Category Archives: Zen Garage

Never underestimate the power of a phone call

So what’s with all this attitude at 42? Understandable if I was young, but telling the boss of an international brand that you think you love the brand more than he does sounds pretty damn arrogant, and that’s exactly what I said to Jose Angeles, the big man at Toyo Tyres Australia a couple of years ago during our first meeting.

Over the years I’ve developed an interesting relationship with most of my clients. It takes a lot for a client to take risks on me and allow me to work the way I want to work, because if you try to make me work the way everybody else does… well then there’s friction, and well, then basically nothing gets done.

I got a message from Nicholas Green yesterday. Nick has been a middle man of sorts in my relationship with Toyo. He simply asked for a Toyo update and I lost my shit.

It’s funny how much pressure we put on ourselves. It’s funny how much pressure money puts on me and how much pressure I put on money. In a time where I’m hyper aware of how little energy I have for anything but working on personal issues and gaming, I still wake up with ZEN and Toyo on the brain and if I scroll through my feeds, though there are less posts I still see ZEN and Toyo posts in the mix.

It’s this natural connect that is important to me and I love that Toyo and many other of my clients leave me alone to do what I like when I like, but for some reason, a simple question from Nick yesterday made me feel an immense pressure, like what I was doing wasn’t enough, like maybe we should just drop the relationship, like what the hell was I thinking?

It’s taken a few deep breaths, an apology, and a phone call to both Nick and Jose to calm me down. Thanks Nick, and Jose for being pillars and mirrors for me. I didn’t like what I saw in the reflection, but I’m glad I’ve seen it, and I’m massively grateful for the support.

Posted in Cars, Spam, Zen Garage | 1 Comment

ZEN Garage – Need For Speed Payback Intro

Was a surprise to me to see that we’re on the cover car (main character’s R34 GT-R), and feature in the intro of the game too! Check it out!

Need For Speed Payback is now available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC!

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WTAC 2017

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My WTAC photos are up! FEATURE: http://www.zengarage.com.au/2017/10/wtac-2017/

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So how’s ZEN going?

Just a few post WTAC thoughts: I had a lot of people come up and ask me how ZEN is going, and I found myself repeating myself throughout the day, and refining the story as the weekend played out, so I thought I’d share.

EOMM shook me up a little. I’ve spent 10+ years fighting for a carpark for us car guys to hang in, we finally get it but within a year the kids have ruined it for themselves. Truth is the guys who were fighting along side me have moved on in life, had kids, etc IE: they’re not the guys rocking up to the meets today, and the guys at the meets have little to no idea about the past.

The disconnect is real.

I’ve done a lot for various communities, focused outward a lot but lately I’ve been spending time on me, focusing inwards, and realising that I might not have the energy to do both ZEN, and me at the same time.

I’m working on family relations with a councillor, and I’m also working on getting over the guilt of doing less in life. Producing less, and just doing what I want to do for me (right now, family and gaming!).

I’ve also started to think about putting my house on the market. When you’re complaining about your council rates being so high you’ve got to realise they’re that high because your property is worth way more than when you bought it 10 years ago. I’m 42 now and whilst I might have blown all my profit if I sold the house too young, I’m sure I’ll be fine now.

Back on the topic of ZEN.

It’s gotten to the point where I almost despise the customers who are buying our goods now because it’s 5 cents cheaper at $39.95 not $40. I know we have the potential to be in General Pants Co. but it’s not the go.

Going forwards I need to go backwards; When I meet someone like-minded, someone I click with, someone who gets it. It makes sense for them to like me, for me to like them, so if I GIFT them a ZEN hat, it feels right. There’s a lot in this. I want ZEN to be free for those who get it. I’ve just got to figure it out, but thanks to all who asked at WTAC, you guys are the best sounding boards/mirrors ever and have helped me to get all the above out. Much appreciated!

/rant.

Posted in Uncategorised, Zen Garage | 5 Comments

EOMM


Video by Ved and audio by yours truly. #vibes

Hittin’ the ground rollin’. I’m vibe hunting tonight. Expecting a HUGE End Of Month Meet (EOMM). I’ll be there with the ZEN stand so please come down and hang. Community. Unity. Haters and Hoons don’t fuck this shit up for me.

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Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

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“ZEN” Wheels.

