Prerecorded and posted: July 8th, 2021
Rachel Elspeth Gross
Rachel Elspeth Gross 0:01
Hi, everyone we're back with I can do that. I'm Rachel Elspeth Gross. I have with me today our CEO Jonathan Joseph and our wonderful guest, Jesse Bibb, who runs Therdune. Am I saying that correctly?
Jesse Bibb 0:14
Yeah, you got it right.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 0:15
Yeah, I'm wearing one of his shirts. I love his graphic design. He's a really talented and very innovative, interesting kind of a disrupter of the industry. And we're really excited to have you here today and to talk about your perception of all things related to graphic design fashion and helping kids cultivate creativity.
Jesse Bibb 0:36
Awesome. Yeah. I really appreciate you guys letting me come on here. It like blew my mind. I feel like I'm super, like not qualified to be talking about this stuff.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 0:44
No, no, not at all.
Jonathan Joseph 0:47
You actually is literally for everyone. That's a big thing here here at Little Red. And, you know it. It was important to both Rachel and myself that we cultivate thought leadership, especially for the next generation from the widest swath of industry professionals as possible from independent small designers, to big wigs to everything in between. So you are right at home here at Little Red Village and Little Red Fashion. So, you know, don't feel that way.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 1:13
Important thing for us is that we have our guests be creative, disrupter people, but who are also interested in helping the next generation people who are desirous of cultivating a better sense of community. One of the things that is unfortunate about the world of fashion, is this air of exclusivity. There's a giant picket fence, sometimes it's electrified, really keep people away. And that's just not sustainable in literal or, you know, any other forms. So we're very glad to have you. Um, would you talk a little about your company, can you kind of talk to us for our audience, explain what Therdune is what you do.
Jesse Bibb 1:58
Uh, so I mean, they're doing originally it was just, me like making t shirts. And just having fun doing that. I think kind of, like, I got started wanting to do that. Probably back around, like 2010, I used to be in a band. And I was really big into like, those, like, the band t shirts and my space and the whole scene and stuff like that. Oh, yeah, whenever we had our shows, there was this one guy, he ran a company called decay clothing. And he would set up shop and like all of our, you know, venues when we went to go play. And like, it blew my mind that making clothes could have been like this, like one man job. And he was crushing it, like he was doing great. And so ever since then, it was always something that I wanted to do. But I never took that first step for like, a decade. So eventually, one day, I think I'd like just gotten out of a relationship, and I had a lot of free time on my hands. And so I decided, like, Okay, it's time, you know, we might as well just like look into and get started. And so I did a lot of research. And like, with the internet, it's very easy now, to at the very least, like get started, like, there's a lot of good free resources, there's companies set up to like, enable you to do this. The biggest thing for me was I didn't want to make a couple shirts, and then order, you know, 100 of them and just sit on them. And so there's companies that are really helpful to like, alleviate, needing to do that. And so, over the time that I've been doing, Therdune, it's been probably, I think, three years now. It's definitely evolved. And, like, initially, it started off as just wanting to make t shirts and stuff. And over time getting into this idea of like, I probably need to do branding, and I need to figure out like, what this company is, I started going down this path of like, what is it that I'm really passionate about outside of like, creative stuff, like what are things that I care about? and depression and anti suicide, that type of stuff was like, the biggest thing for me. It's, it's hard. I mean, like, there's, I think it's something that everybody like goes through, but it's not something that everybody talks about. And so I just more so than anything else, like I just want to bring that conversation forward.
Jonathan Joseph 4:31
Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, fashion is such a powerful vehicle for any social message. You know, that's, that's definitely at the core of what we're doing here. For kids and I think conversation surrounding mental health absolutely needs to be D stigmatized, and only through talking about them. Does that happen? And you're in good company. I mean, that's, you know, a big part of what Gary James McQueen has been doing with his work and digital fashion. surrounding you know, as Uncle Lee, Alexander McQueen in his unfortunate struggles with mental health and suicide. And so doing it through t shirts, I think is amazing. And I think it's powerful. Would you say that? It helps with processing that whole conversation in terms of the graphic design process, how does that dialogue now influence your workflow, in terms of like how you create designs or how you decide what to bring out, let's, you know, give us a little insight into what your working process has been like, as you've navigated this sort of, I guess, next phase have to do now that you've imbued with this mission.
