Exploring the conceptions of love, commitment to vision, work and the life long pursuit of something meaning full.
In acknowledgment of my Mother’s birthday, today, at 80 times around the sun.
I’ve been working on a human brand study of Richard Avedon; but, like most of my blogs, they take a fair amount of time, and they take a range of research, to back them up. Still — I’m still working on it, along with about 10 others, that are lined up, examining, considering ideals that frame the nature of what I’m thinking about these days, and what that means for my life, my work, my business. And yours, too, I’d imagine.
The point to my connection with Richard was being in his studio, decades ago. And I was there, visiting a friend of mine, Larry Arfield, a kind of studio assistant, that worked — ranging over the city — on a variety of efforts based on the presumption of the power of remarkable visualizations in depiction. That idea of styling photographs, or shop fronts, or store windows is something that I’d had long exposure to — from Nordstrom to Bloomingdale’s, Tiffany & Co., to Henri Bendel. There’s more to that story, here.
But what I saw was a man, in connecting with Avedon, that was incredibly alive — moving from shot to shot, action to observation, preparation to photography. While serious, focused and attentive, there was a vitality to the proposition of his actions — he moved fluently: joy fully. And what I found powerful in this was a simple sense of love. While I’ve written about the idea of love of the brand, and love in, and of, craft and the love, intertwined, in living, there’s a patterned expansion here.
I find myself inherently attracted to passionate people. And each of the human brands that I’ve encountered, explored, was the individual — the fire, the consumed, the inflamed — and the focused, passionate character of the person and the work that enthralled them. Tom Ford. Steve Jobs. Clint Eastwood. Dawn Mello. Geraldine Stutz. Jack Lenor Larsen. Art Wolfe. Scott Oki. Yves Saint Laurent. Dale Chihuly. Shu Uemura and Pierre Dinand. Many, have influenced me. The list goes on and on.
Jack Lenor Larsen | at his studio in NYC
In exploring the ideas of commitment, focus, passion, I kept digging into the context of the work of Richard Avedon, I learned, as well, about his passage — at 81. What was he doing? Working. Shooting in Texas. In wandering about the edge of this effort, I was looking for others. I’d already reached to international designer, curator, Jack Lenor Larsen, 80 now, some time back. Still curious. Still exploring. And the spirit of Avedon, still working, exploring, examining, to the end. Eastwood: 79. Lagerfeld, still working in his late 70s, actively — exploring, curiosity ablaze, inventiveness ever exploding. Franco Zeffirelli, creating spectacular productions — loved, and in love with his work — at 86.
Franco Zeffirelli | Roma | Photo by Kathryn Cook for The New York Times
I’m fascinated by people like that. People like: my Mother. 80. What drives them, and drives me, what draws that magnetism, is that idea of the intertwining of creative force, the impassioned motivation to build and make something — personally and extrinsically meaningful — and to be ever impelled on that path of ignition. Lifelong. Knowing, then reaching to being.
So, it’s interesting for me to be in the place of writing about the power of the centrically innovating, rippling brand fire of people that are persistently committed to explore, and therefore ignite their branding initiatives — their vibrations to community — and these are the compelling details of my relationship to my Mother, Lila Lee (Shaw) Girvin.
• The search for beauty, and the illustration of those spiritual values
• The ever present quest for knowledge
• The reflectivity of giving — what can be offered to others
• The quietude of intentioned listening
• The commitment to continue exploration
• Health, sustained
• A love of marvelment
• Fascination — examining themes and patterning
• Drive to advancement
• Studying the archetypes of humanity and experience
• Music and art — what notes are part of your evocation
• Being young, in mind and heart, every day.
These are the learnings, there are the offerings, and the teaching, treasured and shared, goes on. And she, as my Mother, inflames my passion for living, encodes the genetics of my vision, fuels the drive.
Looking for fire — the veritable heart of brand, the sparked heart of fire. That thinking, the truth of it, engulfs everything that I do.
Blessed, to be one of hers.
Timothy Shaw Girvin | Twitter: http://twitter.com/tgirvin
Exploring love | https://www.girvin.com/blog/human-brand-how-about-a-hug/