It’s kinda crazy going from corporate SLU to Art Central in the Inscape building, Here, we are thrown-in with all the other refugees from the 619 Western building who are taking up shop in the former immigration building after having their own building deemed not safe for the viaduct tunneling.

Specifically, we are at the Urban ArtWorks space, which is now bustling with youth and painting and action. Urban ArtWorks employs court involved youth and, together, they create 95% of the murals and artwork you see decorating our fair city. It’s definitely a winning situation for everyone and worth checking out on your own. Heck, our desk is even a panel from one of their murals featuring Eazy-E (How sweet is that?)

We are exchanging a logo for space with Urban ArtWorks. Barter is our favorite way to work. We’ve spent a lot of time crashing in the space and picking up the vibe as we make sure we connect with them and their needs. We have to earn the respect of the participating kids as well as the funding corporations that contract them for work. We’ll post the finished product so you can be the judge if we did it. It has been hard working on it with the client within site of our screen. A lot of time spent on it outside of the normal work hours.

*If I was 15 years younger, would I have 10 tattoos by now?*

People keep walking into the space because, like everyone else in the building, the door is open if someone is here. So we’ve met people all over the building – not just those in our basement stronghold.

The basement is actually one of my three complaints. 1) The coffee setup is not up to par. Still better than Hovie’s – but everybody’s is. 2) The basement is, uh, a basement. There’s only one window, and even that has a deep window well, so there’s no sunlight, no blue (or even cloudy, grey, wet) sky. 3) The Internet connection is sad. We’ve had to hack into a neighbors open router to gain access most of the time. It’s a world away from ISBs dedicated T2 line, which was the best we’ve had on our tour. Off the sky deck and into the gutter, I guess.

*I did get a sweet new rug from the give-away pile.*

We’re grateful for anyone hosting us, but we especially like cool spots such as Urban ArtWorks – even if the coffee/view/Internet sucks.
The bike commute has been cool – I love riding down the waterfront again like I did when we were at Graypants.
We’ve been super-busy and that totally effects how we interact with our hosts. I’ve been a giant stress ball, but they’ve been more than cool dealing with our heads being down and generally not as fun as we could be.

Truthfully, this building is the first place that has got me jonesing for us to settle down and claim a new spot just for us. There are some beautiful light-flooded spaces down here that I could easily see us calling our new studio – this must mean it’s time to leave. I definitely do not want to commute this far for years.

*I want to have more flavor than Flavor Flav.*

The International District (ID) has been endless fun, walking into Uwajimaya – heck – just the foreign nature of it all is entertaining. Especially to a Midwest boy. The bookstore is endless fun, the dim sum is tasty, it might just tweak my brain permanently which, after all, is the exact reason why we became a traveling design studio in the first place!