Gapingvoid's Hugh MacLeod has been doodling on business cards since 1997. Since then, he's built an empire out of blog posts, art prints, books, and daily emails. We visited the cartoonist and author in his Miami office to see how he makes art and to talk about the origin of the Social Object. In this video, he shows us his process and explains why Social Objects are the future of marketing.
Michael D. Harris is the consulting curator at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Art and Culture in Charlotte, NC. He's also a professor at Emory University in Atlanta. We talked to him about the distinction of curating African-American art, and his opportunity to provide a context that's different from what you'd find at a comprehensive museum.
We visited the Brooklyn Art Library to learn about their Sketchbook Project, a mobile library of books filled by creative people from all over the world. Anyone can buy a blank sketchbook, fill it with art, and return it to the Sketchbook Project. The sketchbooks go on a tour of galleries and officially become part of the Brooklyn Art Library. In this video, co-founders Shane Zucker and Steven Peterman explain how the project works and show us some beautiful sketchbooks.
“As a friend once told me, when someone comes into your shop, they should smell the cookies baking,” says Sid Mashburn, clothing designer and owner of Atlanta’s favorite menswear store. We photographed Sid and his wife Ann, who owns a women’s shop around the corner, in both of their beautiful spaces. The couple told us what inspires them as designers, entrepreneurs, and parents to five girls.
Since 2003, Lance and April Ledbetter have been releasing rare and hard-to-find music on their independent record label, Dust-to-Digital. Along the way, they've won a Grammy, started a nonprofit, and acquired famous admirers like Bob Dylan, Brian Eno, and Will Oldham. We sat down with the Ledbetters in their Atlanta home to discuss their unique role as curators in an ever-changing musical landscape.
“I feel like what happens is everyone goes to work, they go to a bar, and then they go home and go to sleep,” says lifelong learner Jonathan Soma. “There has to be something more.” That’s why he and Jen Messier founded Brooklyn Brainery, an education center in the heart of the borough’s Carroll Gardens neighborhood. The Brainery hosts classes for people who want to learn something new, but don’t want to commit to an expensive, semester-long course.
Paynes Southdown Bee Farms has been in the Payne family for almost a century. From the hives that dot the countryside to the small jarring room, every stage of honey production takes place on the family’s property outside of Brighton, England. Beekeeper and co-director Roger Payne takes us on a tour of the farm, which was founded by his grandfather in 1922. “As keepers of bees, we’re really just running around them, making sure that their every needs are attended to,” says Payne. “They’re in control of us. Definitely.”
Flux Projects creates temporary public art displays all over Atlanta. The nonprofit supports local artists by making their work available for the community to enjoy in places they go every day, instead of traditional art galleries. Their largest annual event is called FLUX—where dance, music, theater, and visual art exhibits take over Atlanta's Castleberry Hill art district for one night only.
We spoke to executive director Anne Dennington about Flux Projects behind the scenes.
Self-proclaimed nerds Nicholas and Angela Snyder turn garbage into robots in their Kansas City studio. The husband-and-wife team sorts through piles of junk at scrapyards, antique shops, and thrift stores, bringing home objects to make Nerdbots, robot sculptures with a whole lot of personality. No two Nerdbots are the same—in fact, each adoptable robot comes with a name and a bio, which features its hobbies and interests. We visited the Snyders' studio to learn more about their lovable robots, and we even got to join them on a trip to the junkyard.
San Diego’s MIHO Gastrotruck took the “farm to table” concept to the streets. Founded by Kevin Ho and Juan Miron, the food truck parks in business areas for lunch and bars and breweries for dinner, serving gourmet food right out of its windows. From duck tacos to fig flatbread to squash burgers, the locally sourced dishes aren’t what you'd expect to find on the side of the road.
We talked to co-founder Kevin Ho about MIHO’s local ingredients, truck design, and daily menu—and even convinced him to share a recipe with us.
Victor and Sarah Lytvinenko started making jeans out of their apartment almost five years ago, and now they own Raleigh Denim, one of the country's best artisan jean companies. In an old-school North Carolina factory, a small team of sewers hand crafts blue jeans using vintage sewing machines. The jeans are manufactured in small runs, and every pair is numbered on the patch and signed by the Lytvinenkos. We visited the Raleigh Denim workshop to find out what's so special about handcrafted blue jeans.
