I've been pretty quiet about what I've been up to so far this year, aside from a few oblique references on Twitter to 'scripts' (still keeping that a secret) and 'fashion clients.' But the time has come for me to talk a little more about some of that fashion work!
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of helping Moving Image & Content to create the Diesel Reboot project. It's a deceptively simple thing: the Diesel Reboot Tumblr assigns missions; an audience submits entries; eventually, a few are selected for special treatment — for example, printed in The New York Times.
This could have gone so, so wrong. It could have felt like any other user-generated content project, asking an audience to do spec design work for a questionable payoff. It could have felt exploitative. I am bursting with pride when I say it is carefully designed to not be that ugly thing. Here are a few reasons why:
1. No promises. This isn't that predatory "make some ads for us" garbage because… when the missions started, nobody knew they'd ever go anywhere but Tumblr. It was very important to me that the community form around the pure idea of sharing creativity, rather than gambling or competing for a specific reward.
2. The focus is on connection, not on content. The quality of submissions is absolutely blow-your-head-off incredible. Light years beyond what I ever expected. But the focus the whole time has been on forging links between members of a community — and Diesel artistic director Nicola Formichetti is himself a member of the community. If we've done our job right (and it looks like yes), many of those new connections will persist forever.
3. The brand shares the spotlight. Diesel is a part of the community, and acting as a curator — but the Reboot isn't fundamentally about Diesel. Another team, another day, another project would have tried to make the brand the main focus, which would have led participants to feel like they were being used. Diesel is shining light on creators, and not inserting itself into the conversation where it doesn't belong — none of the missions require Diesel clothing or a Diesel logo, for example.
It's a pure and beautiful thing. A community whose seed is simply: let's make art together. I really couldn't be more proud.