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!


Eva Kolenko Scrubs for Cherokee

Strategic Partners, a manufacturer of licensed workwear with an in-house creative team, called on Kolenko to collaborate on their first branding effort for Cherokee Workwear in a lifestyle campaign that just launched.  The “Fits Who You Are” headline drove the creative development, which demanded that Kolenko and crew create a series of visuals depicting people in medical scrubs in everyday moments outside the expected medical environment norms.  With an unusually open and flexible client, Kolenko had the freedom to explore each narrative deeply, which we feel is reflected in the results.  Credits include:  Strategic Partners CD:  Jeff Kemhadjian; Freelance CD/CW:  James Welborn; SP Art Producer:  Kim Levario; Producer:  Carmel Cottingham of Cottingham Productions, Props & Wardrobe:  Jenn Bonnett; H/MU:  Tricia Turner


EA Brews Up Magic for Leinenkugal’s

We got the call from Venables Bell & Partners a couple weeks before Christmas. The good news: They wanted Electric Art to handle all of the elements for a major print and OOH campaign for Leinenkugal’s, the agency’s first for their new, MillerCoors-owned client.  The bad news:  They needed ALL of it to be done by the third week in January. It would require primary photography of each of four flavors plus the family of products (including pours), flavor cues and environmental elements, model making, sourcing stock for all of the backgrounds, and compositing everything together into five hero images, then retouching them to make them as cohesive and beautiful as they could be - a great part of which would have to be done over the Christmas and New Years holidays while the agency was on their “official” break.  Thanks to the tireless efforts of the creative and production teams on both sides and a client who understood what urgent means (!), we were able to pull it off. According to the agency, the CEO of MillerCoors said they were some of the best looking ads he’d ever seen.  High praise, well deserved.  Agency credits:  CD:  Cris Logan; ACD:  Matt Miller; Art Producer:  Renee Hodges; Photographer:  Stephan Stewart;  Models/FX:  Mark Guffogg; Electric Art Retouching Lead:  Inness Robins; Producers:  Di Williams & Jacqui Holquin


Eva Kolenko’s Carnivorous Creative for Columbus Meats

This ambitious project with Eleven, Inc. included shooting the entire line of products from Columbus Craft Meats, each styled with either ingredient cues or serving suggestion or both, plus hero images for each of the category lead-ins and overall website header pages - 37 images and two videos in just three days.  We were able to get it done because of our amazing crew, a very collaborative creative team and amazingly supportive and enthusiastic clients.  Wish all jobs could be like this!  Creative credits:  CD:  Matthew Wakeman; AD:  Aoife Crofts; Agency Producer:  Jeannine Giordan; Food Stylist:  Erin Quon; Props: Jaimi Holker


Electric Art Goes Beneath Surface for Navy

To show everyday Australians’ connection to the Navy there, Havas Sydney hired Chris Searl to shoot servicemen & women submerged in water in and out of their uniforms, and asked EA to retouch the two halves together to make seamless portraits of each person.  Mission accomplished.  CD:  Seamus Higgins; AD: Mick Healy; Copywriter:  Ray Ali; Agency Producer:  Adam Taverniti.

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