Our second last Creative Show & Tell of the year was a fun one, with guest Laura joining the Dream Team for the hour. We coffeed at Pisco Sour across the road, narrowly missing the torrential downpour that followed soon after we made it to safety inside. Apparently there was a tornado warning in Sydney, whaaaat?! As usual, we noticed some inadvertent themes emerging; this week we spoke a lot about taking the piss out of a social issue using creative content that spreads a wider message - like @socalitybarbie we've talked about a few months ago, Rachel's fashion film inspo and Renata's Husbands of Instagram (see below!). Plus, also as per usual, we got a little esoteric, with Amy and Tara both sharing experiences from the morning that inspired them to think deeper and notice what the universe is trying to say. What a weird, serendipitous day, with a side of thunder and lightning.
INSPO #1 // Fashion Film by Matthew Frost
So three years ago came across a commercial called "Fashion Film" by Matthew Frost, starring Lizzy Caplan. It's actually a commercial for Viva Vena - an eclectic fashion brand. At first watch, the commercial seems like it could've been a skit. Matthew Frost is a filmmaker and photographer but he was reluctant to accept the brief unless he could ridicule the stereotypical aspects of fashion film. The short is a parody where Lizzy Caplan hilariously imitates a social media boho girl, whimsically prances around and contemplates to her own voice-over. The cinematography is romantically disguised and it's hard to believe that it is actually promoting fashion. The skit ends abruptly and I don't want to reveal too much, but this is a style that Matthew Frost uses in all his films - the twist in the end. Ever since then, he's done ads for Vogue, Jalouse, VS magazine and many more. He applies a similar observational humour to all his work without sacrificing his own artistic integrity. He had the guts to stand up for what he believed in and it paid off for him. So stand for what you believe in and trust your gut! (And it's always a win to make fun of yourself in the process.)
Another hilarious and topical video is this one with Kirsten Dunst - making fun of our obsessive use of Instagram.
Rachel, Graphic Designer & Illustrator
INSPO #2 // Re-learning the art of observation
I've always been a people-watcher, but lately I've been lost in the noise of my own mind. I'm constantly oversaturating my stressed-out brain with more and more and more information. It's one of the perks (!) of being a PhD student. I literally never stop reading or thinking. Lately I've been walking from the train station to work, phone in hand, catching up on the morning news and the articles I saved to my reading list last night that I didn't get to read before falling asleep. This morning, I reflected on my lack of observational skills lately. I'm a writer, and it's my job to observe the world around me. How can I create new ideas, sentences, characters, when I'm stuck with my own anxieties and Facebook? I noticed some interesting people. I walked a different route to the office and stumbled upon these cute-as Christmas trees that we're invited to decorate.
I didn't feel very sociable but when I ordered my coffee I stood inside and chatted with the barista. I thought it would be a two-minute banal conversation, but our easy banter led to him telling me a story of when he saw a shark while he was surfing on the south coast. My eyes wide, enthralled as I paid my $4, I marvelled at the opportunity I could've missed had I stood outside on my phone reading a list of Books I Must Read Over the Holidays #42681. To hear stories, connect with people, look them in the eye and step outside my own mind. My therapist keeps telling me to practice mindfulness, and I think I finally understand what he means.
Amy, Copywriter & Content Editor
INSPO #3 // Bookabuy
My quest for the perfect Christmas gifts this year has lead me to some weird and wonderful places (chocolate teapot, anyone?), but it wasn’t until I came across this consumer gem that I knew I’d found something special. Bookabuy is a subscription service that hand-picks (that’s right, hand-picks!) books based on your interests and sends them to your door each month. Each subscription is tailored to the individual which, if you’re addicted to the written word like I am, is pretty much the perfect gift.
You can sign up yourself or send as a gift to a friend for either three, six or twelve months. Each month you will receive a different title, lovingly selected by Bookabuy’s founders Chris and Melissa Tantchev, which is then beautifully wrapped and popped in the post. They also have a one-off ‘mystery book’ for those afraid of commitment. What I love about this idea is that unlike a lot of subscription and e-commerce services trending at the moment (e.g. Netflix and Spotify), Bookabuy’s customer experience is personable; there is no algorithms, no recommendation engine. You receive a service that is only experienced by you... what other companies offer you that?
It’s akin to browsing a beautiful book store, striking up a conversation with the assistant, and then having that assistant surprise you with a little bit of literary love each month. Where do I sign?
Laura, Guest Dreamer
INSPO #4 // My Uber ride
My inspiration for this week’s Show & Tell was my Uber Ride to work, which followed a frustrating flat battery, missed real-estate appointment kind of morning.
