Every few months we host what we dub our "Inspiration Sessions": a lunchtime love-in with the whole studio and a special creative guest. For each session, we invite an inspiring creative to come and talk to us about their world, what they do, or a particular aspect of their craft.
So far we've been lucky enough to host a whole range of speakers, including serial inventor Brendan Dawes, photographer/digital artist Andrew Brooks, animation director Paul Couvela, and creative technology wizard Elliot Woods of Kimchi and Chips. At the last inspiration session we had the pleasure of welcoming Dorothy into the studio.
Dorothy are an intellectual junkshop (at least that's what Jim's* dad calls them), selling beautiful artworks and design products created right here in Manchester. They transform the cult into the iconic, gleaning references like little pop-culture magpies, and turning them into beautiful brutalist posters, superb star charts and marvellous maps! Never ones to do things by the book, Dorothy turned the session into a pub quiz**, really getting us to engage with their thinking and their process.
To return the favour for thoroughly inspiring us (and for our brilliant, slightly 'cheeky' tea towel gifts) we created a small piece of animation for their KK Outlet show back in December.
The animation brings to life a couple of characters from their latest project Rock 'n Roll Zoo, which is inspired by the animal-shaped titles of popular songs such as 'Eye of the Tiger' and 'Hounds of Love' (or my personal favourite, 'Superfly'). The characters were illustrated by our other good friend, Tracy Worrall.
By all accounts the show was a roaring success. We're looking forward to seeing what they come up with next!
*Jim is a co-founder of Dorothy, along with Ali and Phil.
** Yes I did win, thanks.