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Just Create56:35 with Lenny Terenzi
Life is a mixture of failures and successes. Lenny Terenzi talks about both in this talk that encourages designers to Just Create
[MUSIC] 0:00 [NOISE] [APPLAUSE] 0:04 All right, 0:10 we got audio on 0:15 this thing? 0:21 Everybody hear me? 0:26 All right, all right. 0:27 I could not be more psyched to be here. 0:28 Like, this is like, holy shit, are you kidding me? 0:31 You know, two years ago, created South 13, that was my first design conference ever. 0:34 Changed my life. 0:39 Mike Jones changed my life. 0:40 I love you brother. 0:41 And yeah, I've seen a lot of speakers up here and as I'm kinda getting prepared for 0:43 this night there's a couple of things that I didn't know that I learned last night. 0:47 You know, Mike said a couple months ago, when do you wanna speak man? 0:49 Pick your slot, it's yours. 0:53 What do you want? I said man, I wanna do Saturday. 0:54 I kinda wanna get the vibe of the place. 0:56 Get the feel of the place. 0:58 I didn't realize that the two after parties, the loud music, 1:00 the screaming, I was like [SOUND]. 1:05 So any of you all ever speak, get that first day in the morning man, 1:07 before those after parties so you can enjoy. 1:10 >> [LAUGH] >> Cuz it was man I was feeling a little 1:11 bit raw this morning. 1:15 So I'm super excited to be here. 1:16 My talk real quick is going to be about my wife, 1:19 a lot of failure, those failures have bred some successes. 1:22 It's going to be about creating. 1:24 It's going to be about making, but not a lot about, specifically design. 1:27 There's a lot more that you can create in life just hat's not design. 1:32 That's not art. 1:36 It's gonna be about creating, art. 1:37 A little bit. 1:41 Life, love, and community. 1:42 Just create. 1:44 This is what the talk's really about. 1:47 How I totally fucked up my career for the first 17 years and saved it in the last 3. 1:50 So hello, how's everybody doin? 1:57 >> [APPLAUSE] >> So for a while I was a stage performer 1:59 and that was the big thing to come out and say how everybody was doing, that kinda 2:04 sounded like a Thursday night show, so let's make this like Saturday night. 2:06 I said, how's everybody doing? 2:09 [APPLAUSE] That's what I wanna hear. 2:11 All right. 2:14 So, my name's Lenny Terenzi. 2:14 I'm 42 years old. 2:16 God, damn. 2:18 [LAUGH] I'm a graphic designer. 2:19 I'm an illustrator. 2:22 Doing some screen printing. 2:24 And I do all this under the name Hey Monkey! 2:27 In case, maybe you didn't know who my name was, but you know the Hey Monkey! 2:29 Thing. 2:32 I'm a musician. 2:34 I played guitar here last year. 2:36 I did bands for a long time. 2:37 It's kind of one of my little extra passion projects. 2:39 Just to give a little bit of insight of what, who I am as a musician. 2:42 That's the man right there. 2:45 BB King, favorite guitar player ever. 2:46 Otis Redding, favorite singer ever. 2:50 [APPLAUSE] That man has made more babies. 2:52 >> [LAUGH] >> Now if you're new on the scene, 2:56 let me tell you, everybody write this down. 3:01 That is the baddest ass band on the scene right now. 3:03 >> [APPLAUSE] >> Right, Alabama, so 3:05 we got southern boys. 3:08 St. Paul and the Broken Bones, you all write that down, 3:09 cuz they are just the best. 3:12 Little fun fact, I am a type 2 diabetic. 3:13 So, if you see me walking around jabbing a needle in me, anywhere in my arm, 3:15 everything's cool. 3:19 [LAUGH] It's only been meth half the time. 3:20 [LAUGH] So, I was born in 1973, Endicott, New York. 3:23 Raised, until the age of ten, in Kingston, 3:31 New York by a single mom who gave me everything. 3:34 And as I got older, much older as an adult I learned we didn't have anything. 3:38 I remember her telling me the story of one night she made spaghetti for dinner, 3:42 she had popcorn, it's not because she wasn't hungry, we didn't have enough, so 3:47 it was just me and her for a long time. 3:51 Man, I'm cute. 3:53 >> [LAUGH] 3:54 >> That is, that's a cute kid man. 4:01 So I didn't get to see my Dad much, my parents were divorced for 4:03 as long as I can remember. 4:06 So I didn't get to see my Dad a whole lot. 4:07 But when I did, we would head up to Aurora, New York. 4:09 Lake Cayuga, most beautiful place in the world. 4:13 It's one of the places that I go just to center myself. 4:15 Just, I can really feel like I can actually get away from it all there. 4:17 I just absolutely love it there. 4:21 If you ever have a chance to go, I highly recommend it, it's absolutely beautiful. 4:22 So at the age of ten I slid down to North Carolina. 4:27 My mom remarried a wonderful guy that she's still married to. 4:30 You know, so between my dad and my stepdad I feel really, really lucky, that I, 4:33 that I have that. 4:38 And age ten, age 12, there's that cute little kid again. 4:39 Yeah, shit went south fast. 4:45 [LAUGH] 4:47 >> Right there so I'm the, on my left, 4:59 that is a recipe on how to get your ass kicked in junior high right there okay? 5:01 >> [LAUGH] >> It's all right there, 5:06 it's all right there. 5:07 That was you know, I didn't, I didn't really do too well when I moved down. 5:08 I had a lot of friends, I grew up in upstate New York. 5:15 All my family lives in upstate New York. 5:18 When I came down here, it was me, my mom, my step-dad, and as awesome as she was, 5:19 I'm 12, I'm 13, so you know, you kind of start stepping away from your 5:23 parents a little bit, getting some independence. 5:26 So I retreated into drawing, into art. 5:28 Ninja weapons, Transformers, nunchucks, throwing stars. 5:31 You know all that, all that cool stuff that that kids like to draw. 5:35 Eventually slid into high school and 5:42 I was lucky enough to go to a magnet high school. 5:44 A magnet program for the arts. 5:46 I do a lot more drawing. 5:47 And about that time, it was like smack dab in the middle of the 80s metal hair scene. 5:49 I don't know if you can see that on the contrast. 5:53 No you can't, man. 5:56 Can we jack the oh well. 5:58 Do you see that big mound kind of in there? 6:00 That's my hair. 6:03 [LAUGH] And that big shine right there. 6:04 The big shine is my nose and the glasses. 6:09 And I was single for most of high school, for some reason. 6:14 I don't really know what the, what that was coming from. 6:15 But, in high school, you know, and, doing a lot of drawing. 6:18 Wanted to be comic book artist. 6:24 Wanted to be maybe a Disney animator or something. 6:26 Cuz I, I drew, and it, kinda then, that was what you did. 6:28 That was the track, maybe comic strips. 6:30 But then I was senior year of high school. 6:32 I was looking through the curriculum, and I saw a class called Graphics I. 6:34 I didn't know what the hell that was, but it sounded cool, sounded easy. 6:37 That's really why I took it. 6:40 Wood Shop, Graphics I. 6:41 And I walked in there and there was one of those little things. 6:44 And a printer. 6:48 And it had one of those little button presses you know, 6:48 spit out the stuff throw the paper and whap make a button. 6:50 And so I sat down at the computer and I made a button for 6:53 like this imaginary 80's metal hair band called Nightmare. 6:56 You know, really original. 7:00 Was like [SOUND] you know? 7:01 Sexy, I just liked that picture so I just wanted to throw it up there. 7:02 I thought it was really cool. 7:05 That was literally my, my youth right there was that kind of stuff and 7:07 I apologize for that, so. 7:11 But you know, when I sat down at that computer, when I started doing that, 7:13 I already, I just kind of like, I felt this was the coolest thing. 7:16 And I already kind of started to get away from like all that drawing, 7:18 all that kind of hand making, all that stuff that that, that we all, 7:21 are sit here and talk so much about and preach so much about today. 7:25 And so, right there at a young age, for some reason, I was just like, oh, 7:28 this thing is great. 7:30 I just, I can get on there, and I can make stuff right away, and I can spit it out, 7:31 and I can print it, and make it. 7:34 And darn, there's a damn button on my chest. 