THANK YOU or FUCK YOU very much

Sticks & Stones hard cover book

by: Ainsley Hutchence

12 Illustrated answers, photos & video
Curator: Sticks and Stones / Words: Ainsley Hutchence

THANK YOU or FUCK YOU very much

Guys, a few weeks ago I did something I have been wanting to do since the birth of Sticks & Stones! I put a bunch of these incredible shoots by you amazing contributors all around the Globe & shitty interviews inside of a hardcover book entitled ‘Shelflife’ No.1 “hair”. Here is a little sneak peek 🙂

Shop book

I was going to get a copywriter to do this bit for me. But then I realised I don’t trust anyone else to find the right words & put those words in the right order to tell my story. Maybe it’s that. Maybe the quotes we got from the copywriter were just too high? Maybe I’m a little high? Maybe I’m just a control freak when it comes to Sticks & Stones? For one or a combo of those reasons, I’m going to do my best now in my own words to tell you why this book, what this book, when this book, & hopefully you are as happy as I am that you are holding this book.

The what is easy. Sticks & Stones has always been a platform for the beautiful bizarre. An interplanetary home for its own brand of creativity. What started out as a little shitty blog eventually evolved into the SS Mothership that it is today with over 3,000 exclusive shoots & interviews. Its pages are filled with uniqueness & realness provided by incredibly talented & like-minded creatives from all around the globe. Its subjects ooze confidence & unapologetically own their sexuality, firmly standing in their right to exist as a sexual being, a gay being, a trans being, a human being.

Why the book? As a big fan of the Internet I do feel at times it’s just way too fucking big. Photos are scrolled over in seconds because we are often rushing to get to the next thing. We want to fill our heads with as much information & inspiration as possible before our partners, kids, parents ask us what our screen time is with that look on their face. For this reason, I wanted to make a new tangible home for all of this amazing imagery & give it a shelf life (hence the title of this book). It’s about slowing down & enriching your experience. Giving you something to hold, smell & show your friends (probably not your grandma).

We have been collecting imagery for five years, but this book is really 35 years in the making. It’s a product of all of the life experiences that brought me to this very moment. This book is a big “FUCK YOU” to all of the shit that’s pissed me off over the years; close-mindedness, misogyny, the suppression of female sexuality, an abusive ex-partner who told me I wasn’t a “real” woman because I wanted to have a career, people that told me how to dress & how to be, the beauty & fashion industry I grew up with that almost always upheld & enforced a rigid & uncompromising standard of beauty & perfection.

But as well as being a fuck you this book is big fat “THANK YOU!” Thank you to my amazing partner, freinds & family for all of your help & support over the past 5 years. Thank you to all of the incredibly talented contributors for sending me your work & for inspiring me to continue on my own very emotional & volatile creative journey. Thank you for empowering myself & so many others to continue being whoever the fuck. Thank you to the Internet for giving us all a voice! We (the public) now decide what’s hot & what’s not. Let’s continue to get behind realness, uniqueness, originality, imagination, innovation, creativity & personality & celebrate true beauty inside & out!

Depending on who’s reading this, THANK YOU or FUCK YOU very much.

Big love,
Ainsley Hutchence
Creative director/Founder Sticks & Stones.

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