Archive for December, 2012

The Art of Non-Conformity lets you do you

Read this book if you want to live an extraordinary life. It’s gotten me fired up and wishing I had read it sooner. That’s not all I have to say but seriously, trust me. You’ll be fired up if you read it too.

Chris Guillebeau’s The Art of Non-Conformity is the kind of read that gives you a kick in the ass if there’s something you really want to do, but have somehow convinced yourself that it’s not possible. Chris, like many of us, went through a crisis where he really had to ask himself what he wanted from life. But the difference between him and many people is that he took action on it and experimented until he found a way to get what he wanted. He didn’t make excuses for why he couldn’t live the way he wanted.

The Art of Non-Conformity

For Guillebeau, the thing that gets him off is travel. He’s always had wanderlust and he made it a priority because he knew it was essential to his happiness. Chris shares a lot of his successful experiments in this book like actually taking the time to map out a perfect day for yourself and how to deal with critics that dissuade you from doing what you really want to. While there’s a lot of travel specific advice, he gets that travel is not everyone’s passion but shows you how to apply the same mindset to get whatever makes you happy.

One of the raddest sections for me is when Chris illustrates how people often are a terrible judge of how much time it takes to get something done. There are a lot of things we put off for this because we think it’ll take forever, but many of them don’t actually take very long when we focus. Similarly, there are things that we believe are accomplished overnight (mastering a skill for example) but are really the result of long hours put in.

Another great part is when he talks about how most people don’t really want to roll around in luxury doing nothing. Most of us genuinely want to help others. Doesn’t that restore some faith in humanity? But you have to ask yourself if how you currently spend your days really respects your talents, interests and makes a difference in the world. Life being short is a terribly trite expression, but I don’t think anyone can deny it.

There’s a ton of great wisdom like that in this book so I hope you’ll make an effort to read it and apply what you learn to make your dreams happen. Taking the time to read this and applying nothing would an incredible insult to the author and your dreams.

The Art of Non-Conformity is available on Amazon or even better, your local indie bookstore. If you happen to already have read it, Iet us know if you think it’s helped you.

Do-Tell: Bahwee, HUH WHAT & WHERE

If you haven’t noticed, there’s a tiny shift going on in music distribution right now. It’s been happening for years but it’s finally reared its beautiful head. I’m talking, of course, about self-produced music and marketing.

No one better exemplifies the power of cross-channel musical experiences and promotion then the Huh, What and Where crew. The once Southern California, now global, collective of artists are the paradigm of online collaboration and ideation, an Apollian collective of full-stack artists who cross the territories occupied amongst designers, producers and managers. They began as a group of friends producing music out of their college dorm rooms, a bunch of 20-somethings just making music about “women, life & feeling (or lack thereof)”. As they describe it, it’s a label that’s been created by a artists for artists – “nothing too deep”. Nonetheless, their authenticity and packaging is so refreshing, their energy and output incredibly addictive.

Since 2010, I’ve been constantly impressed by their growth. Today, they boast a large and popular roster, featuring acts from New York City trapstar SWEATER BEATS to Australian beatsmith Ta-ku. In addition to the producers, there’s also the researchers, the DJs, the art directors and the bloggers who collaborate in order to make this all happen. Their music reminds of you good ole 90s R&B, something that often’s great for bumping while driving around town or chilling out with friends at the pad, while their style is something only the millennial generation could generate and remix.

One of the original artists out of the talented bunch is a producer named Bahwee, an artist known for delivering sexy downtempo and chill-hop tracks like Peach Flavored and Hard to Win (featured below).

While I could tell you his whole life story, or go on and on about how good his music is, I thought I’d just let the man speak for himself and share with you some of his thoughts around work and play.

Favorite artist right now?

HW&W, Wedidit, GBE, MMG, and Jeremih.

What’s the best type of place to produce?

A big table to put all my equipment on, a comfortable ass chair, mad inspiration covering the walls, and a lot of weed smoke in the air. Oh and boxes of Jordans laying around. This is my room, basically.

How important do you think focus is?

How important do I think focus is? It took me a couple years to understand what focus and “work” really means, but for an artist I think its everything. But just because your focused doesn’t mean people are gonna feel it though.

How do you know when it’s time to try something new?

I know when its time to try something new when I get bored, which happens often. I get over shit pretty quickly, almost too quickly.

What’s next for HW&W?

Man we are literally just getting started. 2013 will be a big year for us…we got a lot up our sleeves… Without giving too much away just expect more records, more merch, videos, shows, etc… 2013 will be the first year where as a label we start really putting it all together.

You can listen to HW&W releases on their bandcamp. Check out Bahwee’s music on soundcloud and like him on Facebook to follow his updates. Below, check out “Hard to Win” below:

Bahwee – Hard to Win

Art as relief.

Hurricane Sandy was a terrible disaster that devastated parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern US during late October. In addition to hundreds dead, it’s estimated that losses due to damage and business interruption are around $65 billion. That’s more than unfortunate, it’s a tragedy of epic proportions.

But out of good can come bad, and human resilience to natural fiascos is always inspiring to watch. So, it was with extreme delight that I discovered on The Khooll that photographer Stephen Wilkes (known for his series of abandoned structures) decided to team up with TIME photo editors to offer limited edition prints of an outrageous photo that captures the odd beauty in the ugly. He’s putting up a print for sale of the Star Jet roller coaster in the ocean. It may seem crazy to be romanticizing the hurricane’s damage in such a way, but, as Ansel Adams said, “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”

As Wilkes himself explains, the photo is surreal, a sort of warning from a different world,

There are moments in journalism when the media captures the visual details of a disaster, yet sometimes misses the true scale of devastation. It was with that in mind that on Sunday, November 4th, I flew in a helicopter over a number of the most devastated areas hit by Superstorm Sandy. Specifically, the devastation in and around Seaside Heights, NJ, and in particular The Star Jet roller coaster at Casino Pier, which was now resting in the Atlantic Ocean. As I flew over the area, the ocean appeared dead calm; there were no waves, the water looked as if I was in the Caribbean, not the Atlantic. That contrast in itself was surreal to experience, yet as we left the devastation below, I was reminded of the iconic image in the film Planet of The Apes. Charlton Heston, riding horseback along a deserted shoreline, suddenly sees a charred structure rising out of the water, the torch of the Statue of Liberty. In a strange way this image shares a parallel universe, perhaps a warning from post-apocalyptic Earth.

All money earned from the print sales will go towards six local charities. You can order the photo on 20×200. Awesome idea of photography for social good.

Hope your holidays are the shit.

There’s nothing better than a holiday card that cuts right to it. Simplicity and humor for the win. Happy holidays, friends!

Portroids are like Disneyland autographs but better

Portroids are portraits with autographs. The guy or gal behind this has been lucky enough to take Polaroids of a lot of celebrities for the past nine years and I’m not sure how they do it, but that doesn’t matter and I love the mystery. The entire project (if you can even call it one) is just really fun to look at. Below is a collage of Portroids taken of my favorite humans. Which of your favorites will you find here?

Portroids

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