AS SEEN ON FACEBOOK
The coolest thing about As Seen On Facebook is that it is over. There is something very theraputic about this, the very first Juice, shut down. Something like this prevents sentimental value, I had to learn very early on to let-go and not get too serious.
It was somewhere in March 2009 when I released ASOF, and this whole mess began. It was nothing more than a group on facebook where users joined and posted funny screenshots of things they found around the site. And man, there was some funny fucking shit. New members joined everyday and we had hundreds of submissions pouring in from all sides.
Possibly the most valueable thing that came out of this was that I made a ton of really decent friends, people I still have never met in real life, but I consider to be some of the most interesting characters I've come into contact with. It is also special to me that these were people involved with my very first project, and for that reason they cannot be forgotten.
Yes, all was peachy and smiley, until the 3rd of August 2009, where the coolest thing ever happened: we hit 1000 members. A few hours later, the worst thing ever happened: it got shut down. We can owe this singular event down to a little girl named Jen X Tragedy, who reported the group to the admins stating that it was "Invading Privacy". And when you consider it contained uncensored names of about 500 facebook users on it, this actually seemed fair enough. I was ok with it tho, because I had earned the reputation as that "As Seen On Facebook Guy" (or even sometimes Girl, which was interesting) and this was not something I particularly wanted.
A lot of the members were gutted, and got together to form As Seen In Facebook (AS-IF, I can take credit for that idea too) which was exactly the same except members wanting to join had to request an invitation first. I got offered admin rights, but turned it down because as far as I was concerned, this project was over. And of course, there was a massive warning I got from facebook, pretty much telling me I had one strike and I'm out. Good thing too, because I felt there were way too many admins that round, and it turned into one big power struggle and most submissions spiraled down to insults aimed at spelling errors. It got so bad 3 admins even quit until someone else reported this group and it was shut down too.
Since then, tons of similar websites have sprung up all over the place. Taking screenshots of facebook is common practice. But just remember: I invented that shit fuckers.
No regrets, as I have said, it was worth it just for the connections I made, and I am relieved to spend (a little) less time on facebook now. It had a great run, was a cool idea, and made people happy.
Thankfully, it is not all lost, as I did create an eBook halfway through it's lifespan with the Top 50 images from March 09 - June 09, which you can download right here. One day I might consider doing Volume 2, because it deserves it.
Download Top 50 As Seen On Facebook vol.1
Art-Pulpitations was the shit my bru, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
The best part? It wasn't all about me. In fact, I am not sure many people knew it had much to do with me at all. It was about like-minded people who love to make art but who I had recognized as deserving some extra attention. More than anything, I felt it was my small contribution to the art-world, hopefully encouraging amateur (and not so amateur) artists to make more stuff. It was like a little home to me, and all of us lived in harmony. You would be amazed at how many of the artists had slept with eachother.
Although it got launched 1st June 2009, the idea was first planted in 2005. It is fair to mention that even the name was not decided by me, but a completely democratic process between myself and 9 other artists, most of whom are on this site right now. I wanted to call it The Bergie Hut. I was overruled.
Unfortunately, out of all my projects, Art-Pulp didn't get that much attention. Which was a shame, because there were no gimmicks, just a bunch of talent crammed into one place, updated fucking often. But it wasn't enough to keep my interest and after a while, I decided it was time to kill it and move onto to better and more rewarding areas.
Check it out anyway, it's still a decent piece of work and got stuffed with more content than I thought it ever would.
HELP JARED WOODS MEET LILY ALLEN
I will forever stand by the fact that this was my dumbest and smartest idea yet.
Launched 17th November 2009, the concept was simple: I wanted to meet Lily Allen. And I planned to do so using nothing but the internet. If you ask me, that's just about as dumb as it gets.
Especially when you look at the original design. It was nothing much but text trying to sell my point across. It was embarrassing and pathetic, and after just a month or two, I had begun to loathe it. Even Lily's music made me cringe.
Interest grew fast at first, and then died after everyone got over the joke. It seemed like another project had been shrugged off and lost forever.
