Creating artwork that has purpose and a use day to day is something I really enjoy, I think it's why I love creating the art work for the mugs with Rouleur magazine, you know people will see that thing most days and have a brew from it, which is always a good thing.
The ultimate in useable art has to be wall paper, it can sit on the wall of a home for many years, and it's a tricky choice for some people as once it's glued up there it's unlikely to be down for some time.
When the lovely Tom and Bob at Drops contacted me about creating my own wall paper I was super excited about the thought of it sitting in the real world in people's homes. I had been looking into repeat patterns for some time and the chance to create something on this scale was exactly what I'd wanted to do for ages.
The elements in the pattern are based on road cycling and time trialling from the past and present. A keen eye can spot and name most of those bits. Colour choices took the most time, too bold and no one would want it in the home, yet, too safe and it looked lost and insipid, making no statement at all. Eventually we all settled on the red, blue and yellow you see now. Primary, yet elegant. Happy to sit in a child's room as well as making a colourful mark in any man, or woman cave featuring a turbo or rollers.
The wallpaper is available NOW and comes in rolls 10m long and 52cm wide [a standard size.] You can buy it by clicking HERE and heading over to the Drops website...
Rich Mitch X Drops at the London Bike Show 2015...
With the approaching London Bike Show 2015, we decided to launch the wall paper with an idea which no one had done before on such a grand scale in cycling. The key at these shows is engagement. It's really easy to walk around a MASSIVE hall full of bikes, air con and noise and switch off after about 15mins, the brain seems to go into mooch mode. My plan, which the guys at Drops got behind 100% was to print the wallpaper in it's black and white form BIG... Like 3m by 3m BIG... and ask every man, woman, child, dog, cycling pro, cycling pro's child to COLOUR IN THE WALL. So armed with a the largest pencil case full of sharpie pens the doors opened and as people walked past, looking a bit glazed, we asked them to do some colouring. The responses were interesting, they ranged from "WHY" to "IS IT FREE?" to "WOOHOO I'VE NOT DONE THIS IN YEARS I LOVE YOU" [ok, I added the love you bit...]
But after a few hours, and with a build up before hand on twitter, instagram and facebook people really started to get into it, so much so that people were hunting us out to have a go. Soon, the plan to auction off the final wall was hatched, and when Tour De France winners like Stephen Roche, current pros like Alex Dowsett and Ex Garmin Pro [and most stylish man in cycling] David Millar dropped by and coloured it in we made sure we shouted about it. It started to spiral on twitter, and in the end the great and the good of cycling wanted to colour in.
Those few days blew me away, people love doing real things. They love to colour, to make, to craft. Handing someone an ipad is done a lot, and people can see it as the norm, but by getting someone to really engage with something for just a couple of minutes all of their guard evaporates and you can chat to them without them thinking your a odd, northern sales person... the first two bits are still true. Below is a photo gallery of some of the people who took their time to colour in the wall. I want to thank everyone who took part. It had tens of thousands of tweets, re tweets and mentions and someone wrote we apparently "won the london bike show!" I'll take that. Thank you.