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.



From the NYT article:

“It’s hard to overstate the gamble Jobs took when he decided to unveil the iPhone back in January 2007. Not only was he introducing a new kind of phone — something Apple had never made before — he was doing so with a prototype that barely worked.”

Did you read this?! Too good, like, this article is better than the whole JOBS movie - honestly. It’s such a vivid picture of what innovation ACTUALLY looks like..not just the romance of what it looks like once its launched and everyone loves/hates it. The amount of stuff that needed to actually be invented to make just one product is unreal. The multi-touch screen. The software. The physical device/shell. The hardware. Even the concepts of pinch-to-zoom, inertial scrolling, full internal gyroscope, etc. All of it invented for 1 product. When Steve was on stage saying, “this is 5 years beyond anything anyone else is doing”, it wasn’t just shit talking - it was the result of the massive, massive risk they took - and he was 100% correct. You don’t get that far ahead of everyone else in an industry you’ve never participated in without taking insane risk like that. Can you imagine if it had flopped? Where would Apple be? What other companies take risks like that? Which ones are doing that today? I know I make posts about Apple a lot, or used to, but put yourself in that teams shoes the day they launched this thing…my goodness. Reminds me to attempt the possible and never let your imagination be limited by what can be done with today’s technology… A story about risk and return, link below.


BAD BLUEPRINTS!!! GIFs by Alec Mackenzie…

Is there anything “more internet” than a GIF? They’re ubiquitous, have been for a while now, completely and wholly a part of our culture but can only really live on the internet. GIFs are truly the perfect encapsulation of my generations attention span. Satisfaction in ~3 seconds and you move on. Anyways, half the fun in writing a post on here is picking what to put in that little 100x100 square you see to the right. For this post I honestly made about 10 different options until I was like, yeah…that’s the one. It was almost just too easy to choose some skull on a colorful cube or something, had to dig a little deeper. Artist Alec Mackenzie’s blog is titled ‘bad blueprints’, and it’s just page after page of the most amazing, weird, screwed up little gifs of glitchy, 3D nightmarish odds and ends and I honestly didn’t want the pages to end. Actually haven’t gotten to the end yet. I think what I love about a lot of ‘internet art’ is how it doesn’t make you feel any way in particular. Or it does, there’s just not a good adjective for it. I mean, what exactly is your brain doing as it processes the visual of a 5-frame loop of a giant businessman standing on a table spinning his arms around as 6 seated businessmen sit there staring at him or a head that spins around but the eyeballs stay stationary leaving a momentary 3D mess of red flesh. Like, you don’t just look at these once for a quick second and move on, you sit and you stare, at least I do, for an inexplicable amount of time. It’s totally mesmerizing. I really can’t find much more information about Alec anywhere…mostly just other blog posts like this featuring his work and whatnot…but I’m gonna try and track him down because I think he’d be a fun interview. So go look at Bad Blueprints, GIFs by Alec Mackenzie!!!11!


3-SWEEP is for the kids!

!!! Maybe I don’t spend enough time on the internet - ha… - but you only see stuff like this once or twice a year. Best bet is to watch the video at the link below before reading this post. Maybe I’m growing up or something, but what immediately came to my mind was young kids and this being a replacement to the expression of ideas in 3D that LEGOs gave me when I was kid. LEGOs + our hands were the first 3D printers kinda, yeah?

I think of my 8 year old nephew using the zillionth iteration of this 3-SWEEP software on an iPad and being able to take a picture of anything in his surroundings: the museum, on a hike, his backyard, an airplane flying over him, his friends, a tool in the garage, etc…or even better, finding any image he can dream of on Google Images…then converting it into a 3D object as shown in the video, then editing it into anything his wildest imagination can conjure up. Then printing it out via a 3D printer in whatever material he’d like. And doing all the in like 10 minutes. Forgive me for nerding out on this - but anything that accelerates imagination and creation im ALL IN on.

Can’t wait to see 4-SWEEP.

And I want a Bulls “3-PEAT” starter hat…but says “3-SWEEP”.

Brilll krule

It’s a Krule world out there, no one is safe from !!!

That moment when you hear of a new artist in like 6 different ways in as many days is amazing. Amongst the monstrous ## music trades, mentions previous, instagram feeds of “this-is-that-kid?” and friends-of-friends comes King Krule. Honesty in voice is the best way I can describe his sound. His voice has an aesthetic. The melody and tone are real. With music is in such a weird place it refreshing. In this case the music says it all. Check out this live set at Mercury Lounge. Never trust anyone that over talks the music. Those are critics. I hate critics. Ha.


