danny sangra is reinterpreting burberry through live doodling and virtual reality
We spoke to the CSM grad to find out why the 150-year-old fashion house wanted him to draw all over their archive.
Danny Sangra spends his days like most of us spend our time in boring meetings, doodling on whatever bits of paper we can find to hand. Danny, though, has made into it an artform, turning the dead spaces of magazines, newspapers and adverts into flowering gardens of illustrations, pictures, truisms and witticisms, all splashed with a sense of surreal humour. It’s this sense of humour, in fact, that’s lead to Danny collaborating with Burberry. “I tend to play with colloquialisms, surreal thoughts and kitchen sink-esque observations,” he explains. “It feels like a very British commentary.”
He’s spent the last six months working with the historic house. The collaboration began with him turning his hand to their advertising archive, but has grown into designing accessories, creating an augmented reality app, doing live reinterpretations of their autumn/winter 17 show on Snapchat, and doing live drawing in their stores across the world, which started in NYC, and this weekend took him back home to London. “It's always an entertaining way to connect with the people passing by,” he says, of painting Burberry flagships across the world. “Kinda like if the store was talking to you. That seems an over the top way of describing what I'm doing -- essentially it's Burberry letting a tall bloke paint random things on their windows.”
Something different entirely was “painting in virtual space” and creating an augmented reality app with the brand. “It was actually pretty easy to pick up,” he explains, “but you have to think more like a sculptor.” The app let users step into Danny’s painted world of Burberry-inspired doodlings. “I think kids who grow up with this technology are going to make incredible things. It will change the way you perceive the blank page. I don't know how you can't be excited by it, it's a new tool to explore ideas with. I remember when I was a kid and got excited when I first got hold of a pack of luminous markers. VR is at least 10 times better than that.”
All of these parts came together at London at the weekend, with Danny in residence at the London flagship store, drawing live, but also releasing a limited edition version of the Burberry doodle tote, and allowing people to customise their own pictures with Danny’s work. “I kept waiting, but there's been no catch,” Danny says, of everything Burberry have let him get away with. “Just more and more freedom.”