It’s been a long road for Land Vs Ocean.
A creative brand for designers Bradley Adair and Sanders Bohlke, the high school classmates have always been in search of that “big idea.”
“I never wanted to hurry through this,” Adair says over coffee. “We never had the ultimate vision until recently.”
Land Vs Ocean began as a curated evening, packed with creative ideas, in 2011. The invitation-only event, held in Midtown, was intimate and different, something Jackson had never seen before. The next year, Adair and Bohlke attended a concert in Memphis and boldly approached violinist Kishi Bashi to play The Capri in Jackson. The mysterious and engaging night generated buzz. Just what was Land Vs Ocean?
The premise was simple: to see what can happen if you can get the artists of Jackson to give, to help each other out, and see what can be done when you get everyone involved.
Adair says he and Bohlke are “just graphic designers” who didn’t know what to do with LvO beyond building experiences.
But that was the spark, the idea that is reinventing their brand as a boutique design shop in Fondren’s State Street strip.
Land Vs Ocean will be focused and specific in their efforts, making each project a special one. Their team includes Adair and Bohlke and graphic designer, Jonathan Shull.
Adair says he hopes they fill a market void that other design studios aren’t filling right now. That is, cultivating the whole branding process, start to finish, interiors to marketing and everything in between. “We want to bring client ideas to life.”
Current projects and desires for future ones are hospitality industry driven. LvO is working with Wilson Hood [Fondren Public], who is opening a restaurant in Oxford, a fast-casual concept called Greenline. Chef Sarah Simmons, a top 50 Food and Wine culinary artist from New York City, is a Shull client. Her ‘Rise Bakery’ will open soon in Columbia, South Carolina.
While Bohlke is a musician and videographer and Shull has been operating as an independent artist for years, Adair has, for ten years, been the creative director of Kalalou, a rustic-chic home goods and furniture company based in Jackson. The three will work collectively from the space they moved in to over the weekend next to Campbell’s.
That storefront will draw you in to an inviting living room with a workspace for the designers behind. A back courtyard may welcome more intimate LvO evenings like those in the past on a much smaller scale. Maybe, Adair says, “something every other month,” though it’s not clear what shape those events will take just yet.
It’s been said that creativity doesn’t come on tap. Adair agrees. His encouragement to aspiring creatives hits closer to home than even he wishes to admit. “Let it happen organically. It’s passion, time and a sense when you have the opportunity to take it to the next level. Wait on it. Talk it out, move a different direction. And then, sometimes, it all comes at once.”
Jackson, he says, is a small town, where you can start with a small idea that may not turn into the most epic thing ever. “But there is a lot of room for a lot of great people to take small ideas to a special place here. Take the risk and do it. Soon enough you’ll see enough people do that and make this city even better.”