UPDATE – The irony of this post is almost laughable now, and I toyed with the idea of deleting it, but for the sake of posterity, I’m going to leave it in tact because it’ll get a good laugh at some point. Enjoy.
Ok, maybe not the most important post ever, but definitely the most important business post I’ve ever written. Sit back for awhile, get a drink maybe; this is going to be a long one.
To those who know me well, it’s no secret that I try to do too many things at once, or rather, I take on projects and bog myself down with them before I’m fully invested. Anyone who has followed my comings and goings over the past few years will tell you I am doing WAY too much. The truth is, I’m not doing too much; I’m not doing enough toward any one project, of which there are many. In short, I am unfocused; that is my own self discovered analysis.
So it shouldn’t be of any surprise or consequence when I tell you that I have a new project I’ve started, but before you roll your eyes allow me to give a little backstory.
I work with paper. It’s the core material in just about any piece of art or design I have created over the past 15+ years. It’s safe to say that paper and print work is the center of my professional universe. However, that universe steadily moving more toward a digital black hole with each passing day… or is it? I have conversations almost daily with people about how digital design is the future and I need to get with the program, but those same people are also the ones talking about how an ipad will never replace the tactile aspect of reading books or magazines, and they are right. Digital is a reality, but I would never be so bold to say that print is dead. In fact, it is my opinion that print is thriving, just not in the ways we may be accustomed.
Due in some part to those digital aspects of our world, paper is actually flourishing. Because of marketplaces like Etsy, ImageKind, and eBay, artists and designers have a way to get their art or design projects into the hands of people they never would have imagined before. Web resources like Lulu and Magcloud are giving would-be publishers a voice in print publishing regardless of available space on the local newsstand. A new rise of “hip” art and craft shows are popping up in every major city showcasing the works of local artists, and giving them a whole host of new customers, from neighbors to tourists.
The massively large head of the traditional print world might be moving toward digital because the economics of doing business are making it inevitable, but the tail portion is surviving. More and more of my friends who work with paper goods are quitting their “day job” and going full time. It’s inspiring to me and I believe it needs to be celebrated. This is where my new project comes into play.
One thing I’ve learned about myself recently; I’m a facilitator—a pimp for my friends and their wares. I love sharing cool stuff with others, and I love seeing someone get a little more popular or successful in part through my efforts. That makes me happy and I want more of it. If I combine that facilitation with my passion for paper goods, the result is Fresh Rag, where design, art and paper come together.
At the moment, Fresh Rag is a blog only, but I have plans, big plans for awesome things. Before I get to those awesome things, I want to make Fresh Rag the go-to joint for all things paper related. I wish Fresh Rag to be the Design*Sponge or Cool Hunting of paper goods, but then go the next level. I want to hold events and have a marketplace and maybe even a community unto itself. Sure, its a lofty goal, but I believe there is value in it and I’m pushing forward head on.
“But Dave, you already have so many other things on your plate”
Yes, I do, which is something I plan on rectifying immediately. From this point forward, I am simplifying. My priorities family first, then Fresh Rag and everything else comes after that when and if I have time. I’m putting on my networking hat and strapping on my boots and I’m ready to go out and kill it in the name of paper.
Forget what you know about what I’ve done. Fresh Rag is what I am from here on out. Want to help or have me showcase some of your cool paper things, hit me up: dave[at]freshrag[dot]com. Bring your friends—we’ll make it a party.