Jesse Bibb 5:38
So like, initially, at the start, I wanted to do different phases in like product drops that were based on like stories. And I was going to like write a story and have like three to five designs that like follow that story. I never did actually really get too far into that. It ended up being more of like a difficult concept than I thought. But once I kind of turn that corner into opening, like the dialogue for, you know, depression and stuff like that, it's really opened up for my design, the idea that like, things can be positive. But I think through that positivity, like, there's always going to be, like, negative, right, like, there's negative that exists, there's negative that we have to get away from. I don't agree that it's like happy go lucky all the time. And so that's sort of what I kind of try to do with my design, is to say, like, look like this is like a cool thing. But behind it, there's the symbolism of like, maybe not, everything's totally awesome, right. And so like, that's kind of where I've been pushing now that and then going towards, like, more nice, but going more towards like, what you're saying is somewhat positive, but also, you know, it's not always going to be perfect. I think the the biggest thing for me is like there's a contrast, right between, like, finding happiness, but also knowing that, like you're coming from some dark place. So I've tried to incorporate that contrast.
Jonathan Joseph 7:13
That contrast is important. And I know, it's something I'm thinking about right now, I'm in the middle of writing our second book, which is a little red kit, it's all about a kid who is overcoming his, you know, reckoning with having cerebral palsy, but he loves soccer, and that whole thing, and in writing the story of this kid and his best friend, who is, you know, able bodied, so to speak, you know, you brush up against a lot of things. And too often I find that a lot of kids books in that arena, as someone with CP are very overly pushing this happy go lucky narrative where there are points where you even as a disabled person will struggle and that's okay. And I think teaching kids and teaching the world, that dose of reality pieces is really important. So I mean, I think that's essential, especially to work surrounding mental health. Because, you know, toxic positivity is real. And does more harm than godd, for sure.
Jesse Bibb 8:08
Yeah, I definitely agree.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 8:10
I think there's a lot of really important creative work regardless of genre or medium that comes out of that. The desire to overcome a struggle, I'm Jesse what just said happy go lucky is not a constant, realistic place. We couldn't recognize good if we didn't have the opposite. And I think that Queen being an excellent example, if we didn't have demons that we struggled with, we wouldn't need beauty and we wouldn't need to feel powerful in the way that we do. And I feel like fashion is such a good example of that I know for myself, and this is probably a close to universal experience. If you have to do something you're uncomfortable doing if you're speaking in front of a group, if you're doing something you're scared of, there's an armor that clothing can offer feeling like you look appropriate like you look whatever that you know, visual thing might be. It is like armor it does give you a piece of something and everyone wants to feel good about themselves and everyone should want to everyone should be able to have that opportunity regardless of ability or help or race gender, who they love, whatever that doesn't matter. Like we like to say it's a banner across the bottom fashion is for everyone and everyone deserves to feel like their best self.
Jesse Bibb 9:38
Yeah, I definitely agree.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 9:40
We have talked about, Jesse obviously, there's kind of a financial barrier between materials and applications and access to the kinds of industry specific design tools and you know, for many, many People, especially those who live in communities, which don't have large artistic centers, there is a challenge that exists and getting kids access to the kinds of education they need to use the tools to have the careers that they want. And we'd spoken a little bit about that earlier in the week. And I wondered if you could kind of, I don't know, explore your thoughts on that, or give us your your input.
