Day 207

Well... my time in St. Louis has come to an end. It was certainly an interesting experience and I think I came out of it with a newfound appreciation for this city and those who inhabit it. Before I arrived, I didn’t know much about the area or what it had to offer, but now I can officially say that this is one hell of a place. Everyone is so kind and motivated too. In fact, I don’t think I heard a single negative phrase uttered in my entire time here. I also learned you can’t judge a city by the size of its downtown. St. Louis is just too far spread out and the best of what it has to offer is certainly found in its accompanying neighborhoods. 

I certainly want to send out a huge thank you to Boxing Clever for letting me be apart of what they do here and for showing me an absolutely incredible time. They’re definitely doing something special and I’m a better person for having been involved with it. I also need to thank all of the other wonderful people I met here—everyone at Bruton Stroube, CoolfireCannonball, Group 360, 90 Degrees West, Hoffman Lewis and Moosylvania, as well as Wesley Hoffman, the crew at Strange Donuts, Archie McKinlay, the list goes on and on. Lastly, I need to send a special shout out to Casey and Sara Latiolais for letting me crash in their spare room for the month and for being my impromptu tour guides of the city. Without them, I would’ve missed out on A LOT of cool things. 

At 7am Saturday, I head to the windy city, where I’ll soon begin my tenure at TRIS3CT. Although I’ve been to Chicago a few times before, I know it has a lot more to offer and I’m excited to take it all in. We’re halfway through this little project of mine and if the second half is anything like the first, we’re going to have a great time together. 

Go Team USA!


Day 204

If there’s one thing I can tell you about Boxing Clever, it’s that they’re very serious about their music. That's why it seems so natural for them to operate Boxing Clever Records, their own in-house label that features an eclectic mix of bands such as Mohicans, Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship and the Vanilla Beans. Then again, that love of music is also how the agency forged partnerships with the likes of Vintage Vinyl and the slew of bands they’ve create work for.

Even if you were walking into the Boxing Clever for the very first time, you’d be hard pressed not to notice the musical influences strewn throughout the office. From vintage record players and concert posters to stacks of LPs and RUSH memorabilia—you can immediately tell everyone here has music on the brain. I will say however, that unlike many of the other agencies I’ve visited thus far, BC doesn’t have music pumping through their space. Instead, you’ll find everyone rocking out to their own collection, whether it’s through a phone, a laptop or their own personal Crosley. It does create a different vibe to the office, as it did at RedDeluxe, but you'll still find it rare to be hit with any bout of silence while you're here.

As I also found out last week, this agency’s musical pedigree runs deeper than I ever could’ve imagined. It turns out that many of the creatives here used to be in bands of their own. In fact, Partner and ECD, Jim Harper, sat behind the kit for quite a few outfits back in the day. As someone who used to be in a few bands myself, it’s pretty interesting to swap stories about different shows and venues, especially considering the generation gaps at play.

I truly hope there are big things in store for Boxing Clever Records, because not only do they have the creative prowess and skill to make bands shine; they have the most important element of all—passion. So, I encourage everyone to check out their web store and grab an LP or two. My time here has certainly renewed my interest in vinyl and I think if you spend a little time on their site, it’ll do the same for you.


Day 200!

Collaboration is a big part of what #TGAA is all about. That’s why, as we celebrate Day 200(!) of the project, I encourage everyone to keep spreading the word about what we're doing here. I realize some might believe it selfish that I want to promote my own project; but I see this as an opportunity to expand my capability to connect individuals across the country—something I've been doing since Day 1. 

For instance, while in Memphis I met the guys behind the Creative Memphis podcast. With one simple—and minute— detail about their need for stickers, I was able to tell them about the great work Jakprints does. Sure, it’s nothing earth shattering, but I view every new relationship I can help create as a victory for #TGAA. Another example is when I discovered Boxing Clever Records has plans to ramp up their offerings very soon. That news got me thinking of Honeybucket, a band from Cleveland that features former Recess Creative Web Developer, Adam Reifsnyder. I, again, was able to help introduce the two parties. 

Going on a book tour? Let me tell you about this creative festival I know. Need a new way to translate your social efforts? I have a sponsor you might want to hear about. These are just a few examples of what I've been able to accomplish so far. In each new city I visit, I do my best to think of those I’ve already met, so I can support their talents, services and abilities by letting others know about them. Not only is it personally rewarding, but my hope is that in turn, both individuals will pass the good will along to help bring more and more people together.

As this project progresses, I’m finding these opportunities are growing more frequent by the stop. I know that I could use this project to my advantage and spend my days and nights trying to land a job, but that isn’t the purpose of any of this. It is—and always has been—about connecting people around the world to new ideas, opportunities and views on where they want to be or go. So, as I reach the halfway point of this whole crazy adventure, I just want to thank everyone I’ve met over the past 7 months. Without any of you, this would be one hell of a boring story.

Keep spreading the word. Keep being yourself. Keep connecting the world. Always.