Artists-on-the-spectrum x brands = vibrancy
Today we celebrate artists on the autism spectrum who collaborate with corporate brands. Yes, they may be the exceptions. And no, their path to success wasn’t only easy. Each of these artists had a teacher or mentor who recognized their talent, believed in them, and supported them through both the good days and the bad. Lucky for them. And us.
Asher Ng, Grace Ong, Joshua Chong, Jonathan Cai
Asher Ng designed limited edition boots with a Van Gogh inspired theme and a t-shirt for Timberland in 2016. The next year, Grace Ong and Joshua Chong’s designs were selected for an exclusive line of Timberland pouches and drawstring bags. Grace Ong transformed the Timberland signature sole into delicious patterns of ice cream cones and candies. Joshua Chong’s design features a Godzilla-like creature coveting a Timberland boat shoe. Also in 2017, Thermos collaborated with Jonathan Cai who created drawings of the Singapore skyline for an exclusive series. Proceeds from collaboration sales were donated to the Artist Development Programme.¹ All these artists are from The Art Factory, the award-winning Artist Development Programme launched in 2011 at Pathlight School in Singapore. Professional artists work with talented students to nurture their abilities, coach them in their skills, and help them maximize their artistic potential. The Art Factory connects people with autism and the community.
An Emirati artist with a special knack for picking up the idiosyncrasies of people around him, Abdulla Lufti draws with a bold stroke, usually in black and white. His cartoon-like art shows people as they react to everyday activities. Pure Zeitgeist. We see ourselves, our friends, our families in his art. The British fashion retailer AllSaints engaged Abdula Lufti to create artwork for t-shirts, an ideal place for his bold designs. He was the first local artist to create a capsule range of men’s graphic t-shirts to celebrate the Ramadan season of 2021. The characteristic illustrations reflect his Arab roots and a musical theme. The collection sold out within a few weeks. This is but one of numerous collaborations Abdulla Lufti has done with well-known brands. His work is prominently featured at Dubai International Airport, and he has been commissioned to collaborate with other artists on exciting projects.²
It’s great to see your talent is valued by corporations and recognized by social media followers all over the world. Our work, at twofold, is certainly more vibrant with the contributions of our neurodiverse specialists. Do you know a neurodiverse artist who collaborates with a brand?
1 The Art Factory:
https://www.theartfaculty.sg/en-sg/collaborations https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1L7GW2MEHg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VdyS8UnB7Q
2 Abdulla Lufti: https://abdullalutfi.com/about/https://abdullalutfi.com/collaborations/