The Power of Mentors with Jody Collins

Episode 433 LIVE on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at 7:30 pm GMT / 2:30 pm ET / 11:30 am PT / 9:30 am in Hawaii

Jody Collins is a community builder, designer, and believes in mentoring. I met Jody at an AIGA leadership retreat quite a few years ago. He is funny, engaging, passionate, and talented. Jody is a natural great leader, because he is always lifting others, and checking on them to make sure everyone is on the path.

Jody is also a talented illustrator and podcaster. He is interested in many things including printmaking. Our conversation will dive into the mentors who made a difference in his life and why he is so passionate about helping others.

Listen here


  1. Jody, can you give everybody a little background about your start in design?
  2. You’ve told me that most of the people you grew up with are either dead or in prison, not many kids make it. Was there a particular person in your life that gave you a glimpse of a different life?
  3. How have your mentors pushed you in the past? Why is it so important to you to be a mentor and give back to your community?
  4. What would you tell someone who is considering being a mentor? Any tips to making this a priority?
  5. We all have some jobs that we take that make an impression on us. You told me about the summer of ‘96. Why was this summer or this job significant?
  6. Jody, you know a lot of people. You have made it a point that your life is filled with community building, why is feeling connected and not alone so important to you?
  7. Tell me about the (Mike Jones) circles? Who is “family” to you?
  8. Why did you start your podcast? Can you tell us about it?
  9. What kinds of groups have you gotten involved in and how did these leadership roles help you? Was it ever scary to you to try to join a group or scary to go for a leadership role?
  10. You have an IDEA box. I love that you have a physical reminder of things you want to work on. What makes it into that box and how often do you go in and start making something from the box?
  11. What is the thing you’ve learned about yourself in the since the pandemic, that has been most impactful to your life or freelance business?
  12. Since it is love on designers month, and this week is CONNECT. Is there someone you would like to thank that has played a role in your life that has been a mentor for you without knowing it?
  13. What is next?

Love on Designers
Week 4: Connect

This week I want you to reach out to someone you don’t know and tell them how their work / life has inspired you.

Some ideas you can do are:

Create a social media post and tag them (and us) telling them how they have inspired or helped you.

Reach out to a mentor or teacher (recent or past teacher) and let them know how much they have meant to you.

Send a card to someone you have looked up to, to their office. Do a little digging and find the address. And craft an incredible envelope to go with the card.

I hope you will join us as we lift up the creative community this month and spread the love.

Here is how to enter to win one of the five giveaways this month:

I am focused on growing my YouTube channel and one way for me to do this is to have more engagement and comments. GIVEAWAY TIME! To enter the drawing for some of my favorite drawing and mixed media tools, plus a few cards to send to friends and people who inspire you, postcards which you can hang in your office, and a few special surprise bonus items here’s what you have to do.

Five total winners will be randomly selected. Each week I post on YouTube @creativesignite. Anyone who comments on any of my YouTube videos will be entered to win. I will be randomly select a winner each week (Feb 1–15) (three YouTube winners). To be entered to win all you have to do is:

Subscribe to my YouTube channel @creativesignite.

Comment and share the video with a friend.

OR for the two LIVE SHOW winners

Come to the live show and make a comment. The more you comment the more chances you have to win. The last two weeks I will choose a person during the Feb 15th live show and during the Feb 22nd live show. All you have to do is: Come to the live show and comment in the chat during the live show.

Tune in to hear how you can join me in lifting others and have a chance to win.

Join us LIVE on Wednesdays at 11:30am PT / 2:30pm ET / 7:30pm GMT / 9:30am in Hawaii
Sign up here to get the link delivered to your inbox 30 minutes beforehand.

Connect with Jody / @FeralGiant on all socials / @RamblinManPod on all socials


[00:00:00] diane: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of Creatives Ignite and I, it’s a special Saturday episode, so I appreciate everybody that is here and came live. It’s awesome to see my good friend Will in the chat who teaches at the normal time. Uh, so we can’t come anymore live on Wednesdays, so I love the Saturdays and today is the last day that, or the last podcast of the month for Love on [00:00:30] designers.

[00:00:30] And then we’re starting a new series next Wednesday of, where are they now? That was supposed to sound dramatic, but anyway, probably said it anyway. Um, but today I am here with my friend Jodi Collins. Jodi and I met at a A I G A retreat, um, in North Carolina. I believe Amy Lyons was there as well. I don’t remember what year it was.

[00:00:52] Do you? But Jodi and I sat at the same table or we were in, um, We were, [00:01:00] um, we were, we were in a group. They put us all in groups and places, and Jodi is in Knoxville, Tennessee. So, um, my mom will ask me, is he a Tennessee fan? So, yes. Yes. Okay. Yes. Okay. So War Eagle, um, Amy Lion. I got, I gotta le me and Amy, I’m Auburn upside down today.

[00:01:22] But anyway, we won’t talk about football. Paul doesn’t like football. We’re not Okay.

[00:01:26] Jody Collins: Two for you. 16. Yeah. Yeah. You don’t talk about football.

[00:01:29] diane: [00:01:30] Yeah, it’s totally fine. I, I mean, that’s what a real fan is though, you know, good to or bad. I mean, y’all have some bad years, buddy. I have like

[00:01:37] Jody Collins: 15 to 20 years of that man.

[00:01:40] Yeah.

[00:01:42] diane: Okay. That’s right. We all have, and, uh, Morris here, and she’s in Carey, North Carolina. Okay, so Jodi, I want, uh, one of the reasons I wanted you to be on in love on designers is because you have such a great story of mentors really pouring into your life. And from that, you have just taken it and you have [00:02:00] like gone with abandon and pouring into other people’s life.

[00:02:03] You love community, you wanna make sure that it is working. I think will, and you would be really good friends for that as well. He’s also really community driven, but like, it is something that just drives you. So I, it’s, I this week on love on designers. I would love for you to spend the next week, the next seven days just reaching out to people.

[00:02:24] Maybe it’s somebody who wrote a book, maybe it’s a old teacher or maybe it’s somebody that you’ve lost touch with. [00:02:30] Um, and just tell them how much. Send ’em a dm, a email, a physical letter. Tell ’em how much they. Meant to you and what, what specifically they did that helped you make it through or get you get through it.

[00:02:44] And Jody, you have some specific things that I want. You have a few people who poured into you in high school. Um, so tell ’em who you are, where you are, what you do, and then let’s go straight into these mentors.

[00:02:58] Jody Collins: Okay? [00:03:00] Oh my God, I feel like I’m on episode of The Bachelor or something, even though I haven’t watched an episode of the Bachelors.

[00:03:05] My name is Jodi Collins. Uh, I am born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. Go Balls. Uh, I, I won’t refrain from singing Rocky Top.

[00:03:14] diane: Oh, I do love Rocky Top. I do. I love Rocky Top. I always sing it when it comes on. Um, John’s like, that’s my husband, is John. He’s like, uh, that is for the other team. I was like, I don’t know.

[00:03:24] It’s such a good song. I just gotta sing it. ,

[00:03:27] Jody Collins: uh, let’s see. Born and raised here. , [00:03:30] uh, I’ll try to, not to go into too much depth, but the high school I went to was a, uh, vocational school. And in 1992, when I started in high school at age of 13, there were only two computers in the entire school. And both of the, one of them was in the print shop called graphic arts, and the other one was in drafting.

[00:03:51] I knew I wanted to work in computers, so I took print shop and, uh, I’ll leave it at that so we [00:04:00] can get into it later. But it was for your freshman year, you took Prevo, which was two weeks in each program, like upholstery, electrical, auto mechanics, woodworking, drafting, print, shop, TV and radio. Uh, but, but print shop was the thing that stood out to me and I kinda stuck with that.

[00:04:23] Went to college, chose a college that was a technical community college cuz it was more involved in learning the [00:04:30] applications as opposed to the theory and all that. Although we learned theory too, and I’ve worked for a bunch of different companies, big and small since then. Um,

[00:04:40] diane: and you’ve got, and you’ve done things on your own, you’ve freelanced Yeah.

[00:04:43] You’ve had a, uh, your own business and then more recently you’ve gotten a job and you love the people that you work with. Yeah. Right.

[00:04:52] Jody Collins: Uh, yesterday I hit one year of working for the company I worked for. Yeah. That’s awesome. And, uh, a few [00:05:00] years ago, well f five years and like three weeks ago, I decided to start a podcast called Rambling Man.

[00:05:05] Even though I hate the sound of my own voice and, but it was, I had too many friends who were too interesting and talented not to get their stories out there. So I was like, nobody’s gonna record my idiot friend Joki. Love you Yoki Schmidt. Uh, nobody’s going to know about him. Yeah. And uh, it was, I was like, it’s up to me to do this.

[00:05:29] Uh, which [00:05:30] sounds arrogant or braggy don’t mean it that way. I was just, uh, I wanted it to happen, so I made it happen.

[00:05:37] diane: I, I think your voice sounds awesome, Jody, to be honest. Um, yeah, it does. But I mean, I don’t know anybody that really loves their voice. I definitely don’t love my voice. But anyway, we’re, uh, but it doesn’t stop us.

[00:05:49] Right, right. And, and um, and I am five foot one inches. And Jodi is not. And Jodi is, I remember Jodi gave me a card cuz I [00:06:00] was like, wow, you’re really tall. I mean, I love standing next to really tall people just to see how short I am. And so Jodi has this card that says, , I’m six seven. . Yes. Really? Um, and I love that he did this.

[00:06:17] Um, I, I just love this. Yeah. . I love that. I’ve got

[00:06:22] Jody Collins: it on hand right here.

[00:06:23] diane: I’m so, I’m so glad. So, um, we are about the same height as you can tell. [00:06:30] Um, so. But that was like, so he had, you know, so many people come up to you from that. Amy Lyons is pretty little too, she was there. She said she thinks she got one of those.

[00:06:40] Amy

[00:06:41] Jody Collins: beat me to the joke. I was like, well, Amy knows. Amy’s like 6 5, 6, 6 . I mean, she’s, she’s trying too. That’s

[00:06:47] diane: right. Okay, so tell me, take it back cuz you were also in a minority in your high school, I believe, right? Right. Um, we are the same height on Zoom. That’s right Paul. [00:07:00] Thank you. Um, so, but I’m in shorts and you’re probably not Paul, right?

[00:07:05] Because I mean it is hot. It’s like definitely in the mid eighties here and in Minnesota. We’re hoping you’re in double digits. Me and my mom have been worried about Paul all week, just so y’all know. Oh, .

[00:07:17] Jody Collins: Paul, I have two words for you. Winter shorts, . I wear shorts in the wintertime, even when gets down to single digits because I am not a smart man.

