If you’ve ever been to Fortune Sound Club before, you already know how a seemingly mellow night out can quickly turn into a raging all nighter there. That’s usually due to all the other complimentary events happening alongside the main room either in the special projects space, the karaoke room or the Livestock room.
A place created specifically for experimentation with new party formats, the Livestock room has undergone two redesigns since the club first opened five years ago. Recently, Fortune Sound Club enlisted longtime Fortune staff members Ian Sandilands and Brittany Mackenzie to take on the third redesign of the Livestock Room. We talked with the two artists about everything from their inspiration to the process behind their latest collaboration.
Did you guys have any previous education in design before taking on this project?
Britt: So far I’ve just been using trial, error, and YouTube tutorials to teach myself! I was also recently accepted into the Bachelor of Design program at Emily Carr which starts in September.
Ian: I took the Visual Arts Program at Emily Carr, focusing on sculpture.
How do you usually express your creativity?
B: I was really into graffiti for a while; I had a lot of fun but I outgrew it. After that I floundered around for the longest time, feeling lost with no creative outlet. It sucked because I had all this energy and drive but nothing to put it into. I’m really happy I have this new illustrative creative outlet for myself now.
I: Primarily in visual ways, but I guess I express myself creatively in different ways too. I love playing soccer for example.
Ian, from what I’ve seen, your past work has mostly been industrial design projects. Did this project feel different for you at all?
I: Whether I am working on visual art, design, or an interior space, I always approach the process pretty much in the same way. All these disciplines are connected to me. The restrictions on each project change, but overall I have a pretty consistent approach to my work.
Britt, is this installation the biggest piece you’ve ever worked on so far?
B: Yes definitely; the biggest and the closest to my heart. Fortune really is a special place. There is so much good in my life because of the club, Garret Louie, and the staff that work there. For me to be able to have some of my work on display at the club is a real treat for sure.
Ian, you also have experience as a curator for local independent art galleries right?
I: Although curating has never really been my main focus, I do appreciate it when I get the chance. I have been involved in curating for a few different galleries over the last few years and have had my own space for the last year or so. Curating has allowed me to work with a lot of different artists whose work I admire. The experience has definitely informed my own work as well.
Tell us about the process that lead to the creation of this installation
I: It was a really natural progression; the concept was basically born out of a lot of back forth between Brittany and I. We were also lucky that Garret Louie (one of the owners of Fortune) was so accessible and was always available to have us bounce ideas off of him. We were able to get a good start early on and fine tune the concept over the last couple of months.
Where did your inspiration come from for this installation?
B: I think I was inspired by some of the glow in dark work I had seen in one of Ian’s Keith Haring books. I was toying with the idea of doing something like that, a glow in the dark show or something. I think I mentioned it to Garret and it somehow evolved into a mural in the Livestock Room.
What tools and materials did you use?
B: Pens, sketch books, Adobe Illustrator, neon vinyl, and black lights.
What was the most difficult part of the installation?
B: The neon vinyl is much more expensive than the regular vinyl, so figuring out how to get it done within our budget was tricky. We’re so thankful to Allan at Blast Media for working so hard to make it happen for us.
I: Usually I create work for well lit spaces, so designing a room that will be experienced for the most part in the dark and under club lights was totally new. It was an adjustment, thinking in the dark.
What is your favourite part of the installation?
I: Although it was a difficult adjustment, the club setting also allowed for different ideas to be explored. This is a space for people to let loose and enjoy themselves, so we were able to have a lot of fun when brainstorming on what we could do. Initially designing for the club was daunting, but it turned out to be a super fun thing to be able to do.
What else are you working on now?
B: I have an art show coming up on August 27th with my friend Meghann Mcgrath at The Something Club, 1505 Powell. It will be the last show in the space because after that the landlord is taking the building back. I’m also just about to get started on a new series with a brilliant photographer and friend of mine, Paul Harman. It’s inspired by a song called “Miss World” by Hole.
I: I am preparing to begin my Masters in Architecture this September.