Beautiful artists like Bowie, Prince and Cohen (just to name a few) have left us.
A 108-year-old curse was broken by the Cubbies. And a hotly contested election lost some people “friends” on Facebook.
Of course, so much more happened than just these things. We’ve had 11 months of cheers, jeers, fears and outright craziness.
But in our little corner of the world, something significant stands out about 2016. Medallion Press set out to do something that would allow us to engage with our readers and contributors on a much bigger stage. And in April Crixeo was born.
Crixeo began with the notion that amid all the noise and monotony, we could find a place of common ground. We wanted to create an area of the web where we could shine a colorful light on beautiful people, wonderful things and thought-provoking conversations.
We believed that where life and art intersected, dreams could come alive, we could celebrate together, new ideas and new movements could be introduced, and we could agree to disagree and still go about our lives in peace and love.
I’m proud of the work we’ve done. And I’m proud of the contributors who have given their voice to this idea.
For all of you who have stopped by and paused to read through our monthly issues, thank you. Thank you for sharing, thank you for liking, and thank you for conversing with us.
It wasn’t enough for us at Medallion Press for Crixeo to be just a concept. We needed it to be real. Our hope is that we’re living out of the simple wisdom given to us over 40 years ago by Dr. Frank-N-Furter:
Looking for inkspiration? These are the Star Wars tattoos you’re looking for. The Star Wars cultural phenomenon continues to grow with the eighth live-action film hitting theaters December 16: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Nearly 40 years after the first Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, fans have proven Director George Lucas wrong: “I didn’t think the film was going to be a success,” he said at a Tribeca Film Festival panel. Fans of Star Wars show their support in various ways, and some immortalize its iconic characters on their bodies with tattoos. What drives fans to get Star Wars tattoos? To answer that question, I reached out to Lucasfilm-licensed Star Wars tattoo artist Mike Bianco at the Ink-Fusion Tattoo Empire. “Much like myself, most fans have an emotional connection to the films or their themes in one way or another, so getting a tattoo related to …read more
Nothing spreads the holiday spirit like eviscerating Christmas music and movies. Everything pumpkin spice is (thankfully) on its way out in favor of peppermint. And despite some autumn decorations still being up, we’ll soon be overwhelmed by Christmas music and movies. While some of us will be busy arguing whether it’s “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings,” we’ll blissfully ignore the fact that some Christmas pop culture staples are pretty, well, offensive. Here are six examples of popular Christmas music and films we know are problematic but will overlook because it’s the holidays, dammit: 1. A Christmas Story (1983) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTq20prt0K8 This coming-of-age classic gets plenty of play during the holiday season. And though we can empathize with Ralphie’s infatuation with an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot range model air rifle (or a modern-day Nerf gun), it’s rarely brought up how the movie ends on a sour note. The Parkers patronize …read more
The optimism and magic of ‘La La Land’ could propel it to a place among the top musical films of all time. La La Land, a sunny romantic musical film starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, is a pastiche of the great Hollywood musicals of yesteryear. La La Land combines modernity with nostalgia that drips from the screen. The film received a fair amount of buzz during the festival circuit. From Venice to Toronto, critics waxed lyrical about director Damien Chazelle’s take on the classic musical film. What’s the appeal of the musical film genre? Dale Robinette/Lions Gate The musical film is, at its core, pure romantic art. It presents the viewer a certain alternate view of how colorful life can — not should — be. The origins of the genre can be traced to the transition from silent film to talkies. The official launch of the genre was Warner …read more
The world celebrates with the Chicago Cubs, who broke their 108-year team curse. Do you know about all 10 of these curses in sports history? Curses and superstitions are curious parts of sports lore. Some swear by them, while others laugh them off. But if you believe in curses, the longest team curse has been broken, and five million people filled the streets of Chicago to celebrate a new era. It happened. The Chicago Cubs finally broke a string of 108 years of heartbreak by winning the 2016 World Series. The storybook ending featured a three-game winning streak with their season on the line, and an extra-innings game seven that will go down as one of the greatest of all time. The longest title drought in major professional sports is over. The curse has been broken. Let’s take a look at 10 legendary curses in the sports world. Broken Curses The Chicago Cubs Curse broken, …read more