Jesse Bibb 10:27
So like, there's so much like free software out there. There's so much like free tutorials on YouTube and stuff like that. I think for me, like, running Therdune doing like it is this like one man show I everything I do, I do by myself. But like, if I make an advertisement, I write the music, I record the music. If we need photos done, like I take my camera, I go do photography. And in that, like I've become this sort of like jack of all trades, I'm not very good, I think at each individual piece, but I well enough to like get by, right. And so for me, I've always been all about being economical, both in that sense of like, if I need something, I can make it myself. But if you're going to do that, like that's a lot of software. Like that's a lot of things that you need to do at like a proper level. So I want to say, I think when I was like 14 years old, my older brother, like got me this magazine, it was about audio engineering and recording. And just like being a producer and stuff like that. And it came with this disc that had this like free, like music editing software, it's kind of similar to Pro Tools, which is like the industry standard. It's called Reaper. And so that really started me down that path of like doing the audio stuff. And then from there, like, there's for like design, if that's something that you're interested in, I actually wrote down a couple. There's artweaver is something that I had used a lot. And that's basically like a open source Photoshop. And so if you need to touch up photos, if you need to do like a little bit of like brushwork, I know Krita is good, too. And GIMP, those are really popular as well, you can, and like what's crazy, too, is like, because these software's are free, and they're so popular. If you just look up like art Weaver tutorial or GIMP tutorial on YouTube, you're gonna find this like wealth of information, and it's all totally free. If you want to do something kind of similar to like comic books, Illustrator would be like the Adobe equivalent. But if you need something that's free Inkscape I used that for a little while before I got into Illustrator. And like going from, like this open software to the actual like paid version. It's crazy that it's so similar. And like the things that you learn there translate well. And it's so like, that's just like the easiest stepping stone to get into all that. If you need to do like video that we've got Lightworks like there's a ton of video editing software. And so now it's like, to me, I don't think that there is a financial barrier in order to get into these things. And I don't think that there's necessarily like a learning barrier. Like you don't have to go to college, you don't have to go to school. There's so many people that are on YouTube that, like they make money by you watching their videos, like obviously, they want to teach you guys. And I don't know, I just I think in today's like digital age, I don't think that anyone has an excuse to not be able to learn, right? because everything's out there for free. And it's awesome. And it's just all these people helping each other out. And I really do appreciate that.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 13:52
No, it's amazing. I think that there's a lot of preconceived notions that exist. And I think a fear of expense prevents a lot of people from doing work that they really want to do, or maybe getting access for children to the tools that they want to do this demystifying all of this. I mean, talk about valuable. Yeah, I mean, the idea that there's a paywall that you ultimately hit that, you know, is not about quality of work or ability or creativity, but it's about some pre conceived economic status. I think Jonathan, you'd agree we'd love to shatter that and make
Jonathan Joseph 14:36
absolutely i mean, you know, being a tech company, that's also an education company, that's also a fashion company is I'm constantly turning over in my head, the question of access, right? You know, we're creating augmented reality tools, okay, but not every kid has a phone that they can wave in front of, you know, $35 hardcover book. Okay, well, then how do we solve that? I think the answer comes With collaborating with nonprofit partners, foundations because the only remaining barrier to access to piggyback on Jesse's point is really, for those who are genuinely struggling and are low income, it's like, okay, access to high speed internet, because many of these programs require like a relatively fast, you know, internet connection to functionally in some form of a workflow mimic what would happen on the professional side of things. So it's about increasing internet access for families who are underserved, it's about finding nonprofit partners who are helping build those bridges, because that's really the last remaining barrier to access. I mean, there's only so many and library access, it's also really important. You know, one of the things with the AR that we're developing, for example, you know, people asked us in the beginning, Oh, are you gonna do you know, like a standalone app, because a lot of times augmented reality activations have their own app. No, web based web based AR is the most democratic form of AR, because web based AR, and can be accessed on the most of most devices going as far back as possible. And with our game with Little Red Village, in developing the game has to be what has to have a web based option. Also, why because there are many kids who they only access the internet in the library, because their parents may not be able to afford a high speed internet connection at home. Or they might have a really old computer that doesn't necessarily, you know, run the most current software of any kind and this that and the third. And so I'm always just concerned with democratization of information and democratization of access, because they're two things work together, if you have all the information in the world, but no access, not going to do very good access to really bad information, and it's not going to do any good either. So you need both. So for me, it's trying to always sort of fill those gaps. And when there are resource gaps, look for partners who are trying to achieve the same thing and see if you can't like Venn diagram overlap a little bit. And that's where the real impact happens.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 16:49
It makes a lot of sense, I'm just gonna you work with your foundation kind of thing. I'm not sure what the proper actual word for it, but I know you work with the community to support mental health and to make sure that people have access to, if nothing else, knowing they are not by themselves, they are not experiencing something that is completely unique, and their own singular demon. And I know that for being a parent myself, I know that every single day is not always a good day with a kid regardless of how old they are. Um, but I also get to watch my daughter do some incredible creative work, I try to encourage her to do as much art as she will stomach me forcing upon her. And I was wondering, Jessie, is there any early childhood memory or any story where you kind of like clicked? You wanted to make something? Had to you had to make something?
