I'm always up for a good challenge.
Wait, I take that back. No I'm not. I'm frightfully scared of challenges. I want things to come easy to me. Always. And when they don't I freak out.
What I will say is that I am up always for THE PURSUIT OF A challenge.
So, I was at lunch with my friend and colleague, Laura, the other day. Laura is a very intense, focused person, and I mean that in the best way possible. At one point during our lunch meeting, I mentioned to her that I had felt that I was beginning to get unfocused creatively. So she offered to “find my focus”.
Okay, I said.
I told her that I really wanted to do more work for the group that I considered my “creative wheelhouse” which is geeks. I don’t view geeks and geek culture as “nerdy” or “weird”. To me, Geek is equivalent to passion. In my opinion, you can be a geek about anything - food or words or music. It doesn’t matter. If you’re passionate about any subject, then, to me, you are a geek.
Very quickly, she said to me, “Then why don’t you do something called Geek A Week.”
“Hm, Sounds good. What would it be?” I asked.
“I don’t know. Just run with it,” she said coyly.
So, after some well-placed phone calls and e-mails to some folk versed in geek culture, I give you my new challenge, Geek A Week. Every week, for the next 52 weeks (that's a year to you and me), I will be trying to make contact with a different prominent figure in the geek culture. After I make contact with them, I will then draw a trading card of them. Geeks love collecting things right? So here's a chance to do a collection like none other. An art-driven collection of interesting figures in the geek world. The ultimate goal? To connect with new people. To do some great art. And to see if I can contribute another notch to the geek culture that I love so much.
With that in mind, here are the basic ground rules of this project:
1. CRITERIA: The Geek of the Week must have some sort of influence on the overall geek culture as a whole whether it be music, film, television, art, literature, gaming, computing etc.
2. I have one week (7 days) to make contact with the Geek of the Week and to create a piece of art for/or them.
3. Contact must be an exchange via e-mail, Twitter or phone. If possible, interview with the geek will be recorded and possibly used for podcast purposes.
4. After the short written or spoken interview, I will create a trading card for each geek, as a commemorative symbol that I have connected with them. These will be posted to my Flickr account for the world to see.
Luckily, through the podcast and through my association with art I've done for others, I have a pretty good start. Here is my short list of influential geeks that should be relatively easy to make contact with in the coming weeks:
Paul and Storm
Adam Savage/Jaime Hyneman (Mythbusters)
Here is a short list of influential geeks that may be a bit more of a challenge to get in touch with:
John and John of They Might Be Giants
Alex Rigopulos (CEO of Harmonix)
Weird Al Yankovic
People from the comments:
Pretty daunting list, I know. I'm hoping that some of the geeks I talk to will be able to recommend others I should talk to. I'm also looking for feedback from you, the reader, as to who might make an interesting trading card/interview. Please keep in mind that based on the criteria, the geek should be relatively well known and not say, your cousin Jay who is "the geekiest person you know." There are plenty of those running around and I need to be selective. I hope you understand.
So that's it! Will I be able to connect with all of them? Maybe. Maybe not. What I have going for me is a pretty good base to start with. What I'm hoping is that I'll be able to use my charm, wit, humorous art and common love of bacon to collect as many as I can. And who knows, maybe I might surprise myself.
I'm hoping to blog this adventure and bring you along for the ride. I'm scared, but it's the pursuit that seems like the most fun. Much like my friend, Jonathan Coulton and his Thing A Week project, I hope this will be an interesting year-long journey that will lead to somewhere near a town called Awesome.