To seek, create and inspire.
Ever since the beginning of published music, from album cover art to band t-shirts, audio and visual creativity have walked hand in hand. Forage Press is a publication that celebrates this union.
Forage Press founder Tomi Lahdesmaki's vision comes to life by inviting creatives across the globe to produce original and exclusive artwork that is inspired by a musical subject matter of their choosing. The brief is simple. Pick any musical subject matter as inspiration (genre, band, song, album, scene, era etc.) then produce an original series of images which interprets and/or tells the story of that subject in some way, abstract or literal. It is really up to the creative then to communicate how their chosen music inspires them, anything goes.
The outcome is a collection of new and unique artwork found exclusively under the Forage Press platform—ultimately a new resource for inspiration, and an outlet that enables the discovery of new creativity, both visual and musical.
Forage Press features an eclectic mix of creatives, from established to the emerging, from various mediums to varied styles. There is a variety of new and unique collaborations on its way as well as a printed version of the publication. The road has just begun, stay tuned for a lot more.
Q+A Feature for Wolff Olins blog
Check out original article here
LA: How would you describe Forage Press?
Tomi: Forage Press is both an online and offline publication and collaborative platform. It celebrates the union between audio and visual creativity through original, visual-based articles that are composed by creatives across the globe.
WO: How did you come up with the idea?
Tomi: Mainly the idea was born from my own desire to create the type of content that Forage Press will feature. I am absolutely crazy about music, and often find myself inspired to create visuals based on my favorite bands or artists. I wanted to open up the idea to others instead of just creating them on my own. I’ve found from my professional experience that much of the creative community is equally inspired by and passionate about music. So the idea was born to create a simple (and free) brief asking creatives of all mediums to interpret a musical inspiration through a series of original images. With very few rules to limit the results, the visual articles can end up as literal or as abstract as they want. I also love the experience of buying albums. Listening to the music while browsing the images and package design truly heightens the whole experience for me. I wanted the articles of Forage Press to feel like one of those experiences – you enter a space a for a moment and listen to the music, immersing yourself into that moment and enjoying the visual article.
WO: How is Forage Press different, and can you see it being used for other purposes?
Tomi: The main differentiator is the fact that the images and articles are all original content created specifically for this publication. And even though the contributors have a lot of freedom when creating their articles, there is a clear theme that binds our content and separates Forage Press from other design journals and blogs – the subject matter. It’s really important that at the end of the day, each visual article still presents and explores some form of music, whether it be a band, song, genre, era, etc.. As for being used for other purposes, I certainly have a lot of ideas for the future and how I would love to see Forage Press expand. But I’m also trying to not implement those ideas just yet because I really want to see how the publication moves organically – what kind of new relationships form from this and what ideas others may bring to the table. Even when I began this project, I had a lot of additional ideas, but I forced myself to concentrate on just the key features. That goes for any product launch – you can’t solve everything at once, and some of the most wonderful ideas come from the users and viewers.
WO: Who do you hope will get involved in this project?
Tomi: At the moment I am loving the creative network that is growing from just being in contact with our contributors. In the future I would love to collaborate with other independent companies, and have musicians create original content with the visual contributors.
WO: Do you know what synesthesia is? I’m obsessed with it. Forage Press is kind of like that. Actually, it’s not really. But that would be an interesting angle. Especially if some of the contributors were synesthetes themselves. This is not really a question…
Tomi: Yes I do, and I think this is an element of Forage Press. There is a reason visual and audio creativity have always had such a strong bond, inspiring each other. There is something truly wonderful and uplifting about enjoying experimental creativity that touches those senses, they are very much linked.
Thank you to LA Hall for this interview. LA is a senior designer at Wolff Olins NY