Who’s More Creative - LA or NY?

To stand out among the other repping agencies that we co-hosted merge events in LA in NY with, and to highlight our new adult coloring book promotion piece, we decided to create an interactive gallery exhibit and let attendees color large line-art versions of our artists’ work.  


merge is an on-going collaboration between S+A and five other agencies; a one-night gallery show of our groups’ work with music, food, booze and socializing, plus a silent auction of our artists’ prints benefiting a local, art-oriented nonprofit.  

We did an event in July in LA, and took the show on the road to NY in October.   Both events had about the same turnout (approx 200), and both were a great time.  

We were excited to compare the results of the coloring between LA and NY, and in the future, how those compare to the other markets we intend to take merge.  Based on the these, who do you feel is more creative?


Eva Kolenko Transforms Panera Bread

What began as a single assignment from Panera Bread agency of record, Anomaly, has grown into a fantastic, on-going relationship between the client, Anomaly, Panera’s design agency, Willoughby Design, and Kolenko.   It’s fantastic to work with such talented, passionate, fair and fun people!!  Here is the first effort, an OOH, digital and print effort from Anomaly featuring Panera’s salads, shot on location in Malibu, CA last spring. Creative Credits:  CD:  Bec Pond, AD:  Wan Kang, Art Production:  Milisava Tertovich, Producer: Carmel Cottingham; Food Styling:  Alison Attenborough, Wardrobe: Lisa Moir, Props:   Johnny Goss.


Electric Art Teams Up On Alcatel

Photographer Jimmy Marble’s agent, a Sharpe + Associates alum and still a favorite, Annika Vogt, brought EA in to help Marble realize a surreal campaign featuring talent experiencing Virtual Reality via their Alcatel devices.  Electric Art used a combination of stock imagery and CGI to create the elephant, Orca’s and race car in the ads, light them to match the studio lighting Marble used for the talent and sets, then composited them into the environments and retouched all of the images to get to the final art.  Photography: Jimmy Marble;  Agency:  Envoy; Designer:  Megan Brock;  Art Producer:  Richmond Tyrell


Zachary Scott and Honda Ridgeline

This was one of those jobs that looked deceptively simple on paper.  “It’s just shots of people walking on seamless that will be composited together in post.”  Honda agency RPA wanted to illustrate the versatility of the new Ridgeline by showing a bunch of different character roles walking towards a Ridgeline (the print version created in CG by Taylor James) as if they were morphing, with the last person placing items into the cargo bay in the truck’s bed.  Eighteen versions of the same cast of characters were shot over two days, each propped and wardrobed specifically for a particular role, and each shot with multiples of options.  Once the hero selects were chosen, Scott spent a good amount of time comping different configurations of the walkers together to see what worked best, then had to move/change body parts on some of them to make the final art.  Throw in additional shots of the truck bed with different storage configurations, several other shots of props to be shown in the interior of the vehicle for digital needs, and elements to fit into three other background plates and you had one heck of a jam packed production.  As usual, Scott handled the load with aplomb, thanks to his amazing crew and gave the agency more than they hoped for.  Agency Credits: CD:  Sarah May-Bates, CD:  Rahul Panchal, SAD: Steve Chow,  SAD: Suzie Yeranosyan, CW: Ramiro Ramirez; Art Producer:  Justine Barnes. Production Credits:  Producer:  Megan Sluiter, Props: The Faeth Group, Wardrobe:  Gillean McLeod, Grooming:  Stephanie Daniel.



mergeLA - A Collaborative Coup

I’ve always looked for alternative approaches to selling our artists’ work, those that didn’t depend on unsolicited sales calls/emails or the routine portfolio shows agency art producers and creatives are constantly asked to attend.  The mergeLA event we co-hosted on July 14th at CVLT LA with five other repping agencies was exactly the kind of approach I’ve been seeking, and culminated months of planning and preparation.  Despite the potential for issues (we are competitors and all of us have strong personalities, after all!), the process was a smooth one and couldn’t have been easier.  By combining our contacts, connections and skill sets, we were able to make the first event a huge success, with over 200 people there to enjoy our rosters’ work in a casual gallery setting, with margaritas sponsored by Manhattan Margarita, a good choice of beers on tap, fantastic tacos (with the hottest jalapeños on the planet!), a photo booth and a silent auction of donated prints to benefit CreateNow, a non-profit helping underprivileged kids find their voice through the arts.

S+A stole more than our share of attention through an interactive exhibit tied to our new promo piece, a coloring book for adults based on our artists’ four color work, illustrated by the amazing Alyssa Tobias and designed by StoutSF.  We blew up one piece of line-art for each artist to poster-size, framed them on our wall with a large piece of astroturf, attached flow pots with colored pencils, and encouraged attendees to color them in however they chose.  The results were great to witness, especially how they each evolved throughout the evening.  Here are the before-afters:

It was great to have all of the S+A talent there too - Bruce Bigelow, CD of Electric Art, event made the journey for the event.  Plans are already proceeding for mergeNY this Fall.   


Eva Kolenko for Pacifico

Cramer Krasselt brought Kolenko down to Cabo to capture stills for the brand’s OOH media, and she not only came back with the product-focused imagery they were after, but managed to grab a few really nice lifestyle images around the TV production as well.  A long way to go for a couple of beer images, but Pacifico is all about authenticity.  Credit:  AD:  David Vaca; Art Producer:  Melissa LeNicol


Electric Art Teams with Dollar Shave Club

And you thought Dollar Shave Club was just about razors and blades!  EA worked with the DSC in-house creative team to create a visual system to support their Wanderer line of bath products.  They wanted the imagery to work within the existing DSC website, using the ubiquitous purple stained wood surface there, to showcase the individual products and key ingredients (while keeping an overhead bird’s eye view), and to incorporate water to communicate the products’ key benefit (ie: calming, invigorating, etc..).  EA recommended creating a porthole in the surface to provide a conceptual device through which the various elements could be delivered and which tied the various compositions together.  And it worked beautifully.  


How to Make Your Own King Kong

Electric Art just released a build video of an extensive CGI and retouching project for St. George Insurance.  Headline:   “Be Prepared for Anything This Summer.”  Funny stuff…


Eva Kolenko for Bon Appetit

Bon Appetit Magazine hired Kolenko for a feature on the Hillstone Restaurant Group, who runs 48 restaurants under 15 names in 15 states, and who’s cuisine is approachable, varied, consistent and delicious.  It sure looks that way, anyway!

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