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A (long) weekend in LA

With the three-day weekend on the horizon, Los Angeles-based painter Ann Kim and dancer David Adrian Freeland Jr tell us how they’re making the most of those all-important extra 24 hours…

 

Ann wears dress and shoes by COS. (Image: Adrian Martin).

‘Painting is an intimate process. Being in solitude helps me reconnect with myself and go deeper into the creative process.’

The long weekend season is here and whether you’re staying closer to home or travelling, it’s a time for recharging and doing more of what you love. In need of inspiration? We took five minutes with friends of COS, painter Ann Kim and dancer David Adrian Freeland Jr. They share how they’re celebrating at home in Los Angeles and reveal their tips to guide you through the three-day weekend with ease...

ANN KIM, PAINTER

How will you spend the long weekend?
‘I’m heading to Joshua Tree to spend time with family. Joshua Tree National Park is full of hiking trails, flora and fauna – it’s one of my favourite places to visit near LA. The perfect weekend would also include a hike at Solstice Canyon or Escondido Falls with my dog Riley and a day at the beach.’

Tell us about a local spot you love to visit on the weekend. 
‘Maru Coffee. The space is serene, and they make the best cortado.’

As we move into the summer season, what are your warm-weather style signifiers? 
‘I love linen pieces for summer.’

The last year has been challenging in so many ways, how do you stay positive and focused? 
‘Meditation practice over the years has helped with my focus and overall well-being. Taking care of myself and listening to what I need in the moment helps when I’m not feeling positive.’

How do you stay creative? 
‘I find inspiration everywhere, especially being alone in nature – painting and creating is an intimate process, and being in solitude helps me reconnect with myself and go deeper into the creative process.’

How does life in LA influence your work? 
‘I grew up near the beach in LA, being near the water has had a lot of influence on my work and how I paint. When I’m swimming, surfing or watching the water I feel really present and immersed in the moment.’

What does a positive vision of the future look like to you? 
‘Justice, respect, and loving kindness for all life.’

QUICKFIRE QUESTIONS 

Which song or album has got you through the last year? 
‘“If Only” by Raveena.’

Your favourite way to relax? 
‘Going to the park with my dog Riley.’  

Your favourite place to eat in LA?
‘Damian. Growing up in Los Angeles, the influence and presence of Mexican culture has been a part of my life and I love the cuisine.’

Your proudest achievement? 
‘Contentment.’

If you could share a message with your younger self, what would it be?
‘Don’t take yourself too seriously and be kind to yourself.’

 

David wears shirt and trousers by COS. (Image: Adrian Martin).

 

DAVID ADRIAN FREELAND JR, DANCER

Did you always want to be a dancer?
‘Dance definitely found me. I am originally from Jacksonville, Florida, and started dancing in the Spanish Dance Club at my elementary school in 4th grade. I was hooked. I was lucky enough to get into LaVilla School of the Arts, a middle school with different art programs and that is where I began my formal dance training. Since then, I have had so many wonderful opportunities doing what I love. The rush you get from being on stage doing something that you absolutely love is the best feeling in the world.’

How will you spend the long weekend? 
‘A long weekend would be me waking late and making a nice breakfast at home or going to brunch. Then going to the beach or the park to spend the day with my friends. Then it is time to get cute and go to a nice dinner and hit the town for drinks. The next day would include some sort of hike, getting more great food somewhere, and maybe a bit of shopping. The final day would be relaxing at home watching some of my favorite movies and finding a new recipe to make for dinner.’

Tell us about a local spot you love to visit on the weekend. 
‘I enjoy going to Elysian Park, with my friends. Last year during the pandemic we would meet up there for each other’s birthday and do a picnic day in the park. Sometimes we would bring wigs and have our own little drag brunch which would be so fun during a time when we could not see each other as often.

As we move into the summer season, what are your warm-weather style signifiers? 
‘My summer style signifier definitely includes shorts because I love showing off my legs. Lots of tank tops and white T-shirts. And I love looking for vintage button-up shirts, that are flowy or have an old-school print.’

The last year has been challenging in so many ways, how do you stay positive and focused? 
‘It was really hard at first for me to find any kind of positivity last year. The company I dance for – L.A Dance Project – had so many great tours planned that were all cancelled. And then to add the killings of so many unarmed Black people, I was exhausted. I started seeing a therapist to talk through so much of what I was feeling which was the beginning of things getting better for me. And then I started looking for new hobbies to keep me busy and off my phone. I tried teaching myself how to use a sewing machine, and then I started making candles, and finally, I got into baking. I had to acknowledge that this past year was unlike any that I had or will experience and although it was hard, I had to believe that things will get better.’

What does a positive vision of the future look like to you? 
‘Wow, that’s a hard question to answer because we have so much work to do, not just here in the US, but all over the world. We have to dismantle all systems of oppression and find love in our hearts for all people. We have to embrace our differences and stand up to all injustices.’

QUICKFIRE QUESTIONS  

Which song or album has got you through the last year? 
‘Song: Time by Snoh Aalegra. Album: Language by MNEK.’

Favourite place to eat in LA?
‘My favorite place to eat currently is a taco truck that is right on the corner of my block on 9th and Broadway. They have the best nachos I have ever had. They make the chips right there and it is just absolutely amazing!’

Your proudest achievement?
‘Receiving a Princess Grace Award for dance in 2018. When my company told me they were nominating me, I was so shocked because I always had dreams of one day getting the award, and for it to become a reality, I was so proud.’

If you could share a message with your younger self, what would it be? 
‘David, it is going to be hard, navigating your sexuality and trying to make something of yourself but you are so much stronger than you think. Every decision you will make for yourself, trust it and you will see all your dreams and more come true. I love you!’

Find out more about Ann Kim’s (@andyheart) painting and David Adrian Freeland Jr’s (@david_adrian) work with the L.A. DANCE PROJECT.

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