The Early Hours Presents: Truemarmalade aka Erik Binggeser

The last interview for February comes from someone I've known for a long time, but still haven't met - Truemarmalade aka Erik Binggeser (we need to change that, since we now live in the same city now after meeting online around 12 years ago). I'm not surprised we haven't met, honestly, because we both have similar personalities - you know, the "I'm going to lock myself inside and work for 12 hours straight because I want to" type. We met through an art forum, when I was just starting to get back into creative work as a teen.  

I was following along as Erik was producing these insane stencils - huge, bed-sheet sized half tone photographic stencils comprised of thousands and thousands of tiny squares or shapes. He would grind them out at an incredible pace with a method most would never try - he would cut one stencil, spray it onto paper, look for any problem areas, and cut it again - all over again. If you've ever worked on detailed, multi layer or super intricate stencils, this is enough to make your hand start cramping and your eyes blurry. 

I recently reconnected with Erik, who's still making quality work but has also become incredibly involved in the ATX cycling scene. He documents events on his instagram @truemarmalade, as well as some epic rides through incredibly hilly terrain. Check out his graphic design work here, and enjoy the following...


1. Time is the most valuable resource. Do you agree or disagree, and why? 


I've been thinking about this more and more lately due to a long distance relationship ending because of the lack of bandwidth we had for each other. Time really is the one resource that every issue can be reduced down to. We might be wanting time to slow down so that there is longer to spend working on something that you care about. Alternatively someone could be praying that everything moves as fast as possible so that you can recover from a broken heart. 

2. How DO you spend your time? 

Lately it feels as though I've been wasting my time. Caring too much about certain things, caring too less about certain people. I am absolutely in some sort of in-between depressed phase of whatever this early 30's time is supposed to be like. I spend far too much time thinking about things to do rather than doing them, unfortunately.
Click to read the rest of the interview now...

The Early Hours Presents: Maggie Gentry

This week for The Early Hours Presents, we talked to "marketing consultant" Maggie Gentry from Austin, Texas. Maggie is unique in her approach to marketing, and consulting, by marketing herself not as a consultant, but as a "thought partner". A perfect example of someone who is true to themselves and playing to their strengths, Maggie has been a fantastic thought partner, motivator, and general inspiration since I met her late last year. 

 My sister Catelyn was going to attend a one day marketing intensive (Own Your Why) with Maggie and based on Catelyn's praise, I decided to join. After an epic day at Maggie's house, absolutely wrecked on caffeine, I went home, went through my notes, and wrote down an entirely new business plan for The Early Hours. I started moving forward with it immediately, scheduling production for new product, kicking off this series of interviews, and more - on the very first night. After years of consistent growth with The Early Hours, but an increasing lack of direction, I felt like I remembered what I was doing again (if I ever knew...) and couldn't wait to get after it. 

I've worked with marketing consultants, experts, specialists etc etc at various jobs and heard a million speeches, read a million books on the topic. They all have something to tell you.  When we first sat down to talk, Maggie had a different energy - almost like she DIDN'T have something to tell me. Instead, she started a conversation, centered around why.  Why does the brand exist, why does it matter, why do I care? It didn't immediately make me feel invigorated and confident - in fact, it was humbling and eye-opening. What it made me realize was that I already had all the answers I needed, I just wasn't connecting the dots, or I didn't have faith in my ideas.  

If you're creating something, be it art, music, a small business, anything - you need partners. You can do a lot yourself for a long time, but no one gets anywhere alone.  It doesn't matter how stubborn or narcissistic you are, no one becomes successful completely by themselves. We need these conversations, we need to talk about our ideas and receive honest feedback. We need that extra push to get started and to keep going, something that over time has become a staple of The Early Hours ideology (never hesitate, never surrender). I try to inspire and motivate people through my actions, not my words, and sometimes I forget how important these conversations can be. We're all in this together, even if we're "competitors", and it's a lot more fun to do it together. Start the conversation, no matter how small it feels, or how tough it is to talk about something. Find a thought partner like Maggie, and start opening doors you didn't even know existed. Enough of my rambling - enjoy the interview! 

