026: Steven John Irby (aka Steve Sweatpants) - Not living to pay your rent
Steven John Irby (a.k.a. Steve Sweatpants), photographer, co-owner, co-founder and director of Street Dreams Magazine. With dual headquarters in NYC and Vancouver, Irby and company’s transcontinental publication showcases up-and-coming photographers and crowdsources photos via Instagram to create a physical and digital quarterly chock full of curated art for a skilled craft.
While Irby’s work rarely appears in the magazine, his prowess for photography is immediately apparent. Born and based in Brooklyn, the majority of Irby’s work is derived from the endless source of inspiration found on his home turf with some intriguing travelogues to round out his portfolio. Shooting primarily in B/W, Irby, now an ambassador for Sony cameras, shoots poignant portraits and gritty cityscapes from unique perspectives. A street photographer with a masterful eye, creative composition and skillful lighting, his photos possess a crisp and stark contrast that makes the subjects seem like they’re about to pop out of the page. Each shot is in-and-of the moment, but captured in a way that later resonates with a truly timeless aesthetic.
In this episode we talk about:
growing up in Brooklyn / Jamaica queens and how something as simple as “streetball” can even the playing field for us and how we interact as humans (and is a sport we both grew up loving and spending hours practicing/playing)
starting his career as a photographer in his early twenties with an iPod Touch and Instagram
the motto of “not living to pay your rent”
the importance of his family and their heritage in his work and the meaning (and message) behind it
his love for people watching and documenting “stories of the day”
Social media: @Stevesweatpants
Sony cameras: https://www.sony.com/electronics/cameras
Steve’s Classes on CreativeLive:
Street Photography: Capturing Unique Images: http://shrsl.com/1t8i2
Using Your Style To Diversify Your Photography: http://shrsl.com/1t8i5
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Steve Sweatpant: 00:00:00 I also think it's really important too, like laugh. You have to laugh and learn at the same time. I think that if you're not and everything, the thing is just so stoic and and stiff. I'm not saying everything has to be, everything has to be like, you know, you're laughing and joking about everything, but I do think there is a very important, there is an important kind of a kind of synergy with, I know laughing and learning because I feel like if you go laugh about something that it tends to stick and you know it tends to stick with you.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:00:30 You're listening to The Artful Entrepreneur podcast, a show about living, an inspired life filled with vitality, creativity and fulfillment. My name is Gabe Ratliff and I'll be your host as I interview fellow creative entrepreneurs from around the globe to hear their stories and learn more about their work so that you can tap into your creative purpose and live a life that's drawn, not traced. On the show, we talk about things like the creative process, personal development, community equity and contribution as well as the lessons learned along the way. All right, let's get to it.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:01:10 Hey gang, thanks so much for being here on this episode of The Artful Entrepreneur. I'm so excited for you to be here. Thank you again for listening and I want to start off and share a little bit of an update. So I've actually been asked to be on a podcast myself and was recently interviewed by Chris Martin who does the getting work to work podcast and we had an absolutely amazing conversation. We talked about all kinds of stuff from my journey growing up as a creative Weirdo to launching this podcast as well as the coaching business and community platform that I've created called the artful entrepreneur. And we had such a lovely conversation. It was so much fun chatting with him and it was such an honor to be on his show. You can actually find that at g w t w dot c o Slash three two six it's episode three two six and it's getting work to work podcast with Chris Martin and that's at g w t w dot c o slash three two six and again, I just want to thank Chris for having me on the show. It was just so, so great. So now I want to move on to today's guest who I am very excited to share with you. Stephen John Irby also known as Steve Sweatpants. He is so awesome. And we talked everything from basketball to Barcelona and it was just amazing. I love Steve. I was introduced to Steve when I watched one of his classes on CreativeLive and he was showing how he interacts in the world as he shoots street photography. He is a street photographer based out of Brooklyn, Jamaica Queens in New York and man just ah, such a kindred (spirit). He is photographer and co-owner and co-founder and director of Street Dreams Magazine. And they have dual headquarters in New York City in Vancouver. The company's transcontinental publication showcases up and coming photographers and crowd sources photos via Instagram to create a physical and digital quarterly chock full of curated art for a skilled craft.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:03:26 Born and raised in Brooklyn, the majority of his work is derived from the endless source of inspiration found on his home turf with some intriguing travelogues to round out his portfolio shooting primarily in black and white. Steve now is an ambassador for Sony Cameras. He shoots poignant portraits and gritty cityscapes from unique perspectives. He's a street photographer with a masterful eye, creative composition and skillful lighting. A his photos possess a crisp and stark contrast that makes the subjects seem like they're about to pop out of the page. Each shot is in and of the moment, but captured in a way that later resonates with a truly timeless aesthetic. And let me tell you, that is absolutely true. He is all about documenting the day. I love it. And so in the episode we talk about growing up in Brooklyn, Jamaica, Queens, and how something as simple as street ball can even the playing field for us and how we interact as humans.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:04:22 And it's actually a sport that we both grew up loving and spending hours practicing and playing. So we really had a great time talking about B ball. That was a lot of fun. And we talk about starting his career as a photographer in his early twenties with an iPad touch and Instagram, which is fascinating and so is the story of how he got into it. So I hope you'll stick with us to hear that because it's such a great story of how he actually got into the craft of, of capturing images. We talk about his motto of not living to pay for your rent and the importance of his family and their heritage and his work and the meaning and message behind it. We talk about his love for people watching and documenting stories of the day and, and we even get into some fun stuff around, you know, some of his favorite things to do when he's off the clock. So really great conversation. I absolutely love Steve and I'm very excited to introduce you to him. So now let's jump into this interview with Steven John Urby. Steve Sweatpants.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:05:31 Steve, thank you so much for being on the episode. I am so excited to have you here.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:05:37 Well, thank you for having me. Honestly, I'm really honored and I can't wait to kick it off.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:05:42 One of the things I like to do when we get going in these, in these conversations is I always like to hear where your journey started. So I thought maybe we'd start with just like where your journey as a photographer began as, especially growing up in the big city
Steve Sweatpant: 00:05:58 My photography journey is a little bit of a, a little bit of an awkward one. I'm born and raised in New York. I'm 32 years old. So I was born in Brooklyn, New York and I was raised in a, which should make the queens and Rosedale and I'm very proud of my New York heritage, but I definitely didn't take any photos like in junior high school or high school. I didn't really, he was interested into photography until I was around 21. And maybe 20. And it was because of a hypebeast message, right. Boards. I used to love about, I used to go, I used to love going on the hype, these message boards. And like that was like, that was like the a, like our arable chat room back then. And we used to have like, you know, I used to linked up with a bunch of different lines, really cool people in the scene and stuff like that.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:06:38 And it was really different from me being in in Jamaica, Queens. And they started to finally gone to the city for the first time. And I was introduced to photography because of a, everybody used to post, what did you wear today fits. And I didn't. And then I didn't want to pose like, you know, you don't want to, you know, where all this stuff dream and like, you know, all this other life, no very high Beastie clothes and with the, you know, but they should be camera. So I, I started to, you know, seriously look into the cameras that way. And then and then it kind of eventually then Instagram, Instagram came out maybe two to three years later and I was working at gamestop and one of the customers came in and told me about Instagram, so I'm going to download it that night.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:07:18 And then I started this I started to discover that people were taking photos with their iPhone and this was like 2012 or 2011 and it blew my mind. I couldn't believe that people were no taking photos with the iPhone or like mobile photography. So I was like 23 or 24 at the time. I begged my parents to buy me a iPod touch. Cause I don't have any money working at gamestop. If anybody was in New York around that time, I worked at the game stop on 34th Street and 14th Street. So those are very active vocations. And I begged my parents to buy me. I touch from that day on, I started taking photos with the iPod touch and it kind of evolved into me really wanting to get a camera. So from the iPad techy above for me getting it to a film camera, I used to around the same time, my, my photo's journey is really long.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:08:04 I'm sorry about that, but oh, no problem. Around the age of 24 or 25 I started working with a, I started to be an a and R for a music artist at the time and he needed a videographer. So from all of my experience from like taking photos from Mike, okay. Of my clothes and a random, a random scene concert, I went to bamboozle being like one of the only two black guys there at a bamboozle concert in like Meadowlands [inaudible] just burns a lot of my curiosity. You know, like I grew up playing video games too, so the video games and my dad being a contract and all these little elements of me working with my hands all the time made me feel like no, anything that came to my hands, I feel like I can do it. [inaudible] And then being able to work with this music artists, even though our relationship, was it the vehicle? I really my love for photography.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:08:55 You started to grow immensely and I really found my, I found my voice.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:08:59 I never really, I never knew what I wanted to do in my life. I was always just kind of looking for something. My dad always used to tell me like, I don't live to pay your rent and I d I really didn't want to like just keep on working at game stop or Rei, all the other random [inaudible] no random retail jobs I've had over the time. So I wanted to invest in myself in photography was the first time doing that. So yeah, I mean game gamestop, if it wasn't for Gamestop in you know, working with hip hop artists and stuff like that. Back when I was like, you know like mid twenties, I won't even stumble the front. Oh, stumble upon, be in the first place. Wow. That's great man. I love it.