“An important attribute of a great junk shop is longevity,” Luc Sante wrote recently in The Paris Review. “It should accrue layers, like an archeological site.” By this definition, you could consider famed graphic designer, ephemera enthusiast, and second-generation junker Aaron Draplin an archeologist. Inside Draplin Design Co., Aaron keeps an ever-growing collection of artifacts he’s found and swiped for just a dollar or two from junk stores and bargain bins around the world. “See, when you find old, shitty Chevron stickers all stuck together like this, you don’t ask for just one,” Aaron told us. “You ask for the whole stack because then you can trade them with your buddies.” Later, he described himself as a rescue unit. He’s saving bric-a-brac from oblivion and using it to fuel a fresh round of timeless, creative work.
Most people use a simple test to judge the quality of a film, book, song, photograph, etc. They see if they can remember it the next day. They see if it sticks with them. The general idea is that if something isn’t worth remembering, then it isn’t worth much at all. No matter what we’re creating, memorability is always the goal. At least that’s photographer Miller Mobley’s philosophy. “The challenge I give myself is: How can I make a memorable photograph today? If this were going to be my subject’s last photograph, what would I do to make it something other people would remember?” Considering Miller Mobley has created memorable photographs for nearly every celebrity we’ve ever heard of (a very partial list: Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman, Barack Obama, Philip Seymour Hoffman), we believe his philosophy holds water.
A good litmus test for ideas around Musicbed is not related to the ‘what’ of the matter, but more to the ‘why’ of the matter. It bleeds into everything we do. Every email, social media post meeting — we have to think about what value we’re bringing to the table. What worth does it have? We’ve just wrapped up our most ambitious project to date, and, for once, we’re not sure what sort of value we’re bringing to the table — that part’s up to you.