strategic director in the advertising world, co-founder of Six Items or Less, head barnmaster for the BBH Barn, curator for the Wilhelmine Project, speaker for Hyper Island Master Classes
really enjoyed sitting w/ this @nytimes piece on technology and what it means to connect in today's world: http://t.co/S8H4Ldrnb0
a little film (shot through #googleglass) of bert the rattlesnake wrangler saving the day at the cabin http://t.co/MKneqfTe4i
young planners, check out @BBHNewYork's new strategy hot house training program, in honor of @griffinfarley. http://t.co/DmqwTQ9OW6 pl RT
just went to take a shower and was greeted by a rattlesnake. jesus effin' christ. #desertlife #brünnhildeadventures
TY my friend, this is perfect. RT @katiedreke: cc: @uberblond "We are born to wander, and cursed to stay and dig." http://t.co/kasQuEebi9
amen. "I want to pursue wonder, appreciation, and adventure." http://t.co/mcjkWyaTOl
tonight I killed a suspected brown recluse & black widow within the space of an hour. squealed both times. #willies #brünnhildeadventures
"I just killed a spider and I feel kinda bad about that. To be fair, I’m about 60% sure it was a desert..." http://t.co/4W8sdSQACz
Just witnessed a guy picking up three prescriptions, $700. Something's gotta change.
whoo hoo! @hklefevre's annual planner survey is now live for 2012/2013 - an awesome resource - thx Heather & team! http://t.co/r31QndZLwf
so inspired by my friend @MarkFairbanks' program that connects kids with autism with creative professionals. http://t.co/VNIhuBOuxb
annnnnd I found a black widow spider in the outhouse tonight. I might throw up. #desertlife #brünnhildeadventures
@cwiggins totes agree. get on that! ;)
today as I was moto'ing 75 mph down a highway a bee flew up my sleeve and there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it. fuck that hurt.
Photo: Big roads, big desert, big sky http://t.co/DUPRq3sniQ
this daft punk/soul train mashup made my morning. I'm gonna go dance in the desert now. http://t.co/KCUgQeKwjE
desert videos & pictures taken through #googleglass. it's pretty fun to use in situations like this. http://t.co/59cONhiTvv
last sunset here in the desert. the best one yet.
the past few days we’ve had a heat wave here. translation: consistent temperatures above 100 degrees for the bulk of the day (more like 105/106) and no clouds to help.
it’s been a rather humbling experience. I’ve talked about how in the past through my travels I’ve realize just what an animal I really am, that realization being born of Yellowstone’s late-fall cold and having days where the only thing I’m focusing on it generating heat to stay warm.
obviously here it’s the opposite, but no less humbling. I’m an animal and this heat oppresses. there is no A/C to escape into at the cabin, my defense is the rattlesnake shower and a freezer that struggles to make ice quickly enough.
so I just sit and wait. I sweat. I wish for sleep, but the heat makes that impossible too. and then, at 7:30, the sun drops behind the horizon and I feel like I can breathe again.
but today it’s broken. and I’m sitting on the porch and it’s only 95 degrees and there are clouds and the breeze is semi-cool.
hard to believe, but it’s been a month and tomorrow I leave the cabin and the desert.
this hasn’t been my most sharing month as far as the blog goes - it’s a lot different when you just sit. a lot less obvious wonder to report upon, although the wonder definitely exists in profound ways.
no, this was a month of quiet, of reflection and writing and meditating. of shifting my days with the weather’s whims (yes, even a forecast that is 92 degrees, pure sun and varying levels of wind day upon day gives you tremendous variety if you are sitting in it), learning when the birds come out and where they go. oddly engrossing.
tomorrow I moto into LA and start the prep to get Brünnhilde home. then to Florida to reunite with my truck the Black Wolf, and then a meander back to the big city.
heading home, but I think this desert will stay with me.
so bert the Austrian rattlesnake wrangler came round and took care of the snake lickety split. apparently it was a hella venomous one, a Mojave Green female. yay!
perfect occasion to whip out Glass and shoot a little movie :)
THERE IS A RATTLESNAKE IN THE SHOWER.
racing across a flat desert valley, mountains loom on both sides. cracked homes and cracked rocks scattered around, both beaten into the landscape by wind and sun.
two stops for gas, two breaks to drink a bottle of water, two random and wonderful conversations with perfect strangers.
taking my fear of riding curves head on and heading up the hills. temperatures drop, brilliant blue lakes, carefree boats and children and deep green pines… nothing like the desert below. I smelled the wet in the air. it’s been awhile.
back through the valley, the whipping winds creating an ugly dance with Brünnhilde and I. but we made it.