7:35 And I thought that was really cool but, you know, look, again, hindsight. 7:37 Looking back, you know, so 7:40 already right there, I was starting to kinda get away from myself a little bit. 7:41 And and, and, wasn't really not a smart move. 7:44 After high school, after barely graduating high school, my family moved to Italy. 7:48 For about two years, I stayed there for 7:54 about 6 months cause I didn't realize how cool it was to actually be able 7:56 to live there and I was 19 and wanted to go home and party with my friends. 8:00 And kinda hang out, and hang out with girls. 8:04 I was starting to kinda look good again. 8:06 But one of the, one of the one of the things for me coming home was, 8:10 I had to go to school. 8:13 So lucked out though and found a little, kind of a little design school 8:15 that had tracks in graphic design, had gra tracks in 3D animation. 8:18 So that's cool. 8:22 Kinda, you know, slid from that graphics class in in my senior year into that. 8:23 Just did not have the patience for 8:26 the animation track just didn't have the patience for the animation and all that, 8:28 kinda really took to the design and so fun fact, started out in Photoshop 2.5 y'all. 8:33 There were no layers, one undo. 8:39 >> [NOISE] >> No layers, one undo, 8:41 you know that command save selection? 8:45 Right? 8:47 Yeah, you can talk back, yeah? 8:48 >> Yeah. 8:49 >> That was layers. 8:50 Put your thing in there, save your selection, you wanted to move it. 8:51 Boom, boom, save, load selection, move your thing, unload selection, 8:53 so yeah, that was, that. 8:57 But man, that was all we had. 8:59 When Photoshop 3 or 4 came out and it had layers, we threw a party, I swear to God. 9:00 So once I got out of, I went to that school, and immediately. 9:08 So I'm probably, I'm 19 or 20 then. 9:11 Immediately started a business with another student. 9:13 [NOISE] Don't do that. 9:16 A lot, I've talked to a lot of people here, and you know, I'm, I'm in school, 9:18 and I'm gonna get out. 9:21 I'm gonna start freelancing, I'm gonna get going. 9:22 And, you know, maybe do some freelancing, get a job. 9:23 Get an agency job, but if you can't get a job with one other designer, be an intern. 9:26 Learn their successes, learn, you know, how they do things, what they do things, 9:31 project management, client management, billing. 9:35 Learn all that stuff. 9:37 More importantly, 9:38 when they do things wrong, make a mistake, learn how they handle that. 9:39 Cuz that's a real big thing that you don't wanna learn the first time when you're 20, 9:44 21, 22. 9:48 How you're gonna deal with a client that's either screwed you over, or 9:49 how are you gonna deal with a client when you've screwed them over, 9:51 cuz that's probably gonna happen first when you're really young. 9:54 So, you know, it, that was something that, that, I didn't really Didn't really think 9:57 about then, I was kind of just full of all that piss and vinegar and ready to go. 10:02 So, after that just utterly failed, I was like okay, I need to get a real job. 10:06 So, in the early 90s, there was a company in Cary, North Carolina called SAS. 10:11 SAS Institute, one of the world's largest privately held software companies. 10:15 And, at the time, in the mid 90s, kind of a little bit of a computer game boom, 10:19 they decided to start a computer gaming division. 10:22 And so, they were getting all these artists and everything in. 10:25 They had, just millions and millions of dollars to throw at it, 10:28 which they thought would make great products and great marketing. 10:33 They didn't, you know, it was, it was a money game. 10:35 And, you know we got in there, and, you know, 10:37 just kind of full of, of piss and vinegar and just ready to learn. 10:40 And we sat down, 10:43 and we learned all these new amazing technologies like animated GIFs. 10:44 And like cascading style sheets and we got to use like Internet Explorer 3 and 10:49 Netscape 4 and you could use, 10:55 you could use things like background images back then. 10:59 That was like, wicked cool. 11:01 Yeah, so we got, you know, we got, we're, we're like, we're on the cusp, 11:03 the cutting edge of technology right then. 11:07 So the company was called South Peak Interactive. 11:09 And so we all kinda sat down, got in there, dug in, 11:11 started working on the brand. 11:13 A bunch of young designers, some of the older guys, cuz again this was an old 11:15 company, came up with this great logo, which I, I unfortunately do not have. 11:18 We got it all done and then we got a phone call from the owner of the company and 11:22 said so like, I was on a skiing trip in the mountains of Colorado and 11:26 I had this idea, I had this, it just came to me. 11:30 So, I'm faxing over a sketch and we just need to run with that. 11:34 And that was it. 11:38 Good news, all that hard work, all that stuff, and 11:39 that company was kinda founded on that. 11:41 It was just very, it was just very kinda chill company. 11:43 You know, they had great work-life balance before that was even a term 11:46 it was 35 hour work weeks. 11:50 Mike they had on-site restaurants, Mike, right there. 11:51 On-site restaurants, brother, you didn't have to leave work. 11:55 They delivered M&Ms to the break rooms. 11:58 It was just a really cool kind of just, just slack place, but 11:59 it affected how people would do things there. 12:03 Everybody was just like, well, whatever, but a lot of us, you know, 12:06 young kids it was like man, what, I mean we were like, oh we're pissed. 12:09 But, when you're that young and you're in this great work environment and 12:12 the paycheck is pretty good and everything, it's just. 12:15 I just kinda said, well, you know, man, this is cool. 12:19 I was, getting ready to get married. 12:22 So, you know, you wanna think about, I wanna have a family. 12:24 You know, that money's coming in. 12:26 You wanna be able to, to support that, and I just, I went with it. 12:28 I kinda got, I kinda got lax. 12:32 Complacent is a good word. 12:35 I got complacent. 12:36 And just wanted to be like, I didn't wanna kinda rock the boat too much. 12:36 But eventually, after after kind of just having enough of it. 12:40 After about ten years, it was like, okay I gotta get outta here and 12:45 it was time for me to fly. 12:47 I just needed to, had to go out on my own. 12:48 So, now we're kinda jetting up to, I was at that company about 10 years, so 12:50 we are starting to jet up to about 2000, 2001. 12:54 So a lot of people ask me, why do I call myself Hey Monkey? 12:56 I am a one man design shop. 13:00 I don't have employees. 13:01 I partner with great people. 13:03 I work with great people. 13:05 I, I do things with great people, like Mike, and, and Peter, and 13:06 Rob from [UNKNOWN] all that, and I love just hanging out and doing that. 13:09 But then one person, why Hey Monkey? 13:12 That's why. 13:16 That is my daughter Bella when she was a little baby, 13:18 that's me feeding her some cake and she's a gorgeous little thing. 13:21 And this is Bella today. 13:25 So Bella's 15 years old and as you could imagine just from looking at the picture, 13:28 we had a very turbulent and really interesting start to Bella's life. 13:33 So Bella was born with whats called a strawberry hemangioma on her back. 13:37 And basically when she's inside cooking away, everything is meeting up and making, 13:42 little sewing machines going. 13:45 There's that little spot where, where the body was supposed to say hey, 13:47 don't need anymore blood vessels you can cut that out and stop. 13:51 And the blood vessels said, nope we're gonna keep going. 13:53 And and so they kept cooking. 13:56 They kept making, they kept going, all upper back, all around her back and 13:58 it cut off the growth of her spinal cord and 14:02 we learned that she would be unable to walk for her life. 14:05 And it was just a it was just kind of a blur. 14:11 You know, you don't, there's no rulebook for that, man. 14:15 There's no, you know, when you're going to have a baby oh you're, what are you doing? 