Artists I’m digging right now…

I’ve always really loved having THE BRILLIANCE! as an outlet to share with you the artists that I come across daily who inspire me and make work I find really fascinating, creative, imaginative, etc etc. Here’s a few of the latest…
•Jiro Bevis - I don’t know if I love Jiro’s name or his work more. “Jiro Bevis”. That’s just not a name you ever have to worry about people forgetting or mixing up with someone else. Anyways - Jiro is one of my absolute favorite illustrators. His work is so fun…I think that’s why his site’s sections are labeled ‘Fun’, ‘More Fun’, ‘Work’, etc…anyways - comic book, punk rock, cartoon, old skateboard art a la Jim Phillips all come to mind with his stuff. I actually just snagged a few prints from him for my new office.. nice dude to boot. JIRO BEVIS!!!11!1!!
•Fabian Oefner - Man…I really, really love just staring at Fabian’s work…experimental photography at its best, but with work like Fabian’s the photography is always only half the story. The other half is in the experimentation with paint, balloons, fast lenses, lighting, and - I would assume - lots of trial and error. The ‘Black Hole’ series is the shit. What else can I say? Connecting a rod to a drill and covering it in paint, then turning the drill on so it whips the paint in a 360° circle and capturing that with a 1/40,000 shot…pretty nuts. All his work though - just click around and get lost in it for a bit.
•Santtu Mustonen - you’re damn right I had to copy and paste that name. Santtu Mustonen. So far all these guys have really specific names. Anyways - Santtu’s colorful work and abstract patterns have long been a favorite of mine but it wasn’t until recently that I put a name to the images, which I’d seen in various magazines and on every other Tumblr and FFFFound page. This piece is one of the first of his that I saw and I always really dug it. Creating that really organic, natural texture digitally is not easy to do. Super cool stuff.
•That’s it. I’m just keeping it to 3.

Brill flyknit

Flyknits!!! iPod level innovation happening as we speak!!! aka Retros are funny!!!

It’s happening. What I consider the best product invention since the iPod, Nike Flyknit, is changing footwear from the most difficult angle. Aesthetics. But not only pure aesthetics, aesthetics formed by function. What a killer design story too. They simply imagined making a shoe by forgetting how shoes have been made in the past. What that did was removed the mass amount of fabric waste that happened between pattern pieces and traded it for the only waste made in flyknits is the few inches of knit yarn that extend from one shoe to the next. After all what a better system to mold around a foot that a knitted sock. The design story is everything. So modern. So modern it’s going to kick a dent into retro sneaker business. After all we all love those Sony yellow Sports Discmans but not in 2013. Lol.



“Starting something.” I’ve only had like 1 regular “job” in my whole life, and even that was start-up that only had 7 employees when I started - 160 when I left. I have zero college education. Got held back a grade in school. I don’t have a resume. Never really done a job interview. And in the last 5-6 years almost every thing I work on I was part of the creation of or the actual founder. Lots have failed - some are doing good. Some are just getting started. Some I’m just dreaming about a lot. This is going to be one of those random, rambling, drifting posts, but whatever I feel like its important to write this stuff. All the kids out there like me that simply cannot do something they don’t love - we’re all on some sort of team together. Kids who insist on figuring out how to live off the ideas in their heads. Kids who lose sleep off the hope and hustle of never having a “job” but instead having an amazing life that pays for itself. I’m there right now, …again. I just started another new project, tiny right now - more on it to come in the future, but I’d forgotten what those first few days after launch feel like. Taking something from: IDEA -> PROJECT -> BUSINE$$. Or as I call it, “from photoshop to real life.” It’s so wild. Especially in an area that me and the co-founder know NOTHING about. I’m almost convinced now that knowing nothing going in is an asset. Doing something new requires new thinking, no??? Anyway, thats my post, man. My hat off to all you guys - I’m honored to be on the same team with you. The “kids doing stuff” team.



Honestly - does anything get done on Fridays around 2:30? I’m not sure I’ve ever actually been hard at work on a Friday at 2:30. I might be at my computer and I’d tell people I’m “at work” but..yeah…nothing’s really…happening. Anyways - a little Friday reading for you.

☃ THEWORSTPORTFOLIOEVER - shout out to Alex Cornell for this one. “The worst portfolio ever” (TWPE) is a 110% hater but like 120% accurate so I’m good with it. Illustrating the proliferation of run-of-the-mill design portfolio sites that fall victim to mundane trends, TWPE tells it like it is. Little to no design being shown, glamour shots of Apple products with a designer’s work on it but real small, too much talking about themselves and their interests, not enough just…“here’s my work.” You can actually just read this bio intro and you’ll get it…ha. “I am a 23 year old designer/thinker living and making in sunny San Francisco. A penetrating storyteller, I like to massage my hand-crafted, beautiful pixels. I’m obsessed with kitesurfing, minimalism and making things easier and more delightful. I make stuff, I ship stuff, and I like creating engaging visual experiences for real people. I also like craft beers and whales.”

