2001 – After two years playing around, painting the environment – with so called Graffiti – trying out the T-Shirt biz doing graphics for the own label and living the atelier life – I decided to move on from the struggle.
I have always been fascinated by diverse drawings, so called renderings of Industrial-Products – cars and various movie props. Ahead of course the Star-Wars original artworks by Ralph McQuarrie followed by Doug Chiang. One day Z-ROK, Munich Graffiti artist from its first hour, with whom I spend quite a chapter of time sharing thoughts, went to his shelf and pulled out a book called SENTURY from SYD MEAD – that should have a turn on my future. I have no words to describe that moment I was turning the pages – full of indescribable imagination and unbelievable perfection in visualization – of a world that seemed mainly so desirable to live in – I was speechless. Besides works for the movie industry, where stories mainly seem to be dark, the work he created for the product industry so bright on the other side. I had been extremely fascinated by the positivity his renderings and paintings captured – as an so called visual futurist.
I decided to move on and study industrial design – to build up a set of skills. I had the aim to create things, having the 2D imagery as an powerful tool to create something in 3D – for real.
2003 – during an necessary 6-month modeling workshop internship that I had to accomplish before starting studies – my first Object before attending design school turned out to be THEvs.YOU. I had doodled, sculpted, casted it several times and finally painted each one uniquely. The workshop was and is located near Munich, called Alpha-Modellbau - where I have met fantastic people and received outstanding support over the following years which helped to achieve the quality of various semester and private projects, thanks to the workshop capability.
The first few figures, a series around 30-piece, done in 30-days, after the regular 9h-day, made with the fortune to stay late hours after everybody went home already…
…well, not everybody! There was one fellow called Adrian Zajac who was my companion, creating various projects with me within the next few years, especially when it came to CNC-works – he was the buddy to call up.
Finally had my first exhibition with THEvs.YOU in a local bar called K&K. As the response was quite good I was playing with the thought to take the next step and go into industrial production with a limited series. But it seemed not so easy – having no contacts to China where a production could be affordable. It took another two years until Klim from Bigshot-Toyworks got in contact with me, thanks to a work I´ve done for ALL CITY STYLE.
The first series of 288pcs had been released in 2007 at the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC). Being distributed by DKE-Distribution in Los-Angeles and produced via Klim. In the following months I decided to do some T-Shirts again, mainly to spread the attitude. I started the web-store where mainly THEvs.YOU figures had been sold.
2008 – I graduated from Pforzheim University/ Transportation-Design and since then enjoy the work for AUDI – Concept Design Munich.
Since I started my professional work as an car-designer, I have been – luckily – kept quite busy. Involved in the design of two sport cars, the AUDI e-tron Concept launched 2010 in Detroit and the AUDI quattro-Concept launched 2011 in Paris.
After the daily work in the studio I wrapped up the orders and created here and there a T-Shirt Design. The process of making a T-Shirt is not as time consuming as creating another Toy – as you can imagine. I had the motivation to push my boundaries within the T- Shirt prints. With the aim to create something that would carry the vs.YOU attitude more subtle then so far.
The Attitude_011 Shirt was born.
After getting used to be on the run all day – times seemed to get more quiet, more consistently regarding the hours spend in the studio.My satisfaction creating T-Shirts was quite limited again – as I still felt caught back on the 2-D playground somehow, only creating the print – adding something to an existing object, not yet the Shirts cut itself.
Times got more quiet, but I didn’t. I was feeling full of energy, with the aim to share it and to create the next step.
The concept was to create a new icon belonging to the same family, with the task to communicate the essence of vs.YOU – being charged, full of energy ready to fight – with more strength.
With this in mind, I also made the decision to choose a new way to sculpt and produce the figure, fitting the overall concept. I teamed up with Chris Faber, who has digitally sculpted the figure. I then 3D-printed the first shot. We rebuild it and printed it again – happy with the result. I then manually finished it about a week, doing late hours after work. During this process I experienced that the figure would be very complex to duplicate manual due to its polygonal shape.
The initial idea was to create the piece in porcelain. But I had no usefull contacts to create a piece in such material, without creating an experiment. So we finally decided to create it in resin, via Klim again. The hand-crafted touch was something we did not want to loose, it gives a certain kind of warmth to such an edgy – digital originated object.
Only 50pcs where made in WHITE, BLACK & SILVER – distributed in the USA via DKE and in Europe by myself.
In addition to the CHARGED, THEvs.YOU gained in size and received a slight face-lift, creating the EVO.
The EVO was mainly created for DIY (DO-IT-YOURSELF) purpose.
These kind of Toys are often been customized, and even specifically designed around the DIY aspect. - I haven`t had such intention when I first created THEvs.YOU. I wanted to express the attitude within the objects architecture, using the color just as an additional level of style.
MORE TO COME…
It´s simply art. It´s the art of communicating within an materialistically orientated society. For one it might just be a Toy, he collects because it`s hip, an object he likes because of its styling – but those who take a bit time, read between the lines and join the progress will find much more_
Over the last years – vs.YOU has grown – being much more than attitude mascots and T-Shirts. The – vs.YOU – attitude has become a mindset. No matter who you are, what you do…
The attitude is currently carried into the field of sports – where it feels quite comfortable. There are a few ambassadors that will be presented here in the near future.
vs.YOU - appears provocative in the first read but is understood as a self-reflective attitude.
DESIGNER / ARTIST
Florian Flatau alias THESIGNER is the creative mind behind vs.YOU, born in Munich.
He claims that the four years of his life growing up in Boston, Massachusetts had a major impact on his personality. Collecting Matchbox cars and Micro Machines, falling a sleep with a transparent orange tinted screw-driver, instead of plush teddy`s!
Steadily capturing his impressions on paper, with blueberry flavored markers.