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A Light Comes On

Been having one of those weird times again where I question everything… Kind of caught between wanting to just jump ship and move on to new things, but knowing that the timing isn’t quite right yet. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m lucky to do something that I’m marginally decent at, but I’ve been seeking some sense of fulfillment, some understanding that what I do can matter.

And along comes my pal DW, and things got a little clearer.

I’m a big believer in the philosophy that you meet people or experience things for a reason, and making friends with him some years back has proven that way of thinking correct over and over. Man, you know I can’t thank you enough for the times you’ve set my head straight.

When DW had asked me some years back if we could include a few line drawings in shipments from Welder Series as coloring pages for customer’s kids, I thought “why not! It could be cool.” It offered a chance for the kids to get something they might use, and maybe spend time with Dad. The hot rodding thing all starts someplace, after all… Might be a car show for some, building a scale model at the kitchen table for others. Perhaps some kid will look back on coloring with their father one evening. And then I saw his post regarding just how those sketches were being used.

From his post:

color-them

Know here and now that every act can have some effect, whether seen or unseen, and may take place right in front of you or far away. Had I not read DW’s post, or had his customer not shared what his wife had chosen to do, I’d still be happy hoping that some kid was enjoying them. Knowing that a teacher cared enough about the kids in her care to go an extra step and inspire them is far beyond icing on the cake… It’s proof of concept that the plans we have in the works here CAN work. And “work” is certainly the key word in all of this. But it’s that sort of work that I enjoy more than anything.

Thanks to DW and his family at Welder Series, and thanks to his customer for taking that step to show his wife the coloring pages, and then to her for going that extra mile… and man, thanks for shining that light this way. I think I’d have seen it even if things had been a lot brighter all around, but having it come on when it was darker really made me appreciate it even more. And that made a LOT of things very, very clear indeed.

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A Man Who Needs an Introduction

Note to my future self (although, if he’s anything like everyone else, he isn’t reading this shit either): When introducing yourself to potential clients at an agency while on a conference call, kindly refrain from going about it in this manner:

“You may recognize my name from such credits as ‘Before Model #3’ in the Stridex Long Night in the Cabin at Summer Camp TV ad, Edward James Olmos’ stunt double in Battlestar Galactica: Razor (as well as The Green Hornet), and several adult film credits as ‘Throbbing Male Member Stand-In*.’ I’m appearing nightly (under a very lucrative contract with syndication potential once memory transfers are a real thing) in my own dreams, and occasionally in a passing fantasy as the voice-over guy in terrible Czechoslovakian knock-off’s of 1980’s luxury car commercials, with a slightly booze-hound swagger.”

Not sure for whom the lengthy, awkward silence was more uncomfortable, but certain at this juncture that the muffled giggling from their intern was dealt with sternly following the call.

*…which begs the question, naturally, if there is more work for a flaccid stunt penis or an erect one, motion picture-wise. I mean, certainly, you’d probably see a lot more of the latter on-screen, but I have this work-in-progress script, tentatively titled ‘Tears of a Clown,’ and it involves a lot of heavy drinking and crying. And if you’re at all familiar with the inner-workings of the male unit, you no doubt understand just how those two elements tend to be relatively counterproductive when trying to perform. And then you add a clown to it all that and holy fuck, man. I mean, sure, there could be call for a swinging ding-dong in a sweatpants-clad jogging scene… Or an awkward superhero movie wherein the power is beating people up with a giant dick. Imagine that, though: He beats up dicks USING his dick. Hell, forget that and ponder just what’s going on with his polar opposite, all Superman/Bizarro-like. I should just write an allegorical piece called ‘The Lazy Dick’, and then get on working all of this together, maybe even at the hands of a villainous clown who ties it into a balloon animal-like ordeal. Adding “Based on a True Story” would boost sales in the short term, you’d imagine. It may work best as a graphic novel, come to think of it.

Apologize? NEIN!

blackface diesel

One of those “from the frying pan into the fire” kinda things. Willing to bet that this isn’t one of those scandals that will just rinse off in the shower for these particular Germans.

Although, you do have to admit that having him sing “Blue Skies” was a brilliant idea.

Gondola: Stick a Suppository Up Your App

gondola app

Brian’s Billion-Dollar Business Ideas #5,688,004: Whet Your APP-etite.

For the people who just need to share fucking EVERYTHING, and document each cup of coffee and meal and trek to Target and each time their dog wags its tail and they get the car washed and, well, go get the deal… Welcome to Gondola.

Sure, there are apps to track how many times you poop, and just how much, or even WHERE you’ve dropped dookie. But not one could tell you WHERE IT WENT once you pulled that lever.

Until now.

