This week we are celebrating Art Basel Miami. Yes, I did say celebrating, you can feel the excitement and the energy all over the city from art shows to party’s both public and private.
Diego Orlandini created an intimate piece of Miami’s Wynwood Art District that you can afford and make it an experience of your own whether you made it to Basel or are experiencing it vicariously.
In this exclusive interview with Diego he shares with us his “why, how and what”.
Tell us about what you do
I’m the Chief Book Giver and founder of Aimful Coloring Books, a platform for premium adults coloring books that are socially responsible: every book sold is matched, one for one, with a free educational textbook given to children in need around the world. As a social entrepreneur, I enjoy creating products that have a positive impact on the society. I’m also a writer. I’m interested in the human condition, love stories through adventure and self-discovery. In my spare time I am working on my first fiction novel.
How did you get started?
I got started passing out flyers in the street of Wynwood about an adult coloring book I wanted to create called The Wynwood Coloring Book. Except I didn’t tell anybody it didn’t exist yet. I was promoting the book, via the flyers, as a book already in the market and gauging the positive reaction of the people it gave me enough validation to go ahead and create it. The whole creation of the books have been guerrilla style.
What has been the most challenging moment in your career?
As a creative person who also taps into the analytical mind, switching back and forth from both minds is always a challenge. I am mostly creative but sometimes I need to run a business, so I have to switch to the squared, analytical mind. But at the same time, I am creating the book so I need to switch back to the creative mind. The back and forth is taxing.
What was the most braggable moment?
Realizing that I might have created the largest collaboration of street artists for a social cause in a single product; that makes me pretty proud. I don’t know if it is, but I can’t imagine any other project that involves over 100 street artists and that is socially responsible by providing education to children around the world. Some of the best street artists in the world are partaking on the project, artists such as Kenny Scharf, D*Face, Vhils, Ron English, Cryptik, Elle, Saner, Crash, The London Police, Case, Fin DAC, Meres, Daleast, Icy And Sot, Sego, Kashink, Vexta, Beau Stanton, Daze and a many others. I have to constantly remind myself that this is a great achievement that took a lot of work.
What would you say is your biggest weakness?
As a perfectionist, I have to constantly remind myself the importance of letting go, and be assertive in my decisions as to what I must let go. I am constantly caught up in the middle of feeling that perfectionism is an expression of art or simply fear of not being good enough. So when I catch myself in the latter, I try to let it go. That’s always a challenge.
And your greatest strength?
I have faith and patience. As simple as it sounds. When I feel that things will crumble down and that I have wasted so much time trying to accomplish something, I remember that things do work out if I show up, so I do, I show up and every single time, something works out. So I have faith that it always will in a way or another.
What was the greatest lesson you’ve learned from a mistake?
That life is full of clichés and they are not a bad thing: When I fall down, I get back up. When I feel anxious, I remember to breathe deeply. When I feel lonely, I look for someone to help. Anybody that needs help would love the company. I have learned that nothing works well the first time, and that is all right. Clichés are real.
What do you love most about what you do?
That is was something I didn’t know how to do, I had no clue, not at all, and that I figured it out. I like to solve puzzles and I walked myself into the most difficult puzzle to date, since I didn’t have any background in illustration, books, or street art. Now I am a bit of an expert on that and people constantly reach out for help in those areas and I can pass along quality experience.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
To breathe. Nothing is simpler and more complex than the concept of breathing and how it influences our actions and feelings. You know how they say, we are what we eat. Well, I think we are how we breathe. Deep breathes give you serenity, short rapid breathes give you strength.
How do you define happiness?
Happiness is sharing your gifts with the world and not expecting anything in return.
What book are you currently reading?
Colin Falconer’s Silk Road
What’s a personal habit that you believe contributes to your success?
Multitasking is a fallacy. I found to be single-minded to be a far more effective approach. It’s hard when you have so many interests, but with patience and one at the time, the results are far more effective.
Have you collaborated with another business/artist in the past?
Yes! More than 150 street artists who are featured in our books. These are fantastic collaborations. Also, dozens of businesses in Wynwood, Miami. Without them, I would not have been able to create the books at all. I am deeply grateful to them.
You can download a free sample coloring page or get a 10% discount on the Wynwood Coloring Book when you use coupon code ARTRPRNR @ aimfulcoloringbooks.com