It all began in the living room of a sharehouse
This is a wholesome narrative where two nobodies from Melbourne, Australia decided to use art as a way of connecting with their peers and helping the planet a little along the way.
Both Oli Ruskidd and Mike Eleven are practicing artists who know little to nothing about running a business, but here they are. The two were sharing a house in 2017 when one night Oli came home with a bottle of recycled ink. Oli's uncle who works as a chemist at Close The Loop gave him a few bottles to test out. From there the two decided to use this resource to engage the local art community about more sustainable art-making practices.
What amounted to several months of back-and-forth, the two finally decided on a terrible business name and haphazard logo. With the intent to market the ink as an affordable alternative other products, the two set out to show it off with a huge launch exhibition. With over 60 artists involved and 150+ artworks on display, the debut show saw the entire community celebrate and support the two in their endeavour.
Since it's inception, the two have continued to push where their humble product can go. Despite never running a business before, both Oli and Mike are confident with the direction of the brand. A few milestones include revamping the packaging, being stocked and distributed all across Australia and hosting a number of large group exhibitions. They've also had a lot of help along the way from friends and family, to which they're forever grateful.
All in all, their main focus is raising awareness about ethical art-making and championing their fellow artists. If they can do both through a poorly-named ink company, well then, that's a job well done.