Strands of Genius: Luxxury's Instagram Account, Samantha Morton's Desert Island Discs, People Don't Have Short Attention Spans, They have Short Consideration Spans
Guest curated by Hugh Garry, Director of Content & Strategy, Storythings
Each year we aim to highlight 50 creative thinkers that have inspired us by giving them the opportunity to guest curate this newsletter, Strands of Genius. This edition is guest curated by Hugh Garry Director at Storythings.
:: A BIT MORE ABOUT GUEST CURATOR, HUGH GARRY::
I live in Ibiza. I come from Manchester. I'm the director of a content and strategy company called Storythings which is based in Brighton. I met Faris in 2009 at SXSW. I came across his blog Talent Imitates Genius Steals. It caught my attention because around that time I'd traced back many iterations of that quote for a series of talks. The oldest version I could find was "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." Ecclesiastes 1:8.
I met Rosie many years later when we both spoke at an event in Brighton. In my former life, I was a DJ, ran my own club nights and worked at BBC Radio 1 for 15 years. Storythings founder Matt Locke was also at the BBC and Channel 4. He invited my to join the company in 2014. Coming from a broadcast background really made us value the benefits of formats over campaigns. We run three newsletters at Storythings - Attention Matters (which is about attention), Formats Unpacked (which is about Formats) and the Storythings Newsletter (which is all about the craft of storytelling).
Editor’s Note (Genius Steals): Hugh has been a source of inspiration for us for a long time. We did indeed meet thanks to the heady nexus of blogging, thinking too hard about creativity, and the flush of excitement we all had around technology in advertising that led so many of us to SXSW back in those days.
If I remember correctly he interviewed me about creativity and I certainly do remember he was a delightful, kind, charming and smart interlocutor. I think we were sitting outside a BBQ place.
Storythings is also, in totality, a great source of inspiration for us, through their thinking, newsletters (subscribe!) and business - we have lots of areas of interest in common (attention being one of the most obvious, but also check out their format thinking, it’s super helpful) coming from slightly different backgrounds and professional endeavors, and we are delighted to have Hugh guest curate. Thanks Hugh! I did not know you now live in Ibiza! Hopefully we’ll get to visit you on the island at some point.
:: THE LINKS ::
LUXXURY’S INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT
Let's kick off with something about genius stealing. Luxxury is an artist, producer, DJ and storyteller. His Instagram account is full of fascinating videos that deconstruct songs and sniff out interpolated melodies and samples. He does it in a really respectful way though. There are no 'gotchas' here. This video is a great example. He breaks apart the classic Blue Monday and finds the 5 inspirations and interpolations within it. So steal away... (Instagram)
SAMANTHA MORTON’S DESERT ISLAND DISCS
Desert Island Discs is my favourite format. EVER! Ask someone a question and they’ll give you an answer. Ask someone to play you some music and they’ll tell you a collection of stories, each one remembered like a movie scene replaying in their heads, wrapped up in a bunch of emotions that perfectly fit the soundtrack. Joy. Pride. Grief. Love. Happiness. Heartbreak. Fear. Contentment. Satisfaction. Excitement. Regret. Loneliness. Peace. Compassion. Acceptance. This episode has them all and epitomizes the work a brilliant format can do in giving content structure that locks the audience in. (BBC)
PEOPLE DON’T HAVE SHORT ATTENTION SPANS, THEY HAVE SHORT CONSIDERATION SPANS
Attention is another Storythings obsession. Buried deep within this profile of the innovative publishing company Category Pirates is a quote we've been using a lot recently. It helps to bring into focus something we've been talking to clients about for over a decade. Attention is on a spectrum and people watch or listen to reaaaaalllllly long content as well as really short. The challenge for content creators is the time spent considering what to commit to. (Substack)
Looking for more from Hugh Garry ? Those enrolled in The School of Stolen Genius will receive a deep dive from him in their inbox shortly! You can access all our expert interviews for SOSG here.
:: AND NOW… SOME FAST FAVORITES ::
:: Game :: Football. Sorry.
:: City :: Eivissa - It's the least judgmental place I've ever lived.
:: Book :: Where Good Ideas Come From by Seven Johnson or A Technique for Producing Ideas by James Webb Young.
:: Podcast :: For consistency it would be 99% Invisible
:: Album :: Steve McQueen by Prefab Sprout
::THE HISTORY OF DRAG::
Whilst this was a work project it was also a passion project. The history of drag is absolutely fascinating. Last year we made a series of radio shows and short on the subject. We also created this image as part of the project.
Subscribe to our new Substack Attention Matters then have the best day ever!
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It's called Genius Steals because we believe ideas are new combinations and that nothing can come from nothing. But copying is lazy. We believe the best way to innovate is to look at the best of that which came before and combine those elements into new solutions.
Co-Founders Faris & Rosie are award-winning strategists and creative directors, writers, consultants and public speakers who have been living on the road/runway since March 2013, working with companies all over the world. Our Director of Operations is nomadic like us, our accounting team is based out of Washington, our company is registered in Tennessee, and our collaborators are all over the world. Being nomadic allows us to go wherever clients need us to be, and to be inspired by the world in between.
Hit reply and let’s talk about how we might be able to work together :)