14:17 When you're buying cribs and your buying stuff and everybody's like, oh. 14:19 And we, nothing showed up in ultrasounds, you know, and 14:22 we did not know until she was born. 14:24 Which in a way I think was good. 14:27 I think it probably, you know, the stress on, on, on my wife and everything, 14:28 was, it was probably good. 14:32 But you have no idea when she comes out and then it's just, go. 14:32 You know, and you don't know what you're doing. 14:36 You have nothing, you know, you don't know what's going on. 14:37 And but you know, we kind of sat back and said, okay, you know, how 14:41 do we deal with this, how do we do this, cuz we didn't know the diagnosis yet. 14:46 We had oncologists coming in. 14:49 They said, look, it could either be just this simple thing, but we think it 14:50 might be a neuroblastoma, which is the most fatal tumor a child could have. 14:54 Like, you know, that was gonna be it. 14:59 So, you're sitting there, you know, at 24, 25, 26, I don't even know, holding, 15:00 you know, holding my daughter, looking at her, and 15:05 I did not know if in three months she was going to be alive. 15:08 You know, you're looking at her and you have no idea and that is just, 15:10 it's heartbreaking. 15:14 [BLANK_AUDIO] 15:15 Whew. 15:19 Even after 15 years, but, you know, luckily, you know, thank God came back. 15:20 It was not that. 15:25 It was like, okay, you know what, we ruled all this out. 15:27 She's gonna be fine. 15:29 Couple surgeries, we got all the stuff out of there. 15:31 So we sat back and we said, okay, you know, 15:33 when you go from, okay, your child in three months is gonna be dead, 15:34 and then you got over here, your child won't be able to walk. 15:38 We got this. 15:45 We can do this. 15:46 We can take this. 15:46 So, I, I remember saying, okay, she might not be able to walk but, I promise you, 15:48 she will put her foot straight up the world's ass. 15:52 And she will absolutely [APPLAUSE] all right, 15:55 she will absolutely do what she needs to do. 15:58 You know, and she, she's doing it. 16:01 I mean, there's, you know, archery, wheelchair basketball. 16:03 Okay, wheelchair basketball. 16:06 She helped take her team to the sixth best wheelchair basketball team in the nation 16:08 in 2013. 16:12 She is just absolutely. 16:14 A lot of you people have met her. 16:15 And she is absolutely a gem. 16:18 She is my hero by far. 16:19 And she's got, she's got, already at 15, she's got her life aspirations. 16:22 You know, she's just a goofy goofy little thing. 16:26 Whoops, I'm going ahead too far. 16:31 Some of these are dark, I'm sorry, I kind of made them moody and everything. 16:33 I don't know if you can see it. 16:36 But, she wants to be a special effects makeup artist. 16:37 And she does all of this herself and she's just absolutely slaying it. 16:41 Every Halloween, she's ready to go. 16:45 Last Halloween, last Halloween, 16:47 I promise you she scared kids from getting the candy. 16:50 Like they ran up and they just bailed. 16:53 Oh it was awesome it was awesome. 16:57 But this last year, she just absolutely kicked it up a notch. 16:58 And we had our Comic Con was coming to town. 17:01 So, here she is starting to put prosthetics and everything on. 17:04 She wanted to go to Comic Con as a walker. 17:06 Walking Dead fans? 17:08 [APPLAUSE] All right. 17:09 Y'all, if you have a weak stomach, I wanna warn you on this one. 17:12 [NOISE] There's no Photoshop in there, there's nothing. 17:16 I didn't go back and color that, I didn't go back and tweak that. 17:20 That's her right there. 17:23 Prosthetics, custom prosthetics, custom contacts, custom paint. 17:25 I was sitting in front of her, I was in the room with her. 17:28 My job was, daddy can you hold this, daddy can you do, that was it. 17:31 Man, that was all 100% her. 17:34 She went to Comic Con. 17:36 There were huge productions there. 17:37 She's getting to work on this like, kind of haunted house kind of experience. 17:39 So she's just going full-blast into life. 17:43 Which is something as I start going through the talk, 17:46 I wish I had kind of, you know, knowing her now I see that, 17:48 but not knowing her then, that I wish I had kind of taken advantage of. 17:50 So, so I was kinda sliding back to the whole, you know, just, when you have 17:55 a special needs child, it's a, it's a little bit of a different ballgame. 18:00 And that special need can be anything. 18:05 I mean, it can be diabetic, you know, it can be wheelchair. 18:07 I don't really differentiate. 18:09 And honestly, probably everybody in this room, in some way, form or fashion, 18:10 has some sort of special need. 18:13 Something that's a little bit different in us, that maybe isn't outward. 18:14 But my, my wife and I, we just kind of put life on hold, and put everything into her. 18:18 And you do that as a parent anyway. 18:23 You put everything into your child all the time. 18:25 That is your job, that is, you know, for those who don't have kids, 18:27 it's this amazing thing that the minute your child is born, 18:30 you can look at this human being and say I would die for you. 18:33 Right now. You've met, met them for one second, 18:36 and I would die for you. 18:38 I, and that's a really powerful thing. 18:40 [SOUND] something just flashed there, so 18:42 we kinda just sunk everything into her. 18:46 Oh, presenter notes popped up. 18:49 You wanna read it? 18:52 I can just sit there and just scroll through and there we go. 18:52 You know, we put everything into her we, you know, therapy and doing sports and 19:00 just doing all that stuff and just so sunk sunk sunk sunk sunk time into her and 19:03 its the right thing to do. 19:06 I do not regret it. 19:07 But there's a certain point where you have to step back and say, you know what, 19:09 obviously she is doing really well. 19:12 And now I've gotta put something back into me, back into, you know, my wife, 19:14 need to put something back into her. 19:18 So we can continue to make her better, by making us better, you know? 19:19 You gotta be the best you, you can be, to be the best parents for your kids. 19:22 Cuz pretty soon they're going to call bullshit. 19:27 They're going to look at you and say, well you're not doing it, 19:28 why are you telling me to do it? 19:31 I, I kind of just put, did everything and my, and my wife and I didn't do that. 19:32 We put everything into being there for her and not anything. 19:38 We didn't do anything into being there for each other as, as a husband and as a wife. 19:42 We stopped communicating. 19:47 We lost all our passion. 19:49 We we became roommates, you know, there, there was no, 19:52 there was nothing else there. 19:55 We, we were just kind of friends. 19:56 You know, we didn't really nurture our relationship like we nurtured our child 19:59 And that's super important for, especially, for I know there's a lot of 20:02 younger folks in here, who probably don't have families yet, and everything. 20:05 Just make sure, give everything to your child. 20:09 That is your job, but the best way to give everything to your child in my eyes, 20:11 is to not give everything to your child. 20:15 You gotta keep a little something for yourself to be able to, to be better for 20:19 them, and to show them by example. 20:22 So I'm kinda burnt out after, after all that, 20:24 after ten years of living with a roommate, no love, no passion, no communication. 20:27 And I'm just absolutely despondent and depressed. 20:32 I had just started out on my own, when all this happened, so I didn't even have 20:35 a time to kinda get going, and find my footing to what I wanted to do. 20:39 And all of a sudden, life was just like, you know, whap, 20:43 and, and, and that was my fault. 20:45 I mean, you know, it could kick us down, but obviously, as you can see from Bella, 20:48 like, you know, it wasn't difficult to raise her. 20:51 But I didn't sit back and say, okay, I've got this. 20:53 I need to, you know, put stuff back with me now. 20:56 So yeah, that was my mistake. 