Jim Coudal is the principle at Coudal Partners, a Chicago-based design, advertising, and interactive studio where, if you’re involved in any of those fields, you wish you worked.

In their downtime, to foster an environment abuzz with happy productivity, the crew at Coudal organize a “virtual circle of artful swag,” launch side businesses, curate the fantastic timetrap that is an online museum of online museums, play the game Booking Bands (mashup a musical act and a book to comedic effect, e.g. SidVicioushartha, Courtney Love in the Time of Cholera, The Joy Division of Sex), concoct the perfect vodka martini (a hammer is involved), and develop a General Theory of Creative Relativity.

The latter is an idea that the “initial moment of passion” about a concept or project is “an amplification of the creative moment.” If you can foster and sustain that feeling, you’re going to be happier and do more satisfying and quality work. It’s productive procrastination, “goofing off as bonafide professional development,” and leads to projects like the ones mentioned above and Regrets.

Produced by Coudal, directed by Steve Delahoyde and currently being redistributed across the web by ICN, the five-part series stars talents of Chicago’s improv scene depicting self-loathing characters stuck in not-so-precarious positions.

###All set to a sweet melancholy tune, Spoons and Boxes feel too much like overdrawn scenes from a Christopher Guest flick to be appealing and Kid might only find an audience amongst mommas, but Racism and Hobbies are fantastic. Peter Gross (below) and David Pasquesi (above) gracefully touch the edges of absurd before wrangling the story back into the realm of believability.

Given the subject matter, Gross is funny because you know he’s joking, but with Pasquesi you’re not quite sure. His autoneurotic behavior channels a calm Woody Allen (is that an oxymoron?) that hits close to home.

 

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