Make It: Vault49 Puts “Finding” Back into The Creative Process
Two days in early August, two Vault49 designers, Luke Choice and Kervin Brisseaux, left the comfort of their studio to traipse around two of New York City’s boroughs, Adobe mobile apps in hand, to collect inspiration and assets for the next phase of our Make It campaign: Their art. On a billboard. In NYC’s SoHo neighborhood.
Not knowing what the outcome would be or what results they would get, Luke and Kervin saw it as a unique opportunity to “leave the deck, actively look for inspiration somewhere other than the Internet, and bring ‘finding’ back into the process.”
Thing is…. they weren’t just collecting for themselves. They were doing the legwork for three other designers/artists who would be using Luke and Kevin’s assets to also create art. For their own billboards. Without the benefit of having ever visited the locations where the assets were collected.
They avoided landmarks, attractions, and tourist sites and instead focused on the commonplace, the less significant, the overlooked… things that artists could use. In the end, they clicked and captured their way through SoHo/Chinatown, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Bushwick, Brooklyn, and Coney Island and filled four Creative Cloud Libraries with the colors and textures and shapes and photos that would eventually make their way into billboard art posted in those same cities.
Surfing mice, a decaying sidewalk, a skateboarding dragon
When the time came for them to compose their own piece, the assets they’d collected determined how it all came together. “We felt like we needed to use what we captured to really capitalize on the fact that these assets are multi-use and multi-purpose; it would have been a completely missed opportunity to not incorporate them in a somewhat obvious way. We reformatted and repositioned them to create something a bit more interesting than a one-to-one translation but they formed the foundation of our manga-comic-book-style streetscape.”
Knowing their billboard would be going up at the intersection of SoHo and Chinatown, they wanted to provide a sense of what inspired its content—without anything as overt as a recognizable city skyline or the Statue of Liberty. And, although they didn’t know it would be a Chinese dragon riding a skateboard, they ran with the idea of a central urban character tied to fashion and pop culture, the created some rules (if they were going to use a texture or a color, it would be one they’d collected), and got to work.
Enabled by the collaboration features in Creative Cloud, they began passing the piece back and forth between them (each targeting different sections of what would be the final piece) and seizing every opportunity to create something that would urge passersby to take notice. They gave it an urban street feel without ever being too on-the-nose about any of it. “In the end it became about creating a narrative, a story, with the backdrop, so that anyone who took the time to look at the piece carefully would start to see the stories and the characteristics of New York in a very comical, tongue-in-cheek way.”
The best laid plans…
The intent was for each artist to use one library. But Luke and Kervin’s piece is composed of assets from their entire two-days of gathering: “It felt nice to be the glue pulling together all these projects, to be able to choose the things we wanted from each area, and to bring in a combination of ideas while the other artists would be focusing on the specific areas. It was one of those rare projects and, to tell you the truth, we didn’t feel like limiting ourselves.”
Nevertheless, the palette, the content, and the narrative still speak to SoHo/Chinatown. And it’s just the beginning. There are three more libraries. Three more artists. And three more outdoor boards.
Adobe Inspire talks asset-gathering and creative process with Luke and Kervin in “Finding Fresh Inspiration.”