[00:07:28] I’m like a, I’m [00:07:30] like a radiator to wear. I, I have so much heat, I can’t. It got down to like five here and felt like negative 15. I met friends at a barbecue place downtown and I showed up in shorts and they, everybody in the restaurant stood up to look at me and they were like, we were admiring your legs.

[00:07:48] Like, thanks guys.

[00:07:49] diane: Thanks. Well, Hannah just said you wore winter shorts even in Cleveland Winter. Yeah, I think that is, yeah. That’s great. So, so tell me about some of the people that poured into [00:08:00] you. Meaning they, um, just tell me kind of what high school was like for you. Okay. Because it wasn’t the best. Um, it was a challenge maybe, right?

[00:08:10] Yeah.

[00:08:10] Jody Collins: Okay. Yeah. I’ll start. Gimme a picture for us. I’ll start by going back a little bit. I was the only grandkid for 10 years, so I was raised around like my dad and my uncle’s just mercilessly laying into me. So I got treated like the little brother and then my grandparents kind of [00:08:30] treated me like their kid.

[00:08:31] So for 10 years I would go, stories we don’t have to get into, but going bar hopping with my dad and uncles at like age five, drinking Shirley Temples and virgin pina coladas cuz they came with the little swords with the cherry. And I would, I, in my old toy box, there are hundreds of swords, which when you take that into context of, that’s every drink I had at a bar.

[00:08:57] Awesome. But it was unique and interesting and all [00:09:00] that. And, uh, but I grew up. And on the east side being generally the only white dude in a room, my high school was two thirds black. Uh, and And the rest was pretty much white, cuz I don’t remember. I think that was about it. And here in Knoxville, the percentage of black people per capita is higher than the nation.

[00:09:23] I think it’s like 18%, which I think is awesome cuz we’re in the South and people think we’re all awful and [00:09:30] racist. But to that point, there’s essentially two to three high schools are the only ones with even AMA amount of black people in this town, which is wild. Austin East is, is kind of the air quotes, the black school in Fulton, which is five miles, six miles.

[00:09:50] Was two thirds when I was going up there.

[00:09:52] diane: So you also told me something recently cuz what I always do a test call and then Jodi and I had talked, uh, last in [00:10:00] November or October, um, you said, I’m gonna read this. So most of the people that you grew up with are either dead or in prison. Not many kids make it.

[00:10:09] Yeah. Um, and then was there someone, or someone in high school or people, teachers or uh, maybe it was just your family, um, that gave you a glimpse of a different life?

[00:10:23] Jody Collins: Yes. Um, I will say it was kind of wild cuz like most of the, cuz I played sports, obvious [00:10:30] I’m gonna be a jerk and say obviously when you’re this big they don’t allow you to not play sports.

[00:10:35] And so most of the coaches were people had went to school at, at my high school, Fulton High School. And so that was one where, you know, every once in a while you’d see way out. But most of the football players or athletes. didn’t have the best grades. Like there were one or two, like our, uh, honors class I remember went from grade to grade to grade in my class of [00:11:00] 103 or 108 kids, maybe had like eight to 10 kids in that class.

[00:11:05] And that was it. Like everybody else was, you’re gonna get a job or maybe you’ll go to college. Cuz it wasn’t really guaranteed back then. Right. Uh, but there were people when I was a kid, like my freshman year, I had a science teacher named Mr. Bailey, who was also a big guy, but he was a very smart guy. How

[00:11:24] diane: tall were you?

[00:11:24] Like in, uh, as a 13 year old,

[00:11:27] Jody Collins: so 13 year old, because we had [00:11:30] to say our height and weight. Oh my gosh. For the program I was 6, 1, 2, 10 or two 15. Wow. At, at, uh, I was 13. About to turn 14. Uh, So every once in a while somebody will say, well, I’m five eight. And I was like, I remember being in the fifth grade .

[00:11:49] diane: I was in the fifth grade.

[00:11:50] I still couldn’t ride the rides at Six Flags. The only rides I could ride were like the swings. Yeah. You know, they were like, anyway, keep going. .

[00:11:58] Jody Collins: But Mr. Bailey was a [00:12:00] science teacher and he kind of glommed onto me and he, I don’t think he pulled me aside, but there was one day where we were talking and he was like, you know, just because you play sports, you don’t have to be stupid.

[00:12:12] And that really made an impact on me. And plus I’ll try and tell this succinctly as I can. Mr. Bailey was also a opera performer, and I had bought the Robinhood Prince of the score because it had the, uh, Brian Adams song on it. [00:12:30] Yeah,

[00:12:30] diane: I have that, I have that CD too. .

[00:12:33] Jody Collins: So, Mr. Bailey and I were talking one day and he, he was talking about classical music.

[00:12:38] I was like, oh, I’ve got the score to that. And he was like, oh. , can I borrow that? I was like, sure. So I brought it in, let him listen to it. Like three days later he came back and he brought it back to me. He was like, my wife and I sat down and listened to that album and it is very good. You need to think about listening to this music.

[00:12:56] And he gave me opera and classical, but [00:13:00] it blew my mind as a kid. I was like, oh, you can just sit down and listen to classical music. I was like, I never thought about it. Cuz music was super important with my family in our life. We didn’t play, but we went to a lot of shows. We looked tons of albums. My first show, I may have the best one, I saw Johnny Cash during the World’s Fair in 1982 in Nalan Stadium.

[00:13:25] Wow. So that one’s hard to beat, but Mr. Bailey was one. Mr. [00:13:30] Miracle was in charge charge of the print shop, Conley Miracle, which is the greatest name ever. And he was really one to like, he would bring in old students of his. To talk to us and like tell us way out, ways out. Ms. Waller, who was the art teacher, sh her and her husband had been art professors at ut and she came back to teach and she taught us any kind of style you can imagine.

[00:13:53] Like we were doing, uh, what was it, life drawing. Uh, we doing taglio [00:14:00] printing, we did screen printing. Anything you can, ima, and then she would take us to ut to the art and architecture building and one time we were there and she pointed to these three hills. And she was like, my husband and I did that. And I was like, what?

[00:14:15] And she was like, that’s our art. I was like, that’s landscaping, Ms. Waller, that’s not art. And she was like, no, that’s art. We did that. And that kind of also fried my brain about like, holy crap, that what it can be something like that. That’s [00:14:30] that’s very odd. That’s very odd to me.

[00:14:32] diane: So op it was like opening your mind opening, but it wasn’t that you were just in this like super gifted program and you were getting all these things.

[00:14:41] Like there were people that chose to come back to that area, right. Of Knoxville and, and, um, be a light or be, um, ideas and pour other things into the people that you Yeah. Were in high

[00:14:58] Jody Collins: school. Yeah, [00:15:00] and it, I think it was up until I knew I wanted to work in computers, but I think even in middle school I was already thinking because my family not working was not an option.

[00:15:10] I started working at 11 at the ballpark, keeping, scoring, working the fields, and I told somebody recently, I was like, I think I work more hours back then. Then I work in a week now. So that was, somebody was like, well, that’s not really a job. I was like, I worked a lot of hours doing that in addition to playing sports and going to school and taking care of [00:15:30] my little sister.

[00:15:31] But yeah, there was like not working, so I thought I was gonna be like an elementary school teacher before I got into computers. So that was even at like sixth grade, I was like, oh, I like kids. I would like to, to work with kids. And that was the track that I was gonna be on before I discovered

[00:15:51] diane: computers.

[00:15:52] So what was it about computers that you thought, Ooh, I wanna do this.

[00:15:58] Jody Collins: I, I honestly can’t tell you [00:16:00] because when I first experienced a computer was in middle school, we had, uh, I was, I was in a program called Talented and Gifted that my sixth grade year we were working in dos, so we would build programs in Doss.

[00:16:14] Mm-hmm. . And there was something about, and I think it was also like video games. Mm-hmm. , like the Nintendo had come out, and I love playing that. So I think it was just like tech or stuff that seemed like it was futuristic to me, appeal to me. Mm-hmm. . But Doss, [00:16:30] I had no interest in working in Doss. Uh, and then they even took a break where, Seventh and eighth grade I took, we took Spanish in, in middle school as opposed all of us that were in that TAG program, I think there were started out with like 16 or so kids and I think it ended up with like eight of us, uh, that I even got away from computers.

[00:16:52] And we, my, I grew up pretty poor. We didn’t have a computer at home. One, not many people had a computer at home.

[00:16:58] diane: We didn’t have a compu. We had, yeah, [00:17:00] at that point we didn’t even have Nintendo, but that’s okay.

[00:17:03] Jody Collins: Yeah. But, uh, but what about

[00:17:06] diane: art? Like, were you drawing as a kid? Was that even, because usually if you have working class parents, this may not be, have been like art is like, they would’ve looked at your teacher and been like, lady, that’s landscaping.

[00:17:20] You know, that’s art, right? So,

[00:17:22] Jody Collins: well, I, uh, still to this day, which my sister would argue with me, this, I am the only one who [00:17:30] creates art for a living. I’ll say for a living. Add to that. Um, yeah, my dad was a truck driver. My mom worked for the phone company. My uncles were like engineers and one of ’em was a school teacher.

[00:17:45] One of the uncles ended up being a, a postman after he got laid off. So it was all kind of working class, a little bit of white collar, but they went back to learn back to school later to go and do the engineering. But [00:18:00] art, I always kinda doodled a little bit as a kid. But the other weird thing was I surrounded myself.

[00:18:07] Uh, everybody around me was so much better of an artist than me, so I never felt, I didn’t call myself an artist till I was in like my mid thirties. Oh wow. Cause I’m still remember like in growing up in middle school, a friend of my best friend, Anthony Childress, that he could draw like, almost like Jim Lee in middle school.[00:18:30]

[00:18:30] like if anybody knows who Jim Lee is, X-Men artist, tremendous comic book artist. And then when I got to high school, same thing. There were so many other people that were so much better than I that I just kept working at it to where by my senior year, Ms. Waller, we switched to block scheduling my senior year and Ms.

[00:18:48] Waller was like, you’re in like art six at this point. Just come in and do whatever you want. There’s all the tools over there. Do whatever you want and I’ll just pass you. I was like, okay, thank you ma’am. [00:19:00] Like she was the best. She was also very monotone. So what she actually said was, Janice, do whatever you want.

[00:19:07] Just come in and there’s the to, she was so excited to have me in there, so what? But I was, but I wasn’t a kid that acted up or anything. Right. I was just a kid that went in there and

[00:19:17] diane: worked well. You could have been a problem if you were acting up , right? Like it could have been intimidating for

[00:19:23] Jody Collins: your teachers.

[00:19:25] I don’t know. I don’t know my, can I tell a quick story about some, please. [00:19:30] This is why I say no, because my coaches were scarier than us. There were the, I’m gonna try and do the two short ones. The one was, uh, the head coach, Coney Buck, Coney. There’s another name. There was a fight that broke out in the lunchroom and he’s sitting there eating his burger and one of the other teachers gets up.

