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The Travelling Canvas – Mike Perry

We’re 8 months into The Travelling Canvas already and it’s that time again, where we are allowed to let the giddy child inside let the cat out of the bag, and announce which awesome creative we’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with this month. Drum roll please…

Our July design for The Travelling Canvas project comes from  Brooklyn-based artist and king of colour, Mike Perry.

The Travelling Canvas, Mike Perry, Awesome Merchandise

Getting to know Mike Perry

Making things for everyone, everywhere, his bold designs stem from a passion to see past the chaos and appreciate life in all it’s glory.

We picked Mike’s brain on design, what makes a good tote bag and asked him the vital question – what’s in your bag right now?

Mike Perry, Awesome Merchandise, The Travelling Canvas, art,

For those who don’t know you, please can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and I started Minneapolis College of Art & Design wanting to be a painter, but quickly discovered graphic design. It was so fresh and inspiring to me as a way of working that I quickly committed to learning how to dominate a computer.

I got a job in Philadelphia at Urban Outfitters right after school and soon thereafter, like all good stories go, fell in love. Eventually I moved to Brooklyn to be with my girlfriend the photographer Anna Wolf (now wife). She was already running her own business, she believed in me, and showed me that it was possible to make being myself into a profession.

Then the phone started ringing. I had just published my first book ‘Hand Job’ and the internet was into it. I was young and I started hustling, meeting people. I was inspired and I worked all the time. All of these years later I’m still inspired and I still work all the time!

What was the inspiration behind your design for The Travelling Canvas?

I find inspiration for all my creative endeavours from the world around me. I’m dedicated to the idea of entering each day with a positive outlook and from there I can see, despite the loud chaos of the everyday, how beautiful life can be. After that, i’m free to dream. The design is another representation of this magical unknown that we find ourselves spiralling through with awe and amazement.

We think tote bags are awesome, but why do you love totes?

They’re awesome and more versatile than a fanny pack! Despite being utilitarian in nature, they offer themselves up as a canvas to express an idea, push an agenda, display a work of art for promotion or pleasure, and/or just to simply accessorise an outfit. I carry supplies everywhere I go and a good tote lets me show off at the same time.

Do you have any tips for anyone wanting to design their own tote bag?

Do whatever you want to do regardless of what anyone might think – the burdens of responsibility when it comes to “being true” to yourself is purely up to you. No one else can do that. In the same breath, just know that if you’re going looking for reactions don’t be surprised when you get them. Like anything else, just don’t forget to have fun!

What’s your favourite tote bag you’ve ever owned?

I’ve literally owned hundreds of tote bags. We’ve probably screen printed thousands in the studio ourselves. It would too hard to pick a favourite, although we have a great relationship with Park Delicatessen, a local skateboard / floral shop, and I’ve been known to greatly favour their totes.

Mike Perry, Awesome Merchandise, The Travelling Canvas, art,

If you could send your tote bag to anyone in the world who would it be and why?

Neil deGrasse Tyson. He is the master of the universe.

What’s in your bag right now?

Moleskins’ large Japanese album, assorted Sharpie neon permanents, eco-friendly pet pick-up bags, and Thomas Hart Benton’s  ‘An Artist in America.’

 

Discover more of Mike’s work here.

Mike Perry, The Travelling Canvas, Tote Bag, Awesome Merchandise

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