Spring in Chicago is ‘wild time’. The citizenry emerges from their collective hibernation of winter. Fattened from weekly forays of macro lager, fried finger foods and their under performing professional American football team.
In the winter many travel from home to work, home to bar, home to another Place of Worship (our favorite bar), home to the grocery, all with cynical vigor often wrapped more tightly than a Chipotle carnitas burrito with extra black beans and no cheese, thank you very much. Friendships are put on pause save for a friendsgiving and an ugly sweater bar crawl to honor the fat man in the red getup.
Spring is where this hairy tale begins.
Brian and I met Spring 2009 in a production course, exactly like every other origin tale of “super close dudes”, we were put in a group because we were sitting near one another in class. Once our first assignment was doled out, a new chapter in UBK was bornt. Our collaborations soon yielded tasty, tasty, grade B looking fruit. Our sensibilities meshing here and somewhat there. We never took ourselves too seriously, but each had that ache to make good work. We made ridiculous, messy worthwhile mistakes. A gritty, drama filled, violent race to the elevator. A man with cancer only below the knee, that continued to achieve his dreams of athletic glory. A man who asked his coworker out with a horse. A bunch of hapless local politicos vying for your vote.
When Brian first came to my near campus apartment I was eager to show him a piece of art. Titled ‘Wolfman Domesticated’, it was my older brother Andy’s (@BRNKillo) take on having your rough, wild edges smoothed off to fit in a package. It reminded me to retain my inner wolf, the animal instinct to pursue what you must.
Wolfman was misplaced in a hasty move from that apartment. After a protracted tearing up of my belongings in a desperate, ugly sob ridden journey* to ascertain ‘Wolfman Domesticated’, I finally came to grips with its disappearance.
Fast forward three years and the wild nature was immortalized once more by the @BRNKillo incarnations of what is known as, Business Bears.
The Business Bears are hearty, trustworthy, go-get-em type bears. Post college people start navigating the waters of our world with more clarity and the Business Bears were just that. As brand new human men, UBK weathered the high and lows of continuing to produce rewarding creative work while holding down full time jobs like big boys.
The development of the Business Bears into their current form reflects our development as artists and independent producers of goofy, rad schizz.
We need to be clear: None of this would be possible without inspiration and creativity that we experience every day from our friends and colleagues who birth astounding, surreal work in their bailiwick. (Peruse the pieces on this website and find more of our pals!)
The brand spankin' new, more refined Business Bear is now in circulation. This Biz Bear is a tad slimmer, knows the upside of knitted flat bottom ties and carves out time for reflection. Do not be fooled by the buttoned down nature of this Bear, he is known to shimmy out that blazer-tie combo and abscond to Chipped Hole Creek and pursue what he must: that elusive experience of fresh breeze streaming through his wild, thick fur as he paws a couple salmon on to shoreline for an early lunch.
* Creative liberties were utilized here for your enjoyment. Rawr
Meet the guys living the #BizBear life in picturesque** downtown Birmingham, AL. And don't forget to catch UBK’s Dirty Laundry screening.
**We are assuming; it will be our first time below the Mason Dixon^.
^Not counting Florida, because Florida was just swamps and lizards in the 19th century.