[00:19:52] He is like, I got it. And he finishes his bike. He lept from table to table and jumped and form, tackled both the [00:20:00] kids, like stuff you couldn’t get away with. Now. And then one of the other coaches, uh, when he was in college, he was playing at Carson Newman here, broke his skull. They carted him off the field, and then he ran back out in the field and started just destroying people on both sides.

[00:20:17] So he had a metal pint in his head from like the early sixties. So there was one time where it was raining. We were running around inside the gym and this one guy, Joe, was picking on a [00:20:30] little, a smaller kid. And Coach Black shouldn’t, he’s the nicest human being on the planet. He’s the great, one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever met in my life.

[00:20:39] Coach Black. Uh, but, but he’s running and he sees Joe picking on this kid. So he just keeps running, gets ahead of Joe, flips around, grabs Joe by the ears, headbutts him, Joe knocked out flat, and then Coach Black just started running around the gym more like. [00:21:00] So, no, I was not very intimidating cause I had those coaches surrounding me that could whoop me at any.

[00:21:06] And plus my dad is not a small man and was very intimidating. So I, it never occurred to me to act up cuz I knew the re repercussions would probably not be good

[00:21:17] diane: about that. So, so, um, but there wasn’t anything like, um, you know, some, anyway, so how did, like, Mr. [00:21:30] Miracle, like that was his last name, right? Mr.

[00:21:32] Miracle? Uh, yeah,

[00:21:33] Jody Collins: Conley

[00:21:33] diane: Miracle. How did he push you? Because he was print shop guy, right,

[00:21:38] Jody Collins: right, right. So how he, uh, I think it was, he had been in the, the Army for a long time, uh, during some kind of rough times and, uh, he just kind of treated us like adults. Mm-hmm. And he, like with respect, like we had to pass an OSHA.

[00:21:56] Uh, test in order to get back to the print shop. [00:22:00] And you could not go back there until you passed the test. And he would just treat us with respect and let us do, he was setting an example by treating us like grownups to, to the point I was gonna go back. So I took Prevo and by my senior year I was teaching the Prevo class cuz he was like, no, you know, he had me make up my own pass to leave campus to go make deliveries.

[00:22:21] Cuz all, everybody, almost everybody we work with in the print shop, were all real clients. Like pager company named [00:22:30] Volcom is the one I always throw out there cuz there’s some skateboard or surfing company called Volcom now. But, but he, I think it was more of that he treated us like we were grownups and just respected the crap out of us.

[00:22:45] Never treated us like we were kids.

[00:22:48] diane: That that makes a difference. So yeah. What from those experiences made. you or why did you feel strongly about giving back? And when did you really start [00:23:00] giving back to, or feeling the urge to give back to other people or to like, you have an illustrator’s group in Knoxville now.

[00:23:08] It’s like when, like, you’re just built like this, you just need to be in community and, and make things available for, for people. So when did that start?

[00:23:20] Jody Collins: Uh, I think it’s kind of twofold. Uh, cuz I think of things more recently that I’ve kind of, I, I’m not in therapy, but I th overthink a lot. [00:23:30] So I think about things a lot and I was like, oh yeah, that’s why that’s happening.

[00:23:34] But I think it was from when I was young, cuz all my dad and uncles and grandfather were all big for some reason. Whatever reason we would end up. , uh, moving people when I was a kid.

[00:23:46] diane: Oh, like moving the f your friends or your

[00:23:48] Jody Collins: families or whatever? Yeah, family or friends or people they worked with. It was almost like anytime I wasn’t playing ball, or even some days when I did play ball in the morning, [00:24:00] we would go and all of us would get together and move people and it was like friends of friends.

[00:24:05] It was crazy. So it was just like never an option not to be part of a community. And then when I was in middle school, we moved and my dad, the, the plot of land next to us was trying to remember, it’s something like eight acres and somebody tried to buy it and put 15 to [00:24:30] 1600, 2000, whatever, uh, residences as an apartment in that eight acres.

[00:24:36] Which would’ve been crazy. And there was only one entrance in exit right by our driveway. And my dad said, no, this is not gonna happen. So he got involved in the neighborhood association and, and then from that, because he was the youngest person in the neighborhood association, they made him president within like two years.

[00:24:54] And so he has been president of his neighborhood association since like 1990. But [00:25:00] my dad, God love him , he was, he would look at me and he was like, boy, you’re taking English. You need to write my speeches for me. So I would write his city council and MPC meeting speeches for him. And so I was in these city council meetings, the young, the only kid in there just having to learn how to deal with city and ordinances and all that stuff.

[00:25:24] So I think it was just always slow role ingrained in me. Yeah. And, and I think there were some [00:25:30] points. Like when it came to college and stuff where we would be sitting around, and this even happened in a, in a jury one time where we were sitting around and people were just like, well, I don’t know. You know, who should lead this and who should, and it would go on for like five minutes.

[00:25:45] I’d be like, I ain’t got this kind of time. I’ll do it. What do we need to do?

[00:25:49] diane: Somebody, I gotta move somebody this afternoon. Let’s get outta here. Yeah.

[00:25:53] Jody Collins: I got, I gotta, I gotta, I gotta go work at Taco Bell, brag and pick up my sister, man. I gotta go. I gotta go. We got things. [00:26:00] So I think it just slow rolled and happened that way.

[00:26:04] and I think so out of impatience.

[00:26:06] diane: Mm-hmm. or, or maybe, maybe it’s not impatient, maybe it’s efficient. Being super efficient.

[00:26:12] Jody Collins: That, and I think, uh, uh, again, I, I keep trying not to sound humble, braggy or arrogant. It’s okay. Just, just

[00:26:19] diane: say we, it’s fine. I think

[00:26:21] Jody Collins: there’s a, there’s a modicum of big guy confidence.

[00:26:24] Mm-hmm. . But when you’re a big guy, you can just do, do things. And I try to use that for good. There’s the nice way to [00:26:30] put it. I try to do that for good. Oh, that’s good. I like that. But as I’ve gotten older, like something that’s really bothered me in the last few years where I’ve gotten a little bit more aggressive and I screen grab this to pull up the quote cuz a friend of mine said a quote to me that I think it’s hilarious.

[00:26:45] I get angrier now that people choose not to be a decent human cuz it costs nothing to be a decent human. Just be nice. Why are you trying to be a, a jerk to people? So one of my, one of my friends. [00:27:00] We were talking about somebody and I was just like, nah, I don’t like that guy. And he was like, why? And I, and I listed out the eight things he did to me, and I was like, that’s why I don’t like him.

[00:27:09] He’s, and his quote was, I both love and hate that you don’t allow people to f up. You hold them accountable. And I was like, I think that that’s a little bit of the big guy confidence of just like, yeah, because I can’t, because they’re being a jerk. And I, mm-hmm. ain’t got that kind of time, man. Why are you being a jerk?

[00:27:29] Like, there’s [00:27:30] absolutely no reason. And it also kinda goes back to my dad. My dad is very nice, even to the point of it hurting him. Like, I’ve seen him, somebody stop by the house and be like, I don’t have enough gas. He goes in the house, gives him $20 even though he’s working three jobs to, to just make it.

[00:27:50] And then, but if you cross a line, uh, , he’s done with you. Like he’s, there was a point where we had a county mayor [00:28:00] where he may, my dad may have said some, uh, four letter expletives in a meeting about that guy to that guy , like, of just like, same thing. Like, I’m not going to tolerate somebody being crappy.

[00:28:14] And my, my joke with him is like, uh, he’ll give you all that leeway, but if you cross a line, he won’t. Yeah, I tried to clean this on up. He won’t throw water on you if you’re on fire. . Uh, and I said, [00:28:30] and because he raised me , uh, I want, there’s a line you cross with me, I won’t throw water on you. If you’re on fire, I’ll find some Jack Daniels and throw it on you and make you burn faster.

[00:28:41] Cuz you need to be, you need to be done. It, it goes back, sorry to keep diverting, but it’s, I hear pe every once in a while, people crap about Knoxville, like even my sister. and I was like, you got three options man. You either leave mm-hmm. , you make it better or you shut up. Mm-hmm. , those are the only [00:29:00] three options.

[00:29:00] Just complain about does no one any good. So you got those three options. If you don’t like that tough leave

[00:29:07] diane: and your dad taught you that Right. Just by getting involved, I think that that and, and then making that a priority. Yeah. And then, and making a difference. I love that. So that’s, um, that’s a really, uh, good example, right?

[00:29:22] Yeah. Your dad was a great example for that. So what I want you to tell me about, um, a summer job and then I want you to, will talk [00:29:30] about what would you tell somebody else who’s wanting to either start a community or, um, get involved or they wanna be a mentor? What would you tell them? So you can take

[00:29:42] Jody Collins: whichever question you want.

[00:29:43] Okay. I’ll do that one first cuz I may forget. So, uh, just show up and show up. all the time. Like, do

[00:29:51] diane: you have to be ready? Like is there a certain time in your life or you have to have certain amount of expertise or [00:30:00] experience?

[00:30:01] Jody Collins: I’m trying to think of the polite way to say this. Uh, take, uh, oh, I know the p correct word.

[00:30:08] Be more humble. Hmm. Don’t step up and be like, no, everyone needs to listen to me. That’s not how a true leader is. It’s being like, no, we need to do this cuz this is the greater good this is for all of us, I think. I think it’s, uh, I’ve always told young kids, uh, or kids, I was like, [00:30:30] uh, you’re here for, let’s say you’re here at school for graphic design.

[00:30:35] I’m gonna tell you something. Uh, you are gonna work crappy jobs for the first two to three years and eat poop . I’ll make it non explanative eat poop for two or three years to get that on your resume. , and then guess what? You’ll have to eat a little less poop at the neck. Sorry. Sorry, mom. Sorry. Poop’s.

[00:30:55] Okay. . Okay. I know, but this is just an awful analogy. Uh, but it’s just like [00:31:00] you’ll keep building that up and I kind of film the thing. Same thing about building a community. It’s when you’re young, find people that you see moving the ball forward. Hmm. Like, and then when you get to a certain point, be more humble and, and like, it’s gonna cost me nothing.

[00:31:18] There’s an artist here in town, uh, Esther Sipper, she’s, she graduated during the pandemic, I think she’s 23 or 24. And I try to encourage her when I can [00:31:30] and try to support her and say, here’s some things you ought to think about. And it’s just because it doesn’t cost me anything, and it puts more, uh, goodness out into the world.

[00:31:39] And that’s not a brag. It’s just like, why? Why would you not try to put more goodness out in the world? What. , there’s too much crap going on right now. There’s too many people being mad about stuff that it’s none of their business or it doesn’t matter. Yeah. So why not try to be the opposite of that?

