Monday, February 20, 2017

SHUT UP.



In an effort to stay in the shop and not have to go out in the field, we would like to welcome our new retailer of small home accessories...Jaunt Chicago.
 Jaunt is a well curated shop in Arlington Heights Illinois. If you're in the area, check em' out.
When Zack and I started on this rollercoaster, we always had the vision of just making what we make, and having a long career of being creative in our own environment, with complete autonomy.
 Shit doesn't always work out how you plan right outta the gate.
Sometimes, most of the time, you do what you gotta do to keep the lights on.
 Nothing wrong with that, but sometimes those jobs ride shotgun and your original vision gets stuffed in a duffel bag and thrown in the trunk.
 Pull over, pop the trunk, and open the bag.
There are the jobs that pay the bills, and there are jobs that pay the soul, and whoever said "you can't have your cake and eat it too", is full of shit. Why can't you eat your own cake? It's your fuckin' cake.
 You just have to put in the work. It's a lot of work, but it's all relative to where it is you really wanna be.
I know I can lay tile, frame a house, install cabinets, whack in hardwood flooring, weld gates and fences all goddamn day, but is that what is gonna pay my soul?
 For me, I need more than a check. I need a sense of pride, a sense of accomplishment, a positive reinforcement from a customer who is thrilled by their purchase from our hands.
 You gotta find a way to get there.
You claw at the wall until your fingers bleed and at some point, you're gonna make it to the other side.
 If and when you decide to go into business for yourself, you're going to notice that there are voices in your head. Don't freak out...it's totally natural. The voices are there to guide you.
 Frequently, these voices are going to tell you two things.
The voice is gonna tell you "you got this, don't give up, work harder, be better, you're almost there", and the other voice is gonna say "fuck this shit."
 It all boils down to which voice is louder.
The positive voice at least offers up suggestions...work harder...be better...THINK...move outside of your comfort zone...and shit like that.
 The negative voice doesn't offer any advice. It doesn't say "give up on this dream....and drive a bus", or "quit now...and work at Whole Foods", it just tells you to quit.
 Enough dream crushing for a Monday...
Pictured are a few of the home goods that will be available at Jaunt Chicago, except the last photo, which is a steel heart sculpture that Zack made on Valentines Day from nothing but scrap steel cut off pieces that we're piled in a bucket under the chop saw.
The definition of "create" is...to make something, from nothing, and create he did.
 Listen to that positive voice and tell the negative one to shut the fuck up.

Monday, February 6, 2017

COMPUTERS AND CUBICLES



All of last week, my head was all types of screwed up.
 My sons teacher had asked that I come in on Friday and speak to my sons class on career day.
For most, it'd probably be more of an inconvenience than it would be anything else, but for me it was more of an anxiety ridden roller coaster.
 For one, I spent most of my life being a foul mouthed shithead with absolutely no governor on my vocabulary, so I felt like "keeping it clean" was going to be a huge task.
 Secondly, I'm extremely passionate about my work, so the fear of being overly animated and dangerously dramatic was also a concern.
 The last thing I wanted to do was say "Ya know how your dad comes home from work sometimes and he's a total asshole? Well kids, it's probably because he hates his fuckin' job. At HIS job, he probably has to ask someone if it's ok to take a piss, or ask another grown up what time he could eat a sandwich, or maybe he got screamed at by his supervisor for being 5 minutes late because YOU didn't want to put your fuckin' shoes on." Yeah, as much as I wanted to go there, I knew that I couldn't.
 I invited Zack to come along.
We're a 2 man show and Max loves Zack, but I feared that Zack would decline such a tempting offer.
 Zack accepted.
I thought it would be a great idea to make lil MAKERS shirts for his class. I figured if I totally blew it, the kids, at least, walked away with some free shit, and everybody loves free shit.
 Me and Max went to his God fathers house to work on the design.
Max's God father/uncle Martin has a silk screen company called "Flooded Dots". Max was extremely involved in the design process and was really excited to be a part of the printing process as well.
 The big day was upon me, and when we were about to leave the shop Zack said "go ahead, I'll meet you there." When we met up at the school, Zack was dressed in full work shop gear.
 Dirty ass apron, respirator, goggles, welding helmet, welding gloves, fully loaded tool belt...he looked like a cross between Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the creepy German dude from that movie Hostel, and it was awesome.
 We walked into the class room and the kids eyes lit up when they saw Letherface, I mean Zack.
We went through his outfit and talked about the purposes of it all. The kids were very inquisitive, and eager to share their stories of how they built a birdhouse with their dad or fixed the refrigerator with their grandpa, it was really a beautiful thing.
 At the end of the presentation, we handed out their "Future MAKERS" shirts, and my son finished out his day being the coolest fuckin kid in the class.
 Now, when I pick Max up from school looking like a filthy homeless man who was set on fire, his class will know that Max's dad isn't a stinky bum after all, they'll know that he had just been making some cool shit.
 On the subject of making cool shit...the other 2 photos are some cool shit we made.
The first is the "under attack" coat rack, with hand painted steel arrows blasting through a piece of old growth wood, and the second is a industrial towel rack for a customer who was kind enough to send a photo of it in use.
 There was a very satisfying feeling to letting a small group of children know that making, creating, using your hands, using your brain, can be a rewarding career choice. That life after childhood doesn't have to be computers and cubicles. That you are free to dream, free to be creative, free to hone your skill into an art.
 I'm guessing that the underlying message might have been too abstract for them, but the seed has been planted and only time will tell if it makes it to harvest.