• Interview | Craig & Karl.


    Posted on 2nd May, by Dana Tomić Hughes in graphics + illustration, installations, interviews. 3 Comments

    Cosmic Rave - Poster design for a cosmically themed celebration.

    The Sky Is Black - Reworking an image from Singaporean gallery Vue Privée’s collection of 19th century Japanese photography for their ‘Technicolour Japan’ exhibition.

    Selected works from a recent exhibition of 150 portraits celebrating 15 years of fashion, art, design, music and film at colette in Paris. Simply brilliant!

    Portrait of Woody Allen was part of an exhibition of global and local pop culture at icons at Slam Jam (Ferrara). Large scale prints available here.

    Sculpture of film director Michelangelo Antonioni, installed in the Castle Estense Ferrara, the city of Antonioni’s birth.

     

    Oh boy, do I have some colourful and uplifting candy for your eyeballs today. Please make some noise for the clever duo Craig Redman and Karl Maier aka Craig & Karl. Woot! These guys are seriously talented with an impressive multi-faceted portfolio which includes brilliant examples of illustration, graphics, typography, iconography, posters, installation, furniture, editorials, sculpture, pattern designs etc, etc. Is there nothing these two cannot do? Clearly not. Craig & Karl have also exhibited across the world, and worked with clients like LVMH, Google, Nike, Apple, Vogue, Microsoft, Converse, MTV and The New York Times. Get it? Yeah, they’ve seriously got it goin’ on.

    Despite living at opposite ends of the world – Craig in based in New York, and Karl recently moved from Sydney to London - this prolific duo continue to collaborate daily on a range of projects in their bold, colourful and distinctively upbeat style. Extreme love! In addition to his “day job”, Craig is the creator of Darcel Disappoints, a cheeky blog about adventures of a nerdy but adorable character in a shape of a giant eyeball, wearing half a pair of glasses. But don’t be fooled by Darcel’s nerdy ways – his character has a cult status and a string of collaborations with iconic Parisian store colette. Ummm… Amazing!

    Anyway, enough gushing and lets get down to business. Please join me in thanking Craig & Karl for being a part of yellowtrace. Check out their website for more awesomeness, or follow them on FacebookTwitter and Tumblr.

    x dana

     

    Craig Redman (left) and Karl Maier (right) chatting on Skype.

    Self-portrait illustration Don’t they look dashing?

     

    Hello Craig & Karl, welcome to yellowtrace and thank you for taking the time to e-chat. Could you please give us a quick introduction on yourselves and your company?

    Hello, we are Craig & Karl, we live in different parts of the world (New York and London) but collaborate daily to create work that is filled with simple messages executed in a (hopefully) thoughtful and humorous way. We specialize mostly in illustration and installation.

    How did you two meet and when did you first decide to start your practice? Also, how did your business come about – you live on the opposite sides of the world for crying out loud!

    We met when we were 17, during the first week of our degree at the Queensland College of Art. We’ve been working together in one form or another ever since, whether it’s in the same room or a 24 hour flight from each other.

    Just a few examples of Carl & Kraig’s multi-faceted portfolio. Clockwise from top left // Seasonal print we designed for Basil Bangs beach umbrellas. // Chuck Taylor design for Converse’s Project (RED) series to raise money for AIDS awareness in Africa. // Pattern development for a line of bags for MCM. “Titled the ‘Shanghai Collection’, the ropes are a nod to the city’s ancient seaport and shipping history and the intertwining of new and old cultures.” // Four queen cards designed for Pictoplasma’s PicTarot deck of cards.

    Examples of identity designs by Craig & Karl. Clockwise from top left – Campaign for Lost & Found online publications exploring Melbourne’s creative spaces and events. // The Commons – one of Sydney’s local favourites. // An interpretation of the famous pangram “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” to celebrate the 6th anniversary of The Lazy Dog Gallery in Paris, France. // Typography to graphically explain the three main areas of Manhattan in New York City.

     

    What are you seeking to portray in your work? Is there something which is fundamental to your practice – your philosophy and your process?

    We aim to communicate a quiet sense of optimism. Generally we’re pretty freeform in the way we work, often our approach is characterised by an ongoing conversation and allowing an idea to ‘simmer’ whilst we wait for inspiration to complete the puzzle. Of course we aren’t always afforded the time prerequisite to such an approach, in which case we tend to be a little more pragmatic. Even so, it’s mostly about a conversation between the two of us at the beginning which sets the tone for what’s to follow.

     

    Identity and interior elements for Downtown, bar located underneath The Commons in Sydney’s Darlinghurst.

     

    Can you describe your typical day of work?

    It’s changed a little now that we’re in New York and London (as opposed to New York and Sydney) but generally we talk daily via Skype to discuss what’s going on, usually as one of us is finishing up for the day and the other is beginning. We actually find it allows us to be more productive in a number of ways. Separate to the fact that one of us is invariably awake and working at any time of the day, we also understand that our ‘face time’ is limited which improves our focus. It’s always important for us to collaborate during the initial conceptual stage of a project in order to figure out what we’d like to do and how we’d like to do it. From there we consider how to approach it in more practical terms, which is informed by any number of factors; the nature of the project, which aspects might play to our individual strengths, how much time we have to play with and so on. Sometimes it makes sense for both of us to work on one project and on other occasions to divide the labour. Whenever possible we like to work collaboratively towards a singular outcome because it tends to result in new or unexpected outcomes.