This year the news of many celebrity deaths, from Harper Lee to Prince, shook the art world. Here are 29 creatives we’ll miss like crazy. The year 2016 was a lot of things. It was the year we gained and lost friends on Facebook in a heated election season. The year Batman and Superman finally made it to the big screen as a dynamic duo (of sorts). And, sadly, it was the year we lost some of our most influential thinkers, musicians, artists, sports figures, filmmakers, writers and other heroes in our pop cultural pantheon. The world is ultimately emptier without them, but they left us a rich legacy that will fuel the creativity, courage, artistry and innovation of future (and present) generations of imitators and admirers. Keo Woolford (1967 – November 28, 2016) Keo Woolford was a multidisciplinary artist perhaps best known for his role as Detective James Chang in Hawaii Five-O. …read more
Want to shop small and support worthy causes this holiday season? We’ve got 25 gift ideas, and there’s something for everyone on your list! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! If you haven’t locked down your gifts yet, fret not. I’m back with a brand-new list of gifts that give back. For every incredibly cool item on this list, there’s an even more amazing cause that gets support with every purchase. Everyone is covered — from your hard-to-shop-for boyfriend to your stylish, she-has-everything aunt, this list helps you shop small and is full of things you might just want to keep for yourself. For Her 1. Huipil Bucket Bag ($240), Ever Maya. These bags are one of the most coveted shapes for bloggers this year, but the goodness doesn’t stop there. This bag was made by Guatemalan artisans using upcycled traditional fabrics, and a portion of every sale is donated …read more
These sherried pearl onions make a delicious side dish. Looking for the perfect addition to your holiday meal or a delectable side dish for tonight’s entrée? Try my sherried onions. Sherried Pearl Onions A flavorful, elegant side dish 1 cup pearl onions (frozen are easiest, just thaw) 2 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon sugar 1/4 cup dry sherry Melt butter over medium heat and cook onions until golden. Sprinkle with sugar and cook until brown. Add sherry. Cover and cook until warmed through. Getty Images MAD SCIENCE Add your choices of herbs, such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. If you have leftovers, chop up the sherried onions to make a flavorful addition to stews and soups. …read more
Dito Montiel shares his personal motivations for directing the dramatic military thriller ‘Man Down’ starring Shia LaBeouf. I caught up with Dito Montiel between advance screenings of his latest movie, Man Down, a dramatic military thriller starring Shia LaBeouf, Gary Oldman, Jai Courtney and Kate Mara. We touched on everything from the December 2 film release to his early artistic career in music, which led him to prose and filmmaking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KWbLummuMI Can we lead with a little about the soul of the movie? Well, I can tell you why I did it. My father had epilepsy when I was growing up, and when he’d have seizures I would put my hand in his mouth thinking that was the right thing to do, so that he didn’t bite his tongue off. I was saying, “It really hurts.” And he let go for a minute so I could get my hand out. That seems …read more
With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story coming out this month, we at Crixeo thought it might be fun to show you how to draw Darth Vader (who will make an appearance in the film)! When I get to work on one of my fun Star Wars illustrations, I use a sheet of copy paper and a #2 pencil and start sketching. Here’s my process... [smartslider3 slider=8] Step 1: Draw a circle at the top of the page, and add center lines for the middle of the head and for the bottom of the eyes. Step 2: Make the eyes and an upside-down “U” for the nose. Step 3: Draw a triangle for the mouth under the nose and a smaller triangle right under the top one. Then draw some wonky triangles for the cheeks. Step 4: Next draw the helmet by starting at a point in the middle between the eyes …read more