The Atlanta Humane Society is a no-kill animal shelter in Atlanta's Midtown neighborhood. They adopt out thousands of dogs and cats every year—all spayed or neutered, vaccinated for rabies and microchipped. The AHS has so many furry residents that they recently purchased land in a suburb of Atlanta, where they plan to open a second shelter in December. We talked to AHS Vice President of Development Deborah Marshall about the animals she sees at the shelter, and some exotic dog breeds you've never heard of, like Shepradors and Terrievers. Marshall even told us a miraculous rescue story.
Atlanta's Empire State South makes Southern food with a modern twist. Executive chef Ryan Smith features seasonal dishes like summer–squash casserole, veal sweetbreads, potato gnocchi and golden–beet butter—all with the best local ingredients. Founding chef and partner Hugh Acheson just announced that he'll be a judge on the upcoming season of Top Chef, and his cookbook, A New Turn In The South, will be out in October.
Founded by A List Apart’s Jeffrey Zeldman, Mandy Brown and Jason Santa Maria, A Book Apart publishes “brief books for people who make websites.” The topics—like HTML5, CSS3 and content strategy—require more space than an article but not as much space as a traditional book, so they’re easy reads at around 100 pages. We talked to A Book Apart's co-founders, as well as The Elements of Content Strategy writer Erin Kissane, about the publishing system that Kissane so perfectly calls “old-school publishing for the new world.”
Vice is a magazine, a record label, a music venue, a creative agency, and an online network—VBS.tv streams original documentary content 24 hours a day. They have a presence in more than 30 countries and cover everything from music to fashion to international news, with subversive reporting and an irreverent tone. We stopped by Vice's UK headquarters in London to chat with global editor Andy Capper. "We just want to go as big as we possibly can without upsetting too many people," he says. So far, so good.
Brooklyn design firm WORKSHOP has been hosting Brooklyn Derby, a Kentucky Derby celebration, for 8 years running. This year they used MailChimp to help get the word out, and we sent a photographer to the event to capture all the glamorous hats and mint juleps. Captions by WORKSHOP's Jessi Arrington.
It’s hard to imagine Decatur, Ga., a popular suburb of Atlanta, without a kids’ bookstore. "I moved to Decatur and saw how it was evolving, and I thought it’d be a great place for a children’s bookstore," says Diane Capriola. "It’s an idea I had for a very long time, and I either had to let go of the idea or see if I could make it happen."
What was once a humble Finnish game about launching birds at pigs with slingshots has quickly become the insanely popular Angry Birds. We visited snowy Helsinki to chat with Rovio CEO Niklas Hed about the game’s careful design and mechanics, how it turned into a worldwide addiction, and what’s next for Angry Birds. See an early prototype of the game, and enjoy a rare opportunity to watch Rovio’s head designer Jaako Iisalo create a level.
Put down that PBR and learn a thing or two about beer. Hop City owner and craft-beer connoisseur Kraig Torres gives us a quick history lesson on beer and a breakdown of its styles. We take a tour of his Atlanta shop, which has more than 1700 brands of beer on the shelf at any given time. And Torres tells us about his military days, when he traveled the world drinking beer.
Moop makes simple, stylish and durable bags for men and women. Founder Wendy Downs designs, sews, photographs and models every bag out of her beautiful Pittsburgh studio. We talked to Wendy about designing bags and running an independent business. She even showed us what's in her own Moop bag.
Batdorf and Bronson roast their rich and sustainable coffee in Atlanta, Ga. and Olympia, Wash., and deliver it to cafes and restaurants all over the country. Atlanta roasters Aaron Shively, Bryan Martin and Brad Lawrence, along with espresso trainer Chandler Rentz, walk us through the coffee roasting process and invite us to one of their daily cuppings. Learn how an industrial coffee roaster works, watch green beans develop into the dark coffee you're used to seeing, and hear the strange sound Batdorf's roasters make when they evaluate the coffee, affectionately called "the slurp."
As the face of SouthernSavers.com, Jenny Martin sends daily email newsletters and travels around the Southeast leading workshops on taking advantage of coupons and sales.