Inspirations — Chris Black

The New York Times recently named him a ‘Digital Tastemaker for Young Men’, and although we aren’t as young as we were when we discovered him through his inspirational blog ‘Words for Young Men’, the multitalented New York-based creative Chris Black continues to be one of the people out there we hold in the highest regard for his inspirational vision and output. Before starting his blog ‘Words for Young Men’, the Atlanta-born was part of the early wave of people creating campaigns for social media, leading the way in a field of practice which has slowly devaluated into a metrics-obsessed monster of mediocrity and boredom, worlds apart from the cutting edge creative thinking that dominated it in the early days. Chris himself has been doing so much more than just social media in recent years, working through his creative agency named Done To Death Projects. Next to a focus on strategy and creative direction for clients, he does whatever he feels like: from publishing books and zines with different highly talented young photographers to putting out t-shirts. With Chris being such an inspiration for us, we asked him some questions on what inspires him in life.

Please introduce yourself.
My name is Chris Black. I’m originally from Atlanta, Georgia, but I currently reside in New York City. I have a creative agency called Done To Death Projects. We work with clients on strategy, social media, creative direction and anything else that sounds interesting. We also publish books and zines, make t-shirts, etc.

Who is the most inspiring person in history and why?
I wish I could pick just one, but so many people inspire me. George Plimpton, Peter Beard, Malcolm McLaren, Eric Goode, Sofia Coppola, Donald Judd, Jefferson Hack and Nan Goldin to name a few. I could go on forever.

Who is the most inspiring person in your life and why?

My wife. She is a brilliant and makes everything look effortless.

Who is the most inspiring photographer?
Juergen Teller. The relationship he has with his subjects allows him to capture very special moments. Plus he wears the best shorts!

And the picture that will always stay in your mind?
Kate Moss by Corinne Day for the July 1990 issue of The Face. The photos are beautiful and totally timeless. They perfectly capture a young person on the cusp of fame. Je ne sais quoi has always fascinated me and a young Kate Moss perfectly embodies that phrase.

Who is the most inspiring artist?
Ed Ruscha

And what is the most inspiring music?
Exile On Main Street
The Queen Is Dead
I Love You Honeybear
If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late

The thing you never go without?
My MacBook Air and exercise.

Your favorite city?
Los Angeles, California

Your favorite hideout?
A nice quiet hotel room in a major metropolitan area.

The website you often check?

The books on your coffee table?
100 Chairs in 100 Days‘ by Martino Gamper
Cover‘ by Peter Mendelsund
Babe‘ by Petra Collins
Cowboy Kate & Other Stories‘ by Sam Haskins
The Travel Almanac #9
System #5

The books on your bedside table?
The Most of Nora Ephron
Citizens of the Green Room‘ by Mark Leibovich
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed‘ by Jon Ronson
I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves‘ by Ryan O’Connell.

What is your dream?

To do what I like with few restrictions.

What would you do if you could start all over again?
Learn to play the guitar and the piano.

Portrayed with the interview are some of the publications Chris has put out with Done To Death Projects and we particularly love: the most recent ‘Bountiful‘ by Noah Emrich, ‘I Think Things Are Getting Better‘ by Amardeep Singh and ‘New Mexico‘ by the amazing Mikael Kennedy.

The portrait of Chris was shot by Jeff Henrikson.

For all the inspirational work of Chris Black see here.