We had the good fortune of connecting with Rhett Collier and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rhett, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process during the initiation of the “TRAINS OF THOUGHT Welcome Aboard” (“TOTWA”) project as a business was to create and offer to the public, an art piece in book form that exhibited my original thoughts (aphorisms), punctuated with photographic images (by Sinden Collier), each resonating with the original thought with which it was paired. The purpose of the book was to engage minds, and equally important was that the book possess not only high quality binding and printing (i.e., an art piece in book form), but as well be offered at a price affordable to many, thereby offering accessible artistic expression beyond a gallery and/or a museum. Having had several professional careers prior to this project, (i.e., professional singer/songwriter/musician and thereafter, fashion stylist), each experience provided me with attributes, (i.e., presentation, merchandising, etc.) which would be an integral part of the success of this project.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
1. I am a multi-faceted artist, as I am an Aphorist – (literary artist) and I am a Videographer – (visual artist). I write Aphorisms that record fragments of my thoughts, feelings, and memories. I write from a sense of the world, as I perceive it – what I see and feel and subsequently share with others. I also create Videography, which encompasses videos that I personally film, photographic images (exclusively provided by Sinden Collier), original literary thoughts and aphorisms, and always music that underscores the video’s mood.

I’ve continued on this path as I have personally witnessed the effect that my artistic endeavors have made on individuals. My objective is to engage minds.

2. My art begins with my personal thoughts, and I especially remain open to the unexpected as was the case in the opportunity presented and resulting in the video, “Le Papillon Noir” and the pink clouds in the “La Femme Dans Le Ciel” video, which centers on the point that a woman’s achievements were not necessarily based on breaking “glass ceilings”. I revisit my thoughts for relevancy, content and how they convert on both literary and visual bases. When I decide to present my artwork, that decision is usually based on topics that predominantly relate to current incidents that address society, humanity, diversity, and inclusiveness.

3. The TRAINS OF THOUGHT Welcome Aboard! (“TOTWA”) project is the result of the varied experiences in my life including the opportunities of exposure and interaction I enjoy with multi-faceted cultures. I began penning my thoughts at an early age, initially simply as an expression of my inner feelings. Writing was a portal of release, sort of akin to perhaps psychological therapy that surfaced through my written thoughts. (Interestingly, my mother was a psychiatric R.N.)

Thereafter, being musically inclined, my thoughts and ideas were interpreted through songwriting. I especially admired and was inspired by artists who expressed their thoughts without a handicap of vulnerability; artists such as Joni Mitchell, who is a songwriter, a song-tress, a musician and a painter. I also realized that I truly enjoyed words, the magic and genius of how words combined could and would be effective. I believe my strength as an Aphorist is the uncanny manner in which I combine words in conveying my thoughts.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite locations in the City of L.A. and those communities surrounding it are Coldwater Canyon (its rustic section off of Coldwater Canyon between Los Angeles and the Valley), Union Station, LACMA’s “Tar Pits, the Arcana Bookstore in Helm’s Bakery,” and the Restoration Hardware Store located in West Hollywood.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Writing has always been a rather comfortable method of expression for me, which easily transformed into a former career as a professional songwriter (singer/musician). I always felt that the lyrics to a song were as integral to its substance as its melody. I consider myself quite fortunate to have a sister – Sinden Collier – who has not only provided me with encouragement, but has as well been integral to many of my professional endeavors, i.e., music, fashion and literary/visual expressions. The partnership can be seen not only in the wearables in Sinden’s images, but as well as in our collaborations in music and the TRAINS OF THOUGHT Welcome Aboard Project. It was Sinden who first encouraged me to film, honing my skills initially with her photography projects. Tantamount to the TOTWA’S professional recognition as viable art is the Houston Museum of African American Culture (“HMAAC”) (https://hmaac.org) who took notice of the “Nature Never Did Betray” video when posted on my Instagram page, and requested to feature it on HMAAC’s official website. John Guess Jr., Chief Executive Officer Emeritus of HMAAC, at the conclusion of a virtual session for another artist, gave a shout-out to the “TOTWA” project and specifically brought attention to its “Destination Unknown” video, which was thereafter posted under an HMAAC social media umbrella. Additionally, HMAAC purchased copies of the TOTWA fine art coffee table book, which they presently offer in the museum’s store to their patrons. Another individual to whom this project is very grateful is, Andrew Waldmam, whose Focus/LIVV TV Studios in West Hollywood (https://focusmag.us), not only provided the space, but as well a surprise taping of the TOTWA formal Book Launch. Mr. Waldman embraces and supports artist talent, especially on the West Coast.

Website: https://trains-of-thought.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RhettsRhetoric

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

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkdkjY7TRat1DZgaqsZLi8w

Image Credits
Personal Image of Rhett Collier: © Sinden Collier Images 1 (TOTWA Book), 3 and 4 (TOTWA Ads) © Sinden Collier Images 5 & 8 © Sinden Collier & Rhett Collier Images 2 (T-2Life Merchandising i.e. t-shirts), 6 & 7 (Movies) © Rhett Collier

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