20:58 I'm not, certainly not blaming you know, anything. 21:00 And those storm clouds, they, they, they never really lifted. 21:03 I kinda let them stay there. 21:06 And I became, you know, for those of you who know me, I was an introvert. 21:08 I never left the house. 21:11 I never talked to people. 21:12 And that sure as hell isn't me now. 21:14 And it just, something kinda had to give, 21:17 something needed to something needed to shift. 21:20 I had no confidence in my own work, 21:24 in my personality I was just in a really, really dark place. 21:26 Any clients I was working with then, I'm sorry. 21:30 I, I totally screwed you guys, I mean I did a bare minimum bad work, you know. 21:33 It was, it was still decent design work. 21:38 But it certainly, it, you know, I wasn't pushing myself in my projects for 21:40 my clients, and put, putting the best work forward. 21:44 I was doing the bare minimum that was need to cash a paycheck, 21:46 to kinda just go back into my little dark cave, until the next person came forward, 21:49 and said, here, we'll give you some money to do something. 21:53 I kinda snowballed them and then it happened. 21:55 There's that, finally, there's that pivotal moment where the clouds parted, 21:59 and things kinda become crystal clear. 22:03 Kinda read that one. [BLANK_AUDIO]. 22:07 It's okay, if you laugh, cuz it is kinda funny to me now, 22:10 cuz that's kinda screwed up, isn't it? 22:12 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 22:13 Look at my wife's phone because her email was broken, and I saw, 22:15 I saw an email there. 22:19 It said I love you, and I was scrolling down, and it was this, some other dude. 22:20 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 22:23 That pretty much was right there for the next six months, you know, what do you do? 22:33 Yes, it was a bad marriage, it sucked. 22:38 We weren't fighting, we weren't yelling, we weren't screaming. 22:40 Bella had a loving environment, still, we were fantastic parents. 22:43 But there was nothing else there, and it was bad, but I met her when I was 20, 21. 22:46 At this point, I'm like 36, 37, that's the years where you kinda learn what life is. 22:50 You know, you, you're supposed to be out on your own. 22:56 Never lived on my own, up until that point. 22:58 You're supposed to, you know, be in the workforce, and giving it your all, 23:00 giving it your best. 23:03 I wasn't doing that. 23:03 I was just kinda, you know, I can't say, I was beaten into complacency. 23:04 I let it happen, I could've gotten up, 23:08 quit, left done any number of things at any point by that time. 23:09 You know, it was, we gave all our love, you know, 23:13 to Bella, and, and none to, to ourselves. 23:18 And I had so many questions at that point, you know, here I am at 37. 23:23 I've never been on my own, could I take care of myself? 23:26 You know how am I gonna make money cuz I hate my job, I hate my career, 23:29 but it's, I was, okay, at it. 23:32 But it's all I knew how to do, and I hated it. 23:34 So, what, what am I gonna do? 23:36 You know, I gotta get out there. 23:36 I'm gonna be on my own again. 23:37 Can I take care of my daughter? 23:38 Can I take care of myself? 23:39 You know, and then it happened. 23:43 That the event happened, we, we separated, we split. 23:44 And you know, 23:47 there's no better way to learn how to swim than just [COUGH] right into the deep end, 23:49 you know, get in the water, get going, and, and, and let it happen. 23:54 So, you know, I got out there. 23:58 I got separated. 24:00 Got an apartment. 24:01 I mean, seriously, the first time I was ever living on my own, I was 37 years old, 24:02 and it was like, oh, my god, this is really cool. 24:05 You mean, wait, I can stay up til like, one in the morning? 24:08 >> [LAUGH] >> Like, 24:10 watching history channel in my underwear. 24:11 [NOISE] With you know, yeah, just kinda kicking back, and 24:13 like I had, I had all this, this time to kinda start learning, learning who I was. 24:17 [UNKNOWN] I'm 42 so we're talking five years ago guys. 24:21 This is not, you know, it's not like I'm talking when I was 20. 24:24 So, kinda just learning who I was. 24:27 You know, what I wanted out of life. 24:29 You know, it was a smooth parting. 24:31 You know, my ex and I, no lawyers, no fighting, no courts, 24:34 our divorce cost, costs us $260 in court fees. 24:39 We split, we moved a mile apart from each other so 24:43 Bella could very easily go back and forth between us. 24:46 She wasn't placed in the middle. 24:49 We have every other week custody kind of thing, where she goes back and 24:50 forth sees other, we did not put her in the middle. 24:53 I was put in the middle, parents had a horrible divorce. 24:55 I didn't get to have a relationship with my dad until I was almost 30. 24:58 That was not gonna happen with Bella. 25:02 I can't live without her. 25:04 I wasn't gonna let it happen. 25:05 So, we have made sure we put her first. 25:06 I surrounded myself with people. 25:12 I went to group therapy. 25:15 I went to a therapist. 25:16 I just started getting out there, you know. 25:18 What, what was I doing? 25:19 I was sitting in a room in a house all day with a woman that I wasn't talking to, 25:20 with a woman that I wasn't loving, that I wasn't making love with. 25:24 This is my wife. 25:27 Nothing, no communication, no human interaction whatsoever. 25:28 So I was like, I'm gonna reverse that. 25:31 I've gotta flip that. 25:32 I've gotta get myself thrown out there, I've gotta slice myself open. 25:33 Kind of feel like I'm doing that today, opening it up and 25:36 saying, tell me what's wrong with me, cuz you need to do that, and so I can fix it. 25:39 You know, when when a marriage breaks up, for the most part it's 50-50. 25:43 There's something, somebody may have cheated. 25:47 Somebody may have done this. 25:50 But there's usually two things that are going on in that marriage or 25:51 that relationship that's gonna make it go wrong. 25:54 So, it's okay to sit back and say what was my fault in this? 25:56 What was the part, what was, what part did I play in doing that? 25:59 So, I went to group therapy, surrounded myself with a lot of friends. 26:02 So, if you need help, in anything, ask for it. 26:06 It is not a sign of weakness. 26:09 It is the, the, the biggest sign of strength and 26:11 one of the biggest things that you could ever do in your life. 26:14 Especially as you're young, all the pressures of school, 26:16 finding the job, getting out there. 26:19 If you need help, ask for, ask a friend, 26:21 ask a parent, go to a therapist, go to group therapy. 26:23 Do what you need to do to feel better because as soon as I started talking, 26:26 as soon as I started communicating, and by just opening up and 26:30 probably completely over sharing, it was like all the weight got lifted. 26:33 Everything just kind of went [SOUND]. 26:38 And I've started to feel like I could actually be alive again. 26:39 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 26:41 I'm gonna cry again. 26:47 [LAUGH]. 26:48 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 26:49 So life happened. 26:50 Life started to happen. 26:51 And I met someone. 26:53 She's right there. 26:55 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 26:56 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 26:57 [APPLAUSE]. 26:58 And she's holding up a sign that says, yey Lenny. 27:05 And you know, it was amazing. 27:08 It was the, 27:11 the complete reverse of everything that I had known about relationships. 27:12 I, I remember, you know, we're her name's Kristin. 27:18 And I, I remember just quick kind of side anecdote, I'm, 27:22 I'm kind of winging this one on the spot of, remember the first time I said 27:24 something stupid or did something stupid and she called me on it. 27:27 Like, that wasn't cool. 27:30 And I never had that in my marriage, and I'm like, I don't like that. 27:31 You know, don't, I was like, but it was like, I'd never had that, and I was like. 27:34 And then, and I think about it, was like, really refreshing to actually have 27:37 somebody call you on your bullshit, you know. 27:40 And, cuz that, that right there, guys, that's relationship building. 