The Brilliance!


We’re really internet and we’re really back. A website about things Benjamin , Chuck , Virgil , and various friends & guests think are interesting. Little-to-no specific focus, a bit odd, speling errors, and incredibly culturally relevant.

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Tim Walker’s photography for Hermes!!!

Ben and I email a lot…just constantly sending emails back and forth about design, music, art, life, emoticons, splash pages, internets, e-viruses, www’s, and so on. I would say that of all the links I send Ben, about 20% either get no response because they were just really not that interesting, or I get one of the following: “Meh. ha.”, “Ehh…”, “Hmm…not for me”. 79% of the time I get “crazy dude…” or “SO cool man…” or “HA” (a capital ‘HA’ means it was a really, really funny video I must have sent). The other 1% is reserved for links like this: Tim Walker for Hermes, upon which I receive an incredibly rare (think Honus Wagner T206 baseball card rare) response of: “Holy crap, those are awesome! Make a post man!” Keep in mind, for Benjamin to say “Holy crap” about a link I’ve sent must mean it’s really, really special. Tim Walker is a 39 year old photographer from London who honestly is doing some of the most beautiful, simple, elegant, and downright cool work out there. It can’t hurt that he was a full-time assistant to Richard Avedon in the 90’s and started out working for Vogue at 25 either…sheesh. So, this post is wholly about Tim Walker’s photography in general, but more specifically this set for Hermes I found on Booooooom. First of all, that first picture with the guy in the window in the field is just ridiculous. I love it. Took me a second to wrap my head around it. And the African tribal stuff and those giant snails!? I love it. So creative. The fact that this stuff is for Hermes makes these even better. As Ben said, “Awesome to see a really, really old brand like hermes doing something like that. they’re one of the only luxury brands that isn’t owned by a holding company - they’re literally still like super small.” So yeah, there you have it. Tim Walker. A true master…

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“So Sweaty”, my favorite blog right now!

“Coffee on the menu was 47 cents.” So a good friend of mine/riding partner, Geoff Holstad and his lovely girlfriend SarahDarnell set off on a trip from downtown Grand Rapids, MI all the way to Portland, OR on their bikes. They started about a month ago and they’ve been steadily updating their blog, So Sweaty, along the way. I love how Geoff puts it all together on the blog, seriously, love the short quips, little details, tone, etc. Funny, its one of those things, how do you update a blog about riding a bicycle across the country? Seems like you either write a book when you’re done or you do a blog just as Geoff has with the simple and super fun to read updates. Well done my man. So yeah, check the blog out and get inspired to do your own trip/adventure. And to: Geoff and Sarah: we miss you guys here downtown, and yes, I’m riding the Madison often, seriously!! Have fun, ride safe, can’t wait to hear all the stories.

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Water Parkz!!

I love water parks man. And why not - they’re super fun, right? I need to have more fun. I haven’t been to one in forever, but I was just watching some show on the travel channel and it reminded me how I used to doodle water park designs when I was in like 6th grade - I wanted to open a water park. And this was pre-indoor water parks too I think, which is what I wanted to do being from the midwest. As much as I love really beautiful natural parks - the idea of like a Willy Wonka/Peter Pan water-land stirs the imagination a bit. And actually, another true story, my good friend Kevin (Boxed Water operations) and I are planning on a water park tour as a bit of a vacation as a bit of celebration once we get national distribution. No trips to the Four Seasons in the islands, etc, for us. We’re hitting like Orlando, the Wisconsin Dells, and a bunch of the Schlitterbahn locations. Popping corks on the lazy river!! So yeah, thats my post. Super random. Catch me at your local water park with the short Vilebrequins on! ***Why are water park websites always so terribly designed??

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Double the Creative Trouble - Dee & Ricky Interview!!!

If there is ever an obvious interview we would do it would be the one we just dropped. Dee & Ricky, Coolest Individuals, making up The Streets Most Famous Twins just hit on all the topics we wanted to know. Get familiar!!! (that DJ Drama drop is effecting my posting style, ha!) Anyways, I’d put my money on these kids to make in impact on this things we call lifestyle for years to come. You know the drill…the kids you went to high school with who you were with-or-against turns out to be kind of a big deal. It’s sorta THE BRILLIANCE!!! moto. So enjoy the read. Get inspired, make something that Marc Jacobs and Murakami can’t live without!!!

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DJ Drama + THE BRILLIANCE! + An embedded video!

“The internetest most internet site.” Happy Monday everybody!! Hope your weekend was fun, mine was. Thanks to Virgil and Marc on this one. Just another bit of randomness that is this website we run here. Mr. Gangsta Grillz himself gives us a proper drop. We’re doing a mixtape ourselves actually coming up soon, be on the look out. Free download of course. Check it out:

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360-flip-crooked grind down a handrail Status!!

Anyone that is switching scenes/industries and trying to get their point of view across I am am a general fan of. Way back when Nino told me about his push to get skateboarding on the big screen done in the right way I wasn’t even expecting all this. Street Dreams featuring some of the biggest names in the game Rob, Ryan, Paul, and Terry is the type of movie I’d love to see more of. Real people playing the kids that make up their subculture. Anyone remember the glory days of RocaFella films. I need to re-watch those. Any how go out and support. I can only imagine how tough it was to get a movie where skateboarding is portrayed properly as it is here. So ya’ll, get interviewed by the BRILLIANCE and you’ll get even bigger!!! And twitter Chuck for the latest skateboard trick names, he’s good at it.

