Peche and Peche Kucha. Two random events in one night.
So my wife Loree was downtown last night and we met at Pesche, the most interesting bar in the city. An Ad Guy friend (although he swears he’s a RECOVERING Ad Guy) named Tim McClure joined us for an evening of great talk at the bar. We covered creative thinking, the value of big ideas, gin and Citroens.
We chose Pesche because it’s my favorite bar on the planet and Tim quickly realized it had now become HIS favorite bar as well. Pesche makes a different noise. You walk in and you go back in time a hundred years. Not in a cloying, silly way, but in a very real way. The bar is the full length of the building, the old wooden floor is a genuine old wooden floor. The bartenders wear vests.
But the real treat are the cocktails. The wall behind the bar is fifteen feet tall and forty feet long with every kind of liquor you could ever imagine. There are sliding ladders to get to the top levels. There are probably forty types of gin. There are eyedroppers of strange flavors, jars of eggs, jalapenos, fruit soaking in bottles… A very different scene from most bars.
And the bartenders are artists. They are masters. Each guy there can make hundreds of vintage and outrageous cocktails… most of which you’ve never heard of. They make cocktails with whipped egg whites, absinthe and a dozen other flavors. It’s an experience you won’t find anywhere else outside of Denver at a place called Green Russell. The problem with Green Russell is that you have to make reservations to sit at the bar and you’re not allowed to move your seat. If you stand up to talk to someone, they ask you to go back to your seat or leave. A great way to kill a great concept.
But back to Pesche. They could have been like every other bar in Austin and gone broke in a couple years, like every other bar… But they chose a different path. They made a different noise and truly identified a niche and filled it.
Well, the evening came to an early end. Loree had to head back to The Ranch and Tim had to run, so I wandered down to the corner and sat at a sidewalk table at Halcyon with a bottle of fizzy Italian water and a good cigar and watched the world go by.
It wasnt long before I got a call from another Ad Guy friend, Larry Jolly. I told him I was at Pesche and he said he was on his way. We quickly realized we were talking about two “Pesche’s.”
He was heading to Pecha Kucha.
I was perplexed.
His quick explanation was that it was an art happening thing. Starting in an hour not far from where I was sitting.
Obviously, I had to go.
So I won’t go into a history of Pecha Kucha, but in short it’s a TED Talks type of event with ten artists talking about their work, lives, philosophy etc. They get 20 slides and 20 seconds each. It happens in a dozen or so cities around the world the same night. Great concept. Here’s the link.
As I watched the presentations, I realized something. I’ve always said that an entrepreneur doesn’t see what’s IN the universe… He see’s what ISN’T in the universe, and then fills in those gaps.
It was last night that I realized the same goes for great artists.
And that’s not to say that a skilled painter is a great artist.
Think about it this way. A skilled painter can knock off a dozen Degas paintings in a month. But did the world NEED a dozen more Degas paintings?
A great ARTIST already filled that hole in the universe. Degas did something his own. Something original. The door closed behind him when he left.
Every great artist does that. They do what isn’t already there, and they do it in such a way that anyone who follows them is just trying to duplicate their fete.
So for those of us out there that aspire to be great artists (and that can be anything from music to painting to dance to whatever), find the holes in the universe and fill them with your best work… See if you can close the door behind you when you’re done.
Oh, and be open to random Dualing Pesche’s on a Thursday night.