1. Time is the most valuable resource. Do you agree or disagree, and why?


I absolutely agree. Time is this elusive, yet incredibly powerful force. It’s something we all want more of and spend so much energy trying to determine how we can better manage it. I am currently reading this book called Be Excellent at Anything [https://www.amazon.com/Excellent-Anything-Transforming-Catherine-Paperback/dp/B00IIDGCTY], and it’s fascinating how they explain that we, as humans, are meant to pulse. We’re meant to go between states of exerting energy and moments of rest. We breathe in; and we must breathe out. We exert energy during our waking lives, and then we must sleep. But despite this, more and more of us are living increasingly linear lives.


We drink coffee to jolt us awake in the morning. Maybe we eat lunch - but it’s probably at our desk. Then we end up working late because we’ve grown accustomed to this philosophy that we must be busy, we must work harder, and we always have to be hustling. When we finally make it home, we’re exhausted, so we like drink a glass (or bottle) of wine to help us chill out before finally hitting the sack. Once we finally get to bed - that sleep is disrupted because of our drinking, and then we don’t get sufficient sleep, and the cycle starts all over.


The authors encourage you to take mindful breaks throughout the day, so I’ve been experimenting with how exactly that works for me. My hope is that by better understanding how I function best on a day-to-day basis, I can work on turning each day into an ideal day, with the ultimate goal being that this collection of individual days will turn into a more intentional life.


2. How DO you spend your time?


The majority of my work is done through one-on-one client engagements, so most of my weekdays are spent hopping between a handful of client meetings, and then alone time in between to actually get the work done. Typically I’ll have a social/networking at least once a week to attend after hours. The weekends are always a toss up between work events, family things, and good ol’ downtime, which typically means bingeing the latest Netflix series.


This year I’ve been experimenting more with rituals to see how creating habits around certain times of the day can help me feel like I’m utilizing my time better. As someone who has historically been the Yes Woman, I’ve been working hard to say no and establish more boundaries around my time. For me, this means protecting my morning ritual and not scheduling client meetings before 11am. I am most productive in the morning, and I was finding that I was resentful when I had to break that flow with needing to get ready to go to a client meeting, so now it’s become a rule for me: No client meetings before 11am. And I am so. much. happier.


I’ve also been learning more about the moon phases and how that affects us energetically. The last week before the new moon is a time for reflection, rest and release. In January, I realized the week where I was not feeling like getting any work done, was also the same week of the waning moon in between Last Quarter Moon and New Moon. I didn’t want to produce from that state of desperation, so instead of pushing through it like I normally would have in the past, I let myself rest.


I have the luxury of working for myself, so I’m experimenting with the flexibility I have around deadlines and time, trying to schedule big projects during the waxing moon period. It’s also been interesting to tune inward to see how I’m feeling, or what I’m craving, and then making an active decision of how to spend my time based on that. I’m trying to cut down on procrastination. If I’m not feeling it, then I’ll go for a walk or take a nap instead.


Click to read the rest of the interview now...

The Early Hours Presents: Tyler Moehlman

The second interview for February is our youngest yet, a friend of my brothers that I met last year. Tyler is studying Engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, so already a little different than our previous interviews. Tyler's also a little different in that he's one of the most optimistic, honest, and loving people I've ever met, of any age.  Since we met he's been an endless source of inspiration and motivation, always excited to hear what we're doing and to share stories of his travels and the people he's met. Tyler's the type of person who's natural energy draws in everyone around him, and brings out the best in them as well. I've seen him become friends with total strangers and connect people you'd think would never get along. I've made art with him while we discussed process, creativity, individuality and the meaning of life. His fascination with life and his curiosity are endless, which is where I think he finds his immense happiness. One time, after I left a pair of shoes outside to dry, he snuck by our apartment and hid some cash inside one of the shoes. Only after he had snuck away, he texted me to check the shoe, with explicit instructions to only use the cash to help promote/market The Early Hours and what we're doing. If that isn't support, I don't know what is. (P.s., there's no more cash hidden around our apartment - please stay away :) )  I don't know where he's headed or what he's going to do next, but I already can't wait to hear about it.  Without further ado...Tyler Moehlman:


1. Time is the most valuable resource. Do you agree or disagree, and why?

I see time as a currency and each day you’re given the same amount of it to work with.  What you choose to spend your time on will show you what you value. The catch for me is that time doesn’t stop. It doesn’t matter if you’re being productive or lazy, doing what you want or what you have to do, time is perpetual and it doesn’t stop for you. When I realized that I really started to focus what I was spending my time on. 