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Creative rambling…

So… I’ve been running NoPattern for almost 6 years now. I opened my online store, NP&CO over 4 years ago. Benjamin and I started The Brilliance over 4 years ago. I’ve been lucky enough to travel a lot and meet some incredible people. So - at this point in my life, I’ve been feeling pretty fulfilled. Lots of great client and personal work over the years, collaborating with some of the most talented people around, learning a lot from Benjamin and Virgil via emails/hanging out/reading their posts on here…But for some reason over the last month or so, and I’m sure many of you can relate, I’ve gotten this urge to create totally fresh challenges for myself. Feeling like I’m at this point where I have to sort of shock myself into new things. New personal projects, trying to learn and grow in photography/illustration/publishing - things that I’ve always dabbled in but never really truly tried to master. It’s so easy to let yourself get routine. Anyways, I went to Art Chicago a few weeks ago and was just totally blown away by some of the work there. People like Angelo Musco, James Roper, Alyssa Monks, and…I mean, artists doing some serious, incredible work. Kind of made me take a look at myself, my own work, and what I’m currently capable of and think wow, if only there really were more hours in a day, I’d be doing (or attempting to do) so much more. I want to think bigger, think huge…Trying to learn more from people, figure out ways to actually apply all the ideas that pop up in my head, and take some crazy steps in new directions. The ‘be a sponge’ cliche is such a good metaphor. It’s the part where you ring out all that you’ve absorbed that’s the truly hard part. Anyways, we always love to hear thoughts, comments, inspiration, ideas, etc…so email with any of that. Anyways, I guess I titled this ‘creative rambling’ for a reason…ha. Get to work!!

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Best in Lookbook, Saskia Diez!!

On my usual stroll thru the internet it’s amazing how quick really great photography will stop me in my tracks. This look book changed my mind about what a good lookbook looks like. Jewelry designer Saskia Diez has got a very fresh aesthetic and very cool jewelry. Real simple, cool designs, great materials. Flipping thru all her look books makes me want to get off my couch on this friday night and start shooting all these knick-knacks around my loft. Hmmm… This Canon G10 and its Macro setting are worth a whole other post on its own. Check the link, get inspired.

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What’s important: Twitter’s search!! Duh?

This might be a ‘duh’ to everyone, but Twitter’s search seems to matter to me more and more everyday. So first off, press/media and getting press/media attention is a funny thing. The first time you get it for a project you’ve done, business you own, etc, etc you’re like ‘whoa, I’m being talked about!’ Or are you?? I remember my first time getting in the local business paper here in GR I was so stoked, front page, etc…and oddly it did very little for the traffic/awareness of my project. Maybe because of the reader demographic, etc, who knows. But I remember realizing, ‘wait, these papers are in the business of having pages full of articles..thats pretty much it’ and then I kind of grasped that papers, blogs, etc, will write about anything to simply get content. And 99% of the time the writer isn’t some fabulous taste-maker - they’re simply doing their job. So, the reality is, I was indeed being talked about…but by only one person, that writer. When I launched my last project, I pretty much stopped checking what blogs/press outlets where saying and strictly relied on Twitter’s search function to see what ‘the people’ where saying. People were giving their opinions, thoughts, likes, dislikes, etc, and it was all happening in real-time and quickly. I then searched a competitors name and found very little - even though they had considerably more traditional press than I did. Was super validating - my product was getting more traction with the actual public - the consuming public. I’m still figuring out where I sit with Twitter personally…but I guess that doesn’t matter does it? The public has already made their decision and that collective decision has made for some pretty awesome free market-research available to everyone who wants it.

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ArtPrize, Grand Rapids!!!

Ah, I love it. Right in my city, Grand Rapids, the world’s largest art prize. Just announced last week, the 23rd of April, this is going to be just huge both in the art world as well as the impact its going to have on my young city. I’ve made a handful of posts about Grand Rapids and how much I’ve enjoyed living here and participating in its growth over the pst 6 years or so…and this is just bringing it to a whole other level. It’s hard to draw comparisons, and I almost don’t want to as its really a totally new thing, but I would imagine that what SXSW is to Austin the ArtPrize will be to Grand Rapids. I love the thought of that. We have such a fantastic city, I can’t wait to show it off to the world a bit via this project. The official site explains it better than I will here, but the concept is to build a framework where businesses/spaces/parks/etc can open their space to artists to exhibit in - where the public will ultimately decide the winner by popular vote, which requires registration in person, perfect. It’s open to any artist, anywhere in the world. The attention grabber being the prize: $250k for 1st, $100k for 2nd, $50k for 3rd, and $7k each for 4th-10th. More to learn on the site, but its pretty simple and straight-forward stuff with super huge potential. I can’t wait for it…the art, the atmosphere, the parties, the voting, the creative use of spaces, the response, everything. And right here in my city…nuts. Thanks to Rick for putting this together, and Grand Rapids, get ready.