Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Living the Brand

Since graduating from NKU in May, we've felt even more of a need to define ourselves and our brand. College was a time of growth and experimentation and now that we're in the real world, I've been feeling an ever-growing need to hone in on who were are and what we're all about. Since our work is such a large part of who we are it's very hard--actually, impossible--to separate our personal and business lives. We don't leave home to go to work everyday, so we can't leave it behind at the end of the day because truthfully, our work day never ends. Because of this, our styles are evolving--in the creative sense, social, and even fashion.

I've never thought of myself as fashionable. Quite the farthest thing from it, actually. But lately I've been looking at things in a new light. Ever since we've taken on our art as full-time gigs, I've been thinking more creatively with my style. I feel like our brand needs to encompass every aspect of our lives. We need to live it through and through. It's almost like a transformation from Jennifer to Jenn Bot. Weird? Maybe.

But one thing's for sure. I'm tired of blending in. I was never really one to go along with trends, so now that we have our own brand I'm finding it easier to choose things that reflect my personality and the vibe of our business: Quirky, cute, weird, and clever.

beep, boop, bop!

Jenn Bot

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Toys For Big Boys...And Girls!

Inspiration can come at any time, in any shape, and can literally rock the foundation of your entire life. For Jennifer and I, one of our biggest inspirations stems from one of our biggest obsessions: blind boxed urban art toys.

These toys are genius in themselves representing many different things to the artists who create them and in turn many different things to the artists who collect them. For us, they have become our muse a literal manifestation of everything we strive for as a business. More importantly though, while our own toy is a long term goal, the toys that we currently own have completely changed our business approach in the short term.

Toy prototype created in Rhino

We have come to realize with every Dunny that we collect, with every Droplet that we buy, and with every Marshall that stalks our shelves, that our robots are not just a figure, but rather a canvas that is filled with infinite potential.

A small portion of our toy collection

With that said, originally our robots were created in a way that every one of them embodied the world around us. They were our pop culture figures, they partook in our hobbies, and they even exuded human-like emotions. Our personal belief which in turn became our business motto was that each of these robots should all be linked together in a way that would be instantly recognizable. In other words, every robot would be the same shape and more importantly, share the same traits such as their heart.

And while we have no plans to abandon this design, we have begun to grow not only as a business, but as artists ourselves. The toys that surround us have ultimately changed us. For instance, when we now look at our robots we don't always see Britney Spears or Harry Potter. Instead we see a theme, a message, a completely blank canvas waiting to be filled.

Toy design prototype

Overall, this approach has been a long time coming, one that we have discussed in length and at times begrudgingly accepted. As with anything in life, it is easier to be set in one's way and stay the course, while it is much harder to meet a challenge head on and ultimately accept change.

This change, however, has proven to be an explosion of creativity that has been unmatched during any of our artistic stints. It has pushed us harder, forced us to find our own style, and steered us in a direction that has proven that our art is different and special.

Jenn customizing a toy

Ultimately, as we have begun to see, while Jennifer shapes the clay that makes our robots, it has become the artists that we admire that has begun to shape us.

beep, boop, bop!

Tony Bot