Phoenix Love Begins!
Matt Crux’s Story.

Hello Spirits of Life,

My name is Matt Crux and I’m the founder of Phoenix Love. I started this idea for an Arts and Consciousness movement around 7 years ago when I met my friend Ian Morris who showed me acrylic painting on canvas. I had painted when I was younger on miniature models for a table top war game. When I started painting on his apartment wall I began falling in love with painting again. Him and I started hanging out on a regular basis and we were changing the Consciousness of Phoenix. We came up with this idea to open a recreational art center called “The Inhabitantz.” Our idea was to bring people together through the Arts, Music, Dance, Fashion, Meditation, Yoga, Health, Consciousness and More through our center. Providing people with the lessons and tools to progress humanity as forward thinkers and producers of higher consciousness and love. We believed in ourselves and I continued day in and day out making this vision come to reality.

Even though I had been using Photoshop since I was 14 years old, I was going to Collins College for Graphic Design at the time. We believed in changing the paradigm of society and bringing new possibilities to light. I started off by throwing this really big party at my Dads house when he went on a cruise vacation one year. I named and designed the party flier and passed them out all over the place. inhabitantzThis party was the start of the Inhabitantz vision, a concept of People, Arts & Healing coming together. It was a huge success and I had another one of these parties later on down the road.

Things were certainly changing in my life. My friend Ian had opened my eyes to creative conscious power. I was becoming more in tune with who I was and what other alien entities in life roam the wild. I continued going to shows and painting live and putting myself out there in the EDM community. I started planning for an Inhabitantz show at the Sail Inn located by Mill Ave. It was a huge success and all walks of life showed up to participate. It was some months later that I decided to throw another one of these events on July 9th 2011 called the Inhabitantz Fusion. Everything was looking great until a huge dust storm rolled through and upset the outside fashion show and art gallery and put a bit of a damper on the event. It was still a really fun time though as we rerouted everything inside.

The Descent into my Dark Night of the Soul!

It was around 4 months later that I entered a very serious depression which lasted me almost 5 years. It started with my family, they kept trying to put me down and make me believe that I was demonically possessed. You see, I had been the happiest person I had ever been in my life. Smiling more, getting out in social situations and showcasing my art everywhere I could. I began singing, playing guitar and really transforming myself into a higher state of being. My Family however did not see things in the same light that I did, They kept telling me that I wasn’t ok and kept saying that they didn’t see me happy anymore which at the time was hilarious because I knew for a fact that I was more happy than ever. Loving ManOne day my Dad even told me that I had no talent to sing or play guitar and I yelled out loud “OMG my own father is telling his son that he has no talent!” I couldn’t believe he even said that. So one day my Dad and his wife went on a week long cruise and when he came home for the last day of his trip I decided to give him a welcoming home for treating me the way he had been. I placed all my paintings around the house and then proceeded to scatter colored pencils, markers, plates and some random trash and things all around the house to fuck with him when he came home. When he opened the door I said “Fuck you Dad” took a picture with my camera and then ran outside and jumped in the pool at 1 am. He called the cops on me and they ripped me out of the middle of the pool and brought me to the hospital in an ambulance for hypothermia even though I had only been in the pool for literally about 5 mins, yes the cops showed up that quickly. I spent the night there in the hospital thinking about my life and when I came home my Family had thrown out ALL my paintings that I had painted for the last 2 years. Time and Money spent as well as countless shows displaying my art went all down the drain. They threw out over half my clothes and over 2000 business cards. They even took my whole crystal collection because they said it was evil and that It was the only way to let me continue living with them.

It was from there that I closed myself off from the World. I called the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts and cancelled my schooling. I stopped going to shows and began my descent into the pit of hell. I started off by praying to god in the garage where my bedroom was, hoping to hear some good news but all I heard was tormenting thoughts about how I was unworthy and nothing but a little ape to be played with. alex_grey_despair1I cried and died a little more inside every day. I began watching television shows for free online and began my mental programming by watching Big Brother. I would only come out to eat and go to the bathroom whenever I knew no one was around to see me. I watched pretty much every kind of dating reality show you could find and watched every single episode of Big Brother and Survivor there are. I always loved finding shows that had tons of seasons so that I knew I would never run out of shows to watch for a while. I let myself get enthralled with the drama but I always loved seeing good people get rewarded. Sometimes my family would come near the garage door and talk about things that would seem like they were taunting me, so I began putting ear plugs in my ears any time I wasn’t listening to television shows with my ear buds. I needed to drown out the pain I was hearing that was affecting my soul.

