Why are you creative?
I’m creative because I lived in South Korea before independent creative ventures (and the culture that grows from them) were even considered career paths. Korea has always grown in accelerated spurts - before the 1988 Olympics it was largely an agrarian society. Throughout the 90s and early 00s, there were only faint, barely perceptible sparks that hinted at the pop culture juggernaut Korea would transform into today.
So…that was the motivation for me. All I had as a means of exposing myself to creative culture was an internet connection that was half a decade ahead of what the rest of the world was using. I started reading online zines and blogs very early - Evil Monito, Wooster Collective, Being Hunted, IdN. Sites like these were springboards that granted me access to what I was/became interested in, where those things came from, why they existed, and ultimately what they would yield/influence.
Eventually, because there weren’t rules about how you could interact via email yet, I just started reaching out to people in the States, Europe, Hong Kong, and Japan. Artists, designers, photographers, journalists, directors, DJs, snowboarders, you name it. I’m sure I bothered the living shit out of some people who I consider heroes to this day. Despite that, a lot of them were cool enough to actually write back and share their experiences and insight with me.
The possibility of that kind of dialogue and exchange was indispensable in helping me realize the value of a strong network. As communication is increasingly shaped by our social media habits, the definition of what a real connection is becomes a much more tenuous, ephemeral thing. So when I say “network,” I am referring to the people you respect deeply enough to create mutually relevant, optimized, and beneficial opportunities for.
As I fortuitously stumble upwards throughout my career, I’ve kept that operating guideline in mind and succeeded largely because of it. I’m a firm believer in the aphorism, “you’re only as good as the people around you.” Helping great, fascinating people figure out how to make next level work that holds everyone to a higher creative standard is my ongoing, long-term goal. Before you can be of any assistance, though, you really need a thorough understanding of who inspires you and (more importantly) why. That necessitates being very informed and attuned to how culture shifts. Once you’re committed to that, the creative (and most fun) part is how you put all of these players and pieces together.
Why is a Ready, Go lifestyle important you?
I live in New York City and spend a lot of time in Seoul and Hong Kong. The only time I’ve ever been away from teeming, perpetually kinetic megacities for any substantial duration was college (I went to school in New Hampshire). Soooooooo I don’t think I ever really had a choice - my parents brought me and my brother into the Ready, Go lifestyle from jump, and I’m entirely grateful to them for making that decision. I am repulsively addicted to discovering new, exciting things and quickly incorporating them into my life/work.
Describe your day job?
On a good day, I get to drag the ideas in my head out into the real world.
On an even better day, I get to do the same thing but with people I am stoked to work with and everything clicks.
On a bad day, I have to deal with people who have built careers on saying no and hedging conservatively at every turn.
On an even worse day, I go to Sunrise Mart pissed off because I have to deal with that bumbaclot negativity and Sunrise Mart’s pastry basket is out of Pan Ya Chocolate Chip Melon Pan.