I read this blog post yesterday and I agree with so much of what the author writes about.
many, many times in the past year or two I’ve struggled with this bitch of an instinct to stay on the outside of my industry. it’s not always easy - I’ve watched my friends advance in the way that I always thought I would, have woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat because I’m terrified the money will stop coming in and groaned at the monthly health insurance bill. I don’t know what I’ll be doing in a month, I don’t know where the paycheck will come from or if something horrid happens to me how I’ll manage. I just have to give it to the universe and have faith.
(super fun for a recovering control freak like me)
yet despite working with some great people and great companies, there’s something in me that won’t let me go back in (yet or ever? not sure about that yet).
reading this blog post, especially the last four paragraphs, put some words to that bitch of an instinct.
it’s a ridiculously beautiful morning here.
I’m sitting on the western facing porch, the breeze is soft and best of all, the air is so clear today that all the distant mountains are just stunning in their detail.
and then it’s going to get to a high of 100 degrees later. cue Heidi meltdown.
zomg, within the hour of killing the suspected desert recluse spider in the cabin I went to the outhouse to discover a black widow perched in her web AGAIN. this time I spared her no mercy and smashed her with the Lysol container.
my karma is screwed. cue retaliation spider brigade storming my abode. or maybe nature is going to go next level on me and rouse the rattlesnakes.
in my defense, google image search “brown recluse bite” or “black widow bite”. #justsayin’
I just killed a spider and I feel kinda bad about that. To be fair, I’m about 60% sure it was a desert recluse. Cue my sister Erika screeching.
the Mustang. awwww yeah. purr baby purr.
my friend Amanda came for Memorial Day weekend. The next few posts are some of our adventures. :)
Amanda and I headed over to Salvation Mountain. Wow. What a trip. It’s a lifelong labor of love/art project/shrine devoted to God’s Love. It sits in the middle of brown nothing and looks like a melted rainbow.
I was really into it. It was beautiful and sincere. It felt good to be there.
We headed south to the Salton Sea and, per the recommendation of the people I stayed with in LA, the town of Bombay Beach.
So as far as we can tell, the Salton Sea was an accidental Sea that was formed a few decades back. It’s pretty huge and for awhile there were tons of resorts around it. Then flooding hit, destroying many properties and, because there’s no outlet to this sea, salt and agricultural run-off started accumulating.
So now you go and it’s absolutely desolate. There are some people living in Bombay Beach, but for the most part it’s just empty and decaying. And the air smells. Bad. It’s pretty tragic.
Joshua Tree National Park. so good.
the road up to the cabin. driven in a Mustang. shot with an iPhone. all sand. all bumps.
annnnnd I found a black widow spider in the outhouse tonight. I might throw up.
the full moon out here is one hell of a sight to behold.
today as I was moto’ing 75 mph down a highway a bee flew up my sleeve and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it. yep that hurt.
according to this article, once 10% of the population picks up on something, the majority quickly follows. there’s a few conditions to it – the 10% have to be unwavering, the majority need to be at least open to the idea – but even with those conditions it’s an interesting threshold to think about when approaching change.
I’m thinking back to times when we were looking for target markets to embrace a change, either in the way they fundamentally perceive a brand or in behaving differently via a product (I’m leaving out the instances when I’ve worked on assignments where we asking an entrenched target market to try a new variant or buy x more of the existing product in a time frame).
we’ve all seen it happen in the quarterly-earnings, insta-success-measurement paradigm that we’re a part of – we ask people to undergo a shift, and if 30% of the target market doesn’t undergo that shift in the first two weeks of the communications cycle, it’s deemed a failure. brand managers freak, creatives get thrown into another round of development and yet another cycle of Preview ensues so we can safely get that comm into the upper right box by pleasing the vast majority of the survey-takers (fyi, I hate Preview, I hate Milward Browne. I thought you should all be aware of this writer’s bias).
but how much more interesting would the upfront conversations be (and ensuing strategies and tactics) if they went something like this?
let’s think longer term. I know our target universe is 6 million, but let’s focus on getting 600,000 to really get it, embrace it (and we’ll use x as a measurement of what embracing it means) in this time frame.
basically, (re)define or more tightly define what success is on assignments like that.
