Digitalization and social media development changed global brands’ attitude to marketing. It’s not a secret now that big companies are trying to tell a story of a product with a personal touch, appealing to its besties through individual experience. Hence corporate giants and small business are seeking for those who are bright and extraordinaire to make a presentation in the most colorful way. Thus we meet brand ambassadors at the stage.

SUISSEPIC had a talk with Vinnie Gracanin an Australian artist, who was chosen by Swiss pencils manufacturer Caran D’Ache as a Brand Ambassador. The Maison from Geneva has been creating writing and drawing instruments since 1915 combining finest materials with innovative technologies.

You will definitely ask me why I chose Caran D’Ache to get in touch with its Brand Ambassador.

Art and the mountains are the things which inspire me a lot giving me a feeling of eternal harmony. First time I got that in 2016, spending summer at Amalfi coast. Every morning I took my pastels and a sketch book, fresh bread with some cheese and a big bottle of water and got off for hiking tour around small mountain villages, lemon forests and terrace vineyards. Sitting with a pencil my hand, in a shadow of peach trees, I saw how the sky touches the sea. And that was one of the happiest moments.

“Nature and particularly the ocean and alpine mountain regions really center your soul to provide clarity which can get obscured in everyday pressures”, Vinnie said to me.

Having a passionate soul he started drawing in childhood and has been doing that professionally since 1988. A hobby transformed into a career, so this man has established two creative businesses and every 2 years exhibits his pencil works of (420 x 594 mm) in Australia, the USA and Japan.

Vinnie started using Caran D’Ache products in 1978 and confessed that since then they became a consistent part of his creative life both unconsciously and consciously.

“It felt like a very natural union to be a small part of a great company filled with very talented and inspiring people to work with, let alone the huge legacy of fine quality products”, he says.

Today Vinnie is proud to be a part of Caran D’Ache’s big art family and see how the manufacturer develops its products’ quality. As a brand ambassador he has a unique right of being among the first ones who could test all the innovations and tell about them to public. He currently works with two managers of the Maison on a monthly basis.

“Together we work on what CdA products we feel will be an interesting mix to create an original artwork for the end of every month that gets posted across the multimedia platforms. The aim is to show the progress of application and highlight the specific qualities of the art materials used to get the finished visual art results.

This can be in step by step stills or short video uploads. It all takes quite a lot of time to set up in reality with overhead cameras, lighting for continuity, let alone producing the very detail focused pencil art,  but it’s of course very satisfying work after the effort. It’s great to see and read all the resulting feedback from all corners of globe”.

Feeling life as a constant sparkling flow Vinnie gets easily inspired at a noisy café. Having exceptional imagination and a coffee he draws a few pencil strokes at CdA’s sketch pad and quickly turn them into something beautiful. This is called an impulsive art. Of course there are also great names which influenced his visions. They are H.R Giger, Frank Frazetta, Norman Lindsay, Caravaggio, Tadami Yamada, Dali, Vittorio Ottaviani to name a few! Vinnie also thanks his many close friends and family that have supported him and his career over the decades.

Every artist is as sincere as a child in his dreams. So is Vinnie, planning an exhibition at the top of Matterhorn.

“It would make perfect sense to exhibit my art up on top of the Matterhorn. Seriously though, original art needs to be viewed in an atmosphere of anticipated excitement and open mindedness. So should a Swiss venue that provides such an atmosphere show a desire in holding a Vinnie Gracanin / Caran d’Ache event, I am more than happy to consider it.I can certainly guarantee it will be full of surprises for the senses!”

I asked Vinnie about things that he loves in Switzerland. There were 3 that he named:

  1. the obvious immense natural beauty and peace of the mountains & lakes
  2. the mix of people and their active embrace of life
  3. many hidden villages and food surprises.

Illustrations for the text are taken from Vinnie Gracanin’s official website and Instagram @vinniegracanin

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