27:42 You know what? That is, that's, 27:45 if you gotta have somebody to say, that was a stupid thing you did and 27:47 don't do it again, and you know, and, and Kristin is that. 27:50 She you know, she didn't see me as someone who was, who was broken. 27:53 She didn't see me as that who was broken and needed to be fixed, when we met, 27:59 I was just still separated. 28:02 I wasn't even like divorced yet. 28:04 And to her that didn't matter. 28:06 It was like I know you're in this transition phase but I think you rock so 28:07 I'm gonna you know I wanna, I wanna try to make this work. 28:11 So, she didn't see me as someone who's broken and who needed to be fixed. 28:15 But she recognized that I was just a little lost and I just needed to be found. 28:18 And, she has, you know, excelled at that. 28:22 She has brought out qualities in me that I didn't know existed. 28:24 She constantly says to me you know I saw that guitar player that you like, 28:28 that's like your favorite. 28:32 Honey, you are way better than him. 28:33 [INAUDIBLE] >> [LAUGH] 28:35 >> You know, [INAUDIBLE] look at this art, 28:38 look at this design, I wanna make a poster than like this, 28:39 [INAUDIBLE] you can do that. 28:42 I've seen you do better stuff than that, she [INAUDIBLE]. 28:43 She thinks and lets me know that I'm, I'm the best at whatever I do and 28:44 you know far from it. 28:49 But to hear that from somebody and, and 28:50 to get that from somebody has made me want to try to live up to that praise. 28:52 It was like, you know, that positive reinforcement. 28:57 And again, it sounds like, you know, you're talking to a child, but in a way, 28:59 emotionally, physically, and all that, I was kind of a child. 29:02 I mean, it was, you know, almost 20 years of, of just no growth, 29:05 of backwards growth, of regression and, and Kristin brought that out to me. 29:08 And in September of last year, she said yes. 29:13 >> [APPLAUSE]. 29:18 [APPLAUSE]. 29:20 [APPLAUSE]. 29:24 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 29:26 >> Yeah. 29:29 >> Little fan [SOUND]. [LAUGH]. 29:30 And you know, baby, I'm gonna spend a lifetime just giving back to you. 29:32 What you've given me in just three short years. 29:38 Whole lifetime. 29:40 [APPLAUSE]. 29:43 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 29:49 So, I'm feeling really good. 29:50 You know, I'm starting to feel good. 29:52 I feel great as a person, as a man, in a great relationship. 29:54 My daughter is doing wonderful. 29:57 I remember it was like a year after the divorce and 29:59 we're riding in the car And she's in the back seat and she just, 30:01 out of nowhere she, Daddy, you are so much happier now. 30:05 You are like, I was always a good dad. 30:09 Bella never saw kind of the depression. 30:10 I hid that, which, you know, didn't help cuz that boils up in there. 30:12 So she never saw that, and she's like, you're like the daddy I've always had, 30:15 but like 100 times better. 30:19 And like, to, like, to me, cuz, you know, a divorce, you're cutting, you know, 30:21 you are ripping apart a family and for a child, you know, Mike understands. 30:25 That's part of the reason we're here. 30:28 We're trading that story and he said, you need to get up there and talk about this. 30:29 And you know, when you rip apart that kind of thing, you know, 30:32 that's the biggest thing you're worried about are your kids. 30:34 And to hear her say that, and to hear her say that, you know, how much she loves 30:36 Kristin, and how much she's so excited for everything, it was like, boom, win, score. 30:40 I got this, total win. 30:45 So it was time to get professional life back on track. 30:48 Needed to get, needed to get work going. 30:50 So I had a friend of mine starting up a new company. 30:54 It was a food truck company Urban Sugar Mobile Cafe. 30:56 And he came at me. 31:01 He was a good buddy. 31:02 And he said, man, I got this new thing, and I wanna do all that, and blah, 31:03 blah, blah, blah, blah. 31:06 And I was like, dude, I will totally help you out. 31:06 I'm ready to rock and roll on this project. 31:08 Let's go. 31:10 And he goes, well, you know, how much? 31:11 I was like, dude, what do you mean, how much, man? 31:12 You're a buddy. I mean, 31:14 we've been friends for years, you know? 31:14 And he goes, no, I have a, ready for this? 31:16 I have a budget. 31:18 >> [LAUGH] >> All right? 31:20 He wasn't, he wasn't dicking around, guys. 31:22 He had a budget. 31:24 He had thousands of dollars. 31:25 Like, he says I set this in the business plan. 31:27 I was like, what? 31:29 And I, and I said all right, well, let's do all this up and, you know, 31:30 I put it in there, was like, 30% discount. 31:33 He sent back the invoice. 31:35 He's like, take the discount off. 31:37 He says we're friends, but this is business. 31:38 And we can still do friend, you know, be business and friends, he said, 31:40 I want this to be on the line. 31:43 And so you know he is investing in his own future, and 31:44 he had no idea how much he was about to invest in my future. 31:46 This was kind of my first, what I consider real project that I sunk my teeth into and 31:50 really wanted to do. 31:54 Like absolutely just like, I'm gonna, I'm gonna kill this one. 31:54 I've never killed a project in my life, again at 37, 31:57 all those years of working in design. 31:59 And I just really had a lot of fun just kinda cranking out all the different logo 32:02 iterations and everything. 32:06 You know, and seeing it, here we go. 32:08 So now, finally, my work is on the side of, like, a food truck which I, and like, 32:10 it's a donut food truck, brother. 32:13 >> [LAUGH] >> It's a donut food truck, brother. 32:14 >> [LAUGH] >> We got, we gotta get him to come 32:20 down next year, brother man, he'll make the drive, all right? 32:24 You know. 32:26 And, and, and it's delicious. 32:29 And so I wanna digress real quick. 32:30 Mike, right there. 32:32 That is Fruity Pebbles on a damn donut. 32:33 [APPLAUSE] Fruity Pebbles on a damn donut. 32:36 Can I get an amen? 32:38 >> Amen! >> That is Fruity Pebbles on a donut. 32:39 I pro-, I, I'm going to bring them next year for everybody. 32:43 So you all get your early bird tickets. 32:46 We're going to get them up for sale soon, or something, Fruity Pebbles on a donut. 32:47 So, you know I did cool work for friends, and it got me the fire again. 32:52 And, you know, when I was writing this, I said, it lit the fire in me again, but 32:58 then I realized I don't think I ever had it lit, so it actually lit my fire. 33:02 And this was stage 2, so, you all ready. 33:06 Come on now, where's my AIGA Raleigh peeps? 33:10 >> [APPLAUSE] >> What? 33:11 I got one back there, too. 33:14 So man, I came rolling a little deep. 33:15 You know, they say you can't choose your family, you know, you're kind of, 33:17 you know, you're kinda born into it, you're stuck. 33:20 I say you can. 33:23 Or maybe they even kind of chose me. 33:24 This group of people, when I decided 33:27 to get back out there professionally and say, I wanna be around people. 33:32 I wanna get more around people. 33:36 So, let me check out this AIGA thing. 33:37 I've heard about it, never wanted to do it, didn't have money. 33:38 I don't know, all these stupid-ass excuses you come up with to not do things in 33:41 life that are, you know, when you look back you're like, 33:44 that was just the wrong thing to do. 33:46 And so I went to my very first meeting, and I went back, you know, what do you do, 33:49 when, you know, first day in class, you know, what do you do? 33:52 You're kinda, you know, back of the room, you know, whatever. 33:54 Everybody leave me alone. 33:57 Sat in the back of the room and these two guys kind of ran up with cameras. 33:59 Hey, man, we wanna put you on video and ask a question. 