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Melanin Wonder Tyree’ Rasheen, excited about the spiritual realm of life!



Can you introduce yourself to the people?

My name is Tyree’ Rasheen Barnes. I am African American, and recently discovered that my ancestral roots tie back to Nigeria. It is a rather new discovery so I won’t share much due to the little amount of information I have. I was born in Weldon, North Carolina.  It is a small town and is infamous for its lack of resources and poverty. Yet I was fortunate to have been raised by a great nuclear community which taught me values that I use even to this day to sustain. For example, my Grandfather was a gardener and he taught me, though he didn’t realize it, the process of growing my dreams.  How it literally follows the same process of planting the seed, watering it, and bearing the weather.  Behind his home was the greatest tree I’ve ever met. Yes, I mean this literally. I’m not certain what type of tree it was, but it was perfect for climbing and building friendships and familial bonds. Indeed, I made my first friend here. My mother and father taught me eternal things in different ways. My mother was the compassionate, loving, hard working city woman who came down South due to a family move. My father is a southern, lover boy, handsome fellow who always kept a cool head in every situation.  I learned the compassion and drive from my mother – the by any means attitude.  I learned to remain still, centered, calm and patient in the journey from my father.  My brother, my greatest hero, was who taught me balance and deeply instilled what it means to be a brother and a friend.  He taught me how to be myself, and in fact always provided a safe space for me to do that; to practice and learn what it means to be me. Our community was a village of people who all cared about each other. Drama was minimal and support was huge. This foundation would instill important qualities in me that still serve me and the greater world to this day.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about Love and God. I am so passionate about this, that being the Spiritual realm of life, that I feel that I experience the world inside out. Formless first, then through form. This relationship with the unseen has become the Source of all that I do and represent.  This Source has extended into every aspect of my life, including the phenomenal woman we call Art. Art has given me the opportunity to express that which I experience within. To communicate this relationship has revealed the power it has to heal when it is shared. It excites me to be of creative service to the world.



What is your profession?

I am mostly known and in the service of paintings.  My preferred choice of medium is oil paint and gold leaf.  My services has thus far covered murals, body art and canvas art, live shows, as well as conducting a few events of my own such as Water and Wine

How long have you been painting?

I have been painting for about 4 good years now.  I began around the age of 22 years old.  I’ve just turned 26 years old October 8.  It has been an incredible journey so far I must say.

Did you always wanted to become a painter?

Actually, no.  I hadn’t really given painting much thought until college.  I’ve always been into drawing and fascinated by Art.  I can remember pivotal moments though, that were, now that I look back, revealing clues.  For example, this Artist by the name of Tommy would paint my cousin a large portrait of J-Boog from B2K and I was absolutely fascinated by this, though I had not given it much thought.  What really opened up the world of painting for me was actually an artist and friend in college by the name of Leilani.  She had been inspired by a spoken word artist in our collective group called Word of Mouth.  I was so enthralled by this that i committed myself to say a spoken word piece that would blow her socks off, and would inspire her to paint a piece for me as well.  Well, she didn’t do that.  As much as I tried haha.  That actually became one of the greatest blessings of my life because it revealed to me the power within myself.  My girlfriend at the time would introduce me to oils and from that moment, I have only looked forward.

What is your favorite inspirational message at the moment?

Hmmm… that is a great question. As I sit and think about this now I’d have to say:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. You playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others” – Marianne Williamson

Every time I hear or read this quote, I can feel the energy within it. This quote is testimony for me. For so long, I learned to shrink my light just to fit in a room. I know now that shrinking is a form of self betrayal, and that someone’s life may literally be changed if I were to simply be honest with myself and the room at large.  And I have to be fair with myself, I have given much Light and have expressed a great deal of myself – so I can understand what she is referring to as she says this.  Yet there is still much Light to share, there is still so much more to give. It is how, as Maya Angelou once stated, that we keep this place within us pure and pristine and clean.


Tyree posing next to his artwork

Where can we find or buy your work?

