music & art

Music and art make it all worthwhile. All those life celebrations, falling in love, heartbreaks, losses - there is a song for every moment, and when you find music and art that resonate with your soul, you are elevated. We express our highest selves in music and art, both in creation and enjoyment, as they allow us to access the source, commune with the divine, and just plain get our ya-yas out.

We are constantly inspired by nature - the greatest artist on our planet, and by the many visual, music and flow artists that we encounter. Thank YOU all for enriching our lives. Music in particular plays an integral role in the enjoyment of flowtoys, enabling flow artists to immerse and express themselves more fully in their movement - whether in practice, play or performance. Here are some ways in which flowtoys seeks to pass the inspiration forward. We hope you enjoy these offerings, and feel free to participate and contribute!


flowtoys website skin

Inspiration: We often fantasize about a flow arts festival surrounded by the best of nature with epic illuminated stages, beautiful music and sublime art. While a flowtoys-organized festival may happen someday, we wanted to share this vision with you in a more immediate way, and what better way than to have it as the background to our website.
 
Artist and process: Justin Totemical. As with many other artists we’ve worked with, Justin came to us serendipitously. We initially reached out to our visionary artist friend Geo Atherton, who we knew could translate our vision, but he was super swamped with his new job and recommended Justin. We didn’t know Justin yet, and were hesitant to work with someone new on this vision. We did some concept pieces with our friend Kimi, but nothing quite resonated. Then she mentioned her new boyfriend Justin. Who we find out is the same Justin as the Justin, whom Geo recommended! We reached out to Justin via Kimi, and he was able to translate our vision almost immediately. It was one of the most seamless co-creative experiences we’ve ever had.
 
Activate: Download this beautiful work of art on your desktop. Imagine yourself spinning your flowtoys in a beautiful illuminated world with the auroras dancing in the sky, while you're at work. We're there with you.  
 

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urban flowtopia

Inspiration: We loved working with Justin Totemical on the flowtoys website landscape, and have been enjoying his progress as a concept artist over the years. While the flow-festival-in-the-woods piece we worked on together is sublime and takes us into our weekends, we were ready to create a vision of a world where the flow arts happen in our day-to-day lives. Many of us live in urban environments where finding public space - both physical and psychological - to spin flowtoys can be challenging. We wanted to create a world where spinning happened alongside other healthy activities like yoga, cycling, or just enjoying a walk with your family or dog.
 
Activate: Download a vision of urban flowtopia onto your desktop or device. Take a deep breath, stretch your arms, and see the world for what it can be.
 

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poi

flow characters

Inspiration: While designing our new website, we thought about the right way to connect people with their best prop. This is the most important thing we do - helping you find your flow! Should we interview practitioners of each prop about why they love it? Give side-by-side comparison tables? Offer an interactive quiz? Ultimately, we decided to build the choose your flowtoy section, but we needed to jazz it up with some images. Prisna had just the right artist in mind to bring each prop to life by putting it in the hands of a visionary flow character.
 
Artist: Kimi Takemura is a classically trained artist and animator, who has become a vector-slinging ninja. She's also a beautiful double staff spinner. Kimi translated our vision of flow characters into 5 fully-activated personas, representing poi, staff, double staff, wand and partner poi. 
 
Process: Kimi came to stay with us in the flowspace, and sketched out the characters using a Wacom tablet and a library of flowtoys parts vectors. Look closely at each character’s clothing, and you’ll see parts of flowtoys products and art. Once complete, we added the characters to the site, but couldn’t resist using them elsewhere - to make beautiful postcards, signs for our office and banners for our festival booth. Stay tuned - we’re not done with this little flow family yet!
 
Find your flow-avatar: We’ve made the poi, contact staff and wand characters into sustainably-printed postcards that are available in our shop. When you order a flowtoys prop, you get the corresponding postcard in your package.

 




green flowlight postcard

Inspiration: Prisna has long been a champion of environmental issues, and is always looking for ways to sneak in a green mission into the day-to-day happenings at flowtoys. The idea of promoting responsible e-waste recycling came about during a walk in the woods on Sean and Prisna's anniversary - aren't we romantic :) 10% of sales from each green flowlight is donated to e-Stewards, a non-profit doing awesome work to reduce toxic e-waste around the world. In addition to the donation, we wanted to use the green flowlight as an educational tool, and decided to include a flyer with each light that details steps you can take to reduce your impact, especially in relation to the responsible use and recycling of e-waste. But no flyer is complete without some sweet artwork to grace it - and so the green postcard was born.
 
Artist and process: Geo Atherton is a master of dreamscapes, and an artist we'd been admiring for some time. We wanted to depict the flowlight co-existing in a natural landscape. The first concept sketches had them flying over a mountain landscape. We ultimately decided on a more intimate experience of walking through a lush forest and stumbling upon a lost city made of flowlights and modular system parts.
 