Jesse Bibb 17:47
Had to make something, hmmm?
Rachel Elspeth Gross 17:48
Do you know what I mean, that feeling where it's like, you have to exercise it better?
Jesse Bibb 17:52
Yeah. I don't know. I mean, I think that, generally speaking, I feel like people go through this sort of like three stage process in terms of like creativity, right. And so like, when you're a young child, you're just like a creativity consumer, right? So you're going to consume anything, you're going to read books, and comics and all that stuff,
Rachel Elspeth Gross 18:15
especially if it's Paw Patrol,
Jesse Bibb 18:17
right. But eventually, I think during your teenage years, you start to go down this path of like, learning how to, like, recreate that stuff. And so for me, like, I got into like playing guitar. And it wasn't like writing your own stuff. It was just like, Oh, I want to be able to play like that song. And so you go through that process for a little bit. I think once you get into adulthood, you start to turn this corner, and it's a corner that a lot of people I feel don't finish taking. And that is going from, you know, you're you're switching from consumer to copier, now you're trying to be a creator, right? And that one's like really tough for a lot of people. I think that like life happens. And people just struggle and they get stuck. being like a creative person and every creative person I've talked to I think we all experience this similar thing and I don't think that creativity is something that's innate in every single person at least to varying degrees right. But to the people that are you just have this like story this like internal thing that you have to get out. And you will do like any medium, like any way that you can to just like push that.
Jonathan Joseph 19:33
Jesse Bibb 19:35
And so I don't think I don't know if there was like one key moment where it's like, boom, like, I gotta do this. It's just always been there it just like that voice just gets louder over time. where like, I no longer want to be a you know, a consumer. Like I want to be a mover and shaker. I want to make stuff
Rachel Elspeth Gross 19:52
Jesse Bibb 19:54
Rachel Elspeth Gross 19:56
I mean, my mother used to tell me when I was a kid to be like get back in your body. Which I think kind of in compasses what you're just saying, which is like, you feel something, you know, it's true. And you have to get it out. And like you're just explaining I mean, sometimes it's playdough. And it's finger paints. And then the wonderful illustrator Sylvan Boren who did our first book was our guests last week, one of the things that he or two weeks ago, one of the things he recommended for young people was to like copy art with a like, which sounds kind of like, what you're describing, I think this is a through line. I know from formal fine arts training, that you end up doing a lot of copying old masters. But it doesn't have to be that if you like a graphic novel, if you're into a particular movie, or poster or whatever. Does it make sense to you to start with something like that? I mean, how do you? You could give any advice, I guess, yeah.
Jesse Bibb 20:58
No, absolutely. Like, I am 1,000% on board with, like, copying other people's work, right? Because generally, what happens is you you see something and you go, Oh, I really like that. That's something that I would like to like, emulate. And so you start going down that path. But at some point, at least for me, like I always take this like wild left turn. And that ends up becoming like my own voice and my own style. And so I'm yeah, I'm super big on. Like, don't, don't focus too hard on trying to make something that's like uniquely your own, like, right from the start, just look at something and be like, Wow, that looks really cool. I want to do like my own take on that. Because at some point, I think you're gonna hit a wall of like, your own skill cap. And so now you have to, like, work your way around that. But in doing that, you end up going down your own style and path. And I think, in copying other people, which sounds so, so bad.