When I was picked up, I wasn't feeling particularly sociable but when I asked the driver, Jack McCoy, how his day was, he replied 'Amazing, I'm alive and kicking.' I told him about my rough morning and that I run a branding and design agency with a big day ahead. Turns out he used to work for Ripcurl and Billabong making surf films for their marketing department. He's a film director who continues to make surf films, but believes in ride-sharing and doing his bit to save the planet, which is why he turns on Uber.
He pointed to the cars on the Harbour Bridge and said, 'Look, every single car has one person in there. If everyone shared with one other person, there would be half the cars on the road and half the emissions.' He said his purpose with driving Uber is to share joy and wisdom with every ride; either the rider will teach him something or he will teach the rider. He believes that every single person that he meets driving Uber was meant to come into his life for a reason.
Jack asked me to share some wisdom with him and in return he gave me the serenity prayer: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." He also gave me a superfood coffee recipe, and told me about Landmark Education, a large group awareness training program in which up to 150 people take a seminar together aimed at helping them realize their true potential. He explained that in life we put on glasses and 'strong' jackets to deal. Up to 5-6 years old life is bliss, then we go to school and we put up our hand to answer a question and all the kids laugh. We put on some glasses. 20 years later of experiences, we put more and more glasses on and develop strong jackets - reactions to the world such as ignoring your husband when he has upset you as a way of protecting us from the world. This Landmark Education course allows us to understand all the glasses and strong jackets we've put on.
He said that it teaches you about wording and perception. I want X but Y. Change the but with and for a much better life. e.g. 'I want to have a great relationship with my brother but he won’t talk to me.' Instead we should say 'I want to have a great relationship with my brother and he won’t talk to me.' Accept the situation and then you can address it.
The Uber ride ended with him signing and giving me one of his surfing movies! (Turns out this guy has made a music video for Paul McCartney... he's kind of a big deal?!) I shared with Jack a dream I had to do a beautiful coffee table book of the people I had met in taxis, with what they have taught me and a nice photograph. He said 'start today! Let’s do a selfie.' So we did. And Jack, I just think I might just start.
Tara, Founder & Creative Director
INSPO #5 // Husbands of Instagram
C'mon admit it, you're an Instagram husband, wife or girlfriend. Maybe you're the Instagram-friend because you're kind of good at photography. Either way, you've been sucked into this trap before and it's a real social perversion occurring in our society. I've been doing a lot of social media for our clients recently, in particularly spending a lot of time on Instagram so this was very relevant to me. It basically says everything a lot of us secretly think about the type of images/posts that people share on there personal or business accounts. Striving to make their life look perfect and relationships healthy when in reality it's probably anything but that.
Have you noticed it seems to be a trend the last few months of breaking down social media and exposing it for what it is? Examples being Essena O'Neil, Sociality Barbie, the 'Kinspiracy'? I guess like any other trend you eventually come to two extremes. One where people adopt a trend as habit, and the other of regression by making fun of what's happening and refusing to participate. I think this is awesome. I think it also may mean people are getting over Instagram or want more quality behind it. I can't wait to see what the next trend is, then make fun of it!
Renata, Graphic Designer & Photographer
INSPO #6 // Tiny House, Huge Purpose
Having safety, shelter and a roof over our head at night should not be a luxury but a basic human need. Although this is something the majority of us take for granted, over half a million people in the US alone find themselves homeless. Thanks to one guy, Elvis Summers, this figure is slowly decreasing. What began as a one-man project, with Elvis building a mini wooden house for a local homeless lady, has now turned into a national non-profit organisation called Tiny House, Huge Purpose, that aims to build entire living communities, to house as many people as possible.
When building the first mini home, Elvis had no idea of the domino affect that was about to take place and how inspiring his act of kindness would be for others. After posting his work on YouTube, the video went viral and the public reaction was completely overwhelming. People from all over the US wanted to get involved and help build more homes as well as donate money to the cause. He set up crowd funding and raised $60,000 in a month!
So many of us feel completely helpless when it comes to homeless people. We might buy someone the occasional coffee or give the odd dollar, but a lot of the time we don’t believe we have the power as individuals to make a massive difference. Elvis has single-handedly proven this wrong. The materials he used for the original house he'd built were donated to him by a local hardware store, meaning it had actually cost him nothing - other than his time, empathy and initiative. Elvis has certainly inspired me, and although I already try to regularly help homeless people, I’ve realised I need to think outside the box and there’s always so much more I could, and will do.
Jo, Creative Coordinator
The Dream Team xx