An Insightful Conversation With Our Brother, Akira

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

A few months ago we had this creative epiphany of how we could redevelop TMM’s platform. We’re still in the very early stages of development, but our goal is to create a site for folks to learn about amazing creators that haven’t been heavily published by mainstream hypestream media.

We’re currently focused on up & coming visual artists and in time have plans to highlight designers, & musicians as well. The idea is to repurpose our current site to build this vision of highlighting the purveyors of low-brow culture, or what I’ve began to define as the sub-hype. We want our site to be a place where people come to find out about creators that are making meaningful, amazing work that fly below the radar of “Hypebeast” status.

The catalyst of these ideas all began with an email to our brother Akira Beard...

On Fri, Mar 23, 2018 at 6:57 AM, Neal Hilo <> wrote: Morning Akira, I've had this renewed inspiration to write, and interview again. Wanted to share with you my latest blog posts regarding a past conversation that I'm sure we had at some point in the past regarding where creativity comes from, and the Ted Talks with Elizabeth Gilbert - author of Eat, Pray Love. Here's the post: The past two mornings I've been getting up and putting some of these artist interviews I've been doing recently through social media and translating them into Interview posts which you can find here: #TMMArtistInterviews: Will try to call you on way home today from work to chat more. Peace, NEALHILO CREATIVE DIRECTOR NEAL@THEMETHODMAKERS.COM

On Fri, Mar 23, 2018 at 11:56 AM, Akira Beard <> wrote: Great to hear youre on the creative tip. Its food for the soul. I will check out the links today. Lets put our heads together

On Fri, Mar 23, 2018 at 3:29 PM, Neal Hilo <> wrote: Let’s build like voltron NEALHILO CREATIVE DIRECTOR

On Fri, Mar 23, 2018 at 3:29 PM, Neal Hilo <> wrote: And constructicons NEALHILO CREATIVE DIRECTOR

On Sat, Mar 24, 2018 at 9:49 AM, Akira Beard <> wrote: Good morning. So I checked out the links. I enjoyed the latest interview with Paul Escolar. It was a nice introduction with learning of a new artist and the work. I liked the work in particular and it made sense discovering Paul's influences - Mike Giant and McGee. Not to sound vain, but I enjoyed reading my post also, and listening to the Ted Talk with the introduction of the typical artist struggle with making a living that you wrote up. It was a great collaboration of elements. I hope you continue with more of this, which sounds like you are in the process of. Sharing some of where I'm at creatively -- I've been working on a project since around 2003. So it's 15 years into it. On the surface the artwork might not appear consistent, but underneath the consistency has been with its development. Its like the metaphor with peeling apart an onion, layer by layer. It began obviously on the surface, thru the art of self portraiture.

Akira Beard | Self Portrait

Literally confronting myself in the mirror, mentally and emotionally, drawing what I saw and beginning the path with knowing myself. This naturally evolved with slowly rotating the lens outwardly, using the insight developed from the self portraits, towards the immediate world surrounding me. Culture.

Akira Beard | Ronald
Akira Beard | Mother Theresa

Anyone alive absorbs content from their day to day life. Going to work, being at home and watching movies or being on the internet, driving in a car, having a social life. Similar to painting from the image looking back at me in the mirror, I next started painting this broader image of my societal experience. Media, pop-culture, job, etc. I explored 'Culture' artistically for more than 5 years, and came to a point asking is there more to life. Soon after the question was answered from the life experience of drastic life change. My lover left me, I left our apartment, I lost ties with the gallery which I had the longest history with where the director and my ex became a couple, I lost friends from feeling betrayed, I was fired from my job.

Akira Beard | Remember

All events taking place back to back in less than six months time. It was like a house of cards collapsing, which was my life. Not to this extreme, but I've been there before.Who hasn't? It was different in this instance however, where I had the realization in the moment of all of this loss where in the past I always handled loss/change by avoiding it. I knew where that path leads confidentally because i had been thru it enough times. But what about the road less traveled? The road going towards the source of the emotional pain, the despair, the fear that comes from loss? It was a foreign land which I had no conception of. So out of desperation, with not much more to lose I journeyed towards it all. Immediately the road to spirituality opened its doors.

Akira Beard | 5

All sorts of beautiful auspicious events took place and I made art out of it all, as if taking photographs on a journey that took place over four years. So beyond the constructs of 'Culture', I discovered 'Nature'. Culture builds walls, has dead ends, Nature is boundless, beyond. It is simultaneously at the root of it all. The nature of being, the nature of death, the nature of life, the nature of mind.

Akira Beard | Redhead

During Culture, I didn't even have the point of reference for such language as these slogans, at least not consciously. My consciousness expanded tremendously from life experiences where I gave up expectation, preconception, pragmatism, rationality and dived into uncertainty. I lived without a job, without actual income, without a home. This eventually became a bit extreme where I had no ID where my license and passport expired, on top of having no money, no home, no phone. This in turn began the next development in the traveling of an upward spiral to work towards becoming grounded in living and re-integrate into the common world. From this I realized I had traveled a full circle, arriving right back where i started (metaphorically speaking).

Akira Beard | Full Circle

The awesomeness was however, that I was an entirely different person. Ironically its as if I had returned a wealthy man to the home I before lived impoverished. The irony is where I had no money, little materials at this point to show for it. The wealth was rather a deeply personal one. And starting out again, making art, I no longer had to leave my front doorstep. Thru now a process of recovery from having lived as I had, the most current peeling of the onion towards what might lay at the core has me discovering the subconscious.

Akira Beard | 8 More

And already from this short process I have discovered the subconscious having a superficial layer, the personal, and a deeper layer that is the product of evolutional memory which is called 'the collective unconscious'. Some even call it 'God'. The subconscious has been compared to a tape recorder that memorizes all experience. Its counterpart, the conscious mind would be overwhelmed to take all the world in at every second. It must be selective, ignoring and forgetting much of all that is happening or else a person would be so overwhelmed they couldn't function. But the subconscious retains it all. This is why under hypnosis, a person can recall minute details of a past event. A lack of balance between this harmony of the conscious and unconscious results in mental illness, usually neurosis and extreme forms psychosis. The therapists job is a restoration of the balance with the two opposing hemispheres. The language of the subconscious is abstract, cryptic. It is the language of dreams, and like a loving intimate friend, finds it's duty to poke when it is aware the friend is going south in their life. These dreams are sometimes obvious to understand in their symbols and meanings, how they relate to our awake conscious lives and current dilemmas.

Akira Beard | 9 More

Other times however, the dreams can be so far away from any relevance at all. These are beyond the personal relationship of our existential world experience, and are the product of the collective unconscious. Two individuals existing on different sides of the planet will not share the dream symbols of the personal unconscious, but can/do share those of the collective unconscious. And like all subjects before arriving at this point, I have used art as the vehicle of exploration/expression into such discoveries. Self, Culture, Nature, has arrived at the psyche. I don't have a title for this chapter yet, and forgive me it gets a bit abstract in describing it. This is because its current and still very fresh. Its a common goal, ideal for an artist to achieve a universality in their work, meaning it crosses the boundaries of culture where many people can engage with it. Death for example, is a common subject in artwork where regardless if you are a citizen of the first world or third world country, what human is an exception to not having to deal with death? No one. But as an artist, there are varying degrees, like the onion. Some limit the process/result of their work to a superficial level. Painting a skull for aesthetic reasons for example. Another goes much deeper. I'm an advocate of the latter. And this has been a process with arriving most recently at the world of the subconscious mind.

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