Earlier this year, StockX partnered with HXOUSE, a Toronto-based think-center, incubator, and accelerator to bring together multidisciplinary creatives to explore the future of Web3 and digital communities. The partnership culminated in a North American tour that presented keynote discussions and events on these very topics in cities from Toronto to Los Angeles. The tour has taken HXOUSE’s unique blend of cross-disciplinary learning and made it accessible to new markets over the course of the summer in seven different cities. At each event, StockX and HXOUSE have hosted cultural voices from each city to break down the creative’s unique points of view and talk about how they’re disrupting their respective industries.
After stops in Toronto, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, San Francisco, and finally Los Angeles, the North American segment of the StockX x HXOUSE tour has come to a close. In 2023, the partnership will continue internationally. For the final stop of the StockX x HXOUSE tour in Los Angeles, an engaging conversation took place between some of the city’s most prominent creatives and personalities in the Web3 space. Participating in the conversation was Ben Baller, Amber Park, Daouda Leonard, and Aislinn Palera. The event was hosted by Julian Gilliam, also known as Logik.
StockX x HXOUSE New York Panelist: Ben Baller
Ben Yang, better known as Ben Baller, is a famous jewelry designer, actor, and musician who’s worked with Takashi Murakami, Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Drake, and more. In 2005, after working in music for more than a decade, Yang founded Icee Fresh & Co. the venture through which he would become an iconic jeweler. Over the last 17 years, Yang has become one of the most well-known celebrity jewelers in the world. More recently, Yang has become a supporter and participant in the world of Web3. Additionally, he runs and hosts “Behind The Baller,” a podcast with Ben Baller that is one of the top business podcasts in the world.
In his introduction to the panel, Yang spoke of the Web3 space as if he expects it to be his next frontier. “I’ve sort of been uninspired by the jewelry space and more inspired by the Web3 space.” Throughout the interview, Yang spoke directly to the ways that he’s innovated the jewelry space. As he looks forward to what may come out of Web3, it sounds like we can expect him to be an innovator there as well. “I see where the space is now, it’s only getting bigger,” he said, “As a father and with my kids now understanding the Web3 space, if I can regurgitate whatever I know to them, they’ll have a better future.”
StockX x HXOUSE New York Panelist: Amber Park
Amber Park is a visual artist and director who started her career working in a creative capacity with prominent artists like Katy Perry, Lil Yachty, Ty Dolla $ign and more. Park also has extensive experience directing music videos and creating digital art as a graphic designer. Earlier this year, Park became a co-founder of a project called “I Like You, You’re Weird,” which is a community driven collectibles project that primarily operates in the Web3 space. Additionally, Park recently kicked off a solo project called PLAY! POP! GO!, which she defines as “a multi-hyphenate art & lifestyle project that will feature a series of virtual reality-based streetwear, novelty goods & immersive pop up experiences.”
As a part of the panel, Park spoke openly about her creative process and how she’s accomplished so much in such a short period of time. Driven by storytelling and personal meaning, Park has found a balance between satisfying her own creative needs and working with others. “A lot of times as creatives, we’re so caught up in like “okay, I want to make the best thing for myself” but what I think is the most meaningful part is the collaboration, the conversation, the shared narrative,” she says.
StockX x HXOUSE New York Panelist: Daouda Leonard
Daouda Leonard is the CEO of CREATESAFE, a start-up in the music industry that’s building scalable software for artists and managers. Prior to founding CREATESAFE, Leonard worked in the music industry as a producer for artists like Lady Gaga, Kanye West, and Justin Bieber. Additionally, Leonard has worked as a manager for artists like Grimes, Skrillex, and DJ Snake. His work throughout the music industry has led him to found CREATESAFE in order to support artists through tools like Deal Simulators, Create/OS for Managers, executive development, agency marketing, and creative management services.
On the panel, Leonard spoke about his inclination towards systems thinking, stating that he’s “a very systems-driven person who likes to think in processes.” As he goes on, it becomes clear that his systems-focused approach to his creative process is something he lives and breathes. He describes the systems and processes he’s set up personally that have helped him center himself, things like writing and reading daily. It makes sense then, that his very own start-up is primarily focused with rearranging the systemic structure of the music industry, something he spoke specifically about trying to “think differently about” when starting CREATESAFE.
StockX x HXOUSE New York Panelist: Aislinn Pallera
Aislinn Pallera is an Art Director at Binance.US, the world’s largest and most trusted crypto trading platform. She’s a graduate of USC and has been working as a designer and art director for nearly a decade. In her current role, she’s working to develop the ways that Binance will continue to express itself in the crypto space. As a part of the panel, Pallera spoke directly to the need for education in the Web3 space. “It’s not a space that everybody understands. So something that’s important to our brand is to do a lot of education. Our creative content needs to be something that everyone can understand.”
StockX x HXOUSE Los Angeles Panel Host: Julian Gilliam (Logik)
Julian Gilliam is a multidisciplinary creative who currently works as an NFT and Web3 consultant. Our Los Angeles panel host has formerly worked as a creative director at Google, and as an art director at companies like Blast Radius, Havas Worldwide Chicago, and Commonground Marketing. He is a Chicago native who has hosted or participated in several conferences and panels on NFTs and the Web3 space this year already.