[00:31:55] diane: I always think about this, th th this month particularly, [00:32:00] I think about, okay, well what can I do?

[00:32:02] And if ever, you know, I have had, uh, students that feel very entitled or they are like, I’m not gonna tell him that his stuff is good and I, you know, somebody else in class or, or something. And I was like, well, you know, when you start feeling like that, could you, instead of being like keeping it in, why don’t you just spread?

[00:32:25] Like why don’t you? Yeah. Um, cuz it actually is [00:32:30] incredibly contagious to if you, if somebody is nice to you. often, then you will do something nice for right. The next person. Right? And so it is this kind of, um, steamroller effect I guess, or multiplier.

[00:32:45] Jody Collins: And I think some of it is, again, going back to the be more humble thing, ask questions.

[00:32:50] Mm-hmm. . Because whenever I do por portfolio reviews or anything, it’s so weird sitting with other people who are kind of jerks. And there, I remember one [00:33:00] portfolio I was sitting through and I almost turned to the two people and said, you all can leave. You’re bringing absolutely nothing this cuz you’re just faking like, oh, this is great.

[00:33:10] And I would look at it and go, you need to think about this and how this will relate to this. But I would always say this right here, this is awesome. Do you enjoy doing this? Is this what you like doing? Like what do you want to do? Do you wanna do more illustration? Do you wanna do more type work? What do you like doing?

[00:33:27] What, what brings you joy? And whatever brings you [00:33:30] joy, do that. and if it stops bringing you joy, then pivot, do something else. But it was just like, ask questions, ask them what, what makes them happy? And I’ll, sorry, I’m gonna digress a little bit. So my grandfather, who is an incredibly tough, always looked angry, my papa, there’s just some southernness for,

[00:33:51] diane: I, we called mine Papa.

[00:33:52] Papa. P a p a, Papa. What was, how do you spell papa?

[00:33:56] Jody Collins: P a p a w. Oh, okay. So [00:34:00] he was very tough. He grew up very rough. His, his dad was married like five or six times and had 20 to 30 kids. And so my grandfather grew and his brother were very ti tough. Uh, bill and Hank very. . Then they went off and served in the Pacific during World War II and saw some very gnarly stuff.

[00:34:23] And so they came back and both of ’em were like, Nope, I’m straightening up. We’re, I’m gonna get a job. I’m [00:34:30] gonna do this. But he worked for the railroad, worked third shift. He just always looked scary. And he was also a six foot two dude who was born in like 1918, which is giant. And I heard stories about him growing up from my dad and uncles.

[00:34:45] And there was a point when I was in college where I was working at Taco Bell, and it was like I was working 40 hours a week at Taco Bell, taking 25 hours worth of the classes. Wow. And I was getting treated poorly at [00:35:00] Taco Bell. So there was one time I went up there and it was just him. My grandmother was gone, granny.

[00:35:05] She was granny, granny and papa. And, uh, . I just sat there in her chair and started talking to him. I don’t know why I opened up to him, but I was telling him, I was like, I got, I had interviewed at Walmart and the guy was going to let me work at Walmart, but it was gonna be a lot tougher cuz I would have less time from getting outta school to getting to Walmart.

[00:35:25] And where I went to school was on a good day, 35 to [00:35:30] 40 minutes away from that Walmart. So it was like, I have an hour and if I hit any traffic and how can I change clothes all? So I was stressing about all that crap. And my grandfather just sat there and listened to me. And then at the end he said, are you happy?

[00:35:44] And I said, uh, what? And he was like, are you happy? I was like, well no. And he was like, then, then leave. Go work at Walmart. You’ll figure it out. Life’s too short to be unhappy. And he just got up and went to the basement. He worked on keys. So [00:36:00] he just left on that. And I think about that. Life is too short to be unhappy.

[00:36:08] He also, uh, the sad thing is he died within, uh, a month of that. Wow. So just as I was getting close to him, he passed away and it was really hard on me. And, uh, but yeah, I think about him a lot. I think about that. And I had one, my dad’s younger brother passed away in his late forties, early fifties. Like in the, the [00:36:30] day after, uh, Batman Begins, came out.

[00:36:33] That’s the only way I can remember it cuz I went to see Batman. Begins on that Saturday, went to fanboy expo, went to play poker with my dad and uncles, which I’ve been playing with them since I was eight. And, uh, he did not show up and we went out to his house and found the body. Oh. So I think about the two of them, my grandfather and my uncle a lot.

[00:36:55] And think, uh, life is too, like I’m gonna die. This [00:37:00] is more, but I’m gonna die one day. Mm-hmm. . So why would I deal with people who are not great? Hmm. And why would I not try to help people who need it? Also, I got picked on, if you wanna go down the therapist route, I grew up fat. I got picked on mercilessly when I was young.

[00:37:18] So when I see bullies now, I do not like it. And I, I, I’ve still gotten into altercations at over 40, which is kind of hilarious. I don’t get into fights. I [00:37:30] stop things from happening.

[00:37:32] diane: That’s good. Okay, so I think you were a bouncer, like at, at some point when you told me sister, I’ve, oh, I’ve been, been, oh, I’ve been, was that early, early you were way, you were 17 or something?

[00:37:44] Jody Collins: like you weren’t suicidal. Oh, so that comes into the, so goes into the question you asked me, like, oh, the

[00:37:49] diane: 96

[00:37:49] Jody Collins: 96. Summer of 96. Summer of 96. So I graduated high school in 1996. I had four years of working in print shop. I had a full-on portfolio of real work. So, , [00:38:00] like, uh, I went and applied at a screen printing shop downtown and I went in and I started talking to the guy.

[00:38:06] And on the form application you had to put who were your three favorite artists? And I wrote down Norman Rockwell, MC Escher, and Pi Moen. Mm-hmm. Because Ms. Waller’s favorite artist was PT Mo. That’s how she said it. And I love Pi Modrian, but the guy was it, he, he looked at it and he was like, how, how do you know who Pi Modrian is?

[00:38:28] I was like, oh, my art [00:38:30] teacher and all that. And he was like, well, do you wanna work? I was like, I’m not talented enough artist to work here. I’m gonna send my buddy Anthony Childress here. You ought to hire him cuz he’s great. So I walked away from that. There was a print shop downtown that was, remember back in the day where they would have the quick print shops, kind of where you could make copies up front, but they actually had a press in the back.

[00:38:50] Mm-hmm. . So I went and interviewed that place like three times and it was the graphic designer there. Was sh shipping [00:39:00] off to the Navy in the fall, but the guy who ran the press was retiring, so they’re like, we’ll give you the job running the press until she leaves and then you’ll move over to be a graphic designer.

[00:39:09] So I’m still 17. I graduated when I was 17. I turned 18 in October. I hadn’t st, excuse me, hadn’t started college at this point. And then that one, the guy ended up not retiring . So it was like that job was off the table. Mm. Mr. Miracle I called him. And there was a big clothing outlet here [00:39:30] that you may remember cuz it was regional called Goodies.

[00:39:33] Oh yeah. So Goodies was based here in Knoxville and they had this giant campus and I went and interviewed there and I was going to run their entire post press department, like all the boundary work, the cutter, all that. And it took like going up three levels to like the vice president of something to say, wait.

[00:39:53] He’s gonna go to school in the fall. No, we need somebody who’ll work. 6:00 AM to 4:00 PM We can’t debate. [00:40:00] And even the shop foreman was like, no, that’s stupid. This kid is good. We should have him in here and it will be good in the long term to have somebody like this in here. So I got rejected from that job.

[00:40:11] One of the funniest one was, uh, there was a job that came up doing des a catalog design for a manufacturing company. And

[00:40:21] diane: so were you still working at Taco Bell

[00:40:23] Jody Collins: a while? No, I hadn’t got the, I hadn’t got the job at Taco Bell. I didn’t, the spoiler alert, I didn’t get the job at Taco Bell until like [00:40:30] October 15th till like two weeks before I turned 18th cuz I had to get my parents to sign some form.

[00:40:36] That’s how I remember. But, uh, the manufacturing company. I got out there and I’m, of course I’m 6 6 3 30 and I’m wearing a suit and tie. And they were like, okay, so you’ll be doing the marketing and PR for us. We’ll fly you all over the world and you’ll give press releases about this. I was like, what?

[00:40:58] They’re like, yeah, you’ll have to go to like [00:41:00] Germany a few times a year. And I was like, uh, I’m 17 . I can’t check. I couldn’t check into a hotel like later on. I couldn’t work at Taco Bell without getting my parents. I couldn’t do that job. There is part of me that wonders what sliding door that would’ve been like, but I couldn’t check into hotels.

[00:41:17] I couldn’t Also, you couldn’t rented

[00:41:19] diane: a a a a car. Car.

[00:41:22] Jody Collins: Yeah. I couldn’t rented a car for what? Eight more years?

[00:41:25] diane: Margin? Well, I 22 or 25. Oh, I thought it was 25. Yeah. Yeah. Maybe it’s [00:41:30] 25. Yeah. I’m terrible at math, but keep going.

[00:41:31] Jody Collins: But it’s also like, what is that company thinking? Given all the, I was like, but I was also 6 6, 3 30 and look like a man, so, and I had a portfolio full of work.

[00:41:41] So then I was like, screw it. I just gotta get a job. I was like, dad’s on my butt, man. I gotta , I gotta get a job man. I gotta start paying bills. And uh, so I was looking, there was a target that was being built a little bit outside of the city and I was driving on this road and I couldn’t find it. And so I just pulled into this [00:42:00] nondescript building and I walked in the door and to ask where Taco Bell, oh, where, uh, target was?

[00:42:06] Target? Mm-hmm. , this is before G p s, any of that crap. Right, right, right. Uh, and I walked in and looked and it was a strip club , and I was just like, oh God, it is middle of the day. Nobody was in there. I think it was closed, but the guy who owned it was sitting there cleaning glasses or something and he was like, can I help you?

[00:42:24] and I was like, uh, I was looking for the target. And he was like, why? Because it wasn’t built yet. [00:42:30] And I was like, well, I wanted to apply for a job. And he was like, I’ll give you a job. I was like, uh, I think there might be a little problem there. He was like, what? And I was like, I’m 17. He was like, you get outta my club

[00:42:39] I’m, and he pushed me out of that club. So I was almost a strip club bouncer, uh, . But it, like, I applied everywhere, Walmart, target, anything. That was part-time. And it took me having a friend that his c God, this is a Southern thing. His cousin was a manager at that Taco Bell, and they were, uh, gave me a [00:43:00] job.

