The Hoods: “Get bent, it’s art.”
When we started brainstorming The Hoods project we knew it would end up being somewhat controversial because of the sheer fact that Spokane’s neighborhood divisions are confusing in some areas. And in some areas, the titles of the neighborhoods are completely unknown to the residents. With this in mind, we approached choosing our neighborhoods however each of us wanted to. Unfortunately, for me, both of the neighborhoods I chose are not “proper.” But I felt passionate about the areas of town and I decided to go for it. Because of my confidence in this decision, I’ve received a little flack from my neighborhood’s official council (Emerson Garfield). It’s been completely respectful dialogue and I welcomed it.
This project is completely personal for us and unassociated with any official organization. Essentially, it’s totally grassroots. We aren’t making any money off it, all of the proceeds from prints will be minuscule if any and will most likely go to charity or towards funding future shows. I’ve logged at least 40 hours on my pieces alone, not including all the promo design I did for the show and not including all the PR time I put in to get the word out. Jens Larson, a good friend and past co-worker of Joel Barbour and mine has also put in countless hours helping us define the project through writing. I know each of the participating designers have spent tons of hours working on their pieces as well. Not to mention the money we have put in from our own pockets to get prints made and to purchase frames and supplies. All of us have families, jobs where we work 40+ hours a week (already on a computer) and 3 of the guys have more than one child.
I say all this not to rant but to show the love behind the project. Each of us has a deep passion for design and art. We each love art in different and unique ways but we all enjoy the process and the outcome. We don’t get the opportunity to just design without people looking over our shoulders or demanding changes or holding a budget over our heads. Commercial/advertising related design is stressful and often times not very fun. To step outside of our day-jobs and do something like this is an absolute joy and pleasure. Not to mention doing it as a group of like-minded artists who have mutual respect for each other.
Whatever it might look like from the outside or from what the articles are saying or what people are assuming…we love design, we love Spokane and we really care about each other. We are friends and colleagues and fellow art-lovers. This project is to give back, show Spokane some of our skills, but it’s mostly about FUN! I woke up today to this article and got a little bummed. But then I realized, when you invest a lot of time into something and even your own money, it shows the love behind the work. I hope that people can see that in the project and recognize also that they can choose to do what they love with their own time and money. Doing independent projects like this stretches your skills, your view of community and it allows you to use your training and experience in a new way. And it just makes life awesome.
It has been an absolute riot working with Joel, Nick, Eric and Jesse and no matter the response we will continue to do what we love. There are few artists I respect as much as these guys and I’m so happy we all committed the time to see this through.
Thanks everyone for your support, hopefully you can stop by the show this month. If not, prints will be here and here. And there has been talk of shirts being sold at Boo Radley’s! I’ll for sure keep updates coming. For now, peruse some of the awesome press we’ve received this week!
The quote in the title of this post is from Jesse Pierpoint in response to EG’s complaints. I thought it was well put.