If you have been in touch with me over the past month or so you probably know that I’m getting pretty pumped about the SLC design community lately. A big part of that has to do with an event that StruckAxiom and AIGA SLC co-sponsored: a design talk and viewing of BOIKZMOIND, a documentary film focused on Bristol area fixed-gear riders (remember this post?). If we took any design courses together in college, you would probably understand that this specific event was pretty exciting for me and seemed pretty unrealistic until it all came together.
Why was I so interested in this event? BOIKZMOIND is a film put together by Gavin Strange, a Bristol designer whose work I’ve had my eye on since I came across a piece on him in the Apple Profiles a few years back. When the topic of inspirations would come up in class it was fairly easy to predict the Phil Meggs’ list of superstar designers (Paul Rand, Milton Glaser, etc…) that would be thrown around. Don’t get me wrong, each of those designers have a prominent place in my own Hall of Fame as well but it was good to bring up examples of the work Gavin was doing on his own as JamFactory or with the Xynthetic collective to expand the context of our conversations to what was happening currently and what was happening outside of the U.S. The thought of any opportunity to meet Gavin couldn’t have been further from my mind.
Then BOIKZMOIND was completed and Gavin made it pretty clear to the online community that he was happy to have the film shown just about anywhere there was an interest. Take Gavin’s eagerness and passion for his work and add to that a little Salt Lake City hospitality, StruckAxiom, and an on-the-ball AIGA board, and we ended up not just with a viewing of the film scheduled for SLC but also with a visit from the man himself.
During his time in SLC, I was lucky enough to meet Gavin during a press check at The Mandate Press, hear his compelling talk about how far simple hard work and a bit of drive will get you in this world, watch his film (the intro was absolutely beautiful by the way), and grab dinner with him and a few of the AIGA SLC board members on two different occasions – one of which resulted in my first taste of raw octopus.
Actually getting to chat a bit with Gavin and laugh at the idiocy that passes as American culture helped to restore a bit of my motivation and even optimism as far as my own work is concerned. It seems to me that NYC has been designated a sort of mecca of the American design world. Admittedly, there is a ton of creative talent that is focused there but I’ve heard so much about bad attitudes and egos accompanying that talent. This has made NYC fairly undesirable for me as a career destination because it has been made to feel separate and it has been given an unachievable sort of status. There are the Greek Gods of New York and then there are the mere mortals, the little guys, those of us that went to Liberal Arts colleges known for their business and nursing degrees. Granted this is all only my opinion, but after the Hollywood type otherworldly-ness of the NYC big guns it was super refreshing to meet a guy as crazy talented but also as truly gracious as Gavin. I don’t think he stopped thanking people the entire time he was here and he is still raving about his time here now that he’s home.
So I could easily continue to rant and ramble but basically I just wanted to say thank you to Kyle over at StruckAxiom and the board of AIGA SLC for getting Gavin to SLC and thank you to Gavin for redeeming the design community in my mind and being one of the most real people I could hope to meet.
Read SLUG Magazine’s review of the BOIKZMOIND viewing here.