[00:43:00] And so I started working at Taco Bell and I worked there for I think two, two years. I can’t remember. I was in college for three years. So yeah, I worked there for two years. And, uh, I still use things that I learned to taco. Oh, and the, the postscript to that is between ages 18 to 25. I had five to six offers to be, go back to a high school and teach graphic arts at the print shop in Oak Ridge, Fargate, beer and Cards and Fulton twice.

[00:43:29] And [00:43:30] I was like, I’m too young man. I will put one of those little kids through the wall, like I’ll get angry at one of those little kids cuz they were two years younger than me and put ’em into a wall. I was like, no, I need, I need a, I need a, a diploma. I, I don’t need to teach right now. Not ready. Well, so

[00:43:48] diane: the, when you talked about like, this is a very southern thing.

[00:43:51] I actually think it’s just a, a really important part of working and I think it’s it. I remember when I first got a job in [00:44:00] Denver, I remember people saying, oh, well it’s very. , you know, it’s who you know and, and I was like, oh, that’s terrible. But now I understand it and I understand it as I didn’t see that.

[00:44:13] I just saw it as gatekeeping and I didn’t know how. If I just met people, then they would know me. I didn’t realize that part. But I do think.

[00:44:22] Jody Collins: I was gonna say, I think it’s more the, it was my be my friend’s cousins, , you know, that. It’s just, you put all [00:44:30] those things my, well, it’s my friend’s cousin’s, fiance’s brother that works.

[00:44:35] Like, I think that’s, that sold him

[00:44:36] diane: a dog, right? Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, but I do think you do know a lot of people and that has, you do, just like you were saying, a print shop said, Hey, do you want this job? And you’re like, no, my friend, um, is better than me. You hire him, right? Yeah. So you were always passing things, um, instead of just taking it in, maybe had to do with [00:45:00] confidence.

[00:45:00] Maybe you just knew that he would be really his, he was looking for a job too, but, . And I do think that that is, that is just who you are. Maybe it has to do with just how your parents were and always, um, your family, uh, where they were helping people move. And it was always just, yeah, this kind of community of who was raising you and the community of how y’all were always giving back, um, in the, in the pandemic.[00:45:30]

[00:45:30] Um, a lot of connectedness kind of broke apart. I remember, um, I have a friend who said he would just go to the grocery store cuz he just needed to see people . Right. And I get that, like, I was very thankful that I, um, have John’s here and I could get, you know, a physical touch is one of my love languages.

[00:45:50] So that was really important to get hugs and stuff. So for you being such a community driver, how was that [00:46:00] in. in community building or, or how was that part of your life?

[00:46:07] Jody Collins: Uh, it was tough, uh, cuz I’m also a single dude with no kits, so it’s just me in this house and it’s, uh, before, so I had been on the board for a I G A Knoxville and I had already left it be before the pandemic can’t happen.

[00:46:23] I ran my time. I j I was on it for six years, two years as communications director, four years as president. I had, by the time I [00:46:30] got to the end, I was like, I’m done. I’m spent, uh, I can’t do this anymore. . And uh, but I also saw some things in the, in my worlds that like there was nobody doing, uh, meetups for social media.

[00:46:45] There used to be, but the people who did that moved away. So I was like, well, nobody’s doing that. I’ll do that. . And, uh, so I started this thing called social media knocks. And it was like every month we met up, it was a free meet [00:47:00] up. I would do, I would try to get speakers, I would do research on topics, and then I would, it would be three like speaker research on a topic like YouTube.

[00:47:09] And then we talk about working in YouTube. But then the third one would be round table. What are you working on? How can we help one another? And then I met this couple, Rob and Rachel, Travis, that she had kind of been a stay-at-home mom, uh, for a bit. And she was a tremendous illustrator. He was a motion graphics animation person, and she did a lot [00:47:30] of stuff for that, but she didn’t know anybody.

[00:47:32] Hmm. So she was like, I would like to start up an illustrator’s group, and I feel like you need to help run that with me, . And I think, and I think enough time had passed. being away from A I G A and doing the social media and ox. And because I was working before myself at that point, I was like, yeah, I’ll do this.

[00:47:49] I was like, I got somebody for support. Her and her husband had a studio so we could meet at the studio. It was very low buy-in for me, other than picking up all the people that I knew [00:48:00] to come to the Illustrator’s group. So then the pandemic hits and it’s like, what are we doing? It’s like, and we tried both of those.

[00:48:07] We tried doing Zooms and it never worked. So it just went dormant for both of those. And then as it started, We’re still in the pandemic, uh, I’ll say the lockdown. So as the lockdown started easing up, then we would meet, but we would meet like in, uh, at a park for the little Australia’s group we would meet.

[00:48:27] There’s a distillery downtown, post-modern [00:48:30] spirits that I just texted the guy that owned it, Stanton. I was like, uh, can we take your, uh, your picnic tables and move them out onto the deck and meet there? And he was like, yeah. And I had like 35, 40 people there. They were just excited to be out and, and we kept it running and kept it running.

[00:48:48] But it, it was tough, but it was also a little bit frustrating because I saw the numbers go down so much to where that’s something I’m still dealing with of just like pre pandemic. I was building [00:49:00] up some steam and then post pandemic or post lockdown. It’s just been like, holy crap man. And uh, I took a few months off cuz it was just too much.

[00:49:11] I was like, I’m doing all this work and I have a, had a job. Got a job now. So it was like, I can’t keep doing this if two people are gonna show up. Mm. Because I put a lot of time and effort in that and it really bothers me. And uh, so I took a few months up and I’m starting to start those back up now. The illustrators grew.[00:49:30]

[00:49:30] We had been a private group on Instagram and we’re about to make it public because Rachel, same thing. She just doesn’t have time for it anymore. It’s like, well, if I’m gonna own this, I’m gonna work the crap out of it. , I, I can’t, I can’t just keep going to our same 30 people in the group that only three of them are showing up.

[00:49:48] I’ve gotta open this up to more people, cuz I’ve gotta make it worth my time. Right, right. So, so it was really tough. Uh, I have a had a few friends that I would be in constant contact [00:50:00] with. Hannah was one of them. Hannah and I, before the pandemic were, you know, every once in a while would send an email or we’d comment on one another’s, but very early on the pandemic, like we just, I text her every Monday and we check in on one another and we’ve not missed a Monday.

[00:50:17] I think the only Monday I missed is, uh, The only Monday I missed is when I was actually in Cleveland with her .

[00:50:24] diane: So you can’t count, count that that isn’t ais. I take

[00:50:27] Jody Collins: that back. I drove up, I don’t think I saw [00:50:30] her on that Monday. I think I still texted her and I think I texted her at like eight o’clock. I was like, Hey, how’s it going?

[00:50:36] I’m here now. .

[00:50:38] diane: Yeah, she did. Yeah. She said, every save me during the pandemic. And now. And I think that there is something about that, just that having connection. I saw something today, um, and it was like, um, somebody who’s a, I don’t, anyway, she was, it was in my Bible study thing. And so in my bible study this lady was, uh, talking and she was talking to a missionary [00:51:00] that was actually in Afghanistan and that lady is not married.

[00:51:04] And she just really felt called to do whatever. And it was so weird cuz I, I mean, I, I was really touched, I was in tears at the end of this, you know, and cause it was just, I was listening and um, the woman said, Look, if you ever need anything, like I feel like, um, if you were here we would be friends. And I was like, Hmm.

[00:51:27] That just really struck me. I was like, lady, I think [00:51:30] you’re friends already. Like, yeah, yeah. You’re crying on Zoom. Like it’s, it’s uh, you’re friends. Like I don’t, I guess, you know, maybe my, um, my definition of friend, uh, has always been, I’ve always felt like, uh, I didn’t feel like I was less friends with Will cuz he was in New Jersey or, you know, like it didn’t matter.

[00:51:51] Um, I still felt close because I did call her because like you texted with Hannah, like you, there was time [00:52:00] put into those relationships. It didn’t matter if you were able to physically be together. Um,

[00:52:07] Jody Collins: I was gonna say, it’s kind of funny because I had a, one of the places I worked, I could never get my former boss to.

[00:52:13] Understand, and I’m gonna pull a little asterisk there. I have one time called her, my old boss, and she’s like, how dare you call me old? You gotta say former boss . And still like, yes ma’am. She’s same thing. She’s like five foot tall. Scares the crap outta me. I I, yes ma’am. Yes ma’am. But I was [00:52:30] talking about like in oh two or so, when message boards first became a thing, my buddy and I joined this message board for this comic book artist and writer that we liked.

[00:52:40] And we made all these friends through that. And I was telling her, I was like, oh yeah, I’ve got like six different friends in Australia that if I ever went to Australia, at least three of them would let me stay on their couch. And I don’t even talk to them that much anymore. But all three, maybe more than that.

[00:52:57] I’ve got friends in like London, I’ve got my [00:53:00] buddy Michael May, who’s up in Minnesota like. My friend, uh, Michelle up in New Jersey, like these are people that like, I like Michelle May and Michael May, maybe two of my oldest friends other than my big Greg, who we went to college with. But like, uh, yeah, and, and I’ve met Michelle in person twice, maybe once, no, twice.

[00:53:24] Twice. And uh, that’s it. Michael, I’ve met him more than that, but, [00:53:30] but yeah, I’ve got my friends Deandre and Sophie in, uh, Chicago. But I’ve got friends like Holly Tyler, who was an artist here that came to one of the meetups and to hear me talk on branding for this rising Tide group. And she and I, I just, she was a young artist.

[00:53:50] I was like, I said, let’s do. I just started grabbing people. I was like, well, let’s do coffee. I was like, what do you want to do? And she was like, well, I really wanna be a textile designer. I was like, what can you [00:54:00] do to make that happen? And I would just sit there and talk at her. Mm-hmm. . And so she lives in, same thing.

[00:54:04] She lives in Chicago. So if I ever go to Chicago, I’ve got, you got a couch , I’ve got, I’ve got 10 people that I can hang out with. Yeah. That, and it’s even come that way with like a, I g A, uh, I will not name him. Uh, I will not name him, but there was a certain person from a I G A that was passing through town cuz he had gotten a job in Virginia and he, [00:54:30] uh, stayed in Knoxville for whatever reason.

[00:54:33] This was like a halfway point. And he is like, wait, Jody’s in Knoxville. I’d met him one time at a I G A retreat and he sent me a message on Facebook. He’s like, Hey man, you’re in Knoxville. I was like, do you wanna grab a beer? I was like, yeah man. Let’s do that. So I went and picked him up. Another fun fact about me is I can drink an entire ball of Jack Daniels and still be so cold sober.

[00:54:53] So I took him to a bar downtown and we drank, it’s a high grab bar, and we drank [00:55:00] a couple beers. He was getting there. It’s a high grab bar, uh, high gravity beer.

[00:55:04] diane: Oh, you know, gravity? I thought you said grab what? Oh no. Gra hype is like only for tall people.

