It’s easy to say you’re innovative, but it’s very hard, because it requires you to be wrong A LOT.
I remember in high school painting abstract patterns on the head of my red, Brine Superlight 2 using a bottle of white out. In college, I took a white aluminum shaft and randomly spray painted half of it black. Looking back, those experiments were listed under my “rolodex of ideas”, to somehow put the lacrosse art on a piece of lacrosse equipment.
Making lacrosse part of your everyday.
I use the hashtag #ForArtForLax for most of the social-media posts. While the goal is to manifestly produce lacrosse-related art, the constant wonder, is how to take the art off-the-wall, and make it part of your everyday? While I pondered getting heads painted, or dyed, I knew there was really nothing unique because dying heads has been a norm in the lacrosse-world. What was left was the shaft, thus I did some research.
It wasn’t the product, or solution in mind.
I found a company that was able to make decals to wrap around a shaft. While the printing was flawless, the decal wrap added weight. It was also very slippery to hold, especially in the rain, and required tape – which meant even more added weight. These days lacrosse shafts are to be light, not heavy. What was worse, were stick checks from other sticks bruised and tore the decal wrap. Regardless of a number of youth/elementary team orders, I knew it wasn’t the product, or solution in mind. Looking back, I was glad to have at least made the attempt.
My first kind of rodeo.
A few years ago, a custom lacrosse shaft company named Arc Lacrosse reached out to me on social-media. The pitch was to put my art on their product. We met face-to-face at the 2017 U.S. Lacrosse Convention in Baltimore and kept in touch soon after. Their process of laser engraving, or “anodizing” the art was very interesting. After a few rounds of digital layouts on the computer using one of my popular images ‘Sticks Up!’, the physical samples were done.
This was my first kind of rodeo. There were many revisions, as well as things to learn about the metal industry. The composition of the shaft required the digital images to be tweaked. The engraving process has its limitations, and there was a lot of back-and-forth with the production manager. I thought that it would be “easy” just to engrave a shaft, but I was totally wrong.
Lacrosse Art History
The product was amazing when the finished sample arrived. The felt-like cover looked like I was drawing a sword out of the scabbard. It is a piece of art! With a big smile, I looked at the images from side-to-side and thought that I had a lesson in ‘lacrosse art history’ in my hands! I used it in action at the recent Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Tournament and at my regular, local pickup lacrosse games. It’a great story to tell, as well as a great product to show off and use! :o)
WRONG > RIGHT
I opened the article with a quote about innovation, which I highly agree. Because you learn more from being wrong, than being right. That’s being educated. I can’t stress enough the importance of the cross-disciplines between two, different industries collaborating on a product. I’m very thankful of Arc Lacrosse giving me a chance to fulfill a personal goal, that wasn’t easy to pull off if I did it alone. If everything was easy, then everybody would be able to do it.
To purchase an Arc Lacrosse x The Art of Lax lacrosse shaft, click here.
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