Common Discourse is a project designed to help others (and ourselves) think through creativity, focus, and intentional work—from Alex Tan & Alice Otieno.
Every Tuesday we share words from a journal, a few ideas, a quote from somebody else, and links worth sharing. On Fridays we invite a guest to share images from their camera roll and a sound that resonates with them. Words from the Journal come on the first of every month.
I try to keep this project separated from some of the other things going on in my life, but I can’t help but to let some of my life’s experience influence what I write about every week.
Some of you may know this already, but for those of you who don’t, I’m the Co-Founder and Partner of MOUTHWASH Studio, a creative company based in Los Angeles. Since 2019, my friends and I have learned through both difficult and enjoyable times what it’s like to build something from nothing. There is a lot of work that we’ve made all over the internet, but if you want a quick snapshot, take a look at the Reel we put together last year.
This Thursday, at 4p EST / 1p PST, we’ll be presenting a small keynote on our founding story along with the importance of doing work that matters to you, sharing it proudly, and using it as a tool to design your future. Thank you Mother Design for have us. 🖤
You can join over 600 people who have RSVP’d already to listen and participate in this presentation via Zoom here.
A few ideas
With no art degree, formal training, or internships under my belt, it didn’t take long to figure out that my resume wasn’t going to make me valuable to employers in my early 20s.
So I started writing, photographing, self-initiating projects with my friends, and sharing those experiences on the internet.
I found out later that people where much more interested in where I was going versus where I’ve been.
The answer to “Years of experience” is far less important than the answer to “Experiences per year.”
There are four types of wealth.
Financial wealth (money)
Social wealth (status)
Time wealth (freedom)
Physical wealth (health)
Those who have been lured into chasing 1 and 2 in place of 3 and 4 may be the poorest of us all.
III. QUICK FIXES
You may be the cheapest and fastest person, but what happens when they find someone who is cheaper and faster than you are?
The problem with doing quick fixes is that you become, well, a quick fixer.
Replaceable, forgettable, and ordinary.
Quick fixes might get us to tomorrow, but if you’re in it for the long run, it’s worth remembering that quick fixes are also quick to break down.
A quote from somebody else
“The last problem is that if you check social media any time you feel a twinge of boredom, you train your brain to expect constant stimulation. It’s okay to feel bored! Boredom is a skill. The more you can tolerate boredom when you’re doing nothing, the easier it is to rest in deep thought when you’re facing a difficult challenge.”
— Michael Lynch
Links worth sharing
🧩 A Glossary of Feelings by Jorge Palacios
⏳ Ways of Curating, an interactive journey of exhibitions by Hans Ulrich Obrist
🌷 Voice Notes For Spring is a microsite created by Extra Practice, a Rotterdam based co-working space shared by five friends who are active in the field of art and design.
📧 Tracks As Envelopes is an audio archived birthed from a monthly letter format publication titled, Dear Friend. This site prompted me to start thinking about alternative methods of messaging, especially ones that have a letter-like quality to them, and how they can often bring about a deeper level of intimacy in our conversations.
🌏 “The Earth is Trembling”: Édouard Glissant in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist, O32c
Thanks for consuming!
ℹ️ Read more about Common Discourse here.
📬 If you like this newsletter, please consider sharing with others who might enjoy it as well.
🗂 Here is every Common Discourse weekly briefing to date.
🐤 We have a Twitter feed where we populate things that resonate.
⭐ We use Are.na as a tool to archive specific aspects of this project.
🗣️ Use the comment feature at the bottom of this article or reply via email to start a conversation.
💬 Download the Substack App and use Chat to interact with us and other subscribers to Common Discourse on a more frequent and casual basis
Gold as always! Keep up the good reads!!