2. How DO you spend your time?

I try not to waste it. I don’t have curtains in my room so light pours through my windows in the morning and I’m up with the sun. The first twenty minutes I spend reading then another ten I’m outside with a coffee. I have an awesome backyard (shout Planet Inlow and Bryan, Texas), so I get a nice view as I plan out my day. I reflect on things that I want to get done that day and revisit those things at day’s end. I’m honest with myself on what I did that day and what I didn’t. Right now, not everything gets done every day and I found that time doesn’t stop for you when you decide to take a break or when you have something that comes up that you didn’t expect.

Within the last year and a half, I’ve spent my time traveling. I took a study abroad semester a year ago that forever changed the course of my life. I left home with the intention to find out who I really was and what I wanted to become. I basically wanted to shift my entire way of thinking and focus on becoming the best version of myself. Since then, I’ve traveled to 15 countries over the last 17 months. Everywhere I’ve gone, I’ve gone by myself. I know some people back home thought it was weird of me to travel alone, but I didn’t care. Out there I learned to crawl, walk, and run around the globe as I peeped the culture of every place I went to with an open mind. I partied in Thailand, had Christmas in Spain, met some homies cut from my same cloth out in Portugal (shoutout the Love Effect), and got to meet family for first time in Honduras. 

Click to read the rest of the interview now...

The Early Hours Presents: Dorian Lynde


Our first interview for February - and I apologize for the delay - comes from the California based Canadian artist Dorian Lynde. She's an active multi-disciplinary artist with a handful of exhibits and shows coming up this year, in a range of styles and talents. Some of my favorite things I've seen from her are her photography and sculptural series, such as the Peace by Piece, or Broken Meditation work she did with broken ceramic. Her recent series titled No Damsel is an awesome glimpse into her persona - with site specific work in public spaces, portraying popular Disney princesses in their potential real world environments. Take a look at her work here, and enjoy the quick interview below... 


1. Time is the most valuable resource. Do you agree or disagree, and why? 


Humans have a problem with the perception of time that prevents them from being consciously present or appreciating just how valuable it is. There's a temporal illusion that makes people think their time is endless - it's not, and every second should be used mindfully. 


2. How DO you spend your time?

Mostly working - painting, drawing, sketching.. I spend a lot of time traveling, and a lot of time reading.  

Click below for the rest..

The Early Hours Presents: Emma Wasielke

To wrap up January, we're bringing you our fourth interview in the new series! I can't believe this year is already moving so fast, and I'm glad that we've been able to stay on schedule with these.  This week is our first interview with a woman, but it certainly won't be our last. I'm honored to know Emma Wasielke from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, where I was in an undergrad program at the same time she was there. Her charcoal, graphite, and marker drawings are some of my favorite illustrations I've encountered, and I'm obsessed with her style and process. She documents her life and those around her in an incredibly compelling way, showing quiet moments with friends and strangers in an effortless fashion.  Seeing her work has taught me a lot, not only about illustration and drawing, but about patience and perspective as well. I'm happy to have had her work on several designs for The Early Hours, which are still some of my favorite designs we've put out.  Emma is a New Yorker born and bred, and is currently living in the city and working toward her Masters degree while working full time.  A special thanks to Emma for taking the time to answer these questions for us! You can find more of her work at her website and on instagram. Now, onto the good stuff...


Photo by Justin Bernard 


1. Time is the most valuable resource. Do you agree or disagree, and why? 


Ugh agree! I have this post-it I wrote on when I was like 18 or 19 that says "the aging process is real" because I think I'd gone into shock about how my childhood and teenage years had pretty much passed by. I'm 29 now and I just wrote the same thing in my sketchbook, like where did my twenties go? I also noticed over the past couple of years that I'm finally old enough to start having actual regrets, like about who I am and what I've become and what I have to show for myself. Most of the feelings I have that border on regret have to do with time, and what I did or didn't do with it. That and insecurity, I think being insecure about myself has caused me to waste a lot of time and also waste my talents at times.


