You’re at a venue trying to get a hold of your friend and your phone dies.
You just started looking up who played the orange-haired girl in the movie The Fifth Element and your phone dies.
You’re lost and need directions but wait…your phone just died.
At this point, you’re either desperate enough to trade your left pinky for a charger or you just give up. Does this sound familiar? Is there a solution? Yes there is. It’s called Everpurse, and it’s a Kickstarter project that produces a product that is both stylish and practical.
ps. It’s Milla Jojovich
The website is in BETA and is already following in the foot steps of Threadless by socializing designers and introducing talent.
To find out more about the newest contest, click here.
Oakland artist Slvstr has done some design work for my friend Donnis, and just recently created the cover art for Kreashawn’s new album, Somethin ‘Bout Kreay. His artwork sometimes evokes the likes of New York graffiti artist Keith Haring, but in essence his designs tend to be very whimsical with saturated colors and a hip hop feel. My favorites are his hand drawn typography and illustrations shown here:
(via Slvstr Design)
FREITAG (an iconic Swiss bag company) recently published a new book called Out of the Bag. The book is a documentation about how the small Swiss start-up became a large brand with an incredible identity.
A swiss blogger I follow recommended it and I snatched it up on Amazon right away.
No, this isn’t a story about a certain quasi-newscaster comedian (although it is about a dude who is equally as cool.) After a short three-year stint working as an Art Director for an ad agency, Steve Cober was suddenly let go. 9/11 had just shocked the nation, dot come 1.0 was saying its last goodbyes and advertising budgets were dwindling. But instead of searching for another company that could potentially put him in the same position, Steve decided to create his own oppurtunities.
Have you always been a collector?
Oh hell yah. I’m interested in collecting things and I’m interested in making things and I’m interested in objects as culture. When I was a kid my favorite toys were a Japanese line called “The Interchangeable World of Micronauts,” a predecessor to Transformers. They were based on magnets and interchangeable pegs, a little bit like Lego in a way, and you could buy 3 Micronauts and make 10 new toys out of it. That became the premise for how I thought about toys.
What’s the value in collecting?
For me personally, collecting is in part a way of remembering. I can remember people and times and events because of objects. When I see a comic book or a ticket from a movie it instantly snaps me back, like a catalyst for your life. Collecting helps you explore who you are or what you’re into. I never collect for money, that’s not really interesting to me. I collect for the object itself and the moment in which you collect it.
That said, at a certain point it becomes a burden and you start to be weighed down by just the physicality of it all. So it is important to cull everything – I just recently threw out all my clothes from high school because I had to face the fact that I’m never going to wear this Jane’s Addiction t-shirt again. But I’m not one of those people that is obsessed with youth culture. I think getting older is far more interesting.
That seems counter-intuitive since Magic Pony seems to be all about playfulness and youth.
Getting older doesn’t necessarily mean getting serious. It’s about the fact that as you get older you get wiser, and you can be wise and playful. As long as you stay involved and you keep excited about things then you only get richer as a person. Thinking back to your youth and focusing on what was important and what you learned from it, not that things were better then.
I don’t think it’s wrong to love all of those things that gave you energy as a child or an adolescent. I just think it’s important that you have perspective on them and to develop them. At Pony, we’re essentially just trying to find things that’ll make you happy, whether that’s tiny food objects, original art, or a really interesting book like aShary Boyle or a Micah Lexier. We try to cover the whole gamut. And it’s also really interesting to witness what is meaningful to different people.
You worked as an Art Director at Leo Burnett before deciding to go out on your own. What was your motivation?
It was one of those situations that I think every creatives feels, where you’re like, “I have all these great ideas, or I want to pitch these things and work with these people, but I can’t seem to push it through on any project with clients or even with my team.” My business partner, Kristin, was feeling the same way at the time, where she was interested in all these innovative fashion lines from Japan but she couldn’t find a place for them in Canada.
We both travelled a lot and were aware of what was happening in London, Tokyo, New York and Hong Kong, and I was noticing that all of these places had this kind of culture prospering that was a design-cum-art toy multiples, and I was wondering why this wasn’t happening in Toronto – the fifth largest city in North America. The simple premise of starting Magic Pony was: “If not now, when?” Why be the person complaining that it’s not happening? We decided to just make it happen and we thought the worst thing that will come of it is failure.
And with that enthusiasm, we basically just went for it with no plan. We loosely just wrote it out on notepads, like “This is what we’ll do!” In hindsight, it would have been wiser to have created a business plan and sensible targets. Instead, initially we traveled to Japan and New York to search out products and invite creators to collaborate. And most people were into it – no one had ever asked them to be part of something like this in Canada before.
