Fly me to the moon

Fifty years ago this July 20, a human stepped on the moon for the first time. A dream transformed into action, a partnership of imagination and science.  Collaborations based on ideas and skill, when new ground is broken, may be risky but also worthwhile. Why do we take risks? Because it’s the nature of who we are – curious hunter-gatherer earthlings.

As astronaut Edgar Mitchell said about his time in space,  “You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.”

This visualization uses a digital 3D model of the Moon built from global elevation maps and image mosaics by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission.

Images courtesy of NASA. Music, Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy. Interpretation of Clair de Lune by the National Symphony Orchestra Pops, led by conductor Emil de Cou, performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

Advertisements

In Central Australia, the air sings

Screen Shot 2019-06-13 at 11.27.11.png

It’s important to listen. Does your message resonate? Meaningful communication is our goal at SuperMarketLove.

Check out the inspirational art on this listening station, a satellite dish located outside Alice Springs in Central Australia. Painted by Roseanne Kemarre Ellis from the Arrente tribe, it’s located on a multi-million-dollar earth ground station and is set to be the first development of its kind on Aboriginal-owned land in Australia. Catch the vibe.

 

(Photo credit: Geoscience Australia)

 

 

Staying sharp: Grassroots shoots in Rauschenberg’s hometown

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 13.50.44.png

Notable fact: Beaumont-Port Arthur in South East Texas has great art bones. It’s the birthplace of postmodern genius, Robert Rauschenberg. As it turns out, this unique nexus of rust and innovation also offers fertile turf for a documentary shoot. 

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 23.19.35.pngThis past weekend I helped out a small crew shoot a series of interviews focused on the pulsating art scene in the resurrected post-industrial ozone of Beaumont I love nothing more than being on set, whether it’s a big budget job or a guerilla run-and-gun affair. My absolute favorite type of shoot is live interview documentary shooting. It keeps you sharp because you never know exactly what is going to happen. You have to be ready for anything. As producer, my job is to find the talent as they walk in – artists, filmmakers, photographers, writers – convince them to be interviewed, learn their story in a pre-interview Q and A, then feed salient angles to the director, so he can ask insightful questions and capture the action on camera.  Details: This project was a collaboration with Dizzy Worldwide Corp. at The Art Studio Inc, Beaumont, known as the red hot crucible for the rebirth of the arts in South East Texas. 

 

Romper Room and a brand of chocolate named after……me

Screen Shot 2019-05-26 at 20.16.27.png

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there was a kid called Mara (i.e. me) who would religiously watch a TV show called Romper Room every day. At the end of every episode the host, a teacher called Miss Patricia, would hold up a ‘magic mirror’ in front of her face, reciting the incantation, “Romper, bomper, stomper boo, tell me, tell me, tell me do. Magic mirror, tell me today, have all my friends had fun at play?”  Then she would proceed to call out names gleefully. “I can see Susan and Michael and David and Patrick and Ian and Sarah and Peter. I can see  Jennifer and Pamela and Jane and I can see Craig and Paul and Mandy and Derek. And I can see you too, and I’ll see you tomorrow in Romper Room.” She never, ever said my name. I would whine to my mother who would patiently answer that when Miss Patricia said “And I can see you too” that meant she was talking to me specifically. Indeed, I bought that line for a couple of years until I grew out of Romper Room. I thought I got over it, but as it turns out, the absence of the acknowledgement of my name stuck with me. Though I grew into my name and identity over the years, and there have been many times my memorable moniker helped me in the competitive world of business, simply because people had an easy time remembering someone whose first name was quite similar to their last name, there were also a number of times that my slightly unusual (unless you’re in Croatia) name made me feel like an outcast, a “Don’t Bee” in a “Do Bee” world.

Fast forward to today. Shopping at Whole Foods, I discovered a range of chocolates from California made from fair trade cacao and other premium ingredients. Turns out they’re delicious and totally addictive. And they’re named Marich Chocolates, just like my slightly unusual Croatian last name. The fact that a brand of premium chocolate  shares my name is to the 4 year old version of me, the ultimate victory. Got you, Miss Patricia! Take that Romper, bomper, stomper, boo! “I eat Marich premium chocolate, therefore I am.” 