34:02 You know, you willing to do that? 34:04 I'm like, oh, shit. 34:05 So I figured I'd have an ea, I'd, I'd have an easy out. 34:07 Easy out. 34:09 First time here. 34:10 Boom. Even better. 34:11 >> [LAUGH] >> Shit. 34:12 So, they basically said to me, 34:14 what to do you wanna do if we gave you a sum of money? 34:17 I got a little video here. 34:21 With some audio? 34:24 [MUSIC] 34:26 And I've kind of has this passion to actually want to do a small, like, 34:34 screen printing, letterpress type shop. 34:37 Just to get my hands on some ink and paper again like the old days. 34:40 >> I would really like to use this fund to further my education and 34:43 learn more about interactive media. 34:48 >> I'd like to do a lot of design for musicians and promotions in that case, for 34:50 that industry. 34:54 >> I would. >> Gonna interrupt the video right now cuz 34:55 it's a little bit longer. 34:58 But so, again, here's this organization that says, and I'm doing that for 34:59 Amy too, cuz she was like, oh my God, I do not like the way I look in that video. 35:03 So Amy, that was for you, honey. 35:07 >> [LAUGH] >> So this group of people, I sat down. 35:08 I'm a nobody to them. 35:11 They have no idea who I am. 35:12 And I say I wanna do some kind of screen printing letterpress thing. 35:13 And a couple months later they're, they said here, here's $1,000. 35:16 Go do that thing. 35:19 No, it's not, don't pay us back, it's go do this thing, pursue your dream. 35:21 All we ask is that you give back to our community. 35:24 You know, they don't know who I am. 35:27 Who is this guy? I could have been like sweet, I'm out. 35:28 You know. 35:31 Th, these people are a, a stunning example of how you get out there in life. 35:35 You know, we hear so much about social media not contacting and 35:39 not communicating with people, and all that. 35:42 And I say you can do that through social media, through Twitter and all that, but 35:43 take the connection real, after that. 35:47 You know, get, get ahold of people, talk to people, meet people on Twitter. 35:49 If you meet them on Twitter, show, tell them about conferences. 35:52 Find out if they, man, you want to fly out, let's show you the community. 35:55 Try to make real connections after those social media connections. 35:57 I just want to show you what our community is about. 36:01 We got another video if you guys wanna. 36:05 [MUSIC] 36:06 >> My name's Christina. 36:10 I'm currently a graphic designer at St. Augustin's University. 36:11 >> My name is Stephanie and I'm a graphic designer. 36:14 >> Hi, I'm Aaron. 36:21 [CROSSTALK] >> I'm a graphic designer and 36:21 a freelance illustrator. 36:24 I've only been here for a few minutes, and 36:25 everybody that I've talked to is really open and eager to talk about their ideas. 36:29 And it's exciting, you know? 36:33 It's different. 36:35 >> What I really like about the AIGA Raleigh community is that it's got a wide 36:36 range of practices. 36:40 We've got designers, web developers, 36:41 writers, people from all different skill sets. 36:43 And on top of that, there seems to be a sort of energy with the chapter 36:45 a motivation to make a difference and 36:50 people eager to do more in their community. 36:51 >> Well, it makes me feel recharged. 36:53 Today's a good case in point. 36:56 Was one of those days where the creative juices weren't flowing and I, 36:58 I said I'll go to the, 37:00 you know, when I go to the meeting tonight I'll get that kick in the pants. 37:02 I'll get that recharge that I need. 37:05 And that's always what happens. 37:07 You kinda walk outta here feeling kinda ready to 37:08 to tackle the world a little bit more. 37:11 >> I think it's a confidence boost. 37:13 You know when you graduate from college, you get out into the real world. 37:15 You don't know what you're doing. 37:19 So you come to a community meeting and people reassure you that 37:21 you are on the right path, so that's been a real boost for me. 37:24 And also getting more out of the design community. 37:27 >> Being able to impact the future and people's lives and 37:30 their careers in a positive way is, is really important. 37:35 Like I, that's something I, I love about it. 37:39 And that's probably what's gonna bring me back and have me volunteer and, 37:42 and try to play more of a part in what's going on. 37:46 Because that's really important to me, to be able to help. 37:49 >> Honestly, what keeps me coming back is you just keep exploring new things and 37:52 new ways to make this chapter better. 37:56 >> Through creativity, through design, that can really speak more to people. 37:59 It can touch them in a way, in a human way. 38:05 So it's more powerful to communicate with that than it is through any other medium. 38:10 And when you have a community of people who believe in that, and 38:15 who understand it and use it as a tool to make good things happen, then, you know. 38:18 It's a satisfying endeavor to be a part of. 38:27 Yup. 38:31 [MUSIC] 38:32 >> I was blessed and honored in 2014 to have been asked to actually join the board 38:47 of AIGA Raleigh and actually have a hand, a direct hand in helping shape our 38:52 community, which is evidenced by so many of my friends actually coming down here 38:56 to share this with me today, so truly, I mean I love you guys. 39:01 I do. I actually, I love you guys. 39:05 >> We love you! 39:07 >> So thank you so much, man, thank you. 39:08 [APPLAUSE] The next pivotal moment in my life, 39:09 Creative South, 2013. 39:16 I was getting my confidence back, I was building things back up. 39:21 But you know, here I was now. 39:24 I left my community. 39:26 I was starting to build a community, you know, at home. 39:27 People I knew. 39:28 Safe place. 39:29 I came down here. 39:30 I didn't know anybody. 39:31 I came with my friend Ashley, also her first design conference. 39:32 And we were so chained at the hip that everyone kept telling me, 39:35 man, your girlfriend is really cute. 39:39 >> [LAUGH] >> You know, and I was like, oh, no, no, 39:41 we're just friends and, and all that. 39:43 And, you know, but we, we stuck together, we kind of jammed. 39:45 You know, we just, we're kind of taking this all in. 39:47 Ashley was a somewhat new designer. 39:49 Now she's just a bad ass. 39:51 And and we just kind of absorbed it and took it in. 39:53 You know, I met Mike there, but I didn't get out a whole lot. 39:56 I met some people But it was just this thing that when I came home I was fired 39:58 up, and I was recharged and I was ready to go, and just later, 40:03 later that summer WMC Fest, anybody been to a WMC Fest here? 40:07 >> [NOISE] >> All right, 40:11 we need to hear a ton more yells next year for that, WMC Fest is billed as 3 days 40:12 that will change your life and for me it certainly did that. 40:16 It is it is very much, Creative South was born out of Mike going to WMC Fest. 40:20 The founder of WMC Fest right here, Mr. 40:24 Jeff Finley, I thank you for starting this, it changed my life. 40:26 [APPLAUSE]. 40:29 It's I look at WMC Fest, it's got, it's got the same feel, but, 40:30 as if it was like a punk rock band, man. 40:34 It's got a little, it's got a little edge, and it's distinctly, 40:36 like Creative South is Georgia, Creative South is the south. 40:38 WMC Fest is, is that working man's, that blue collar, 40:41 that, that, that midwest, you know, northeas, kind of thing going on up there. 40:44 And it's still all love. 40:48 It's still all friends. 40:50 It's still all family. 40:51 And I just, you know, that's where I really got to know Mike. 40:52 We were there and we spent hours walking back from hotels and telling stories and 40:55 getting to know each other. 40:59 Have my buddy Scotty, studio temporary, where you at? 41:00 >> Right here. 41:03 >> All right baby. 41:04 [APPLAUSE]. 41:04 So, what a difference a year makes. 41:07 I came back last year. 41:08 Creative South 2014, you know, gotten to know Mike a little bit better. 41:10 And I was like, it's time to step out. 41:14 So I was a sponsor. 41:16 I was a vendor. 41:17 I played guitar at the opening party. 