Jonathan Joseph 22:07
Don't think it sounds that bad at all, I think especially in fashion, that's part and parcel of the fashion industry. I mean, the best way to learn how a garment works, if you're in into construction of a garment is to find ones you like, and then take them apart.
Jesse Bibb 22:20
Yeah, like reverse engineer.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 22:22
One of our guests recommended that take a garment, cut it in half, take half of it apart. So you can see how it was constructed and then have the other half as a reference, which is like, genius.
Jesse Bibb 22:32
Yeah. I mean, I think about like, so much of that is like how you find your voice, right. And like another thing that I was thinking about to, like preparing for this interview is like, what advice I would give to, like parents that have like creative kids. Definitely, I would say like, expose them to as many things as possible, right? Like, expose them to like sub genres of books and art. Because at some point, there's going to be one thing that really resonates with that person. And that's going to be kind of a part of their story. And that's just awesome. So then, over time, you start, you know, doing like derivative style works. But through that you find your own style and your own voice, and that becomes the story that needs to be pushed out for you.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 23:27
I think that's so healing, to be able to exercise again, I'm sorry, the word a lot of connotations, but be able to, specially if you're having a hard time, especially if the world seems cruel, or is cruel, or things are abysmally hard. Being able to do something having an action you can take even if it doesn't directly relate to the conflict that exists, but having some kind of power.
Jonathan Joseph 23:53
Rachel Elspeth Gross 23:54
Yeah, exactly. I think that is I said this a lot on this show. But I feel like we are all better people. If we're making something I don't care if it's bread, I don't care if it's music, I don't care if it's movies, we are taking action if we are creating I think we're better people. healthier, healthier
Jonathan Joseph 24:15
people. Yeah, I mean, I think that's the beauty of art, right? Whatever the art form is whether it's fashion, painting, sculpture, music, writing that outlet right that having that outlet alone, just it's like when you hear a kettle whistling on the stove, and then you lift the little thing and then the whistling stop. Yeah, you because you're no longer forcing it to the same thing. It's so important to just cultivate for kids and honestly a lot of adults Why do you think adult coloring books blew up over quarantine and like for a couple of years prior, just having that outlet is so important because in that outlet you find the the place where you meet that voice right where you can finally like sort of there's the chaos subsides a little bit or it gets channeled in That often find your voice sounds like whatever that might be, to put on my painter hat for a second, because that's how I am when I'm painting. But I think at least in the conversation, I have been true for almost every creative regardless of like, where that creativity goes, and in what form. You know, we're often on that constant search for both, like, release in terms of whatever narrative is, like, forcing its way out of us. Or, because that's how I you know, it does it reminds me of like the root of unification, right? What is the vocation the Latin vichara is a calling, you know, to call the news calls. You know, you got to pick
Rachel Elspeth Gross 25:40
It's exorcism kind of a thing, somebody who was an essence, imbibing you, Carrie Anne, I'm sorry, I keep mentioning a lot for a past guest. But she's talked to me extensively about this, the idea of being captured by something in a force that needs no tool to create the idea of a muse being something takes you over, which is terrifying, powerful, interesting, weird. A lot of really good thing.
Jonathan Joseph 26:11
Greeks were fans of that. Yeah. Oh, look, it's a genius. Well, I mean, the genius was also like, really not a person. It wasn't until the Renaissance that the genius was internalized into the Creator, before it was the disembodied, ethereal being that lived in the walls of your studio. And there was a dialogue between the arts and the genius.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 26:33
And so Netflix designed show, history, design, whatever it's called. And they were talking about how if you compare that era, the Renaissance era with today, who would be considered a scientist, and who would be considered an artist and the interesting place where art and science and creativity and invention, all of that overlaps? I mean, it's, like rant about that for 45 years straight. Just see, is there anything that you wish you had been told as a kid that you wish you had been? Given? There's Yeah, yeah, sir. Something you think would help?
