At Poketo, it’s the people around us that help keep it real. Inspired by their great vibe, this series puts the spotlight squarely on them, their aspirations and their brushes with the Poketo world. It’s also a great way to keep in touch, don’t you think? Yeah, we thought so too!
Last year, we got an awesome surprise when one of our fans took the time to make a video starring Poketo. It was our first YouTube ad and we loved seeing the work of our artists add some style to a simple white tee!
Erik is a student in the Netherlands, that was pretty much all we knew. Since launching this column, we’ve found an excuse to get to know him better. We found that he’s in his last year of school and he’s taking up ICT & Media Design Studies in Eindhoven.
Here’s a little more about Erik:
Erik, could you add to that brief bio I gave of you?
Well, I am a 22-year-old guy with a young face and I’m a multi-media enthusiast. Aside from being a student of ICT & Media Design Studies, I also have a sole proprietorship in the same field – which basically covers branding, photography and websites. I have passion for photography – both digital and film and just recently I started promoting myself as a DJ.
Erik rockin’ Poketo’s Things in My Room shirt at a party.
The only thing we knew about you was that you were in Netherlands. What’s it like there?
I live in a small town called Asten and it’s quite good living here. It’s not that everyone knows each other, but it sure is nice and quiet – most of the time.
Erik’s pinhole camera photography of Asten.
If you had to take a visitor around Netherlands, where would you take them to experience the real deal?
This will probably sound a bit cliché, but from all the cities I’ve been to Amsterdam stuck with me the most. It’s a very nice city to just be in and you can basically do everything there.
We love food, so what should we try if we’re ever in the neighborhood?
If I have to think of one thing that they probably don’t have anywhere else, then I would have to go for the frikandel.
Photo licensed under Creative Commons by Like the Grand Canyon.
It’s a typical Dutch snack, usually served with some french fries, and it’s made of, well, almost all the types of meat you can think off. They grind together the leftover meat from factories into one fat sausage-like thing. It may sound a bit nasty, but if you’re in Holland, you should try one – you could also go for a special one, with curry, mayonnaise and onion.
You mentioned working in graphic design. What you’re currently working on?
I’ve recently started branding my DJ alter ago where I use a more personal illustration that I do for clients.
I’m also working on a project for a friend of mine who is opening her own pet salon. I’ll be working on her logo, business cards and website. I always try to create clean, almost stamp like, logos.
With so many things going at the same time, what types of projects would you want to take on in the future?
Pff, now that’s a hard one. I you asked me a couple of years ago I’d say I wanted to work on a project for a big company, something a lot of people would see, and so I could say “I made that”. But as think of it now, it would be quite hard to make a personal piece for such a big player. So now I’d rather work on smaller projects that I personally like. Generally I’d love to do more print and photography assignments.
Who have been your inspirations?
There’s been one studio that has influenced me quite a bit: Peskimo. I like the way they use picturebook-like illustrations to communicate the messages of their clients.
Peskimo has created a number of artworks for Poketo including these!
Even more important, my very first designer toy blind box turned out to be a toy by Peskimo. I later Googled the name, looked at the work of the studio, I found out they sold wallets at Poketo, and with that I found your store. If it weren’t for that little toy, I wouldn’t have known Poketo at all.
Erik has a great collection of designer toys. Here’s a Cubebot he’s photographed.
Oh, so that’s how you found us! Cool. What’s the story behind the Poketo video ad you made?
I made the video for an assignment during my studies. We were asked to make a commercial about a brand we personally liked. I decided to go with Poketo because I knew no one else would pick that. I then thought it would be a good idea to explain the Poketo brand in a video, to make it a sort of infomercial.
What was the most challenging part of the production?
Deciding when to shoot it. I got the assignment during the winter, and since the days were quite short, I was quite hard shooting without good natural lighting conditions, especially with the point and shoot camera (Canon G9) I was shooting with. In the end I decided to just go for it, and the results turned out to be quite good.
Any funny stories during the shoot?
Well, most people think the video is voiced by a little girl, but it actually was my then 18-year-old girlfriend pretending to be one.
Sure had us fooled! What’s the best life lesson you’ve picked up so far doing all of these projects?
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. Both good and bad things can happen to you. Sure there are things that I’d wish never happened, but they did, and I’ll have to live with it. And in the end, the unexpected things in life – either good or bad – are the things that I’ll remember the most.
What’s next for you?
I’ll continue working on logos, websites and such for my own little company. But I also have my first real party coming up as a DJ – I’m opening at a an underground party in October – so if that goes well I may be spinning some records in the future. And I’ll probably graduate next year, then I’ll be an engineer in ICT, sounds good if you ask me
Know someone we should talk to for our next installment? Send us a quick note. We’ll be glad to hear from you.