Jarvis and Kenworthy Go Onwards For Nike

Illustrator James Jarvis and Shynola director Richard Kenworthy have collaborated on a lovely new film for Nike. Oh, and you can see Jarvis talk at our Portfolios event

Illustrator James Jarvis and Shynola director Richard Kenworthy have collaborated on a lovely new film for Nike. Oh, and you can see Jarvis talk at our Portfolios event


Onwards from akqa on Vimeo.

The film is Jarvis’s first. To get the accurate running action, Kenworthy filmed Jarvis (a very keen runner) on a treadmill, then recreated his movements (it’s not motion capture).

Here’s more from Jarvis on how the project came about:

“At the beginning of last year I was thinking about what kind of project I would like to work on. I had become interested in the idea of characters that were less referential and more iconic and abstract. I particularly wanted to do something with a potato-headed stick-man that I had been drawing at that time.

I liked the idea of a moving image project that involved my obsession with running. Rather than make a narrative-based film, I wanted the content to be non-linear, reflecting the way I make drawings that have a logic all of their own.

I was talking to a friend at Nike, Kerry Shaw, about this idea and, given the subject matter, she suggested that Nike might be interested in supporting the film. I had been an admirer of Shynola’s collaboration with David Shrigley in their promo for the track Good Song. I liked the way it maintained Shrigley’s drawn aesthetic in its transformation into moving image, so I contacted them to see if they would be interested in working with me on the idea. Richard ‘Kenny’ Kenworthy agreed, and worked heroically on the film.

The film was inspired by certain personal experiences in running – a favourite run over Blanchland moor in Northumberland, being attacked by a crow in Singapore – and also by the transcendent, almost psychedelic experience of the simple act of running.

Rather than a marketing project inititated by Nike, the film was something proposed and produced by myself, and as such I hope represents a much more equal collaboration with a brand.”

See a full-screen version at Nike’s Onwards site

  • I love it when the stars come out, lovely.

  • Beautiful work from two very talented people. Love it.

  • dadif

    whats the tune?

  • Simply brilliant, love it!

  • Bill Straightup

    Character looks ripped off the muppets to me. Hope they sue.

  • Tune is by Manitoba, now known as Caribou I believe.

  • Only a runner could come up with this. So insightful. So beautiful. And it was lucky for James Jarvis to have a friend at Nike. I wouldn’t have wanted this film to come from Adidas because it feels right for the Nike brand.

    Bravo. I’m going to pass the http://www.onwards.tv/ link to all my running mates.

  • will

    I swear I saw a big yellow stick man thing that looked just like the main character in yesterdays London Marathon. Was running a fast time too.. Have nike sponsored someone to run as the stick man character?

  • Kyle

    He got a weiner at 43 seconds.

  • Nigel Grover

    Nice animation, but yeah, the character is derivative: Sesame Street versus Zig and Zag.

  • darren

    this is really cool mate good job, love to see something like this done with skateboarding,
    if i only i knew where to start.what programs were used? adobe?

  • Pinky

    Really lovely.

    Note to James: Please do more of this and less of the mass-produced plastic stuff.

  • Amazingly animated and great to see Shynola’s work back in the spotlight

  • Rachel Wood

    The tracks is called Crayon and it’s by Caribou.

  • Surreality that you can identify with for sure, even if you are a biker, not a runner. Love the bit where he blows the snot from his nose!

  • beanie

    oi,oi smartypants! you’ve been a busy boy, now i know why you havent been by for a cuppa.

  • I’m the guy responsible for James’s inking inspiration, It’s always nice to see what new ventures he’s undertaking and how the line work can be manipulated into different media. I’m guessing this was created in After Effects with 3Ds Max?

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  • He got a weiner at 43 seconds.