Was the last year the first time that I was inspired by minimalism?
No, not really, it all started with reading a book from Neil Boorman; Bonfire of the brands, published in 2007, I read it about five years ago.
It’s a true story about a life style journalist who caught himself in the same routine every week. Think he was end 20, begin 30-ish, works hard everyday and spend in the weekend his money on shopping. Buying the newest from the newest, spent money on all kinds of electronic devices and branded clothing. Just spending and consuming to completes his ‘own’ identity. At a certain moment, he realizes that’s not the way he wants to continue living, he doesn’t want that brands controls his live or give him a certain identity.
I was in the same kind of situation ( before having kids), although I didn’t spend my money on electronic gadgets, it was spend on clothes and interior stuff instead. While I was aware about my routine as he was, I didn’t went any further then reading about it or discussing it with friends ( that al did the same, beginning 30, no kids, work hard, spend hard) and try to spend a bit less.
But Neil Moorman took it way further, he came up with the idea, to live without any brands. The book reads as his diary, you read about his struggle, read about the conflict’s he ends up; even toothpaste or deodorant is branded, so he starts make his own. The story ends up with a big almost ritual burning of al his fancy belongings.
While I would never go this dramatically as to burn mine possessions, of course this story creates a mind changer. As I’m working for a big brand and the idea that we’re surrounded more by brands than by nature, did seed some internal conflict.
* At the moment Neil Boorman is working as a content director for a big well known ad agency.