Jesse Bibb 27:16
Um, I mean, I think, I think overall, like, probably the biggest thing is the startling, like, realization that you like, my parents, you know, adults in the world, like, no one knows what they're doing. Right? Because like, I know, for me, like, yeah, like, I'm going to be 30 this year. And like, when I was eight, I thought I was gonna have the entire world figured out by this time. And I don't like not even a little bit. But I think through the eyes of a child, when you're looking at adults, especially like adults that you idolize or want to emulate, or like, want to follow in their footsteps, it looks really intimidating. And it looks like I will never be able to, like get to that level, like they're so on it, they're so put together. But I guarantee you, if you met any of your idols, they would be just like you and me, and they don't know what they're doing. They're just happen to be there. And they're just as shocked as you are. But like, that opens up so many doors of like, it's like, I don't believe in talent. I don't believe that. Anyone is like innately born good at something. I think the talent is a very offensive word, because it takes away from the amount of hours that that person has spent actually practicing and working and crafting, to just sit there and say, oh, they're just talented. diminishes all of that hard work that they put into it. So yeah, I think, I think if I had known that adults were just normal people doing their best, just the same as me. I think that that would have been extremely helpful.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 29:03
I love that idea about work. We talk Jonathan i a lot about how best kind of work feels like play. And then as adults, some of the most exciting, fantastic things we can do is a magical place where hard work, and creativity become play. I mean, we teach children through play, Jonathan, you talk a lot about kindergarten and the development of that concept. And I don't think work has to be a bad word. I don't think it has to be a scary thing we have to get through to do the stuff we want to do. I think if we can restructure some of our systems, if we can reconsider some of our definitions, we can make a place where the work is fun for more people and I think there's so much value in the world.
Jonathan Joseph 29:58
We have so much potential.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 30:01
That's exciting. I mean,
Jonathan Joseph 30:03
people would have been much more balanced.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 30:06
Yeah, pretty everything would be. Things could just being joyful. And obviously, we're not all going to be happy all the time. But it's the system that we interact with and feed and create could be a little more focused on kindness, generosity, positivity, beauty. I mean, how could that possibly be? Absolutely. Do you have any questions, Jonathan, before we we wrap up here, I've got one more I want to ask,
Jonathan Joseph 30:36
oh, we're going on a nice flow, we're hitting the half hour mark. So I definitely, this has been great. I think we've covered a lot of really great material in terms of, you know, the meat and potatoes of the philosophy behind creation is is really what we've really touched on here, which I think is really important, I think, especially for children to understand and parents to really understand the mechanics of being creative. Not everyone is a creative, and I think creative children often feel the most tension when they're surrounded by non creative adults who don't get the artistic mind and the artistic soul. And I think the more dialogue that happens that helps shed light on that for grownups. And it's also part of why we're here at Little Red Fashion. It's like, people say, Oh, we can make things for kids all day. And I'm like, Yes, but I'm also making resources for the grown ups in their lives to broker these conversations and situations, so that there can be a better dialogue between kids and adults.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 31:38
Now, certainly one thing we we've harped on a lot, and I don't think I'm ever going to get down off of that pulpit, which is that there are plenty of perfectly good, respectable, well intentioned adults who are just not artistic or creative people. And they are very, very, very well may have children who are. And so finding ways those adults who do not identify who do not understand who do not have the same experience can still like separate themselves enough that they can support, promote, uplift and provide the resources that those kids can turn dreams into reality. I think that's one of my favorite parts about working with this company is that we are demystifying we are showing that a community exists and that people care about kids and that the next generation doesn't have to suffer through the same things that hold back a lot of adults right now. I can't think it's sort of a better way.