You can find and buy my work at  – here we have prints, paintings, posters, and if someone would like to have a piece commissioned simply contact me at

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

In five years, I can’t even recognize myself through these current eyes.  I am travelling the world as a Spiritual Teacher and Creative Leader in the world.  I have aligned myself that Art and Spiritual Healing are joined together in ways never before experienced by life.  I am an expert in my field, beyond painting, but as a Healer through Creative-Spiritual Services. I am travelling all over the great world, speaking to hundreds of thousands to potentially millions. And the Brands which I represent are clearly recognizable all over.

Do you have other hobbies or crazy habits?

Yes, I really love to write poetry. It is something I’ve been doing since 4th grade.  Somehow, this intertwines into the larger story.

Who is your celebrity crush?

Hmmm…. Recently I saw a video of Sade’ and I’m reminded of how much I am attracted to the mystery of her. She shares this beautiful color with the world and yet there is so much we don’t even know about her.  I’d also have to say I have a crush on the mind of Nayyirah Waheed.  No one has ever seen her, yet her world embraces us like a big hug.

What does Melanin mean to you?

Melanin is to have access to the Sun.  It means to have a mouth large enough to receive its hidden, divine message. It means to boldly profess you have a relationship with life. It is a declaration to the world that you have chosen togetherness, rather than separation, at the heart of one’s being.

art by agape

Tyree posing under art by agape

What tips do you have for starting visual artists?

  1. Stay Curious. Take the mode of student as much as you possibly can. Study.

  2. Recognize where Art comes from within you. When an inspiration wakes up inside of you, where do you feel it? Water this place.

  3. This process is more about Self Discovery than it is about the physical reflection of the Art that you make. So keep this in mind whenever you feel anything.  Do not glorify the physical, that which lives outside of you more than that which lives inside of you. That which lives inside of you is the author.

  4. Clean your Space. I mean this Spiritually as well as physically. Mostly Spiritually though. The purpose of Art is to reveal this truth – that the hand writing your story is Perfect – and everything that does not agree with this must go.Therefore Art is a process of allowing that which wants to come through you to come through you. That which is Pure. Clear. Pristine.

  5. Go all the way. Especially when you feel like giving up. You have made it this far – you deserve to see what is on the other side.

  6. DO NOT COMPARE!  It is not your job to be anyone else. Your job is to learn and express your Soul. You do this and you WILL be your own favorite Artist.

  7. Love.

Do you think a Melanin Wonder Platform is necessary?

I believe it is. Melanin Wonder is about community and whenever such a platform is established, we are all made better for it. There are those whom we may have never discovered existed if it weren’t for this community, and quite honestly it is an honor to be a part of it.

What would be your one super power if you had to choose one?

Mmmm… I would have to say to have the ability to speak to Natual Elements such as the Sun and Moon, Wind, Water, Grass, Trees, etc.  To hear what they have to say and to better tell their story and messages they’d like for us to know.

What would be a good theme song for your life?

Everybody Loves Sunshine – Roy Ayers

in the grass thinking about art

Tyree laying in the grass thinking about art

Do you believe in Love at first sight?

I believe that Love is always taking place. It is a happening within the spaces of our bodies. And sometimes, Love will see two people and build a Golden Bridge for the sake of Self Discovery and Union.  This can happen 10 years later or even at that moment. It depends on the timing and where these Souls are in their own evolution.

What Melanin Wonder do you look up to in the modeling industry?

Honestly I am fairly new in really being inspired by Modeling and Fashion so I’d have to say Naomi Campbell and Grace Jones.  Their fearlessness is what I am attracted to. They are so authentically themselves, it is the most attractive trait of all.


Aaron West, extremely passionate about inspiring change in others



Can you introduce yourself?

So, my full name is Aaron West, I am 31, Black and proud and I was born and mostly raised in Shreveport, Louisiana by my mom and grandparents. My mom moved my twin brother, little sister and I from Shreveport to Houston when I was 15 after she graduated from college and I’ve been here ever since. I would say I had a pseudo-rural upbringing in Shreveport because it was a slower city compared to Houston.

I say this not to imply we lived on a farm and milked cows but basically Shreveport as a city was far behind what Houston was in terms of modern black culture like fashion, music etc. Upon arriving to Houston I really started to think I was living on BET because everything and everyone was so cool and fashion forward lol. My brother, sister and I played most sports growing up to stay busy and I think that is probably where I grew to love Fitness.

