7.13.2009

The World According to Wee See


One of Nonchalant Mom's dedicated customers, Heather, recently sent me 2 DVDs to share with my children. Of course, in this business, you receive a fair amount of samples - people wanting you to look at this, or eat that, or use this, or put on that... you get the idea. Normally, what I'm supposed to be sampling just doesn't even get off of base one. My general rule is an aesthetic one - if the creator can't even be bothered to package something interesting or beautiful, then it's a good bet the product is going to be just as uninteresting... ouch!

BUT, when someone gets it right - or in the case of the creators of Wee See - they excel at it at every point, it is a darn pleasure to share the wealth! The packaging design for both Wee See's collection one and two is alone worth a nod for it's simple yet beautiful design sense. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.

still image from Collection One

Suffice it to say, I'm of the generation who remembers the early raves that emerged in London
and elsewhere in the late 80's. One thing that stood out at those events, before the whole thing turned into a mass commodification of whistles and night lights, and silly beats, was the sometimes beautiful marriage of image and sound. When I first put on Wee See's collection of DVDs my 4 year old and 7 year old sat mesmerized. This will come as no surprise to the creators
of Wee See, but it was an uncommon event to me. What I was expecting, at least from the distance, was that my kids would take a mild interest while I was doing something else. But, Lo and Behold, first the sound carried me in closer, and then the softly shifting elements of shapes lured me in for the ulitmate experience of relaxation. These DVDs, whether they intended it that way or not, are not just for the youngest in your family - they are soothing and enjoyable for everyone.

I tell you - they are BEAUTIFUL. I've seen some very creative things, even charming things, to do with teaching kids at an early level - but this one takes the cake also in re-teaching me, as an adult, how to slow down also and enjoy the world around me. I mean that! This is like the sensation I had when I first came across the artist/musician Brian Eno's physical environments where he married sculpture and colored lights together with his ambient music to create something at once soothing and simply beautiful. I have this same sensation with Wee See. And, my kids seem to think so too! And they don't even know a 'Brian Eno' from a bouncing ball right now! The creators bill it as a part installation and part pacifier.... but it's more than that - it's ART.

still image from Collection Two

Parent and Designer, Rolyn Barthelman, is the creator of Wee See. An award winning designer his work has been used by many a program such as Nickelodeon, Sony, and MTV, just to name a few - this is somebody for whom design is something more than just a job. It would seem to be a passion. And, when you mix that visual passion with a particular phonic creativity such as one gets here from Tim DeLaughter (originally from Tripping Daisy and The Polyphonic Spree) you got yourself some delightful magic. As I said about the packaging, even the website for Wee See (where you can learn even more) is beautifully and simply composed of the same engaging elements that go into the main source - underscored by Rolyn Barthelman's creativity and coupled with the development skills of Paul Torres of Monk Design. I can't give you a sense with the still images, so I suggest you have a sample on the website of what each DVD offers.

I honestly can't tell you how beautiful these DVDs are - and I'm very sure that you will either want one (or both) for yourself, or as a great gift for someone else. It is the reason why I am eagerly awaiting my initial delivery of them! So, if you want to make sure you get yours, please make sure you drop me a line so that I can put you on the list! And, a BIG thanks to Heather again for turning us on..... and tuning us in. Very Happy Viewing!

1 comment:

robin said...

very cool.