I started becoming very bored with life watching TV day in and day out from wake to sleep and remembered how I used to play World of Warcraft. I didn’t have any money but I had a $250 camera from when I attended graphic design school. I walked over to the pawn shop and cashed it in for a mere $35 so I could pay for a subscription and started selling gold in the game to pay for my monthly subscription. I did this for years hiding from society and my family and friends. I didn’t even shower. I kid you not, I showered like 3 times a year, In fact I had a bottle of shampoo last me almost the entire five years that I was going through this turmoil. alex_grey_self_hatred_endarkenmentI didn’t even want to see my family outside of my door in the living room, so I would pee in red solo cups on the sides so they wouldn’t make peeing noise and then pour them into a gallon milk jug quietly and close it and then dump the pee in the morning when they went to work or after the weekends and yes it would slightly stink up my room sometimes. I hated myself with a passion. I contemplated suicide for a while during the beginning living in that garage figuring a way to hang myself, blow my brains out, walk over to the train tracks and lop my head off but I could never seem to really go through with it and so I let those thoughts fade away even though I still hoped that I could just die. It got to the point where I was sleeping for 16 hours a day because I just didn’t want to live life. Sleeping allowed me to escape reality and I felt comfortable there even though sometimes I had some terrible nightmares haunting me. It was still better than living real life. All my hopes and dreams had been crushed from my soul and thrown into the trash and I allowed those people to consume my passion, fire and love and filled that void with hate.

skylines

It wasn’t until spring of 2015 when the game “Cities Skylines” was released. I fell in love with that game because it let me escape reality and build little cities. So I started modding the game, making 3D models of trees, buildings, props, and other things for people to use in their game play. I would then texture the models using Photoshop and got a big following on the games workshop where you uploaded the models for people to download. I went by the alias Shroomblaze but still did not enjoy my life very much so. After making 400 assets for people to use I got contacted by the company to do a collaboration project and it was then that I began my journey out of the abyss. It was in April of 2016 that I started thinking again. I started remembering who I am. I started watching YouTube videos about consciousness and psychology to open up the doors of perception in myself after 5 years of misery and hate. Money was the catalyst to propel me back into a state of light and love. I now had funds to kick start my life back into shape again and I did so. I began by buying all the necessities such as a nice camera, canvas, paints, brushes, guitar, clothes and more feel good items. I am going to continue what I planned to do in the first place and that is alter the course of the Evolution of Humanity and the World as we know it!

I slowly started coming back to life and I attended my first rave in years (“This is the End”) during the month of May which is pretty Ironic because It was the End of my Depression. I planned a trip to New York to be apart of New York City Body Painting Day. It was a week before my trip to NY when my brother had flown down to Phoenix to visit the family before my trip to visit him. So we hung out and painted and did things. It was half way through his trip when I was painting a longer canvas of the Chakras by myself. I had turned on Indian chanting music, placed various colored crystals on each energy center on the canvas and began chiming Om Chimes over the crystals on the painting, when I got a knock on my door. It was my step mom and she said she didn’t like the spiritual energy that was going on in the room and that it left dark. I said “I’m sorry?” and I told her well I am doing something spiritual in here, I’m about to paint this painting and I showed her. She then responded by saying “OMG that looks like a satanic altar!” I pretty much laughed at the idea and told her that I’m just painting and to relax.

chakras

Then she said to turn that music off now and to get that stuff out of the house and I told her “No and to make me remove it.” She then responded by telling me not to try her and I grabbed my paint brush and began painting a stroke when she grabbed my canvas which caused all my crystals to go flying all over the room. I got up and grabbed the painting from her and told her “No Bitch, you don’t touch my shit”. I just went through 5 years of misery and you are not about to damage my soul, I’m going to stand up for my right to be a human being. I said let’s hug it out and when I went to go hug her she backed away and said “no, don’t touch me”. That’s when my dad came into the room and said what’s going on here and started getting all angry saying that this is exactly what happened before, you’re demonically possessed and shit. He then walked out of the room saying he was going to call the cops. That’s when I explained to him that he was being idiotic calling the cops on a domestic dispute about painting a painting with crystals on it listening to chanting music. I told him to fuck off and called my brother who lived in town and he came and picked me and all my stuff up days after my 30th Birthday which they threw for me. Only 2 months out of my 5 years depression. It was fucked up to say the least.

