Christina Leslie's Portraits

N.L.S., A New Local Space

Deborah Caroll Anzinger's artist run residency and exhibition space in Kingston


Leasho Johnson's Provocative Re-interpretation in 'Canopy Guild'

Light Sensitive

Marlon James' black and whites

Annalee Davis: ON THE MAP

Caribbean Political Documentary

Showing posts with label birdimus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birdimus. Show all posts

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Lifestyle Branding

This is the second part of jamaicaninjapan blogger, Marcus Bird's Tokyo Story. He spoke with me recently about his fascination with the Tokyo creative scene and the various opportunities he has had. Through his experience of living and working in Japan he has evolved as designer. One of the stories he shared was about his interest in how designers use characters and branding to shape lifestyle in Japan.

You spoke about lifestyle brand and wanting to get involved in that direction as well as to take some of your influences in Japan and adapt it for Jamaica. Can you explain what lifestyle branding is and the ways you have been creating lifestyle brands?

For me a lifestyle brand encapsulates the dominant aspects of a culture or a movement and allows people to a new way to participate with this brand through ownership of what that brand provides as a product. I lived in D.C for a while, and there I really saw for the first time kids and people who had investments in different brands that allowed them to make a statement about their kind of day to day life. Like skaters, the “indie” crowd, gamers, and so on. These folk wore more edgy shirts, or stuff that represented what they loved, like T-shirts with Nintendos on them. I found myself at that time embracing my gamer and geek side more, because when I was in Jamaica, there wasn’t so much of a serious geek culture, or people who represented lifestyles they liked with their style of dress. My current set of characters are a fusion with aspects of Jamaican and Japanese culture that highlight what I like about both. Jamaica is vibrant and colourful; Japan to me sounds clean and smooth. After I got the idea a couple years back, I took steps towards learning design to see if I could make it real and came up with my current set of characters.

Living in Japan revealed to me more about marketing and consumer behaviour than giving me tons of new influences. I say that to mean when I was in Japan, there weren’t a ton of shops I’d always frequent or clothes that I’d search for. Since I had my own concept, it was more a matter of feeding on the energy around me to keep feeling like my stuff would make it. I saw that in Japan, people aren’t afraid to pay for product they like, expensive or otherwise. So I saw the proof that lifestyle brands survive because people ravenously support them. Whatever you make has to fit where you are coming from, or fit into what people already like. Hello Kitty is the best brand that represents tenets of Japanese simplicity and cuteness; it “fits. This seems to be universal across the boards for all brands that I’ve seen of this variety. You might have to adapt slightly different business models depending on where you live, but at the end of the day its those ravenous fans or people that love how your stuff “fits” with them that count. If you can model that, you are gold. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tokyo Story: Creative Potential of Pecha Kucha

Marcus Bird delivering his Pecha Kucha. See the video here
Marcus Bird of the Jamaican in Japan blog spoke with me recently about his fascination with the Tokyo creative scene and the various opportunities he has had. This is the first part of three in Bird's Tokyo Story. Through his experience of living and working in Japan he has evolved as designer. One of the stories he shared was about when he presented his creative ideas and character designs at a Tokyo Pecha Kucha night. He found that it is a strong way of networking and sharing his unique creative thought. He explains the presentation format here.

ART:Jamaica: I saw your blog where you presented a Pechakucha presentation in Tokyo. What is Pechakucha and how did you come to be talking about your ideas in Tokyo?

Marcus Bird: Pechakucha is a creative forum where everyone has to present in the same format. So you get twenty seconds and a limit of twenty slides. So you get a little over six minutes to talk about your ideas, projects, a philosophy, anything. I was able to present because I met this guy named Jean who runs a monthly meetup for creatives called Pause Talk. He is responsible for Pecha Kucha in Tokyo, and after going to his thing a few times I decided to pitch an idea to the Pechakucha team. They said it was cool, and luckily for me it fell right in Tokyo design week.
Talking about Tokyo, I have to say that the city right now is the  biggest representation for me of me trying to actualize my creative concepts. I was living in a small town in Shizuoka when I first went to Japan, and trust me, I wasn’t inspired by living there at all. My first trip to Tokyo a few months afterwards was … how do I say this? EXPLOSIVE! (laughs) After a year of being somewhat disgruntled where I was, I just decided to go. I moved to Tokyo, found a place and then started getting into the scene. If you are a creative person, Tokyo is a place constantly overflowing with ideas, colours and sounds; like a living battery. The more creative people I met doing things in Tokyo, the more I started to envision myself doing stuff creatively in Tokyo as well. Pecha Kucha was a representation of that; me doing a presentation based around the same questions I was asking myself about my creative journey and where I felt it was going. That’s why I called it “Untitled Design”, because that's how I think about stuff you want to achieve that isn’t clear yet. It has a form, a shape, but its still untitled until it is ready to be revealed.

Check out this video on how Pecha Kucha works and the format. Has Pecha Kucha night happened in Jamaica? I wonder how we could use this format as contemporary artists as a way to effectively convey our ideas to anyone or as a creative medium itself?

Next: Bird discusses his ideas about 'Lifestyle Design'