Jonathan Joseph 32:42
Rachel Elspeth Gross 32:46
Jonathan Joseph 32:47
I mean, I, you know, early in this process, I think we got a little little lag going. Early in this process, I ended up having so many conversations with designers or stylist or other folks in the fashion ecosystem. And one thing that really struck me, especially after, like the 20th conversation, like this was, you know, all I wanted was to go to fashion school and I lived this okay, I you know, my father, I'm, my father immigrated this country from Iran, although he is a violinist fashion made no sense to him didn't know, it's like, Am I naked and protected? Not Am I not naked and protect the key elements, cool clothes, great. You know, but this conversation serially happens where it's, I'm so passionate about this. And I really wanted to do this. And I asked my parents and my parents said, we're not paying, you know, we're not we're not sending you to school for insert artistic field here. In our case, it was fashioned, right? But when you sit and actually think about that, because you hear that a lot. And you ought to remember, like the sort of soul crushing moment of like, oh, wow, they really just don't support this thing that's like really important to me. And they're just not there for it. You know, and, and that, when you hear that conversation, every time I have that conversation, which is at least like once a week at this point, it breaks my heart a little because you put your I put myself back in my young self hearing those same words, and that's really demotivating and it's really impactful in a really negative way. And so being able to prevent that moving forward through resources that again demystified is a really good word. It's really a joy to be able to do with my day. Because if I can help at least one family, like better have those conversations where the creative in the family is feeling better understood and supported, then I'm doing my job.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 34:38
That's a really good job. It's a really important job. Jesse, the last question I was gonna ask them I always like to ask everyone is, are there any books in particular and it doesn't have to be booked your documentary to be a feature film or whatever? Is there anything in particular that you really love? We're building a book list of recommended reading So we always want to ask about books.
Jesse Bibb 35:03
Oh, man. Alright, so my favorite book of all time, is it's like this Russian book. And it's called roadside picnic. And basically, it's about these, like aliens like come to earth. And they land in these, like certain cities. And they were only here for a couple hours, and then they left. And like, that was it, that was the end of the story. Like, they never came back. But they left a whole bunch of like litter, but it's like alien technology litter after eat it already. And so the government shuts down all of these cities and says, you know, like, nobody can come in here. And so the story is talking about this one person who goes into those sites to smuggle out the technology to like sell in the black market. And I really do love, like, parts of the book is just explaining, like, each individual item that he goes and grabs. And it's just these really cool like mystical, you know, objects that just have these like, crazy properties. But like, Lately, I've been getting into SCPs I don't know if that's anything that you guys know about. It's this, like, open source universe in which people can write. And basically, it's like, just an object, and you write a story about like, oh, like, this is a mirror that if, if you look into it, like all your dreams come true, or something like that. And it gets fascinating. And it's really cool, because it is open source. There's like 1000s of stories that take place inside this universe. And I just I love the idea of these like mystical sort of like items that you can just like come across randomly in some back room and and has these like, just crazy properties. So yeah, that would be my recommendation road side picnic.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 36:57
Do you know? Do you know the author's name of roadside picnic? I'm just, uh, let me Google it. Google it. But I'm just fascinated sound like Mark Danielewski a little bit. I don't think I'm gonna be able to say his name, right?
It's butcher the pronunciations of everything always. And I'm happy to Google it. And it just sounded fun.
Jonathan Joseph 37:26
I love a good story.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 37:27
Yeah. And I know, there's something wonderful about the unknown. There's something magical about a space to explore. And feeling free to do that. And such, in some ways, a very childlike experience. We don't give adults a lot of that space. We're like you said very much. Who we are we're and what we are supposed to be doing.
Jonathan Joseph 37:53
But I think adults are starting to claw back. I mean, look at the resurgence of Dungeons and Dragons.
Jesse Bibb 37:59
Jonathan Joseph 37:59
In the past few years. Like I think there is a simmering site, guys or element of it, that adults are starting to realize they need to reclaim some element of imagining. Yeah, however that might be.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 38:16
You see it in vintage fashion, or even fixing your own clothes. I mean, you see it in homemade videos.
Jonathan Joseph 38:21
Rachel Elspeth Gross 38:22
And again, people are better people when they're making stuff or creating and creating. Yeah,
Jonathan Joseph 38:30
got to got to exercise those creative muscles. 100%.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 38:35
Well, Jesse, is there anything you'd like to say to our audience before we sign off? And
Jesse Bibb 38:40
I do have a question for both of you guys, please. Alright, so you guys are both creative type people. To you? What is the role of the artists? Like what is the one specific job of the artist?