What are you passionate about?

I am extremely, extremely, extremely, passionate about inspiring change in others. I would say I simply love to see people change their bodies or achieve their fitness goals, because I’m a personal trainer, but it’s so much deeper than that. For me it’s all about helping others understand what can be done with a little effort. Nothing and no one can make me feel as I do in the moment that someone who I talked to previously about where I see them going with their body remembers that conversation while presently living in that body we talked about in the past.

I own a personal training studio where I conduct one-on-one sessions with clients and sure we talk about fitness but it is not uncommon for us to also talk about other life goals, in-fact we probably talk about more life coaching type things than anything else, I really just enjoy helping people reach their full potential in every facet of life.


Aaron ripped in front of a grafitti wall

Aaron ripped in front of a grafitti wall


What is your profession?

My profession is complex but if I had to label it I would say I am an entrepreneur because I create things. Currently I am operating as personal trainer in my personal training studio but I have goals of becoming a motivational speaker and I also plan to start a few non-profits and other business outside of fitness.

How long have you owned ur fitness business?

By the grace of God my business has been open for almost 3 years. I started Almost PerFit Fitness after graduating from University of Houston and having a hard time finding what I considered a “real job”. I was still working for a local gym as a personal trainer and as a very broke post-college grad I figured that there was no better time to start a business than at the bottom, that way me and Almost PerFit Fitness( the business) literally would grow together.

With no real business plan I simply started training clients on the side in parks for less than what they would pay at the gym but was able to pocket more than what the gym was paying me. As business grew I decided to rent a space add some fitness equipment “wollah” i was in business on your own.


Aaron at the beach rocking his sunglasses

Aaron at the beach rocking his sunglasses


How do make sure your clients eat healthy?

I usually cannot really control how my clients eat so once I design the meal plan best tailored to their needs I focus on making sure they understand how eating wrong can impact their fitness goals. I’ve found that the more they understand the better their food decisions would be. I weigh my clients in weekly to track progress towards or away from their goal and then make adjustments.

Why start your own business?

I would now presently answer this question with “why not?” but honestly I never considered working for myself until I realized that I was worth more than what someone was willing to pay me to do a job I could create on my own. It is actually something I heard “Master P” of No Limit records say about his decision to start independent. I don’t think entrepreneurship is for everyone but it is definitely worth a shot if you are passionate about adding value to someone’s life with a service or product.


Aaron rocking his Powerful Beard

Aaron rocking his Powerful Beard


Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

In five years I see myself in the fitness industry. I actually plan to remain in the industry for the rest of my life but as a trainer to trainers as opposed to simply a trainer. I would like to have a larger platform to help more people in various ways.

Do you have other hobbies or crazy habits?

Aside from working out I really enjoy photography. I actually do most of my own photography for promotional flyers, social media marketing etc with a Nikon D330. I’m a self professed student to the craft and I’m also actively learning more about editing software. Me and my girlfriend are learning a few actually to help with our couples YouTube channel.

I have one habit that I think is pretty crazy, I am constantly stretching my body trying to get comfortable from multiple weekly workouts. I’ll be in bed literally popping and stretching until I finally fall asleep. It’s actually pretty common in the bodybuilding world and I wouldn’t say it’s painful but at every opportunity I feel the need to stretch my muscles/joints out I am probably going to stop everything I’m doing and do it, it’s weird but it feels so necessary. Other than that I’m just a guy .*lol*

Check out his Instagram for more about his business and some stunning pictures!


Aaron West entrepreneur and health coach

Aaron West entrepreneur and health coach


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These Amsterdam Based Spaces are the Place to Be! LOLA BAE Collective




The Events in Creative Culture returns

The Open day Organised by BAE in collaboration with quarter manager of Paasheuvelweg 8, Yves Saïdi (EFE) was a great succes. BAE manages buildings for temporary use. The building on the Paasheuvelweg 6 is managed by quarter makers Sharon Amritpersad and Alex Benton(the New Amsterdam). As creative and affordable spaces in Amsterdam, the creative events are back!

