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Video of the week: Maru’s unorthodox promotion of art and artists

By Ashley on February 19, 2013

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Maru Presents: Whitney Lewis-Smith from Maru Brand on Vimeo.

Maru. Translated from Japanese as “round” or “circle.” Maru is the circle brand. Maru is a special project brand.

Wait, what?! What does that even mean? Well, unlike a typical brand which serves to have itself recognized and adored, Maru isn’t about Maru at all. It’s about showcasing other individuals.

Maru is the pet project of engineer-by-day/skateboard-phenomenon-by-night Andrew Szeto. A pretty rad skater, Szeto’s also a semi-professional photographer (“semi” only because he works for the Feds full time, nothing to do with lack of talent). Skate boarding led to skate boarding photography, and over the past few years Szeto’s been contributing sick shots to various board mags. You might not realize it, but there’s something special about skate photography.

Say you’re the best skater in the world: if you haven’t got proof, no one’s going to know it. The documentation of a skate boarder through videos and photos, or lack thereof, can really dictate how their career is going to go down. Szeto knows this. He’s been on both sides of the lens. So he started Maru, to help showcase the unsung talent behind the boarding community. The artists who bust elbows trying to catch those perfect hardflip backside lipslides. Maru is taking on that backstage role.

While skate boarding might’ve been the catalyst, it’s only where Maru came from. Only a few months old, Maru has already showcased the work of food blogger/photographer Kelly Brisson, surf photographer Jack Hillman, and created the video of the week on photographer Magida El-Kassis. If you’re an artist doing something good, Maru wants to hear from you, collaborate with you, and present your work in “unorthodox ways.”

Oh, Maru does do one thing like a typical brand. It’s got products. Products that are just another avenue to showcase other’s talents. The videos for Maru swag are more about the process than the product. This video featured above on photographer Whitney-Lewis Smith is the first of three Maru product vids slated for the near future. It’s for the perfect-fit Maru touque (Szeto customized the fit to be snug, but with a little bit of gangsta steez on top). You can get yours here.

Be sure to keep an eye on Maru for the next two product videos: collaborations with the fiercely-dressed-fashion-photo-wizard Spencer Edwards and supremely-talented-graphic-designer-and-artist Neil Magadzia are on the horizon. And that’s just what’s planned for the near future. Maru’s got a big circle of awesome to draw from.

Check out http://maruthecirclebrand.com/ to keep up with all things Maru.

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