✏ I don’t play guitar, but I’ve been really enjoying Noisey’s series ‘Guitar Moves’ lately. Finding it really inspiring and just a lot of fun to watch. Matt Sweeney, a musician & the host of the ~10 minute episodes, basically sits down with renown musicians like Josh Homme, St. Vincent, James Williamson from the Stooges, Dan Auerbach, and others with a guitar and just picks their brain about how they learned to play guitar. They show some of their best stuff, play slowly so Matt and viewers can try to mimic what they’re doing, and it’s just fun to be a fly on the wall of what feels like a high-end guitar lesson.

☮ I know this absolutely deserves its own post, but have you seen this Nike Flyknit technology video?? Man…Nike just never settles for anything but the very best when it comes to their film, commercials, ads, everything. The detail in this is stunning…honestly one of the most visually memorable spots I’ve seen in a while. It was created by Digital Domain, who were actually also responsible for Hologram Tupac (!!!)

♫ Check out the work of Terry Fuiz . Outer space paint splatter jellyfish whatever. Dig it.

✞ ¯(ツ)/¯ still the best.

☸ I just closed this window on accident and thought I lost this post, but then I reopened it and here it is, so that’s good.

☣ Instagram video. I’m still torn on whether I love that it exists or hate it… a part of me “misses the old Instagram”, but it’s cool. I guess I just loved how simple Instagram was, but video was inevitable. There’s like a million articles about this, so whatever, just check out Benjamin’s one and only video he’s posted to IG so far. It’s the best thing.

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Have a cool weekend.


A blog post about the APC & Kanye Collaboration

Have you read the article from with Jean Touitou about this?? Like, better to start there I think than my post here. This is a JEAN TOUITOU and Kanye collaboration - APC is Jean Touitou. As simple as that sounds - these are the companies I have such a tendency to fall in love with - ones that have a figure head. I once heard a quote, something like: “Companies can’t be run by democracy. They need a competent tyrant.” Love that. I also love the concept of two insanely passionate characters like Ye and Jean working together - in a room - actually figuring it out. The “figuring it out” part is the challenge. I don’t have a ton of experience in fashion - but I have some. I’ve designed and produced a tiny collection - I’ve sold in stores. I’ve used 3-4 different manufactures. I’ve interned for a women’s formalwear company as a vacation in NYC once. Fashion is super hard. It can really suck sometimes. It’s not photoshop. Obviously its much easier for APC to execute these things - they have a proper supply chain built - but its still challenging to come up with something cohesive, wearable, even manufacturable, and then ultimately sellable at a price point that actually makes money. So yeah, take two characters like Touitou and Ye - its wild, its impressive. And I love that its so focused - I love focus. Everyone loves it - even if they don’t concisely know it. The products/business that are successful are the ones with intense focused.

Anyway, I have to be honest, when I clicked “checkout” on this morning I did it as an act of participation in the hustle/struggle/adventure that is this clothing & fashion space. Maybe I’m looking for some sort of fashion business karma - but my goal is to create participants of my collection at some point - work to earn their interest the same way Ye and Jean Toutiou grabbed mine.


Jay’s new one, Magna Carta

Not even trying to do a long review cause honestly at this point, what else could one of his albums be but good? Question is just like how good? Almost feel like I should be critical, like I just instantly like all his stuff for the most part. The whole Samsung thing was kinda weird, whatever. But shit, let me say this: a large portion of the people critiquing him, saying he’s selling out, will work the majority of their hours awake doing something they aren’t even passion about for $75K-$125K a year. He got $20M for a mutually advantageous distribution deal doing something he loves… ... ... ... ...

Back to this too short album review: **Stand out for me off the bat was the Rick Ross track. I love that Jay knows how to integrate someone like Ross so well, man, just ride around playing that song while planning a vacation to Europe, right? “Shopping bags, I’m a tourist…” *After that, the Frank Ocean one is perfect - love the visuals. *Tom Ford, he’s still got such a perfect sense of humor, you know? Someone asked me like, what does molly have to do with him wearing Tom Ford - how do they even relate? It’s like…exactly, they don’t. LOL. *Best line??? Hmm, “Yellow Basquiat in my kitchen corner, go ahead lean on that shit Blue, you own it.” Ahhh, he paints the picture perfect, more ways than one. **Bunch of other super good ones, grab it…

***And!!! Yimmy Yayo did all those videos, #too #current