Monthly Archives

June 2015

Lessons
June 22, 2015

LESSON 3: The Art of Getting Up

When I was 12, I had my first foray into graffiti, which largely included me sloppily writing my name with a Mean Streak marker in McDonald’s bathrooms and bus benches. Overtime, some of my other terrible graffiti friends showed me that you can also “get up” (getting your name up everywhere) by using postal labels from the USPS and “My Name is” badges from any random office and sticking them on as many visible surfaces as possible. Years later, when I began playing in bands, I found this practice to be useful when we would order much better-looking stickers and put them all over whichever neighborhood we were playing in. Yes, this is vandalism, but it did make our band visible which, in turn, put us on several good shows for our two-year run. For my current social marketing consultation company, I took a very similar approach, minus the outright…
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Lessons
June 15, 2015

LESSON 2: Pay your dues

At one point, even the most seasoned skateboarding veterans were the new kid. We all had that moment when we showed up at the local spot for the first time, wanting desperately to fit in and be accepted by the cool older kids. Which of course never happens right off the bat: instead they vibe you for sucking, having a dumb haircut, and anything else they can think of. But if you really love skateboarding, you keep coming back, paying your dues until you've earned your place. https://youtu.be/pUc4xZX2194?t=24m27s Footage from "Bones Brigade: An Autobiography," which you should definitely check out in full My favorite example of this is Tony Hawk. While today he's an icon who is all but universally respected, that was definitely not always the case. At the beginning of his career, he was the new kid. In stark contrast to the super cool punk rock guys of the previous generation who…
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Lessons
June 8, 2015

LESSON 1: Don’t ask for permission

If I had to choose the single most valuable and important lesson that I learned from DIY culture, it's that you don't need anybody's permission to act on an idea that you're passionate about. The only permission you need is your own: the permission to jump in with both feet into something you know absolutely nothing about and figure it out as you go. The classic example of this mindset was when the punk and hardcore bands of the 1980s pioneered the concept of DIY touring as we know it, when bands like Black Flag took matters into their own hands and booked their own tours, sidestepping the lame "rock club" circuit and building their own scene. Just a few of the zines that inspired me back in the day. I could literally write a book about how many amazing zines there were in the 90s and how much they meant to me.…
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