[00:55:09] Jody Collins: Yeah. . No. Uh, and then I took him to a new bowling alley bar across the street and, uh, wait, no, we started, anyway, we went a few different places by like the second place.

[00:55:22] He was stammered and he was just like, almost like on the camera. He’s like, man, yeah, you can’t keep up with you, right? Yeah. And I’m just like, [00:55:30] girl. I was like, you gonna finish that man? Let’s, let’s do this. And by the time I got him back to his Airbnb, like three or four hours later, he was like, hugging me.

[00:55:37] Instead, I was like this, I was like, this is just some dude I met one time. But we still keep in touch, like, and uh, He’s awesome. Like it’s, yeah. So,

[00:55:46] diane: so what takes someone from friend to family? Because I know that you consider, you have uh, blood relatives, right? But then there are other people and this was like [00:56:00] a, maybe c you had a story about Mike

[00:56:03] Jody Collins: Jones.

[00:56:03] Yeah, big Mike, Mike Jones. So saw him at Weapons of Mass Creation Festival in Cleveland and he gave this talk about this. Everybody has these circles. So, uh, I have been quote misquoting him for years and I just told him this cuz I was like, Hey man, I wanna give a Chacha speech and I want to quote you on the circles.

[00:56:22] Is that somewhere in a book or something? He’s like, no, it was something my pastor said, here’s what it was. And he ran it down and he was like, okay. [00:56:30] So you started at the center circle? I always started at the outside circle. He’s like, you start at the center circle and that’s God. I was like, been misquoting that for years.

[00:56:37] Cuz that’s not , that was not the center circle I was saying. But he was like, you know, I’m gonna do my version of mine, . Okay. You do your version. So I was saying you had like this outer circle. It’s like you go to the grocery store and you see people there that you’re a nod, like you recognize them, but you, that’s it.

[00:56:56] And then you have a go down, one circle, uh, closer to the [00:57:00] center and it’s, uh, people you work with that you just see at the coffee, uh, the coffee pot and you chitchat, but you, that’s it, surface level. And then you have, you go down one more circle and it’s like, oh, it’s somebody from work or somebody that y’all will go get beers afterwards.

[00:57:17] And then you just keep going down until that last circle is family. And it family does not mean blood. Family are the people that will like be there for you and step up [00:57:30] no matter what. And it’s, oh yeah. I’m very lucky to have a lot of, uh, a lot of family and, uh, Going through hard times, especially during the pandemic, and I just haven’t even shared this one with Hannah.

[00:57:45] I, I had another incident that happened recently that I was just like, uh, the fact that I haven’t driven to Philadelphia and start hurting people for a certain company for, uh, I’ll say mortgage company. So Hannah, [00:58:00] you’re getting to hear about it. I’ll tell you more about later, but I’ve had two flareups with this predatory lender that they got sold my mortgage and it’s just been an absolute nightmare.

[00:58:08] Oh. And anybody who hears the story says, the fact that you haven’t driven to Philadelphia and hurt everyone in that building is a miracle cuz of just how bad they are treating me and how much they’re trying to take my house. Mm-hmm. So it, that’s one of those line in the sand things. And uh, but in, in that happening, like, I didn’t share it with [00:58:30] many people, but the people I shared it with were like, whatever you need, what, what do we need to do to help this?

[00:58:34] Yeah. And even one or two friends that I didn’t even think I was that close with, Yeah. Hannah, I’m ready to throw her hands. I didn’t wanna mention the second thing, which is I went through a very bad breakup last year, and so I’m, I’m Hannah, sorry. I’m gonna tell this story. I’m sitting in Cleveland with Hannah last November, and on the last night we’re sitting in a bar drinking beer, and finally she just looks at me and says, we’re gonna come down to Knoxville next year.

[00:58:59] I, [00:59:00] I just need an address, . I was like, no, no, no. I can’t get you stuck in Knox County jail, man. . She’s like, I’m gonna throw hands. I’m gonna hurt this woman to hurt you, man. Like, but it, like, that’s fam that, that’s family. Those are the, those are the people that you’ll be there for them and they’ll be there for you.

[00:59:17] And it’s doesn’t have to be blood like, and there’s people, I guarantee you, there are people for you that you don’t even know that they’re, that’s how they feel about you. Like they’ll do whatever they can [00:59:30] if, if the times get tough. Well,

[00:59:32] diane: and it’s also, I think for a lot of people in the pandemic, you know, you didn’t wanna like, over extend if, but sometimes people just needed to talk more, you know?

[00:59:45] Yeah. Like they needed to, um, the other people that they used to talk to didn’t do Zoom or they, you know, were something else or whatever. And then, and I still think, you know, sometimes I have a student or I have a friend who’s [01:00:00] like, do you have, and I, I really am working to not, I don’t want people to be like, oh, you’re so busy.

[01:00:06] And I was like, no. That, it was like, I don’t want, I know I’m busy, I don’t want people to think I’m busy. I don’t know if that sounds right, but like, I don’t understand, want someone to be like, I don’t wanna bother you. And because, because it hurts like I, that I don’t want someone to think of me as, oh well she’s too busy.

[01:00:25] And so, well, it,

[01:00:27] Jody Collins: go ahead. I was gonna say during the pandemic, sorry to [01:00:30] interrupt, but it’s like some people in including myself may have like, just. Sunk into their couch cuz they didn’t want to be a burden to anybody else cuz everyone was going through it. Yeah. And it was like, well, I don’t wanna bother these people.

[01:00:43] They’re going through their own misas at home. Like they don’t, I don’t want you to be a burden to them. Migas what? Misas. Micas. What’s that mean? Micas. That is Yiddish And it means craziness in your head. Oh, oh, yeah,

[01:00:58] diane: yeah, yeah, yeah. [01:01:00] Um, Amy says you don’t want people, you are to take time for them. You

[01:01:10] Jody Collins: Hmm. I think autocorrect may have messed with her there.

[01:01:13] Maybe.

[01:01:14] diane: Maybe write that again, Amy. Um, but I, but I really have like, okay. That was like one of those things I need to slow down so that people don’t think that so much. Yeah. I want people to be. I met Maya and she’s in Norway, and [01:01:30] I’m just glad to make a new friend. And now we are meeting once a month. And you know, I just think that it’s, it’s nice.

[01:01:37] Oh, you don’t want them to think you don’t have time for them. Yes, right. ? Yeah. Yes. I Amy’s like, talk to text. I don’t know, . Um, but it is, it’s beautiful when we can reach across and to me, like that lady was talking to that other lady in my Bible study this morning and I was like, you people are friends.

[01:01:59] Like you, you [01:02:00] are praying for her, you’re supporting her, you’re talking to her on a regular basis. And it was just like, I don’t know how this lady says Fri, you know, what’s friends to her, but I was like, My definition of friend is, it doesn’t mean that I have to see you all the time, thankfully, you know, because, uh, my mom lives eight hours from me.

[01:02:23] I don’t get to mm-hmm. , toodle up there that much. I know she would like me to. Okay, so let’s do, uh, really fast [01:02:30] lightning round for these last bits, if that’s

[01:02:32] Jody Collins: okay. . Yeah. Sorry. I, uh, so my ramble, man, I’m just rambling.

[01:02:36] diane: That’s the next pro. That’s the next, um, that’s the ne Okay, so Ramble Man goes for like three to four hours.

[01:02:42] I was like, oh, Jodi, uh, I’m gonna have to pee in the middle of this, like three times. . I, I, so, um, but, so I want you to tell him how, how, why you started your podcast and just tell us about it a little. I know you told us about it a little bit, but Okay. Tell us

[01:02:59] Jody Collins: a little bit more. [01:03:00] So, my buddy Sean Poner, he, he and his wife own a building called the he and his wife, Dale Mackey, own a building called the Central Collective and.

[01:03:10] They have a deck up there and Sean and I try to be the non, I can’t say the word that I normally say, the non pretentious cigar smokers. Oh, see,

[01:03:22] diane: you’re doing good. It’s, it’s a challenge. It’s like I have to think about, I love

[01:03:25] Jody Collins: it. I have to find the word, but, but we do it becau [01:03:30] cigar smoking to us is all about community because you sit around and talk to people and also it makes you not do stuff.

[01:03:39] You have to sit there and work on that cigar and talk. You’re not worried about work, you’re not worried about any of that stuff. You’re just sitting there. It is a communal thing for us. So as this building, we go and sitting up on the deck. And one of the friends, the four mentioned Yoki Schmidt, Yoki Schmidt’s from Boston.

[01:03:59] [01:04:00] He worked in a gallery curating the gallery, and he’s an artist himself, but he also hangs art for rich people in their homes. And he is moved down here. He has a, a partner and they have a, a, a little one, but the three of us were sitting around talking about art and it’s like Sean went to Western Kentucky University and studied editorial photography.

[01:04:26] Apparently Western Kentucky University has one of the best editorial [01:04:30] photography programs in the, in the world. So you went there and took that. Jo Kim’s this artist from up there. I am the guy that doesn’t feel like an artist a lot of the time, so at least has 35. So I come from it from a very working class standpoint.

[01:04:45] Mm-hmm. . And so it was an interesting conversation. The three of us of like the high level art person, the editorial photography person who’s been nominated for Pulitzers and then me, like me, can barely [01:05:00] draw a circle. I think if I tried to draw a circle 25 times, I could not get it right one time. But we’re sitting there talking about art for like five hours and that’s all we talked about.

[01:05:11] So then the next night we’re back up there, Sean, our funny, our friend Lance Dietrich, who’s in the, who’s in the PhD program for literature at ut. And we’re talking and Olson, Lance goes, man, I’m really thinking about getting into astronomy. So we keep talking, we talk about that a [01:05:30] little bit. And then five minutes later I was like, oh my God, dude, I thought you said astrology and I was about to start making fun of you.

[01:05:36] I was like, and nothing wrong with astrology, but it was just such a weird thing to be so earnest about and about getting into it. So that night I went home, I was like, man, I can’t keep having these conversations, man. Somebody needs to be recording these. So I bought the equipment and I recorded an episode.

[01:05:52] I recorded three episodes in the first day, like a week later. Wow. I recorded one with my friend Aaron Donovan about [01:06:00] mountain biking in the Czech Republic. She had just come back from that trip, interviewed, uh, my friends Adam and Amy Kennedy about, they had just done a mission trip in Brazil. And then I did an interview with Adam separately that was friends in the social media age and about like unfollowing people and stuff.

[01:06:21] and I just kept doing it and it took me a while. I banked a ton of episodes before I released it. Like I started recording those in like August, maybe [01:06:30] September. And I didn’t release an episode until January cuz I was like, no, I need to bank a bunch cuz I don’t want to have to be stressing. Right, right, right.

