Up in lights

Melbourne artist Tom Adair’s neon style kicks off The Royals’ rolling art gallery.

It greets you as you finish your hike up the stairs to The Royals office in Melbourne – the neon glow of two art pieces by the super talented Tom Adair, that is. Mixing the subculture of the local graffiti scene with architecture and encased in perspex, the works use neon lighting to set off strangely familiar Australian scenes.

Artwork by Tom Adair

The artworks are the first to be shown as part of The Royals’ Rolling Gallery, which came about after a bunch of Royals starting chatting about inspiration in the workplace. With everyone being so busy so often, it can be tricky to take a breather and actually find a moment to think bigger. That’s where our Melbourne and Sydney galleries come in. Every quarter, The Royals will take a vote on who they would like to see featured from a selection of creative folk. Tom is kicking it all off.

We chose to launch our Royals Rolling Gallery with the Melbourne artist’s work for two reasons: firstly, we love Tom’s use of layering with airbrushing and neon – the specialist framing really tops of the dynamic aesthetic. Tom works with a hugely varied range of materials from Dibond, neon, timber and HDP foam to metal and glass, which gives his work a unique vibrancy.

The second reason? We wholeheartedly believe in supporting local artists and Tom’s studio is just down the road from us.

The idea for this type of work came from Tom’s push to work out his own style, something that wasn’t the “done to death”, in his words, stencil or graffiti on canvas. His first five or so years in the studio combined his love of seeing printed images on canvas, with graphic design and photography. But it was an old high school memory of Howard Arkley that got Tom back onto airbrush work.

“About eight pieces later I wanted to add another element, and I had some spare neon sections lying around so I screwed them to a finished piece. From there I knew the combination of techniques and mediums was something I could call my own,” he says.

And he wants the work to communicate the need for us to be less judgemental and more accepting in a life that is forever pursuing happiness through consumerism and the house we own or the car we drive.

“The architecture of scenes I depict in the halftone pattern is a motif for the relationship between what you see from the outside or from a distance versus what reality really is,” Tom says.

“When we (the viewer) get a little bit closer the perception (or image) deteriorates and its imperfections are exposed. In this way my work changes depending on where you view it from.”

Tom’s Bio:

Tom Adair’s work comes from an urban landscape where the spray can is king, and speed is most certainly your friend. His ability to make immediate, aesthetically strong paintings was honed in the world of graffiti.

A decade after leaving the brick and concrete walls of the streets for the studio, Adair’s work is an investigation of architecture and popular subculture.

Tom is far more interested in us, our relationship to the environment, and how a thirst for evolution and technology has changed us.

His hand drawing with the airbrush is fluid yet stripped back – a technical linage to Howard Arkley. The use of neon as a drawing tool abstracts and illuminates at once, literally electrifying the picture.

Tom works as a local artist in Cremorne (Dover St/Studio Sixnine) and lives in Richmond.

https://www.tomadair.com.au/
https://www.instagram.com/tomadair_/

Tell it to the lights

Here’s something. We love our Lifx lights, but we thought, “wouldn’t it be great if we could talk to them? So..

Introducing “Tell it to the lights”. Simply email thelights@theroyals.com.au and our kitchen lights will flash and blink and colour themselves based on the mood of your message. Because they listen. And they care.

Having a bad day? Let the lights knows. Pumped about getting your work finished? Tell it to the lights. Feel like sending an email, but deep down, you know it really shouldn’t be read by a human? The lights will hear you.

Try it out.

How it works: We set up a service that monitors the email address and then passes all content through a sentiment analysis API called “Tweet Sentiment API” (made for Twitter, obviously, but you can push anything through it). Then we made Maker Recipes on IFTTT to trigger our Lifx lights based on the mood expressed in the email message.

Heaps of fun :)

Paul and Dave

 

 

Format-hacking for Jetstar

This is just a post about one post. We work closely with a bunch of our clients on big, small and tiny ideas for social. With Jetstar, we run campaigns, create ‘campaignlettes’ and continually try new content formats and ideas.

Recently, we created an Instagram ad that asked users to screenshot a rapidly-moving animated image to randomly choose where they should go on a holiday next. Kinda destination roulette. People loved it! By using an interaction that is used everyday by people on their mobiles, but not actually embedded in Instagram iteself, we created a really novel way for people to engage with the brand and their travel dreams.

image001

Simple, tiny fun. That worked.

