Let me be the first to say: it SUCKS being a tourist. You know how it goes when visiting another city or country—go to all the sites treaded by about one million other people with a camera around your neck and translations of “How do I get to (blank)?” in your backpocket. Eat at the “recommended” restaurants. Oh, and be sure to get the best seat to whatever double-decker bus takes you to wherever some celebrity or legend may or may not have lived. You stay at a 1- or, if you’re lucky enough, 4-star space and forget about the place hundreds or thousands away that you call home or work. You watch and observe how another group of people you don’t really know live and operate in the world. It’s fun, right? You go back home “renewed” A few weeks later you’re saying, “Gosh, I need some time to get away.”
When the Arcade went to Europe in the fall, the commitment was made to not travel like tourists. I got to hang with artists like photographer Francois Rousseau and talk about the journey of an artist, the vision. I sat down with Philippe Uter of Guapo Magazine, walked through Palace Royalle and shared thoughts on fashion and the passion of being a young artist at the start of an incredible journey. I flipped through styles with Jay Smith at the Black Rainbow Collective and discussed how an ambitious vision and the virtual world can change marketing and branding on a global scale. I partied with the girls and guys at Maxim’s at the Chez Lui party and danced like I hadn’t danced in years. I had a front row (and sometimes standing row) view of incredible collections at Paris Fashion Week. I made a stop at the (capsule) show and saw the creative genius of international fashion designers from around the world. I debated the future of music with DJ Gregory Wallon. And I got a jolt to my spirit as Franck Biyong reminded me how the revolution CAN begin with music. I experienced Paris as a space with a complex passionate personality. I fell in love.
But something unexpected happened as I worked and moved through Paris with these artists—I realized we were never meant to be tourists. Our lives, whether at home in our backyard or abroad in a foreign land, are to be lived fully. The world is here for us to make our dreams real. The world is nice when seen from the sidelines but it feels so much better when we move through it, walk it. As the Arcade continues to commune and meet with great minds here and abroad, we learn more and more that life is not supposed to be observed through a lens. We are meant to live the ride, to experience the adventure. In a brand new 2011, we hope that we can encourage you to take your brush to the canvas for the first time, belt out that very first note to the song that has been sitting inside you for too long, take step number one in a journey of a million. We’d like to challenge you to simply do it. And hopefully in watching the stories of these men and women thousands of miles away, or our stories of those right here in the U.S., we can get you to introduce yourself to another great artist of unparalled vision… you.