Insight: Gabby St. Amand

Insight: Gabby St. Amand

Gabby and I met at Hamilton High School, a socially colorful school in the Castle Heights neighborhood within the Westside of Los Angeles. With her contagiously warm(and wheezy)laugh, Gabby is always down for literally whatever. Even if it potentially means driving from her cute home in the hills of City Terrace to Malibu at 5 p.m. on a Tuesday. 

As long as she's got her slow jams, a cigarette to hang out of her window in the sun & an iced mocha, she's game. 

At this point she's definitely sounding like a typical LA girl, which she is, but don't get it twisted. Gabby keeps things neutral, positive & real. I am very lucky to have her as a friend & have always loved her personal style as well. So, when visiting for my bachelorette party this last summer, I looked forward to seeing her newly bought house! I wasn't surprised to see how amazing the renovations turned out & was excited to see how she implemented her style in her new nest. 

Who is Gabby?

 "I mean, I'm basically just trying to live and die in LA." 

Age: 26

Job: Photography Studio Manager 

What area of Los Angeles did you grow up in? 

G: I grew up in West LA - Cheviot Hills 

Where do you live today? 

G: I went from west to east! I'm currently in City Terrace but I'm still a west girl at heart.

Have you lived anywhere else? If so, what brought you back to LA?

G: I lived in Eugene, Oregon for 4 years when I was in college. I thought about staying in Oregon after school but ultimately I wanted to move back to LA to be closer to my family. After I graduated, I moved all over LA actually. From Beverly Hills adjacent (literally that was the name of the neighborhood...)to West Hollywood and finally City Terrace. 

Everyone seems to have their own opinion on LA, how do you feel about the city overall? Pros? Cons? 

G: I know people think LA is ridiculous, judgmental and overrated. And to be honest, it kind of is. But I fucking love it. The best part of LA to me, is that no matter how long you've lived here, you'll still always find something new and interesting that you've never seen before. This city is truly never ending and I will most likely spend the rest of my life exploring it.

How would you say LA has shaped who you are today? 

G: As textbook as this may sound, I think the diversity of this city has truly shaped me into who I am today. Because there are so many kinds of cultures here, I've been able to see and understand different lifestyles on very intimate levels.

Where do you draw inspiration from, whether that be for your interior decorating, fashion or lifestyle in general? 

G: Expanding on the previous question, I'd say my style stems from all the different cultures. I like to call it a "classy eclectic" style. I tend to buy simple furniture or clothes and then spice them up with colorful decorations/accessories.

What's your process when trying to hunt down that must-have item for your home? 

G: I work in the e-Commerce industry so it's part of my job to browse online stores. It takes me a long time to complete one room, slowly collecting each item. My process is never ending, I'm constantly moving things around, redecorating, or upgrading my old IKEA furniture. I love finding a good deal for something that looks way more expensive than it is as well. For example, one of my favorite buys is the rug in my kitchen that I got for $30 on a overstock clearance sale. 

What's your favorite small trinket laying around? 

G: My all time favorite trinket is my grandpa's pilot wings from when he was in the Royal Air Force during WWII. I actually have this tattooed on me as well.

What would you say is your best furniture purchase? Where did ya snag it from? 

G: My favorite piece is actually my grandma's hope chest that was given to me when we sold my grandparent's house. My grandma used to keep all of her most special things in that chest - including her wedding dress. When growing up, it was always my favorite thing to look through when I would spend time at their house. 

When designing your home, what were some goals you were trying to accomplish? 

G: I was fortunate enough to purchase my home a little over a year ago. Before I moved in, I was able to remodel the kitchen into my dream kitchen - white subway tile with a grey grout, open kitchen shelves and a beautiful big window with tons of natural light. I couldn't have asked for anything better! Being a homeowner, I am able to change any aspect of my house - so my house will be ever evolving! 

What's your favorite thing to do in LA? (cliché, I know) 

G: I love finding new places to eat all around the city!

Three things that make the West Coast the best coast? 

G: 1. Perfect weather (even though I complain about how it's too hot or too cold almost every day) 

2. The vast landscape - beaches, mountains, deserts 

3. The culture

 Gabby's Los Angeles boundaries map tattoo.

Gabby clearly knows what she likes but let's give a little credit to her parents. This is their incredible home in Cheviot Hills, where I was lucky enough to spend time at during summer breaks or after school. I will also point out that Gabby's father is a very brilliant architect. 