Rachel Elspeth Gross 38:55
Do you wanna go first, Jonathan, do you want me to?
Jonathan Joseph 38:59
I'll go first? Sure, sure. I'll go first. Um, I mean, as a painter, I feel very my my gut answer is transmission. And what I mean by transmission is that it is the job of the artist to take whatever is calling them whatever that that voice is, wherever it's coming from, and transform it into whatever their medium is. For me, it's painting and writing whatever it is. So transmitting that message wherever it's coming from. That that is the role so the role of the artist is transmission. Is my sort of one word answer to that I yeah, like a medium, much like a medium. You know, I was tempted to go without alchemize like you're turning you're alkalizing. The The thing is that whatever you're making the transmission, I think is a little more on the nose.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 39:53
I was thinking something very similar. I was punting by asking you wanted to go first. Oh, no, I know. We're translator and storyteller. And I don't know that those are necessarily the same thing or different things. But I think I'm a big believer in the connectivity of all people, regardless of geography, economy, nationality, any kind of way you could categorize us. I'm a big believer that we all want to feed ourselves and our children have a safe place to sleep. And the best day we can possibly have. And in that spirit of people like Joseph Campbell, on his monomyth, his hero's journey, well, not always perfect resonates because every single culture has a story of a hero, which is usually a regular person, overcoming whatever, whatever going through whatever stages. There's a wonderful book I love from 1910, written by Arne and Thompson, where they tried to classify all types of stories. And I think, in a rambling way, this is how I'm going to answer your question, which is that the more we know about each other, the more we know about ourselves, the more we realize that we are, essentially, human beings are human beings. And if we love and respect any one of us, we can love and respect all of us. And I think that art is a vesl, it is a mechanism to articulate that in a way that maybe hasn't been done in other formats. So I think if you can tell a story if you can prove a point, through analogy, which is a big deal for me, I think, if you can not have to browbeat and argue if you can show someone something, and they can understand it fundamentally, because they see it, it's much more powerful to inspire than it is to shame or guilt. And if we want people to do good action, and let's show them something they can believe.
Jesse Bibb 42:07
I Like that. That's good.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 42:09
Okay, well, enough of my ranting.
Jonathan Joseph 42:13
So I feel like it before we wrap, it naturally follows that I would love to know what your definition of the role of the artist.
Jesse Bibb 42:21
So to me, like the role of the artist, in my perspective, is like, you have to make the viewer feel what you felt when you made it. And not necessarily like tell them what you felt, right? You always see these like, I feel like it's it's very special, and it's not every single piece that's going to do it. And it's not going to do it for every single person, right. But you always see those scenes in movies where like someone is like at a gallery, and they're just been looking at this painting for like an hour. And they're just going through these motions of like feeling that. Like that's what I would love to do. But that is such like a ethereal goal.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 43:08
No, it's great. What better life's mission. I mean, God.
Jesse Bibb 43:12
Rachel Elspeth Gross 43:13
Jesse Bibb 43:14
So that's, that's kind of my views on it.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 43:17
It's amazing. Awesome. If you don't mind Jesse, I'm gonna turn off the recording here. He wants to say goodbye. But do you mind just holding on for a second? I just want to thank you privately.
Jonathan Joseph 43:28
Well, thank you so much, everyone. We are here. I stole Rachel's Thunder everyone.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 43:36
are too loud. Feel free?
Jonathan Joseph 43:39
No. Yeah. Thank you so much everyone for tuning in to this slightly longer than usual because we were just having that great of a conversation episode. Oh, I can do that part of our Little Red Village initiative here at Little Red Fashion. I'm Jonathan Joseph, our CEO and creator and head crazy pants. Joined by our head fashion historian Rachel Elspeth Gross and our guest today, Jesse Bibb. Make sure that you check back on the feed to see some of his saucy work leading up to this amazing interview. And back on the website for the transcript if you missed anything.
Rachel Elspeth Gross 44:10
Awesome. So first of all, thank you so much for joining us. Awesome. Thank you guys so much. I really thanks, Jesse.