Monday, 10 October 2011

Stupid

I get called "stupid" quite a lot.

I'm pretty sure this isn't anything against me personally, but nevertheless, I seem to be getting it a lot more these days.

Last week I went down to London for the weekend to go to StickAID; a charity event hosted by Myles Dyer and a whole cast of other YouTubers to raise money for Unicef. Now, being from the North, it would be conventionally a bit silly to travel on a whim a few hundred miles to give out some posters and meet some people I had only ever spoken to via Skype before. Nevertheless, I went anyway.

The summer before this one, me and a friend travelled up to Edinburgh to meet John Green. Even though I wasn't even guaranteed I would even meet him. Even so we hopped in the car and went to Scotland for the day.

And even last year I hopped on a plane and went to Vancouver to participate in a week long summer intensive at the film school. I didn't end up going for the full semester, but I went anyway.

I offer to do do artwork for people for next to nothing in return, just for the fun, dedicate a hefty percentage of my week making Doctor Who posters, and I love giving away freebies to pretty much anyone who asks nicely.

And I love it.

Not a lot of people would understand really why I would just hop on a train for the weekend and spend time with people I had never met before. I could have sat and watched StickAID from the comfort of my desk right here and sent some posters to give away. But thats the thing, I would just be sat here, in the same desk week in week out. The nature of my work is that I spend a lot of time sat in front of this computer screen. So naturally I would feel the need to get out a bit.

But every time I have gone somewhere spur of the moment or totally different, it has always lead to something unexpectedly awesome.

At StickAID I met Liam Dryden for the second time, and handed over 4 poster that he auctioned off there and then for his section of the show. I also met up with someone I went to uni with and enjoyed the Sunday London sun on the riverbank and had a nice catch up.

In Edinburgh I did meet John, but I also met a whole slew of other Nerdfighters, including Paul Turner, who I am doing album artwork for right now, which should be finished soon.

And in Vancouver I experienced a whole new city. Learned SO much from the tutors there and gave me a lot more focus on what I wanted to do with my work. And made some excellent contacts there which I wouldn't otherwise have gained. I also picked up my first copy of Scott Pilgrim while I was there too. Which turned out to be brilliant.

Whether its things like this, or gestures of goodwill or freebies or whatever, I just love networking with people. And (as long as I can afford it), I will keep on just doing these apparently "stupid" spur of the moment things. Because they will always lead to something awesome.

As Steve Jobs said in his 2005 Stanford Speech: "You can only connect the dots looking back"

-Jonny

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Steve

I was going to do a blog post today about all my news and stuff that I have been up to recently. But I thought it would have to wait for a little while. Instead I thought I would share my email that I sent to rememberingsteve@apple.com

@rememberingsteve

A few summers ago. I drove me and a group of my friends to a remote barn in the middle of the english countryside. Most of the people I knew, but a couple I had yet to meet. Jo was one of them. She was a little shy, not really knowing many people there, so I went over and started up a conversation. We both had a first generation iPhone in our hands, so naturally, our talk started there. We where inseparable the entire trip.

I had gained a friend through mutual love of apple products. Even though our iPhones where outdated by then. We kept in touch after that, talking after every product announcement and showed off every apple product we bought after that.

We both got an iPhone 4 on its release date. For us both it was our first 3G phone and we both fell in love with it. We used FaceTime for the first time that morning, marvelling in our piece of futuristic technology while other people scoffed at it, while being simultaneously very interested.

One day we went out Geocaching in our local town. Something we would have never been able to do easily without our iPhones. It rained for the majority of the day but we still had one of the best times ever. So much so when we got home and dried off we wrote an email to Steve, telling him how much of a fantastic time we had using his products. We never got a reply. But we where happy in the fact that our email was in his inbox at some point, and he might have even given it a read.

Now I am an employee at the Apple Store, and it has honestly been the best job of my life. I have met some fantastic people working there, and I can't stress enough how much that place has changed my life. Apple's soul really is its people, and I am proud to say I am employed by them.

Jo is now my best friend. And from that chance conversation about our love of Apple she has grown to be an indispensable friend. As soon as the news broke earlier today we texted each other from our iPhones. Baffled and emotional that the device we are sharing this moment on was created by a person now gone. A man that we admired the most.

The news last night has got me to get up and finally get started on my animation showreel for Pixar, another company headed by Steve. I'm shooting for that dream and never giving up now. And I have Steve Jobs to thank for helping me every step of the way. From the devices I do my work on, to the lessons learned from the Credo that rests over every Apple employees heart.

Rest in peace Steve. You will be missed.

-Jonny

Sent, as ever, from my iMac.