In honor of Jeffrey's marvelous new book, I'd like to announce The Lux Lotus 52 Projects Challenge, which works like this:
I'm going to order two copies of 52 Projects this afternoon, one for me and one to award to the LL52PC winner.
To sweeten the deal, I'll add some goodies from my fave creative types to make it an official Lux Lotus prize pack. If your project is chosen as the winner, I'll interview you and feature it here.
They're easy, baby -- don't be shy!
Lots of people write books in New York, and when they are published I am not surprised. When someone at a party tells me they've published a book, I'm like, "Of course you have."
Many people bore me a little, especially the ones that talk about publishing at parties. When I found out inspiringly creative writer, editor and publishing impresario Jeffrey Yamaguchi was working on a book, I was like, "Where do you find the time? Seriously!" I was intrigued.
Jeff was kind enough to answer some questions for Lux Lotus, which is perfect since 52 Projects officially comes out today.
Lux Lotus: Who are your creative icons?
Jeffrey Yamaguchi: I admire and look up to so many people. Let's see - there's Jim Munroe, who runs the nomediakings.org site. He writes and publishes his own books, among many other things, but I really like the way he makes a point of explaining his process, peeling back the layers in an honest and matter of fact way. He lives and works and shares the DIY ethic. I'm inspired by Kevin Sampsell, who is an amazing writer, but he also publishes the work of others through his Future Tense Books. He's been doing this for years, consistently, and it's always quality stuff. I'm impressed by what Jen Angel and Jason Kucsma do with the Clamor Magazine operation - they keep growing this thing well beyond the magazine (conferences, The Zine Yearbook, the music festival), and we really need to hear the voices they provide a platform for. Keri Smith, the author of Living Out Loud, an amazing book, and she also has this wonderful blog that has, I think, truly built a community of inspiration. These are just few... Again, there are so many people who do amazing, creative work that inspires me...
Lux Lotus: What inspired 52 Projects?
Jeffrey Yamaguchi: I would have to say my love of projects. While this is definitely about the actual process of making a creative project, it is also very much about how project-making fits into my life -- how making a concerted effort to make something unleashes my creativity. Everything that goes into a project, no matter how exhausted or frustrating it might get, deep down, where it counts, I feel energized, and I can tell my creative impulses and desire to make stuff just gets stronger. And this energy - I truly feel it course into all areas of my life. This idea of project-making, this is the underlying inspiration behind 52 Projects. The perhaps more straightforward answer would be that I have had some terrible jobs in the past, like pretty much everyone, you know, and being creative on my own terms through my own project-making efforts, that really provided me with an important outlet - I actually felt like I was accomplishing something of worth, and that feeling in turn helped me get through the day to day, and in the long run, sort of bend and twist and churn out a situation that was more ideal, closer to what I wanted to do with my life. This is an ongoing thing, of course. It will always be "ongoing."
Lux Lotus: Which one would Lux Lotus readers particularly enjoy?
Jeffrey Yamaguchi: If I have to pick one, then I will pick Project #23 - "Document the life of the party." This project involves taking a picture of the main room of a party before anyone arrives, another when the party is in full swing, and then another after everyone else has left. I picked this one because it's artistic AND it involves a party, fitting for the Lux Lotus reader, for sure.
Lux Lotus: Any creative projects elsewhere that you'd like to plug?
Jeffrey Yamaguchi: Yes, the Vendy Awards, which are happening on Nov. 10. This is a celebration of the best street vendor food in NYC, but it's also a benefit for the Street Vendor Project, which is a legal advocacy group for street vendors. This is going to be a really fun night (I've bought my tickets), and it's for a great cause. You can read more about The Vendy Awards and the Street Vendor Project at streetvendor.org.