Have you heard of these 10 forgotten, obscure or strictly regional holiday traditions? Some winter holiday traditions are just everywhere, arriving earlier and earlier each fall. You couldn't forget them if you tried: the filling of stores with decorations, Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas trees, menorahs or eating way too much food with your family (or chosen family). We don’t ever imagine holidays without these things. But what about those other traditions — the ones that didn’t make it and faded into obscurity? Or the ones that are regional? Or little-known? Here are just a few of those, from around the United States. Ragamuffin Day Photo by William Sumits/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images Giving trick or treat a run for its money, this forgotten New York City–specific holiday tradition took place on Thanksgiving. On Ragamuffin Day, children would dress up in hobo costumes and go door to door asking those who opened if they had …read more
A buyer’s guide to the three big-budget first-person shooter games available now. Which one’s right for you? Each holiday season, a myriad of big-budget video games vie for the attention of gift shoppers and gamers looking for an experience to get lost in. The first-person shooter genre is a mainstay at the top of wish lists and sales charts. This season, instead of the usual one or two blockbuster FPS titles, there are three: Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. How do you decide among three games which are set to appeal to similar audiences? Even if you can afford to purchase all three, precious gaming hours are limited, so which virtual world should you spend your free time inside this holiday? Well, that depends on what you’re looking for. Let’s break down what’s inside the package of each of these first-person shooter games — all …read more
Grammy nominations were announced December 6. How does an artist make it to that point? Two artists and a voter discuss the process. The process for an artist submitting their music for the first time is exciting to be sure, but it’s also stressful and a bit complicated. If you’ve been nominated, entering your follow-up album and hoping it will again find its mark is another journey entirely. Or, if you’re someone like me, new to Grammy nominations voting, this is a trip unlike any other. The Grammy nominations are announced each December, but the submission frenzy is a nonstop entity unto itself. Once an artist decides to submit, a plan is devised to keep their name and their music in front of the Recording Academy members. Social media is one way to do it. Besides the GRAMMYPro site, there are private groups on Facebook where voters can connect, consider each other’s music …read more
Keep your gadgets secure with these quick data security tips. The world we live in has dramatically changed even over the last five to 10 years. Everything is seemingly connected to every other thing, and convenience now rules the day. Unfortunately, when you make things convenient for the end user, that usually means they’re easily compromised by the bad guys. So how can we keep our gadgets safe and ensure data security? Password Protect Your Device with Strong Passwords Add a PIN (use the maximum allowed numbers for your device) or a unique password. It’s the easiest and likely the most important thing you can do to protect your device and data. Keep Your Device Up to Date All the modern mobile operating systems release frequent updates, which should be applied as soon as they’re pushed to your device. These updates usually address security holes found, in addition to improving …read more
How did the concept of the psychic evolve throughout our cultural history, and how do psychics and prophets continue to draw people in? Reality is defined by the mind observing it, and the mind instinctively rejects ideas that don’t fit within that reality. It’s a survival mechanism — keeping our deep emotional ties to certain belief systems intact, whether those beliefs are supported by facts or not. Undoubtedly this is why, in a 2005 Gallup Survey, three out of four Americans indicated they believed in the paranormal. To be more specific, 41% believed in extrasensory perception (ESP), 26% believed in clairvoyance, and 31% believed in telepathy and psychic communication. This is after a 1987 study by the United States National Academy of Sciences declared there is “no scientific justification from research conducted over a period of 130 years for the existence of parapsychological phenomena.” I won’t attempt to prove whether paranormal activities …read more