Yes, the have turtles living in their backyard. 

Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice

Photographer: Joseph Maddon

Indian Summer

Indian Summer

Photographer: Ladd Forde
Amber Barlette 
Mel Suchowolec
Lia Kahn

Interview: Triple's Paint Works with Andrew Riffle

Name: Andrew Riffle 
Location: Phoenix, AZ 
Occupation: Painter 

Why/how did you start painting? Are you self taught? 

A: I started painting after I bought my first motorcycle. I was fixing it up so it wouldn't look like a piece of shit & decided to reach out to a painter to ask about a paint job. I soon realized how expensive it would be to get something done, so I decided to try it myself. Needless to say, it was hard & ended up looking like shit. 

At that point I dedicated myself to learning & getting better. I started painting my buddies bikes & landed a job at a paint shop which lead to an opportunity to get certified in paint mixing, application & safety laws. Learning those fundamentals was a huge help but my knowledge & creativity primarily derived from my at home projects. Mapping something out in my mind & trying to make it a reality is the best form of learning for me. 

Have you seen your style change over time? 

A: My style has stayed pretty consistent I'd have to say. There are styles I am attracted to but I don't feel that I am at my peak of performance to emulate them yet. Growing up in Phoenix has lead me to love lowriders & the crazy paint jobs you usually associate with them. Bright colors & wild designs have always caught my eye, so I definitely draw inspiration from those aspects. 

What are some of your most recognizable paint jobs? Who were they for? 

One of the first people I got to paint for was Jeremiah from Love Cycles, he was also one of the first clients to give feedback to help me learn. I painted the tank for Scott Ross's 56' panhead which was very nerve wrecking. It was a bike that had been in multiple magazines & owned by the well known builder himself. 

I've painted pretty much every bike my homies own & now am working on bikes for clients out of state. It's super rad to know people who have no idea who I am are willing to reach out & get their bikes done by me. But I'll admit, it sucks to know that once I am finished with a project, I'll may never see it again after putting so much time & effort into it. 

What do you hope to accomplish with Triple's Paint Works? 

A: I just want to stay motivated & keep this shit going. I would love to have my own shop so I don't have to worry about poisoning my girl & our animals. In a dream world, I'd love to eventually have a team to back my vision & help me prep projects. 

What do you do on your free time other than paint? 

A: I don't get very much free time but if I do, I love skateboarding, boxing, riding & spending time with my girl & animals. I like my alone time though. 

Is Triple's Paint Works your full time job? If not, where do you work?

A: I work full-time at Brickhaus Restorations, an award winning Volks Wagon restoration shop. I get to do a lot of painting & body work. It's really great to work with such rad people, doing what I love, I'm learning from guys who are on another level of talent. As soon as I'm off, I go home to work on my personal stuff. A typical day of work for me is around 12-15 hours almost everyday.  

What would be a dream project for you?

A: I would definitely love to paint a show bike at some point. Painting an Impala for myself & hittin' switches would be a dream too.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given? 

A: The best shit I ever heard was if you want to be your own boss & not have a normal job, then be prepared to hustle everyday. I don't remember who said that but I'd like to think I'm doing a decent job doing so. I take my work & vision very seriously. 

What advice would you give someone who wants to start their own company or take steps towards a vision they have if they don't feel "qualified"? 

A: I've always wanted to be able to set an example for youth who come from nothing & need something meaningful to do. I would say to stop blaming other people for why you aren't rich & don't blame your parents or friends for what you don't have. Start making a change if you want change. If you don't know anyone you can consider a "hero", stop fucking around with people & start doing what you want to do. Don't be afraid to fuck up, stay out of trouble & take care of your body & mind. 

What kind of rituals or patterns do you have when starting a project?

A: Communication is key when starting a project. I'll talk to my customers to figure out what they are envisioning for their bike & then incorporate my style into theirs. When I start to paint I always need background I'll throw on some Joe Rogan maybe, have a few beers & smoke a little until I am fully engaged in the project until it's finished. 

Are there any specific people you'd want to thank thus far in your career? 

A: Shout out to all my homies who let me paint their shit, all the people who support what I'm doing, my lady for putting up with me while I do this, you (Taura) for helping me build my website & all the companies who have backed me with your products. Big thanks to everyone from Cowtown Skateboards as well! I wouldn't be here without this great support system, so thank you.