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July 6, 2015

Talk to: Rick – Ape to Zebra

Art & Cult

As you may know, Canvas is a glass box inside a glass box… This means that not only does our 7th floor have a definite 360º view, but it also opens itself to ‘a blank canvas’ (pun intended). We invite our friends Tijs Bonekamp, Joost van Grinsven, Rick Jongerius and Michiel de Blaey from Ape to Zebra to let loose with their chalk pens on our inner windows. We have a chat with the youngest, newest and only employee of this 4 man-band: Rick.

What’s the story of your company? How did you came to using chalk on windows?
Well, actually we aren’t illustrators, we are a small company of 4 graphic designers, working with anything from animation to brand identity. The idea started we opened our office in De Pijp, with a big broad window. We brainstormed what to do with this empty display and decided to draw a whale as it is a broad animal and use chalk pens, because this is easy to remove. We gave it a go and it worked out well.

Whale A-Z

So how did you get here, to Canvas windows?
Before Canvas was renovated, it had one side of windows. We were having dinner here and thought it would be cool for us to do something similar to our office on the windows here… so we proposed it. We created a combination of all different animals across the room and incorporated fun text from the movie ‘Charlie Brown’ to suit the illustrations. The project was called ‘Ape to Zebra’ due to the variety of animals from A-Z –  that’s how we got the name of the new company.

And now you’re back here again?
Yes! We were asked to come back. It’s great, we love to have a break from working behind the computer, use our hands, be creative. And we like working here, it’s an inspiring place where people are relaxed.

What’s this new project about?
Well, with all those windows, Canvas reminds us of an aquarium. So we decided to use two long aquatic animals which are quite contrary: the octopus which loves to touch and the ‘untouchable’ eel with its electric charge. Again, we’ve used lines from Charlie Brown, the octopus says: ‘How can you sleep at night?’ and the eel responds: ‘Knowing that you drive me crazy’. With Canvas never really sleeping, it’s kind of the everlasting game of love.

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