So, everyone knows about Sketchel, right? No? Shall I start from the beginning?
There’s this guy called Jeremy who has a website called Jeremyville (JV from here on!). Now, it’s difficult to explain but I’ll try…it turns out that JV’s a pretty creative guy. He’s an artist/illustrator, runs a concept shop in Sydney Australia as well as an online store, a toy designer, a clothes designer, book creator and seemingly everything between! His website caters for all these things as well and is a real treasure trove of design goodness…you really should go and check it out. Anyways, JV decided that what the world really needed was a collection of customised bags (I think he was right). He set out to find some of the best artists around the world to create unique designs for the project…and they did. The Sketchel collection was born (sketch + satchel…get it?!).
There seem to be a number of things you could do once a collection like this has been create and JV’s thought of them too! He’s displayed loads of them on his site with a ton of extra information. He’s also set about creating limited runs of specially selected Sketchels to put up for sale for $150 each. What isn’t such an obvious thing to do (let alone what must have been a logistical and financial nightmare) is to release the designs in a book, but that’s exactly what JV’s successively done…and I can happily report that it’s great.
It’s quite a compact book (52 page colour, burst bound, 17.2 cm wide x 22cm high) but is packed to the brim with high quality images of the high quality designs of the Sketchels. The book presents the 180 Sketchels so far along with the designer’s vital statistics (including the designer, their company, their homepage and country). Because of this extra information, this book also, unwittingly, becomes a fantastic internet links repository for finding more from each individual artist. While many art lovers will recognise many of their usual suspects (Tim Biskup, Gary Baseman, Jon Burgerman etc.) there should be lots of new encounters and even a few surprises. It wa a joy to see one of What What’s owls looking out from a Sketchel as well as a superb piece from one of the most talented stencil artists I’ve encountered, Evol. Another highlight for me wa a Sketchel by Jay Byrnes (previously unknown to me) whose character is seen saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”…had me smiling for days. There’s also a handful of interviews with some of the designers, including Genevieve Gauckler, Gary Baseman, Bob Kronbauer, Jon Burgerman, Josh Petherick, Nathan Jurevicius, Fawn Gehweiler, and Tim Biskup. What are JV’s plans for Sketchel’s future? Phaze 2 looks like it’s on the cards, so watch this space. If this sounds like your kind of thing then get hold of a copy direct from JV for only $20, which includes shipping to anywhere in the world…even the UK! You won’t be disappointed.
Not content with everything above, JV set about conceptualising, designing and producing the fantastic Vinyl Will Kill. Apparently this is the “first major book in the world on the designer toy movement.” You may or may not know that I’m pretty interested in the whole ‘designer toy’ thing although I’ve managed to keep the interest under control (I’ve managed to keep my collection to less than 15 of my very favourite designs…but’s it’s been hard!). I’ve managed to do this by spending far too much time in front of the PC looking at the toys rather than buying them! I’ve also spent hours looking through Vinyl Will Kill. Over it’s 230 pages we are invited into the designer toy designer’s world (does that make sense?!). Each of the 44 chapters are dedicated to an individual designer or company and include decent a decent sized interview. Like Sketchel, all the usual suspects are there but this time we are treated chapters dedicated to Kidrobot (the people that brought us the Dunny…god, I love the Dunny!), Rolitoboy, Fafi, photographer Brian McCarty, Superdeux and our very own JV! (and many many more). As well as getting “a backstage pass to the entire process, from the designer’s concept, to the producers, to the leaders in toy retailing and e-tailing” you also get Vinyl Will Kill beautifully presented in a box. Included in the box is a fold out poster of loads of the toys included in the book, 36 cards with individual designs on (not sure what I’m supposed to do with them but they’re nice!) and the actual book itself. One to treasure :-) Get your own copy of Vinyl Will Kill direct from JV or from the usual places including Amazon UK.
Time is not just something that exists on our mobile phones, digital watches and in our diaries. Time is physical, tangible, cosmological; it is not just a theory of the mind. Streetclock actively encourages people to consider the idea of time before digital technologies became pervasive.” I really love this project, it’s the kind of thing that filled me with wonder as a child and then all the wonder is forgotten about till it’s re-kindled…love it. I only hope I stumble across one of these next time I’m in London…or maybe I should mark my own?! [via]
The Places & Spaces “exhibit has been created to demonstrate the power of maps. An initial theme of this exhibit is to compare and contrast first maps of our entire planet with the first maps of all of science as we know it.” I’m pretty interested in maps and this concept map that shows the world in relation to it’s areas of poverty really stood out and begged to be looked at more closely. Definitely a site I’ll be coming back to again and again. [via]
In a world where doom and gloom is being thrown at you from all directions it’s nice to something simple and positive shining through. “The intention behind this project is to reach beyond ourselves as individuals to make a difference by creating moments of positive self realisation in those who happen across the statement: You Are Beautiful.