One day, I became a genius, and made a cartoon about it. Very tongue and cheek and suddenly everyone was interested again. I redesigned the website and finally, on the 17th of March 2010, it had become something I was proud of. Mostly because it was hardly about meeting a celebrity anymore, but more about this cartoon I had developed in which my quest to meet Lily was only a sub-plot.
I must've done something right because 5 days after the relaunch, Lily herself tweeted about it, and then BOOM, it had become the smartest idea. I suddenly had a lot of attention is a very short space of time, more than I quite knew what to do with.
The worst of all was the hate mail. I come across pretty loud and weird over the internet, so a lot of little Lily groupies were quite upset. I gained a lot of Twitter followers and lost almost half of them in a space of a week.
To fight this, my friends really did me a favour and pulled their amazing film skills into usage. We made a documentary and this really cleared up my name. People still thought I was weird, but at least in the right light.
An army of awesome people started to tweet about it, and a few blogs even sprung up detailing my quest. It was feeling really good.
And then, despite all of this, I bumped into Lily at a pub on the 19th June 2010. She knew who I was, was very friendly, let me take a photo, and with that - project over. Very sudden, and somewhat a shame because of all the plans that never made it to the other side. But fukkit, I met Lily Allen after 7 months of announcing it to the world, that's impressive by anyone's standards.
Made cool friends, learned a lot about public appeal, will never do anything so ridiculous again.
OUT OF THE TREEE v2.0
After things with my old shitty job started to go a bit pear-shaped, I realised it was pretty important that I remade my portfolio. It was part of what I had affectionately dubbed "Operation Blow The Job". But with all my other plans, I wasn't sure how to find the time even though it should have been top priority. Then I got the idea to make a Juice out of it, and I got stuck in.
The design was easy because the entire thing is really just a remake of my old portfolio. The concept was this: I wanted a website that was entertaining and never stopped moving, so that a person wouldn't even need to click anything and it would keep their mind active. And of course, it is a nice way to get a little bit of extra attention to my other work - like this website and all the other Juices.
The truth is that about a month before I launched it, people from all around London had already seen it. I had sent it to hundreds of job applications and recruitment agencies in hope to find some kind of employment. And it worked! I eventually hooked up the coolest job ever with Dennis Publishing who are best known for their work with Bizarre Magazine, Men's Fitness, VIZ Comic and other awesome titles. Totally the right place for me.
To be honest, I'm embarrassed of it as it stands now. Because all the work featured is old and I have learned so many things since then. Still, it's pretty flashy and happy despite being created in a place of total dismay and internal turmoil.
I know what you are wondering. "Why should I care?" You shouldn't! You shouldn't care! I barely care! And for this, I must sincerely apologize. This was a little more important in the way that if I didn't make money, I didn't make anything. So while it does relate to future projects, I promise that this will be the last Juice that doesn't someway entertain you. I hope you understand and forgive me, I never wanted this.
THE FUNPOWDER PLOT
The most important thing you need to know about The Funpowder Plot is that this is not my project. I was reluctant to even called it a Juice at all, but I did anyway. No, this is a collaboration between myself and the most talented people I know, namely: Ammr Khalifa, Ashley Cooper, The Freewheelin’ Troubadour, Jonathan Loose van der Velden and Kris Cook. I am merely a cog in a machine that will eat your children and fuck your wife better than you ever could.
We make films. Films that we would want to watch, who cares what you lot think. These include music videos, mini-documentaries and shorts - to name a few. Rest assured, we have well over 10 ideas ready to explode at any given point, some of which we are busy giving birth to right now. Between us we can do anything, nurturing a passing brain idea until it bursts into one solid art form.
The idea of The Plot has been bouncing around since New Years 2010, and it took off much faster than anything I have ever been a part of before. We all live together, which helps speed up productivity and gives the house a very special vibe. At any given moment at any time of day we might pick away at a project for a few seconds and then go back to casual conversation, generally boring everyone around us. Our habitat is one big meeting point which never crosses the line of becoming too serious, and never sinks below the line of becoming a joke.
