Last week I was invited out to Nike to participate in their Thirst Thursday employee party. Carolyn Davidson, the designer of the swoosh was present as the guest of honor. Because she was a Portland State design student when she developed Nike’s legendary mark, the organizers thought it would be fitting to bring out some local designers and artists to customize some Nike bags. Mia Nolting, Ryan Bubnis and I were given the task of customizing white Nike iD messenger bags. The embellished bags would then be auctioned off to benefit the Children’s Cancer Association. Armed with our tools of choice, we went to work customizing the bags in our respective styles. Mia worked in Sharpie, Ryan in acrylic paint and I had an assortment of paint pens. To prepare, I did some sketching in my book to get some ideas to reference in case I drew a blank on the spot.
It was a 101 degree afternoon, but I was fueled by RebBull and ready to go. I decided to wing it for my first bag, just flowing from the top of my head. The paint pens worked great on the bag material, which appeared to be a sturdy nylon. The Nike ID bag was a great canvas to draw on.
For my second bag I referenced some of the sketches I had prepared beforehand. I wanted to give my personal take on Nike culture, treating this one as almost a commissioned piece. I had a lot of fun with both of the bags. Working in the creative field, it’s easy to take art for granted. Most people don’t get to see art being made so it’s a special treat to watch artists doing their thing. This is the second time that I’ve done art in a live setting, it’s very exhilarating to get peoples’ feedback on the spot. I really enjoy doing this and hope I’ll get another chance to do something similar in the future.
We finished off the event with a joint collaboration bag:
The event was a great success. It was a lot of fun spending some time outside of the studio in the sun. We all got some great exposure within the Nike community. All of our bags were auctioned off. Along with the bags that were customized by Nike’s in house designers, the auctions raised over $7000 dollars for the Children’s Cancer Association. The three of us were all PNCA alums, so it was a great chance to represent alma matter. I’m very thankful for the opportunity and honored that my work was able to help such a great cause.