10% success is still a huge metric to obtain and the depth of commitment from that 10% needs to be deep for the resulting effect to happen. but I would argue that it’s a smart investment if this theory holds. it’s making the transition happen from short term sales jump change (which is of course sometimes needed) to phenomena change via the brand, which surely has more return in the long term.
what gets me psyched about focusing on this 10% threshold is that the strategies and work would get so much more interesting; focus is crack for good idea junkies.
but this isn’t just about creative crack – I’m willing to bet that focus like this is also crack for ROI and would be much more efficient in two ways: 1) we’re bringing in the sharp-shooters, not the carpet bombers. less initial waste in spend. 2) if seeded properly, the phenomena will take on a life of its own, and propagation won’t have to be bought, it will be earned.
how cool would it be to lead a brief with this?
objective: make 10% of our target market love us (and ignore the rest for now or cover remaining with another stream of tactics/communications)
investigate for the 10%, build strategy for it, create for it, measure for it and then, once it’s rolling, ride and expand the phenomena.
I love how people can be so damn optimistic. we go on our diets, we buy our exercise machines, we think we’re going to change the world. we’re only a resolution away from super-human status. but so often we fail.
and as much as “failing” has been such a trendy topic in any industry that claims to embrace rapid fire, digital culture-driven development, when the back fat expands yet again after the fifth diet in five months, failing isn’t sexy or SXSW-cool – it just plain sucks.
let’s take it one step further: when this failure to change means that we’re continuing to suck up resources unnecessarily or there’s people around us that are suffering when there’s loads of wealth to share, it doesn’t just suck. it starts to veer into the realm of being irresponsible (not that I’m a saint by any means).
I’m thinking about this today because I woke up to an interview with @lacreid, aka the Fat Planner, who is doing the brilliant Don’t Feed the Planner Project for 50/50 Make or Break by @madebymany and @g00dfornothing to benefit famine relief in Africa. @lacreid is eating famine rations for 50 days and raising donations for his effort.
I think this project demonstrates an interesting, rather new, approach to empathy and to change – people taking on an experiential shift to drive real empathy and change.
take Six Items or Less: people always asked me if it really changed people’s lives (for many, yes) and why it worked when other efforts to get people to cut back on their consumption don’t. after pondering that one for awhile, and watching the Six Items community go through three cycles, I have a thought: Six Items and Fat Planner share structural principles that make immediate empathy and long-term change likely to happen (as well as social spread):
1) there’s a challenge
it must force a behavior change that people feel, but not one that is impossibly difficult. Ideally, it rubs against a cultural and behavioral norm.
2) there’s a time limit on it
this sense of limit encourages people to try it in the first place and keeps them going even when it’s tough.
3) there’s no “right” end-point
keeping the outcome open (for example, there was never a “right” Six Items experience or outcome) allows a dialogue to happen with the originators and gives the participants ownership over the experience. and ownership = motivation.
people need to feel the change (less consumption) and/or the problem (living on famine rations) hence the challenge. but people need hope and a goal, hence the time limit. and get people through a two weeks of buying differently, eating differently, exercising differently, whatever differently… all of the sudden what seemed to initially be intellectually impossible (cut back your consumption) becomes a way of life and they start to own it.
taking it one step further, if talking about it can be reduced down to a simple sentence, it’s likely to spread socially (ie eat famine rations for 50 days or wear six and only six items of clothing for a month). anytime anyone is doing something “kinda crazy” that rubs against culture and they can easily talk about it, they will. and others will. it’s @griffinfarley’s propagation planning in action.
people spreading the word? enter real value for brands.
there’s a @FastCompany article that made the Twitter rounds recently about how “brands being human is the new black”. remarkably, that’s an exact same theme that @seth_weisfeld and I talked about last summer and I couldn’t agree more. our culture will increasingly demand that brands, if they want success, show their guts more and not be afraid to be a bit emotional, a bit more curious, have a sense of humor, less “know it all”, more thoughtful, more provocative… more human.