Voyage to New York Begins!

After I settled into my brothers living room I packed my stuff for the New York trip and flew off to Buffalo. Once I landed I visited my 2 brothers and then the next day took off with some friends to go to the Great Blue Heron music festival in Sherman NY. It’s a 4 day blue grass festival in the woods and hillsides of NY. I had a really fun and eye opening time there that made me grow as a person. On Saturday night when I was coming out of the forest I met an artist who was coming up the hill with a blank canvas by the stage. His name was Forest and I quickly started talking to him and told him how I came with blank canvas too and brought him to the camp I was staying at. We agreed to meet up Sunday morning in the main field and do some painting together. That evening I took some shrooms, traveled around the forest trails and then took some acid later in the night and again in the morning when the Sun was about to rise. sun1Forest and I met in the morning and did some painting and discussing topics of life and growth as a person. Finding the hidden layers and depth when viewing something. We spoke about martial arts and how keeping your body physically fit and in shape while also connecting with chi and natural flow of energy keeps you in alignment with higher creative power. He also told me how he took a 1 way plane ticket from Oakland California to come up to the festival and how he’d never done anything like that before. I thought that was really cool! He ended up doing a portrait of myself that I really enjoy. He had a profound impact on my life and where my head started focusing on. Here are some photos of the forest he took when I let him borrow my camera when he said he had the urge to take photographs. Thank you Forest also for the tree bark circle engraving you left me! 😉

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forest

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New York City Body Painting Day!

When I got back to my brothers cabin I faced the reality knowing that we would not be able to go to NYC anymore. My brother that was going to drive us said he lacked funds for gas there and back. I called the event planner and told him I couldn’t make it, he then refunded me my brothers ticket so I could come but my brother still said that wasn’t enough for gas money there and back so I made a quick decision and found myself buying a one way bus ticket to NYC without any money to get back. My brother was off to the bus station right away. This was a last minute thing because I was already expecting us not to go. There I was on a bus to NYC listening to my music excited for the journey I was on an hour after that call.

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Once I arrived at the bus terminal I walked to Times Square to see the sights and smells. I then proceeded to walk to the park where the Body Painting event was happening the following day. I had to go to the bathroom when I showed up so I walked down the block and found a Karaoke bar and had 2 women buy me some drinks and I ended up singing “What I Got” by Sublime. I walked back to the park and fell asleep. It was the next day I saw people starting to set up as I awoke from the night. Once the event was under way I spent the next 4 hours body painting my model and enjoying the day in front of huge crowds and press. I got a lot of good responses from people about the quality and nature of my style of art. It was once the event was over that I felt it was the perfect opportunity for me to find a place to stay for the next 2 weeks. I knew I did not want to go back to Buffalo right away and because I had been painting as one of the artists I felt I would have good chances of finding a place. So I walked around with a piece of paper asking for a place for 2 weeks for free and Chris one of the photographers who had already said he really enjoyed the calming nature of my art said he would let me stay at his place in Brooklyn. So after we left the after party I went to his house and set up my base of operations.

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Adventures in NYC

The next day I decided to just go out into the city without any luggage and just enjoy myself and what the people, buildings and experiences would come my way. I quickly understood that I needed to make money so I could enjoy myself more so I went to Michael’s art supply store and bought a bunch of canvas to quickly paint and sell on the street corners. Early on my trip I was sitting outside of Chris’s house I was staying at when this woman named Lizz came up to me and started talking about how she was an artist as well and wanted to talk to me after seeing what I had painted on my guitar case. She said she lived across the street and wanted to show me her art so she went up and got her tablet and a joint for us to smoke. The next day we had planned to meet up in her apartment and chill out. It was there we started connecting and she offered to give me her $50 blank canvas for free and also let me use her dolly cart to carry my artwork around the city easily. It was very kind of her and we became quick friends while I was there.