Why be the person complaining that it’s not happening? We decided to just make it happen and we thought the worst thing that will come of it is failure.
What was that first year like, working without a plan?
The first year of Magic Pony was probably the year I grew the most as a human being, because we realized pretty quickly the size and scope of what we were trying to do – which was ridiculous without a formal plan. But, what propelled us forward was the immediate connection we made with people.
We opened Magic Pony on a very small scale – a salon style pop-up that was open for five hours once a week and people had to make appointments via email. We met people like Mars-1, Kozyndan, Derrick Hodgson and emerging art collective Team Macho and they ended up being the first artists that we worked with. So right from the get-go our customers were practicing designers and artists and they shared the same vision that we had.
We basically ran the business off of shared enthusiasm. After four months of that, we opened up a small second location and Kristin and I were both working other jobs at the same time – she was doing freelance writing and I was doing freelance design – so Pony was really a labor of love, not money.
We each have a personal interest in traveling and collecting things, so the business is pretty much an extension of me [laughs], and Kristin and I are both really interested in the idea of creative commerce and how it doesn’t have to be soul-sucking to shop.
Today, Magic Pony is sort of an ecosystem. It has expanded from designer toys to include two galleries, events, a publishing imprint, and a summer camp for kids.
How do all of these things make sense together?
I think any sensible person would just think we’re crazy to be so multi-faceted. We’re only seven people; our company is pretty tiny. But honestly, when you say Pony is an ecosystem that’s perfect because we want to be kind of a dynamic platform for opportunity. It’s all about opportunity and participating in art.
Our goal is to curate a selection of creators and goods and there are numerous opportunities to get people involved in this goal. We have the shop because it’s an approachable way of connecting people with artists whether that’s through a piece of jewelry or plush mushrooms or a toy. We appeal to people who like to make things or who are creative themselves. It’s part of their vocabulary to collect or to spark ideas from going to a store like Magic Pony.
We’re quite DIY, so it’s a natural extension to create products ourselves. Part of the opportunity for us is not only getting to collaborate with artists but also to participate. So that’s when it takes the form of, say, publishing. We wanted to make books because we wanted to make our selection of products better and we wanted to champion the artists we work with.
And the camp is for fun. We have a little generation of art kids that are growing up with Pony and they collect Dunnies, Tokidoki and mini foods. And we thought it would be really cool to have a character camp so that kids can get involved with making the kinds of things that we have for sale at Magic Pony. And also, kids are good energy. You learn a lot from them.
In doing so many things and running a business that never stays the same, do you ever feel like you’re spread too thin?
So how do you stay organized and focused?
Build a good team and delegate. One of the keys to building a strong company for us was in hiring people that are better than we are. By hiring someone that’s better at getting things organized or a better designer – you can make the vision and lead them and it’s always collaborative, but you’ll get what’s best for your business. I can use a D&D [Dungeons and Dragons] example to illustrate. In any kind of adventuring party, you need a warrior, a wizard, a priest, and a thief. The thief is for the delicate seeking, the priest is for when you need the power of the gods, the wizard for multitasking and the warrior for heavy lifting. And all of those people work together. Companies are the same – you need to build a creative system that supports a range of players.
How do you find the artists that you work with?
You have to search for them. I’m really old-fashioned, I travel. Truthfully I don’t have that much time to search Etsy or Tumblr, I find that far less satisfying and far more random. I’d rather take recommendations from people – artists, collectors and friends that understand us. We’ll seek out the work, if we like it we’ll meet with the creator, and if we get along personally then we’ll collaborate on a project or carry their work. So it’s very personal.
I’m an entrepreneur, I at the very least reserve the right to not have to work with people I don’t like. I don’t want to. If you like what I do and I like what you do then things will be amazing. But if you have some kind of reservation about what we do or if you’re in anyway not 100% on it, then there are people who will be. So why waste time, you know?
Any advice for aspiring artists who want to get their work shown?
Get involved with real life. Go to conferences, join groups, go to art shows, and engage with people face to face – it makes a world of difference.
This is not my job. This is my life. This is my passion. This is my art.
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Marvin King. I am, in most simplest terms, an artist. I love photography and film. I am a die-hard blogger. I am founder/designer of my own personal brand MKP. I am honestly a lot of things in the creative world of art. I have dabbled in just about every single form of art you can mention. If it’s art, I have tried it and I hope to become well versed in all outlets of art forms one day.
What makes you get up every morning?
