Welcome to Brother Walfrid’s 12 Days of Christmas: Day Two !
We have had so many truly amazing people from many types of organizations involved on and along the immense journey that has been The Brother Walfrid Campaign and Project but one of the most influential and longest-serving has been our Creative & Art Director, Michael Melvin.
Mike, has been involved in every step of designing and developing the Peter Howson, Brother Walfrid Limited Edition Boxed Set, he was Executive Producer on “The Founder”, the documentary produced by The 9 Muses and he has been at the core of building the Brother Walfrid brand for the purposes of the Campaign, along with our stunning website that has been visited by thousands of people who are as passionate as we are about Walfrid, Original art, Celtic and the vast amount of research that Mike has uncovered as part of the 9 Muses team.
Here is his account as describes this, sometimes overwhelming mission we have tasked ourselves with- To do Brother Walfrid justice!
“Full disclosure. I was aware of who Brother Walfrid was before starting as Art Director on the Peter Howson’ Brother Walfrid’ Boxed Set project. Having gone to a secondary school which traditionally had a large Marist involvement (St. Mungos’ Academy, ‘The Mungo’, east end of Glasgow 1983-89!) and also being an armchair Celtic fan I knew the growing importance of the unassuming Brother Walfrid to the green and white of my home city. No pressure!
Being asked my a client to be involved in such a prestigious task was both an honour (and very exciting) but also slightly worrying as there were so many different parts to the overall boxed set – would the art print of the iconic painting be reproduced with the care and attention it deserved, would those from my network of suppliers enhance the project or let me down, would the director of the documentary capture the spirit of Walfrid and keep to the budget or would be an expensive folly? Would the client ultimately be delighted with the final complete boxed set or would there just be a disappointed silence as expectations were dashed? Perhaps most importantly, would I do the memory of Brother Walfrid justice?
The same thoughts and insecurities tend to bubble-up for me when faced with multi-faceted projects. Once I get a handle on the scope of the project all these self-doubts start to disappear and I pop those bubbles as I familiarise myself with the task at hand and throw myself head-first into it. And thus my involvement with the Walfrid project began.
However rarely have I immersed myself in anything like this nor have I dedicated so much time to a project like this one. Partly to do the subject matter and partly to do with a client who you can’t help but carried along with her constant positivity and unending enthusiasm. Her aim: to bring to life the story of a humble man who died in 1917 after a lifetime of helping others.
Ok, so now double-pressure is on – I have to do justice to the memory of Walfrid AND deliver an outstanding product to a great client. Easy! Oh no, there’s the self-doubt starting again…
As with any road there are bumps – no need to detail the various issues which cropped up from time-to-time on this project – surprisingly few for a project which has seen my involvement for nearly five years. Yes, five years! I had initialy thought 3 months would cover it. Where did the time go?
Well, it took almost nine months to develop the physical box, described by the manufacturer as a “bespoke luxury covered presentation box with twin opening lids” which contains the A3 print, the A4 certificate of authenticity and the documentary DVD.
This includes multiple box options, constructions and a myriad of tweaks with a fairly liberal dose of meetings with box and carton manufacturers, paper manufacturers, paper suppliers, litho-printers and print finishers … that’s not counting the meetings with interested-outside parties who would bring their services to the table …
… PR companies, web developers, SEO experts, journalists, newspapers …
… and then we had the website. I believe, if memory serves, that that came in at 18 months of development from the initial conversation with the client until launch in October 2017. And all the time pushing to make a better product. All the time researching. All the time endeavouring to create something which would be a fitting tribute to Walfrid and all he stood for.
And that’s just part of my five-year story as (ongoing) Art Director.
And as we head in 2018 what does the future hold for Walfrid and me? Well, it should prove to be a very interesting (and busy) year as there are a quite a few related projects on the horizon. No time for self-doubt now, way too busy for that!”
Michael Melvin, Melvin Creative 12th December 2017