art, marketing tips

Game of Marketings

Starbucks’ marketing team has always been great. With the supposed “oops” on what many are calling the worst episode of the worst series ending… I’ll argue that the Starbucks marketing machine is easily the GOaT!

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Donde está la biblioteca

It’s one of the first phrases you learn in high school Spanish: Donde está la biblioteca

And the running joke is that you will never use that phrase in a real conversation.

Deadpool’s translation is way off. “Donde está la biblioteca” = “Where is the library”, not:

On my latest trip to Cabo with my beautiful wife to help plan her upcoming country music charity festival, the phrase “Donde está la biblioteca” was finally put to good use! We had heard so many great things about the art walk over the last year, and this trip we decided to check it out. We had visited downtown San José del Cabo the Sunday before to explore some of the potential locations for holding a large outdoor gathering, so we were able to familiarize ourselves with the area a bit.

The area around Parroquia San José is a lively place! It’s also at the heart of the art walk we knew we were going to see on Thursday. We spent some time in the square, soaking up the atmosphere and energy.

The experience inside the Parish was invigorating! Perhaps it was the cool inside air, or it was an adventure for my soul. Either way, this is a must for anyone visiting Cabo!

The Wednesday before the art walk, my wife and I were spending some time with the great artists at Blanco Creative at the Koral Center El Merkado. We got onto the topic of conversational Spanish vs. academic Spanish (as well as how growing up in Los Angeles, I learned all the bad words before I knew anything else). Naturally, “Donde está la biblioteca” came up. We all had a great laugh saying “Donde está la biblioteca” in a super formal manner.

“Donde está la biblioteca” is definitely a term one will almost certainly never use in everyday conversation, right?

Fast forward to the next evening with my wife and I back in beautiful downtown San José del Cabo. We were working longer than expected that evening and didn’t head over until a bit later than we anticipated. When we got there, parking was hard to come by. Later on, we found out there is great parking for art walk visitors just south of the Parish, but we ended up parking several blocks away from the bustling art district.

It was pretty easy to find our way to the festivities. We grabbed a couple of nitro coffees at The Breakdown and started perusing the art scene! There was so much to see. I’ll have to write-up another blog just to touch on the art we got to see and experience, and we only got to see the tip of the iceberg on this first visit.

There was one small gallery that was calling my name though. While my wife and I were making a B-line for our coffees, I saw the gallery out of the corner of my eye and said, “I really want to go to that one.” After we got our coffees and looked around at some of the art displays in the small square outside The Breakdown, we headed over to the small gallery.

It’s hard to describe the experience when we stepped inside this small gallery. The visuals and audio are easy to explain: beautiful handmade jewelry with unique, colorful stones; colorful paintings; lively music from The Baja Brewing Company just on the other side of the back wall; and happy artists inside. But there was more to it than just what can be explained with simple words. There was magic!

I was really impressed with the silver work by Oscar Vargas. We chatted for a bit with him about his craft. As a horologist, I have a great appreciation for handcrafted jewelry, and Oscar’s love of his work was evident in his art.

After picking up a couple of pieces of beautiful jewelry from Oscar, my wife and I still felt like something was calling us in the gallery. We looked around at the paintings, all of them beautiful work! As we were about to head out and on to the rest of the art walk, there was one painting that really called to us both. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t listed for sale (oh, and we captured it in our photo with Oscar without even realizing it until I started going through the photos to make this blog).

The painting was made by the wife of the owner of the gallery. We asked if she’d consider selling it because we were both just drawn to this painting. So, Mario (another artist in the gallery) called up the owner and inquired. Next thing you know, we’re trying to figure out how we’re going to get it on the plane back to Los Angeles. We made the purchase and made arrangements to come back for the painting after we had walked around the art walk.

We went about the walk, enjoying every minute; making new friends and even bumping into old friends at the Parish. My wife and I had such a wonderful experience at the Parish last time, we decided to go back and check it out. This time there was an evening service taking place. I waited outside with the two coffees while my wife went inside. As the service ended, out came a dear friend, Carmina, who I met for the first time about 10 years ago while running the Steinhausen watch company.

Cabo Parish at night

We walked around a bit, shared some churros, and talked about life while enjoying some more beautiful artwork. As we were walking along the art displays in the square, I heard someone say “Señor. Señor”. I looked over and someone was trying to get my attention. He succeeded! “You just bought a painting from my gallery,” he said.

Francisco the Finger Painter

It took me a few seconds to put it together that he was the owner of the gallery where my wife and I had just purchased his wife’s painting. I stood in amazement at what a wonderful experience the entire night was as I spoke with Francisco about how much his wife’s painting had captured my heart. He told me he was so glad to hear this because his wife wasn’t sure if she ever wanted to sell it. He told her that if she ever did, the right person would come along at the right time. The painting had been through three hurricanes and was nearly 10 years old, and now we were blessed to have this treasured piece of work coming home with us!