After a tumultuous time we are gradually getting back to ‘normal’. On the 4th of September LOLA BAE re-opened the space at the Paasheuvelweg 6 and 8 to show us that they have been working (in silence). The spaces found in these two buildings are suitable for everything and everyone from: social-cultural events, small business owners, office space, photo/video shoots and so much more. Anything you can imagine is possible at this location.

Photo by Jonny Clow

LOLA BAE vacancy management collective

The abbreviation LOLA stands for “Leegstand Oplossers Amsterdam”. LOLA focuses on vacancy management of several sites and locations in Amsterdam and Utrecht area. BAE manages work-spaces on a temporary basis. Mostly for starters, social-cultural organisations, artists, creatives and spirits who just have an idea and want to act on it. They now manage about 3 buildings and spaces that they loan out to starting businesses, artists and other creative talents. Way to go BAE! We love the concept, we had a sneak peak into the world of BAE on the smashing opening event at Paasheuvelweg 6 and 8, in Amsterdam South East.


Creative Crowd

For a secluded eventspace in a Bustling Amsterdam neighbourhood BAE is the place to be! Remember EFE VENUE? They were one of the organising parties of this re-opening event and they did a great job. The vibe was mellow and had a Atlanta Parking Lot block party energy to it.

People of all ages, races, different branches and divers scenes and cultures came together to christen the building and work out on the dancefloor! Did we mention Q’s Kitchen and the amazing BBQ grill from Millie’s BBQ that served us the most succulent and juicy ribs and chicken we’ve tasted so far! <3 

The day was packed with a marketplace (all market stands are users of the building), an urban fashionshow by the likes of Plain Amsterdam and BodiebyCinnArtists and open air performances. Artists such as Pearl Ramos and DJ Gwnjurr graced the outdoor stage. This season kickoff was a night to remember, loads of food, music, DJ’s and an open stage. This creative walhalla is the place to be for everyone and you are welcome to visit or rent your space at any given time. Everyone can feel welcome in this non-judgemental and free spirited space!


Keep an eye on BAE! Join their creative community to see who is behind this amazing concept of an rentable/borrowable open space for events and mostly local business owners. These spaces are the place to be in Amsterdam! 


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Roos Lizardo knows what to get for your MUM!



Who is Roos Lizardo?

Let me introduce myself; my name is Roos, I am 31 and I reside in Amsterdam. I have created my own skin-oil as a way to boost a healthy skin. The skinbooster contains natural oils. 

Rglam is a Skinbooster

My sister has been my biggest motivator. She really helped me out and assisted me in the proces of creating the perfect skin care product for all skintypes. My sister actually suffers from eczema and she uses different products to keep her skin healthy.

Use the skinbooster before you put on your make up and be surprised by how good your make-up stays on the whole day!”

A little Cutivate creme mixed with Vaseline and two drops of my Skinbooster did wonders for her skin. She repeats this skincare routine on a daily. At night you would only need a few drops as well. After testing this, it resulted into healthy, smooth and glowing skin! We were excited, this formula could also help out others!


The Major Benefits of the Skinbooster are:

Antioxidant Rich

Anti oxidants make sure that your skin stays supple and hydrated. Also does it protect your skin from harmful sun rays.

Skinbooster Rglam calms your skin
Most plant based oils have a soothing and calming effect. Also do these oils have loads of benefits including an inconsistent and inflamated skin.



Free of Bacteria
Bacteria and funghi do like to live in plant based oils. This is why Skinbooster does not contain artificial elements. It’s a win win if you ask Roos with her new wonder product Rglam Skinbooster.

Our products have nuts and nut elements in them. It is recommended to test out a little but on the skin of your hand to make sure it does not give you any rash. The skinbooster is not suited for people with a nut allergy.  

I have been working on this formula for about 7 months, this natural oil combination has been tested by all my friends. They helped me out by trying it on their own skin as well. The verdict was: ‘The Glow is Real!’

Dry acne? We have the solution. The oil hydrates the skin and makes sure your skin does not become too oily. Oily skin produces more pimples and overall acne. This oil is loaded with natural ingredients and gives everyone that uses this a natual glow. My product is 100% Vegan and also good for sensitive skin.

Tip: Use the skinbooster before you put on your make up and be surprised by how good your make-up stays on the whole day!”

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