     

    An installation of neon and lightbox signs, created as part of the 206 Bourke Street development in Melbourne’s Chinatown. Photography by Scottie Cameron.

    Neon installation for Oroton rolled out across their Australasian stores. The neon contains iconography derived from Oroton products, interspersed with patterns and whimsical symbols.

    llustration and typography for Rooftop Cinema in Melbourne. The characters represent ‘Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas’ & ‘Lolita’.

     

    What are some of your methods to staying motivated, focused, and expressive? Where do you turn to fill up your well of inspiration?

    As tired a cliché as it is, we mostly we get our inspiration from the world around us – it could be some crazy person on the tube in London, or some mega exhibition in New York that triggers a thought process that eventually leads to an interesting outcome. It’s a matter of constantly being aware of your surrounds and taking snippets of lots of different things that you can Frankenstein together in a big new idea.

    Who or what are some of your influences? What other designers, artists, peers and creatives in general do you admire?

    PONPONPON, Google Images, Urs Fischer, Yayoi Kusama, Peter Max, Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, television, Wes Wilson, David Hockney, My Bloody Valentine, The Renaissance, Takashi Murakami, Kaws, NeNe Leakes, Jeff Koons, Memphis Design, Roy Lichtenstein, John Baldessari.

     

    Project 72 DP –  an immersive mural created for the underground carpark of an award-winning residence in Sydney’s Darling Point by architects Marsh Cashman Koolloos (MCK). Mural installation by Edward Woodley. Photography by Katherine Lu. (Btw, you can read my interview with Katherine here.)

     

    Could you tell me about your favourite project/ collaboration to date?

    We’re really proud of our recent 72DP carpark mural. It was a wonderful opportunity to completely transform an entire space and it all came together really well. The client was quite adventurous—it’s not the sort of commission that comes along everyday—and they enabled us to have a lot of fun with it.

    Probably also the project for Nowness last year. It involved attending all four fashion weeks (New York, London, Milan and Paris) and illustrating observations and experiences – everyday for 28 days. It was both heaven and hell.

    What’s next for Craig & Karl?

    Lunch!

     

    A furniture collaboration between Darcel and Parisian craftsmen LAQ. Made of resin, wood lacquered metal, mother of pearl and crushed eggshells the piece contains a hidden draw in Darcel eye referencing 17th century ceremonial furniture. Exhibited at colette.

    Left – Limited iPhone 4 case between Darcel, colette and Incase for New York’s Fashion’s Night Out, showing the love between New York and Paris // Right - Series 1, 2 and 3 of the Darcel & colette ‘Suck Series’.

    Craig & Karl were one of 6 artists invited to reinterpret an emoticon for the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note at the 2012 TED Conference.

     

    Let’s Get Personal…

    What are the qualities you most like about yourself?

    Craig: I’m drunk after one glass.

    Karl: Absurdity.

     

    Left – portrait of Kanye West at Slam Jam // Right - Mark Zuckerberg for T Post Magazine.

     

    Apart from your work, what other interests or hobbies do you have?

    Craig: Trawling the Chelsea gallery circuit here in New York.

    Karl: Exploring (getting perpetually lost in) my new hometown of London.

     

    A portrait series focusing on Craig & Karl’s friends.

     

    It’s not very cool, but I really like…

    Craig: True crime documentaries. Shame…

    Karl: The Golden Girls.

    iPhone wallpaper development for Apple.

     

    In ten years I’d like to be…

    Craig: Doing the same thing I’m doing now, but for a lot less hours a week.

    Karl: Pleasantly surprised.

     

    Series of background themes for PlayStation 3 and PSP in collaboration with Studio Output. The themes explore mutated DNA strands and microscopic explosions of everyday objects, a weird archeological rubble. If you have a Playstation 3 or PSP there’s more info on how to get it here.

    Monster Children exhibition of screenprints in editions of either 10 or 15. Limited numbers available for purchase – if you are interested please contact Craig & Karl at [email protected]. Photography by Maja Baska.


    [Images courtesy of Craig & Karl.]





  • 3 Responses to “Interview | Craig & Karl.”

    1. JT says:

      LOVE !!!

    2. [...] The Sky Is Black Category : Digital Art, Illustration, Painting, Photography, Visual Bits Tags : colorful, illustrations, Photography, surreal, surrealism Written by Skye JordanSkye spends most of her time being an Art Enthusiast and a Graphic Design student. When she isn't out being a forest creature in the Redwoods or a beach bum on the sunny coast of California, she's searching for inspirational art to share with her friends and followers on Visual News and Artsy, a Facebook group she created. You can connect with her on StumbleUpon. [...]

    3. [...] posters designed by Craig Redman & Karl Maier (see my interview with this talented duo here), Emily Forgot (UK), Keiichi Tanaami (Japan), Eda Akaltun (Turkey), Genevieve Gauckler [...]



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