The life and times of Copywriter, Steve Taylor.
Found this on my way to work today. #sidewalkart #streetart #wisdom #Chicago #Pilsen #UIC #art #artandlife
Yesterday, I went to the live theater broadcast of Monty Python Live (Mostly). It was an incredible time that saw the audience break into song on more than one occasion. If you’re able to catch any of the replays this week, I highly recommend it. The Pythons’ creativity is inspiring on so many levels, even after all these years. Aside from that, my weekend consisted of running—and lots of it. And since I’m sure no one wants me to ramble on and on about the Rock n’ Roll Marathon Series, I thought I’d talk a little about TRIS3CT.
If there’s one question I’ve been asked more than any other this month it has to be, “What’s with the ‘3’ in TRIS3CT?” Well, now that I’ve finally infiltrated their headquarters, I think it’s about time I provided an answer.
I should admit that when I first noticed the 3, I was a bit hesitant about its presence. You see, I grew up listening to a lot of heavy metal and in the 90’s that meant some questionable nu-metal groups, some of whom loved adding numbers to their names. (i.e. 40 Below Summer, Apartment 26, Project 86, Primer 55, Powerman 5000). So, when I saw ‘TRIS3CT’ it gave me some pretty dicey flashbacks to parachute pants, eyeliner and fishnet. Thankfully those have passed and I’ve since learned to love the ‘3’. That’s mostly because I discovered it wasn’t there for the sake of being different. No, the ‘3’ serves a purpose that goes well beyond delivering a unique name.
The ‘3’ is a reference to the agency’s defining principles—fearless, inventive, humanistic. It’s also the essence of their culture and a staple of their décor. As it says on their website, everyone here “believes that when these 3 forces of good come together, something powerful is created. Strategy becomes stronger. Ideas work harder. Results jump higher. Pigs literally take flight”.
It just goes to prove that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. TRIS3CT is an agency that knows what it can do and how to do it. I’m three weeks in and I can confidently say that everyone here believes in the ‘3’ and embodies what it stands for by pursuing those defining principles and strengthening their presence with each new project.
My hope is that by explaining this, I can help others out there learn to love the ‘3’ as well. Oh and on a bit of a side note, if you aren’t yet, be sure to follow @TRIS3CT on Twitter. I’m taking it over at 3:33 everyday to document the various “threes” that can be found throughout the office.
Almost time for #MontyPythonLive (mostly)! #montypython #movies #comedy
Check out this little guy. #butterflies #nature #Chicago #summer #animals #insects #beauty
It always excites me when someone truly understands what I’m trying to do with this project. I’ve met so many wonderful individuals in every city I’ve been to and the level of encouragement they offer me is absolutely outstanding. I always try to make it a point—that while I’m the one writing these blogs and documenting the experience—this whole project belongs to all of us. Without any of you, this thing would just be about me wandering around, and trust me, I’m way less interesting than I appear.
Though I’m only halfway through my time here in Chicago, it’s already shaping up to be one of the most interesting months I’ve had. More and more people are contacting me about meeting up, I’m getting recommendations left and right, and the city itself continues to be a wonderland of great street art and creative neighborhoods. I’ve always been a fan of this place, so it’s a lot of fun to finally be experiencing it all—from the Museum of Science and Industry and Wrigley Field to Kuma’s Corner and Millennium Park. But for me, the one location that holds a special place in my heart is Leo Burnett. After all, it’s no mistake that I quote the man behind the name as often as possible. He was—and will always be—one of the best ad writers to have ever lived.
”Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.”
— Leo Burnett
Oh and speaking of wonderful individuals, I need to thank Jeff Canzona and Ben Santoriello for treating me to some great lunches and even better conversations over the past two weeks. On Monday, I also had the pleasure of grabbing dinner with the incredibly wonderful Angela Vitzhum, who just happens to work for #TGAA sponsor, The Creative Group. It was a great time from start to finish, although as a fellow whiskey fan, I still have to introduce her to another of my sponsors, Cleveland Whiskey. I may have already mentioned this, but Angela even invited me to speak with her class at the Chicago Portfolio School next week. So, I’m greatly looking forward to that as well. And finally, despite my body trying to talk me out of it, I’m still going to run in two 5K’s this weekend. I just hope this weather holds up, because running around in muggy 90º weather doesn’t sound like very fun to me.
