I am Brand Director at The Art of Reuse. Our Music, Marketing, Graphic Design and of course, Tastemaking is my job.
What does an average day at work look like for you?
I’ve always got music playing with photoshop open. Constantly scouring the web for new fonts and music while designing, responding to emails and promoting the brand at the same time. Do you work alone or with other people?
This could never be the work of one man. There is also Co-Founder Courtney Eastman, Director of Interactive Graham Robertson, Sarah Vee – who is head of women’s, Our media directors Sid Singh and Othello Grey and Bernard who is also a Tastemaker.
Is this what you wanted to do as a child? (or was it by accident, choice or influence )? As a child I just wanted to create. I didn’t discover in what capacity that would be until my early teens. I discovered what I was good at pretty early. I just kept nurturing it…still nurturing it. How long ago did you start on this path?
I was in the 8th grade if we’re talking fashion. But kindergarden if we’re talking about creating. This goes a long way. I created on paper, in the soundbox and even with toys. Which is like most people but I think as I got older I just chose not to lose that part of myself.
How long were you doing it before you made it into your career or primary form of income?
I don’t think we’ve made it. It’s not our primary source of income yet. If it is percieved that way, we must be doing something right visually but we’re not faking the funk financially. I mean, we’ve still need for some things to happen before this becomes primary.
Did anything significant happen to get you to that point?
Most definitely…dedication…belief and most of all passion.
What kind of education do you have?
I did fashion design for a year at a private college. I just dropped out one day and never looked back. I had a teacher tell me “There are really no jobs in the industry.” Umm, well thanks, why the hell would i wanna be told that? The whole point in coming out of this thing was to succeed, no? So now, I’ma pay all this money and struggle to pay it back? No sah. I’m going to create my own success then. I’m going to do this thing my way or fail on my own terms. If you went to school, did you enjoy studying? Could you see where it might lead you at the time? What advice would you give to someone else who might be studying to get into your industry?
If you’re going to study anything, KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GOOD AT FIRST. Don’t go seeking some degree for something you’re not passionate about. School is to enhance yourself, not to find yourself. Find yourself first…then go to school, if thats what you need. Don’t go because you think you should be doing something with your time after highschool. Don’t go because Mom and Dad are paying and you don’t have a choice. Go because you want something from it, or don’t go because you know what you want. Another alternative is to be self taught. In our day and age (the future), everything is at our fingertips; and for free at the moment. Take advantage of tutorials online, take advantage of the library and take advantage of how intelligent you are without someone telling you what success is and how you should live out your life.
What do you think is the best thing about what you do?
What the worst thing? Doubt. Keep going.
Would you call yourself a workaholic, & if so, are you alright with that? Do you think that the normal for your industry?
I don’t know what’s considered normal. But I know a vision of this magnitude requires constant attention. We’re always working on something, always trying to push the envelope while trying to learn and be better. The most effective way to understand it is to first realize that you’ll always be learning. You’ll never stop learning. What would your number one suggestion be for someone who wants to do what you do?
Do it your way. And don’t be afraid of the world, its yours.
What do you wish you had known when you first started out?
Good question. I wish I had known that there’s not a method to everything. Like, you don’t have to have certain things to do certain things. Think about that.
That everyone is the fashion industry understands fashion.
What is the best thing that happened to you as a consequence of the work you do?
We’ve been able to inspire people all over the world. We’ve been able to travel while changing people’s perceptions of recycling through art.
What motivates you do to keep doing what you are doing?
Hope and Vision. Plans change, ideas change…even people change, but your vision must remain the same. Rate how happy you are with what you do out of 100 (100 being the best, 0 being devastatingly awful) on an average day.
90. We need a bigger budget. We need more time to do just this, but we’re also just getting started.
Is there much career progression available to you? What would you like to do next?
Most definitely. There is a lot of grounds to cover when it comes to our concept. I’m really excited about a possible Tv series. We’re going to release a prototype of that in a few weeks. We’re getting back into fashion design and meeting some great people. This is a lot of fun.
Do you think you will continue doing this for the rest of your life?
The Art of Reuse…who’s to say. But I’ll be creating forever.