On a rainy night in NY we had a little social get together at the Society Of Illustrators. Mark from I Love Dust spoke and he was followed by Paul, the founder of Kid Robot.
Mark gave us a little history of I Love Dust, how they had gone from re-touching porno in the early days to designing the 25th the next Air Jordan. One form of porn to the other really. A couple of things that I found interesting: They’re studio is not in London, or indeed anywhere near a big city, and yet they work with the biggest brands in the world, all across the world. Are we closer to that magical moment where location really doesn’t matter that much. How long until I can set up an office on the side of a mountain? They work really fast, I mean really f**king fast. They will turn round good jobs in a day or two with three or four people working on different parts of the illustration (one of them being based in Shanghai). An interesting form of collaboration. They will distribute jobs by merit rather than seniority. So when the brief for the Air Jordan shoe came in the intern ended up doing it. How sweet is that? And lastly, as was the same with Paul from Kid Robot, Mark re-mortgaged his house to set up on his own so that he could follow his dream. Bravo. If you want to do something truly special you really have to go for it. And be scared.
Paul then gave us a little history of Kid Robot and then his thoughts on death and creativity. Main points: Kid Robot managed to persuade the Chinese manufacturers of their toys to use the same million dollar machinery that makes barbie dolls to make their first toys. Interesting to subvert a manufacturing process set up for mass, and kind of tacky, products to create limited edition art. They will accept ideas from anyone. Frequently drawings are emailed in. If they like them they make toys out of them. They showed a new Plush Labbit with a hole in it’s bum that, if you feel that way inclined, you can stick your finger up it. The only criteria was that, in Paul’s words, it had to be ‘undeniable’. ‘Everything we produce has to be undeniable’, he repeated. I like that. I’m not 100% sure what it means, but I like it.
He then went on to talk a little about how the worst thing in the world is when someone asks you to solve a problem by ‘thinking creatively’. He did a very funny sketch about the McCain war room that I couldn’t possibly do justice to but it basically boiled down to Creativity being associated with Death. I liked that too. Someone filmed it, I’ll try to grab hold of that.
Then we went out to a nice French place, ate frogs legs and drank fine wine.
See some of you in Shanghai. Wowsers, I am practically peeing my shorts in anticipation. James + NY Socials.