Posted on | November 3, 2008 |
I’ve been following Heron Preston for a while. His website, Heronpreston.com is rare in a sense that it has always managed to keep me coming back. His blog is almost like a personal journal that I’m actually interested in reading, but he also dishes out some solid advice and documents his thoughts and hustles all through original photos, words and video. Heron moved out to NY from San Francisco to go to Parsons and now works as a Jr. Strategist at Naked Communications. I spoke to Heron about his new project, The Young and The Banging, his love for New York City and his favorite city in the world, Paris. By Kyle Morrison.
You just released The Young and The Banging. Tell me about that. What was the idea behind it?
well living in new york has always felt like a big play ground. there are so many young people down here that it started to feel like high school all over again for me. some friends and i joked around and decided that downtown ny needed a yearbook highlighting the young and unique characters that made downtown tick. fast forward a couple years later, i found myself with a book deal in my lap, and boom, i finally had my chance to make that idea come to life.
It’s pretty impressive that you worked with Nike on TYATB. How did you get Nike on board for the project? What influence did they have?
well i’ve always been the type of person to be the first to take advantage of an opportunity. i’ve always been that guy good at networking, and connecting with people. throughout the years of working and living in nyc and a bit in paris, i got to meet a bunch of different heads from nike. i would always keep in touch with them from simple hello’s to getting a coffee whenever i could. i approached them with TYATB after wrapping up the book. i felt i finally had a reason to work with them but i really had no idea how they would be involved. i felt it was best i put it on their radar. they came back to me with an offer to have me curate a month long gallery show in support of the book launch. i took them up on the offer.
I like how your blog is comprised of all original material. Why do you think people are interested in your blog? Is that the idea or more of just a personal journal for you and your friends.
people are interested in my blog because it’s composed of all original content. things i post all personally affect me. the idea for my blog was to originally keep my folks back home up to date with my lifestyle as a new college student in nyc. i moved out here for school, and started to get into some really cool shit and started to meet a bunch of cool people. the blog eventually became popular and soon i had a base of readers who would email me on the daily. i felt like i was in some sort of contract with them to keep up the blog, so i continued to show off my life through photography and videos and thought provoking pieces here and there. a blog IMO is a great way to keep your brain ticken 24/7.
By day you work at Naked Communications. How is working at Naked and What do you do there? How does it tie in with what you do on a personal level?
Working at Naked has been a big learning experience for me. It’s my first real job out of college. Our core competency is communications strategy. We basically advise our clients on how to successfully get a message or idea across. we don’t make anything we advise on, so we partner with creative agencies to execute our ideas for us. we recommend how our clients should spend their ad budget. some of our clients do a bunch of TV and print ads, but sometimes those are not always the solution for their ideas. sometimes they may need to start a micro-site instead, or simply an event. or do better in-store signs for customers to see. it all varies on what they are trying to do. i thought coming up with “cool” ideas was an easy job. anyone can do that, but the true test is coming up with an idea that aligns with your strategy. shit, i’m still trying to get it right! strategic planning takes a lot of practice.
What do you love the most about New York?
what i love most about new york are the new yorkers that have put some serious time in new york. the people that have a rich history here and have made a name for themselves. i love to watch them move and work. i love to listen to them speak and i like to observe how they interact with people. you’ve heard the saying “if you can make it in new york, you can make it anywhere.” i am inspired by those who have made it. i learn from them.
How has the city changed from when you first moved there? Is this a good or bad thing?
its both bad and good. there are a bunch of new faces on the scene. people disappear and have to move back home. my friends and I joke around that those people couldn’t crack the code. it’s a tough city. the city has become gentrified which i’m sure you may have already heard about. but it’s a battle you cannot win. it’s only natural that this take place. nyc is a very safe city as well. females can walk the streets alone in the middle of the night and not have a worry in the world. you can walk through soho and not hear 1 word of english on some days because there are so many europeans.. tons of rich kids as well that don’t have to work HARD. so no one is really producing anything significant anymore. everyone’s a DJ, promoter or a photographer or simply a socialite. downtown is a playground for the rich. all of this is a great opportunity to make change and really stand out from the rest.
Favorite city in the world?
well i havent traveled the world YET, but out of all of the places i’ve been so far, i’d have to say paris. i lived there and dated a girl there for over 2 years who i thought would have my babies, lol. paris reminds me of nyc. it’s got that crazy energy, it’s a melting pot with a bunch of different cultures. the cool thing is that when people immigrate to paris, they don’t change. they keep their ways and values. but when they immigrate to america, they become american. they leave their cultural values adopt ours so you don’t really get to experience their rich culture as you could in paris. it’s a great learning and eye opening experience. the girls are hot, the language is beautiful and the architecture is breath taking. when you leave paris for a weekend like to barcelona or amsterdam, and come back you feel that energy all over again, just like getting back into nyc from a trip. it’s like right when you hit gare du nord from the train, or CDG and take RER back into paris, you feel it. plus it’s in a great central location of europe. you can take a train almost anywhere, and flights are cheap and easy. everything is very accessible from paris.
labyrinth starring david bowie
i’m reading the art of war right now. that might be a favorite of mine soon since it’s all about strategy and thinking. besides that, i don’t have an absolute favorite. there is however one book i read in my childhood that i’ve been searching for, forever and still havent found it! it’s about a young boy and girl who get locked inside of a museum (maybe the MET?) over night, and get into all kinds of mischief.
Do you have any other projects going on now that you would like to talk about?
well i’m just being patient. not trying to spread myself too thin. just focusing on life, trying survive in this expensive ass city, and the young and the banging right now. the next step is to take this project out of nyc. there are a bunch of undergrounds, up and comers and creative movements going on in other cities as well. why should NYC get all of the shine? there are other cities out there that need a voice as well. it’s my job to make that happen. was going to do LA next, but i’m thinking more along the lines of london first, followed by mexico city. yeah, i think i might go that route. but www.youngandbanging.com is getting a new facelift! get ready for my new digital outreach. i want it to actually be something of use, instead of something just cool to look at when you want to kill time.
What’s really doing it for you now?
my vacation to argentina in 3 weeks. that’s all i’m psyched on right now. my friends sister is down there, so she invited me to come stay at her place. hopefully she hooks me up with some south american honeys. im so down. so ready! leaving my computer behind and would love to leave my blackberry behind as well, but thats not happening! haha.
Any last words?
patience. patience. patience. you may want to keep up with your peers because they are “doing things”. but i say, don’t rush and instead, be patience and keep the brain thinking about what it is you REALLY want to do. be very observant. maybe you don’t have the answer yet, and that is fully OK! it will come to you and you will know when the time is right. people who rush to create to keep up end up doing the same thing as the others around them. instead sit back, and watch it all happen. start a blog or personal diary.. it’s of course something that kept me focused. but the patience will pay off. i think it’s a big reason why i was able to land a collaboration with nike sportswear for a very first project of mine.