Sub Rosa Explores Steadfastness & ‘Commitment’ with La Petite Mort

Sub Rosa Explores Steadfastness & ‘Commitment’ with La Petite Mort

It’s been an excitedly busy time at Sub Rosa recently. With the launch of our first-ever product Questions & Empathy, the continuation of our monthly speaker and podcast series Applied Empathy, not to mention our work with clients spanning industries and disciplines, one might ask “Why continue to put time and resources into producing a free print publication?” The answer is simple.

Over the past four years, Sub Rosa has remained steadfast in its belief that the creativity our staff possesses should be shared with the world. Since launching in Fall 2013, our studio has explored new beginnings through Rebirth, tested society’s limits with Taboo, and sought balance through Karma (to name but a few). It seems fitting that for this issue–our eighth–we look to the theme of Commitment as we continue to commit to the creative intellect and design prowess of the Sub Rosa team. Among the highlights of this issue:

  • What You Read Affects What You See” – Art Director Jessi Brattengeier’s humorous graphic send-up of click bait headlines.
  • Pigments” – Field Producer Julia Sarasola’s touching photo series uncovering “wordless stories of those we do not know.”
  • The Night Moves” – Executive Activation Director Kristopher Kowal’s haunting photo series showcasing the outwardly mundane using traditional film cameras and techniques.
  • Blockchains” – Chief Operating Officer Jeff Kempler’s essay on a vital component in blockchain thinking–empathy.
  • Letters to My Father” – Activation Director Jonathan Bailey’s attempt to connect with his father through the lost art of letter writing.
  • +1” – Events Director Jeremiah Clancy and Art Director Isaac Friedman-Heiman’s stunning photo series about the unspoken commitment shared between everyday objects.

We’re a special crew of craftsmen, conjurers, and dreamers and La Petite Mort is the physical manifestation of this ethos. To our dedicated following of LPM enthusiasts, thank you for continuing to take this journey with us twice each year. We hope you enjoy.

From the issue's 'Foreplay' by Michael Ventura:

Commitment. The word stirs up a variety of synonyms. Allegiance. Dedication. Devotion. Faith. These are the words we not only say, but in formative moments of our life, these are words we truly feel.

Our decisions shape who we are and our commitments concretize us. The commitments made to us do the same. They forge deep bonds—bonds that we don’t want to see break. But sometimes they do, because we are all imperfect and life is not as easy as we wish it to be. Sometimes commitments fail.

This issue will explore these ideas. Whether they’re snap decisions that we have made or those we make for the long haul, commitments are solemn dedications to ourselves, our loved ones, our beliefs, and at times, our foes. Let’s look deeply into this act, this wont to commit. It is so essentially human yet so innately complex. In exploring what it offers us, we may just discover something deeper within ourselves.



To receive your own complimentary, physical copy of La Petite Mort, please contact A digital version can be accessed here.