New York City, Oakes Brothers and Passion
"The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It's as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer."
- Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese's.
I flew into New York last Thursday for 36 hours…. It was a fly by. Meetings on Friday in the city and kids returning from sleep away camp on Saturday at 1pm in LA. Somehow in Manhattan speak 36 hours is actually a lot of time. Everything is just in overdrive there. I love feeling my adrenaline kick in as soon as the flight attendant prepares us for landing.
Thursday night I went to see Ryan and Trevor Oakes at their new studio in Queens. Ryan and Trevor have a gift. And the way they see the world, talk about what they see and are able to communicate it through their art is on an entirely different scale—just truly enlightening and captivating. They were commissioned by the Getty in Los Angeles a few years ago and spent three weeks in December outside in the Getty gardens drawing what they saw. The brothers create detailed drawings which mimic the details and shape of human vision. They invented (and I believe patented) a system by which they place their head in a plaster helmut like piece for stability and draw on a curved easel. They look beyond the paper and draw what they see beyond the easel never looking at the actual paper. You have to see them in action to believe—quite remarkable!
Ryan and Trevor are artists. Their workday starts at 1ish and goes late into the night. To say they are passionate about what they do would be an understatement. They live and breathe it. It is their compass and they bring all of us around them into their world making us notice the light and detail of the world in which we live in and appreciate it a bit more in the process.
I met Vincent on Friday morning at Grey Dog on 16th Street (LOVE). Vincent and I have put La LOOP catalogues together for the last 13 years. Twice a year we meet— sometimes in New York, sometimes in Paris, sometimes via SKYPE (Vincent, a NYer at heart now lives in Paris). Vincent definitely thinks out of the box creatively and understands the La LOOP DNA. He knows the customer and he and I just have a pulse when we work together to come up with some pretty cool creative. Some seasons we gel more than others. Some seasons it comes together and other seasons I look back and think … humm, where was I? What was I thinking? After having spent Thursday night with the Oaks brothers, well, Friday morning with Vincent was just magical. It just flowed and we nailed it. Art will do that.