May 21st, 2014

Not only are the artists at The Mill studio in Chicago busy producing amazing work (like the life-like CG moose for Off!), but they've also extended their time and talents to side projects that tap into their diverse artistic backgrounds and passions. After a successful Round 1, creative director Bowe King introduces us to the 2nd round of limited edition hand printed notebooks by a new batch of Mill+ artists.

Due to the inherent digital nature of our industry and the fact that everything we do at some point goes through a computer, designers love reaching back to their roots and creating pieces with their hands. Particularly with our talented roster of Mill+ designers, we have an amazing variation of artistic backgrounds. Some come from painting and sculpting upbringings and others continue to be passionate advocates for life drawing. Whatever our backgrounds may be, we all have one thing in common; a consistent hunger to create more art with our hands. So this series has been an apt outlet for that hunger.

Millsketchr1 Blog 1

Round 1 artists:Bowe King "Connected"  (top left), Josh Van Praag "Commute" (top right), Bowe King "Super Pretty" (center), Dale Hyder "Pow!" (bottom left), Dale Hyder "Beacon" (bottom right)

The artists have been able to get in and literally design with their hands - actually sculpt and dig and print with their hands. We used rubber sculpting block and wedge tools to carve out our designs, creating custom one-of-a-kind stamps. We did everything by hand, even for the application of the stamps. Having slight imperfections and inking augmentations from sketchbook to sketchbook gives each one a uniqueness that we all fell in love with.

Image2 Quads 2

The latest Mill+ artisans for Round 2:Anzie Lee "The Wave" (top left),  Josh Van Praag "Handmade" (top right), Chris Mennuto "About Face" (bottom left), Adrian Navarro "Indigenous" (bottom right).

Chicago's pulse has an extremely earnest perspective when it comes to art and creative, so it felt really natural to begin something like this at The Mill's newest studio. It's a truly artisinal take on creating something decorative and functional. On top of the crafted individual nature of these, we kept each printing to a limited run of only 25! With our first series of five stamps and this second series of four stamps, having only 25 sketchbooks printed per stamp makes every single one of the sketchpads special.

Image1 Pads 3