NYC native Joseph Einhorn has lived prosperously beyond most people’s wildest ambitions. His new company The Archivist is backed by Ashton Kutcher, Edward Norton and Gossip Girl creator Josh Schwartz. And his past projects have received investments or accolades from a wide range of household names, including Will Smith, Kanye West, Mark Zuckerberg, and Francois-Henri Pinault.
But upon connecting with the longtime entrepreneur, it’s immediately clear that his true love lies in inspiring others and helping skilled youth live out their creative dreams—regardless of demographics or socioeconomic background.
In 2019, Einhorn launched loot, a Brooklyn-based comic book shop where he hosts complimentary art workshops for kids to enhance their creativity in the comic book space. It’s so youth-driven that adults aren’t even allowed inside without kids in tow.
Graffiti Library had the pleasure of speaking with Einhorn, who opens up about the notable differences between Brooklyn’s art community and L.A.’s. He also sheds light on the importance of inspiring kids and provides links and descriptions to a couple of his favorite rising artists.
What is loot and what’s its purpose?
Loot is a Brooklyn comic book club and artistic retreat that encourages kids to become comics creators. Adults are only admitted if they’re with kids, and we sell memberships that entitle kids to use supplies and meet with artist-mentors, as well as to borrow comics from our library. We have two goals: to get young readers interested in comics and to get them away from their screens.
How did the shop come to be, and why the comic book focus in particular?
The library came from my personal collection and has been supplemented by community donations. From childhood, I was a big comic book reader and collector. I dreamed of working in the industry one day. Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo, the owners of the best restaurants in Brooklyn, made this possible by providing the space to me to make my dream come true.
Why do you find Brooklyn to be such a great place for emerging artists?
With nearly 3 million residents, Brooklyn is overflowing with talent. Brooklyn itself—just Brooklyn, not even NYC—has a larger population than most cities on Earth. There’s no shortage of talent and inspiration to observe in Brooklyn. Many talented artists from all over the world are in Brooklyn trying to be near and work with the best artists.
What’s been the biggest challenge of sustaining loot (pandemic aside)?
Providing ongoing free or affordable art programs for families is a big challenge.
What caused the decision to focus on kids, and who are some rising artists you work with (age aside) who should be on everyone’s radar?
I felt that if we didn’t do this, there would be a whole generation of young people who would miss this medium completely. A couple to follow:
Steve has been making the action figures for the winners of our design-your-own-action-figure contest. You might know him as Concrete Jungle, the maker of action figures for members of the Wu-Tang Clan.
Joseph is an art instructor living in Brooklyn with who we work. He is an incredibly talented artist and a really good teacher and a nice person.
How does the art world in NYC differ from that in L.A.?
The surroundings are different for sure in terms of inspiration. But also the industries. I think artists in L.A. are just closer to the film biz, so they can sometimes get pulled into related projects whether it be set design or something else; whereas, NYC professional artists may be working closer to the ad industry with illustration and so on.
What are some of your favorite charities or businesses that support artists?
I don’t know too much about this field, but Warby Parker supported us from the beginning. People there get it and care. There’s a youth development agency in NYC called The Door which is helping families with everything, including the arts. We’ve been lucky enough to visit various Brooklyn public schools. The teachers and administrators are second to none in terms of supporting young artists.
Is there anything else you want to add about loot, your other projects, or what you’ve got on the horizon?
Creating and running loot has been the most rewarding experience of my career. If you have a dream to do something to make an impact on your community I hope you can draw some inspiration from loot. There’s no better feeling than doing something for others.
Dahvi Shira is a formerand E! Online staff writer-reporter. The University of Oregon Magazine Journalism alum and L.A. Press Club Awards nominee—who has also published work with Billboard, New York Magazine, Mane Addicts, Sweety High, and MSN’s Wonderwall—has covered Hollywood and pop culture since 2009. With a love for the City of Angels and everything it has to offer, Dahvi created Skyelyfe in Sept. 2014 to write about her favorite people, places, and things in the location she loves most—while incorporating the name Skye, which represents dreams with no limits.