Interesting Things – 8.23

Sharpie King

Chicago artist Immy Melvin has been producing work for over 30 years now. He describes his work as unique due to its complexity, use of geography and its great use of Sharpie markers. Dubbed the Sharpie King in 2008, Melvin uses nothing but old fashioned Sharpies to produce his work. Claiming that the office staple has vibrant color and long-lasting ink, Melvin’s devotion to the brand is what has earned him the title of Sharpie King.


 Flying Motorcycles

Designed by Marko Design, The MoonRider is a futuristic hybrid two wheeler which can be driven as a bike, but also acts as a flying machine. The lightweight motorcycle is an electric-powered bike with zero emission as well a plasma jet engine to provide power in flying mode. The MoonRider is made of lightweight composite materials which allows the bike to fly efficiently. The MoonRider features two front tandem wheels that consist of electric motors powered by electric batteries. The batteries are charged up by solar panels placed in the front of the two wheeler.


Cool Conversation

A conversation on cool: Complex Magazine sat down with up and coming style guru’s to discuss staying fresh and clean. Among those interviewed Sean Sullivan the proprietor of “The Impossible Cool” and now his new site, “A Conversation on Cool”. Indeed everything associated with these six up and coming movers and shakers is cooler than a polar bear’s toe nail.

Five Reasons Why Monocle Magazine Kicks Ass!

Five reasons why Monocle magazine kicks ass!

A recent Business Week article reminded me why Monocle Magazine kicks so much ass!  Like many great organizations – it starts at the top.  That person at the top of Monocle Magazine is Tyler Brûlé.  Why should you care?  He founded the ground breaking Wallpaper* magazine in the 90s and started up Monocole three years ago in an era where the print medium is dying and digital media is taking over.  Don’t mention that to Tyler though – he’s expanding his media platform one forward-thinking-international-editorial at a time.

  1. You get a global perspective in every issue of Monocole Magazine. It’s like going on an amazing virtual tour around the world and finding out how other cultures and countries are approaching modern lifestyle.
  2. Monocle’s editorial is all about the ABCs, the content in the magazine is broken up by Affairs, Business, Culture, Design, and Edits categories.  Simple and executed brilliantly.
  3. Content is always-always quality.  Some of the best editors and correspondents from NY Times, Independent in the U.K., the BBC and more contribute to Monocle magazine.
  4. Each article has fast facts and interviews within many of the editorial pieces.  Providing various forms of content digestion so if you are on the go or on a flight – it doesn’t matter – you still can learn what’s the movement in San Paulo, Brazil or why Beirut is reemerging as a gem of the middle east.
  5. At the very least – this magazine is so fresh – if you have copies in your living room – folks are bound to think you’re the most interesting person in the world.

Go. Buy. A. Copy. Thank. Me. Later.


The New Tribe on the Block

Picture: David Choe, RVCA ANP artist

Artists, models, athletes, and musicians have more outlets, networks and opportunities today than ever before to express themselves.  Of course, we have the internet to thank, but we also have brands and companies like RVCA that bring art and lifestyle together for the greater good.

In 2001, out of his closet and from humble beginnings, the company’s founder, PM Tenore started RVCA (Pronounced “Ruca”), an action sports apparel company, first and foremost.  PM also created a program to support artists and give them a platform he thought was missing,  “I wanted to do something other people in the industry weren’t, and that is provide a space for artists, musicians, surfers, skaters, curators, models. That’s when I started conceptualizing the artists network program (ANP).”

If PM likes someone’s work, he shares contacts with them and invites them to do limited-edition designs in which a portion of the proceeds will go to the charity of their choice.  The members of this ANP tribe have free reign of RVCA’s sprawling headquarters that feature, a recording studio, rooms filled with sewing machines and fabric swatches, and working spaces for any late night workers.

“It’s a balance of industry and art,” says PM, who claims creativity and commerce shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. For RVCA, it is about today, tomorrow and life as the big picture. It is about inspiring our generation, providing something of substance and culture and above all doing it with integrity and as a united family, a close-knit community.”

-Ashlye Vaughan

The Creators Project

If you don’t know about the Creators Project, check it out! Aiming to satisfy our global hunger for innovative art and technology, The Creators Project is a “modern day media channel” that will exhibit content and work from artists all over the world on their site. They are also hosting events in some of the biggest cultural hubs, New York, Sao Paulo, London, Seoul and Beijing, bringing interactive art and installations, panels, screenings, live performances and workshops to you.

