Kaela Johnson | Life
OPC, an acronym for ‘Only Positive Change’ was jointly founded by 18 year-old Tristan Irvin and 19 year-old Elden Mohamad, as a term of self-motivation, positivity, selflessness and growth.
Irvin said, “I came up with Only Positive Change as a life philosophy, it means to wake up with an intention to do better, everyday take a step towards self-betterment, every month try to be in a better position, try to have more connections, help more friends, work harder at your job, work harder to chase your dream. OPC means to never take a step back, never become satisfied or complacent, it’s to always strive.”
Irvin takes on the creative and digital design aspects while Mohamad is mostly on the business and organization side.
“I work mostly on the business side finding sponsors and talking to other local creators. I also help organize photoshoots and video concepts, I shoot the videos then Tristan edits them,” stated Mohamad.
The pair met in high school and for the past year, have been planning an event titled ‘New Wave’ for all artists to showcase their talents.
“I feel like the relationship grew around our similar taste in art and similar perspectives on the world, this is somebody who I trust and respect, somebody whom I believe to be a genius in their own right, working with him has been a great experience…Elden helped me to procure what became OPC, I remember driving back from the gym I handed him a sketchbook with the early log, explaining a few ideas for graphic tees and jeans, not only did he take me seriously and respect my ideas, but he pushed me to elaborate on what OPC was and it’s really a 50/50 creation,” said Irvin.
“When it comes to ideas, we both have the same taste of styles and interests and so it makes it easier for us to come up with concepts,” said Mohamad.
Irvin and Mohamadwill be the hosts of a 17+ walk-in event titled ‘New Wave’. The event is on Friday July 20th from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at the Small World Music Centre located at 180 Shaw Street, Toronto, Ont. The event will be complete with a pop-up shop of fashion and art and an afterparty.
The pop-up shop will be located at 243 Greenwood Avenue, Toronto, from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
“We understood that there was an abundance of artists in Toronto that don’t get heard or don’t have a voice so we wanted to create a platform to showcase these artists,” said Mohamad.
Check out OPC’s official Instagram.
About Tristan Irvin
Stuck in a rut and the same daily routine, Irvin created OPC, as a way to strive for better and to achieve positive change in one’s life.
“I went to school, went home and that’s it. Something about that routine really didn’t stick with me, I hated it and I saw no final destination.”
Irvin now reflects this idea in his everyday life.
“Since December 2016, I’ve applied this ideology to my life, I went and got a job, worked hard and found myself as a manager not long after. I started to be much more helpful and I would do as much as I could to see people around me shine; I became more friendly and selfless as a person.”
Irvin who competed in sports such as soccer at competitive levels, states that his athletic background gave him the drive and ambition to accomplish large scale projects such as the New Wave event. His inspiration sprouts from musical influences ranging from the 1970’s to the early 2000’s such as Curtis Mayfield, Gill Scott, DMX, Nas and Wu Tang, and mafia movies such as The Godfather series and Scarface.
“When it comes to influences on what I like to create visually, I can’t put a finger on it, because I think it’s a mix of everything.”
Irvin noticed that too many people were not living up to their full potentials.
“I saw too many people just half stepping to their goals, they would kind of try to do something and give up, and I saw so many dreamers who due to circumstances were not able to achieve what they wanted to,” said Irvin. “I was inspired to create something that could be an outlet so that people to be placed within the public eye, and hopefully its a way for them to kickstart some success.”
Irvin has always been a creative from a young age dreaming of selling products and experiences to the masses and creating Wix websites and Facebook pages for all of his interests and hobbies.
“I’ve got a whole sketchbook dedicated to the improvement of the TTC, ways to arrange the seats so that more people can fit, alterations to bus routes, the best places to add new stations based off of where the majority of the population will reside in the years to come.
I wrote a script for 45 episodes of an anime show I call “One Nation”. Basically the show is about why the pyramids were erected, a couple powerful beings, some magic weapons and items, a power struggle, the collapse of a complex political system and societal structure.”
“I just love to create, even if nobody ever sees the works, I love to make them. And that’s what OPC is, it’s my creative project that has the mission of helping other people to be more creative, imaginative and successful.”
About Elden Mohamad
Elden Mohamad has always had a knack for business at a young age and is now studying International Business at Seneca College.
“Growing up I’ve always enjoyed anything connected to business. My dad got me into business at an early age, he works 13-14 hours everyday at a factory job and yet always finds time to show me the ins and outs of business.”
Towards the end of my junior year of high school my dad decided to start another business and he chose me to be his “business partner”. That summer we created a garage door business named Eden Valley Garage… And this is where I learned how hard, and how much I love the process of business. He taught me how to write out expense reports, marketing, networking, to even the small details of handling a business.”
Aside from business, Mohamad is also influenced by art of all kinds.
“I always liked the creative aspect of all art forms whether music, movies, writing, paintings, architect etc. I’ve been watching shows like Atlanta, Ozark, The Sopranos and Black Mirror and I find myself breaking down each scene and studying the cinematography.”
He has a love for many different genres of music ranging from Hip Hop to the Blues. He grew up on R&B and Pop singers such as Anthony hamilton, Boyz II Men and Michael Jackson and also knows how to play the piano and viola.
“The one thing I’ve learnt from my dad was that almost everything in this world is related somehow to business. So when OPC started, I was excited to merge my love for art and business.”
“As corny as it may sound the idea of OPC isn’t just a media platform, it’s a lifestyle. The whole experience is something new for us but it’s something we have a passion for and we hope the city can see the local talent in their surrounding areas.”
The New Wave Event
The event will be featuring artists of all sorts including singers, rappers and clothing designers.
Mohamad said, “the show focuses on Soul, R&B, and Rap and the pop-up shop will have various artists such as photographers, tattoo artists, videographers, clothing designers and more.”
The goal of the event is to showcase upcoming artists into the public eye, and to create a buzz for the brand.
Irvin said, “it’s the best way to have the artists interact with potential fans, I feel like watching somebody perform live creates a different level of intimacy.”
Preparation for the event started as early as 2017. “I had venues in mind for the concert long before I was emailing them asking. I picked a smaller venue so that 200 people feels like a whole lot more because the room would be packed full,” said Irvin.
Social media is prevalent in promoting the event and scouting talent. Irvin was able to find the performers by posting on his Instagram story asking if any artists were interested in participating and filled showcase spots within a week.
“I knew I’d sell tickets by having people on Instagram promote a video on their story. I know in Toronto people follow whatever is buzzing, so I created an artificial buzz by having 40+ people post the same thing, that creates discourse and sparks interest.”
“Toronto is full of creators whether it’s photographers, designers, videographers, tattoo artists, and musicians so it was very easy to get artists to participate. The hard part was narrowing down the set list of artists,” said Mohamad.
“People should expect to see the craziest show, amazing talent, a fun energetic atmosphere, something memorable,” Irvin stated.
Mohamad said, “There are so many artists who don’t get seen so if we can give them a platform or even help them network with other artists, that to us is inspiring and could hopefully inspire them too and have confidence in their own work.”
There will be many more events in the future showcasing art and branching out into fashion shows as well.
Featured image from OPC Instagram.