Guerrilla Marketing Project, the Book of Sparkling Grims

Hello,

I was finally able to get these pictures to load up for a guerrilla marketing project for my Marketing for the Artists class. If you are not familiar, guerrilla marketing is where you advertise your product or cause in an unconventional way. Often times, this kind of marketing is interactive, and quite honestly, a lot more fun, being that there are no legal restrictions limiting the concept.

For my project, I decided to alter a book and place it in cafes for people to thumb through while they sip on their iced toddies. My blog and my art is primarily about stories told through art, magical or not, and so I found it would be most appealing as well as relevant to create a small, short portfolio of my art work, and collage it into a book. At the end of the book is a tiny, hand-sewn notebook, so that readers can leave notes inside.

I chose to leave this book in coffee shops and cafes because most people who are writers and artists, and also coincidentally leave their houses, go to these places.

The book was originally a compilation of AESOP, Grimm Brothers, and Hans Christian Andersen fairytales (so perfect, right)? Don’t worry, you can still open the book and read most of the material inside it.

I have not been able to get the cafe shots of the book yet, but here are the photos of the book.

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the Stranger on the Train

Yesterday, however, I think I saw something I’d NEVER be able to just shrug off. I was running late to class from a mural I’m assisting in. I hopped on the train, just excited to get back to Tempe before the next class starts. As I approach the car, I notice a man in a wheel chair, hunched over in a very odd position on his left arm; his right hand gripping on a bar with great pressure. He was unconscious. No, he was twitching. I noticed then that the car was dead silent and I turn around to see that everyone is staring wide eyed, intently on this poor young man. I look back at the chap and see that the driver is there, checking his pulse and calling paramedics. Then I recall how purple and ashy his face was when I first approached the train.

I’m not quite certain just yet, but I’m fairly confident that he was not alive, or he was falling

I saw this happen once before, when I was 18, I witnessed my grandfather die. The threat of death began 3 years before his death, with a failing back, but ultimately lasted for 3 days before his death. I was there when he was fully functioning and telling jokes, to the moments of incomprehensible pain and fear. It is, to say the least, daunting, and something I wouldn’t recommend for someone who’s loved one is undergoing the same doomed fate. It had changed my views on a lot of things at the time. I can not say much about the mystique of it all, but I can say that death brings about an ultimate truth about life; usually it’s when you see someone close their eyes to the world that you actually open your own eyes up and look around.

The thing is, there was something more to the incident on the light rail stop, a sort of sparkling grim to this all. It wasn’t just that the young guy has come to an end, but the fact that he had no form of identification, hasn’t spoken a word, hasn’t said a name or anything. This drove everyone nuts! I could hear, after the man was wheeled off into oblivion, questions being whispered, weaving throughout the car. No one knew this guy’s story, what led him up to this point, who he’s leaving (or left) behind, what his thoughts were, what he was like; nothing.

I guess what I’m bewildered by is why we should care. If he were okay, if he were near alive, he would have been just another passenger, some stranger. But because he was overdosed, if not dead on the spot, we all suddenly saw him as more. And yet, does it matter when someone is a stranger, that they have died? What exactly makes a stranger? And why is it that not that he is gone, we, the other passengers, suddenly cling emotionally to each other and feel for him?

Compassion is a strange thing; it never seems to express itself in rational or predictable behavior, and often it appears at the wrong time. Perhaps that’s how it’s supposed to be, we as mortal beings can not change time nor can we control one’s decisions, but we can influence others, through regret, guilt, or joy.

From Here to Eternity, Adventures of Public Transportation

For the past 4 years I have been riding public transportation. It began when in my second semester attending ASU. At first I took an express route that went straight from my housing community to the Tempe campus. It was enjoyable, being that the maximum number of passengers were around 15 people. I was able to get to know a few people, including a middle aged recently divorced woman who drove my route home; the time in which I was usually the only passenger. She taught me a lot about growing up, the politics, the money, and romantic relationships with men.

I also met a man in charge of directing future public transportation development in the Phoenix valley. He taught me a lot about how important advertising really is. This route, unfortunately, did not have much advertisement, and it perished under the Arizona July sun.

At this point, I switched onto local routes, as well as a route that took me to downtown Phoenix, where I would then backtrack to Tempe from the light rail. Not having a car can be a lot of work, I must admit.

Oh man, it was around this time where every morning became an adventure. From having to walk through pockets of wildlife and becoming well acquainted with coyotes and homeless people, to seeing the vast fields of reservation land, then being enriched with the vibrant hues of murals and graffiti on the way to my stop in downtown Phoenix, I could never get bored. Not only this, but the people on the route I rode with most certainly made for an interesting transit. The route was really for middle class business people, fairly white collar and seemingly not very interested in the arts. It appeared, at first, somewhat draining to be around the sort of folk who were living such a different life from me.

But really, they aren’t very different, nor are they draining. It seems like I am a good contrast, me and the other few college students on there; we are the sort of flare of a cardinal against a grey sky, suddenly revealing the various reds and blues culminating the clouds. It’s during this route I’m learning that people are not so different from each other, but also is it no less that they are any bit normal.

I also met a homeless man named Ruben, who insisted he show me his portfolio on his cell phone (as even homeless people have cell phones now a days) after he saw I had a sketchbook hiding between me and the window. I swear, homeless people LOVE art students and artists more than they love Jimi Hendrix or dream catchers. Anyhow, the twist to that story is that this occurred the morning proceeding the hours I had spent the evening before polishing a well researched paper on the Flemish artist Rubens, and here is Ruben telling me about his long profession in art, which has ultimately come to a fateful halt.

I suppose I am telling this story because my lack of utilizing money on a car has ultimately shaped a part of me as a person. For instance, people used to terrify me; now it’s easy to approach just about anyone. Vomit, piss, blood, and all other forms of bodily fluids in an inappropriate setting used to do nothing but put me in shock. Well, let’s just say, I’ve seen a lot of things happen on the city bus. But it’s one my daily route where I can put in my head phones, gaze out the window, and just let my mind wander, comfortably among strangers. I can say confidently that it’s on the bus where I find “me” time, and each morning I look forward to see what each ritual travel brings me.

I’m kind of bummed I didn’t take photos of these people. Now I feel the need to draw memory sketches of their faces. Woo projects!