While Cottonelle and FCB are encouraging consumers to “share a square” in their new coronavirus campaign, a pair of creatives are asking people to share on a square in an art-fueled initiative to support pandemic relief efforts.
Amsterdam-based creatives Guillaume Roukhomovsky and Vlaz Verhnjak have created the “Give-a-Sheet” campaign, which has tapped artists to create drawings atop a square of toilet paper. The pair have been auctioning off the works on the campaign site, with all proceeds going to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response fund for the World Health Organization.
Roukhomovsky and Verhnjak debuted the project this week. Many of the squares are already sold but, but the pair continues to solicit artwork from the creative community.
They’re “selling faster than we thought, which is a good thing, but we're planning on adding more and more to accelerate the fundraising,” says Roukhomovsky. “A lot of artists are already reaching out, willing to ‘give a sheet’ and be part of the initiative.” So far, the project has raised about $850 for WHO.
The art created so far includes intricate line drawings of areas hard hit by the pandemic from KC Hong, whimsical isolation-themed graphics from Katy Edelson and pop art from the “Give-a-Sheet” founders.
“If there's one image that captures the panic seeping through the globe at the moment, it might be the empty shelves where toilet paper usually sits,” says Roukhomvosky of the project’s inspiration. “Our world has flipped upside down, and something as derisory as toilet paper has today gained a new iconic value.” The pair sees the project as a way of transforming an “icon of crisis into an icon of hope.”
Using T.P. as a canvas is “challenging,” Roukhomvosky says of the process. “Ink bleeds a lot when you draw on a toilet paper sheet—although six-ply, with more back-to-back plies providing greater strength and absorbency. It requires very thoughtful gestures and a lot patience in order to complete each artwork. In a strange way, toilet paper art is closer to the technique of tattooing than drawing.”
“We are not doctors, we are not nurses, we are not decision makers,” he adds. “But we are designers. So we found a way to use this free time and tap into what we do the best. And we hope it will help, even if just a little.”