Creative bricolage promotes famous fashion brands

This stunning campaign for AR New York brings together a variety of visual aesthetics, as award-winning art director Mat Maitland reveals.

D&AD Yellow Pencil winning art director Mat Maitland recently collaborated with creative studio Not To Scale on this eye-catching campaign for fashion and luxury specialist AR New York.

The 'Electric Jungle' concept features six evocative films, all of which are composed of numerous elements, brought together with a bricolage technique and stamped with Maitland's signature illustrative style. We chatted with the art director to find out more.

How did the brief come about?

The concept of the characters going on a journey into a surreal dreamworld, in this case a colourful consumer dream, was tailored around my collage style, which is why I was approached by AR in New York.

What elements did the brief include?

The brief was to introduce our model in-flight in the real world at the start of each piece, then transport them into the collage world and then back to the real world so this involved a set build and green screen shoot.

There was quite a lot of freedom creatively but like any commercial job there is always a message and product that needs to be presented and a concept that needs to be adhered to.

Talk us through your design approach to the project.

The main task was storyboarding how the action would be carried out and how the products would feature within my collages so I pretty much storyboarded each spot with finished collages which became the visual roadmap for each film, once these were done they didn’t change that much to the final films.

I also reworked the way the action went from the plane to the collage world (in the original storyboard collage elements were seen outside of the plane window). From there it was a case of working with the production team to map out the set build and shoot in New York. I was also creating collages for the print side of the campaign so we were shooting stills at the same time.

When did you first become aware of the bricolage technique?

As an art director and designer I am used to pulling a lot of different styles together, sometimes in one project. Album covers such as Basement Jaxx’s Rooty or Beck’s The Information were both projects harnessing a variety of different visual aesthetics, and I guess I have always like the idea of combining things together stylistically.

I have always like the idea of combining things together stylistically

I've always done collages, even at school and then art school and enjoy the process of creating an image without too much pre-meditation or planning.

The album cover for Beck's The Information harnesses a variety of different visual aesthetics

How did you pick the elements for each video?

The concept required four different collage worlds for the models to navigate, loosely based on Hong Kong, Bali, Singapore and Hawaii so this informed some of the imagery to a degree. Things like the raspberries, red lanterns and polkadots were a reference to the DFS logo mark which is a red circle.

Beyond this I embellished the worlds with my own abstract elements and several animals which sometimes linked to each country but sometimes just because I liked them! The products were determined by the client, along with the styling on the models.

Have you seen any cool campaigns recently? Let us know in the comments!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kerrie Hughes is associate editor at Creative Bloq. Her employment at Future Publishing began in January 2010 as staff writer for 3D World magazine. Since then, she's written regularly for other publications, including ImagineFX and Computer Arts magazines.