|Champion Studio||Geoff Mcfetridge||Contact|
|In The Mind|
|I created a shoe for Nike called the Champion Vandal. (Due to copyright issues with Champion Sportswear they ended up naming it the Supreme Vandal, which is totally crazy since Supreme is a much bigger player in the shoe world) The shoe was the first ever "two in one" shoe. A thin layer of fabric covered the outside of the shoe. If this fabric was ripped it revealed a patterned vinyl design underneath. To promote the shoe Nike sponsored shows I had in Los Angeles, Tokyo and Berlin.
The bulk of this show was black ink drawings on large sheets of heavyweight drawing paper. These drawings began as vector drawings in Adobe Illustrator. For this show I bought a large vinyl cutter that I hacked so that I could change the pen/cutting head on to accept different media. I made a series of heads that could accept sharpies, paint pens, and oversized brush pens. With the plotter I was able to create these mechanical "Robot Drawings" using the sharpies, felt pens and brushes. The plotter created a perfect calligraphic line giving the drawings a strange mechanical but hand done look. It was hard to tell that the drawings were done by a machine, yet the perfection was confounding.
I also created a double sided wallpaper that when peeled off the wall would reveal a intricate pattern called "Lets Wreck the Party" mimicking how the shoe was constructed.
Another aspect of the show was a 30 minute animation called "the Mind Trip: There and Back". It is an epic and hypnotic hand drawn animation much in the spirit of Heavy Metal, but with psychological rather than science fiction themes. It has an amazing prog. rock score created by Mike Andrews. The film is a series of vignettes, but there is a reoccurring character that is a mixture between Charlie Brown and Killroy. This central character is caught in a hallucinatory dream world that he is thrown into while he tries to create a t-shirt design to in order to win a local design contest. "the Mind Trip: There and Back" exists only on the near dead format of VHS tape and was given out to people for free. It was meant to be the type of object that stoners would watch with their friends while they were smoking out. I have resisted posting it as a digital file as I think it is best viewed off of VHS tape on a tube television.
"The Mind Trip: There and Back" begins with a haiku read by Allan Watts. Allan Watts has been very influential on me. I first heard recordings of his talks late at night Pacifica Radio in the late 90's he was a religious scholar and Anglican Minister who spoke a lot on Taoism and Zen Buddhism in the 1960s. When I hear Allan Watts speaks about Zen it sounds like he is talking about Graphic Design. As I worked on this show and thinking very much about how to Zen ideas applied to the work I was creating a number of Zen coincidences took place. One being that the plotter I had rigged to hold a brush was mechanically creating perfect Zen-like calligraphic lines. I had one free day while I was in Japan to take a day trip. I looked on the map and decided to take a train to the nearby Kamakura, hours later and totally by chance I found myself standing inside a giant steel Buddha and learned that Kamakura was the cradle of Zen Buddhism in Japan.
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