[01:06:38] But that’s why I started it. And there there are times where I’m like, holy crap, I don’t have anybody to interview. And Hannah has been a great help in interviewing a bunch of people. And I will tell this on Hannah A. Little bit. There’s some people, I was like, yeah, I talked to your friend. She was like, oh, I just followed them on Instagram, uh, Isaiah.

[01:06:55] She was like, no, I just sent by my, I don’t actually know. I think [01:07:00] Hannah correct me, but I think that was right. So it’s like I just had these conversations and like even recently I interviewed two people through that. She introduced me to, one of ’em was a knife maker and one of ’em was this muralist.

[01:07:11] And they were both great interviews. They were great people. Yeah. There you go. I fangirled him. Yeah. And it was just like, reach out to a bunch of people. . And uh, I will say it is kind of a bummer on uh, cuz I have reached out to some designers and artists and [01:07:30] seen the scene and they never responded.

[01:07:33] Mm-hmm. , that’s kind of a kick in the kick in the pants. Like, and seeing that a lot to the point to where I was talking to a guy that I’m friend friendly with online, but I, I would be willing to bet that when we meet in person, he’ll, uh, we’ll hug, which is Matt, stay gray pony boy. Oh yeah. Super

[01:07:51] diane: nice.

[01:07:52] Jody Collins: Matt Dawson.

[01:07:52] Mm-hmm. . Yeah. He and I have chatted and I told him, I was like, yeah, I reached out to these two people and one of ’em got back to me and we [01:08:00] did an episode and the other one, it still sitting there red. Like, he looked at it and he was like, well one of those people is a very authentic and nice person and the other one is nor

[01:08:10] And he was like, I’ll let you guess which one’s which. I was like, well, it doesn’t take much to guess that I, but sometimes Go ahead. . I will tell you the, the nice one because he deserves a shout out Joplan. Mm-hmm. . So I’ve known Draplin for 13 years now, and he’s always been nothing but kind and overwhelmingly sweet to me.

[01:08:29] diane: Hmm. [01:08:30] I love that. So sometimes, um, I think that, I wish Instagram or some of those let you mark as unread. Yeah. Because then it would stay at the top or it would Yeah. You know, and it would, you would wanna clear it out. That’s been anyway. I don’t, I hope nobody’s done that to me cuz I suck it. Uhm, getting back to some people.

[01:08:54] Okay. So I wanted, I wanted to ask you about, uh, I have two more questions. Yeah. Um, you [01:09:00] have this one I loved. So I just wanted to talk to you about this. So we’ll try to make this a five minute question. You have this box. No, no. You have this box. And I think a lot of us probably have this, we have these endless stream of ideas.

[01:09:16] We don’t have enough time to do that. But you literally have a box. It’s envelope box. Yeah. And it’s full of ideas. I love that you have this physical reminder. You keep it near your desk. It’s not always on the floor yester or whatever. We talked [01:09:30] before, it was like in a Yes. It’s in a shelf. It’s in a shelf.

[01:09:33] In a shelf. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah. Tell me about what this is, what makes something into the box? Like what would need to, and then how often are you go through going through it? How often do you start making something from the box? .

[01:09:49] Jody Collins: Unfortunately, I rarely ever go through it cuz I don’t have the time cuz I overwhelm myself with everything else.

[01:09:57] So I have all kinds of [01:10:00] stuff. Oh my God. Here is one that is, so this one right here is all the way back from the MySpace days. Oh wow. Because I used to do a thing on MySpace every Friday that was called Top five Fridays. And it would sometimes be earnest, but for the most of the time be stupid. Like one of ’em was, the one I remember the most is Top five Reasons Why You Can’t Roller or Skate in a Buffalo Herd , which is from a Roger Miller song.

[01:10:25] And so I just made these funny quick, like it would be a a [01:10:30] ti, you know, because of X. And then I would write like a paragraph explaining Y. So these are all. top five. Here’s some more earnest ones. Top five reasons to visit another town. Top five reasons not to lock your keys in your car in a strange town.

[01:10:45] Cause that happened to me in Asheville, Tennessee, Asheville, North Carolina, Uhhuh, , top five cookies. Like so this is one all the way from back then. And then I have these little, cuz I know you, you would like this, I have this [01:11:00] stack of the receipts you get when you go into a parking garage trying to get it like that.

[01:11:05] And my thought was, I, I saw a stack of these in there one time. I was like, man, I would like to take these and draw a landscape or a, a, a piece that was represented by somewhere around that parking garage. So I collected a bunch of those. Let’s see. Design an old Milwaukee T-shirt and a Brooklyn Dodgers cap.

[01:11:28] That’s literally [01:11:30] all that’s on there.

[01:11:31] diane: So you could leave that one at the top and then you could find some time. Yeah. In, in March to do one of

[01:11:36] Jody Collins: those. Yeah. But it’s also, I have 80 other million things, like I’ve got another podcast called Big Man. Big Fan, about interviewing people about their favorite films that I’ve recorded.

[01:11:46] 20 something episodes. I need to eventually release that. Yes, you do. Like I’ve got all these things, so it’s hard to get to this. And I joked with all my buddies, cuz I did go through this during the pandemic and I was like, [01:12:00] if I had infinite money, infinite people to help, like I have designs in here for, for like a coffee table.

[01:12:10] Mm-hmm. . If I didn’t have to build that, I just showed them the example. Mm-hmm. , if I had two years, I could still not empty this box. , that’s how much stuff is in here. And that’s

[01:12:20] diane: like your top five things you could do these small little episodes of. So Paul wants to hear your top five cookies. Right. Um, and Will thinks [01:12:30] you’re Big man, big fan.

[01:12:31] Sounds like a great show also. So, but it’s like some, some of that is like, it’s just you thinking about your, like making a list of those cookies right? Or thinking about what those

[01:12:44] Jody Collins: are. So, so here’s one for, for Amy, Diane and Hannah that we’ll know top five cookies. It’s gonna be Oreo, Oreo, Oreo, . I am obsessed for anybody who does not know me.

[01:12:56] I am obsessed about Oreo to the point to [01:13:00] where at every year at Christmas, my dad is retired now and he will go to yard sales and auctions and thrift stores and he, anything he finds that is Oreos, he will put in a box and I’ve got. Uh, cookie jars. I’ve got a set of four milkshake containers that have the recipe in on the back of ’em.

[01:13:21] And then one year for my birthday, uh, Oreo sent me a DM on ins, which I know it’s an ad agency. I’m not stupid, but they sent me [01:13:30] Happy Birthday on my birthday, and that was, that’s awesome. That, that was pure joy. That, or

[01:13:34] diane: So what do, do you think, you know, those new Oreos? I didn’t try ’em because my husband has diabetes, so, um, we don’t buy, but I do like Oreos, but I prefer the black parts.

[01:13:45] I actually would prefer some opposite. See, then you can have all my innards. Yeah. And I can have your outsides. Okay. So, but there is now this, like, it’s a thicker inner [01:14:00] stuff, right? Thinking it’s about this, it’s

[01:14:02] Jody Collins: this year, year. It’s called Christmas, the, the most. Oreo. Oreo. Okay. And it’s, and it’s got, it’s almost like if you took, Ooh.

[01:14:12] I think double stuffed and took, like the cookie, the cream, the cream, the cookie and put it, but it’s also part of the cream tastes like, uh, cookie cookies and cream or like cookie dough. It doesn’t really, it doesn’t really . It just tastes like [01:14:30] Oreo cream. But it’s delicious and I love it. And people keep sending me where they’re finding them.

[01:14:35] I was like, oh, I bought like four packs of ’em when they came out. I’m not stupid. Like, uh, I buy so many Oreos. So Kroger has me so dialed in that once a month I get coupons from Oreo, uh, for Kroger. If, you know, use your rewards card every once in a while I will get a free thing of Oreos. Like every two, once every two months I will get a free pack of Oreos, which I think is hilarious.

[01:14:59] I do love.

[01:14:59] diane: [01:15:00] That’s so much. I bought, that is my, that would probably be one of my favorite is Oreos. Um, but,

[01:15:04] Jody Collins: but also on the flip side, I, I make cookies that people will actually fight over. Ooh. Cause I’m very good at making guru deli chocolate chip sea salt cookies. Hmm. That now that I have a job, I won’t.

[01:15:18] The last time I brought him in, I brought like four containers because it was for like a Christmas thing and before lunch the four containers were gone. Oh my goodness. That’s how good. My cookies. But I’ve worked really [01:15:30] hard over the years to also. , I’m a husky boy, so I, I know how to cook and eat. So anyway, sorry.

[01:15:37] diane: Sorry. Okay. Last, that was good. That was six minutes, so that was good. We did good. I love, I just wanna encourage people to have that idea box. Yeah. I think it was really good. So, um, what is the thing that you’ve learned about yourself since Covid or during Covid for, from the last two years, since the pandemic, um, that has been most impactful to your life or business?[01:16:00]

[01:16:00] Jody Collins: Uh, let’s go with life. Okay. Uh, because I just had this discussion with my buddy Adam Kennedy, uh, as growing up as a, as a guy, especially in the, you know, eighties. Uh, you were always taught not to, uh, cry. and not to show emotion. Like the only emotion we could show in the family was rage, , or anger. [01:16:30] Like you did not show, you, did not cry.

[01:16:32] And I would say I have cried more in the pandemic, uh, than I probably did the 40 something years before. Wow. And it’s, here’s a, here’s a sarcastic thing to say, I’m 6 7 285 pounds. What more do I need to prove that I am a man . So just shirk that away and be okay with cry. Like I went and [01:17:00] saw my favorite band in Nashville last fall.

[01:17:03] Uh, Seager rose out of Iceland. since we have someone from outside the country on here. Mm-hmm. , I dunno if you’ve heard them, but I saw them at the Ryman and I cried violently twice during two other songs to the point to where I was reaching in my pockets and grabbing onto my thighs as hard as possible to not completely lose it, cuz their music means that much to me.

[01:17:25] Mm-hmm. and, uh, just being okay with that. I think as far [01:17:30] as my, that’s awesome. I think as far as my business, it’s, uh, grab the people that care about you and you care about tighter and keep moving them forward with you, like mm-hmm. , keep pulling them out of the, out the darkness with you. But yeah, the thing about not, not being afraid to cry.

[01:17:50] Yeah. That’s a big,

[01:17:52] diane: I think that that’s a, that’s a great, um, that’s a great thing to learn. I am. Thankful that, [01:18:00] I mean, I still think with girls we’re, you know, I remember, I think my mom will remember the first time I did not cry when I got stung by a bee. Hmm. I think I was four because I, and so I didn’t cry anymore.