Lesson: Names are very, very important. They’re encapsulate your identity – who you are and where you’re from. Whether you’re naming your child, your business or a new brand, it’s critical to think carefully about it, because you’re going to be living with that name and its aura for a long time. Essentially, you’re building a unique story based on a name. You can read more about the story of my company name here.

Screen Shot 2019-05-26 at 21.26.12.png

 

Unsung heroes: Marta Kranz, NASA branding genius

Screen Shot 2019-05-21 at 16.39.16.png

Gene Kranz, observing NASA engineers at Mission Control, Houston, wearing his                     most famous vest, designed and tailored by Marta Kranz.

If you can remember the year 1969 or have seen the film Apollo 13, you may be familiar with NASA’s flight director, Gene Kranz, who led the ground team at Mission Control Houston, most famously during the Apollo space missions. It was Gene who bore the ultimate responsibility for safely landing Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the lunar surface. It was Gene who headed up the mammoth operation which brought the Apollo 13 astronauts back home to Earth, averting almost disaster. Gene was a space age nerdy hero who endeared himself to an audience of millions worldwide, thanks to the power of the TV broadcasts which aired each space mission. As a constant steady visible presence, Gene was known for his cool demeanor under pressure, as well as his collection of vests, hand tailored by his wife, Marta.   

When quizzed about her handiwork, Marta shared that “Gene wanted some kind of symbol for his team to rally around. I suggested a vest.”  A branding device to admire, it represented an instant visual representation of a buttoned up, smooth, professional outfit. Gene started wearing Marta’s vests during Gemini 4, and they were an immediate hit. From then on, for every mission Gene supervised, Marta made Gene a new vest.

Screen Shot 2019-05-21 at 16.42.55.pngFive button cream faille vest, hand tailored by Marta Kranz for the Apollo 11 mission, on display at the Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC.

Screen Shot 2019-05-21 at 16.53.00.pngMarta and Gene Kranz today

On July 19 this year, the eve of the 50th anniversary of man’s first landing on the moon, Gene will be guest of honor at an historic dinner at NASA, Houston. As a kid who grew up watching the first lunar landing in awe so many moons ago, I’ve made it my mission to attend, to pay homage to that incredible feat, and to listen to the wisdom of the now 85 year old NASA icon. Like many, I’ll be eagerly waiting to see which of Marta’s vests Gene will wear on this momentous occasion. Stand by for my report on July 19.

Screen Shot 2019-05-21 at 21.36.51.png

 

 

Thanks to the Smithsonian for the back story

Fluevog!!! Gesundheit!

Screen Shot 2019-05-20 at 08.19.36.png

I’m one of those people – those shoe people –  who believe your day starts with putting your best foot forward in shoes that reflect your mood and attitude.  The word ‘Fluevogs’, may sound a bit like a stifled sneeze, but Fluevogs are most certainly nothing of the kind. They are a philosophy, a statement of identity representing a point of view on life. John Fluevog, one of the world’s most avant garde footwear designers, has been creating dream shoes for half a century now. Apart from continually releasing ideas for tootsies that amuse and inspire, he’s now offering fans worldwide a chance to decide which of his thousands of vintage designs to bring back into production. Be prepared to spend a good 30 minutes of your life in shoe heaven while you exercise your right to vote for thrilling throwbacks. Check out this brilliant, strategic marketing concept. 

 

SUPER-thanks

It is a special feeling to enter someone’s home and see your art hanging on the wall. I made this collage called GARDEZ in 2014 and just rediscovered it in a beautiful beach house in Mississippi.Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 07.54.33.png

Behind the scenes: Inspired

Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 18.42.40

Houston’s Museum of Fine Art is currently showing works by the amazing Ukranian-American sculptor, Louise Nevelson. A lateral thinker par excellence, she sourced wooden detritus to create multidimensional towers. When her Kipps Bay block in New York was being demolished, Nevelson rummaged through the trash to find elements to incorporate into her work. Chair legs, bannister spindles and small pulleys are amalgamated into the piece pictured above –  proving it’s possible to draw inspiration from many – sometimes unlikely – sources. I’ve been a fan for many years. As you can see from the shot, I’m royally chuffed to be in the presence of this masterful piece.