Kyle Bean Mixes It Up for Google
As business becomes ever more global, it’s imperative that professional peers be able to communicate and collaborate as effectively as possible. Google’s fix for this challenge is Hangouts Meet, an extension of their Hangout service that allows collaborators to come together in the most effortless way possible in a professional setting. Google just relaunched the service and brought collaboration into the DNA by inviting artists like Kyle Bean to create images that act as the backdrop for their user interface (UI). “They’re seeing it as a collaboration with a bunch of artists who have distinct styles,” says Kyle. “It’s really cool and they were really open. Basically, they wanted us to create some nice visuals that respond to their themes. They loved the initial sketches that I produced for them so the process was very straightforward, and it was one of those situations where I wish every job was as smooth sailing as that one.”
Kyle employed his signature papercraft and photographic collaboration with longtime creative partner Aaron Tilley to create a series of three duos of images that are inspired by Hangouts Meet functionality. Kyle’s images include a bunch of cogs fitting together to create a machine, a series of different colored balls coming together to form a multicolored group, and a trio of paint buckets pouring into one robust mix. All of the images are expressive and engaging, but the paint buckets raise a bunch of questions for us, not least of which is: How? “That was responding to an idea about this coming together of people almost like the idea of a melting pot, so I liked the idea of using paint and showing that mixing, so we actually shot paint,” Kyle explains. He set up each paint bucket individually and photographed them separately.“Essentially that image is made up of four images, but all captured in camera, there’s nothing added in post or anything,” he says. What we see in the final composition is each of those captures brought together, but nothing was edited to change how it looked on the day.
Kyle prefers to only work that way, doing his best to create a set up that’s as close as possible to what the final image requires. There are very good reasons for this: “You’re capturing what you’re seeing, it just means that you have more control. If I was going to try to pour all of them at the same time, inevitably I’d end up with a mess on set,” Kyle says. “Plus it’s a little bit of magic.” Abd we all could use a little bit of magic.