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Because I was so limited on funds at the start of my trip I found myself asking for a dollar here and there for the subway. I realized quickly that the people on the crowded sidewalks were very stingy and some even scared when I asked for some, running away. I however found many heartwarming people willing to give and share. I was sitting outside of a building with my guitar, a chair and portfolio of my work one day when a slender woman dressed in black came up to me and started discussing how she was an artist and we began talking about consciousness and the subconscious field of energy, abstract ideas and perspectives of life about how all things are entangled and connected. It was a good awakening and reminder about life. I then played her some of my abstract guitar sounds and she took off a little while later. On another occasion I was at Union Square showing my artwork on a round street corner when I spoke to this black man about the connectedness of humanity. I explained to him how some people are so blinded, so lost, so wrapped up in a narrow minded ways of thinking that they can’t even hear me say free paintings, all my paintings are free, come take one.  I proceeded to yell that out to the crowds of people walking along the sidewalks at the corner and literally people just walked away or ignored. We started laughing at what was happening. We both started discussing energy more and how things and situations affect other beings and how we need to progress forward as inhabitants of earth.

Experiences in the Big Apple!

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I had many fun experiences in NYC including singing to a free styling piano mans music as well as painting live in Times Square and having little kids paint with me as well. I ate black bean burritos with jalapenos and guac every day. I visited multiple Art Museums and showcased my art outside, walked through central park singing and playing guitar and even visited the boardwalk at Coney Island. coney1It was winding down to the end of my 2 weeks vacation and I still did not have the funds to buy my bus ticket. It was 4 days before I had to leave when a homeless man walked up to me while I was singing out loud to the crowds. We started talking and I explained to him how I love being free and am not afraid to open up to the people around me because I am a reflection for them to see their own possibility of light. I then opened my mouth and yelled that I love NYC and said some conscious things in freestyle. I then got down off the wall when an investment banker who just heard me liked the big painting from the canvas that Lizz had given me for free.

Celestial Observer

I told him it was $200 and he said all he had was $191 and I said that was great! I sold him the painting titled “Celestial Observer” and gave him a paper print of one of my other pieces for free. I now had the money I needed to go back to Buffalo and then a plane back to Phoenix. I told the homeless man thanks for causing me to stand up and yell those conscious things in that moment to get me the money that I needed to get out of the city. I handed him a 5 dollar bill and a loaf of pumpernickel bread that I got for free earlier in the day from someone.

Here’s a shot of me and a guy who bought one of my smaller pieces for $10 and was visiting from Japan! He said he was a YouTube singer over there.

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Final Days on the Island

I really didn’t have much time to really appreciate the city I was in because I was busy working the streets trying to make money the whole time to get back. Now that I had my bus ticket payed for I could enjoy and not have to worry about anything else. So I spent one last day with all my remaining artwork with the intention to just sell it and get rid of it even if it meant for free. So I started cheaper and got lower as the day went on and made about $80 more and gave away a lot of free art because I was done being tied to the street corners. I spent the following last 2 days spreading my wings by buying a new hat and dancing and singing in the city looking up at people as I walked instead of drudging around with a bunch of paintings and heavy backpack.

SunriseThe last day I walked around with just my guitar while playing and singing songs to people along the streets. I then walked back to my friend Lizz’s house to get my camera and luggage that I left at her house. I said my goodbyes and made my way over to the bus terminal to leave. While I waited for my bus to depart at 12:00 at night, there were issues and the bus wasn’t leaving til like 1am and I got upset and said something to the bus driver and he said he wasn’t going to let me on anymore because he didn’t like people making big fusses. I felt I didn’t make such a big fuss but it allowed me to stay in NYC for another 4 hours. So I went back out to Times Square and played my guitar at night to the street corners. Missing that bus was a blessing too because It allowed me to see the most beautiful orange sunset as I left the city behind me. Also gave my brother more time to sleep in the morning before having to pick me up.

Back in Buffalo and Sippin’ on San Pedro!