As a professional photographer and cinematographer in Hollywood, Eric Curtis captures stunning portraits of celebrities, such as Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. But his passion for photography goes beyond the limelight. When professional photographer and cinematographer Eric Curtis is getting ready for a shoot, it usually involves a truck with 700 pounds of lighting and equipment. His signature technique, called overpowering daylight, means setting up for the shoot will take him and his crew at least half the day. But the shots will be unlike any you’ve seen. That’s where he takes great pride because they’re 100% authentic (no digital manipulation here). In your still photography, you bring studio lighting outdoors. Does that have a name? The technique that I like to do is called overpowering daylight. Strobe photography for 1/1000 of a second is way more powerful than the sun, or at least it can be. Just that flash of light …read more
A comprehensive look at the female buzz cut in pop culture. There is arguably no hairstyle in pop culture that has quite as much meaning as the female buzz cut. A buzz cut on a female character always broadcasts subtext about the heroine and her story, and furthermore it’s almost always the same subtext. That’s not something you can say about any other style or beauty choice in pop culture, whether it’s bangs or a tattoo. Although the female buzz cut is slowly gaining popularity in real life (particularly on the runway and on Instagram) it’s still rarely seen in movies and TV shows. Most people can probably count on one hand the number of movies they’ve seen with a woman sporting a buzz cut. That said, they’re still much more prevalent in recent years than they used to be. Going back several decades, it’s difficult to find a movie featuring …read more
YouTube videos for kids are reality TV for your little ones and a dream come true for children’s products. No, the revolution isn’t being televised, but it is gaining ground on YouTube. A new brand of camaraderie is on the rise. While some kids might still build communities the old-fashioned way, many have chosen YouTube channels to share the best, worst and most intriguing items to look out for. More engaging than the traditional infomercial, these YouTube product videos feature blind bags, egg openings, shopping trips and more. Popular brands such as My Little Pony, Minecraft, Angry Birds, Puppy Surprise and others help to engage, inspire and tease. Facilitated by the connectivity of the 21st century, these channels are made by kids for kids (and sometimes by families for families). Here’s a look at some YouTube channels for kids that your family might really enjoy. Fun Toys Collector Disney Toys Review …read more
From the silver screen to your headphones: 6 movie podcasts you need to try. Kermode & Mayo’s Film Review Brilliant and highly respected film critic Mark Kermode and radio presenter Simon Mayo tell it like it is on their show on BBC Radio 5 Live. They might be considered harsh, but when the theaters are awash in remakes, reboots, rehashes and redos, if something shines, Kermode and Mayo give the project its due credit. Their interviews with actors and directors are fantastic, and I recommend their podcasts featuring insightful talks with Zachary Quinto and Sir Ben Kingsley. If you’re just getting into film and want to have someone cut a trail for you straight to the things worth watching, you can’t go wrong listening to Kermode & Mayo’s Film Review. Direct Each week hosts Eric and Levi go through one film in a chosen auteur’s filmography. They track the director’s growth …read more
Want to render a group of twentysomethings speechless? Look no further than the opening act of ‘Black Mirror.’ The first time I watched Black Mirror (season one, episode one, “The National Anthem”), I was sitting in a science fiction class. As the plot unfolded and the situation on-screen grew increasingly dire, I found myself wondering how far my professor had chosen to push the limits of a state-school curriculum. The answer: pretty damn far. “The National Anthem,” season 1, episode 1. Via Channel 4 Anyone looking to render a group of twentysomethings entirely speechless need look no further than the opening act of what would prove to be a riveting television series. There was nothing borderline about Black Mirror, which originally aired in Britain. The writers left all rules in the dust. Everything was fair game. Critics likened the show to The Twilight Zone, revamped with the endless possibilities of modern …read more
An exclusive peek inside the lab of Canadian engineer James Hobson, whose latest inventions include working Captain America shields, Wolverine claws and Iron Man thrusters. Every Little Boy is a Superhero. The sign hangs in engineer and YouTube star James Hobson’s tricked-out garage. As he presents his latest inventions to the public, the words appear to sum up his mission statement. Hobson, a 26-year-old living in the sleepy town of Kitchener, Ontario, about an hour and a half west of Toronto, is known as the Hacksmith. What he and his team do is nothing short of remarkable: They create weapons and devices from superhero films, TV shows, comics and video games. Their goals? To see if they can create these one-off prototypes, and to demonstrate that building cool gadgets from scratch isn’t impossible. “If I don’t know how to do something, I’ll learn how to do it,” Hobson tells me from …read more
