Connected: An Iso Video Project

Jul 21, 2020

At the beginning of July, Kate Pullen and 8 other lettering artists shared a project called Connected. The project was a collaboration started by Kate in relation to the Isolation that was happening around the world.

Towards the beginning of lockdown in Australia, Kate was inspired by videos like Zoe Bells #BossBitchFightChallenge we people we collaborating together online.

"They were intriguing and engaging and I instantly loved the creative ways people were using and interacting with the camera (especially when many seemed to be shot solely with their phones!)." 

Wanting to do something to feel more connected Kate reached out to Reece Hendy (of Nacho Station), Kiel Tillman and Monique Aimee.

"At this point I had only ever worked with Reece, but all three immediately sprung to mind when this idea began to simmer. I am in awe of Monique’s constant drive to try (and more often than not, nail) something new. Whether it’s animation, chain stitch, or operating a loom, this gal always has something fresh on the go. A trait I truly admire! I’d seen Kiel speak at the Typism conference in 2019 and his own video (feat. excellent rapping skills) had the audience in stitches. Not only is Kiel’s work seriously impressive, but he’s community-minded, driven, and a nice guy willing to jump into crazy things. Finally, Reece and I had worked together just a few months prior on a mural project in rural Victoria... I was impressed by his ability to curate, organise and execute such a big project (with numerous stakeholders), all the while keeping three artists in the loop and on a deadline. Since then, he’s been willing to help when I’ve needed advice, and without his organisation and determination, I doubt this idea would’ve got anywhere."

Kate was stoked that each artist said yes, and from there the Zoom meeting began.

"The idea began to really take form as we talked. We wanted to ideally include artists from all over the world. We wanted to showcase their talents. We wanted it to be a short and sweet Instagram video that could instantly lift spirits. We wanted to have something positive to focus on when all around us was a lot of uncertainty and fear. And we wanted to work within a team, in an attempt to combat those #isofeels we were all experiencing."

They developed a brief, a project name —Connected—and started asking around within the creative community. All together 9 amazing lettering artists participated, 4 were past Typism speakers!  

Becca Clason (Salt Lake City, USA)

Anna T-Iron (Hamburg, Ger)
Grace Lee (Tokyo, Japan)

Kiel Tillman (Gold Coast, Aus)

Rachel E Millar (Glasgow, Scot)

Nikita Prokhorov (New York, USA)

Monique Aimee (Boston, USA)

Sophie Elinor (Newcastle, Aus)

Kate Pullen (Melbourne, Aus)

Whilst creating their pieces the artists also had to consider how it would be filmed.

"Everyone submitted a wonderful combination of videos that included everything from interactions with the camera, behind the scenes and works in progress, and ‘transitions’. These transitions were often centred around tools they would use to create their artwork, from spools of thread, to markers, to Starburst Chews."

Bailey and Caleb from Hebron Films came on board the project and were in charge of editing all the clips together.

"I think I can speak for everyone when I say that the end result wowed all of us. It was punchy, engaging, and gave each of us those happy feels we were hoping to ignite in our viewers. I am incredibly grateful to Bailey and Caleb, because they really made this tiny spark of an idea I had come to life."

We asked Kate a few more questions to find out about her experience creating and collaborating on a project like this in our current times. 

What was it like collaborating online with artists from around the world?

So great! That has to be one of the best things about technology, and I'm so grateful we have access to it during a global pandemic! Can you imagine this time without the internet, or the ability to call friends and family outside of our house/suburb/state/country?! We used multiple forms of contact throughout the process haha, crossing email, Google Drive, WhatsApp, Instagram and Zoom off the list. Of course I would prefer to see everyone in person, but I think overall it worked pretty well!

What inspired your connected artwork?

It was great because it wasn't a totally open brief - it had to fit in a square, and it had to spell 'CONNECTED' broken up into a nine-square grid. I love having some constraints for a piece so this was super helpful for me! Lately I've also enjoyed exploring more of a retro vibe in my work, but I hadn't tried a whole lot of it in painting or mural format. So this was the perfect opportunity for me push the comfort boundaries a little and paint using: lots of colours, some patterns, a little bit of illustration, and that thin outline throughout. I really enjoyed the entire process!

What were the 3 best experiences you took from this project? 

Number one is definitely brainstorming with other creatives. As a freelancer working from home, one of the things I crave most is the ability to chat to others and bounce ideas off one another. I love brainstorming and cooking up ideas, and this process is made even stronger when it's done with other people. I'm so grateful to Reece, Kiel and Monique for being willing to lend their time and creative brains to this project! 

I also loved working with people I've admired for a long time, but not worked with previously. I can be a bit shy and reserved so I hope they came out of this knowing how much I appreciate and admire their work, and them as people! 

I was so unmotivated during the first lockdown. I wanted to be creative, but the ideas and drive for individual creative pieces had run dry. So what was lovely about this project is that it got me drawing (and painting!) again. I was missing doing something with my hands (not just drawing on an iPad) and so I loved sitting down and painting my panel. 

You can see the final result below! Congratulations to everyone who was involved. The outcome is incredible and has inspired us along with many others! We would also like to make a special shout out to Kate for everything she does for the lettering community! 



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