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:09:36 It's, I mean, I, you know, Mine, mine was not too, I mean, not that at all, but I mean it was definitely different enough but a very, you know, cause, cause I, I grew up more in like the southern east coast and so I, I had a very different childhood. Not being in I, I grew up or I was born in the DC area. But I moved away when I was still relatively young and so I ended up being in these like much smaller cities as I got older. Yeah. So I, you know, just, I, I, it was like I had the city life and then as I got older where I could actually remember stuff and you know, be able to enjoy it. That was when I was in more, you know, smaller towns and whatnot, so very different experience.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:10:25 But I had a similar experience around, I tapped into photography also at other, like an older age, you know, when I was, when I was like in that further into high school, Getting Ready to go to college. And like that was when I started to realize, oh, this is like a whole, cause I was into like drawing and stuff growing up, always into music since I was little. But like the photography thing, I was the same way. Like it did, it didn't come at that at u w I wasn't like some of these cats that are out there and, and they're like, I added a photography, you know, I had a camera from my, my mom or dad or whatever and I was shooting when I was like five.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:11:08 Another thing that was, I think it was really important for me to, because a lot of it, we have really some similar in the way. No. Later in life I I was really obsessed with like looking, going through family photos. Like I used to love getting those big okay. Envelopes from my, you know, those Kodak envelopes or whatever you get from like the disposable cameras and like just going through all the different family photos of like, no, me and my little cousin is sitting on a couch. Or like my grandma, my grandparents, all these like business family moments, like I in a weird way, like it made me start to like at a young age and maybe see bye bye you could like immortalized time and like make it stand still. But I never really thought it, I didn't think about it too deeply. You know, like I just really liked, you know, like looking at photos or family photos and stuff like that.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:11:53 No, I love video games, loves playing video games. I played pretty much, I've been as serious gamer since no Nintendo.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:12:01 I've had memories. Oh yeah.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:12:03 You know, it was all these weird little, and then like I said, like, you know, we were talking a little bit earlier, my dad was a contractor, so, well, I mean I an electrician and the contractor, so always like
Gabe Ratliff: 00:12:13 Been able to use my hands. I played the cello, I was in orchestra for like a little bit, you know, randomly. So
Steve Sweatpant: 00:12:18 No, all these lights.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:12:19 Oh. I was always, always good with use my hands. I wasn't good at school really, but I was always good at using my hands. Yeah. Same here. Yeah. My Dad was a contractor too. And, and I grew up playing drums and then got into deejaying when I got older. And you know, I've been, gosh, I've been DJ now, Gosh, since like 97. Wow. And it's just you.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:12:47 Yeah, I remember I started in like, like radio, DJ and then did it show for like four years. And then I started dabbling into the whole, you know, like beat juggling and well just like dance music but also with hip hop, you know, trying to learn, beat juggling and all that and just like trying to figure out scratching and all of that was, we, you know, it was like he just tried all of it and then you kind of figured out where you, where you fell. And same thing, like whether it was drumsticks or records or, cause I learned on records. I, and you know, I've grown through records and CDJs and all the way to, you know, now with like tractor and using a laptop. But it's, to me it's very similar to a camera, you know, it's just like another tool that you're using to tell a story. And I like to tell stories with my music as much as whether I'm doing photography or video or whatnot. And so I, I was that same kind of way. Like I just, I, I like, I like cooking and baking and stuff to you. So it's like anything with my hands, I totally connect with that as well.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:13:56 Yeah, no, it's a, it's, it's really funny how like that is like is the easy little license. So it's like the easy little mind that's always there with that. Well, you know, I don't know. It was all photographers, but I think, but like a lot of creative people like okay. [inaudible] The back then not just creative with one thing. Right. They just like to say like to get the answer to everything.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:14:14 Yeah. Was your household like a creative household, did you have, you know, other like siblings or your parents or anybody with, were they also creative in any way? And like, who, who was shooting those photos that you were going through? You know, I don't know who the mysterious photographer was always the question of who is taking these photos? Nobody ever knows. Nobody ever knows. So I can never credit them
Steve Sweatpant: 00:14:39 Who it might be opinion Myers for all I know. Who knows.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:14:42 But but you know, I want to say like, my parents weren't
Steve Sweatpant: 00:14:46 Like, you know,
Gabe Ratliff: 00:14:48 My parents weren't, aren't your normal kind of creative? They're, I feel like
Steve Sweatpant: 00:14:52 Is there a different kind of creativity like being an electrician, like my dad being an electrician and a con, I'm trying to like, no, that's not an easy job to be an electrician. It also like you had to be really genuinely into numbers and like, you know, construction and like moving stuff around and, and then I'm supposed I'm supposed to be an electrician, but that didn't really work out. Like I kind of like, we used to bring me on job sites with temps since I've been like nine, like no way. Like this is not really gonna work out for me. My my mom is a paralegal and she, no, she's always had like, you know, these and my mom's always, she's always been really like the bookworm of the two. So she, she, she's always been really into like watching my films and like she's really, she's the music head, like she's into like the mix and like that's why I love the next in the first place.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:15:37 So my mom is like the cool one. So I kind of feel like even though she doesn't have like a quote unquote creative job, like I've got my coolness from like my mom like and all that kind of thing, learning all that stuff. Yeah. But then like a, a fun, a fun, random fact about my family is that I'm on my dad's side of the family for related to there's a whole school r and B group. You might, I don't know if you know of them or not, but they call it full force. My uncle was in the army group of old Liga Lewis, my uncle. So they was like in house party and all that stuff made songs for like Lisa, Lisa and think yeah. So I mean we ever, I have like very vivid memories of right as being like in the hood east Flatbush and like in the limo go into McDonald's and stuff like that. Wow. I know a it's just not really random.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:16:25 That's awesome man. That's what I love about New York. You asked somebody like that's why I was curious about your household or your know your family. If there was like creative juices running through the family cause it's like you always hear these fun stories of like, yeah, so, so and so they're in this and you're like, no shit. Of course. No definitely. It is definitely like that. I remember brought it up [inaudible] right. Which is crazy. Yeah. That was like one of the things they kind of said that movie house party. It was like wonderful. Would say that my uncle was in that movie and stuff like that. Like you know people, people don't believe you. [inaudible] Wow. No it is [inaudible] kid and play. I know exactly legendary movie Ma. Uncle was the one who said I, oh my God, no shit. That is awesome. That is awesome. It's so funny. But like all that stuff was hysterical. It's so funny like thinking about that now, you know, like this one thing is fascinating to me is that we live in this era where we now have these people that were like doing such cool shit, you know, like, like being in in that or like Friday or right. Crazy movies. [inaudible]
Gabe Ratliff: 00:17:50 Same thing with, with, you know, you've got these like hip hop dads and, and DJ dads that are now they're kids. I mean there's, there's like, you know, you've got Jay Z, you've got there's oh man, there's a, I'm trying to think, there's a house DJ, his son is now deejaying and he's this like old school, like epic. He was one of the like top Djs. I just spacing his name for years and his now his son is like deejaying, you know, and it's just like, what is that? Like,
Steve Sweatpant: 00:18:25 I can't even comprehend that. Like, it's like my bed, like, you know, my bed and mom's like, I love them. To death. They're like, they're on an electrician and a paralegal. Like I can't, I don't even know what it's like to like I have like check as my dad loved school. Loons yeah. I could even recover your head
Gabe Ratliff: 00:18:41 Bo. I, I, yeah, that I think about it cause like my my niece and nephew, we like early on they were around me and I was, I remember, you know, deejaying my niece's birthday party just for the fun of it for her, you know, and just like playing all these cool tunes and that, you know, we're more like EDM and stuff that, that her and her friends could get into like pop remixes or whatever. But I was like, I'm cool to do this as a gift. And they were getting in a dirty beets as we call them. I remember when she was like two, I have a friend who we were deejaying, it was like a Sunday brunch we did at our, at our house and, and we were, we actually made it like a vinyl brunch. You could only play vinyl. And so we were all playing stuff and he was playing this like just sick tracks and she would go, Nah, that's not dirty enough. And we were just looking at each other going, yeah.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:19:36 Oh, like what is how she's evolving me before eyes. It's so crazy. I love it. And he kept trying to
Gabe Ratliff: 00:19:46 Played dirtier and dirtier and she was like, Nah, that's not dirty enough. And we're like, yeah.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:19:49 Oh Shit. That's amazing. So I was like, if I ever had a child, I want my child to say that it's not dirty enough. Right. Like good. Like it's a girl.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:19:59 Oh my gosh. Right. one of the things I want to ask about, you know, it's like as I had a similar, I had a similar another similarity that how with you around photography was that I'm also predominantly self-taught. I did go to school, but I also had, I, I sucked, I sucked in school. I was, I was not a good collegiate at all. Yeah. And my path has been sorted. It's just like trying to figure out w what my path was. And that's actually part of why I say draw your life. Don't trace it. Because I feel like a lot of people, they, you know, they want to like be on this path of this trajectory that, that society says you have to go on
Steve Sweatpant: 00:20:48 Of, you know, high school, College Wife, kids, dog picket fence, all that bullshit. You know. And, and that's one thing I love about being creative. Like we are, that we don't walk that path. We walk a very different patents. So that's one of the things that I love having people like your cell phone cause cause we enable that and empower that for people by showing the successes that we find in walking our own path and drawing our life and not tracing it. So I wanted to ask about like you being a self-taught street photographer as, as you you speak about. And I was just wonder if you could talk about, you know, what that experience has been like for you and you know, you talked about how you got into it, but I'm just curious like what is this been like since you've now become this professional photographer?
