The Date Farmers - Beck’s Artist Label

By Tom Ran

Published: July 29, 2013 under Sponsored Post

Carlos Ramirez and Armando Lerma of The Date Farmers

Photo: The Date Farmers

For over twenty five years, Beck’s has worked with artists to develop signature labels in their Beck’s Art Labels Program. This year sees the participation of a favorite of ours.

Though artists Armando Lerma and Carlos Ramirez have been working together since 1998, it wasn’t until 2001 that the duo began calling themselves The Date Farmers. Both from Coachella, California, Lerma’s father owned a date farm where Ramirez’s father once worked. They cull imagery from their Mexican-American roots. Their paintings, sculptures and installations are a melange of pop, urban and revolutionary iconography made often from found objects, some sourced from bordering Mexican towns. From local art spaces to internationally known galleries and museums, The Date Farmers’s recognition have grown through the years. Their current participation with Beck’s brings their work to even more prominence. They, along with five other artists, have designed a label for this year’s Beck’s Art Labels campaign. The Date Farmers are following the footsteps of other major artists that have worked with the program including Jeff Koons, Gilbert & George and Richard Long.

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Leffe Craft Your Character Finalist

By Tom Ran

Published: June 27, 2011 under Sponsored Post

Leffe Craft Your Character - Nick Sonderup

Photo: Leffe

Several weeks ago we introduced you to Leffe’s Craft Your Character campaign. Leffe’s aim to find true men of character. Of the 250 participants, 5 were chosen to be the finalist including our man Nick Sonderup (100 Bands in 100 Days). The finalists came from a diverse range of background and profession but all with an adventure to share. The outcome of their stories were entertaining, adventurous, and inspiring. See what each had to say after the jump.

Ryan Eberts, Fisherman and Teacher (Winner)
Ryan Eberts has been a teacher at an orphanage in Bangladesh for two and a half years. After two years waiting, he just been granted a visa to return to Bangladesh. Though teaching is his profession, his love is spending time with students in and out of the classroom, learning with them. Ryan has written a book about his experiences in Bangladesh and plans to write another book upon his return about the history and culture of Bangladesh, and the plight of Bangladeshi children.

Nick Sonderup, Writer and Music Fanatic
Nick Sonderup is an ACD/Copywriter at BBDO-New York. During the 100 Bands in 100 Days project, he worked at Wieden + Kennedy. He has written many advertising campaigns for brands like AT&T, ESPN, MTV, Nike and Starbucks. He lives in Brooklyn with his fiancé, four guitars, two bicycles and one cat.

Blaine Pennington, Archaeologist
Blaine Pennington was born and raised in the small town of Duncan, Oklahoma. His fascination with foreign culture led him to the study of Anthropology during his time at the University of Notre Dame. Upon graduation, Blaine spent three years backpacking and living abroad traversing 26 countries altogether throughout his travels. He enjoys photography and travel writing, both which can be viewed on the travel website,

Charlie Sewell, Trader and Basketball/Baseball Coach
Charlie Sewell has been a teacher in New York City for 20 years; 10 years in public school and 10 years in private school where he served as an athletic director and taught physical education. He has coached boys and girls in a variety of interscholastic and recreational league sports: including basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, and tennis. Charlie began actively trading his own equities account online two years ago and continue to coach middle and high school sports.

Adam Strauss, Entrepreneur
Adam Strauss’s comedy has been called many things, mostly adjectives. He also works on Wall Street and writes fiction, unfortunately in that order. Adam rose phoenix-like from the hardscrabble, Volvo-lined streets of Newton, Massachusetts in the midst of that city’s crippling hard cider epidemic, defying those who said he’d never amount to more than a cosmetic surgeon or corporate attorney.

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Craft Your Character

By Tom Ran

Published: May 6, 2011 under Sponsored Post

Nick Sonderup director of "100 Bands in 100 Days"

Photo: Nick Sonderup

“Some people talk… others do. Some people dream… others are out there living it.” Your character is crafted from a series of choices you make, be it big or small. The challenges we face today can define us tomorrow. Leffe wants to hear your story and we want to help them. To kick it off we spoke to the director of 100 Bands in 100 Days, Nick Sonderup.

Nick Sonderup is a copywriter by day, professional concert goer by night. For 100 days in 2009, he achieved what very few, if any, person has ever achieved. He saw 100 bands in 100 days, kept his day job, lived to tell about it and documented it in a short film that made its world premiere at SXSW this year. Sonderup didn’t feel that he would be able to finish a marathon, but a music marathon seemed attainable. So on the eve of January 23rd 2009 at Cake Shop, he attended his first show. 100 days later he was on stage with Right on Dynamite performing “I’m So Tired” by the Beatles. But before it all stared, there had to be some ground rules. Simple as the they were, they were also rigorous. It must be 100 different bands. No repeats. Stay until the end of the main set. Encores were optional. He had to see music every single day – no days off. Sonderup was down for it all, Public Enemy, Lilly Allen, Japanther, Les Paul, Darin Deez, even chamber music. And through it all, he never lost his excitement, he was still amazed as ever by the power of live music. In the end he saw more than 100 bands, had the chance to be a rock star, and had one hell of a story to tell. We had to speak with Nick to hear more about his experience.

Read the interview after the jump.

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Alya Kazakevich

By Raven Keller
Alya Kazakevich in her shop in the Lower East Side

Photo: Rose Callahan

On a damp and muggy summer morning on the Lower East Side, Alya Kazakevich slowly stitched up the edges of a leather coin purse and recalled her childhood in Eastern…

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By Tom Ran
Partners Robert Highsmith and Stefanie Brechbuehler

Photo: Samuel Bristow

Stefanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith, are the partners behind Workstead. The two met at Rhode Island School of Design while studying architecture and opened their studio in 2009,…

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M.Nii John Moore

By Tom Ran
M.Nii Tailor, Waianae, Hawaii 1959

Photo: Tom McBride

The photo is one of the few relics that remain of M.Nii’s history. An image that recalls the golden age of American surf culture. Three friends in front…

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