2. How DO you spend your time? 

Lots of ways! For one I work a regular full time job. Outside of that I have been in graduate school for the past 2.5 years. The classes have been at night and on weekends so just physically being at work, in class, and on the subway getting back and forth from both of those takes up the majority of my awake time. Last year I spent a lot of time writing my thesis paper, which was on Riot Grrrl zines from the nineties. I felt like I was going crazy trying to write it in the hours between work, class, completing my regular art and coursework, and sleeping, but it taught me a lot about time management. I don't find school or my job to be too challenging independently of each other, but I have definitely found it personally challenging to make both happen and still maintain my relationships with all the people I care about. For the first year of doing grad school while working I also squeezed in volunteering as a camp counselor at Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls and as a clinic escort at a women's health clinic in NYC that gets surrounded heavily by protesters. I think I got too burned out after the first year of trying to go to my job, school, AND volunteer, that sadly I've scaled back my volunteering to pretty much none.
I also have hobbies and interests I like to think of as "time maximizers". For example, I'm really into knitting, so if I want to Netflix binge for a day I at least will have a sweater or some beanies I made to show for it. I have also had a personal language learning initiative going for a while now that I think of as another time maximizer. On Tuesdays I listen to learn Spanish podcasts, Thursdays are French, and on Friday's I listen to Korean lessons. I also usually average reading one to two books a month, sometimes more, and most of my reading happens while riding the subway. I try to draw the people on the subway too, but I think I usually only end up doing it about once a week or once every two weeks. I'd like to step that up. 

Click to continue reading...

The Early Hours Presents: Bboy Luis Prado

I can't believe January is already almost over!  Here we are moving forward with the third interview in our new series, taking a close look at how people are spending their time and why. 

This week we talked to Luis Prado, a dancer/b-boy from southern California. Luis actually was a customer first before we ever talked, but he quickly caught my attention with some fantastic photos featuring our product. We started talking and I started keeping a closer eye on his feed on Instagram - which you can find here. Breakdancing has always fascinated me because of the confidence it requires from the participants. I used to photograph competitions when I was 15-16 in Dallas, around the time I started painting graffiti, and I loved the energy at the events. The good dancers were kings of self promotion, selling their style and brand to the opponent and the crowd.  Luis is no different.  The quality of his breaking and instagram feed drew me in, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a super nice, humble individual on the other side. He's my favorite type of customer - supportive, humble, and hard working. It seems to me that he's going places - so without further ado...


1. Time is the most valuable resource. Do you agree or disagree, and why? 


Time, in my opinion, is one of the few resources that never seem to satisfy my needs. It's a challenge in itself to decide what to do with my time and figuring out how much of my time to dedicate to something. Personally, I think time is the most crucial resource for anyone with a mind set on a goal. I think of time as crumbs falling from a cookie. The more crumbs I allow to fall, the less cookie I get to eat. And the entire goal is to eat (figuratively and literally). 


2. How DO you spend your time? 

I'm a bboy (breakdancer) from San Diego and I represent Knick Knack crew. I've been dancing for 7 years and even then it feels like just yesterday I was watching YouTube tutorials on how to breakdance. A lot of my yearly projects involve planning and executing hip hop events for my local community down here. I also perform when presented with the opportunity and I teach elementary school kids how to dance. When I'm not practicing my craft or planning an event of some sort, I find myself behind a camera and often times in front of it. I think of a camera as my best friend through any creative journey. It provides a lot of unplanned usefulness. You never know when someone will want to have their picture taken, or when I'll come up with a new move to record on video or whenever I will see a great landscape that could easily be my next phone wallpaper. Additionally, I like anything that has to do with graphic design or just design in general. My general pictures folder on my computer is filled with tossed ideas for event logos, personal brand banners and even half fleshed-out, poorly photoshopped memes. 

Click below to read the rest of the interview...

Listen: The Early Hours Most Played 2016

I've been working on some new mixtapes and playlists to share with y'all, but in the mean time, I thought I would share my Top Songs of 2016 Playlist that Spotify put together for me...

From Rick James to Vince Staples, Talking Heads to Z-Ro, Eek-A-Mouse to Andre Nickatina...it's definitely not for everyone, but I bet a lot of you will enjoy this. 