Steve Sweatpant: 00:21:37 And you know, you're doing classes and you know, you're all over the place and you've got such a great unique style. Like what, what does that all look like with you being self taught like that? I think it's kind of important for us to see like, like you know, like they build context around it and like why, like how it started it in the first place of being solved type name and a lot of it had to do with like, you know, so the, the early Instagram community back in that 2012, 2013 since 2012 or 2013 years was that really like instrumental part of my my creative growth in my creative process. Because a lot of it came down to bite, you know, a lot of it in the field training, learning on the fly with, you know, a lot of the people that who I really looked up to and started to reach out to too.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:22:23 Like do the now every, so like popular photo wall, you know, before we didn't call it photo box before we just met up in the morning, I'm at sunrise and like, you know, shot photos and then the Williamsburg bridge or like, you know, go shoot all day in Chinatown, go bother each other and you know, go hang out at each other's houses and learn how to edit and all this kind of stuff. That was a huge instrumental part of my, the early process of learning how to shoot and [inaudible] figuring out how to edit [inaudible] celebrate because now a lot of it came from trial and error. So no, I have to give a big a big shout out. Let's do it. Like, you know, state Jane Silva, Dave Krugman, like, you know, Raheem Black Soap. Like all those dudes were very instrumental in my creative process in the beginning. And a lot of it was really weird and you know, kid got out of your comfort zone, you know, it was okay.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:23:10 It was weird to link up with somebody to go take photos, especially in fact like in 20 2013 not to say it wasn't done before. Because I know definitely, you know, it was going down to some way, shape or form. But you know, it was very new, a new thing for me, especially being, I'm very skeptical, you know, New Yorker. So you know, just took a lot of trust in Mike Meek in and out of my comfort zone. I will say that over and over again to be able to like learn and be able to yeah, both up a reference point. And then from that, from being able to like, you know, because there's a constant learning process, I feel like no information is infinite. Like you never going to stop learning. So as soon as the, I started, started to embrace that, like I started to understand how to find my own photographic style.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:23:50 And that's something that came through a lot of like, you know, a lot of long nights and a lot of no research and a lot of like watching films and like, you know, shooting myself and like, you know, loving one thing and hating another thing. And then currently even like with my black and white photos and like really understanding that, that color, the color grading and in essence of that, no, that came through. Just me being very stubborn, you know, so being able to be, being able to be stubborn and balance out, balance out at the same time, some kind of pathetic value that like, you know, knowing that I'm not perfect and the, it is a everything, it is a continuous, a continuous Beta process. No, I [inaudible] about it. It really be, it alleviates a lot of stress off on myself and a lot of this anxiety that to feel that I'm not good enough because I'm not trying to be perfect.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:24:33 You know, I'm trying to communicate and I was trying to really trying to figure out what I want to communicate about. And especially with eating as a a, a black dude growing up in New York. Like I don't want to, I don't want it to be so blatantly all the time talking about race by saying race, you know, I want to just document it, you know, my fellow brothers and sisters and Linkedin, a very empowering light and that's very real and like not forced. They're not trying to leave a scar, you know, [inaudible] in the community. So there's like all these different kinds of stuffs that all this, these different kinds of things that are happening with my style and that, you know, understanding like my census [inaudible] is like a, I guess just like a really Raul process of me trying to communicate with everyone in a very simple and Jay digestible nostalgic way.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:25:20 Yeah, that definitely rings true too. When I look at your work, I totally get that. And it's a, it took a while to even articulate that mostly because it is, it is a process to try to figure it, you know, figuring yourself out when you're trying to do, and I'm still trying to fit and I'm still trying to articulate it, but I feel at least content, I didn't have it to some extent. I totally connect with this cause that's actually what happened to me with podcasting after now doing this for over a year. And just, it's like [inaudible] like you feel like you got this groove that fits and feels right and, and, and that was something for me that was one of, one of the early places where I connected with what spoke to me was like street art, you know, and, and just loving graffiti and street art and public art, whatever you like to call it and, and how that speaks to the people and the city and the, the community.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:26:23 And so I really connect with that on that level of, of whether it be street photography or capturing street art, you know, and like how, like, it's like the art of the people, you know, it's like, it's not in a gallery. It's, it's, it's by the people. And I've been to some really great places like Spain where I've able to see in an Amsterdam, they both have just fucking amazing street art and they love their artists. And there's so much strife that, you know, they've gone through saying, you know, Spain with civil war and civil unrest and the unemployment rate is really high. Yeah. It's insane. And that the, the thing about, it's the same thing with like New York, right? Like there's just so many people and there's so much going on, there's so much energy, there's so much creativity and it, it's like this, this energy that builds up and it just pushes that creativity and people, I mean, that's why the graffiti scene exploded out of New York.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:27:27 I mean, I love Barcelona maybe about a year ago, and everything that you're talking about is just right on the money. I don't, I can't escape this shit, but I love like, you know, seeing skaters and the skating scene and then like, you know, the art and the music from the museums to the street art to like the churches, the people like, you know, yeah. The anxiety, like all, all of that kind of stuff is, you know, I mean, it makes me, it speaks to me on a level that makes me want to shoot. No, right. You can't help it. I, Gosh, did you go to the Socrata Familia? The the church? Yes, I did. Oh my goodness. Yeah, I felt like was in a spaceship. Right? It's like [inaudible] and I play a lot of video games, so I was like, man, it felt like I went to like a halo church or something like that. Like I kind of was like singing the song and my under my breath.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:28:24 Oh, that's awesome. Yeah. I love that. I definitely were taking photos in there as well too. Oh my gosh. That, that's the thing I love about that place is that it's so old, still not done. The, the outside is got such organic, like the sculptures and everything that are in it are those so organic and, and weird looking. But then you go into stores, right? But then you go inside and then it's just this gorgeous geometry and like preciseness, right. Super symmetrical. It's just like this amazing like gorgeous anomaly. I think it's like the best to me, it's like the most beautiful piece of manmade. A stroke is the most beautiful manmade structure out there. I just think that's one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. As hard, as hard. It's hard to, it's hard to really top that. I really don't know. Yeah, midwives is like, that's tough.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:29:26 Sounds like a map. Partial permit. It's like, that's the only way. Yeah. My wife couldn't get me out of that place and like the light, the way it comes in and everything. I was just like, and I, you know, I, I liked shooting natural light. Just like with street photography, you know, it's, it's like you can't beat it. It just looks so good. And when you get those beams of light in a cathedral like that, that's just so symmetrical and, yeah. Wow. I'm so glad that you've, that you can also talk about that because I, I, you know, there's some people have been to that area and, and some people haven't that I talked to and so it's like you talk about it and you're like, oh my gosh, you have to go see it. I'm actually upset that like we were there, we had a completely different experience in the rain and it was like amongst, we pretty much run inside and all this stuff. Oh Wow. That sounded like, it sounded like you had it. He was great. Like you guys are used ice cream and all that shit.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:30:32 Oh Shit. Yeah, no, it was, yeah, it was like pretty, I think we were there in like may when we went. And so it was in that kind of like hot, nice, still rainy. We missed, we missed the rain that we, when we were in Madrid, it was rainy. But, but in Barcelona we were lucky. We got, you know, pretty pretty sweet days and it was like not too hot yet. But yeah, the day we were there, I mean the light coming into that place, I just, I was freaking out cause like every, I love symmetry [inaudible] and architecture. Yeah. And, and I was like, you can't beat this. This is the best thing ever. And much as that goes, I need to go back. I need to go back. Yeah. I, yeah, I, it's been awhile. I think it was like 2011 when we went to Barcelona.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:31:20 We've got to go back. We have some friends that live in Madrid and so we've we've gone back there I think, ah, three times. And Yeah, we love Spain. So we only been, I've only been once. I might, yeah, yes. On the Alpha collective number also. So the Barcelona portion was actually towards the end, but we got to go to Seville and, and we're not nice for the first couple of days. It's all this pain and I never understood it, but a plays what it meant for a place to be romantic. Like, I've thought that like, you know, yeah, I could be ignorant sometimes. I thought it literally named My, you'll see people kissing in the street. Like I was like, oh, I don't really see anything like that. Like Granada is probably one of the most beautiful places that I've seen. Like this beautiful rural side of the south of Spain. And like, no, the wine is amazing. The sunsets are beautiful. Like the stone complex cobbled streets and like, oh man. Like it was, it was an amazing experience. Yeah. He taught me like one of the top five that place everywhere we've been there. Cause we, we actually, the last trip we went to the northern area that's like the Basque region and [inaudible] region, which is like kind of like north, very
Gabe Ratliff: 00:32:40 North coast and yeah. Oh my gosh. Yeah, that place is amazing. That's so cool. We haven't gotten to go down to that area. But yeah, that place there's just can't stop talking about it. Speaking of romantic one year we went to with a couple of some friends, we went to Prague and that was where I had that experience because a lot of people talk about Paris. They say Paris is like the most romantic city in the world. And we got to Prague and I was like, no screw that. It's Prague cause I had that same experience.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:33:20 Yeah, I haven't been to Prague yet, but that's what, what about places? One of them, that's fine. So it's high on my list that really wanted to check checkout because it just looks, it looks [inaudible] amazing. Honestly with the buildings, like I'm like, I'm must not good for architecture and like, you know, oh wait, I'm not going to say that I'm a history nerd but I'm really into history and all that stuff. So it's just like a combination of everything. The street photography and I was like, ah, she's heavy.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:33:43 Yeah. [inaudible] it was, it was untouched by the war. So the architecture is just phenomenal, you know, and, and like the, the, it's not a large cities so you can really get around and see a lot. And the people are amazing and it's not expensive. The food is amazing. And yeah, I mean [inaudible] and we there, we had weird weather. We had the, you know, we had the nice some days and then it was like chilly and kind of rainy and crappy some days and like didn't matter. It was awesome. It didn't matter. I loved it.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:34:19 Oh yeah. I need to go. Oh, I will. I need, I need to go.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:34:23 Yeah, absolutely. We, we also, while we're, whenever we go over there, I'm a big, so my grandfather was an engineer on the RF and p railroad, which is like based out of d c and I have just always had this thing about trains and I just love, and I, you know, I didn't put the two together really. I just, you know, I finally have now figured that out. But whenever we go over there, I'm always like, let's, let's not fly anymore. Let's just take the train and let's see the countryside. And, and one of the things it was awesome was when we got over to that area that like Germany Vienna and Prague when we were going back and forth between those places for that trip, we got to take the train and we got to go through the Carpathian mountains. And I'm really into like, I don't, I don't know if you're like into like the, you know, vampire and Werewolf and all that or are you too?
Steve Sweatpant: 00:35:17 Definitely, definitely I'm do. I'm a nerd. I love, we'll actually eat it all up.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:35:23 You did all that. So me too. I huge fan of all that stuff and that like, that's like Transylvania is that whole region and or isn't that, isn't that region. And so we're like going through the Carpathian mountains and I'm just like, Holy Shit. Like, oh my God, like we're really close. You know? And I was freaking out cause we're so close to, you know, Romania and everything and we're like going through the mountains and it starts snowing while we're on the train and it's just, it was just picturesque. I mean, it was like what, you know, you can not be bad. No, it was so cool. It was such a memory. I just will hold forever cause it was just, you know, it was just us and some friends and you know, getting to have that time and it was like, you know, you're inside the train getting to have this experience and it's like snowing outside and is this, yeah, it was just like one of those like life, you know, lifelong memories that you're just like [inaudible] it was also like this sort of a bucket list thing because I've just always wanted to go to that region just because of being super into like vampire stuff since I was little.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:36:32 Yeah. Dude. Castlevania like right
Steve Sweatpant: 00:36:37 Pass the Castlevania castle and then it started to snow. Like, dude, that is, you can't make that, you can't make that up.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:36:43 Yes. Yeah. Right. So, yeah. I'm so, I'm so, I'm so glad that you can, you can appreciate that. So I wanted to ask about street photography and how, what drew you to street photography specifically cause you, you know, you had this different start when you were, you know, shooting close and you know, working with hip hop artists and you know, doing these, you know, being in the gaming and everything and, and being a gamestop, how did you start to get drawn towards street photography specifically?
