Since founding Booooooom.com just a few years ago, Jeff Hamada has seen the readership of the art blog grow exponentially. Today, he receives well over a million unique visitors a month. Here, we talk to Hamada about the stresses of keeping that audience entertained, as well as the perks of the job, of course…
Photo: Brandon Shigeta
So, when you started Booooooom.com did you ever imagine it would become the blog giant it is today?
No, not at all. It was never supposed to become anything and now it's my full-time job.
What did you want to work as when you were a kid?
I wanted to be an engineer because my Dad said they were the ones who invented things all day.
Are you parents supportive of what you do now?
My parents are completely supportive. I couldn't have grown it to the site to the size it is now if I wasn't to able to start it while I lived at home, rent free.
Which artist or photographer are you constantly inspired by?
Will Barras. I just hung out with him and more than 30 other artists in Hawaii for an art show called Pow Wow and we were both at last year's event as well. It's one thing to see his work online it's another thing entirely to stand next to him as he creates something. I had the opportunity to jam with him during a live paint this year and it was something I'll never forget. I don't usually paint and I never work very large but I came home totally inspired to look for a big studio space.
What's the biggest perk of running Booooooom, apart from all the free stuff?
The real-life friendships I have now with artists whose work I loved for so long.
And the biggest downside? Do you ever wish you could take time off from posting?
I can sympathize with Newman on Seinfeld when he rants about postal workers going on killing sprees because the mail never stops. I can take time off from posting but the amount of email I get is ridiculous.
What's the single best thing in Canada?
What's the area you live in like?
Vancouver has the reputation for always being rainy, it's kind of a joke but kind of true. It rains a lot in the spring but we get amazing summers. If you like camping, fishing, and hiking, it may be the best place in the entire world.
Would you ever do a printed Booooooom?
If I release a print publication it won't be a printed version of the blog, no.
Where to now?
I might be doing something completely different than what I'm doing now but I'm sure I'll be involved with people. Communicating, sharing ideas, the fact that Booooooom is about art is secondary to it being about connecting with people.