The cat's outta the bag, folks. The big secret I've been hinting at for ever so long is finally here, on this fine day in May. If you are one of my 88words buddies, you may remember my story about the UNICORN? In which I purchased for my hubby a certain Unicorn-inspired birthday gift as a mean and nasty trick, even though YES, it IS the coolest unicorn you have ever seen? Oh, I never showed it to you, did I? Well read on, and you'll get to see the Unicorn which has possibly won the hubby over to at least accepting that there is the slim possibility of a wee shred of awesomeness to be found in the wonderful world of Magical Creatures.
Here's why: Two most magical creatures have gone and done something crazy cool. And if you are an artist, you might be able benefit from the magic that is MODOFLY, like my hubby will do. Behold this month's giveaway: two new Modofly Moleskines featuring my hubby's artwork. Two books, two winners. One heap of total coolness.
Meet the Masterminds Behind the Coolest Artist Collaboration EVER:
Tell us the story behind the name MODOFLY.
Well to be honest…like naming your child or your boat, it wasn't easy to think of a word that felt like it fit. We took a deep look at what we were doing (burning books with, in many cases, hacked images) and
realized that in a way we were modifying two things to make one really cool thing—one really super fly thing! And before we knew it, we had morphed it into MODOFLY. There it was. And we liked it. And it felt good.
Who is behind MODOFLY? How did it start?
Jordan and Kevin are the founders. We have had several people egging us on and giving us encouragement, but currently it is just us two. This will probably change as there is growing interest.
It started more as a fun idea, just to see if there was enough market interest to sustain working with other artists on this particular medium.
Working hard to have dabbled in as much as possible in this short life, Jordan has attempted to master always taking on new experiences.With a sincere interest in learning, and a mind that tangents
exponentially, Jordan has managed to study and practice architecture and design, work with wood and metal, start several businesses, and has talked to more people than names he can remember. He is deeply interested in free culture, open source anything, collaboration of all types, idea generators, and just about any kind of computer numerically controlled device. He longs to own many.
Having spent the last 10 years moving from place to place in a quest never to get bored, Kevin has honed his skills as a design ninja. Earning his black belt in architecture, illustration, and graphic
design, he currently resides in Charlottesville, Va with his dog Phoebe, who has faithfully traveled in many of his quests. Kevin's uncanny (borderline neurotic) ability to focus on every last bit of minutia, slowly refining it until it has been aged to perfection, is the Yin to Jordan's tangential Yang. Check out some of Kevin's illustration and architecture at: www.kevinmatthewscott.com
How long have you been creating your fantastical Better than Plain & Boring Moleskines? Give the world a little background.
We've been burning these for a couple years now, and since more and more people kept asking us to make them one, it just seemed perfect to see if there was really a market. We had also stuck just about
everything else in a laser cutter and were bored with blank books. Before we knew it, we had created real envy material. It's addictive, you know. Once you have one etched moleskine, you'll never settle for
a plain one again. Why do you think we've got over 70 different designs now, plus we've made countless custom books!
How do the Moleskine people feel about you?
We wait by our phone every day and check our email every 3 minutes hoping the president of the company will call us and tell us that they think we are cool. We would hope they would shower us with even more discounts since we are on the road to pushing some serious product for
them...hint hint...Moleksine company...are you reading this?
We HAVE been posted on the Moleskinerie (http://www.moleskinerie.com) site which as of January is owned by Moleskine—so really we have no choice but to assume they like what we are doing.
What inspires you?
We would have to say everything inspires us. Seriously. One of us has an extreme rabbit chasing mind and the other can take anything and turn it into an object of beauty and desire. Inspiration is not the
problem for us. Time is.
Do you have a personal design philosophy?
We sure do. We have two, in fact. And while more similar than different, it's still enough for us to squabble on a regular basis. What brings us together, however, and what permeates both of our work
is a strong sense of moral obligation to do good for man and planet. I think it's safe to say that we both fall into the tree-hugger category.
