We had the good fortune of connecting with guesst (wilson rahn) and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi guesst, we’d love to hear about a book that’s had an impact on you.
steal like an artist by austin kleon is one of the best books i have read in a LONG time. it’s an artist’s self help(?) book that illustrates loads of concepts and strategies to avoid limiting ones own creativity.

one of my favorite concepts from the book is this concept of copying your heros’ work. i feel like throughout my ENTIRE upbringing, adults were always telling me not to copy peoples work — i think this is a gross missed opportunity for kids (and really everyone) as we conceptualize the flow and process of learning. my choosing to directly imitate those i admired has been and continues to be *essential* for my learning process as i explore really any creative pursuit. here is one of my favorite quotes from the book:

“we want you to take from us. we want you, at first, to steal from us, because you can’t steal. you will take what we give you and you will put it in your own voice and that’s how you will find your voice. and that’s how you begin. and then one day someone will steal from you” – francis ford coppola

i love this quote because it is so TRUE! especially in musical pursuits, even if you directly play every part of a musical composition and record it all to perfection, you will undoubtedly end up with a different result than the original creator. in essence, all artists who have ever done a cover of one of their favorite artists tune has stolen from that artist — and you will notice, that no one considered it stealing as it was obviously a tribute.

i have taken this idea even further in my work both as an exercise and as an invaluable tool for my compositions: i often will listen to an artist i really admire and do my best to directly mimic their work. in this process i often learn different and techniques to solve creative problems in a style i really admire.

and here is the kicker: no matter how hard i try, i cannot help but bleed my own voice and style into every project i work on.

i think the reason i like steal like an artist so much is that it is essentially a reminder that you cannot be anybody but yourself, and all you have to do to be yourself is to just make shit, even if at first its mostly just a collage of other peoples shit that inspires you. 🙂

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
im not certain there is anything about me that is unique in such an exceptional way that it “sets me apart” — i think for a long time as an artist i kept pressuring myself to be “better than” other artists in some way such that people would pay attention to me as opposed to my “competitors”.

what i am most grateful for in my growth as a human in the past two years and especially since moving to los angeles is that i value being of a community of artists. being a piece of an artistic universe is so much more wondrous and fulfilling to me than being “the one to which people should be paying attention.”

i seek now only to tell my story as it exists as a tile in the quilt of all our stories. for me now, that means writing lyrics about self reflection and growth.

it means composing beats from other peoples samples as well as my own programming and playing of instruments.

it means taking photographs of my friends and marveling at their beauty.

it means hardcoding a website diary because i think its beautiful ( https://guesst.net/biproduct/biproductindex.html )

it means crying to spiderman: no way home in theatres twice in two nights because it is the art of a thousand other humans that fills me up enough so that i have the will, inspiration, and heart to create my own.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
when my siblings came to visit me, i created a note on my phone called “things to do and eat in la”. originally i simply created it because my siblings weren’t going to be here for very long and i wanted to make sure we didn’t miss anything, but brilliantly the note has actually evolved into my own personal decision maker whenever i am not feeling particularly adventurous.

i am just going to copy the note below — bonus! all the food is vegan or has fire vegan options 🙂

things to do and eat in la

eat //
– that one vegan spot in boyle heights
– beelmans
– ramen hood
– sticky rice
– the silverlake house
– montys
– naughty vegan
– nomoo
– naturewell
– hachi oji
– vurger guys
– thantawan thai kitchen
– donut friend / donatsu
– daikokuya
– la cafe
– purgatory pizza
– the grain cafe
– tocaya
– sage vegan bistro
– mohawk bend
– blue bottle coffee
– cinnaholic
– millies cafe
– honeybee burger
– kung pao bistro (family style chinese)

bar/club //
– slipperclutch
– barneys beanery
– downtown experiment (riverside)
– silverlake bar lounge
– thunderbolt
– boardners
– akbar
– el cid (shows)
– heav3n

do //
– grand park
– grand hope park
– west hollywood
– melrose
– los angeles historic state park
– Lafayette park (skate park)
– elysian park
– echo park lake
– santa monica
– venice beach
– the grove
– drive sunset blvd from the coast to caesar chavez
– century city mall

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
i think one of the most beautiful things about life is that every single being on this planet interacts with every other being on the planet in some way or another.

i straight up would not be the artist or person that i am without every single person that i have met and worked with and spoken to and cried with and passed by without noticing along the way. i think the best way i can celebrate this fact in the form of a shoutout is through “hose”.

“hose” was a house of people i lived with during university, although in my head it has always included all of the people that participated in that beautiful family. to be 100% honest with you, there is no conceivable way i could explain what this family meant to me and all those involved. but what i can do, is share with you the song i wrote a few months back while reminiscing about this community. i sobbed while writing every lyric of this song:


Website: https://guesst.net

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/guesstaccount/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/guesstaccount

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/guesstaccount

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/guesstaccount

Other: tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@guesstaccount music platforms: audius: https://audius.co/guesst soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/guesstaccount bandcamp: http://guesstaccount.bandcamp.com spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6JN0LuZjEtRULBROXulK81 apple music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/guesst/1550552183

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.