For a long time, Sara and I have been struggling with the fact that for us, the Wooster Collective website is still a very small and personal blog with no agenda other than to use it as a way to share with our friends the things that inspire us. Some of those friends we know very, very well. We meet each week face-to-face in New York to talk about art, family, New York, etc. Other “friends” we have never met, but we know from the emails that we receive that we share with them a common view of the world and the way we wish to live in it. The blog is a way for us to learn about new things, meet new types of people, and to take us out of our comfort zone so we can achieve new goals. It’s 100% a passion project and a passion project only.
What we struggle with is the fact that the popularity of the blog has brought to it people who expect more from it and more from us than we are willing to give. While Wooster started as a “street art blog” it was always more than that for us. We’ve always posted on the site things that we love, regardless of whether it was a piece of street art or not. We’ve also posted a lot about our family, especially our dog Hudson and our daughter Samantha. We’ve never felt that we needed to say more than what we wanted to say. Transparency came from our integrity, not from a need to answer every question posed from others. And we always knew that the more personal and intimate the blog was, the more “connected” people became to us, and us to them. And this is what has kept the blog going. We’ve always felt that the people who read the blog a lot “get” us. So when I say we do the site for our “friends” these are the friends that I am speaking about.
We never wanted to turn the Wooster site into a business but at the same time we’ve allowed it to grow into something much bigger than the two of us. We struggle with this every day, but the joy we get out of the site still makes it well worth it. Today, while tens of thousands of people come to the site each day, we still treat it (rightly or wrongly) as a small personal project.
Six months ago we were invited to see a rough cut of Banksy’s film, Exit Through The Gift Shop. When the film was over, I looked at Sara, she looked at me, and we saw that both of our jaws had dropped. We were blown away by the film. We both felt that it was so much more than a “street art” film. For us, the film was about the human condition. Why do we seek fame and acceptance? What do we do to achieve it? That night we said that we would do anything and everything we could to help make this film a success. We loved it so much. It wasn’t about money, it was about passion.
And while Sara and I are both involved in marketing, for us, supporting the film on our site and by getting involved in more traditional marketing methods comes out of our true love for what the film is and the fact that we want it to be successful. We hope you see the film not only because we post about it, but because you’ve heard about it from others.
To be honest, we’re not sure how long we can do the website. We have no intention of stopping it, but one of the joys of the site is that we can end it tomorrow if we wanted to. Since it’s not a business, the only ties we have to keep it going is our true passion. Our support of Banksy and the commitment we have to the film is at the heart of that passion.