"The Book of CLAV"

I went to a private art school for college and back then groups of kids would hang out in these… well, I guess you’d call them “cliques.”

Of course, that term has a terrible negative connotation to it, but I don’t mean it in that way because the types of cliques I’m talking about weren’t obnoxious. It’s not like we had a college basketball clique, or a date rapist clique.

Though we did have a smelly, dirty-hippie drum-circle clique, which is almost as bad as a date rapist clique.

Anyway, like-minded artists would inevitably seek each other out, and the product of that would be these clusters of creative kids; almost like individual art collectives moving around and about each other on campus.

Occasionally, these groups would overlap. Maybe an illustration kid would somehow bleed into a group of fine artists, or a photography kid would fall in with some advertising design geeks. This made it interesting and, especially looking back on it as I type this, I’m extremely nostalgic for those days now.

Back then, I was part of a clique. We were the goofy Chicken kids, and we were in charge of the campus newspaper which, at the time, was called “Chickenhead.”

Another well-known group back then was a collective of kids we always referred to as “The Bucket Kids.”

The Bucket Kids were brilliant. They were musicians and writers and photographers and painters. They did it all. They also had this great bar in their basement/practice space, and I downed quite a few drinks there.

Eventually, and like the Chickens before them, the Buckets grew up, graduated, and moved forward.

But that doesn’t mean they stopped creating great work.

Just as “Chickenhead” would eventually go on to become “Tastes Like Chicken,” the Bucket would go on and become Omnibucket.

Today, Omnibucket exists much as it did years ago: as a creative collective of friends who obviously are having a great time working on new projects together. Over the years, they’ve published a small magazine (“OLOGY”), an illustrated storybook (“God’s Acre: The Ravens & The Rhyme”), a book/CD combo of science fiction and poetry (“Eleventy Billion Miles Away”) and more illustrations, photographs and writing than most art school graduates do in their entire post-college career.

Their newest project (after that lengthy intro) is “The Book of CLAV,” which was just released earlier this year.

Now, of course, “The Book of CLAV” is filled with both great art and brilliant writing, but what makes it stand out as being more than just a collected sketchbook is its concept.

In their own words: “A frustrated artist, in the absence of his muse, finds a series of discarded paintings and becomes an accidental author, detailing the rise of an envied, yet anonymous painter (CLAV).”

It’s the story of a journal of collected art from an unknown artist, as interpreted and told by an anonymous author. It’s an idea Charlie Kaufman himself should envy.

Artist Tyler Landry plays the role of CLAV, and Scott Lambridis’ writing gives life to the anonymous author. Each compliments the other–the art the words, the words the art. A cohesive tone and feel is set from the beginning, and the reader/viewer knows from page one that they’re in for something they’ve never seen before.

The book had a very limited print run of only 75 copies, so grab a copy before they sell out by clicking here. The cost is $30, and it’s worth every nickel.

If $30 is a little steep for you during these crazy economic times (i.e. you’re out of a job) you’re in luck because Omnibucket is offering the entire book online for free. That’s right: free. There’s also a soundtrack you can download and listen to as you view the book online.

Now you have no excuse not to check it out.

If you know me, like me and trust my judgment, you clearly have some issues. But before reality sets in on that thought, hop on over to their site and pick up a copy of “The Book of CLAV.”

Great job, Scott, Angie and the rest of the gang! Congrats! Way to keep that Bucket spirit alive!

The Book of Justin,