The name itself was a heavy process, weeks of drunken debating and painstaking vote after vote after email after email. We were close to calling it The Teenage Pregnancy Project, and even closer to calling it The Gravy Stroke, until we settled on the title of a song by Wild Beasts. Tony Blair had nothing to do with it. Our reasoning for choosing this moniker varies and it would take far too long to explain this to anyone as the symbolism and perfection of it continues to reveal itself daily.
The combination of our powers doesn’t need to convince you of shit, just look at how much we have done. And behind every great team, is an even greater team, and this is why The Funpowder Plot extends much deeper to any of our friends willing to get involved. Because of this beautiful concentration of friendship, it is unstoppable and will be a part of our lives that we can marvel over forever regardless of the outcome.
Our goal? Our goal is to have fun working with friends and producing professional works which impresses people and each other, humouring me greatly in the process. We really are still kids with bigger dicks and a bunch of skills, no matter what our birth certificates say. But our dream? Well, our dream is the same as every one's dream: take over the world. Only difference is that we will.
This project is something I’ve always prayed for. It’s enough to make me believe in God. Keep your eye on our balls, you will see things you can never unsee.
COMING DOWN HAPPY
Sometime in late 2008 (literally a month or two after I moved to London) I decided to start this solo music project. The reasons were born out of frustration: I had spent so many years in so many bands, pushing and trying to create a success, dreaming of Grammys and limos, and yet failing every time. There is only so much of this you can take before the old “if you want something done right...” cliché kicks in. I guess there are two reasons for this: (1) By going solo, you severely reduce the chance of the band breaking up; and (2) My vision would not have to ever be compromised.
So that’s all fine and good, and making the music was the natural part. But I think what sets this particular musical adventure a bit ahead of others is the lyrical content. I have spoken about this to death already, but the fact is that the fuel for my hatefire came in the form of a terrible heartbreak I endured. Think whatever you want about this, but I was in a serious mental hell which gave me the tools to create this concept album (released periodically in parts of four), and for that reason I am actually eternally grateful for this negativity I churned into creativity. I talk about this (far too) extensively over here, if you are still curious
But there was a lack of confidence on my part, I’ll admit. I also know how many of my friends say “hey man, check out my music!” and I sigh and feel forced to listen to yet another 3 minutes of the same crap I generally try to avoid everyday. And yet I would feel obliged to smile politely and say “yeah, I really like.. the drumming? And... the guitar sound was... cool...” I hated the thought of putting anyone else through that kind of thing. So I decided this needed to be the Juice of Juices, incorporating everything I knew into one place: from composing music; to writing lyrics; to storytelling; to singing; to screaming; to rapping; to mixing; to cartooning; to animation; to web design and development; as well as a healthy dose of user interaction. And that is essentially what we have here: a Hip-hop meets Electropop meets Metal offering, which not only grants each song it’s own comicesque music video, but also gives visitors the chance to have a say on how they think the story should go. Did I mention the whole thing is also fully downloadable (featuring different versions of each song) including the album artwork? Yeah, it is. And that’s why it was only released on the 5th April 2012, 3.5 years after the starting point. Because it was a very hard thing to do.
Just quickly, I want to say the name Coming Down Happy has nothing to do with drugs. When I was about 14 years old, a friend of mine said it in passing conversation. I can’t remember the context and he probably couldn’t even recall saying it, but I thought it had a lovely ring to it and that always stuck with me. Of course, as you get older, words start to have different definitions (which is a beautiful thing), but at the time it literally was just something I liked. Ever since then whenever I was in a band searching for a title, I would always suggest this one but it never even passed the consideration stage. And for that I am stoked, because now I have it all to myself.
I feel I must end with a warning: the very nature of Coming Down Happy was designed to upset and offend, and so far that is exactly what it has done. People have been very sensitive about the content, and to them I say GOOD and FUCK YOU. However, if you are a little child or an old granny and get uncomfortable about things like genitalia, Satan, ejaculation, blasphemy or swear words directed at specific individuals... just don’t watch it. Simples.
For the rest of you, definitely watch it, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.
Little did you know that upon entering this website, you have just sucked Jared Woods' dick.