The Gondola app, via our unique suppository (developed with Garmin), can track your poo from the source to the waste treatment plant. Prefer to drop one in the woods? See if it gets disturbed for up to thirty days! Share the progress of your poop as it winds its way through miles of sewer on top social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and even Chaturbate! Tag your friends, and cheer that turd on. In-app purchases available from sponsors like Green Giant, Planters and Charmin. Ships with seven starter suppositories and sample Tweets.

Gondola: The world’s number two fecal finder.

What’s in a Name? Interview at Car Art Spot

If you have a few minutes to spare, be sure to head over to CarArtSpot.com, and check out my recent interview with Marcel. It was a fun and laid-back time, and the man certainly can host a fantastic interview.

I always rate an interviewer by their demeanor and ability to converse naturally, and Marcel raced to the top of my list almost instantly. It was like talking with an old friend, and his manner of asking questions was relaxed, and it made that awkwardness that usually accompanies talking about oneself disappear entirely. I found a certain sense of introspective peace at the end of our time talking, and a smile on my face.

We talked cars, art, design, inspiration, and future plans and dreams. Truly a little something for everyone!

While you’re visiting the site, be sure to check out the many other great interviews and artwork from some truly talented artists and designers! It’s educational and inspiring in many ways!

Again, my sincere thanks to Marcel for his time, consideration and graciousness. A big tip of the hat for all that he does to celebrate and promote the working automotive artists!

V8 Radio Podcast!

pck studio card

Spent some time with Kevin over at V8TV (and V8 Speed & Resto!), and we recorded a podcast for your enjoyment.

We talk design, cars, the future of the custom car industry/hobby and more… before devolving into custom vans, and a plan for the ultimate SEMA show display vehicle and and interactive pavilion to house the thing. It’s genius.

I had a blast talking with a good friend, and can’t wait to do it again! HUGE thanks again for having me on!

Give it a listen here: http://www.v8radio.com

Putting the Cart Before the Art

Yesterday, I had a conversation (OK, a conversation in the digital sense, but words and ideas were conveyed, making it a conversation in the modern sense) with a friend, and, though we were discussing drawing and designing cars for fun and no profit, we hit upon the business side. As we dove deeper into the differences between illustrating and designing, the elephant in the room reared its head, and brought up the classic issue of dealing with monotony and having to educate a client or two along the way. And then he (my pal, not the elephant… I’m sure that the elephant is a she, as it never laughs at farts) did the unthinkable:

He asked a question. If you know me, then, well… you know better than to set the synapses a-firing. He posed the question that has gotten so many into trouble over the years; “What small business doesn’t have to deal with a customer base that doesn’t understand the craft, and always beats you up on price?”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what inspired me to create a whole new niche.

For your consideration: The hot dog cart.

When you approach, you know the price. You may not know what goes into said food product, but you know that you like it. Much like art: Can you make a hot dog? Further: Can you make an EDIBLE, visually pleasing hot dog? …much less in the time frame that you want it?  Chances are that you can’t. So you pay the price listed, no haggling, no bartering, no getting five other quotes from other vendors, and then going back to the cart where you found the hot dog you wanted, and telling the proprietor that a cart over on 52nd has them $1 cheaper. You purchase the dog, perhaps you throw a suggestion or two in there (“Mmmm sauerkraut sounds good!”), you eat it. End of transaction.

The porn industry, I’d imagine, is very similar, but lacking the customization in many cases (I’m talking broadcast/pre-recorded… I understand that there are outlets online where they’ll tailor a performance, but for our purposes, that’s like seeking a Picasso that matches your couch, not having your Gremlin drawn — which is a funny innuendo all it’s own, but I digress). You see the video, you delight in the creative title (“Sorority Sisters 85”, “Boobnado” or “The Fucked and the Furious 69”), and think “Yeah, she looks pretty hot”, and BAM! You clean up… I mean “purchase said video”. You don’t quarrel that the lady on the cover should be a brunette or redhead, or haggle for a cheaper price, simply because the prop used wasn’t big enough or this or that color… No, you pay the price, and head back to your parent’s basement and get your creep on. No hassle… you enjoy the movie for the, uh, “art” that it is.

That said, I’m going to hit Shark Tank with my revolutionary idea:

I’m taking my craft on the road. Working from a re-purposed hot dog cart, I’ll sell my art on pre-packaged DVD’s, featuring titles like “Sixty-Nine Camaro 25”, “Brothel Belvedere”, “Salt Flats Slut”, and so-on. Pre-made designs, renderings and illustrations with no hassle. The price is the price. You have a thing for another gray pro-touring Camaro on Forgelines? We’ll have you covered. You like it weird? We’ll have a slammed, patina school bus that’s part Donk, part resto-mod, and all triple-turbocharged with lowrider paint. A little something for everyone.