being human also gives brands permission to challenge. brands shouldn’t just coddle us and make us feel sexy all the time anymore; that feels so depressingly tired and I’m bored just thinking about it. let’s have a real conversation – let’s create spaces in our communications where we think and provoke and explore via brands.
imagine if H&M had gotten on board with Six Items. imagine if UNICEF directly facilitated the Fat Planner challenge. that’s interesting stuff, the kind of stuff that makes brands deeper, stickier, memorable – it’s the stuff that keeps the brand on people’s radar long after the experiment is done.
create and foster a fixed experience shift.
watch empathy/behavior change for a lot of people.
give them the language, talk with them and make the experience theirs just as much as it is your brand’s.
This is what I’m doing and where you’ll be able to find me for awhile.
Why I feel blessed
I worked and became friends with the best.
BBH was awesome to me and graciously gave me lots of space, support and opportunities. I have lots of love for the place.
I never had to write a deck for Emma Cookson thus keeping my true (lack of) planning ability cloaked.
I have a network of cheerleaders near and far that are way generous with their support.
Since day one in planning, I’ve had and still have the best mentor I could possibly ask for.
What I believe
Integrity and positivity are everything.
Planning should be practical, real and useful not theoretical, intellectualized and esoteric.
With the right team, you can do just about anything.
Why I’m doing this
I want to breathe a bit.
I’m tired of “understanding” through screens and reports.
I want to touch what the hell is going on in America right now.
Because I can.
as a kid, like so many kids out there, I was fascinated by the space program. I never saw the movie Space Camp, but somehow in my little Midwestern childhood learned about it, and suddenly my eight year-old self got hell-bent on going. my father, the hard-working, earn-your-shit immigrant that he was, demanded I earn my trip there. cut to me, scraping pigeon shit out of his lofts for a months, clocking every hour until I had earned enough money to pay half of admission and my travel.
I think my flight there was one of the first times I was on a plane. when the plane took off, and I felt the machine rumble underneath me and my little scrawny body got pushed hard back into the seat, I closed my eyes and became an astronaut on the shuttle, booster rockets firing underneath me. I was suddenly so big and so small.
space camp was awesome. I saved up extra and bought a flight suit (that I still own to this day) and wore it proudly on the bus trip to the launch area. my god, it was all so big. so so big. and wonderful. and a testament to what people can imagine, can do. the ability to dream like that, to fling our fragile beings into this great unknown… how can you express that in words? let’s just say that as I type this, I still swell up and get chills.
I went home and built models of the shuttle in our basement, that damn model glue sticking my fingers together and getting into my hair. I was in Florida when there was a launch and even across the state in Tampa, I could see the plume of shuttle streak proudly across the sky and I jumped up and down and shouted to my parents, so thrilled that they were going “out there” again. I poured through space books until they literally fell apart, tried to build a scale model of the solar system in my backyard (yeah thanks for fucking that up Pluto) and, to this day, the best Christmas of my life was when I discovered a red telescope from JC Penney under the tree. I loved the dream of it, the bigness of it, the bravery of it. life got so big.
We dreamed. I’m so grateful Kennedy had the balls to demand that our country dreamed. It wasn’t about sending people into space; it was about prodding all of us to think of what we could do that was bigger, more audacious. I hope we can dream like that again. It seems like we need that now more than ever.
i honestly don’t usually read agency spy or any of the ad blogs: i don’t care that much about the ins and outs of the industry, i don’t know enough people in the industry to know who’s being talked about and i find the commenters a bit negatively extreme. (i have this picture in my head of who writes such mean things about other people > pissed off copywriters who have been “working on their novel” for 14 years taking out their life frustration in these comment sections)
but i did read with interest the comment thread on the @faris post on agency spy. yowza. and although the tenor of these comments was a bit much and the personal-ness of the attacks were out of line (disclosure: I’ve met Faris a few times, would call him a nice acquaintance that I always am pleased to run into, tend to find him an agreeable and clever chap), i think they were responding to something I’ve been thinking about lately that’s bigger than any one individual…
there’s certainly pressure to keep up with the advertising/planning/strategy twitter, blogging, deck-ing, speaking game. and i certainly participate and am guilty of being in that game. but i’m getting a little bored. i read the same tweets 20 times a day. i find that a lot of the decks and posts we pass around say a lot of the same things – maybe there’s a new visual or new way to draw the model, but a lot is the same from post to post. the upshot is that i fear that the value of our community in social media is diminishing and yet to keep up with it takes so much work.