Steve Sweatpant: 00:37:18 I think what drew me into the street photography specifically is a, I grew up in a, I grew up in a job where when this household, so like my parents are currently juggling this is, I'm on grandma. Oh you so live with us. It was a gentleman. Yes. [inaudible] So the grownup at [inaudible] and it's, we had to like, you know, do feel service and knock on people's doors and all that stuff, which is always a really fun thing to go to school the next day after you probably knocked on their classmates door. Right. But, but it did. But one of the things that I used to always love to do, but like, especially when my grandma's, like, we used to sit on the bench, I'm out in the Rochdale, which is like right next, right next where I used to live in Rosedale and we used to sit in people watch and then we would just like, you know, talk about the different people I was walking by or like, you know, all that kind of stuff.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:38:05 And I feel like, you know, that was kind of like, oh, like a, a weird, like a little introduction into like, especially working at a bunch of different retail experiences. Like I've worked [inaudible] from every job, from, from Sears, the game stats, [inaudible] to express too. You know, as a custodian I worked as like, you know, temp agency. So I've always constantly, always been involved with people. So when I started to really gravitate in my, you know, really started to get into photography, like I wanted to do something that felt like that was always honest to myself, which was no people watching and like creating my own kind of like, you know,
Steve Sweatpant: 00:38:39 Stories of the day like of like the crazy stuff that you would see [inaudible] that happened. And then, you know, street photography like slowly became a, so me solely like, you know, became like, no my staple because [inaudible] and then one of the most honest, like most raw ways of communication especially, yeah, I feel like [inaudible] like black and white photography because you're striking up to color and so you've really focused on the, on the subject matter. So, you know, I like when I, when, when I started to shoot film, I when I first started shooting film, I took this crazy road trip with my parents from a, I just got fired from Rei. I didn't even know what with what's really do. And then now my parents was like, you know, well you can come with us on this road trip.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:39:22 You're gonna drive from Denver too. Well it's Vegas. So I flew out with them and I bought a $15, so I'm kind of off Amazon and the Pancake Lens, so like 140 bucks. And then that's another like another place where I really got to like take photos of my parents and went on this crazy ass road trip and really start to get really comfortable with like, you know, shooting photos with people and all that kind of stuff like that. So it was like an ultimate combination of all these things have, you know, oh, the work experience that I've had of dealing with people every day and people watching. But my grandma when I was little and you know, so the cracking Michelle with like, no, doing that road trip my with my parents and my sister and taking photos of them on our, on our own, or a road trip from Denver to Las Vegas, which was hilarious.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:40:05 No is it, there was a one of the, one of the most memorable things that, okay that I'd be happy for me. I think he grown up in New York, two legs, all my friends I'd like, you know, that'd be all shoes together. [inaudible] I mean when we first really started shooting, like I definitely don't do this anymore. We used to literally take photos every day and they'll be, we'll post sites two, three times a day. [inaudible] Like we were, so we were so engulfed in by, well we had gone on, we weren't paying attention to the outside world like of like what else is going on. I was just concerned of like, but like you know when Dave posted or with silver posted or with know Raheem posted or something like that. So it was, everybody felt like so involved in that.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:40:47 Yeah.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:40:48 On our own. Like no very like uplifting are competitive competitors nature, but like every off, lifting kind and collaborative condom, you know, we just got so wrapped up in intimate, I feel like all of us kind of really sound that voice. You know, our founding, our particular avenue book, you really want it to no, go down. Okay. Photography.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:41:08 Yeah. And that, that's something that was interesting that I wanted to touch back on that you mentioned earlier about like Raheem and Silva and some of those cats like I that really reminded me of like a graffiti crew going out together to shoot photography instead of,
Steve Sweatpant: 00:41:27 You know, do it better. We felt like that,
Gabe Ratliff: 00:41:30 Right. That's man, that and again in u s New York, that's what I love about New York. But, and then so I had a guest on, he's actually a good friend of mine. He goes by emit and he grew up writing in the predominantly in the 90s. He started in 89 and he would come in to the city and was learning how to, how to, how to write. And one of the things I really love about graffiti crews that you don't find in a lot of art collectors, I mean you do now, but growing up, same thing with DJ. We had this conversation, the same thing with deejaying. You know, a lot of that type of mentality was you got to earn it. You know, you couldn't go hang with people and they wouldn't, they wouldn't like share tips and tricks. Right. You had to like earn your, your way up.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:42:32 Whether it was deejaying, whether it was graffiti, you know, whatever it was. And I remember a lot of, a lot of that, you know, when you're coming up, whatever the art was you were doing, you had to, like, you had your little crew to like work through that stuff. And one of the things I love about that is that it's, it generally there's always that little bit of competition. But the thing I love about those kinds of crews, like what you're talking about is like, it's not really, it's competition but it's not in this vindictive way of like trying to hold each other down. It's more of this way of like pushing each other up and like, like working, you know, like just he would talk, he was talking about how like they would go out and you would just see how they would do something that was like their style. And you would, they would see what you did with yours. And it wasn't like this, you weren't like snaking stuff from each other. It was just out there pushing each other to do better and to like, not one up per se, but maybe right to like you, but it was all for the benefit of getting better. Was it, was it like that for you guys?
Steve Sweatpant: 00:43:37 Oh, totally. 300%. I mean, one of the first people to really bring me out, like the first person ever to run me out on Instagram community was this guy electrocuted. I'm still really cool with him to this day. And he brought me, him buying me out to have a photo wall. This is like a long time ago. This is like 2012 or 2011 or something like that. So when he invited me out [inaudible] there's two, the first photo wall. I mean, I felt like, you know, he, he didn't even show up to that one, which was hilarious. But like I got to, I got to firsthand experience how like people, you can all kind of interacted with each other. And not to say everybody, like, you know, not to say those that people were mean to me, but they didn't know who I was and like, you know, no, there was just like, you know, they just looked at me like, oh, this is some random bike.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:44:19 Do they just fall down to like funny island? Like you don't know what this guy is so they're not gonna really talk to me. Stuff like that. Yeah. So I had my first experience, but it's kind of like, no, I'm not going to say discouraging, but I'm my man, fuck this, I don't have time for this. You know. So like second time they invited me, I've got to just link up with him and he know he was really nice. He's really down there. He was from New York as well too. And he was a Dominican. So, I mean, it was a big deal for me to see and like, but you know, you obviously need to know that there are full color photographers out there, but it's just really important to me to know like, you know, to meet somebody directly. No, that was a person of color who is Dominican born and raised in New York, like myself who was no, who was the photographer. So you know that that, you know, it kind of like gave me kind of give me a confidence boost in a way. So then he was the one who introduced me to and to the Silva, you know, to silver to Dave and to like Raheem and like [inaudible] each time and individually meeting one of them. Like
Steve Sweatpant: 00:45:12 We had like just very genuine, you know, [inaudible] interaction, is that right? [inaudible] With past photography. Like we actually would like to know actually if I can like, like this dude as a human being, you know? So Bella, I felt like, you know, that was a, that was really essential in my, in my creative process in the beginning, you know, linking up with, nope, not only just people that were talented, but people who are just, you know, normal and like, you know, she's down to earth. They're, you know, they have like, they had other interests outside of photography, back, you know, the enhance their photography. You know, like it was just this really a really important thing.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:45:44 For me, I'm really big on family and I mean, I'm not mentioned them all the time. So like to the point that it's like, you know, you know, just corny, but I had just mentioned my grandma like, but she, you mentioned to me, even though I'm not Huh. No religious person. I'm so really spiritual and I think that, no. Oh, well she taught me from the Bible. First Corinthians 1533 bad association spoils. Useful habits is one of the most truest thing ever. So I really take that to heart. So I really tried to surround myself with, you know, just really cool down to earth people that are really passionate about what they do. And then they did move like those graffiti crews. Right. I remember going through five points when we were at right. But Bob was still up [inaudible] definitely have photos and five times.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:46:26 And I was with like, you know right here by another dude dentist that they're nice. Like all of us were there in that building together though, taking photos over graffiti, you know, which is like a like documentary way of like, you know, looking at it like, oh you know all those, you know, all the dope work that was done. So yeah know camaraderie is really important. And like all right and learning. No, I don't think that, no. And this, especially in this day and age and we'll be going through and said like this whole digital age and there's so much information, there's so much access out there that is easy to like, feel lonely. So it was really important too. Not only like know not only to you really, really well researched and really passionate about what you do, but like getting out the house really tell people [inaudible] that balance is really important.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:47:14 Yeah. Here, here. Yeah. I mean, especially like you said with the way it's getting, being so digital and being able to how they, you know, they co they say connected, but you know, W it's, it's such a, it's such a double edged sword cause it's like you're connected. You know, I s I find it so funny, like now when you, when you do see friends out and you're hanging out, maybe having a drink or something or somebody's birthday party or something, you're catching up and they're like sharing something and you're like, yeah, I saw, you know, it's like the figure, like, I know, right? You're like, oh well, okay, cool. What we talk about. So what don't, you know? Yeah. You know, it's, it's so weird because, and it happens all the time now. Like you'll, I'll share something, be like, Oh yeah, I saw that. I'm like, oh, okay, cool. Well, what's up with you? Put your phone away.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:48:19 I'm not, I'm not sharing anything else anymore. Yeah. It's a, it's a, it's definitely my guidance, a new ways that all of us, like, you know, depending on, you know, depending on your age group or like all of us are experiencing it at the same time, just on different levels. Yeah. And Yeah, and I, I think that's, I appreciate you sharing that because I, I think that's something that we really have to, to not just speak to you, but to act on and to, to live that example right. Of, of, of still continuing to have our community and, and, and, and get together in life and go do these things and interact in that way. And they, you know, I think it's great to be able to go share those things. But like the actual interaction between humans, I feel like there's, I don't want to say it's a backlash, but I feel like there's this growing consciousness around a lot of people and we're having these conversations about that of like we s you know, we still have to have community and still have to have people that we're going out with and doing those things.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:49:19 Like you were saying, like hanging out with dope people that you can, you know, push each other and have these experiences together that are then feeding back into your creativity or back into, you know, how you're handling a project or you know, giving you ideas around your business or like your work or whatever it is that you're doing and feeding your soul so that you can go out and do that thing that you love doing. And it's not just like you're getting sucked into this like echo chamber. That's this. No, that's not, this is going to end up running out of, yeah. You mentioned your family and how important they are. You, you did it in the questionnaire as well as as just a moment ago and I was wondering, you know, what part do they play in your life and, and, and what fuels you with your work being that they're so important? I think it was really important about family to me is a, I'm really obsessed with it does a, this concept of legacy. Like, you know, what's going to happen after like after it's all said and done and I'm really proud. Oh right. No, my family is like accomplished, you know, even though like, you know, middle-class Sam really, I'm really proud of what they've accomplished. She know
Steve Sweatpant: 00:50:28 And me not being able to be as religious as my parents want me to be. I feel, I feel kind of obligated that I need to do this right. But I can't give them, if I can't give them, like, you know, I guess like some kind of religious solace of being a druggable witness. Like, I feel like if I, if I could at least, you know, if I, if I could at least be time the best person I can be as a photographer as and human being and as you know, as you know, running a magazine with my business, my business partners it at least I got that part right. And there's something that's just really important that I feel like that I, I take, I take them very generally to me especially everything that they found yeah. That they that they'd been through them.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:51:10 Everything that my dad's been through this year. My dad has gotten really sick this year. He's a, yeah. Multiple strokes. A lot of that stuff, the mortality, mortality in the situation becomes when more real to me when stuff like that happens, you know, like you don't have any control over stuff like that. So I know I have some control over what I do with mine. Hi, is my life. So I think, yeah, that's my thinking. So important. Yeah. And I'm sorry to hear that, but I'm glad to hear that he's still going strong. And, and that he's still able to see all what you're doing. Oh yeah. Very grateful. And it's just like, you know, no, the mortality, the mortality of it, the situations that my life just became so much more real to me. Maybe understand, okay, maybe more connected with my, my photos and like my purpose of what I'm doing with my art because a, it has to mean something, you know?
