Does Fool’s Spring have you longing for more fresh air, bike rides, porch-hangs, and sun-drenched spaces? Us too. Channel all of that energy into re-examining our ways of being, making, and sharing. Warmth is near!
Links That Kept Us Reading
Credit: Timothy B. for Facebook
How do we design products that serve everyone? “A product design manager addresses this question by unpacking whiteness—power centered in white people—and how it manifests in product design, popular media, and his own life.” Spend some time with this one, friends.
When the Black-led mutual aid program on the South Side of Chicago People’s Grab-n-Go started their initiatives this past year, they wanted to blur the line between ‘recipient’ and ‘volunteer—’ because, “we owe one another more than the tepid support our institutions provide.” Don't miss out on this beautiful editorial about their work.
Is it time to move on from Big Tech’s colorful corporate mascots? Rachel Hawley writes, “Beyond aesthetic distaste and cyclical design whims, the backlash against “Corporate Memphis” is the inevitable outcome of a style based on figures meant to communicate inclusivity, cooperation, and equity while serving as the ebullient face for companies that profit off of social atomization and division.” Read on.
Micro-conversations spotlight the unique perspectives of our team members through splices of candid chats—reflecting the spirit, story, and point-of-view of all the voices of our studio.
JAMES, ACCOUNT DIRECTOR, ON the unexpected benefits of COVID-19
“My dad was a DJ and program director on the radio back in the ’70s. So we just had music on all the time. When I was seven or eight, I got really into the Beatles—but mostly Ringo and the drums. I would put on a Beatles LP, and play ‘drums’ using pillows for toms and cymbals, an ottoman base that sounded like a snare drum while sitting on our living room coffee table. I would play down one side of the album and then flip the record over and play down the next side of the album. And so that’s how music started for me. Later I would pick up the guitar, and since then, I’ve always played.
Pre-COVID, I was in a bunch of bands and doing freelance weddings, so I was doing shows almost every weekend. Then the shows stopped. And it was like six weeks into the pandemic when it occurred to me that I hadn’t picked up my guitar. And I was like, ‘Why in the world am I not playing?’
I realized that with family and work and shifting priorities over the last couple of years, all of the space that I had carved out for making music was for playing shows. I was swamped playing shows, but I wasn’t spending much time creating new music or just playing music. It was a rude awakening of, ‘I’m a musician. I play shows. Oh, actually, no, I’m not a musician. I’m a show player.’ I was probably playing less music pre-COVID than I had played since I was 12.
But what I love about music is making music, then playing it with people, and then playing it in front of people. Playing shows was like the third rung down on my music love. It was a huge and unexpected revelation that I needed to switch up my priorities.
Since January, I’ve kind of refound my love of playing music and making new stuff. And I’m playing more. It’s interesting that with everything else, my relationship with music has evolved. Totally unexpected and not what I thought would happen, but necessary and excellent. And I’m grateful for the time to figure that out. I don’t know if it would have happened if I wasn’t forced to stop playing shows.