41:20 I did Typefight, and I was an Inkwars competitor. 41:23 So, the first year, I, I sat in the back. 41:27 It was me and Ashley, kind of cuddling, what's going on. 41:30 And, you know, and I put myself out there this year, and 41:33 I'm not saying any of that to brag. 41:35 That is not to brag. 41:37 That is to say, when you do this, when you put yourself in these uncomfortable 41:37 situations, sitting there, drawing in front of 300 people, 41:40 when you've just kind of reawakened that quality in yourself. 41:44 Holy shit, man that is scary stuff right there. 41:46 But doing it was, was mind-blowing for me and, and it made me a better designer, 41:50 it made me a better illustrator it made me a better person, 41:56 it made me a better husband to be, and it made me a better father. 41:59 Like that, Creative South did that. 42:03 It's not, again, it's not about art and design, it's about life. 42:04 >> [LAUGH] >> Sometimes we've gotta 42:07 throw down a little bit. 42:12 By the way, if you bought a shirt from me last year [LAUGH] and 42:15 this happened when you washed it. 42:19 I am sorry, like seriously, honor system. 42:21 Come see me, and I'm gonna get you another one, cuz I've been like all year, 42:23 I'm like oh my God. 42:27 People are like, that dude ripped me off man. 42:28 Little mishap, I was learning. 42:30 Come see me. 42:32 >> [LAUGH]. 42:32 [APPLAUSE] >> I'm gonna hook you back up man. 42:35 That's how we do it right here man. 42:37 We're gonna take care of people. 42:38 So, you know, I'm starting to draw again, get, getting back into that passion. 42:41 You know, everything about the divorce was awesome. 42:46 And I know that's hard to say sometimes, save for one thing, you know. 42:49 Now 50% of the time that I had, you know, I had 100% of time with my daughter. 42:52 Now I got 50% of time with my daughter, and that sucks. 42:57 I've gotten used to it now and it's okay and we do things, but it still sucks. 42:59 And I know a lot of, you know, parents maybe divorced can relate. 43:03 So when I have her, I have to make that time special. 43:06 I have to make it count. 43:08 And one day, I did, you know, we're running out the door a couple days, and 43:09 I drew these quick little notes. 43:13 You know, everybody does it. 43:14 [SOUND] Little heart, love you, baby. 43:15 [SOUND] Out the door. 43:16 And, and then one night I sat down and 43:17 I just decided to put a little more love into it, and, 43:19 kinda just do some artwork for it, and I started calling it Lunchbox Love. 43:23 >> [APPLAUSE] >> And for the longest time I kinda held 43:27 it to myself, but I started kinda throwing it out on Instagram. 43:31 And one thing you need to learn about our household is how the, 43:34 the, humor level stopped at about seventh grade. 43:37 >> [LAUGH] >> So, you know, weird food jokes, 43:40 fart jokes, weird food underwear jokes, 43:43 weird food in underwear, you know, all that stuff, makes for 43:46 a, a bounty of content into what I have come to call Lunchbox Love. 43:51 And, and so, every night I give myself about 30 minutes. 43:57 I kinda, I don't time it, but I, you know, I short block. 44:00 I don't pre-plan. 44:02 I don't pre-draw. 44:03 I don't do, when she's not with me, I don't do them for 44:04 a week and then hand them. 44:06 I do them every night, cuz sometimes what we talk about that day or 44:07 sometimes some funny kind of thing informs what that's gonna be to the, for the day. 44:10 And I wanna kinda have that spontaneity, to be able to just get out and 44:13 prank someone. 44:16 Some of them are great. 44:17 Some of them are not so great. 44:18 But here's a few of my favorites. 44:20 If you lean really close, you can see and smell what I had for lunch. 44:22 >> [LAUGH] >> Yes, this is gross stuff, guys. 44:24 It's, you know, it's kind of weird. 44:26 It's totally cool if you don't laugh. 44:27 You may be like, that is sick. 44:29 Meet Hornsby. 44:32 He likes to bathe in cheese and the tears of small children. 44:33 >> [LAUGH] >> I like, 44:36 I like that one, cuz he's going like, like for Ian or even, even Will, like, hello. 44:40 Why yes, that is a chocolate frosted donut monocle. 44:45 What of it punks? 44:48 >> [LAUGH] >> And you know, 44:49 sometimes you don't have school and you still do them, a snow day. 44:53 You know, so, yeah we don't even have school and I just do it and 44:56 I just leave it out for her you know, you don't, it's, it's just fun to do. 45:00 Christmas time is awesome. 45:04 I do a 12 days of Christmas each year. 45:05 So I get, whoop, 12 days of Christmas. 45:07 So I get to draw Pop Tarts in underwear, singing Hefflepoppers, 45:11 deck the halls with a big fat jerk, you know, stuff like that. 45:13 Flatulent Christmas tree singing Norflehops, like, just all 45:16 these weird things, love Dr. Seuss so you know the names are kinda, kinda funky. 45:19 So I've got all these little characters that I've been amassing for years. 45:23 I've drawn over 200 of these for Bella to date. 45:27 I estimate by the time she's done with high school and when she's in high school 45:29 she still wants me to draw them that I'll be at around 600 of these. 45:32 I wanna do something with them, you know, it's, 45:35 it's kinda become a personal thing but I also think that through the story and 45:38 through it all, sharing stuff, I can help people. 45:42 So, I would love to hear from people who, who are doing this. 45:45 Illustrators that I look up to, if you've got ideas for me, let's talk. 45:48 I'm gonna be around. 45:51 Old South Supply Company. 45:53 Old South. 45:57 >> [APPLAUSE] >> Get Southern. 45:58 Last year at Creative South, Mike said I wanna collaborate. 46:02 I said I have an idea. 46:05 A week later I called him and I said I got this idea. 46:06 It's called the Old South Gentleman's Case. 46:09 And Mike and I [SOUND] and we came up with Old South Supply Company. 46:11 So from a simple, literally, walking out the door to get in the car to leave 46:14 Creative South, a new company was born. 46:17 >> We debuted at Weapons of Mass Creation last year. 46:20 We took the south to the great north to say, if we can sell this here, 46:22 if we can bring the lifestyle here and make it work, and 46:26 people think that it's genuine and real, we can bring it anywhere. 46:29 You can't see them, but that's all the WMC fest volunteers up there. 46:33 It's kinda a little dark. 46:36 Y'all have bought stuff, too. 46:39 We are killing it with sales so thank you, thank you, thank you. 46:40 >> [APPLAUSE] >> We're gonna launch in a big way. 46:43 We're getting ready to go real big. 46:45 We're just testing the market, mar, Mike, thank you, brother. 46:47 I love you, man. 46:49 Thank you for doing this. 46:50 And we got our third partner, man. 46:51 Michael Porter, he's been out there running the table. 46:52 I know he's in here hanging out with us right now. 46:54 So, I just really appreciate Mike jumping in with us, and, and, and 46:57 making this legit, man, because sometimes me and Mike are like [SOUND] and 47:00 Porter's like, I got this. 47:04 Where are you, man? 47:06 Dude, I love you brother. 47:07 >> [APPLAUSE] >> So, 47:08 I'm gonna start cranking cuz I'm running over but, and 47:11 I wanna make sure I'm not being rude, but I got stuff to say, so. 47:13 >> [LAUGH] >> This whole time, all these, these last 47:15 few years I'm working out of you know, my apartment bedroom, moved in with Kristen. 47:18 What were you thinking? 47:22 But it's working, it's working baby. 47:24 Working in the bedroom in the house. 47:26 Little screen print studio 30 minutes away. 47:28 Productivity was dropping. 47:32 I wanted to start coming home from work, I wanted to have that separation. 47:33 And the community was telling me, it's time for you to do something with this. 47:38 You know, AIG, they gave me this money. 47:41 I learned how to screenprint. 47:43 I wanted to bring the community together, 47:44 have a place we could all get together, do stuff. 47:45 So, you know, I found this, this great little studio. 