All this story with People like People began in winter, when I wasn’t working at Tucano Coffee yet, but Andrei Haret (my actual commander) was already telling everybody about the amazing project, that came to his mind and which he wanted to come to life within Tucano Coffee.
The idea came, just as always, when he didn’t expect it at all. He was walking in the park and noticed a young man, who was stretching the legs. Approaching the exercising ground, he saw, that it was actually a man who isn’t young anymore. That is how the idea was born, that the beauty appears when it’s less expected and, that the most modest and simple people can astonish you in the most pleasant way.
After this, hazardly I ended up working at Tucano Coffee together with Andrei. Then, he announced, that it was me who is going to be in charge of this project, together with Nata Gârbu.
Besides the spiritual fulfillment and happiness towards the project, it was a great pleasure to find out, that namely Nata will take the visual part of the project on her. I don’t know if there is a more proper person to catch the beauty of people than Nata, or if there is a photographer with whom I would “complement” better than with her.
We made up a list of people to approach. Criterion? No criterion, we were just writing names of people, that seem to us warm and beautiful, sincere and non-commercial. We also asked others to suggest us such people. Our willing was to find people less known, which would keep the simplicity of modesty and that would open to us in front of Nata’s lens and in the moment of the discussion with me.
And so, we began working, we made a little test with the first three texts. We wanted to see, if it really was a good idea not only for me, Nata and Andrei, but also for the wide audience. We had the first interviews, Nata made the first portraits and we had to share them with Andrei, and then to a narrow circle of people, whose critic opinion is important to us and, who would give us some advice and constructive feedback.
Nata made the portraits i d e a l l y. Just like always, in fact. Me – I rewrote the first text like 5-6 times. I wrote, deleted, cut, took out, put together again, reworded, got mad, gave up and then began everything from the start. In the end, everyone nodded contently.
It was only left to launch the project. But I forgot to tell you, that the initial name we gave to the project was “Beautiful people”, because it was about beautiful people and it was the most obvious name. Though, we understood, that it was too common, we were searching for something more authentic. Tough days of brain squeezing followed, until we all met and within a very inspired brainstorming concluded to – People like People. It has a double sense, as you know – “just simple people” and “people love people”, which sounds very nice and it is a very cute small trick.
Even though, the subject of “the criterion of selection” is still open, because the beauty is such a complex and relative notion. And, in the end, who are the beautiful people? Whom to interview? The younger or the older ones, with experience? The more known ones or the more modest? The ones with “noble” professions or with simple jobs?
Andrei casts on older people, he calls them truer, because if they came to be how they are at their age, then this is true, they don’t change anymore. The younger are still searching for themselves and often they pretend to be someone else within this search. Another criterion for Andrei – are the kind-hearted people. Nata, is a more artistic and creative being than us, she prefers more the people, who make art, the ones that see the world in other colours and musical notes. She knows what hides in their souls and knows what worlds we can discover within them. Me, I haven’t decided yet what is more interesting for me – the wisdom of the old, or the rebellion of the youth. We can find the beauty within any person, but the most important feature, I guess, is the simplicity. The non-commercial people have a special charm. They are a bit clumsy and unsure when they talk, but they are very sincere.
In the end, we stick to intuition and emotions anyway, we take random people, of all ages and professions, the ones, that we feel a chemistry with during the conversation. This thing, probably, makes this project be volatile, in the positive meaning of the word, if there is one. This makes it flexible.
Now we launched the project and just as usual, when you prepare a lot for something, you don’t sleep at nights, you always think only about this and then, it happens, it is launched and that’s it. Now it’s silence, all the emotions, fear and incertitude disappeared. Only butterflies are left in the stomach, butterflies before every interview and before getting to know a new person, that is going to open sincerely and, sometimes, clumsy in front of me.
I hope you also feel some butterflies every time you read a new People like People text, and if you know a beautiful person, that lies in shadow – text me, let’s expose their beauty and kind thoughts.