NYC’s extensive subway art collection is one of the world’s largest and most accessible museums. New York is known as one of the art capitals of the world. It has a strong gallery presence. It has popular and honored museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art and more. And its thriving arts scene encourages creatives from all walks of life to move to NYC to pursue their dreams. It’s no wonder NYC is seen as a center for the international art community. If you want to see the most viewed artworks in New York, however, it’s not enough to walk around Museum Mile. You’ll have to go underground — to the Metropolitan Transit Authority Subway System. Have a Happy Day by Soonae Tark via MTA Arts & Design. Through the Percent For Art program, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) …read more
Concerned for displaced and abandoned pets, these artists help dogs by photographing, drawing and painting them to open hearts and homes. With a needle in one hand, a veterinary technician was about to euthanize a dog, when she glanced at a photo that Nanette Martin had taken of him in the photographer’s effort to help dogs find homes. The technician put the needle away and later told Martin, cofounder and executive director of Shelter Me Photography, that he simply couldn’t kill the dog after looking at the photo. Artists throughout the country and around the world are focusing their skills on shelter animals. By taking pictures of them outside the walls of the shelter, by drawing them and by otherwise capturing their personalities in beautiful images, they hope to help dogs get adopted as quickly as possible. In other words: they save lives. Here are six heroic artists using their talent to help dogs move out of shelters and into homes. Shelter Me …read more
I’ve seen martial arts training help a middle schooler overcome homophobic bullying, two women with Down syndrome gain self-confidence, and a middle-aged mom take down a workplace serial groper. Here’s why I think everyone should try martial arts. I grew up in a foster home run by a corrections officer, who at one time was the Hapkido champion of Plattsburgh AFB. Our garage workout sessions sparked my love for martial arts that followed me into adulthood. Furthering my childhood love of fighting, I became dedicated to training with the goal of teaching martial arts. I gravitated toward the Japanese styles and found a home in the more physical, rough-and-tumble, realistic training of Seito Shito Ryu karate, Okinawan jujutsu and Judo. A decade later as a sensei under the tutelage of Hanshi Fracchia and second soke, I was teaching karate, jujutsu, Judo and a women’s self-defense class. Before my health required …read more
He calls himself Motor Mouth and makes amazing car art with a paintbrush held in his teeth. But where is this unique artist? There is a uniqueness to every artist. It’s more apparent with some than with others. One unique artist took a tragic accident and turned it into a life-changing event. Following a swimming accident in 1992, a then-21-year-old Christopher Kuster was paralyzed from the chest down with no feeling in his hands, fingers or wrists. Kuster had enjoyed an outdoor lifestyle on the west Florida coast while working in automotive bodywork. Confined to a wheelchair, he needed to find a way to capture the tranquility of his home and his love for cars. While in recovery, he taught himself to paint with his teeth and has since adopted the nickname Motor Mouth. He places the brush in his mouth, and what happens is pure artistic magic you have …read more
Popularized by reality television, scenography is an age-old art merging with sophisticated technology in a visual mind-stun. Were you there when America’s Got Talent encountered the scenography performance by Freckled Sky? Did you hear Heidi Klum let out a genuine “ooohh” as a surprising set of images hit the stage? Freckled Sky on America’s Got Talent / via NBC In Britain, performance groups Another Kind of Blue and Attraction brought audience members to tears. So a computer projects an image and people dance with the image, right? Have you ever been to the LAX airport where digital projections are not only realistic but interactive? Even a small airport in Hartford, Connecticut, has advertisements that airport patrons can manipulate with their bodily movement. If you haven’t seen a scenography performance, imagine a sophisticated version of these airport interactive environments manipulated by trained modern dancers who turn scenery into an artistic interaction. Imagine Pokémon …read more