Steve Sweatpant: 00:52:00 And then I feel like, and I know what the meeting is a lot more now then I definitely than I ever did before. Yeah, I, I totally understand that. I've had a couple of things in my life similarly there that have done that for me. I lost a good friend a couple of years ago and that was similar. I mean, he was very young and you know, it's, it's you know, when you have somebody who's like a bro that you've, I spent a lot of time with and gone through a whole lot, you know, done a lot of cool things with and just, you know, really become tight and, you know, and it, you know, I feel like when it's a family member and it's my clothes like that, or if it's a friend, that's the stuff that really hits you hard, you know, when it's like maybe that distant cousin or something and you're like, you still, you know, it hits you.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:52:55 Right. Or if it's, you know, you see stuff everyday that's happening. I mean, we're unfortunately seeing a lot of stuff with these fucking mass shootings and whatnot. That's like, it, that shit really shakes me up and makes me angry and sad. But you know, when, when it's somebody like that and it's unexpected, you know, just like with that mortality that you're witnessing with your father this year and, and how that becomes this reality. And it was the same thing for me with my mind. My friends, you know, where it's out of the blue and it's real, real close to home and so that stuff really shakes you up and get you right and they like shit becomes real and you really take stake in like, oh yeah, it's a good reminder. It's, it's unfortunate that it happens, but it's part of life and it's, it's, it's such a great reminder to us that like every day really is important.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:53:52 And you know, it's all, I love how you said that a minute ago about like, it has to have a point and like in that, you know what that is now and that helps feed you your, you know, feed your creativity and your work when you go out because you, you, it does have a purpose and a meaning and comes from this place of like recognizing that life in time is fleeting and that it really is important to do something with the time that we do have no, yeah, I mean it's a, it's a, it's a, it's also like a coping mechanism in a way. You know, the one thing that I know that I can do and then I can bike. It goes back to the whole thing that I was talking about before. Like, you know about the community, like communicating, no, all of this kind of stuff.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:54:38 I remember I was sharp. I shot a, a try to dig for it. Nike, I started making games for the New York versus New York basketball tournaments that they've been doing in the city during the summer. And one of the parks that they were at is a Gershwin park and [inaudible] in the hood, like in East New York. And like I, I really love, oh, basketball is if it, if there's not video games then as basketball, nice. It's like my two biggest loves, especially the mix. And I'll let the next like so much to hertz. Yeah, they you somebody. So I love, I love like, especially like growing up in New York, I grew up playing basketball. Like everybody thinks they're kind, make it to the NBA and so like they're 18 and I was definitely one of those kids too. So I mean, I love basketball and I still do even though I'm not afraid anymore.
Steve Sweatpant: 00:55:25 So if I shoot street photography and photographing basketball at the time, like synonymous with me because I feel like they're one in the same because they both candid. They both were all w they both very emotional, like, you know, they both timeless. And I really getting gravitating towards documenting basketball and my, and my career and not just in my own personal work as well too. So that's why I've been really happy to, I work on this New York first in New York City, but one of the things I really speaking about, like, you know, my dad's house and like, you know, understanding the mortality of it, you know, I've been documenting a lot of Nope, like, you know, just a lot of fathers with their children and they're like this [inaudible] you know, this reoccurring theme that there's not a lot of black fathers out there like you, no black fathers and they're supportive towards their kids. I grew up in a nuclear nuclear household with my mom and my dad. We've been married for like 35 years, you know, so like to me like then it makes that I, every time I heard that I was like, that's not true, but I have parents, you know, so I was, I mean I made it my goal to like make that I got a lot
Steve Sweatpant: 00:56:24 Of photos. I'm like, you know, you know, fathers with their kids and stuff like that. So I mean some of my favorite photos that I've taken in my life,
Gabe Ratliff: 00:56:30 Honestly
Steve Sweatpant: 00:56:31 Done during that time of, during that set. And like, you know, I just think that that's the kind of stuff that means something to me and I've been able, I was able to talk to some of the fathers about like, no really briefly, but like, you know, just telling them how like, you know, how, how important I think it is. Like they, that they with their children and something bad about my situation. So yeah, this is a really easy way to communicate with people in multiple different ways. They're like, that'll be like documenting people did make them feel better about themselves. Empowered and important but also be able to share.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:56:59 No Sherry
Steve Sweatpant: 00:57:00 And you know, shared with the worlds.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:57:02 Well, two. Yeah. Oh man, that's so great.
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Gabe Ratliff: 00:58:30 I appreciate it so much. I also grew up playing [inaudible] ball. I used to practice like four hours a day after school and I was blessed with my mom. We lived right across from our church growing up and my mom was the librarian for the church. I'm just, you know, like, like super part time, you know, on the weekends and stuff. And so we had a key to get into that area that was like the gym and the library. So I could go and shoot inside all year long, all year round. And some are some retired nights when your kid is like, man, this is, this is the best thing ever. But it was, it was awesome. And I would just, you know, I'd grab the ball, grab the key and run over and I would just practice drills and dribbling and, and everything
Steve Sweatpant: 00:59:22 For like, it was literally like four hours. I was watching like pistol p videos and Michael Jordan and you know, I, I grew up, I was a, what's that? Is that pistol Pete was so cold by, he is usually, he's alive. Right? I mean it was like him, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan. I mean, you know, just all the greats. I was just like devout to like anything. Yeah. I mean the bowls for so long, that was my team. And I mean they had a, I mean that was the dream team there was just like ridiculous. It was great to watch, right? I mean, yeah, there's just like such great sportsmanship and yeah. And it just came from such a, that's the thing I love about, you know, the street ball is that like you're saying, you know, grabbing that, it's like, it really is akin to, you know, grabbing those moments on the street.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:00:23 It's, it's just pure and it's, it doesn't, but that was one thing that I just, I'd love to buy as anybody could come in and play a pickup game and just jump in. It didn't matter who you were and if you just were into the game and you know, really like, you know, we're into it and like wanting to just be part of the game and just let everything else go. You could just go and play, have a good game, win, lose, whatever you'd be back the next week, you know, and keep, keep playing, you know. Yeah, I played, I played basketball every day. Oh, we used to right out of basketball, like limited roles down. Like that's like the most southeast part of Queens. So we had a swamp in my backyard because should make the bay was that backyard. So like when, when I was younger, like when the concourse was still like around, like concourse would fly over my house and like not stuff off the wall because it would be so powerful cause it would be so close.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:01:20 We're so close to the airport. Like I grew up with turtles and shifts like in that backyard and stuff. It was crazy. But I had a little bad that my dad gave me a little hoop. Amen. It bought me a basketball hoop in my backyard. So if you, if you could survive, like, no, if you could survive all the nets and like, you know, the occasional like bus, right. That pops up once in a while, but you know, you can get a really good game back there. I had a lot of good games. No, the ball would go, go over the fence and out of like basically like jumping on my neighbor's fence, like into the swamp, didn't get my basketball and then I used to, we used to pull out, then I, I had it like, I'm so cool with the, I'm so best friends with them to this day.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:01:58 The, my two best friends lived up the maybe like four bucks up and I used to go to their house. If I got tired of practicing in my backyard or run over to their house and then we will pull off the hoop and then have the hoop in the street and then we will be playing basketball in the street. You have to put like two bricks on top of it, on the back of the hook. You know, it was a no, you've are, you, you don't forget all those. Never forget those those, that, the basketball most, I mean, it's helped me a lot about practice. Like, yeah, no, not in order anybody can play. Especially it being a medical thing that queens and long island border bikes, I definitely played against some sort of Jewish kids that were just filthy, like, so nasty.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:02:34 I was like, man, if you could play, it doesn't matter. But anybody, white, black, Asian, green, yellow, purple. Like who would downplay, yeah, right. That's what I loved about it. Yeah. It didn't matter. That was, it was, and you know, I was, that was why I was kind of like pausing a little bit as I was saying that, cause I was just thinking back through the same thing, like just thinking about all these crazy games all over the city where we would just find a core and there was a court like near our neighborhood. It was kind of like up the hill and then we had the one at the church and we would, I mean we'd have like lock-ins where we would just play until we like literally fell over cause we couldn't, we didn't have any more energy, just like toast. Right. It just, you know, running, running, running, running, running, running, running, you know, just back and forth, back and forth and you know, playing horse you know, whatever. It was just like whatever game you felt like playing. And I, I'm vertically challenged. I'm about five, five, 10, you know, so like I was always focused more on my longer game as much as I get, I was like, I'm going just shoot jump shots. I'm not trying to get hit all day. Right, I was aggressive, but I didn't want to like, you know, yeah. I don't want to go ahead like that.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:03:57 Yeah, no.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:03:58 So I wanted to ask
Gabe Ratliff: 01:04:02 Around you, you know, coming back a little bit too, like the street photography and when are you were talking about, I love, I love what you were talking about with capturing, you know, fathers in their children and you know, getting those moments and showing that that still is existent and that there, there is that hope in family and and then, you know, grabbing basketball and things like that. What else do you look for when you, when you go out and you hit the streets and you're, and you're looking for subjects, like how, how do you, is it just like what, what moves you or like the moments what, how do you kind of, how do you kind of like work around that and like work through that when you're going out? Like, what, what leads you,
Steve Sweatpant: 01:04:48 I think one of the big things that happened with me is like, especially like when I first started, like when I first started shooting a lot, like, you know, with my, by myself or like with the, you know, with my friends is that a everything, we just went out to go shoot. I was like, Oh, where are we going to go shoot at? Like, you know, it was always like, and you know, [inaudible] you know, I love going to these like, it's not like, it's not like I don't love going to these places like to the Chinatowns and to like these specific locations where we will always, we were spot obsessed back. Like in the days
Steve Sweatpant: 01:05:18 I had to change my mindset to figure out like, oh, what am I actually doing? So I, I took that, not to say that I like, I don't use the word anymore, but I really try to enforce documenting. They weren't documenting like, what am I going to go document today? So [inaudible] it opened up my, it opened up my if it made me feel a little bit more free in a way that I didn't need to go to a spot necessarily. Like I don't need to go to like Chinatown or go get a photo. I don't need to go to like the midtown to go get a photo later, I'm just going to document it day, you know, and whatever happened that day. But I feel like that was visually striking. My mother is a,
Steve Sweatpant: 01:05:54 Whether it's, you know, an interesting person or you know, the way that the structure and the light is, you know, hitting the certain spot at the same time. Or you know, if I'm take an Uber and I'm going through the city Jewish neighborhood and like there's a bunch of the city Jewish kids, you know, like I'm, he's shooting up the car or you know, going down Berlin Broadway and there's a bunch of kids like, you know, doing wheelies in the bike or something like that. There's so much different stuff that I'm documenting or even just like the, all the different buildings that are just being built on a consistent basis over here. I think documenting [inaudible] is the words that I kept on reinforcing over and over again. So that's what pushes me. Like just my, like just the feeling of the document, you know, document bytes. Whether it's through like I'm obsessed with seeing people like hustling and bustling and doing their thing, you know, just working and like, you know, on the rush to go somewhere. Like I'll always love seeing stuff like that. They're like very interesting shadows and like, you know, a way in placement or
Steve Sweatpant: 01:06:49 Does seem like those iconic you, the New York street is that we all know about getting to know like one of the people that I like Taco hoods is one of my favorite people too. No bother. Like this guy, Ooh, they call them like the neighborhood Golfer. He does like you need tossed around the neighborhood but like no cards and stuff like that. You know, being able to like shoot with people like him. It sounds like a folktale but like this is a real person and his name is Patrick Barr. He's one of the nicest people ever, but he calls himself tiger hood. You know, being able to work with like, it ranges from everything, you know, cause it's like I took the shooting out of it but I'm going to go document, no New York car. I'm going to go document brush alone or I'll document Cuba. You know, they signed in different ways. If I wanted to go shoot it like w I will look at it completely differently. You know?
