“I keep tons of art and toys that inspire me throughout the day. There is original art by our friend and artist Tim Biskup, a little tee pee by Steve Harrington, a large painting by Tokyo artist, Ogi, a woodcut print by Nathalie Roland, my favorite Poketo coffee mug by artist Leah Chun, a Portugal. The Man cd that has been on heavy rotation at the studio, and tons of bits and pieces from toys, to postcards, and goofy pictures of me and Angie.”
Poketo was founded by Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung in 2003 and is currently based in Los Angeles. Poketo, pronounced “poh-keh-toe” got its name through Angie’s grandmother’s mispronunciation of the word, “pocket.” And the name just stuck. As a part of the art community Ted, filmmaker and Angie, graphic designer were always curating shows for artist friends. The shows brought tons of people together. But there was one problem. No one could afford to buy the art displayed. Ted and Angie came up with an affordable solution to satisfy everyone’s art lust. They created limited-edition artist wallets that were accessible and well designed so that no one would be without a piece of art of their own.
In 2008, Poketo was invited to participate in the Glasgow International Festival, Scotland’s equivalent to the Whitney Biennial. Poketo has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, How Magazine, Dwell Magazine, Real Simple, Bon Appetit, and on ABC’s Eye on LA, and E-Network and more.
FROM YOUR DESKS: Your Target collection was great. Talk about the process a bit?
POKETO: The Poketo For Target collection was a 54 piece collection of bags and accessories with 21 of our artists. It was a perfect opportunity to bring our concept of art for your everyday to a wide audience. The collection was a huge success, most of the items selling out right away.
It was great working with Target because we had the freedom to do exactly what we wanted-from the art, design, marketing-the whole thing was our vibe on a big stage. It was awesome getting picture reports back from fans across the country, the enormous amount of support and excitement for Poketo and all of the artists involved in this collection was incredible.
My wife, Angie Myung, and I started Poketo in 2003, one main focus was to expose artists and to make art more accessible. We noticed that all of our friends, including us, loved art but couldn’t always afford the pieces. We started Poketo with an artshow. We invited six of our artists friends to come together, create original work for the show, and design what was our very first product, the Poketo wallet. The reason we created a wallet was because it was a different way to view art and it was more accessible–something that you carried and used on a day-to-day and it was affordable.
The night of that show, the wallets sold out and everyone was excited about what we were doing. Poketo snowballed from there, we decided to do more collections with different artists and slowly, expanded Poketo into tee shirts, housewares, stationery, accessories– really growing the idea that art can be part of ones everyday life. We were collaborating with some of the best and emerging artists,exposing artists to the world, making products that we love, throwing art shows, pop up shops, and music events that brought the community together. The art and design community exploded and continues to thrive, it’s exciting to be part of that and simply do what we love.
Poketo: Angie and I select and curate the collections together. Since 2003, we’ve worked with over 200 international artists, styles that range from illustrative, graphic, street, typographic–both Angie and I have an eclectic and different aesthetic, but, when you see all of the art together there is an underlying thread that connects all of the different art. We don’t look for specific styles or trends, it’s hard to pinpoint what the Poketo aesthetic is, but, when we love something, that’s what makes the cut.
As a small company, we are like a speedboat, making twist and turns quickly, we do whatever feels right.
Poketo: As a small company, we are like a speedboat, making twist and turns quickly, we do whatever feels right. We have been growing organically since day one and we hit some major milestones in 2010, from our new identity and website redesign to the Target collaboration and also our first step into fashion with a men’s and women’s clothing collection. All I can say, we can’t wait for 2011 to bring more Poketo goodness!
Poketo’s favorites for the holiday.
Poketo’s Winter Collection, this is our first collection beyond graphic tees and into some minimal, classic pieces.
We recently collaborated with TED.com to produce these “IDEAS”notebooks for the TEDWomen conference that just happened in Washington DC. All of the attendees got this notebook jot down all of their brilliant ideas.
Follow on Twitter @POKETO and their blog!