July 14, 2018
The 5 punk, hardcore and metal bands that have inspired and motivated me to achieve and be a better person: The Vandals (and Joe Escalante), Black Flag / SST Records, Gorilla Biscuits, Periphery, and Capitalist Casualties. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XB36JTV7Fho The common thread between all of these is that they showed me that there was a DIY path to having the life I wanted - to controlling my own happiness and charting my own course in both my personal life and my career. I'm not sure Greg Ginn ever intended Black Flag or SST to inspire people in entrepreneurship, but that's what it did for me! Subscribe to my YouTube channel hereRead More
July 14, 2018
Marketing lessons from Retna and The Seventh Letter
4 lessons about marketing for artists, drawn from some of my favorite artists, The Seventh Letter. These guys have climbed to the top of the food chain, starting out as some of the best graffiti artists in the world and now seeing huge success in the gallery/fine art world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhHVG2RmNAU And while I doubt that any of them would tell you that they're experts on "marketing for artists," there's actually a ton we can learn from what they've done - marketing lessons that can be applied to any artist, designer, photographer, and so forth Subscribe to my YouTube channel hereRead More
July 14, 2018
Is Instagram’s IGTV dead on arrival?
Instagram's IGTV came out a few weeks ago... but is IGTV dead already?? I haven't heard anyone talk about it since it came out (including Instagram themselves), and from what I'm seeing, the views just aren't there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOadCnnlV8o Is IGTV marketing worth your time? Will creators invest time in creating content for IGTV without the views? Do users even care? If IGTV is dead on arrival, is it possible for Instagram to right the ship? What can they do with IGTV from a marketing perspective? Subscribe to my YouTube channel hereRead More
July 14, 2018
The final Warped Tour
Warped Tour has done a lot for hardcore, punk, skateboarding, and the rest of the culture we all love - so I'm gonna take a minute to reflect on what Warped Tour 2018 means (including some things you might not realize about it if you weren't around back in the day). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PmCY-ljxrE You've heard people talk a lot of trash on Warped Tour over the years, but the truth is that it gave dozens of legit diy and punk bands the chance to play for thousands and thousands of kids every year - and they were VERY early to the "crossover culture" trend I've talked about before, with rappers and action sports being part of the tour since literally day one. So whether you are a fan of the Vans Warped Tour or not, there's a lot to be learned from taking a step back and thinking about what it's…Read More
July 13, 2018
Why Abercrombie & Fitch failed + won’t come back
Abercrombie & Fitch (and their sister brand Hollister) were on top of the world for over a decade, until they suddenly fell off a cliff and became incredibly uncool almost overnight. So what happened?? And more importantly, what does it mean for you if you are interested in marketing, fashion, apparel or starting your own brand? In my opinion as someone who worked there for 4 years in design and marketing, I think it comes down to their culture which is frankly out of touch with the world in 2018. They created a company that was built around the aspirational image of a person who is no longer cool: rich white people... the captain of the football team or whatever. And that is just painfully out of touch with what youth culture is today. Here's my thoughts on why they failed, why they won't come back, and what it means…Read More
May 29, 2018
The sad truth about getting hired
If you want to give your career a big shot of steroids, I want you to listen closely: what you need is a big, flashy name on your resume (or client list). What I mean by that is, find a way to have some big, super recognizable company on your resume - because for better or worse, that will make people take you seriously and pay attention to you more than anything else - for better or worse, if you've got Facebook or Adidas or Amazon or whatever, fill in the blank big name company on your resume, people will instantly think you know what you're doing. It's kinda dumb, but it's the truth. I think a lot of people find themselves in the same situation I was in when I was first starting out, which is that you're reasonably good at what you do, but you can't get anybody…Read More
May 13, 2018
How to decide where to focus
Today I wanted to answer a question I got by email from Michael that I know a ton of you are also struggling with: "From the latest articles I’m struggling to understand what exactly role and skills are. The problem is not knowing how to choose. Is it the most lucrative potential thing or is it what you enjoy most. I understand the need to choose but still don’t get how you make that decision." In essence the question is, do you go for the thing where you're maybe not quite as passionate but the money is probably gonna be better, or do you say fuck it and pursue the thing you're the most passionate about? So for example let's say you have two things you're passionate about, like maybe graphic design and, say, writing about movies. You like both of them, but maybe you like writing about movies a little…Read More
May 8, 2018
Do ONE THING and ONLY one thing!
Guys, I'm just gonna give it to you straight: when it comes to your work, you need to do ONE thing. Not two, not three, ONE THING. I know you a lot of you have a ton of interests and passions and that's great, but the reality is that you need to focus on doing ONE and only one thing, and then becoming incredibly good at that thing. So if you're one of these people who says you're a graphic designer and you want to write a novel and you also do music videos, I'm just gonna tell you straight up, BAD IDEA. You need to pick one. Trying to be all those things is just not gonna happen, and if you're feeling frustrated because you aren't getting as much traction as you want for you work, it's almost certainly because you're trying to do too many thing. I know…Read More
December 2, 2017
Have you actually ASKED for what you want??
My friend Steve Rennie has a great saying: you don't ask, you don't get. It sounds so simple, but be honest: are you REALLY asking for what you want? I mean this in the most straightforward, literal sense - are you actually contacting the people who can give you the opportunities you want (a job, freelance work, influencers you want to partner with, etc) and straight up asking them for what you want? I bet you're not! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mWw4G4vuk8 I get it, because I've been there too - it's not easy for fun to ask for things (especially when they involve money), but you've GOT to make it a habit if you want to hit your goals. Because very simply, if you sit back and wait for things to come to you, you're gonna be waiting a long fucking time! That is just not how the world works - the world…Read More
October 22, 2017
Stop making excuses!
I did a lot of embarrassing, cringey shit when I was younger, but probably the most shameful was my habit of making excuses, shifting the blame and passing the buck. When I came up short in life — didn’t get the job, got dumped, got a bad grade, etc — it was always someone else’s fault. They didn’t get it, they were out to get me, I was doomed from the start because of … you get the idea. And the reason I’m so horrified that I acted like this is because it’s the ultimate in self-defeating, self-limiting thinking — it’s the epitome of a loser’s mindset and I can only begin to imagine how much I held myself back because of my small-time, defeatist attitude. https://youtu.be/m7g6-PYiL0o Why? Because it’s effectively giving up control of your life. When you shift the blame for your failure and cite things beyond your control, what you’re really saying is that you don’t control…Read More