Second Hand Second Story 1 Year Anniversary Poster

I had the pleasure of working with Hyo on the 1 year anniversary artwork for Second Hand Second Story. Hyo heads Chengdu’s first consignment shop, where her creative talent and attention to detail dresses each article of clothing, pair of shoes, home decor, or accessory in the shop with the value of a story.

I love this idea and concept because it expands on mindfulness and conscious consumption, rather than the main stream ‘fast fashion’ attitude that’s laid waste to our earth and tends to drive our self worth towards fleeting, materialistic constructs.

In China, graphic design can be a challenging profession to make money because people are used to a level of copyright infringement, or low production quality/value– indeed, I attended a freelancing panel the other day where they featured the success story of a graphic designer in Chengdu who I know has ripped off other people’s art and passed it off as her own. She’s still respected as a graphic design artist and books large accounts/clients (i.e. Ducati, and other department store brands), but I can see how the culture/ trends have Chinese clients (and even Western-facing brands) unwilling to pay less more than $10USD for a poster design (~50RMB).

On that note, I wanted Hyo and Second Hand to have an original design to connect with her awesome, local community of independent, stylish women who look good while kicking ass.

Inspired by these very women, I added the idea of ‘coins’, wealth, as symbols of prosperity. The original color scheme was taken from the new fixtures she had up in the shop (she re-feng-shuis regularly), but we worked together to come up with the final palette.

To learn more about Second Hand Second Story, you can follow them on Facebook or WeChat @ershoergushi.


Emails From Chengdu

Dearest Don ****,

You have your own style, darling ~ a casual attitude; no fucks given; all the lols.
My old New York room mate is a professional accordion player; when I hear accordion music, I think of him and his Tinder dates and his women, his cigarettes and Groucho Marx face; I think of New York, and his accordion music echoing in the subway, playing to himself and whatever mysteriously lucky red-headed devil leaning against the wall around the corner, getting sick from nostalgia as he reads tender emails from China.
I miss New York very much. I miss my friends. I miss being able to go to things I know I’ll have fun at, I miss the art & DIY scene..
New life with ***: *** is a monogamous person, so exploring that kind of intimacy is pretty new to me … he continually shows me what it looks, smells, and feels like to be in a healthy relationship; calls me out on my bullshit, down for bike adventures, and most romantically he’s been consistent in helping me find a good place to climb. The gyms here that are closest to me are are abysmal: dusty, grime-slicked holds that probably hold fossilized skin cells in the resin of pollution air that wafts in (the place is a cement shack on top of a roof top). What’s funny are the tires outside in front of the top-roping walls for people and (there are mostly pre pubescent boys taking climbing classes there) the kids to work out with. What is this, Rocky?
Many of the bouldering walls have no routes marked at all– it’s a haphazard mix of holds, and teachers use long pointer sticks to indicate which hold you’re supposed to try and grab next. The only clean/nicely matted bouldering walls we found are on the top floor of a mall, and pretty challenging for someone who hasn’t climbed in half a year. I feel like a blob. I am a blob. I am blobbified.
In any case, *** is the only thing between me and a blob drain. It surprises me how supportive he is in this search; sometimes, I feel like he’s doing so much for me to feel at home in Chengdu, which gives me a great ambivalent feeling balancing between love and fear.
In other news, Chinese clubs: you’ll be a star. There are plenty of clubs who give promotional table service to WHITE PEOPLE just for showing up. Because where there are white people, there comes expendable money. There is also a circle of young to older women: “Lao Wai Hunters”, which literally translated means “Foreign People Hunters”, but REALLY means “White Men Hunters”. It is not hard (*for white men) to get laid at one of these ex-pat clubs; in Sichuan the men tend to be a slim, willowy, short build, so the physical change is welcome and exotified to the spicy ladies of Chengdu. And they are certainly spicy: a common thing you might see on the street (day or night) is a girl verbally or physically abusing her boyfriend. They call this kind of man a “soft ear”: emasculated from the rest of his body, all he becomes is a funnel for abuse.
Just give me an overview of you cracking the whip at ****. Also, how is your own monogamous relationship with ****? Are you going to be a newly minted CEO with a newly minted fiancee? Are you terrified? What’s next in 2017 for THE **** ****?

Love you, miss you,