What's your bestseller?
Hands down, The Unicorn. It was inspired by Mark Frauenfelder's (http://www.boingboing.net/) unicorn chaser which he always posts after putting up something you want to clear your mind palette of. We also thought it would be an awesome book to march into a corporate business meeting with while wearing a suit. You pull that off without smiling, and we will be extremely happy. In fact, send us a picture!
The Train may in the long run be a much bigger seller as it has the stamina sales.
How are you so cool that you have a laser?? Tell us about your laser if it's not some sort of secret.
Well, we started off using sharks with laser beams on their heads, but the feeding really took our overhead to a new high. We also had some mildew and mold problems so we re-worked our business plan, and are currently using a Universal Laser System. There were a few other options that would have cut our payback period (and stress) by about 50% but we really wanted to support the local economy so we went with the ULS. It's a sweet, sweet machine.
Describe your biggest artistic disaster to date.
Wow. Finding out that if you burn too close to the spine, it breaks. Or worse, if you aren't careful about the density, the books wants to flake off. It's been a learning experience. We expect to run into more
of these because we are not going to stop experimenting. You should see the heaping pile of snafus we're saving to photograph.
What's your favorite piece that you've ever done (and is it still for sale)?
Hmmm. Hard to say.We LOVE the fly. Its one you have to see for yourself. It REALLY is amazing. Lets see. We adore the train, but these are only ones from our last series. There are a ton of super new
cool ones from artists that blow away anything we have ever seen. We are not going to play favorites here, but seriously. Go look. WOW.
What's one bit of advice you wish someone had told you when you started?
"Your going to be slammed with orders. Order more books now, because they will not come to you as fast as you need them. Back-ordering is a reality. Deal with it."
What's the best advice you can give someone starting out?
Ask us that in about a year. It will be different then now. Find something you think is cool and then make sure 30 other people say it's SUPER cool before you try and sell it. Everyone's baby is amazing, so you need to ask others to find out if it REALLY is amazing. Never stop experimenting. Don't be afraid to totally fail in an experiment. You learn more in those than nailing it the first time.
Looking ahead a bit, what's upcoming for you?
Currently, MODOFLY isn't just two guys anymore, but an artist collaborative. We're beginning to work with clients and artists from all over the world and it's truly invigorating. We can't wait to continue developing more moleskines as well as bring the world our next big secret weapon. We're trying not to grow too fast though—for right now, we're just ecstatic to be able to get others' work out with
ours to gain some attention. We currently have a multitude of amazing artists lined up (Chelsea's husband Nate for one. Yay!), and are excited to see what happens.
What else do you want the world to know that I didn't think to ask?
Kevin is older and taller than Jordan (by six weeks and three inches), and they both have the letter M as a middle initial.
In your quest to work with other artists, what types of illustrations are you looking for? I notice that your current collection has a very vintage vibe. Will you be heading in crazy directions as you add new art to your pieces? How do you feel about that?
We will try and go where we need to. We love old illustrations. We really do, but the beauty of having artists is that the feel will not be a constant one. In design, like architecture, when there is a competition, you are all given the same requirements, but the end product from all the teams never look the same. That is what we want. We believe in evolution and adaptation in processes, and we need
outside stimulus (other artists) to make that happen. Our biggest hope is that as we work together, we'll inspire one another, and in turn change and better what we do. We were both having a randy ol' time
with our first round of books but this time around has been exponentially more fun and rewarding.
Recommend three artists the world should know about (but doesn't).
Wow. Hard. Three people we are currently working with that we totally adore their work and genre's are Dan Hillier, John Golden, and Nicholas Kole. We recommend checking out all the artists we work with
though. They ALL are amazingly cool.
And finally, what are your favorite words?
I hope everyone who reads this will visit your awesome website RIGHT NOW and find the Moleskine of their dreams. Shouldn't be hard with the plethora of choices and artistic styles! Congrats on your new venture, and thank you for choosing my hubby to be a part of this exciting collaborative!