Justin R. Saunders started a blog–JJJJound–and it became really popular.
He's still not sure how that happened.
1. Heroïne zine
2. Downtown Montreal with Jimmy
So we're just going to talk about some stuff you've worked on, and what you're working on now.
I'm not working on much, and I haven't worked on much.
Ha. Ok, then. How long have you lived in Montreal?
I was born in Montreal and then I lived in Germany for a while, and came back here for high school. I studied fashion marketing at university in Montreal. I just have one final project that I have to finish up that I am trying to intertwine with my real life.
3. Graffiti from '09
4. The workshop
What's your final project?
I don't know. Eventually I'll have an idea—you put a lot of work into it, so if I'm going to do the work and put a team together and build this 300 page project, I just want to make it decent and something that I can make real.
What made you want to go into fashion?
I don't know, it just kind of happened. In high school, I wanted to be a skateboarder. Then I started a T-shirt line with some buddies, and somebody invested in us, and I did that for four years. Then decided to try to get into school, and I used what I had done with the T-shirt company to get into school. It was sort of that fashion was a domain I was already working in. School was fun—I loved it.
5. Windy Sky
What do you like about Montreal?
The seasons are really extreme—winter's winter, summer is hot, spring is amazing. It's cheap, and thereare all these artists and wannabe people here. People can almost not have a job—you're not rich if youdon't have a job, but you can manage for sure.
Have you ever worked for anyone else, or always just worked for yourself?
I'm working for someone else right now, helping to build a contemporary arts program for kids. The internet is kind of fun right now, and the kids are doing a lot of work that we've never been able to do because they have access to so much information, and so quickly. Now, a lot of them have cameras and Google in their pocket. They have all kinds of digital stuff and you can do new things, the same way JJJJound kind of became cool because it's just photos—well, there you go kid. Start a photo blog and put your stuff out.
7. Montreal has that extra hour we all want/need
8. Shooting with Justine
How do you think having a camera and Google with them at all times changes the way these kids see the world?
I don't know, you'd have to ask them. But I do know that I would have loved it, because you don't have to remember facts, you can Google them right away. I guess it is just a completely different way of thinking, because you don't have to remember something, you just have to remember how to find it. It's just starting and we don't even really know what to do with it, but we know we have to have these kinds of conversations with kids.
When did you start JJJJound?
In January '08. It was just an archive of photos to share with people, and I was sending the same emails to several different people, so I was like, "so many emails to send, I'll just put them in one place." And then a lot of people were checking the website, and it was like, wow, that's funny.
9. My bible
10. I pass by here everyday lately
What has been the most surprising thing about JJJJound's success?
That I'm contributing to The Moment. And the whole fashion thing. I like to think I'm a fashionable dude, but drawing cartoons is what I like to do the most.
Why is your column for The Moment called The Purist?
But at the end of the day, I am a purist when it comes to quality. If you're going to invest, it has to be the best of the best. I am building a table now out of wood, and it's going to take a year and it's going to be amazing. My dad's a cabinet maker, so craftsmanship is something that was big in my family.
11. Cotton in a vase
12. My laptop
People have asked you to do art shows from JJJJound. Have you ever done them?
No. I draw, and am taking photography classes, and also do print making and build stuff from wood, so I guess if I did a show it would have to be my own stuff. I do make a huge effort to reply to people who email me, but I guess I've just been too busy to follow through for the curating thing.
It seems like one of the reason's JJJJound is so popular is that it manages a flow of information, filters it, and presents it back to people in a way that's easy to understand.
The Internet is the great new tool for creatives. It's like when people first started using cameras to take pictures instead of painting them. Now, you can use so many things to make stuff—the Internet, other people's photos to make color...I don't know. I'm just happy about the camera phone. I love looking at people's camera phone photos because it's so random.
13. I can never escape wires
14. Brass hanger I like a lot
You have a Twitter where you post camera phone photos.
Yeah, I didn't know what to Twitter about, so I just take pictures with my phone. On the Internet, people love the photos with no words, so I thought I would do the same—photos with no words. I have 186 followers. Is that Twitter-good?
Well, Ashton Kutcher has more than a million.
Yeah, I know. He was the first person I followed! And Shaq's funny! He's hilarious. All comedians should have Twitter, because it's like you're chilling with them constantly. But maybe I'll get rid of it...
How do you think the Internet has changed your life?
When my parents got a computer at home when I was a kid, there was dial-up internet, and it would take forever, and there was this one website where once a week, it would put out a links section. And I was always like...Whoa, what is this? And ever since then, I've thought that I can always go on the Internet and get inspired. And it's sort of like a person, because Wikipedia has all of this information, but you don't know how true it is. It's totally like having a conversation with a friend of yours who normally always knows everything, but sometimes just bullshits. But you're still like, "Totally!" and then you repeat it. You're like, it must be true—I read it online. It's gossip. It's the best. What's true? What isn't? Who cares?