– Over 485,000 consumers reached over the 3 days
– 850 clicks to the website
– 6,400 likes across 3 days and almost 100 re-grams
– Almost 500 comments, a few such as:  ‘Super clever concept – well done Jetstar’, ‘Love this. Great marketing Jetstar’, ‘Very strategic move – bravo to the marketing team’, ‘Best marketing campaign by an airline I’ve seen’.

Sometime’s it’s the little things. Hit play and screenshot the below. Where you off to next?

Dave
@daveking

 

 

 

Bowie. Player.

To coincide with the launch of the acclaimed David Bowie Is exhibition, a retrospective at ACMI, I attended the symposium The Stardom and Celebrity of David Bowie. The two-day multi-disciplinary symposium brought together artists, academics and cultural commentators to reflect upon the influences of and on David Bowie in rock, pop, film, art, fashion and performance.

I was, and am, intrigued by the Bowie persona and his various extensions (Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Thin White Duke); also particularly in how he mastered the art of play.

Upon introducing the persona to the world stage, Bowie was criticised for playfulness and ‘playing’, is of course, deemed immature, frivolous and sometimes taboo. We’re conditioned to scoff, question and judge those who play in their adult life. However, as children, creativity and play are highly encouraged. They’re key for the development of our imagination, dexterity and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. It’s important for healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them. The benefits are endless. So why aren’t we encouraged to play beyond our childhood?

Our toys were projections of ourselves. The personality of each would vary along with their story, gender and sexuality. My dinosaur toy would differ to your dinosaur toy, although being the same dinosaur toy. David Robert Jones played via personas, his most well known persona being David Bowie. Bowie was a projection of Jones, and Ziggy Stardust of Bowie. The story, gender and sexuality of these personas (Bowie, Ziggy and the dinosaur toy) is fluid.

In music, stage personas are employed for various reasons: as a branding exercise, a coping mechanism to deal with a lack of confidence or to ensure detachment from personal life. For David Jones, the change was largely due to the emerging fame of Davy Jones (The Monkees). However, the Bowie persona (along with the Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane personas) allowed him to express and explore the extremes of his identity.
As creatives, we are David Jones. The brands we represent are facets of our identity as we project ourselves onto them. How I speak on behalf of White Pages will differ from how someone else does, even though we may still internalise the brand’s core values and traits. This fresh perspective is often the reason for multiple creative teams to work on a single brand. Side note: Did you know David Jones (Bowie) had a background in advertising? After leaving school at 16, David joined Yorkshire based company Nevin D. Hirst Advertising as a Junior Visualiser/Paste Up Artist.

We’re in the business of play, and imagination is our tool. Like any great tradesman, we need to sharpen our tool. Put your pride to the side and play.

To learn from one of the best players, visit the David Bowie Is exhibition at ACMI, running until November 1, 2015 : http://www.acmi.net.au/exhibitions/bowie/

Dan A.

The Royals at Google Firestarters

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to talk to the Melbourne strategy, planning, creative and innovation community at the Google Firestarters event. The topic was ‘Adapting strategy for an adaptive age’ and I chose to run through something quite practical that we’re exploring at The Royals. It’s a ‘Creative Sprint’ process that’s an adapted ‘homage’ to the thinking of Ideo/Google Ventures/D.School etc. The organiser, Neil Perkins, has a great writeup of my preso as well as the others from both the Melbourne and Sydney events:

Go read: Google Firestarters Australia – Adapting Strategy for an Adaptive Age.

Thanks to Neil and the guys from Google for the invite. It was great to hear perspectives from the other Melbourne speakers. Let me know if you want to have a chat about our efforts in adapting and running creative sprints.

Dave.
@daveking

Open Field Issue Three: Download today!

Download Open Field Issue Three from the iTunes App Store.

Why? Because for a small price you can enjoy a wonderful publication (to read on iPhone or iPad) that showcases writing and art from across the globe, knowing your money goes to support the charity CARE.

The Royals have a particular passion for understanding the opportunities for change and disruption that the internet offers. That’s why we publish Open FieldOpen Field uses digital publishing and distribution to drive awareness of CARE’s valuable work, help them raise funds, and share the work of the incredible women featured in each issue. It’s rewarding to work on a project that offers the reader value as well as, in small way, helping to combat global poverty.

Issue Three features:

Artists Wangechi Mutu and Jongmee
Stella Prize winner Clare Wright
Poet and performer Kate Tempest
Yemen Times Editor Nadia Al-Sakkaf
Vogue and New York Times Magazine writer Elizabeth Weil
Rabbi Susan Silverman
and more…

For more info, head to openfield.com.au or just head straight into the App Store to grab your copy.