Go with the flow

Thoughts on change, Yoshitomo Nara, hand-written type, poo drops and more

Change is constant and an element of life I try to fully embrace. Clearly, the last year and a half has been a pretty strong signal that evolving in the face of adversity is necessary. So for me, I’ve been proactively trying to go with the flow on big changes. I keep telling friends that I’m taking a very Judo approach to life these days.

The first principle of Judo is “ju no ri”, which in 1882, Judo founder Kanō Jigorō wrote, “…if you assume that my opponent is pushing me with a given force, then, without resisting that push, I adapt to that force and without just erasing my body, I exploit this push, add a little traction in my direction and thus, my opponent finds himself passive, unbalanced on the front.”

Adapt to what’s coming at you, no matter the direction or force. Little anecdotes like these have really helped me make choices when uncertain situations arise. For example, after a decade I’ve decided to leave my job as a creative director at Disney for a role at XX Artists, a wonderful agency here in Los Angeles. The opportunity was unexpected and happened quickly, though I knew that I was ready for a new challenge professionally. I’ve learned so much at Disney over the last 10 years and I’m excited to be able to apply that knowledge to a brand new endeavor.

The next challenge I’m going to give myself is to learn how tone a barista and make really great coffee. I think I’ve figured out how I’m going to do it too. Hopefully I’ll have more updates on that next time. For now that I’m prepping myself for the next ride and the next chapter of life.

xo Bobby

✖ — I was finally able to visit the Yoshitomo Nara exhibit, which is currently on display at LACMA, here in Los Angeles. A retrospective of his last 30 or so years of work, it was wonderful to see the evolution of Nara’s creativity, starting out as naive but rich drawings on pieces of cardboard or old paper, to the present day where we see massive, hyper-detailed paintings that feel like meditations on the human spirit. I’ve long admired their work and it was a wonderful reminder that seeing art on a screen will never compare to seeing a piece in person. Being able to stare at the works and really take in the depth and details is something I’ve really missed doing.

✖ — I came across the work of Toronto-based illustrator Holly Stapleton after spotting a piece they did for The NY Times. Their work is filled with the most incredible pastels and really stunning color combination. The work is described as being “driven by emotional sensitivity and the profound nature of loneliness,” which ends up feeling achingly beautiful.

✖ — “A tiny universe of fonts that combines the informality of handwriting, the expressiveness of lettering, and the versatility of type.” That’s the description for the Inkwell family of fonts, a beautifully crafted set of letters that I feel would valuable for folks in need of good handwriting font. Click the link and scroll to the bottom to see all the beautiful example phrases and let your mind go wild with ideas.

✖ — This story by Michael Hobbes about Obesity and the bullshit that larger people have to deal with is a must-read. Much of the story is completely maddening, from the way doctor’s abuse patients, the primal stereotypes humans have against folks with different bodies, and the never-ending challenges to try and “be skinny.” The kicker is, a lot of the factors that cause obesity have nothing to do with the individual but most tend to be existing societal structures. Extremely educational and eye-opening.

✖ — The only album that’s been on repeat for me lately has been MoMaReady’s new record, Untitled. (HOA018). A little bit House and a little bit Techno, this record is nonstop joy. Judgement Child has a beat that’s incredible for running, actually, with his spoken words laying over the top like a frantic gospel, getting your heart thumping. The crown jewel of the album is Simple As A Song, a more drum and bass based track with the most stunning vocals by Mina Thomas, accompanied by a saxophone piece from AceMo's sis Yunie Mojica.

✖ — I felt like I’d share a couple of “hacks” that make your life more enjoyable. My first tip is when designing comps try using Monocle Ipsum. I’m assuming I posted about this on TFIB the blog like a million years ago though I bring it up because I still use it frequently. Cutting-edge handsome iconic Scandinavian sleepy St Moritz elegant signature liveable Ettinger Helsinki business class smart ryokan.

✖ — In the last edition of TFIB I had mentioned how excited I was for the new season of Master of None (which I still haven’t had an opportunity to watch!). Still, I enjoy reading about the show just as much, and Tyler Watamanuk and his newsletter Sitting Pretty has a BTS interview on how the set came together, thanks to a wonderful interview with the show’s production designer, Amy Williams. Still shocked the whole thing is a set in London!

✖ — Living in a home that teeters on the edge of maximalism, I was delighted to come across Gucci’s Décor website, offering up a very over-the-top (and also, $$$$ 😩) way to decorate one’s home. I think I’m most taken by their wallpaper offerings and wish I had the kind of budget that would allow me to deck out all the rooms in my apartment with top to bottom floral patterns and tiger heads.

✖ — My buddy and former colleague David Rager is doing all kinds of amazing work with his team at the NASA/JPL DesignLab, which they’ve started posting on their new Behance page. I’m sure many of you are familiar with the work that was done for the Mars 2020 Perseverance mission and it’s so fun to be able to browse all the incredible applications they ended up making.

✖ — Second life tip: Post-Poo drops. I learned about these from Thandiwe Newton’s episode of In The Bag and have sworn by them since. Everyone smells up the bathroom every now and again and these drops neutralize any odors thanks to a combination of Tangerine Peel, Ylang Ylang, and Mandarin Peel. They’re also great for traveling as the bottle contains exactly 100 mil. Don’t leave home without them.

The Trend Report™ by my partner, Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick, is a sharp and insightful look at everything going on in the world, arriving every Saturday to your inbox. Highly recommended, obviously.

The Fox Is Black Radio is a 3 hour playlist I keep updated with new music I’m listening to and loving. Don’t let the cover fool you either, this mix is nothing but fresh. Put it on shuffle and enjoy.