Once I arrived in Buffalo my brother asked me what I wanted to do on my last night in NY before having to go home in the morning. I said I don’t know and he responded with well how about some San Pedro Cactus Trippin? I of course was thrilled with this opportunity because I have never done it before. So we cooked and strained the cactus after 6 hours and drank 2 cups each of the bitter pungent slimy juice. We both began tripping after about an hour or so and never had to throw up. His friend came over and we painted for a while. My brother began freestyling on his guitar and I proceeded by singing some freestyle lyrics on top. It was a really powerful spiritual moment for myself. I felt really connected to the 2 people who were sitting in front of me. We then walked up the forest trail from my brothers cabin and made our way to a pond with the bull frogs chirping their calls. His friend started a fire for us while we gazed at the energizing sky waving colors of visual delight. We came back down and his friend took off some time later. Below is the finished painting that I did when on San Pedro, I titled it “San Pedro Falls”.

san-pedro-falls

My brother and I then started speaking about life and going forward. How we are creatively conscious beings here to serve our highest potential and dreams. To experience life to the fullest and to never allow other people to crush your love. Passion is so powerful and allows you to precisely manifest your thoughts into reality with clarity and focus. We discussed more about life topics and how we can progress as artists and creators of life.

Taking the Big Bird Back to Phoenix

I then grabbed some rice and took off to the airport and began my flight back to Phoenix. When I landed I knew my life was beginning, I started attending events I could find and began by going to All One Fest in Tempe AZ. Then I started going to Raves and putting myself back out there in society. All the while living in my brothers living room with his wife, 2 kids and friend. I felt as if I was blocked from my true happiness because prior to being kicked out of my Dads House, I had developed a very conscious routine of eating healthy, doing yoga and practicing various subjects of knowledge to grow as a person. Once my personal space was non existent that sort of fell off my priority list. I however kept with the business model of who I know I am becoming, I kept going out to social situations to show my art and develop my name.

Collaboration Art

I started these two 30×40 inch collaboration paintings to signify my coming back into the art scene. These were the base paintings that I created and then allowed people to paint on them at every show I attended. The first painting is titled “Burning Man” and the second is “Peacock Paradise”. Below each you can see how over 50 people have painted on each painting.

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Sharing my Heart with Standing Rock 

I finally received my check from Paradox Interactive to finally move out on my own. So I got an apartment in Phoenix by Papago mountains and was set to move in on September 24th 2016. I had the sudden urge to go to Standing Rock though, I felt called to be apart of the protest and share my love with everyone. I bought a round trip ticket to visit North Dakota and stand up for what I believe to be human progression. Before I traveled up there I visited Black Market minerals and bought up over $800 worth of jewelry, crystals and other items. I flew up and bought 2 canvas from the Hobby Lobby by the airport and then took a taxi down to the protest site.

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During my time I painted a painting of a Stormy Sky alongside some hills and river with a big black snake coming close to the edge. Then allowed others to paint on it while offering people free items to share the love and give back to the community to connect people once I left. Another artist from Texas asked if I had a spare canvas and I did so I handed it to him and he sprayed some stencil work and brushed some symbols. People also painted on that as well which turned out amazing in the end! I was invited to the Youth Council meeting one night and said the opening prayer before discussions began. I burned sage and altered consciousness through my own lyrics across the PA system.

One of the nights there was drumming and people in traditional garb dancing around the fire, I also partook in my own dancing. The last night I was there I sang some conscious messages around the main camp fire as someone else played my guitar. The rest of the night people played guitar, sang and spoke about moving forward as a unified people. Below are the two collaborations that I did up in North Dakota. The smaller slender one is finished but the bigger one still has more work to do on it, I want to add my own final ideas to that one.

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The Creative New and Progression of my Soul

Once I returned home after 3 days I finally entered my new place which I could call my own after living 30 years of life. I’ve since met many new friends and formed beautiful relationships. I continue to progress my soul and move humanity forward as productive thinkers of society. I’m continuing to put myself out there by going to events and showing my art and soul on the dance floor. I’m a Conscious Creator and a Burning Phoenix of Light and Love! This is the start of my business “Phoenix Love”!