[01:18:15] Um, when things, because they, I, I was called a crybaby for a long mm-hmm. a lot of, a lot of my life, or the four years, I guess it was a lot of my life at the time. So I didn’t want that to be hanging over me. But then I [01:18:30] remember, um, the first, my mom and my sister would really tear up at movies or Yeah. Uh, the little house in the Par Prairie, little House in the Prairie.

[01:18:41] And I would be like, what are they crying at? But then et I was , I think seven when I saw ET maybe six and. , I saw it and I cried at ET and then the Waterworks have never shut off. Like, I, I re , remember when I went to [01:19:00] see, this was a Tennessee, um, based movie. Um, the, the Blindside. I loved that movie. Yeah. I love football movies.

[01:19:09] But it, um, and this lady I went with, she was like, when I got, I mean, I bring tissues, like I bring a jacket that will hold my, you know, that won’t look funny. So my best friend Tara, she’s like, are you gonna wear your slicker ? Because I cry that much. So then, um, [01:19:30] my, this lady who I had gone with, she was like, I didn’t know you were sick and I was like, sick.

[01:19:36] Did you not just watch the same movie that me? Yeah. Like, oh my gosh, I had gone through s like a whole half a box of tissues probably, but it is just a release. It’s so good. And Amy said crying is therapeutic. I absolutely believe that. Like it, it’s a

[01:19:51] Jody Collins: release. Right. So what I’m gonna tell you, since you brought brought up movies, so one is the last time I cried in a movie theater [01:20:00] is uh, I went and saw the film World Trade Center.

[01:20:04] Oh, with Nicholas Cage and Michael P Yeah. I remember. Mm-hmm. . And this is the dumbest thing. Nine 11 impacted me in a way. I’m just some schmuck from East Tennessee, but for whatever reason, nine 11 has stuck with. on a level that is just like, it doesn’t make sense cuz I don’t know anybody that was there. I don’t live there.

[01:20:25] I, and in fact, at that point I had never been to New York. But for whatever [01:20:30] reason that still sticks in the back of my mind. And seeing that film, there weren’t many people in the theater and at the very end, I’m not kidding, there were maybe 11 of us in the theater and every single person stayed through the credits.

[01:20:45] Just, you could hear everyone openly weeping like at the end of that. But on the flip side, cuz I gave you a funny one. So my little sister, I’ve taken her to almost every Pixar film pre pandemic. So we’re sitting there and if anybody [01:21:00] knows, you’re watching Toy Story three and there are like th two or three times here in that film where they are trying like, it’s like Pixar is reaching through the screen to try to extract tears from you to the point to where my buddy Michael May, and I’m gonna clean this one up.

[01:21:14] Uh, He, his tweet was the best. He was like, Pixar, for 20 years you’ve been trying to get me a cry. You finally won you B A s t A R t S, and Michael’s not a Cusser. So that made it even better. But we’re sitting there watching toys three three and my [01:21:30] little sister’s sitting next to me just bawling, bawling.

[01:21:33] And I watch it and uh, it gets, it’s not, I don’t wanna spoil it. It’s the actual end. End. Mm-hmm. . And with, uh, I’m gonna say with Andy, that is the scene that I was sitting there grabbing onto my skin. Cuz I was like, I can’t cry for my little sister. I can’t, cuz I wasn’t to that point yet, am I Right. But I was sitting there, she’s just.

[01:21:59] Oh, I like [01:22:00] died. And she, well cuz she was like in high school or something, and, and I’m just sitting there like holding on for dear life, like, oh my god, Pixar , what are you doing to me man? That’s like, we went and saw up and we went at like a 10:00 AM on a Sunday screening and we’re sitting there watching it and that opening happened and my sister’s just like dying, crying and I’m just sitting there like, it’s too early for this mate.

[01:22:25] what is happening? What is happening? I’m like, oh my God. Like, [01:22:30] but it took until I get, sorry, I hate to keep no dragging this on. So the thing that kind of broke me was during the pandemic I wasn’t making any money. And this is like the second time I think I’ve said this, uh, ever. Like, I think I said it on a recent episode with my buddy Adam Kennedy, but it’s, that episode’s like four hours long Adam and is the only one who’s gotten all the way through podcast.

[01:22:57] But. It was during the pandemic. [01:23:00] I wasn’t sure how I was gonna make it. And it was getting towards the winter right before Christmas, 2020, I think it was 2020, not 2021. And like all my work had dried up. Uh, the little bit of unemployment I got was was gone. And I’m just sitting, there was like, I don’t know how, there were times where I didn’t eat cuz I just didn’t have the money to go eat.

[01:23:23] And one of my buddies who worked in tech, who works in tech, uh, apparently I had [01:23:30] shared this with him and I didn’t even remember that I’d shared this with him. And there’s a knock on the door and there is a box from ButcherBox and he said, Hey man, uh, I didn’t want to have to worry about you worrying about how you were gonna eat.

[01:23:45] So I got you a six month subscription to Booker ButcherBox. And I was like, this is too much. He was like, I’d make a lot of money, you’re fine. And I stood in my living room with a Christmas song playing on my tv. looking at this PRI box [01:24:00] and just could not stop crying for like 10 minutes. Mm. Because it was like, I’m, as silly as it sounds, I’m going to live to be here.

[01:24:08] I’m gonna be here another day. Mm-hmm. Because I don’t have to worry about this now for six months. Mm. And it’s, that’s an incredibly hard thing to admit or talk about cuz everybody now is like, well you should have told me I would’ve helped. I was like, the pandemic was open-ended. Yeah. It wasn’t like it just, right.

[01:24:25] It was like, oh, we’re three months and we’re done. And it was just like, holy sh [01:24:30] I, sorry. It’s okay. Ill, holy Nikes. I just said s h i, holy Nikes. I’m going to, I’m going to make it like it was. It was incredibly hard and it was, I don’t know. I can never think. What’s sad is that guy and I are no longer friends and, uh, there’s part of me that wants to just go and abduct him in Florida and say, Hey dummy, we need to figure this out.

[01:24:58] like, because he was crappy to [01:25:00] me and didn’t like me pointing out that he was crappy to me. Mm-hmm. and that is so stupid and so machismo that it’s, I I need to pull him away and kidnap him and just be like, Hey dummy, we need to figure this out. This is stupid, but I can’t do it cuz I tolerated a lot of him being cra even though he did that one thing that was great for me.

[01:25:22] Like there was a lot of very negative things. So that you talking about building community and family, that’s really hard [01:25:30] extracting somebody from that family circle that’s like, you know what, I have tolerated a lot and even though they have been there for me a couple times, it’s, it’s still not enough.

[01:25:41] It’s still not enough for the abuse and negativity and just awfulness that they, there are no, there is no checklist. We’re like, wow, I did these three good things, so I get to be crappy to you in this way. So, right.

[01:25:55] diane: Yeah. . Well, Jodi, thank you so much. Yes, thanks for [01:26:00] sharing. No, don’t. Sorry for making this super long

[01:26:02] No, it was good. It was really good. I, yeah, I am very glad that we got to have your really special and you’re funny and you’re, you’re great storyteller and you have great, um, ideas and you’re, um, so much embody what we, so many of us are like, you know, we, we, but you are okay. Um, sharing it and [01:26:30] bringing people in and you’re just one of the, you’re friendly, super friendly, but you’re also a really smart and you’re a great designer, so, it, it, it’s, I’m just glad to be on the other side and be able to interview you.

[01:26:44] Yeah. Cuz you’ve interviewed so many people and you’ve been able to hear their stories and I’m, I’m really glad that we got to do yours today. So I just wanna make sure everybody can, um, follow Jodi. So there’s two ways, or three ways really, I guess [01:27:00] Jodi Collins, but I’m, so then, oops, how come it didn’t hit return?

[01:27:04] Jody Collins: Oh yeah. Here, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll make it funny. Follow at Jody Collins on Instagram, if you wanna see abandoned cigarette packs and crazy food.

[01:27:12] diane: So then there’s feral giant f e r A L Giant, just like it says. Yeah. And then rambling man Yeah. Rambling man. Yeah. Nog rambling. Like, uh, we’d say it in the south [01:27:30] was with an apostrophe.

[01:27:31] Yeah. Um, but Jodi just thank you and I am Oh, oh, I am so, you did so good on the Thank you for having me on. I’m, I’m, I can’t wait to have you back. And for me, you are a great embodiment of what this month is about, uh, and giving back. You give back to a lot of people. Um, we didn’t even talk so much about that, but I know you have, you’ve done this and this and this and this and [01:28:00] helped all these people and you’ve, um, and you just wouldn’t say it because you are humble.

[01:28:05] Um, but you have helped a lot of people and you’re always thinking about other people. And I just wanna say thank you for, for being that way because it helps, um, the world is better. And I just, I appreciate you and I hope I get to see you at a creative south sometime. Um, that would be awesome. And. . Um, I’m, I’m just glad that you’re my friend [01:28:30] and when I see you, I’ll, uh, I’ll give you a very short person hug.

[01:28:39] and Mi Maya said she loved listening to you. Oh, thank you. And Paul said you have such a big heart. Thanks for sharing. Thank you. Shari said she enjoyed listening to your creative stories. Um, , she said, thanks for having us. Saturday creatives Ignite. I can’t make the Wednesday afternoon always. Um, uh, so Jodi, you get to pick two winners and we’re gonna [01:29:00] keep this, um, recording and then I’m gonna, um, let everybody go.

[01:29:03] So tell me wins stop. You can stop at any time. You, you can tell. Okay,

[01:29:09] Jody Collins: stop.

[01:29:10] diane: Oh, okay. Hey, uh, Paul, you are a winner. Okay. So Paul, you’re gonna be get the . How come I’m exercising Somehow? You had me excited so much that my, my Oh, my watch was like, you’re exercising again. . Nope. Okay, so, all right, [01:29:30] one more stop.

[01:29:34] Okay, that’s me. Go again. . I can’t win. Stop. Shari, Holly, you are the other winner. Woohoo. So Shari, I’m gonna email you and you’re gonna have to send me your address. I already have Paul , so, um, so don’t think that it’s not me. I’ll just be emailing you. So thank you guys all. Oh.

[01:29:58] Jody Collins: I was gonna say Anari, [01:30:00] please feel free to DM me with any recommendations in Atlanta for food or donuts or coffee.

[01:30:06] I would gladly appreciate that. And sorry to Sorry, sorry. Food takes over for ramping out at No, I’m just kidding. Sorry, .

[01:30:16] diane: Well, Jodi, thank you so much and thank y’all all for coming to us Saturday one. I really appreciate it. And um, I will see you on Wednesday. We have, uh, we are starting the new series and it is, um, [01:30:30] um, it, it’s where are they now?

[01:30:33] And it is, uh, Bob Ewing’s gonna start it off for us. So I am excited and, um, just, Jodi, thank you so much for today.

[01:30:41] Jody Collins: Yeah, thank you.[01:31:00]

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