of which are Jayden Jaymes and Jayden Cole. You might feel like you know them from somewhere, or that you’ve seen them before, but we don’t need to get into details. They were kind enough to stop by my gallery exhibit the other day to check out #notbadforaphotoshow and to catch up in person. After looking over my work, we figured what better place to sit down and talk then lunch at Bottega Louie in downtown Los Angeles. Being the gentleman that I am, we all hopped in my car and headed over for some good eats, good laughs, and to hear what’s been going on with their internet radio show Sex Squad, which is featured on the popular Toad Hop network. Their show is more like a Love Line, but with two very cool and beautiful women talking openly about sex and relationships, while giving you a female perspective on a lot of topics. But don’t be mistaken, these are female perspectives that are comparable to your buddy’s, so if you haven’t heard their show yet I’d suggest taking a listen.
Jayden Jaymes and Jayden Cole.
This place is amazing.
Not bad for a lunch date.
The pizzas are good as well.
The worlds most fanciest snickers bar.
Gold flakes included.
Jayden got a common Rosewood experience…. the parking ticket.
Peace out Jayden!