Tumblr Interview: Michael Paredrakos (The Curious Brain)

Brunna Mancuso via The Curious Brain

Every day thousands of people share new and exciting work via Tumblr sites. Founded in 2007, Tumblr is a blogging service that attracts over 72 million visitors a month. With tools to make sharing easy, the site has quickly grown int

o the number one source of online inspiration for filmmakers, designers and photographers. Over the next couple of months we’re running a series of interviews with those who curate some of the most influential creative Tumblr sites around the world. We start with a relative new newcomer from Greece, Michael Paredrakos, whose site The Curious Brain has become an essential bookmark for lovers of animation, music videos, design & illustration, and the odd informative info-graphic (work featured is taken from the site).

Why did you start the website?

Well basically I wanted to keep a short of diary for all the interesting things I find online. I work as a strategic planner for an advertising agency so part of my job is also to inspire people working within the agency. Before starting the curious brain I was constantly spamming people with emails telling them you should check this and that…plus it was very difficult to keep a track of everything. So I decided to start a blog and put everything in there. To be honest I’m quite surprised that it became so famous so fast.

Do you think the web has surpassed other platforms (festivals, TV, etc) as the main gateway to find exciting new work?

Absolutely yes! The amount of talent that lives in the digital world can not be compared with the limited talent that lives on TV or festivals. The internet made things easier for all people to share their work so unlike the other two platforms that you have to be at least a bit famous or know the right people to get you on a show etc …over the internet you don’t need anyone but your talent to promote you. If you’re good in something you can become famous in an instant and over night, you only need to put your work in there and if its good people will take notice.

New work is constantly being uploaded over the internet and the great thing is that it’s not limited to the borders of your own county. To see the work of an artist from the other side of the world is just a click away..

Can people curate a website (tumblr, wordpress, etc) like they could curate a festival?

To be honest I think it would be a bit difficult to curate it in the same manner. A festival lives in the real physical world so you need to play along those rules. For a festival I believe you will need a ridiculous amount of money and effort just to organize it. Plus you can never do it correctly just by yourself. You will need also a bunch of people to help you with everything. But more or less the same principles apply for the artists that someone could choose to feature.

I’ve just been to a conference where a speaker said that no artist should ever give their work away for free. What do you think about the thousands of artists who share their work for free online everyday and do you think this kind of sharing can ever be monetised?

I think that if you’re young, talented, and broke the best thing to do initially is to share your work online for free. If it’s good there is a good chance that you will become famous and then the money will start coming in. Justin Bieber is a great example of this. He was just a kid that was posting homemade videos of himself on YouTube. Suddenly the industry took notice of him and now he’s filthy rich. So yes I think people that share their work for free on-line should keep doing it cause you never know who will take notice of it.

The main criticism of the internet is that it has no palpable sense of community. Do you think this is true?

No, I think the internet has a great sense of community. Online you can find people who think and dream just like you do. People that you could ask for help for a project and they will be willing to help you and people that will provide good criticism for your work or even at some point become your friends. Crazy people also exist, so you have to be a bit careful, but more or less the internet has proved that it’s a great place for people to find other people who share the same passion and that it is an ideal place for people to discuss thoughts or ideas on various topics.

How does the amazing work you share everyday inspire you in your day to day life?

Well as you know things in Greece are a bit hectic at the moment, political and work-wise, so the curious brain is more or less the only thing that keeps me sane at the moment. I love it when I stumble across a song from a completely unknown band and then I post it online and that band can have a chance to become famous. I love the fact that I can help unknown artists to get noticed and that I can inspire people to become a bit better in what they do. The curious brain has not changed my everyday life, but it definitely gives me that feel good vibe that helps me tackle the everyday problems of Greek reality.

thecuriousbrain

thisistheplace… (ffresh’s tumblr)


Every day thousands of people share new and exciting work via Tumblr sites. Founded in 2007, Tumblr is a blogging service that attracts over 72 million visitors a month. With tools to make sharing easy, the site has quickly grown into the number one source of online inspiration for filmmakers, designers and photographers. Over the next couple of months we’re running a series of interviews with those who curate some of the most influential creative Tumblr sites around the world. We start with a relative new newcomer from Greece, Michael Paredrakos, whose site The Curious Brain has become an essential bookmark for lovers of animation, music videos, design & illustration, and the odd informative info-graphic (work featured is taken from the site).

Why did you start the website?

Well basically I wanted to keep a short of diary for all the interesting things I find online. I work as a strategic planner for an advertising agency so part of my job is also to inspire people working within the agency. Before starting the curious brain I was constantly spamming people with emails telling them you should check this and that…plus it was very difficult to keep a track of everything. So I decided to start a blog and put everything in there. To be honest I’m quite surprised that it became so famous so fast.

Do you think the web has surpassed other platforms (festivals, TV, etc) as the main gateway to find exciting new work?

Absolutely yes! The amount of talent that lives in the digital world can not be compared with the limited talent that lives on TV or festivals. The internet made things easier for all people to share their work so unlike the other two platforms that you have to be at least a bit famous or know the right people to get you on a show etc …over the internet you don’t need anyone but your talent to promote you. If you’re good in something you can become famous in an instant and over night, you only need to put your work in there and if its good people will take notice.

New work is constantly being uploaded over the internet and the great thing is that it’s not limited to the borders of your own county. To see the work of an artist from the other side of the world is just a click away..

Can people curate a website (tumblr, wordpress, etc) like they could curate a festival?

To be honest I think it would be a bit difficult to curate it in the same manner. A festival lives in the real physical world so you need to play along those rules. For a festival I believe you will need a ridiculous amount of money and effort just to organize it. Plus you can never do it correctly just by yourself. You will need also a bunch of people to help you with everything. But more or less the same principles apply for the artists that someone could choose to feature.

I’ve just been to a conference where a speaker said that no artist should ever give their work away for free. What do you think about the thousands of artists who share their work for free online everyday and do you think this kind of sharing can ever be monetised?

I think that if you’re young, talented, and broke the best thing to do initially is to share your work online for free. If it’s good there is a good chance that you will become famous and then the money will start coming in. Justin Bieber is a great example of this. He was just a kid that was posting homemade videos of himself on YouTube. Suddenly the industry took notice of him and now he’s filthy rich. So yes I think people that share their work for free on-line should keep doing it cause you never know who will take notice of it.

The main criticism of the internet is that it has no palpable sense of community. Do you think this is true?

No, I think the internet has a great sense of community. Online you can find people who think and dream just like you do. People that you could ask for help for a project and they will be willing to help you and people that will provide good criticism for your work or even at some point become your friends. Crazy people also exist, so you have to be a bit careful, but more or less the internet has proved that it’s a great place for people to find other people who share the same passion and that it is an ideal place for people to discuss thoughts or ideas on various topics.

How does the amazing work you share everyday inspire you in your day to day life?

Well as you know things in Greece are a bit hectic at the moment, political and work-wise, so the curious brain is more or less the only thing that keeps me sane at the moment. I love it when I stumble across a song from a completely unknown band and then I post it online and that band can have a chance to become famous. I love the fact that I can help unknown artists to get noticed and that I can inspire people to become a bit better in what they do. The curious brain has not changed my everyday life, but it definitely gives me that feel good vibe that helps me tackle the everyday problems of Greek reality.

thecuriousbrain

thisistheplace… (ffresh’s tumblr)

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