Let me know what you think in the comments - anyone I should be listening to that you didn't hear? I'm always open to new music...hit me with it and I'll try to do a better job of sharing what I'm listening to this year as the year unfolds. 


Clif

Never Hesitate, Never Surrender

The Early Hours Presents: Phil America

     Welcome back to the second interview in the new series from The Early Hours. This time around we spoke to Phil America, a working artist, writer, and activist from California. Phil's built an impressive body of work, touching on topics of class, race, and gender in the modern world. He has lived, worked, and exhibited in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Africa, with new work bringing him back home to Sacramento, where he's tying all 28 museums in the city together through temporary sculptures. Phil has given 3 TED talks, started numerous organizations to help the impoverished here and abroad, and has collaborated with the United Nations, International Labor Organization, World Vision, and much more. 

Needless to say, Phil is doing things and we are always looking forward to what he is doing next. Phil reached out to me several years ago simply asking about the brand, and after losing touch for a moment, I received another email from him out of the blue. He had just gotten out of a..."forced vacation" in Thailand, and was eager to get into some new work. I had been working on our disposable camera project, having a little trouble matching people up for the first edition. Phil put me in touch with some of his associates, and the first edition of The Early Hours Photo Project was born, featuring himself and Parisian tattoo legend Cokney. It's always refreshing to talk to him, and I hope you enjoy this short interview with him below... then check out more of his work at www.PhilAmerica.com

1. Time is the most valuable resource. Do you agree or disagree, and why?

I think thats a tough question. Time is relative to whomever is observing it and through what lens so I would say it really depends on who you're talking to and how they define time. I think time is valuable but for me it is not the most valuable resource. I’d say it’s motivation or ‘heart’.

2. How DO you spend your time?

Carefully.

Click to read the rest of the interview now...

The Early Hours Presents: Guapular

    The Early Hours started as a creative project to kill time, and has evolved into a lifestyle brand that supports and represents creatives, hustlers, and those who follow their passions, no matter what the cost. This often means sacrifice, short or long term, to reach goals and incite change. It takes a special type of person to break away from a "normal" life to follow their dreams, but eventually this lifestyle becomes normal for them.  

    Instead of asking people what they do for a living, I like to ask them how they spend their time. It's easy to throw around a job title. It's not as easy to be honest with yourself if you're not using the brief time you have on earth to the fullest. I'm hoping to learn and gain some insight from these interviews that I can apply to my own life, maximizing the time I have. 

    This first interview is with Guapular from the Bay Area. He's an incredibly talented young photographer with a lot ahead of him - we met through Instagram several years ago, he's done some work for us but his lifestyle/street/outdoor photography is a constant inspiration to me. I credit him with reminding me to pick up my camera every day. Check out his work here or on instagram. Enjoy..


1. Time is the most valuable resource. Do you agree or disagree, and why? 


I do agree. Time for me is everything. I feel like I myself have wasted a lot of time in the past. I'm a huge procrastinator. I'll put something important off, or make a mental note to do it later... Then other stuff will pop up and I'll end up not getting it done. Everyday for me is a battle against my procrastination and making the best of my time. I still may manage my time a little bit better than the average person, but I'm not the average person, and I do not know how the average person manages their time. So in my own eyes I suck at it, but I'm getting better. 

2. How DO you spend your time? 


I spend a lot of time listening to music, smoking a lot, and trying to go out and take as many photos as I can. I don't have a job. All of my money comes from what I can create for myself that day. So everyday that I wake up I set a goal for myself, and try to reach it. Some days I'm lazier than others. Some days I'll wake up and go crazy. I'll get a bunch of shit done in one day, other days I'll play xbox for 5 hours and smoke a bunch of weed and not do shit. All on how I feel. But even on those days, I still try to be productive even if it's minimal. I like to travel as much as I can, see different places, meet different people, try different foods. I get a lot of my inspiration from the trips I take, and the things that I see. 

Click below to read the rest of the interview...

The Early Hours in On Hold by The XX

Thanks to one of our customers for pointing this out to me today...The XX just dropped a new video for their song On Hold and one of our stickers makes a prominent appearance in the intro. I put that sticker up in Marfa, Texas around 3 years ago...good to see it again :)

Check out the video below...