Designer GOODS: Denik’s Army of Activist Artists Changing the World
I grew up as a restaurant kid, spending most of my days after school sketching in notebooks and writing short stories. Sometimes I would sketch in my make believe house made of cardboard boxes in the office, or sometimes I would sit on the steel kitchen counters in the back and draw on paper plates and napkins. That feeling of nostalgia is something I miss and treasure. But now as an adult, I get to write and create, and what better way to share my personal nostalgia than with super cool stationary that not only looks good, but does good to give back? With Denik notebooks, I get to take notes, save my creative scribbles and jot down ideas for all of my fashion that gives back endeavors: colorful photoshoots, blog interviews and discovering new brands that truly inspire me.
Denik, a cool art-centered company based in Utah, is my latest (and favorite) obsession! This small and mighty crew is lead by a group of free thinking, creative artists that want to make art, share it with the world and create change. If you haven’t heard of this company yet, you HAVE to check them out and get one (or ten!) of these cool notebooks for yourself. Prices start at $11.99 USD and up. And for a limited time, use the code HGC20 to save 20% OFF your next order!
I’ve been in love with this notebook company for a couple years now, but it’s finally time I get to share the Denik story with you.
Denik is composed of an army of activist artists, who are determined to make change through research-based initiatives, empowering artists through royalty support and by giving back to support education initiatives for children around the globe.
I’m thrilled to be able to hear from the entire Denik team- check out the group interview below to get their thoughts on design, giving back and how they believe art can change the world.
New Year, New Collection
HGC: What’s the inspiration behind the styles you guys are featuring?
Katrina Perkins, Lead Designer: “Our unique business model allows artists and consumers to team up in support of global education. Art has a unique way of bringing people together, and our goal is to use that unity to help out those who are lacking the basic services and rights that we take for granted.
This is what gets us out of bed in the morning. This concept is what makes us fight for success. Denik provides a channel for artists of all skill levels to make an impact in the world we live in.
We believe that the art of a high-schooler in Houston, a blogger, a skateboarder or a professional artist in Brazil can be printed on one of our books and be used to change the world.
Each new release from Denik goes through an extensive curation process. We start with 500+ designs from artists all over the world, inspired by all walks of life. Then, we take our top choices, narrow them down to approximately 20 designs, and release a new line of fresh product about 3 times a year (every 4 months.)
Our line has to be as diverse as the artists who collaborate with us. From abstract floral patterns and hand-drawn owls, to marble textures and beautiful typography, our line is a reflection of the wide-range of artists that we work with.
All of our artists have their own unique story, and we are so grateful to have the opportunity to give back to these artists that truly inspire us and help make our product beautiful. Without these amazing artists and designers, we would not be able to accomplish our true mission: to change the world through art.
Every purchase of a Denik notebook or journal helps to build schools, and to support the artist to designed it. We’ve successfully built a school in Mali, Africa and Laos , funded a 3rd that’s about to start construction in Guatemala, and all funds are currently going to a second school in Mali, Africa.
If you’d like to be apart of our mission to change the world, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HGC: What is your favorite Denik notebook style (or design) right now and why?
Eli, Graphic Designer: I love all of the designs that we have out right now. We have a wide variety of designs that I think are really cool. I’d say my favorite design right now is ‘Ice Cream Swirl’ on our softcover. I think this is a really wild, bright design that is fun to have on a notebook. I love pulling it out of my backpack and seeing all the bright colors. It’s a lot different than all the other notebooks out there which is why I’m drawn to it. My favorite designs change depending on the week or whatever mood I’m in, but I’m really digging ‘Ice Cream Swirl’ right now!
Art That Changes the world
HGC: Denik is helping to build schools in Laos, Mali and Guatemala- can you tell me a little bit about how each project?
Brett Reynolds, Brand Manager: Denik is created to inspire free thinking, norm-breaking, activism by gathering artists from across the globe and putting their work on notebooks, sketchbooks, and journals. Then, with every product sold, a portion of the proceeds goes directly to build schools. We also send a royalty payment back to the artists for their support.
In 2015 with our partner Mali Rising, we dedicated the Denik Middle school in Zambougou, Mali. Our most recent project came to a finish in February 2017 when the Laos school was built. The school is a 5 classroom Mok Chong Pre & Primary School that serves hundreds of students.
We decided to build a school in Laos after researching education conditions and finding that 30% of Laos is illiterate. The schools in Laos are little in number and far in distance. Laos’s educational system has improved and a larger stress has been put on education. We hope that the Denik School in Laos will help improve this problem and impact generations to come!
Our current project to build a school in Guatemala is underway and construction of the school will begin very soon.
Denik fully stands behind it’s motto that “Art can change the world.” When you buy a Denik notebook you are helping educate kids around the world. Check out this video to learn more about how art can change the world.
Inspired to work hard, Designed to Give Back
HGC: House of G&C is all about looking good, doing good and giving back. In the sense of lifestyle, fashion specifically, how do each of you look good, do good and give back?
Alex Geddes, Graphic Designer: As an individual especially involved in the design world, I try to keep up my appearance as best as possible. Whether that’s fashion or lifestyle, I keep up with trends, and understand what is going on around me. Going along with that, being involved in the design world, you can have a great impact with the work that you produce. As of late I am trying to incorporate more social causes into my work, to help bring to light, and inform others. I am also very lucky to work for a company that does so much to give back to people all over the world.
Kat Jones: I’m a firm believer that your outward appearance plays a big role in how you act and how you are perceived within society. I dress well for myself, to boost my confidence. When I feel confident about my appearance, I feel confident in other aspects of my life and I feel more outgoing. Doing good and giving back comes naturally when I am confident with myself. In order to love and help someone else, you have to first learn to love yourself.
HGC: What’s your inspirational quote for 2017?
Tyler Tolson, Founder/CEO: My inspirational quote for 2017 is this: ”Work hard until you learn how to work smart. Then, when you learn how to work smart, work REALLY hard at working smart.” This is something that’s been running through my mind for the last few months. I’ve never heard anyone say it before, but it’s a concept that I feel is important. I think people are afraid to take risks in life. But, I believe that hard work and grit can achieve better results than talent. My quote is a similar style of thinking.
You may not know what to do or how to go about something, but just start moving. You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t along the way. Then, you can work hard on the things that you’ve learned work well.
HGC: LOVE that! Thanks to you and the team for sharing what makes you guys tick, it’s so inspiring. I’m excited for more people to discover Denik, and for them to be able to bring people together through art and empower hundreds of kids- for many generations to come! To find out more on how to get involved with Denik here, and shop all Denik collections here. Don’t forget, use code HGC20 at check out to get 20% OFF your next Denik purchase. Follow Denik on social media here on Facebook, on Instagram and Twitter too to stay updated on new designs, new projects and deals!
All photos by HGC unless otherwise noted