lately i’ve reached a point where i’ve admitted to myself that i just don’t have time to be obsessively all over it nor try to be a star in it: i’m doing my job, wrangling six items or less, doing the Barn, teaching at hyper island… there just isn’t time to write in this blog all the time, tweet like a maniac about smart stuff or think of a new buzz word to throw into our sphere. i’m too damn busy.
please don’t take this as a shit all over our community. i love our community. i care about it. i think it’s filled with some really great, intelligent people who i feel so blessed to have gotten to know (and yes, a lot of that “getting to know you” has happened for me through twitter).
but i fear that we may be talking to ourselves a bit. i fear we’re diluting the conversation. i fear that the same people are telling one another how brilliant they are day in and day out. and i get annoyed because i honestly do believe that we’re better than that. there’s a lot of smart, interesting people in our community and yet sometimes it doesn’t feel like we’re living up to how smart and interesting we really are. it feels like we’re a bunch of theorizing talkers, and i wonder how sustainable that is in an era that values getting off the soapbox and actually doing stuff. (because in the end, it never seems that the theories and the models really hold up anyway – modern comms and brand systems are too complex for them to).
on top of that, to keep up with what I fear is becoming an echo chamber of chatter i personally find myself taking time away from the stuff that has the potential to make me really good at my job (as opposed to the current “sufficiently good” status): creating and participating in online communities, playing with making new stuff on the web, absorbing influences and ideas from radically different worlds, talking to people, going to shows and museums and all-afternoon, non-tweeting wine-fests with friends, writing, sitting in silence every once in awhile, thinking about different stuff, and oh… sleeping.
am i the only one?
We work in an industry that requires us to compromise. No one of us can look back over the arc of our career and say that we didn’t work on something that, if we dug into it deeply enough, made us squirm.
I have sold chemical drinks, “foods” with unspeakable ingredients, products that have negative environmental effects and medical solutions that had debilitating side effects if you were in the tragic 5% of people who did not respond well to the treatment. I have worked on these in the past, and I’ll work on similarly dubious products in the future as long as I stay in this industry.
Working in our industry is a choice we all make, with the above knowledge in mind, for one reason or another. I’m not here to berate that choice. Life is complicated. Nothing is black and white.
But I do believe we are headed into the next era of our industry. We’ll have to make things that are more honest and more useful and the *shiny glossy* that we’ve hidden behind for decades just won’t cut it anymore. This obviously won’t happen overnight on every assignment, but more and more there will be profound things to be done through and with this industry. I agree with John Hegarty, we’re heading into an era where awe-inspiring brilliance can and will happen from our walls. And I hope I can contribute to it.
So while we do currently work in a world that has more compromises than not, we must be extra vigilant to not let our individual, human pursuit be compromised in the process. Your pursuit should be pure. Ultimately we want to, can and will have to make things that are new and brave and wonderful. But we won’t be a part of new and brave and wonderful if we round off the edges of ourselves and learn how to bow unnecessarily along the way. We as an industry must adjust to survive.
Someday your hair will a beautiful grey, your wrinkles stately and your bones bent. And in that time none of the current compromises will matter – whether you kissed that client’s ass enough, whether you had that title, whether you got it out the door before it was due (even though “it” was a bit lame now wasn’t it?)… it just won’t matter.
What will remain is your integrity. Were you kind? Did you bring what needed to to be brought for your team? Did you point out the bullshit and resolve not to propagate it in your own sphere of influence? Did you treat others with dignity?
What will remain is your soul. Did you speak up when something inside you trembled and you felt something? When you had a thought that made those little electric sparks go off did you go out and do it? Did you advocate for the brave? Push for the brilliantly uncommon?
Whatever is wild in you, whatever scares you, whatever makes your blood rush and your being buzz; whatever makes you “crazy”… protect it. Nurture it. That is the part that is truly yours. Do not let a process, a need to climb, your “status”, kill that. And be kind along the way.
Now more than ever we’ll need the ingenious and the brave. We’ll need a conscience and humanity. And if being true to that means you have to be a bit mad, then so be it.
