NYC MISSION DAY 2, 3, & 4 (April 17, 18, & 19. 2015)
quick 3 day recap!
Okay guys, here is the update, finally... I am going to try and be straight forward with the details because this one might long.. HERE WE GO
Friday, April 17th. 2015:
I woke up at 7.
I showered and got ready to go to my first interview.
I walked from Chelsea down to 1st and 8th. I think..
I arrived early so I grabbed a tea and waited until 10 when my meeting was supposed to start with Bob Gill.
I walked into the lobby of his apartment complex and asked the guy if I was in the right spot, he called up to Bob to let him know I was there, I was 15 minutes early.
Around 9:55 his daughter walked down to the lobby, she was headed to work and she recognized me. She was very nice and definitely resembled Bob's features.
I went up to his studio, knocked and he welcomed me with a smile and a handshake.
The first word out of his mouth were, "The first piece of advice I have for you is to not be 15 minutes early next time. N one will hate you for being late.."
He seemed perturbed so I stated that I didn't call up, the door man did without asking..
He chuckled and said something along the lines of "it's always his fault." I chuckled.
Right away he showed me 3 pieces of design, a modern book, a boring layout book, and a letter head. He said that every designer falls within 3 categories. A modern person, a run of the mill layout person, and a 1% category of people who solve problems. The letter head was a very clever and straightforward type setting by a famous designer for his friend that in no uncertain terms says "I, (insert famous designer here) designed this letter head for john doe."
Bob said that that is what design should be, you need a problem and you need to solve the problem and thats it. Now.. I agree, conceptually, but I don't think I do execution wise.
He then proceeded to tell me that 97% of all designers make generic things. That yes it is technically great but conceptually horrible. Bob really likes to talk about himself and his work. He holds himself pretty highly. He is a fiery, sassy, old guy with strong opinions. Which is great, opinions are what make design amazing, but I don;t agree with everything he says. Of course he is a legend but I'm allowed to have opinions too, haha.
I like a little flare, some hidden details, you know? Not him.. Not at all.
Of course you now where I', going with this. He thought my portfolio was in the 97%, conceptually. He did give me great technical compliments on my design and photography though.
Quick side thought, he showed me this annual report that Sagmeister did on the lighting company. It was great stuff, really clever and solved a great problem, but then he went on to say that he didn't know any of Sagmeister's other work and for all he knows this is the only good thing he has ever done. He said that about Stefan Fucking Sagmeister, who I personally think is my favorite designer and I think is controversial in all the right ways. So you can imagine the burst of laughter that left my mouth followed by the words "Are you serious?". With more laughter to follow.
I dropped the subject and we kept talking bout other things, well, he did, about his work some more. Toward the end of the meeting we started talking about school and how he thinks I'm probably at a disadvantage for going to a public university instead of an art school, again, I disagree. He said that all students are basically fucked because they are taught a solution before the problem. I don't disagree with that but I can say first hand a lot of thought goes into what I do. I'll keep this portion reserved for my own good: Bob Gill is a great man, a great designer, and a great mentor I'm sure. I would not be able to work for Bob Gill, and that is my opinion as a designer, which is what I'm told to have. I love Bob. He had some great insights or me and I really really really enjoyed my time at his studio. I'll stop there.. Next meeting!!
Randy Hunt: Etsy
My next meeting was in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Which has become my favorite place in NYC.
I got to DUMBO a little early so I ate a burger for lunch and walked around and shot some photos. The weather was kinda shitty but I still enjoyed the views.
So I walk into the Easy office and wait for Randy to come get me. Easy just went public so their office was still going a little crazy.
Randy came out and got me and we walked to a small conference room to chat. We talked about Florida for a sec (he is also a UCF alumni) and then he looked at my book.
So this interview was amazing. We laughed the whole time, he asked me really great questions about my work conceptually which I loved because I think concept is king. So I was proud to have an answer for the questions he had for me. He seemed to really enjoy my work. He laughed at some wit I have and liked my presentation and project ideas.
We actually talked for a long ass time. It all seems like a blur now but we laughed a lot and had a great time, plus he has bad ass dog that sat in with us.
Even though he knew I would love the opportunity to work with him he still gave me tons and tons of info and people to reach out to in New York for work. Thats the great thing about designers, man. We all look out for each other because we all just want to create cool ass shit.
He is going to personally push my portfolio through to the director of hiring in Berlin and hopefully she can place me in Brooklyn ASAP. Time will tell but I have a good feeling about it for sure.
Overall I had a great time and I am really excited about whats happenin'.
Done with interviews for the day.
