Justin Lyons: Yo Gabba Gabba!
Growing up in Idaho, Justin Lyons found himself often bullied for playing volleyball——"a girls’ sport"——and, consequently, with extremely low self esteem. “The fortunate thing about that is,” Justin told the audience, “you can get over it.”
Justin found his low-self esteem oddly liberating. When comfortable, he found himself utterly uninhibited. He could let go, be weird.
Upon graduating high school, Justin went to Haiti where he found his self-confidence and a new perspective by viewing the world through the eyes of the children he met there. Accepted by everyone as if he was family, he discovered that we are all part of a global community.
The creativity resonated with Justin, along with the value they placed on their relationships and family. Provided with nothing, the children would turn to their own imaginations to invent and create games and toys of their own.
Two years later back in the United States, Justin took his Haiti experiences, as well as lessons learned in Idaho, and was able to incorporate them into his work as a producer. Asked to join forces with some folks to create a show that was educational and appealing, Justin quickly found himself committed to producing twenty episodes in ten months of what became the critically acclaimed, and award winning, zany kids’ show Yo Gabba Gabba!
Speaking at CreativeMornings/Los Angeles, Justin shares this story as well as his struggles and triumphs in the beginning months of Yo Gabba Gabba! Watch the talk above and joing the conversation below.
Photos by Ryan Morgan.