Carry on wolves, carry on.
I went to the opera last week. The Met faintly smells of some churches – I think it’s the velvet of the seats and the heavy wood. Levine came out to thunderous applause, the lights dimmed, the chandeliers elegantly rose and we were off, soon deep in a world of beauty, art, thought, music.
No tweet could do those hours justice. No video could make you feel how it felt to be there. And I wouldn’t even want to try because its sacred. It’s too beautiful, too personal to try to send over the airwaves. I have resolved to relish those sacred spaces, keep them safe. I have also resolved to not bastardize others sacred spaces. Some places and moments need to remain untouched.
plannerization specialization maximus
“What kind of planner are you?”
I’m just a planner. I don’t have a special theory set or a specific angle in – I like to think that I assess what’s needed and then pull on the theories that I need to accomplish that task at hand – digital or analogue, granular or macro. I morph. Some people I really respect have special titles and write special decks about their brand of planning. I wonder if I’m a dinosaur or perhaps they’re a fad or maybe a bit of both.
my great-grandfather and my grandfather lived in the Ukraine, at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. Every spring they would go up into the hills and bring back a baby wolf or two. And every fall, after a summer of companionship, those wolf pups would disappear back into the mountains. A wolf appeared on my father’s property in Florida a few years back. It bred with his dog, had a litter and eventually, my father was able to tame her down enough to capture her to re-release her in the wild. We kept the litter. So I got a hybrid pup. His name was Otto.
Yesterday I was watching the wind whip through some trees in Tribeca and it made me think about their loyalty and their simultaneous aloofness. I don’t think they’re really built for Facebook, are they?
rumor-mongering and how absolutely stupid our industry can be
kevin’s out, ben’s gone, seth announced his resignation yesterday and the chatter is alive that BBH New York is going to shit. funny, it sure doesn’t feel that way.
how absolutely fucking awesome pee-wee herman is
i don’t if the dude masturbated in a theater, he’s one of my childhood idols and his NYC tour this week was awesome.
i love digital shit, i really do. i went on vacation lately where i met an astrologist in the hot tub and she was so full of life and talked about how because of our digital connections we are now truly in the age of aquarius and how we’re in an age of great humanity through hyper-connectivity. and whereas i’ve never been an astrology chick – I’ve been told my whole life that Capricorns are miserable bitches so I hope you can understand my wariness towards the whole thing – the description and the human possibility was so hopeful and positive i couldn’t help but to stare at this woman and think, “maybe that is what this whole digital revolution or whatever you want to call it is really all about” and “wouldn’t it be cool if it was??”
which is would be.
but i don’t know what got into my head tonight. somewhere between using my dropbox to simultaneously “chat” with my web designer in nyc and my developers in india (and on top of that more chat simultaneously via yahoo chat), i had a hit of a memory of standing in front of my elementary school, the smell of fresh dirt wafting up to my little towhead and watching a time capsule, only hours before meticulously assembled by grubby nine year-old hands, being gingerly laid to rest in a shallow grave in to the side of the school steps.
man that was cool. and man wouldn’t it be cooler to find one of those today?
i mean, i know our external drives are bursting with memories as well, but could they ever feel as wondrous as digging up one of those elementary school time capsules and sifting through the physical stuff deemed momentous by children of another era?
@sakisaki6 it is too late to join but we'll start another one in the new year!
want some serious inspiration? check out our Facebook page and how Carousel is rocking her Six:... http://t.co/i7ziEQro
I posted 5 photos on Facebook in the album "Nov/Dec 2011 Sixers" http://t.co/0D2YXEUV
haikusnail rocking out two of the six and some amazing accessories. love the scarf. http://t.co/aWS38Qm7
hey good Sixers! The Facebook page could use some razzle dazzle – specifically I would love to get a lot of... http://t.co/BLFHCI0Z
Sixers are off and running. Very cool stuff.
love this post from "instant gratification girl" about why she's doing SIOL. http://t.co/nSwAk2mW http://t.co/SMw9cKRe
today is last day to sign up to Six. it's a pretty awesome, illuminating, crazy-good and doable experiment. so what's stopping you?
@kelliblake you are the consummate sixer, one of our favorites. a cycle without you is like peanut butter without chocolate.
