Jimmique Parsons

If you don't know...you're losing!!!

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MY NAME IS MY NAME

DNA

 •Guts to Skin                                     

                                   


Like many of my peers in this class I always had a knack for art since I was a child. From drawing my favorite cartoon characters to going to museums and seeing works of artists around the world. It was and still is fascinating to see the different viewpoints of each artist. But the DNA that sparked my brand actually started in high school. 2006, my senior year. I went to a private school so being that we had to wear uniforms the thing that made anyone stand out was what type of shoes they wearing. One of the privileges of being a senior was free dress Fridays. On that day everone would come in their best. Like most people I didnt want what everybody else was wearing. Whenever a Jordan release came out you could bet at least 20 people were going to have them on that following Monday at my school. Being the Jordan fan that I am I was one of those 20. So in order to sperate myself I wouldn't wear the shoes until Friday and to make it even better I started making stenciled shirts which was inspired by one of my favorite art forms graffiti/street art that coordinated with every colorway. I came up with the name Fly Kicks Inc. basing the shirts around sneaker culture. Pretty soon my friends and other classmates were asking about the shirts. And wanted to know if I could make them some as well.

                                

                                

During my sophmore year of college I took a serigraphy class and learned how to screenprint. This opened my eyes to a completely new world of design and how I could get my shirts done. I continued to make shirts for a few of friends and myself. 

                               

In 2008 my bestfirend was hired by Johnny Cupcakes. While I had already been introduced and inspired by streetwear brands a few years before this brand was way different than anything I had ever seen. Once I heard the story behind the brand I was in. Being able to take a simple joke and turn it into a million dollar business was amazing. It pushed me to finally go out and start my own brand. While I already had Fly Kicks Inc. I knew that the concept of a line of clothes based solely off of sneakers was limited. LSM (Loser State of Mind) was born in 2009, playing off of the idea of people judging a book by its cover. Normally when people hear the word loser they dont want to associate themselves with it because society teaches us that winning is all that matters. Forgetting it is those losses/failures that push you towards being successful. The first design we did was "The Adventures of Kid Dynamite" comic inspired by one of my favorite boxers of all time Mike Tyson, comic books, and Saturday morning cartoons. The response to it was wonderful it sold out in the matter of a month.

Skin to the World

                               

Although the brands name has changed since then to Good Losers it's still holds the same values, to have a dream and no matter how crazy or wild it may be, go after it.  Knowing that in the process there will some people who doubt you and other obstacles standing in the way, which may set you back. In those moments, some may consider you a failure or a “Loser”. It is these moments when you will have to use this negativity as fuel to push you closer to your goal. The first shirt I created for LSM is a constant reminder to me that I am fully capable of creating something special that the goalkeepers can relate to and appreciate.

COMMANDMENT INSPIRATION

"Let them know Marlo step to any m********a….Omar....Barksdale, whoever…..MY NAME IS MY NAME!" - Marlo Stanfield

My inspiration came to me one day while simply watching HBO GO. One of my favorite shows of all time is The Wire. It's raw honest depiction of life in the streets of Baltimore is something I've always loved about the show. For some reason I decided to revist some past episodes one weekend while brainstorming for my commandment idea. Just hearing the sincerity in the voice of the character Marlo I knew this had to be my commandment.

 In the hit HBO series, The Wire, Marlo, who is the kingpin of the drug game in Baltimore, had his reputation challenged by Omar, an infamous stick up artist, who made his living by robbing drug dealers.  Marlo’s crew elected to pass on several challenges and insults left by Omar, after several robberies, so Marlo would not be distracted from another challenge at hand, dealing with the rival Barksdale crew. Once Marlo learned of this, he was extremely angry.  His reputation and essentially, his brand, had been tarnished because he had not responded to Omar’s challenges and he wanted to quickly correct it. On the street, especially in the drug game, your reputation is everything.


MY BUSINESS COMMANDMENT

             

                                       (CLICK HERE TO WATCH MY MNEMONIC DEVICE)

My business commandment is, PROTECT YOUR BRAND AT ALL COST.

Reappropriating this quote to apply to business, at the end of the day, your brand is your brand. “Building a brand is like creating your own personal religion. You need to be willing to fight for it, defend it, die for it.” In life you will come across many Omar's. People who will question or challenge your brand. In the case of this competition Mr. Ecko is Omar, he put out a challenge for us to prove that we are capable of producing a commandment that will inspire many. Sometimes in life we allow things like work or school to hinder us from things that we truly want to pursue. Thinking that these things provide support, comfort, and are the most sensible decisions to make. Not realizing that this is causing you to contribute to the ivory tower in your mind. Life is and will always be like Omar, constantly attacking, questioning, doubting, and challenging your brand. But even moreso than Mr. Ecko and life I believe that we can be Omar, our worst enemy, doubting our abilities, allowing fear to consume our dreams, and conforming into something you are not. 

Taking some pointers from Marlo, in business, you have to stand behind your brand and be willing to hold it up against any challengers.  To do anything less will significantly lessen the value. I decided to make a video as my mnemonic device. Stepping out of my comfort zone and facing some of my own fears I drew from my Guts to SKin and did something I've alaways had a interest in, street art/wheatpasting to be my voice standing up to all challengers and expressing myself to the world. For some of my pieces I used my brand logo (the "L" hand), the brand slogan ("If you don't know...you're losing!"), and some charcters that will reoccure. One of the main pieces I created is a collage of me with and explosion rising out of my head. This is a metaphor to represent my past, present, and future mindsets. In the picture is imagery of some of my closest friends and my family, things from my childhood that I grew up watching and being inspired by, the present which is constantly growing my brand until it "blows up", and thoughts on my future which is to consistantly making amazing things that people will enjoy through my brand and creating them with the people I love.  To me street art has always been a way of expressing one's thoughts and displaying your art by using public spaces as canvases.  Some people view it otherwise. In society people that step away from the “normal” way it functions or are willing to have the courage to pursue their true passion are labeled. One of the many negative titles attached is “Loser”. To me, losing is an inevitable part of the process of wanting to grow your personal brand. You will need it to know what works for your brand and what doesn’t.   So why not take the title “Loser” and flip it into a positive? Hence the brand name Good Losers.

                                             

                                       

This video represents more than just a class project or competition entry.  It’s a statement, I am willing to not be afraid to fail in order to continue the growth of my brand. I will no longer hide. During the making of this project I came across failures, the pictures above representing some of them (by the way don't try to walk on top of walls with ledges that are really really slim or post videos on YouTube with published music samples), but with every failure was another lesson learned to push me closer to success. Even risking the potential chance of going to jail, but knowing it would be for something that I truly believe in. I stand behind my brand and will work on making it stronger.  I am willing to fight, defend, and die for it. iBelive, do you?

 CONCLUSION

Overall this was a great experience to have. It pushed me to try new things I have had an interest in but never pursued like filming or wheatpasting. Win or lose the knowledge and experience I gained from this class can never be taken away. I thank Marc Ecko for giving us this platform to express our ideas and beliefs on what we think can inspire a business.

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