Gabe Ratliff: 01:07:34 That's man. That's awesome. I love hearing that. That's so cool. That d you know, cause that just that little shift right in that language, it really does make such an impact on, you know, how you interact in the world when you're doing that kind of a thing. Like you know, capturing these moments and documenting as opposed to, you know, like you said like I'm going to go shoot this. That's awesome.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:08:01 It just feels like it's over after that as you shoot this, Ben is going to be done, you know? And that like, it's not to like say that there's anything wrong with the word in itself, but you know, it's just like that, that gun shooting things and like, you know, it's just, it just felt like, so I guy
Steve Sweatpant: 01:08:16 Still so binary.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:08:17 No, I was like, either you're shooting or you're not shooting, you know, like, so I guess you're like documenting is a process. I like, there's always continuing all the time. Like, you know, you're doing research, like, you know I'm obsessed with listening. It's a radio wall. I like, you know, like, okay, different radios, radio stations or like, you know, looking on that, all the different references and this phone on the world and stuff like that. So like newspapers, like it's just like all this stuff that I gathered my day, then it makes me, it kind of builds, builds up what I want to do. He notes a say. So, yeah, I feel like it's always, it's always consistent with, it's a consistent state of mind with me. I've taken, I feel like I take photos from them. I camera all the time. Yeah. I have to ask also, I'm just curious because I'm also a big fan of him, but have you ever met Brandon Stanton?
Steve Sweatpant: 01:09:03 No, I have not, but I would love to though. That'd be crazy. Yeah. I just, I actually found him on, I've actually listened to him on a few podcasts. But he, his whole humans of New York project was just so moving to me similar to the work you're doing right. Like, cause you both are capturing these moments and documenting and that's why I was curious since you guys are in the same city, if, if if you cross each other. I, I wish I was, I wish I would have, oh, I wish I would have, oh, he must on your project is one of like one of those Oh gee. Yeah, no DACA documentary projects that I feel like just as become like this fable and like storytelling, you know, cause he's just, it's just so well done. I mean like I've been following the humans in your assessments.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:09:53 You did the Facebook post. Wow. Definitely. Yeah. It's been a, I've been a fan of him from awesome. Yeah. Yeah. And that's such a great story too because it was kind of the same thing right, where he just started doing it and you know, he wasn't trained and just kept doing it and doing it, doing it and just really, really got into it. And then continued to grow. Seemed like you were same story with you where you just kept going, you know, getting working at it and going out and documenting and continuing to grow in your craft. And I was just curious cause I'm also just, I love, it's very similar stories and, and I was just curious if you guys had run across each other since you're doing similar work. One of the things I was first introduced to you through one of your classes on street photography, on creative live, which I'm a huge fan of. And and I, I'd loved your class being, being also a fan of, of street photography and Street Art, a r c, you know, capturing street art. I just, I, I was really into your class and just how you show up in the world and like your story. And that was what led me to having you on the show today. I was just curious like what was that
Gabe Ratliff: 01:11:14 Experience like when you, when you go from, you know, when you go from like you're growing in your craft and, and just doing your craft and doing your thing to teaching, that's a shift that we make as creatives. And I'm just curious like what was that experience like? And, and and you know, just being in that different perspective as a, you know, as a teacher and not just out shooting.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:11:38 It's really weird for me because I definitely was a kid to get in trouble in school all the time in high school. Definitely. I was always in the Dean's office and it wasn't for being like, was it for a beat? I want you to act up all the time that was classified. So being okay shifting to eat, but I've always been a big brother. Like my sister's a, I'm seven years older than my sister. And even though I'm the middle cousin, I've always been, hmm. Like the tallest cousin. Oh. And my mom's side. So I've always, you kind of have, yes. It was very kind of big brotherly thing going on even if I didn't want to, once you admit to it. So like going into the teaching aspect for me was, you know, it was really hot, unbelievably. And at the same time I'm going to make sure that I communicate things that I know and I never have [inaudible] a condescending or potentially is tone because those are all the reasons I've [inaudible] every time that I disconnected with a teacher or a person of authority, which, which I would probably really just have people problems with people of authority.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:12:41 But every time I had a problem with them is always like, I feel like it was an abuse of power. And I've really tried to communicate and like, and just very odd, a very humble, genuine, like, you know, not condescending manner. Okay. [inaudible] Like, you know what? I know and it's been a very interesting experience for me. Yeah. Because I've been here, been getting such a very positive reception towards, towards my online classes. I was in, I was actually in Thailand and like changed by okay. At James Bond Island maybe about a year ago, two years ago. And like I said, the island is somebody screened out these sweatpants and like this dude came up to me, he was right from Germany. Like, you know, students like six, three, this do came up, come up the same Eddie took mine. Yeah. They took my hat on my arm, my classes, and then he took a selfie with him and all that kind of stuff. So it's a [inaudible]. It's really weird, but it's really humbling. But at the same time I'm, I really, I'm really just trying to like convey like what I know and not trying to seem like I know everything. Yeah.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:13:47 Yeah. It was like, I mean, that was the thing I loved about it was, it was I just connected with you, cause I just saw similarities that even more have come up today. But just how genuine you were and authentic to just being passionate about capturing the street and life and moments. And we just were kind of along for the ride and
Steve Sweatpant: 01:14:13 Know and it was really cool. I, I, that's why I was like, man, I gotta have him on the show. It's so cool. This is like, there's all these funny things that I've like, I've never had a problem with public speaking because like, you know, this is where like growing up a jungle witness, it comes into play. Like when you have the goal with your servers and knock on people's doors, like it kind of alleviates all sense of fear. Yeah. So it's more of like my, my fear comes from nothing like a no at all. I think that's way more like I have, I will have nightmares about that because I really just, I hate that. I hate that feeling and I hate seeing other people like got it. And then all the people in all the creatives and like directors or whatever, people that I've gravitated towards they never act like no one else.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:15:00 No. And I feel like those are [inaudible] those kind of situations you've always learned from. I also think it's really important to like last and you got the laugh and learn at the same time. I think that if you're not, if everything things are so stoic and and stiff and that seems like everything has to be, everything has to be like, you know, you laughing, joking about everything. But I do think there is a very important, there is an important kind of kind of synergy with I know laughing and learning because I feel like if you could laugh about something that [inaudible] it tends to stick, you know, it tends to stick with you. Yeah. Yeah. And I I Aye connect with both of those statements. You know, the, the know it all thing and the authority thing. I'm the same way I think. I'm not, I'm not into that.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:15:45 And it was like not be a turned off. Yeah. Right. Yeah. And it's the same thing with the note all thing. I mean I, I'm always trying to pay attention to that too with myself when I speak. Cause like for me in the way that I grew up, I was, I had, I was around people that were not communicative and that ended up being at the detriment of some relationships. And so I have just kind of through that, realized that like, I'm just overly communicative cause I'm like, you know what, I'm just gonna I'm the same way if I'm, you know, working with my team or if I'm working with a client or having these conversations, right? Like just being communicative, like, hey, this is where things are just so you that, you know, and it's the same way when I'm, you know, I'm talking about stuff, I'm just like, I get excited in these kinds of conversations. And so I'm just like blabber mouth. That's why I started podcasting and, you know, and I, I just, I love talking shop and especially with, with, you know, fellow creatives and, you know, getting into this kind of, these kinds of conversations is like talking about our stories and getting to this kind of stuff because there's so many similarities there. And you know, we're all just very kindred. And I mean just people in general, a lot of us are more kindred then a lot of people think and it's like you start to dig
Gabe Ratliff: 01:17:10 Into these stories of like, aw man, totally right. Like with basketball, I was just listening to you like, yeah dude, I totally remember all that. You know? And then just, I was totally the same and it was just like devout to that sport.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:17:23 It was my life, you know, my dad was like [inaudible] just the game, you keep on playing the game. Like you don't get paid to buy it. Like, cause I don't care that, you know, I'm going to make it to the NBA. He didn't make it to the NBA but but no. Yeah, I just, there's just so many like, you know, like basketball and like, you know, basketball was just one of those things like, no, there is no mass. You know, you see the people's faces. Like you see the emotion. Like you can see the aspect of seem like they understand that aspect of like a star player. Like, you know, you can know what a ball hog is like. And then so many different parallels like of basketball to life. You know, I started to pick up on that. I was like, man, this is weird, you know?