Of course, we would have to find our car and get the painting back to Los Angeles. We said goodnight to my friend Carmina and then went back to pickup the painting. Then the adventure began. We had a good idea where we parked, so we started walking (painting in hand) in that direction. A few wrong turns later, and we quickly realized we had no idea where we had parked! I stood at a corner near the Parish and pulled up a photo I had taken of our car when we parked. I pulled up the GPS location and started to chuckle as I walked passed by wife and said: Donde está la biblioteca?

My wife looked at me puzzled.

Donde está la biblioteca?

“What does that even mean?” She asked. She definitely shouldn’t watch the Deadpool video!

We walked block after block holding hands as I kept saying “Donde está la biblioteca”. A few minutes later, we were back at our car, which was parked where? You guessed it! En la biblioteca!

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art, celebrities, cool stuff, friends, Funny, Gadgets, life, Relationships, technology

First ever Gadget Panel Radio

On BlogTalkRadio.com. Pardon the first 20 seconds… I had some technical difficulties 😀

There’s even a clip from the Kevin Smith keynote from the Scriptwriter’s Showcase on Friday evening.

Vadim tells us about his move from the Ukraine to America and the horifying experience of moving around. Then he talks about the coolest products in the world!

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art, cool stuff, culture, life

The Largest French Festival in the Western US

I went to the Santa Barbara French Festival last year! It was a great experience. The crepes… I can’t wait to go this year just to eat the crepes and to hang out with the dogs. People bring their dogs to enjoy the festival. It’s a great time for everyone 😀

There is music, cabaret, art, you name it. And! You have a chance to win a trip to France. Hope to see you there!

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art, blogging, cool stuff, culture, Dance, friends, life, photos, Relationships, technology, thoughts, videos, Work

The Future of the Web

I love open source. I love the idea. I love the practice.

The concept of open source software is pretty simple. The community freely, openly develops software, each individual collaborating and contributing to others in the community. The result… It’s the future on the Internet.

My former swing dance partner (Denise Gibson) wanted to create a website for her students. She teach swing dance, ballroom, swing dance, and other styles of dance at local colleges and studios. She wanted to provide them with a web experience where they could bond as a community, communicate with each other, meet new people, and enjoy a multimedia arrangement of dance information.

I wasn’t sure where to start. It’s been a while since I was out of the IT game. Of course, it never occurred to me to develop a website for her based on ASP.net or any Windoze platform for that matter. So, I played around with the applications available through my godaddy.com hosting service.

WOW! What a selection!

I stumbled across an application called Joomla. Mind you, by this time, I had evaluated Xoops, Geeklog, Serendipity, and a slew of others. Something about Joomla just really kept me interested. Sure, it has one ridiculous flaw in the fact that an article can only be placed into a single section+category. Hell, they should have talked to me about my infamous name/value pair class I developed back in the days of the psychic chat network. Those were the good ol‘ days, but I digress.

Joomla is as extensible as you can get. Build a community, host discussion boards, member managed blogging, private messaging, newsletters, AJAX shout boxes, eCards, contact management… The list goes on forever, literally. People in the Open Source community are developing tons of projects for Joomla every week.

In a matter of weeks, I developed a community website that had many of the same features as Myspace (minus the abundance of bugs). Granted, denisegibson.com does not have 11 million members, but that’s besides the point. I encourage anyone to test out Denise’s website. Even if you don’t know anything about dance, take a look and see what is possible in just a matter of days with open source software. Who knows… You might just find yourself picking up a pair of dance shoes after all!

Folks, this is where the web is going: community building websites with multimedia entertainment, newsletters, cool features. And it’s all going to be free!!!

www.denisegibson.com – DeniseGibson.com

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art, cool stuff, Dance, Education, friends, life, Relationships, videos

My First (and only) West Coast Swing Dance Choreography

It is Fall 2005. I’ve been teaching swing dance with Denise Gibson at Moorpark College for a couple of semester. We both love West Coast Swing. We’ve been taking lessons from the world famous Sonny Watson, and we’d both love to bring it more exposure in the college community.

We start teaching beginning West Coast Swing to a beginning ballroom class. Now, for those of you who know anything about West Coast Swing, it is not as easy or simple as some of the other forms of swing. When it is done right, West Coast Swing is the coolest looking dance on the planet. Period.

West Coast Swing, however, is not an easy dance to learn. Nor is it an easy dance to teach, let alone to beginners. Denise and I are doing our best to prepare the students at Moorpark for a 6 week master class in West Coast Swing with Sonny Watson. When Sonny arrives, the students are excited! They are doing a great job. They are struggling but making excellent progress!

Next thing you know, the six weeks are over, Sonny is finished, and the beginning dancers now have 8 weeks to prepare for the dance concert at the end of the semester! Here is the result:

Remember! These are all beginning dancers. Some of these people have never danced a day in their life before this class. Some, this is their very first partnered dance class. For all but a handful, this is the first time they ever heard of West Coast Swing Dance. One semester! Look how clean they are. I’m so proud of how well they all did 😀

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