The Holiday 2011 cycle starts tomorrow - we're still taking Sixers until tomorrow night. yes, you can do it. you won't die. promise.
we're two days away from starting. are you doing anything differently in the lead up?... http://t.co/nY3qrAwB
our first cycle was about 50/50 guys/ladies; now we're almost all ladies. guys? hello?
@KooshkaLondon actually, some people do do that - everyone has a different journey and we're cool with all kinds!
@Carousel_UK ah! thank you. it should be fixed now. and email heidi@sixitemsorless your username & you'll be in and can do your own pass.
@ecofashionworld awesome! thank you.
<3 RT @seattlegrl: @sixitemsorless I did it to create more time in my day and to remind myself I'm beautiful no matter what I wear!
Sixers, why would you recommend Six Items or Less to someone who has never done it before?
i met Kim when i was living in London. he was a friend of a friend, we on Brick Lane for a few hours and then he took a bunch of photos of my friend and I playing in the garbage, which I still adore as they capture the mood of that night so brilliantly.
i moved to new york, he moved to shanghai and i always looked on to what he was doing happily through facebook. kim’s one of those people that i’m really glad my life intersected with - super creative, brave and just doing it. so when i started the wilhelmine project he was one of the first people I thought of to get involved and here we are.
his interview will pop up in this space soon, stay tuned. and stop by - the piece is great on screen, stunning in person.
Having Kim’s work in the window is like having a drugged-up rainbow dream float into your world. It’s pretty fantastic.
welcome to the jem collective
can you handle how hot this build was?
the journey of this project meant tracking down 13 different dolls when there wasn’t many more made in the first place. this took me to the depths of eBay, into the edges of the doll collecting world and a brush with the (still mysterious) Jem Board
I’m attracted to the juxtaposition between these commercial toys and big moments in history because I feel like so often we culturally reduce these moments into image flashes in our collective consciousness instead of appreciating them for what they meant for history, progress (or lack of progress) and who we are today.
mary magdalene redux
synergy holds court
Dolls? Really? And what are these dolls?
I grew up in Wisconsin and I have the classic city-adult story: Wisconsin was wonderful, love that I grew up there, but I always felt a bit out of place and that there was a different world out there that I needed to be a part of.
So it’s 1985/1986 and I’m six years old, right in the height of Barbie playing phase. Barbies were fine. They were fine. But I don’t remember being all about the Barbies.
Then, a miracle happened. Jem.
Hasbro decided to release a series of dolls, a cartoon and songs that were based on punk culture. The premise was that there was two competing all-girl punk bands (Jem & the Holograms vs the Misfits) and the show documented all the chaos that ensued.
I was totally in love and have been ever since. I felt like there was a place for me, which maybe that makes me shallow to get belonging from toys, but I was six. And there was no internet. So when you’re six and everyone thinks you’re a little weird, it’s nice for other weirdness in the world to come out of nowhere and smack you upside your little head.
A few months back I started collecting them on eBay just for the hell of it - they made me happy and I figured I’d do something cool with them someday and here I am.
So why the Last Supper?
It’s iconic. I had spoken to friends about doing a bunch of Jem dioramas, anywhere from the flag on Iowa Jima to the D-Day landing to Rosa Parks sitting on the bus. There’s a really jarring juxtaposition of putting these commercial, frivolous dolls in these major moments in history.
I’m attracted to this juxtaposition because I feel like so often we culturally reduce these moments into image flashes in our collective consciousness instead of appreciating them for what they meant for history, progress (or lack of progress) and who we are today.
If someone can look at this Last Supper and think about it fresh or even take a moment and really think about it again because of this, then the window is doing what it should. I realize this might offend people, but if it does, I hope people think about why they’re offended and I hope it makes them value or understand their relationship with the original event that much more, instead of doing what we all seem to do when we see an image of the Last Supper which is usually to be like, “Last Supper. Got it. Next”.
So is it only for a Christian-based audience?
God no. I feel pretty sure that the Last Supper transcends Christianity, at least in Western culture. I mean, I might offend the Christians the most, but having grown up in a Christian tradition in a big family of church-goers, I don’t think it’s offensive. If anything, I think Christians could probably do the world a favor, stop getting offended, calm down, go help some people and have a laugh.