Newcastle Northeast Feature

Reluctant Hero becomes a beacon for NE creative community

By The Drum | Administrator

March 5, 2010 | 2 min read

A reluctant hero for the NE creative movement was born in 2002, working on global collaborations and pulling together the region’s top design talents.

Its love of the humble teeshirt, as more a portable ad than a cheap article of clothing, is at the heart of its foundation but the studio also now works on logos, album covers or even perfume bottles.

While based in Newcastle, its reach is far and wide; having collaborated with such brands as Timberland, Hilfiger Denim, Graniph Japan, Barbour, Saturday Night Forever, and Ride Snowboards, among others.

Having spent over a decade cutting his teeth in the US its’ founder Peter Manning fell in love with how companies brand themselves, from the humble eatery and bar to the retail store, the image they project and the tools they use, especially at street level.

Reluctant Hero was established in 2002 drawing influence from those who were bringing together the talents of the street into mainstream culture – brands that often defy categorisation with their involvement in branding, design, art and fashion.With the rise of street artists such as Kaws, Faile, Banksy, Bast and Sheppard Fairey, the desire to bring all these interests to bear in the form of a design studio, store and gallery was recognised in summer 2005 when Reluctant Hero opened Electrik Sheep.

Electrik Sheep represents an international community of designers, lifestyle gurus, and contemporary artists. It consists of both a physical art space and store running parallel with an online e-commerce site.

The store stocks clothes brands such as Crooks & Castles, 10DEEP and Hundreds, combined with design and creative reference books, limited edition toys, and lomography cameras.

Critically acclaimed for artists of the minute and on the climb, the gallery’s exhibitions are becoming a local happening, often acting as a beacon for the region’s creative community.

Newcastle Northeast Feature

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