• Img_4741

    Journey To Greatness

Events

Parallel passions and the power of determination concludes the Journey To Greatness project

Posted by It's Nice That,

The most exciting thing to come out of the Journey To Greatness event, a product of six months worth of passion and process, insight and inspiration from four groups of talented graduates plucked from the University of the Arts institutions is this: The journey is not over.

The graduates were challenged – with the support of their mentors Lawrence Zeegen and Dave White – to interpret what drives world-class athletes and turn this essence into a piece of graphic art that will be showcased in a t-shirt collection.

Now, as the project reaches its conclusion and the athletes – Paula Radcliffe, Dai Green, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and Allyson Felix – set their minds and hearts on the biggest summer of competition they’re likely to ever experience, we spoke to both mentors to get further insight into what this brief meant to them and the grads.

  • Img_4726

    Journey To Greatness: exhibition

Dave White, who also created a t-shirt for the collection, comes from a traditional foundation in art and has since gone on to develop an incredibly dynamic and emotive body of work, exemplifying the energy and passion that this project requires. The greatest challenge he highlighted was what he referred to as the “orchestra effect” of having 16 “incredibly talented individuals” who might be totally unknown to each other and yet were handpicked, each with their own voice.

But like Dave, these grads used their education as a set of skills from which they could springboard; “one of the most unexpected things to happen was that the teams didn’t rely on previous techniques or media – nobody was predictable” and nobody, it transpired, was not part of a team-driven journey as they endeavoured to execute their ideas.

The access to athletes and their “amazing spirit and energy” was an incredible catalyst according to Dave. He remarked that, very quickly, the groups began to push each other away from just designing a t-shirt, “it became about physically and mentally understanding how these athletes function” he said, “about why they do what they do.”

Lawrence spoke of his role as being one to “push the grads harder” – like a personal trainer to Dave’s coach – and, as an educationalist, he was perfectly equipped to help the teams recognise synergies with the athletes, promoting conversations about the “dedication” necessary in both fields and, maybe most importantly, to ask questions of the athletes that no one, who wasn’t them and didn’t have such a special opportunity, could possibly ask.

  • Img_4805

    Journey To Greatness

In a presentation given by Dave and Lawrence during the event, they spoke of an afternoon spent in the inimitably buoyant company of American sprinter Allyson Felix. It uncovered so much more for the graduates than if she spent that time with the professional journalists who were waiting outside. The insights that she provided could fuel a visual response and were delivered as brilliant, anecdotal gems. Like, what colour was Athens for her? Pure yellow. And the colour she saw as she crossed the line second in Beijing? Black.

This immersion with the athletes was key: The graduates were able to use the intimacy and honesty achieved in these sessions and go on to have it inform their work. “What the grads created” explained Dave, “could not have come from any other process than from one that was completely heartfelt and on a par with the level of understanding afforded to them by the athletes.”

  • Img_4901

    Journey To Greatness: the teams and Dave White

It’s the thing both mentors are firmly in agreement on; the parallel journey that art and sport traverse. This is a notion that the four teams of graduates have proven in their approaches and passion during Journey To Greatness. “The world’s best creatives are just as focussed as the world’s best athletes” Lawrence remarks, “commitment” and a “drive to do the next best thing” are all iterated during our conversation. In Dave’s statement that sits alongside his own design, he makes an incredibly positive summation of this as “the spark of inspiration from one’s soul, driving a primal desire to create or to explore into movement.”

It would be strange then, that after all this, the graduates (and the mentors) would drop this attitude of positive assertion and collaboration with unexpected individuals. Obviously this isn’t the case, the spirit of the night was an over-arching pride and real sense of accomplishment – something I’m certain the grads who told me they’d signed up for a ten kilometer run the following Sunday will be feeling by the bucket load.

  • Collection

    Journey To Greatness: The collection

  • Csm

    Journey To Greatness: CSM

  • Dw

    Journey To Greatness: Dave White

  • Lcc

    Journey To Greatness: LCC

  • Lcf

    Journey To Greatness: LCF

  • Ccw

    Journey To Greatness: CCW

All project photography by Ryan Hopkinson and project films by Andrew Telling. This article was produced in conjunction with Nike.

Nice

Posted by It's Nice That

The It’s Nice That byline is used on posts that relate to the site in general, specific announcements or pieces where there is no clear single author. Contact us using the email address below if you have questions, feedback or complaints.

