“When I was younger, I played trumpet in a jazz band. I bring it up, because what makes great jazz is when the musician breaks the rules. When they do the unexpected. When you listen to a trained musician who knows all the rules and knows how to break them, you want to listen to their music over and over again. The same is true in design. Taking risks in design is what makes design interesting, but designers are usually making something for someone else. We need to develop a relationship strong enough that you will trust us when we say the payoff will be worth the risk.”—
From Where I Stand, as other things I do, started as a series because I did it once, thought it was interesting, and haven’t stopped. I also thought it was kind of silly that people were posting photos of their shoes on Instagram and hashtagging it #fromwhereistand. But when I got an iPhone 5 I figured out I could make a compelling image of where I was using the panorama feature. I then adopted the hashtag.
They aren’t just pictures of where I am, and they’re not just pictures of me. They’re pictures of me in a place. I like that.
I can’t think of a particular quote, but one of the things that has stuck with me thru all the years is when I was just learning about art and design, a couple friends helped me to explore. They taught me not to get precious with what I was making, and that you need to break it in order to fix it. You need too go to far, then bring it back.
If you don’t cross the line, you’ll never know where it is.
What are the objects around the studio that inspire you?
I have pages I’ve torn from picture books stacked on my desk and taped to my wall just waiting to be cut, torn and pasted, but really I find more inspiration being outside or reading. What happens in the studio is more of the processing of all the other things.
I had wanted to go to Jamaica for about 15 years. I suggested Julia and I go for our honeymoon in 2002, but we ended up going to Ireland. Looking back now, I don’t even know where in Jamaica I would have gone, I didn’t even know much about it in particular. All I knew (or thought I know, rather) was that I loved reggae, and that the country itself would be beautiful. It’s an island in the Caribbean, after all. So what was I surprised by? A bunch of things.
I didn’t expect to have food I’d never had before. I expected new recipes, sure, but I was pleasantly surprised by callallo and ackee being in nearly every dish. I’d never heard of either of them, and they are delicious. Also, everything is fresh. I don’t believe anything they eat on a daily basis is imported, it’s incredible.
Every local has something to offer you, and they are quite straightforward about letting you know. We were constantly asked if we needed a tour of the island, a ride to the airport, bananas, mangos and other indigenous fruit, drugs, jet skis, boat rides and other tourist-y things. And when I say “every local” I mean it. You cannot walk 20 feet without having an exchange with a new person. This is something I had to get used to, but quickly learned how to approach these offers. They are extremely respectful, and leave you alone once you’ve convinced them you really don’t need anything.
Jamaicans are the most kind, helpful and honest people I’ve met besides Wyoming farmers. But unlike Wyoming farmers, they are not shy to talk to you. In a very short amount of time after meeting someone, they will have told you where they’ve gone and where they’re going.
The Jamaica motto is “Out of Many, One People” and they really live it. I was told it’s what the color black stands for in the Rasta colors. I felt more accepted in Jamaica than I have ever felt anywhere else before.
Everyone accepts Jamaican or US currency. $100 Jamaican is nearly equal to $1 US. This is confusing sometimes, especially when withdrawing $20,000 (J) from the ATM. (Check out this photo of a receipt I got while I was there.)
Everyone say “ya, moon!” and fist bumps each other saying, “respect!” and it’s awesome. It’s not a stereotype, it is real. And appreciate it, because it’s genuine.
Well Andy, I’m not much for making a fuss over my birthday (or even holidays for that matter), but I do like to be with friends on my birthday. Life is about relationships so why not spend the day we celebrate our own lives with those who we admire?
Julia and I talked about having some sort of picnic in the park. I think she’s planning on grilling out, and we’ll likely sit around in the shade or play frisbee or something.
I did some quick math and figured that, if you leave this evening on your moped, you could be here in time for a veggie dog.
what are your condiments/additions of choice for a burger?
Great question, Derrick.
For me, a salad and a burger should be two different things. Don’t come at me with lettuce and tomato on the burger. I’ll want to eat that first with some vinaigrette.
As for the burger, I’ll want one of the white cheeses: provolone or Swiss or the like, brown mustard (the spicier the better), avocado, and perhaps some sautéd onions, but that’s about as salad as I want to get with a burger.
You’ll notice I didn’t put catsup/ketchup. That’s because it consists mostly of high-fructose corn syrup, which I am opposed to in general. If you give me an option of some homemade ketchup, perhaps with some curry in it, I’ll have some to go with my fries, but I’ll most likely keep it simple with the burger.