Gabe Ratliff: 01:18:04 Yes. Yeah, it'll be, we did that with deejaying. I remember in the early years when, you know, you all would all get together and be wanting to, you know, to practice and share tunes and, and just play and only so many people had decks to practice on. We had DJ hogs, which were completely the same as ball hogs. I mean, they was just, they would get on and play and like four hours later you're like, dude,
Steve Sweatpant: 01:18:31 Get the fuck off ridden. So funny.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:18:39 So, so I want to, I want to switch gears here a little bit because you're also an entrepreneur and I wanna I want to kind of take us into what you've got going on these days beyond what you've, we've done with photography, but with, you know, your cofounder and Director of street dreams photography publication and agency, and then you've also got street dreams magazine. I was wondering if you could talk about those and like how they came to be and how you met Eric and Mike and like how that all, how that all came.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:19:12 Yeah, sure. So street dreams, if it wasn't for Eric and Mike, even with a lot of the fatigue, the stuff, it's like they are very instrumental in the, in the, just as much as the process of, you know, me being able to will be where I am to have this conversation with you on the phone. I have like a, just as much as like I was talking about like a lot of the dudes from New York and then like, you know eventually to like a lot of different, like a lot of reference in Chicago. In La, it's like, it's the same thing, but like, you know, Eric and Mike in Vancouver. So the way that we met each other is through my Barbara actually my barber. My Barbara is like, like the Oracle, he knows, he knows everything, he knows all people.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:19:55 And I've been cool with him, you know, for like over like 10 years now. Just about my, Barbara is like, I'm really close to my barber. His name is Aja and he's not even like just a Barbary pretty much said he does everything. It's even weird saying by, he's just the barber. The aging is like one of those dudes a like when I didn't have any money, our like, you know, I needed help or like, you know, I needed anything, you know, he will always like, you know, he will hold me down by what might be sweet parent is ms spotlights, you know, my first photo shoot, that was a, but my first real photo shoot was with a j and disclosed that he designs and stuff like that. So he's like, he's been a very instrumental part in my in my career and in my life in general.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:20:37 So like w by early, early in our license, like early, like when we first met each other and stuff like that, Jay it was telling me that like, there was this dude [inaudible] wanted to meet me. That was from Vancouver. At the time I probably had around like 5,000 Instagram followers. And so, and I started, I was starting this thing on Instagram called 16 by nine bucks. Alright. I just noticed that everybody like, and that's at the time, like I've noticed that everybody, he was following all these things, different kinds of trends of like these very inspirational quotes all the time. And like with their photos, like, you know, the sun will rise again. And I was like, I'm not sure into any, any of that kind of stuff. So I decided to, sorry, dropping my photos in the 69 format because I love film and I wanted to kind of establish that kind of, yeah.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:21:23 Affecting my photos, have this cinematic kind of feel. All of my captions were, Whoa, more or less like this. Okay. Dish, like stream of consciousness. I'm like, I like to put it as like my Shakespeare in approach to the day of like all the random shit that happens in New York or like in my conversation. So like if I were hearing somebody like [inaudible] if I were going to Popeye's and hear somebody arguing about like, you know the biscuits, I would talk, I would like post the photo and you'd be like don't ever, don't ever go to Popeye's and, and that's where it [inaudible] 11:00 PM or something like that. You know, I started like, I started to build like a whole catalog because it was more or less like I'm like not only do I love him pop in like not only do I love hip hop, hip hop has a lot of songs about empowering like no like fight the power and all that kind of stuff like that.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:22:08 But I'm also like I yeah I love music in general. So like [inaudible] when I was 21 I grew up as a crazy punk kid. So like I I've got, I went to a lot of like [inaudible] like a lot of those punk shows back. Like when I was like early twenties and stuff like that and Waynesburg and like les and stuff like that. Sorry, I have, I've developed a big love for like minor threat and like bad brains, no, all those kinds of dudes. So it was like punk and hip hop where like my bye, my vehicle for my rebellion, for to all those kinds of stuff. So that's what inspired like my captions and like just my whole outtake to like the whole Instagram landscape and they started to get some attention but I never got [inaudible] like, you know, I never got blessed by Instagram, so I had to do it the hard way and it gets suggested use or anything like that that I had to grow my following like, oh that stuff by myself.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:22:56 So every quarter on to me very early from all that stuff out in Vancouver and really thought that I was like really showcasing a real New York viewpoint and like, you know, photography style. So he really wanted to link up with me. Ah, so the fast forward h j always used to hold by post parties and events at his at his face that he used to have out in a and Williamsburg, Williamsburg on Grand Street, which is like kind of, I wasn't [inaudible] so that was walking distance. So I would walk to a spot first parties all the time and stuff like that. So at this party [inaudible] now wife was there and when I first walked into the party I noticed that this dude was around like some really cool like Japanese shoes and I'm a sneaker head and I saw the shoes and I compliment people on their stuff.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:23:35 So I was like, Oh man, those are some dope shoes. And he's like, thanks man. And then when I walked into this, when I walked into the party agents like, Oh yeah, let me introduce you to everything. Do they as complimented the issue is having to be Eric, that's costly. So we hit it off and then like the next day I was like, Oh man, he never really gets in New York like that. We should go to the Williamsburg bridge. So me, him, his saline his wife we both depressed Williamsburg Bridge and we spoke about the whole concept of street drugs now using, so [inaudible] you know, because I always thought it was really like metaphorical of every year. Yeah. That we created like this bridge between like, you know, Vancouver, Canada and, and right. Canada and America. And we did it on a bridge, which was pretty cool.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:24:14 So yeah, that's awesome. And it ended up being him intubate him. So we've been working now like we've now it's like to fast forward even more. We are shopping, we've been trapping our 15th issue. And not October actually, which is crazy. I have this is that first one in Japan. So are we gone? It's an optional for the first time we've done galleries in Toronto and Vancouver and my show, you know, New York, La, and all over the space, but we never than anything outside of the, Huh. Outside of North America. So this is a huge deal for us. I think he's doing that. So be really excited by that. You know, it just came a long way. And like the reason why we created the magazine in the first place was we just got tired of [inaudible]. Yeah. Everybody had to like, there was like this weird, there was a weird process like in their early twenties in the early part of [inaudible], the, that gay guy, you know, you have to like, it was still kind of old school.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:25:09 Like you had to like beg people to like, you know, get on or like there was this weird kind of kissing ass kind of stuff. And I've already kind of told you about having a problem with authority. So you know that I definitely am not testing any, can I just ask? So like that, but I'm, but I'm willing to work with people. Like I've always said I will work with you but I won't work for you. I'm down to work with anyone pretty much, but I'm not working for anybody. So we got tired of working for people and we wanted to work with people. So when we created the street dreams, all the people that I, no who told me how to shoot a lot in the beginning, like [inaudible] no Silva and like, you know, Raheem and Dave those are the, like the founding people that'd be featured into the magazine because we wanted to feature eight different photographers, like four, I mean six different photographers, three males and three females and be curious.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:25:55 And the Hashtag called street trees mag, somebody said what I did was 16 by nine buds for the purpose of street drinks by the Hashtag was to give everybody a chance to get their work featured into the magazine or into the Instagram. So when we first started it out, like, you know, we have, we had a couple of hashtags in there. But not, I think we are 10 million hashtag showed. And then we've been [inaudible] we have to on 15th issue and [inaudible] we've been able to establish a creative agency on top of that too. So we've been able to work with all the photographers that we got to work with in the magazine as well too. So we figured out a way to not only like establish, I'm a platform that does, doesn't require as kissing a very like genuine, inclusive no family, a family environment to share photography and keep it like these time capsules.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:26:43 So if you will, and each issue to represent each region contemporary and contemporarily and also like we would like to say such a past president of next. So we're doing that in each issue. We are able to work with all these photographers who ever had a chance to work with some of these brands. And also like with even with ourselves as well too, us being able to establish our own kind of portfolio. And also like being photographers ourselves individually. We have [inaudible] I kind of unique, a unique perspective on this on the art world and not on the marketing world. So there's been a lot of lumps along the way. But there's also been a lot of it's just been a beautiful experience, honestly. It's just this, like, it took me, it took me beating a dude from like Canada. So in order to like work with somebody, it's a, it's a, it's just like, it's just that it should, it should say that it's just a really beautiful way that it worked out.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:27:36 Yeah, I love it man. And it's, I love that support back to photographers being a photographer and that it's, this is kind of continuing that collective that you've been getting support from in New York with Silva and Dave and Raheem and people like that, you know? And just like having that, like taking that and supporting them and then other photographers and just having it be this, this place of, of support and you know, lifting each other up and showcasing their work. I mean that's, that's like, I mean it's just like super aligned with the way that I like to interact with creatives as well. I mean that's, that's part of why you're on the show is cause I just, I love the work that you're doing and where you come from with it and you know, want to help showcase you and what you're doing individually, but also with what you're doing with like with street dreams. Cause, I mean that's just, it's awesome to be coming at it from that angle and then be trying to progress the space at the same time and and, and come at it from a different way that comes from this place that you're already doing that with your work.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:28:49 Oh yeah. I mean, a lot of this stuff is, it's just, it's everything to us. Like, you know, this is like, our lives really depend on this, you know, those like, one of the coolest things that, like I was talking about how your own mortality stuff, you know, how real mortality is. You know, like my [inaudible] no, even though like my dad is a really, oh no, you know, he knows really sick and stuff. I'm forever grateful that he was, he's been able to come to like some of our biggest shows and like my first gallery and all this stuff. Like, you know, every time we do a st Jude's gallery, like we really wanted to alleviate the feeling of it being like there's really like uptight [inaudible], you know, super artsy. Like, you know, like you [inaudible] black tie events, something like that. We wanted it to be, you know, everybody's welcome.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:29:37 You know, you could bring everybody from your grandma to your kids, you know, if you wanted to bring the handles, if you wanted to bring a Henny bottle that's fine. You know, still, you know, we wanted it. We wanted to be, she's really open, you know, and everybody to really experienced that. And then like I will bring my parents there, you know, and even though like to be able to bring parents that are like Jehovah witness parents and then they could still feel like they have a good time and respectful of, but at the same time you still have to have 17 year old, 18 year old kid. Like not being able to see his work for the first time is like, that's the ultimate spectrum that we love to live in. You know, like of this completely inclusive. And most likely we used to a utopian idea of like, dishes come together and look at these time capsules together, contemporary art that like, you know, be to focus on all these dope photographers and now we're going to start working with artists as well too.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:30:24 Because no, as much as I love photography, like all this stuff evolves to other things too. So I've been obsessed with art. I've been obsessed for arts since. No, I've been younger, but like, you know, through video games and like, you know, growing up in Queens, I'd be all the graffiti, everybody didn't feed great. So, right. There's all these, all these different introductions to it that kind of evolves into like, you know, my love for all these different kind of art styles as well to like, as well as Eric and Mike. So, you know, we yeah, we just, we just really, we're really fortunate to like, you know, create like this environments that we can bring our families into. Especially like now, like, now that my dad's probably not gonna be able to go to galleries as much anymore, right. He, he's been able to like, not only has, I'm glad that he was there to experience them.