The fact that it is a new day is what makes me get up. Knowing that I have worked my ass off the night before and that very morning I wake up, I know I got more work to get through. There is never too much work for me because I am about this life as an artist. I am constantly seeking inspiration and motivation from everything around me. Once I become inspired, I will try and execute something of my own with a twist to see what the outcome is. Then move on to the next. One of the most important things to me as an artist is that I try very hard to become well versed in everything. I want to become as well rounded as possible as an artist. I feel that that is what will set me apart from the next artist because I will be able to use my knowledge and experiences that they may not have.
What do you love about your job?
Everything. I live eat breathe art. Being that I run my own brand all by myself has got to be 1 of the biggest challenges. I have to do everything by my self such as branding, marketing, networking, designing, etc. Of course I have help from some of the most loyal and awesome supporters out there, but knowing that I started the brand from ground up and have gotten to where I am today has got to be one of the best feelings ever. I love that I am actually getting paid to do this type of stuff. This was the very reason why I was discouraged to stay away from art as a career because I was always told that there was no money in being an artist.. I’m not ballin’ filthy rich but I know i make more than some people out there who work a job they don’t even care about.
What are the most essential tools in your life today?
Easy. My Canon 5DM2 equipped with my 2 favorites lenses.. 50mm f/1.2L and 15mm f/2.8 fisheye. My Yashica Mat-124G. My iPhone 4S. My Mac Pro. My Moleskin sketchpad + pens/pencils. These are the things that allow me to turn my work tangible.
What is something you’ve been dying to get?
Honestly, there isn’t one thing that I can pin point that I would die for. There is a long list of things that I would love to have that can help me with my work.. but nothing I would die for. I feel like I have all the things I need to comfortably do my work.
Josh is the man behind the #1 most funded sculpture project in Kickstarter history. Born in Iowa City, IA in 1970, he was declared a prodigy as a young child and assumed the identity of an artist early on. He has worked as a commercial sculptor in the toy, invention and design, special effects, and product development industries. He currently works as a fine artist in Chicago.
1. Gretsch White Falcon with TV Jones p’ups (gift from my wife & my musical voice)
2. Digital Calipers (for reverse engineering the world)
3. WACOM tablet & pen (for drawing like a human rather than a mouse)
4. Sunglasses (for protecting my sensitive baby eyes & feigning coolness)
5. Sketchbook, mechanical pencil & eraser (standard equipment)
6. Dunlop Tortex .60mm guitar pick (not too thick, not too thin… just right)
7. P-38 military issue can-opener (keep it on my keychain… works as simple knife, screwdriver, mini pry bar, etc… oh yeah, also as a can opener)
8. 4G Droid Smartphone (all the apps, messaging, GPS, & organization I need to keep it together)
9. Earbuds (to feed tunage into brain)
10. Flash drive (for taking & moving the files)
11. Coffee (wake up/stay up juice… I’ve had this coffee cup for 20 some years. Snagged it from the cafeteria at KCAI)
12. Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer (makes me sound the way I like)
13. Spotify (for my tunage)
14. WordPress (for my website)
15. Google (for my searches, emails, & funny cat videos)
16. Kickstarter (for my discovery)
17. ZBrush (for my sculpting)
18. Facebook (for my friends & fans)
19. Amazon (for my shopping)
20. Innerwebz (for the online universe)
Location: Austin, Texas
Bio: Both of these ladies graduated from University of Austin with art degrees and a pulsing desire to pursue it full time. After seeing a need for fun unique artwork that didn’t cost a fortune they teamed up to from Monorail Studio. The effort has let them achieve a self-employed status doing what they love. How’s that for a happy ending.
1. Silkscreen 2. Towel 3. iPhone 4. Stir Sticks 5. Ink tubs 6. Stickers 7. Sketchpad 8. Pen, Pencil, Paintbrush 9. Eraser 10. Ruler 11. Ink Stamp Pad and Stamp 12. Screen Tape 13. Cards (used to scrape up ink on screens) 14. Palette Knife15. Squeegee
Marina lives in Sibera, Novosibirsk-city, Russia. She creates illustrations and collages that look like they should belong on the walls of some cute cottage kitchen in, well, anywhere. Her inspirations come from children, more specifically her daughter. One of the reasons we love her is because she makes photography prints of her breakfast with a simple Sony camera, not an overly indulgent DSLR and they are lovely. To get more of Marina, visit her Store.
1.Colored Magnets 2.Origami Crane 3.Colored Tape 4.Twine5.Passport 6.Cutter and Pencil 7.Business Cards 8.Small Pin9.Postcards and Envelopes 10.Spoons 11.Daughter’s toy 12.Album for Sketches 13.Colored Pencils 14.Breakfast Prints
“I use different spoons for my breakfast photos. Spoons is a little passion of mine!”
“I just had to include my daughter’s toy. It’s always with me.”
“The Origami Crane was added because it makes me smile.”