I think my time here in Chicago is going to get rather interesting from here on out, so stay tuned and I’ll you all at the finish line!
One of the great things a large city has to offer is summer programming—from the festivities of Memphis in May to Central Park’s Summerstage concerts, there’s always something new to do. Here in Chicago, I’m lucky enough to be in town for several such events. The first is Taste of Chicago, a blend of food trucks, top chefs and outdoor concerts. I really wanted to check it out, so last week I attended a performance by AWOLNATION at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, as well as a demonstration from Chef Art Smith. Both were absolutely wonderful and filled to brim with enthusiastic patrons. I think it’s safe to say that this is what ‘summer fun' is all about.
Also taking place throughout the summer is Chicago’s 14th Annual Movies in the Park series, which kicked off May 29th. It features more than 250 outdoor screenings in parks across the city and draws thousands upon thousands during its run. I recently learned that this summer’s program features the addition of the “Chicago on Screen Local Film Showcase,” which highlights movies shot in or inspired by the city. Sadly, I haven’t been able to attend one of these screenings yet, but I hope to catch at least one before I mosey on to Minneapolis.
Lastly, I’ll be participating in the Rock n’ Roll Running Festival this weekend, running a 5K on Saturday and another on Sunday. There’s also a mini-marathon that takes place, but I just don’t think I’m to that point yet. The cool thing about this event is that it features a finish line performance from Cold War Kids, a great band I recommend everyone check out. And the organizers actually host this event across the US, Europe and the UK for anyone interested.
Of course, these are just a few of the great things I’ll be taking part in here. To be honest, when I first departed Cleveland back in January, I spent most of my time looking into concerts and music festivals. And while I do plan on attending a few, I’ve come to realize that what each city, itself, has to offer is far more interesting, because these are the things that help shape its personality. Bands will come and go; festivals will move and grow; but our cities will always have the most to offer, because we’ll always have a voice in what comes next.
Two quick side notes: One of the amazing designers at Boxing Clever created this shirt for me. If you dig it, please be sure to grab one. Once I sell enough, I’ll get a portion of the sales and all the earnings go directly into the project. Also, Welcome back King.
One of the great designers @boxingcleverstl created this shirt for me. If you dig it, pick one up! A portion of each sale goes to me, which supports #TGAA. https://cottonbureau.com/products/its-all-semantics
Awesome #streetart in #Chicago. #art #graffiti #murals
Did you know that Slim Jims are one of the snacks most requested by our deployed servicemen and women? I didn’t either. It’s one of the reasons why I was pleasantly surprised to discover the Slim Jim ‘Salute the Troops’ promotion the other day. Brought to life by the talented people of TRIS3CT, the whole idea proves that you truly can promote a brand and support a great cause at the same time. While it isn’t the first launch I’ve been privy to along my journey, it’s certainly the first that has such deeply felt results. I don’t usually like to discuss individual projects on here, but I felt I should make an exception for this one, since it offers a message of courage and hope to those who truly need it.
Last year, more than 100,000 salutes were collected through a dedicated Facebook app and this year, the newly developed website has already seen a flood of 25,000 in its first few days. That’s a pretty big leap, if you ask me. Together, we can not only top last year’s numbers; we can bring a much needed moment of joy and relief to those risking their lives to ensure we can keep doing what we do. TRIS3CT and Slim Jim are hoping to hit 1 million salutes, so spread the word to everyone you know!
Aside from that wonderful piece of news, I don’t have much else to report on. I’m still getting to know the team here and digging a bit deeper into a few of the projects they’ve put me on. On the AirBnB front, I’ve had a few more people added to my “Revolving door of roommates”. And I never did get to meet any of them, which makes the whole experience that much weirder. Can you imagine living with someone and never meeting them? It just feel a bit… odd. I’m sure I’ll get used to the feeling though, because the cavalcade will continue for the length of my stay. I just hope I meet someone interesting or at least get a good story to tell out of the whole situation.