After that I went and met with my very good friend Ana by Times Square where she was with her friend. Her friend left to go back to Boston shortly after so Ana and I went to meet with my friend Monica for drinks around 6. I have never met Monica before, she is my sisters friend from high school but we have been texting about stuff up in NYC. She is crazy in the best ways, haha. She is definitely a New Yorker, loud and proud. She's great. She took us to a rooftop bar called Rare. The view was amazing, the weather was amazing and I was with two gorgeous women, so it was a great time.
Monica couldn't stay long but she gave us recommendations for dinner. Ana and I went o a place called Elmo in Chelsea. Holy. Shit. I had the best braised chicken tacos and mac and cheese I have ever had in my life. Ana had an amazing smoked Salmon salad that apparently was just as good. Oh and I had this drink, with bacon and maple syrup in it. I fucking love this city.
After dinner, Ana and I went out. We walked so far and found this awesome basement bar with great music and good drinks. we stayed there for a while before moving on. I think we drank a bit more and then we headed back. We Uber'd to her hostel and then I Uber'd home. That day was fucking awesome. Once again, I love my friends.
Saturday, April 18th. 2015:
this was my free day. and after getting home around 3 the night before I was excited to not have interviews for today..
I got up and had a bagel with tea for breakfast and then I started wandering in Chelsea. Little did I know I was going to stumble upon 20+ stunning galleries to hop in! I spent about an hour in galleries before Ana joined me. We spent about an hour more looking at art and laughing at some weird stuff, but damn, some of these galleries were just amazing. And all free! I love this city.
After gallery hopping we walked down by the river, across from Jersey. we laid on this lawn for a while where every local was sun bathing because it was 77 degrees and stunning outside. After that I was starving. Ana stopped at the Highline Hotel for a coffee from this awesome coffee shop with type writers, then we went to this awesome pizza place where I stuffed my face shamelessly. Amazing pizza.
Next stop was the highline. It's an abandoned railroad track on an elevated path through the city. It was beautiful up there. A lot of plants and trees and great views of the city.
I then had to go see my main lady, The Statue of Liberty. So we took a train down to Battery Park, got some ice cream, and went to see her. I love the view from down there with the boats and such. We got some good photos, shared an ice cream and quickly moved on. I wanted a good view for sunset so I rushed Ana to the train so we could go across the bridge and I could take her to DUMBO. We got their at the perfect time. Sun was setting and it was still warm (thankfully because I only had a light shirt.)
We both pulled out our cameras and shot until the sun went away. That view, man. That view alone is worth all the late nights and extra work I've been doing. I want that view, and I think I deserve that view.
I'm glad Ana was there and I was able to take her over there. We think alike, we eat alike, we are both designers, so we had a great time together.
After the sun went down we went exploring for a bar in Brooklyn and we found a perfect one. 62nd street bar on Jay street. It was dark and moody, rustic, a cute jazz/folk couple from Michigan were playing. It was perfect for our tastes. We sat together and listened to the music for over an hour, talking about our days and the trip so far. Then My sweet tooth kicked in, as usual, and there is no stopping me when that happens. So I grabbed Ana's had and ran the to the train. We went back over the bridge to Nico's mom's restaurant again for that Coffee Crumble cake with the ice cream and whiskey drizzle.. Just as great the second night in a row. Nico's mom wasn't there but a manager was and he figured out who I was and the dessert and drink s were on the house, so that was awesome.
It was late now so Ana went home and so did I.
This trip has been everything so far. If I get a job while I'm here I think I will explode.
Sunday, April 19th. 2015:
Brunch & Brooklyn.
Woke up and had brunch with Ana at nico's mom's restaurant. I cannot recommend this place enough. I had an awesome fritata and Ana had some amazing guava and cream cheese stuffed french toast. We really love the food here, ha.
Afterwards, Ana took the train to the airport so she could fly back to Orlando. I went the other way to Brooklyn a little early so I could get some work done before my next meeting. I sat at a great bar called TBD, try and go if you are ever in Greenpoint.
At 3:30 I met with Mike from Two Arms Inc. which is a design and screen print shop. Mike and his wife learned to screen print where I work now, LURE Design Inc. So we hit it off right away. I loved their studio. It reminded me of LURE, which was nice. I felt comfortable and at home. We talked for a bit in the studio over a beer and then moved the conversation to a bar down the road.
Mike has been the realist person with me so far. He was real over email when providing resources and advice and he was the same in person. I appreciate that. I will never blow sunshine up someones ass and Mike didn't either. It was a raw and exciting truth coming from him. That's the kind of conversation that gets me pumped and ready to work my ass off for it. I won't go into such detail about it but our conversations usually end something like this.. I can't say it enough, I am ready to grind, and get dirty, and work 80 hours a week and push for it. I want that life.
So on that note I will finish! I have a meeting with Anti Anti in the morning so I must sleep. Thanks for reading, if you made it this far.. That's pretty cool if you did. I will check back in tomorrow. See ya soon!