To all of those on my friends list sending me videos of Sergio in Ozzy Tyres videos these past weeks: Please stop. I’m not sure exactly what it is you guys were trying to get out of me, a LOL? Honest truth is I don’t find it funny.

One of the main reasons as to why Sergio left ZEN was because we weren’t making money. To this date I am not paying myself a salary from ZEN, and that’s exactly what Sergio needed at the time.

I’d assume Sergio has what he wants/needs now at Ozzy Tyres. I’m not sure what the thinking was with using our name and logo for one of their new wheel designs (pictured), but if some sort of response is what he/they wanted well this is it.

No hate, just regret. Wish you all the best Sergio.

Posted in Cars, Zen Garage | 1 Comment

Rich Dad Poor Dad

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Repeat after me: “Money is not evil”.

Has anyone read that book “Rich Dad Poor Dad”? Yeah I haven’t either, but it’s got something to do with me in that I was born into wealth, and ever since being aware of it (high school pretty much) I’ve been more guilty of it than anything else, so much so that I’ve made it my life’s goal to use the position to do greater good for others.

I’m good at a lot of things, but making money isn’t one of them. I’ve spent my life creating not-for-profit communities. I’ve put my money and my soul into each and every one of them and never felt the need to get anything back but positive feedback (which is my preferred currency). I’ve frustrated the fuck out of business partners who have in the end had to leave the business because I just refused to make money.

I’ve had countless conversations with friends, about the disservice I’m doing to the industry. IE: If I am a professional graphic designer charging people $500 for a logo (or worse yet doing it for free which I do all the fucking time), then how the fuck has any other designer, especially ones starting out have a chance?

Getting on topic. We’ve just changed the pricing of all our goods in the ZEN GARAGE online shop in an attempt to get more sales (in an attempt to make more money). Where a T-Shirt cost $40 before, it’s now $39.95. I literally had friends tell me that if they had 2 T’s in front of them; one was $40 and the other $39.95 they’d buy the cheaper one, even if it’s only by 5 cents! This is killing me. I then did a fair bit of research into what others are doing (not that I really care), but hey even the God I met last week (Shepard Fairey/OBEY) does it with his goods, so if he does it then it’s OK if I do it too?!

I can’t feel good about the move, and if it does generate more sales then it’ll be bitter sweet, but the reality of it is that ZEN GARAGE is doing great, and has always done great since 2011, but we’ve never made a salary or any real money out of the business. We only make enough to pour it back in to make another run of stock, and even then we usually fail to re-stock as we don’t have enough money in the bank (which explains why our hoodies come out in summer most times haha!).

“Hallelujah!” is what my business partner Rob had to say; “I’ve been in the business for 6 years waiting for you to wake up!”. More profit means being able to have our staple range in stock all year round and it’ll also allow us to up the quality of our goods as well as design more new products and I’m excited about that.

Visit: https://shop.zengarage.com.au

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Old & New Japan 911 Sticker Design

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Late last year I flew to Las Vegas to cover SEMA for Toyo. I took a photo of the Old & New Japan 911 and David from Import Bible Canada has turned it into an illustration, and now a sticker design. They look great! Find them in the Import Bible shop: https://importbible.com/

SEMA Feature: http://www.zengarage.com.au/2016/11/sema-trip-day-5-sema/

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New Shopify ZEN GARAGE Online Shop

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OMFG we did it! The all new Shopify ZEN GARAGE online shop is live! Thanks Catalina BriceƱo for the lifestyle shots. All the product shots need to be re-shot ASAP (that’s my job!), text descriptions need love too, but I’m so glad it’s live!

Free shipping on all orders over $100 for now (one thing we’ve been meaning to implement for ages but couldn’t with the last shop software).

SHOP: https://shop.zengarage.com.au

Posted in Design, Zen Garage | 1 Comment

Cat’s Zen Babe Photoshoot

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Loving these great crisp shots by Cat. I sent Cat a box of Zen goodies before I went overseas and it’s been AWESOME seeing her shoot it on her babes. AMAZE! There’s so much to come! First up, Kat Barry. Del Rey eat your heart out!

For the Full Feature, visit: http://www.zengarage.com.au/2017/04/catalina-briceno-zen-babe-photoshoot/

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