47:48 And all, you know, all these questions came up. 47:51 You know, am I gonna fail? 47:53 You know, because all that starts to come back. 47:54 Where's the money gonna come from? 47:56 How can this work? 47:57 How can this fail? 47:58 I need an airtight business plan. 47:59 So I threw all that shit out the window and just signed the lease anyway. 48:00 You know, just kinda said to heck with it, let's figure it out, 48:03 let's let life happen. 48:05 So I'm at 42, man, I don't have too many time for questions any more, and 48:06 sometimes it's just go time. 48:09 So August of last year, I rented a 1700 square foot warehouse space. 48:12 That's how it looked. 48:14 [BLANK_AUDIO] 48:15 Some audio again, and this is how it looks now. 48:20 [MUSIC] 48:22 So, the studio's been open for about two months. 51:07 And I'm not gonna lie it's way the hell harder than I thought. 51:10 I'm still feeling my way around but I'm excited to kinda have that come together. 51:13 Again my A I G [UNKNOWN] family that was one weekend all that building. 51:16 All that, that time lapse was one weekend now we spent, Kristen and 51:20 I spent another month of doing a lot of work but in one weekend we took that 51:23 from a concrete box [INAUDIBLE] Into something much more. 51:26 And again, I thank, I thank you guys so much. 51:29 You guys were my heroes and my saviors. 51:31 You know, real quick, I talk about community. 51:33 I talk about people. 51:35 And I wouldn't be anywhere without my friends. 51:38 If, if, if, if a man's wealth is measured by friends, 51:39 then I can buy the entire state of Georgia cuz I've got so many people I love. 51:42 I just want to spotlight real quick Mike, Karen Jones. 51:45 I love you guys. 51:48 You guys have become a second family to me. 51:49 Thank you so much. 51:50 Peter, Rob. 51:51 Same thing. You guys are like brothers to me and 51:52 I love you guys. 51:54 I love you guys. 51:55 Thank you. 51:55 You're in California. 51:56 Every night we're talking, we're supporting each other. 51:57 We're helping each other. 51:59 Look at that. Rob, 52:00 look at that tight white t-shirt, baby. 52:01 >> [LAUGH] [INAUDIBLE] >> Ashley, 52:04 you came to the first one of this with me. 52:05 You started the journey with me. 52:07 You're still there for me. 52:08 I love you so much. 52:09 We have every day. 52:10 We're working together, designing together and I couldn't do it with a better person. 52:11 Thank you, Britney. 52:14 Britney's like my new hero. 52:17 She is kind of you know, out of a relationship, quit a job, ready to go, 52:19 she's blasting through life. 52:23 Conferences, workshops, doing things. 52:24 Her energy is what I wish I had then, don't lose it. 52:26 You are killing it right now. 52:28 Thank you. 52:29 My AIGA people. 52:33 Sorry Amy, you got cut off on the side. 52:34 But that's Amy, and Lydia, and Tracy. 52:35 And I know you've seen Jake's crazy ass running around right there. 52:39 What's up, baby? Come here, [UNKNOWN] baby, huh? 52:41 What have you got, baby? 52:43 I love you. 52:44 >> [LAUGH] >> And Nikki, I know you look different 52:44 now, but that flair shirt on that boat picture was so awesome that I had to. 52:48 And, and Tim, you know, Tim, where's Tim? 52:52 There's Tim. 52:54 Tim man, you said to me I'm gonna tell the whole truth, he said you're an introvert, 52:55 you're a quiet guy. 52:57 And here you come down here into this big room of people and 52:58 you're kinda stepping outside yourself and I love it and I appreciate it man. 53:01 Thank you for coming. 53:04 Courtney, love you Courtney. 53:06 She's always smiling. 53:09 She's did this cool little dance pirouette thing on the way back from the party, 53:10 it was awesome. 53:12 Karen Sterling is my buddy. 53:15 We're talking all the time. 53:16 Her husband, Tanner, also rocks. 53:17 Emily Carr Owen's not here, but I wanted to spotlight her real quick, 53:19 cuz I was having a real crappy day and I was venting on Twitter, and 53:22 in two minutes, and I had one of those little tweet a coffee things from Emily. 53:25 Just said, I hope you have a better day. 53:28 And it did, it fixed the whole day. 53:29 So a little tiny gesture, guys, make little, tiny gestures, do little, 53:31 tiny things and that can make a huge impact. 53:34 She saved my entire day, you know? 53:36 It was huge. 53:38 And then for Kristin, that's her dog Nimsy. 53:40 She's this weird little thing, and she has no brains, but she makes up for 53:43 it in heart. 53:46 >> [LAUGH] >> And her face is so 53:47 squishy that her tongue just naturally sticks out, so, so I'm, I'm, I know. 53:49 I'm closing it up. 53:55 I'm closing it up, I'm closing it up. 53:56 Deep thoughts. 53:57 There's a voice inside of you that's telling you to stop that's telling 53:58 you no good. 54:01 That voice is an idiot. 54:01 Do not listen to it. 54:02 If you say I can't draw, if that's the reason you're not creating, bullshit. 54:04 That voice isn't, you just do it. 54:08 Draw. 54:10 You can't draw because you don't draw. 54:10 Start drawing and don't stop. 54:12 I am [UNKNOWN]. 54:14 Practice makes better. 54:14 Practice doesn't make perfect. 54:16 Don't go for perfect. 54:18 Strive to get better. 54:18 You're never gonna get perfect. 54:20 Just keep improving yourself. 54:21 Be the best you you can. 54:22 Be you. 54:23 Be unique, be yourself, as Rob said to me. 54:25 Everybody else is taken. 54:27 Just because you fail, you are not a failure. 54:29 You will fail often. 54:33 So make sure you fail spectacularly. 54:34 And I don't mean to set out to fail, that means just go for it. 54:37 Just do it. 54:39 Crank through it. 54:40 Bravery is the reward for facing fear. 54:42 You cannot experience the thrill of bravery if you're not afraid. 54:44 Crippling fear of flying. 54:48 I flew down here to be here. 54:49 20 years I had not stepped on a plane, and I flew down here alone. 54:51 I did it, and I'm here, and I was able to be here with you guys. 54:54 >> [APPLAUSE] >> That last slide was sponsored 54:57 by Zantex, by the way, so. 55:00 It's okay to say goodbye. 55:03 If things aren't working, if relationships aren't working, and you've worked on them. 55:05 Sometimes it's okay to say goodbye and 55:08 sometimes they'll be better relationships for it. 55:10 Don't let life be an excuse to stop living life. 55:14 That's what I did, I made excuses. 55:16 I'm sad, I'm this I gotta put everything into that, 55:18 don't let life be an excuse to stop living life just get out there and do it. 55:20 Fact, Guns N' Roses appetite for destruction is the best rock and 55:24 roll record ever so you just believe that right there. 55:28 Let's all relax. 55:32 We all kind of sit back and they say, had a bad day. 55:34 Whatever. 55:36 You know? 55:37 Everything's cool. 55:38 I'm doing great. 55:38 It's okay if you're not doing great. 55:39 Tell people you had a bad day. 55:40 Tell people today sucks. 55:41 Let them help you. 55:43 They've probably fallen in the hole and they know how to climb out. 55:43 Find a mentor. 55:46 Be a mentor. 55:47 I've got mentors. 55:48 Come see me. 55:49 I will be a mentor. 55:50 By the way, that is my L. 55:51 [SOUND] [LAUGH] [APPLAUSE] Vote for me. 55:53 Take down Mike. 55:55 And, I'm cruising, I know. 55:56 I'm not trying to be rude. 55:58 I've got all these things. 55:59 I'm ripping through it. 55:59 Hit me up. 56:01 heymonkeydesign, lenny@heymonkeydesign, everything else @heymonkeydesign, 56:01 and I mean it. 56:05 Find me. 56:06 Y'all get out there. 56:08 Create art. 56:09 Make things. 56:10 Create life, and I don't mean getting busy, I mean just get out there, and 56:12 create a life for yourself. 56:14 [LAUGH] Although, that's totally cool too. 56:17 When you do that, you're gonna create love, and 56:20 with love, you can build a community which goes back and forth. 56:22 Just get out there and create. 56:26 Thank you so much for your time. 56:27 I'm sorry for going over, I appreciate, I love you guys. 56:28 Thank you, thank you, thank you. 56:30 [APPLAUSE] 56:33
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