Most Recent: Events View Archive

  1. List

    As one of the most fundamental visual tools, creatives use colour in a multitude of ways. It’s Nice That is excited to be partnering with G . F Smith for three evenings exploring how an eclectic mix of visual practitioners think about colour and harness its power. They will take place across the UK and each evening will also feature an exclusive screening of the Colorplan film Bright Red. The exciting line-ups we have helped curate for the events are:

  2. List

    An elegant townhouse in central London has been transformed into a multi-storey, multi-sensory celebration of Italian style and culture. The House of Peroni, which opened last night, boasts a host of retro-inspired creativity – inspired by 1963, the year Peroni Nastro Azzurro was launched – and it brings to life a stylised version of la dolce vita.

  3. Main

    I love Pick Me Up, especially the private view. Fine cheese, meats, booze and the best illustration and graphic arts you can hope for under one roof. In its fifth year the festival seems to have graduated from being a trade fair at which members of the public could by prints and knick knacks they wanted to hang in their kitchen, to being a place that celebrates the true craft of the world’s youngest and most talented artists.

  4. List

    We’ve featured Brinkworth’s beautifully designed skate parks on the site before when they launched Nike’s BaySixty6, a community project under London’s Westway that invited people of all ages to pick up a deck and try their hand on the ramps. The initiative was such a success that Brinkworth have become something of an authority on skate park construction and have since been invited to create a temporary set-up at the Old Selfridges Hotel, located inside Selfridges department store.

  5. Main

    A lot of websites and magazines have technology and creative digital media as the forefront of their coverage. I never really got it before, until visiting Resonate festival in Belgrade last week when suddenly it dawned on me: turns out technology really is the future. Whoops!

  6. List

    It’s that time of the year – the YCN Professional Awards are now open for entries and once again competition is sure to be fierce as the freshest creative talent at work around the world battle it out for the prestigious prizes.

  7. Virginatlantic1

    Somewhere in the financial district of Manhattan, Virgin Atlantic are quite literally flying the flag for Britain with Fabergé’s second Big Egg Hunt, which follows the resounding success of the inaugural event in London two years ago. Over 250 eggs have taken residency across New York for the month of April, with familiar creative names such as Tracey Emin, Oliver Jeffers and Shantell Martin have all transformed the blank canvas of a shell provided.

  8. List

    What’s the only thing better than a celebration of Italian style and culture? A celebration of Italian style and culture with a retro twist, that’s what, and Londoners are in for that very treat next month with the return of The House of Peroni. Visitors stepping through the doors of 64 Lincoln’s Inn Fields in Holborn will be plunged into a world of all things italiano featuring food and drink, fashion and design.

  9. List

    Last weekend we were honoured to be invited to speak at Dublin’s OFFSET festival; a three-day feast of creative insight and inspiration. More than 2,000 people flocked to the Irish capital for talks, panel discussions and live interviews and it was amazing to be part of a line-up that included the likes of Jessica Walsh, Marian Bantjes, Marina Willer, Richard Turley, Mike Perry, Richard Mosse and Jon Burgerman.

  10. List

    Creative conferences come in all shapes and sizes and they all have different reputations, but Dublin’s Offset is renowned for its combination of great speakers and a super-fun informal line-up.

  11. List

    By this time of January, most people have started to add caveats to their well-intentioned New Year’s Resolutions. I won’t drink on weekdays. When there’s a full moon. Unless I hear a dog bark. But if your plans for 2014 extend to something slightly more ambitious then digital education start-up Steer have just the thing for you.

  12. List

    The Barbican’s current show is all about examining the relationship between all-conquering cultural phenomenon Pop Art and the design world, and when it comes to graphic design in particular, few people are better qualified to discuss the creative culture clash than Nigel Waymouth. As part of the legendary (and perfectly-named) Hapshash and the Coloured Coat design and music collective, Nigel and his partner Michael English helped revolutionise the way we see posters as an art form. Their colourful, psychedelic screen prints for the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd were a huge part of establishing the visual vernacular with which we still associate London in the Swinging Sixties and the significance of their work was confirmed when the V&A Museum held an exhibition of their posters at the turn of the century.

  13. List

    It’s Friday, which means we’re starting to get a little delirious here in the It’s Nice That bunker. The heating’s turned up to an anaesthetising 30 degrees and we’ve got some nondescript house music blasting from the stereo. The only thing we need to complete the picture and really get this Friday party pumping is some kind of memey-cat-themed brilliance to keep us entertained until it’s time to crack open some cheap Dutch lager and greet the weekend with open arms. What’s that Hungry Castle, you’re putting together a project that combines cats and lasers and art and explosions and is set to premier at next year’s ADC Miami Beach Festival? Well yeah, of course we’d like to see it. “Meow, meow, peow, peow. Boom!”