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:31:10 Yeah. Experienced the galleries and like seeing them for herself. But like, no, they have a lot of people who are other photographers or creatives that wanted to come up, you know, see my dad, you know, my mom, but they weren't able to take it with my parents too. So it's just a, it's a, it's a really, it's really cool when a lot of multiple levels. Yeah. Oh man, that's so great. I'm curious, what's, can you tell us about Steve's flea market? What's that? Oh yeah, yeah, for sure. [inaudible] Market is something that I've been working on. I don't to launch this fall. And the whole concept was decently market is, instead of just selling 'em, I wanted to, when I created my website to show no, finally, I've been working on my website forever, but I'm finally almost finished with it. But I W I didn't want to just make a web store to sell prints.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:31:57 I wanted to, I wanted to be, and when they do the be the same all encompassing failing. Okay. That'd be good with the magazine that are tried to do with my life and how it interact with people. Steve seasonally market is no another ecosystem for that. So but I'm doing is not only something prince, but I'm working with different artists and different designers to create a different world of different stuff from like I said, like from prints to I'm making that actual pairs of sweatpants for the first time and that a bunch of other really cool stuff that I'll be able to collaborate with different artists so we can actually start doing different kinds of experiential events so we can actually hold, yeah, we'll likely market so everybody can, you know, be introduced to different artists and different designers and be able to like, you know, eat good food and you know, is a very, being able to bring like different parts of New York in the worlds all over Nice. Is like pretty much my goals. Like the East Coast Rose Bowl. Yeah.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:32:53 Oh, I love it. I love it. So I'm gonna, I'm going to start to wind this down here a little bit. As we start to wrap up and I wanted to ask a couple of, I was like to do some fun wrap up questions at the end. You know, just it lightens it up and it's always, it's always nice to like have some fun and ask them stuff like this. But before I do that, I was wondering, I was wondering what advice would you give to your younger self or to young people that are, you know, wanting to either become a photographer or just get into the creative world? Or even as a, as an entrepreneur
Steve Sweatpant: 01:33:36 Man, so much shit actually I think, but I think to keep it simple, you just have to really be aware of self-awareness. It's balance. It is two of the things that you have to be very comfortable with. I'm in that process. Being self aware could lead into like, you know, just understanding what would your, what you're trying to communicate with your work and your creativity. Understanding like what kind of people that you have around you that could be really good to your best for the tasks. How's that for you? I'm understanding that, that, you know, as much as you can take references from things, you still need to have your own kind of individuality and and then the balance with that is understanding that no, as much as you do certain things [inaudible] as much as you probably do research, you need to be out in the field as well too. I mean, maybe as, as much as you are hanging out as in networking, maybe you should be B a hermit sometimes. So like, you know, really kind of collect your thoughts. So I think that if I was telling my younger self if I had to tell my younger self of anything, so it's just really, you know, reiterating over and over like self-awareness and balance.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:34:43 All right. Now let's do some fun wrap up questions. You mentioned, I'm obviously also a very big fan of film and Cinema as a, as a filmmaker, as well as a photographer. I loved hearing that about 69 vibes. It's awesome. What would, what, do you have like a favorite movie or documentary or do you have it like a top, top three or I know some people hate the, the, the one favorite.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:35:09 No, this is like, I like to my shit same first. First will be that always comes to mind that I always have to get out of the way immediately is a teenage mutant Ninja turtles a secret of the ooze. The second one, it's probably one of the most fire movies ever made. Probably watched it a million times and I watched it when I was, I watched it recently. I was like, man, this is still so I love that elect. Absolutely. I love that movie of Big more theories side man, man. Hi. So there's, there's a couple, this is one of my favorite movies. Am I going to say like there's definitely others, but like, you know, you know how that works. Like you always think about the stuff that really pops up in your head all the time. Yeah. Pan's labyrinth is one of my favorite movies ever.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:35:54 I love that. I love a glare. Motel Torro. I love, like I'm really into like that they know, like I told you, I'm a nurse. I love the fantasy element of it. I love things little weird and heart filled at the same time. Very hopeful than like, yeah, that El Capitan, all that stuff. I mean, it's amazing. [inaudible] A king in New York. I love King in New York so much for Christopher Walken and like Lawrence Fishburne, like one of those early movies is like, it's like obviously like, not like those cinematic like crazy movie, but I just thought it was so raw and like the feeling of it and like does seem like that's embroidery and like the music, the clothes like [inaudible] you know, I, I just, I just love that up. Ah, I can't, I can't get enough of it. And then the last one, last but not least. Okay. Easily as a wash of little lambs forever. Aye. [inaudible] A a toss up between sounds and lands and aliens. Yes. Yes to all of them. Yes. There's a bunch of other stuff that I'm leaving out. Right. You know? No, I love Denzel. Anything that would then sell on. They pretty much is the, it's a classic.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:37:06 I'm in St Man. I'm going to totally do what you just did. I'm so, I have to tell you, Guillermo is one of my favorites. I absolutely adore Guillermo del Toro. I, one of my goals is to have him on this show one day.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:37:19 Don't please let me know.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:37:23 I mean everything from Pans Labra to Pacific rim. I just love him. So Denzel, have you seen fallen?
Steve Sweatpant: 01:37:33 Actually, I haven't seen polling. Highly recommended. Wait, wait, the lawyer though, he's like a lawyer or something like that.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:37:39 He's a cop. It's the one where he's a cop and the guy it's like sort of supernatural where the guy does some like ancient pagan ritual or something. And he he lives beyond his death. He's, he's, he dies in the gas chamber and Denzel caught him and he can transfer from people to people by touching them.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:38:04 Yeah. Jealous big. You remember that movie?
Gabe Ratliff: 01:38:06 Yeah. Oh Gosh. Yeah. It's so good, man. It didn't get great reviews, but it's just like one of those sort of under the radar. Denzel movies, you know, he's done so many epic movies. I mean, from glory to the hurricane. I mean, just,
Steve Sweatpant: 01:38:20 You name it, but endless list. Yeah. I forgot. Oh, I feel so fucked up. I have to say this on wise. Oh, Scott pilgrim versus the world. Yes. This is the first time I've seen that. I like that. I got, I was a [inaudible], well my, one of my former roommates back in the day, so stoned watching that, but I think I was crying during [inaudible] DJ battle part that was just so beautiful to me. I was like, man, this is insane. Yes. I have a bunch more here than just coming up in this conversation. Right. True lies. Oh my God. Yeah. And I mean, yeah,
Gabe Ratliff: 01:39:02 I'm the same with you with like aliens. I, I love, I love alien and aliens. I love Jim Cameron and really Scott,
Steve Sweatpant: 01:39:12 Grab the goat. The Martian. I'm a Houston Martian. Love the Martian. A blade runner one too. I'm a sucker for Christopher Nolan. Anything. Christopher Nolan too. Oh yes. Yeah. He, he makes no sense to me. My dream, my dream was to become a filmmaker. I've directed a couple of shorts, so like, I don't know, so I'm feeling a little bit more confident with that. But yes. Okay. Yeah. Like we could, yeah. This is so many movies.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:39:40 Yeah, I was like asking that one because I find that, you know, this is one of the things that a lot of us really dig and I'm always curious to hear what people think of as their favorites because of the, and I was like, that's why I don't like saying just like the one favorite because I feel like it's such a hard question. It's like who's your favorite musician or band or artist or whatever. It's the same deal. It's like
Steve Sweatpant: 01:40:04 All of them. Like, so every box I think that looks like, depending on like it, depending on the month, I can tell you it could be somebody completely different, honestly. Right. I didn't get into these these pockets of like I just like, I just obsessed, but were certain certain directors. But I love, I love so many of them. Like, I know that I'm missing out with somebody, people that I can, no, but I other movies that I love too, so I was like, wow. Yeah.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:40:29 Like David Fincher, you know. And that's like another whole, that's like another whole conversation.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:40:35 The Cohen Brothers like Oh yeah, Fargo, Arvo is the moving Fargo was just so dope to me. Like it's just, it's like this is so much of it. It's just like, it's just insane. I love like those, those, I just liked that. I love both of these. Like these mysterious no are kind of bye. You have to wash more norm Florida forever. No. Like, so it's like anything, pretty much anything like that boys. Like I'm already pretty much so bond.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:41:03 Oh Man. Love it. What obsessions do you explore on evenings and weekends?
Steve Sweatpant: 01:41:11 Hmm. Aye. I I'm addicted to I'm addicted to youtube, so I ended up being on Youtube, looking at like, either like ign, gay marines. What's another one? I watch studio binder emergency. Awesome.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:41:29 Cause emergency. Awesome.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:41:32 I always, I get stuck into the youtube pockets four hours and I forget that. I've, I've, I forget that. Like I was trying to watch like, you know, something on Hulu or something like that or Netflix, but then, you know, then I will go back into another pocket for hours. It was currently, currently I've been playing, I've, I'm playing my switch a lot more. So I own a ps four and the Nintendo switch, so I've been playing a lot of Barbara Alter the alliance three I've been playing probably and it's an obscene amount of hours in this game. So like it's like a, I go to these things where either, okay, when I was like super busy, but about a week ago for all this stuff for complex con Chicago and, and you know, getting the gallery ready that we had prepared over there. No, I, there was no time to think about playing any kind of game. And then as soon as that's over, like I, I could like completely like lose my life, you know what I'm saying? I spoke completely into the the matrix.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:42:27 Yup.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:42:29 My Room for days,
Gabe Ratliff: 01:42:30 It looks like I love it. I was like to ask as we, as we wrap the show, is there anything else that you'd like to say or any last parting words before we, before we close out?
Steve Sweatpant: 01:42:50 Oh yeah, that's definitely like shadows, the Brooklyn, you know, Queen's all day. Ah, what's up mom? Sorry that I curse on this. But you know, I love you and yes. Johnson street dreams.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:43:03 Nice. Oh, here, here. And very last question is, you know, where can people find you on the interwebs and where can they get Ahold of street dreams magazine?
Steve Sweatpant: 01:43:17 They can find you out. [inaudible] On the interwebs right now on my Instagram is my main way to find me. It's these sweatpants and also make sure you follow or check out St Jane's Mag as well too. [inaudible] The street dreams Mag B. So the stretching's magazine on our website, on the streaking bags on the street trends magazine website. And the next issue is going to be available in early October. So be on the lookout for that. And I'm really excited for this one. We have some really, really amazing features. I could just tease one person to say that I'm really happy that we haven't been there, but we're working with Chanel and [inaudible] most about is one of my favorite photographers of all time. So, and we have a lot more people involved in it as well too. So this has been a really big one for us too. So I'm excited.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:44:02 That's awesome man. Congratulations.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:44:04 Oh, thank you.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:44:06 Well, Steve, man, thank you so much. This has been such an awesome conversation. I mean I, this is like, I love the, the gamut that we've been able to cover from basketball to Barcelona. So thank you so much and thank you for your time. Thank you for the work that you're doing and for the passion and the purpose that you have behind it. And and thank you for how you're supporting the community with the magazine and what you're doing with street dreams and just keep up the great work brother.
Steve Sweatpant: 01:44:36 No, I really appreciate that, my brother. And thank you for giving me a chance to, you know, talk with you and no, like the basketball, the brass and all this stuff is so real because I'm [inaudible] it just shows out like how much of a real person you are as well too. So I really appreciate you acknowledging me and giving me a platform to talk about what I love. So I just got to see you brother. I appreciate that.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:44:56 Well, that's it for this episode and this is your first time listening. Thank you so much for being here. I really hope you enjoyed the show. The Artful Entrepreneur podcast comes out bi-weekly and is available every other Thursday for your enjoyment and all links and show notes for this episode can be found at theartful.co. If you haven't yet, please subscribe to the show and leave a rating or review on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. If you'd like to be a guest or know someone that would be a great fit, please go to theartful.co/guest and thanks again for listening. Until next time.