One artist to watch out for is Muti Randolph, who designed the Galeria Melissa for Sao Paulo Fashion Week. A space that continually changes and has become quite a tourist attraction. He refuses to put himself in one box, but has become a skilled artist in many different mediums and will be showcased at these events.

See more from him and other creative innovators below….

Ashlye Vaughan

Five Reasons Why 48 Hour Magazine F#*$ing Rocks

Five reasons why 48 Hour Magazine f#*$ing rocks

1. It’s about time some savvy journalist step it up and take the journalism game to the next level by doing a “a raucous experiment in using new tools to erase media’s old limits.” The past few years I often find myself flipping through magazines saying to myself “old news, old news, old news.”  Then thinking, “geez, print media is in trouble.”  Maybe this is the model of the future?

2. It’s crowd-sourcing, wisdom of crowds, or whatever you want to call it at it’s best!  In 10 days before the kick off, over 6,000 people signed up to take part in the 48 Hour Magazine experiment and they received 1,502 submissions for articles.  That’s awesome.

3. The team is a bunch of free-wheeling-forward-thinking-street-savvy-hippies from San Francisco.  San Fran cats might tilt “towards the left” but you can never deny that they are revolutionaries up there in northern California, always willing and able to define the new rules of the new school.

4. They leveraged social media platforms such as Twitter, Ustream, and their blog to invite people to participate in the action with them!  Smart, smart, and smart.  Forget the velvet rope that old media loves to put up – 48 hours magazine wants to and struck an immediate bond with their new fan base.

5.  Their first issue is all about something WE ALL can legitimately relate to at the moment.  “Hustle. Whether you’re employed, not employed, a student, parent, child, or even a lazy bum.  Living in America requires you to have some form of hustle to get what you need.  A decent education, decent medical coverage, a modest income, long walks on the beach – whatever it is – it all requires hustle.  Not only did 48 Hours come up with a brilliant idea and a savvy execution – they created a relatable product.  Bravo ladies and gents – bravo!


Niche is Cool


I am fond of saying at Headsets events – ‘it’s not how many people show up but rather it’s about the same people showing up over and over’.  The same goes for blogs.  The niche culture we are in makes a lot of sense.  While there will still be over-arching hits that cross all kinds of demographics, the key these days is how rabid your base is.  I would much rather have a million die hard users than ten million passive ones.  People who are die hard help improve your product, are more commercially active and will be better brand ambassadors.  They key is what niches are the most lucrative.  Early returns have technology and entertainment as the front runners.  But really I think as long as there are ways for consumers to purchase items – then the there are plenty of niches out there to be explored with big returns.

Action Ratner


While all film exec and filmmakers have their passion projects– they are also on the lookout for a great business model as a steady stream of revenue.  Brett Ratner has always been at the forefront of finding lucrative business models to match with his interests.  Here he is taking aim at the reasonably priced action thriller.   Sam Raimi does it for horror, Peter Jackson for sci-fi and now Ratner for action.  Its smart – they become producers and factory owners for burgeoning talent.

Mattelwood and Transmedia


Toys have long been thought of as the after effect of a franchise.  Its an additional revenue stream after TV and movies established the characters or its been a longstanding toy that is turned into a movie.  But in the new age of toy companies leveraging their assets in savvier ways – Mattel is revolutionizing their R+D process.  Instead of relying on Hollywood to drive the ship – Mattel is taking matters into their own hands.  They asked their developers for new toy ideas that can be turned into properties – took the top five and picked the best one.  By creating a new line of toys with its own back story and hiring  producer Neal Mortiz (Fast and the Furious), Mattel is taking control of their ‘transmedia’ options.  Transmedia being the ability to spinoff their product into every conceivable market. – play with, see, hear and eat.  Now they can control all parts of the process.  By exercising more control over the creative – Mattel will enjoy more equity and more financial responsibility for the product.

Thrilling Video

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT - brings great content to a desirable demographic (young guys)but content companies can no longer be in one medium.  Here they are developing a visual style to their editorial content.  Video is not an option anymore – if you want to be relevant, you need to have at least the option of video.  The hardest part for places unaccustomed to making video is changing mediums and creating something cool.  The expectation for someone who has dominated one mode of communication is much higher. cannot afford to put out sub standard videos because they already have a great written content.  Excited to see how these guys manage that transition.

Spike Jonze’s Weekends


Spike Jonze Spends Saturdays is unique because Spike’s insight into the creative process comes from a personal place.  Credibility is the most important aspect – and Spike’s natural curiosity drives the interview.  It’s not polished, it’s not snazzy – but it’s fascinating – and isn’t that all that matters?  Young people making it happen.  Make your story.