Should you want a more “customized”, “intimate” experience, well, that’s what the website is for (“Private Drawing Sessions With Brian and His Big Pencil”). And, should this be a hit, the part that I’m most excited about is hearing on the news how the “Adult custom automotive art industry is seeing record numbers, but there’s a dark side: Many are addicted to buying renderings and prints.”

Six Tips When Attending Trade Shows You Don’t Belong At

sema booth babe

Oh, SEMA, you bring out the best in me.

Today’s topic: A Half-Dozen Helpful Tips on Fitting in Where You Obviously Don’t Belong — This Means YOU, Guy Who Either Mooched a Pass or Works Somewhere on the Very Fringe of the Industry (ATTN: Guy Who Supplies Thumb Tacks to the Local Auto Parts Store)

1. Don’t grab every pen, Post-It pad, sticker, magnet, ruler, sippy cup, catalog, magazine, DVD, keychain, light-up mascara case, sunglasses clip, lanyard, really tiny pouch to hold, well, really tiny things that you grab at other booths, or extra bags as you stroll by every booth… much less HANDFULLS of them. This tells me that you’re either a complete douchebag, or that you are a hoarder, and yes, probably also a douchebag.

2. Speaking of extra bags, that giant-size tote you’re hauling (with 1/3 of your giant mass listing to starboard to compensate) makes it easier to spot you from afar when I’m looking for outsiders to walk in front of as they take a photo with their flip-phone at mid-stride. There is no fine line between grabbing a few things and EVERY GOD DAMN THING YOU COME UPON. Rather, it’s a giant, conscious leap to make, and your chances of sticking that landing are as good as, well, the next item on our list…

3. No, Skippy, Miss Valve Stem 2014 wasn’t really into you, or super-excited to have another photo shot with you. While you may think that the previous 400 lard-ass, hangers-on waiting an hour to meet her and get that poster were but a warm-up to your brilliant entrance, lugging 3 metric tons of promotional materials and bashing that load into her leg, you can rest assured that all she’s thinking is “only four more hours today, and but three more days until I can cash that check! And why does this guy smell like stress balls and catalog paper, mixed with onions and Axe spray?”
While the people who actually BELONG AT THE SHOW and are WORKING are trying to squeeze past you and the 400 others just like you to get to a meeting, just know that you SHOULD take it personally when I mutter “get the fuck out of my way” to you. That week isn’t play time. It’s feed my family time. Stay home, and look at pictures of booth girls on your favorite forum between taking jabs at cars you’ll never have the skill to build, you pile of shit.

4. Stopping, mid-stride in a busy aisle to text your bros isn’t the wisest idea. I forces me to pretend that I didn’t see you when I plow into you, and then pretend that I’m sorry. That saps energy I was saving for when I have to attempt to control every fiber of my being from punching you in the throat when you finally end your phone call to your bros at home about how hot Miss Fender Washer is, and how she signed your poster “CALL ME, LOL!”, and step out of that stall after 20 minutes of hearing “No, bro, it gets better!”, and look at the line of 35 angry colons waiting to explode.

5. If nothing else, DO NOT use someone else’s pass, or try to slip in with last year’s, or some doctored pass or otherwise. What are you, like five years old? And no, I don’t believe that the Asian guy’s real name was Jesus Angelino Martinez de Venuza. I’m not buying it.

6. For the love of all that is holy, DRESS APPROPRIATELY. Nothing makes you look more out of place than the stained t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. Honestly. If you can’t respect my industry, at the very least respect yourself. It’s a PROFESSIONAL TRADE EVENT. Not the fucking Piggly Wiggly on Thursday night, you trash.

Innovation 2015

Hot off the heels of an exciting SEMA Show, we’re proud to announce…

INNOVATION 2015!

What is it? It’s a whole new way to get our pricing into the hands of people who can’t afford quality design work… based upon what we’ve heard that we charge. (and I have to say a big THANKS to those who have been assuming the price levels here, and spreading their own figures for what we do. Using YOUR numbers, we’re gonna be RICH!) We’ll be placing our full pricing options into three awesome and very forward-thinking mediums, thus eliminating any doubt as to what you get:

1. Online. A simple pricing table. We’ll be moving some decimal places to keep current with what we heard that we charge, but that’s OK. Our simple chart will spell it out cleanly. We call this method “Take a Look at Brian’s Package”.

2. Download and print the above as a handy PDF. We call this “Handling Brian’s Package”.

3. For those of you looking for more interaction, we’ll be mailing out pricing in the form of lottery scratchers, as they’ve been deemed the most comfortable and familiar for the broke-ass, white trash folk looking for free work. Will it be free? Will it cost you the suggested rate as heard last week from folks who just, well, assumed? Who knows? It’s all up to you, and how you choose to “Rub Brian’s Package”.

Genius, I know. Look for the app soon, as well.

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