My Summer Lair featuring Stefan Sagmeister (The Happy Film)
Published on: June 6 2017
My Summer Lair Chapter #46: What Makes You Happy?
You know Stefan Sagmeister even if you don’t know Stefan Sagmeister. Did you see or buy Bridges to Babylon by The Rolling Stones? OK GO’s self titled album? Once in a Lifetime by the Talking Heads of course? Last one: Jay-Z’s Kingdom Come? All album covers designed by Stefan…see you know Stefan Sagmeister even if you don’t know Stefan Sagmeister.
Rather than commissioned worked by a client…as a graphic designer he’s done work for Levi’s, Coke…the usual good looking corporate gang he’s in Toronto for a screening of The Happy Film. I guess you could say…he’s the client.
The brief is that as successful as he appears to be (success can be defined as working with Levi’s and Jay-Z but that’s a definition of success, not the definition of success) he is not happy. So can he become…happy? The Happy Film documents 3 controlled experiments of meditation, therapy, and drugs, grading himself along the way: a path that includes death, setbacks and more.
I’m fascinated he could oscillate between paid commission work and self-initiated projects like this documentary. That would make me happy. I wish I’d spent a bit more time fleshing out that process as we talked.
Instead we cover the negativity bias, social media, gratitude, the darkness in a movie about happiness and ultimately music…he’s currently digging Shaky Graves and Devil Makes Three.
Check out the doc if you’re curious about what makes you happy.