Experience it: We include a green postcard with every green flowlight purchase.

 



flowtoro

Inspiration: Spring 2012 - we needed a festival van. Rent or buy? We were weighing the benefits of each, when serendipitously our neighbor said she was going to scrap her panel van, because something or other wasn’t working. Sean checked it out and figured that it needed a new transmission and we got it for a great deal. After we got the transmission fixed, we had about a week before her maiden voyage to Symbiosis Festival at Pyramid Lake. And we thought, “We’re not sure how it’s going to happen in a week, but we can’t possibly go celebrate the eclipse on Pyramid Lake without her being activated.” Enter Android Jones.
 
Process: Andrew had just wrapped his truck in his epic artwork and was parked in the flowspace lot, while Sean was modding out his power system. Andrew offered to make some sweet art for our van in exchange. We all somehow managed to bend time that week - we gave Andrew vectors of our products and parts, went back and forth on the artwork, found a graphic wrapping place that would do it over the weekend, and got her back in time for Symbiosis. If it weren’t for the mega time crunch, we probably would have changed some aspects of the artwork - if you look closely at the van, it looks like we’re peddling lots of other party accoutrements that we don’t.
 
Artist: Android Jones needs no introduction in the visual and concept art world. He's worked at ILM, Nintendo, founded conceptart.org, his work has been projected on the Sydney Opera House and he’s one of Corel’s Painter Masters. We’re honored to have him as a friend and co-conspirator in the pursuit of great.
 
Name: “Flowtoro" was coined by Erik Bublitz - our awesome festival manager, who does it all and is hella funny while he’s at it. Our vehicles are all named after anime references. Our first festival van was named “Appleseed” - not after Johnny Appleseed, though the connection to going around and spreading the seed is not lost on us. She was named after a piece of genetic code that would allow bio-roids to reproduce and hence ensure the survival of the human race.

Our airstream trailer is named Ohmu after the Ohms from Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind. Our current minivan, which pulls Ohmu, is named Möwe - for the sky glider that Princess Nausicaa rides that leads the Ohms from rage, saves her people, and reinstates mankind’s connection to nature. Our main festy van "Flowtoro" is lovingly named after Totoro, for all kids big and small love Totoro. We would be stoked if Miyazaki did some artwork for Flowtoys some day. If you know him, please put in a good word for us.


the elements sigils

Inspiration: The elements sigils have become iconic to Flowtoys, so much so that people often mistake some of them for our logo. These symbols were designed to pair with our first product series - the flowlight LED lightstick. We designed the first flowlight series to be elemental, as the elements are necessary for all life as we know it. 
 
Artist: Xavi Panneton. We knew Xavi was our graphic soulmate well before we knew of each other. Sean and Prisna stumbled upon a print that strongly resonated with us at Power to the Peaceful Festival in 2005. It had no tag, there was a name “Jason” - that was all. No one at the gallery knew anymore. Several months later, we asked our friend Kris Northern if he could think of a graphic artist for our sense of aesthetics. Kris suggested Xavi. We checked him out on the podcollective, and lo and behold, we saw the piece of art that we had been trying to locate! Jason Panneton aka Xavi was the keymaker, who would unlock our aesthetic visions. We set off to work with Xavi and the rest is history. Xavi has since graced many aspects of our lives with his awesome art. For about a year, Prisna had the honor of hosting the original larger-than-life “Eternity” painting that started it all in her office.
 
Process: Fire and water were the first two flowlight color options we produced, and the first sigils we created with Xavi. Followed by earth, air and spirit. The original spirit sigil was not the one you see on the stickers today, which was actually the sigil originally created for “ magic”, a concept flowlight that we ended up not producing. We also took the liberty to make some special edition colors and sigils for love, and freedom, for what is life without love and freedom. 
 
Activate: Get some of these beautiful sigils and activate your stuff! Computers, water bottles, hard drives are all made more awesome with one of these sweet sigils.

 




flowtoys light mandalas

Inspiration: We were taking pictures of podpoi and flowlight modes, and a happy accident led to some special outcomes, in the form of these beautiful mandalas. 

Artists: Jonathan Alvarez (photographer), Sean von Stade, podpoi and robot spinner ;)

Create: We've added the entire set of high-resolution photos from the shoot to Flickr. We've also added all of the basic modes circles, which would make beautiful elements in any creation. You can see the complete sets here. The photos are licensed under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial license - use, remix, share, but please mention where you got the photos and refrain from using for commercial purposes.

Share: We'd love to see your artwork! If you've made something awesome from these photos, you can share it on our Facebook wall or email it to us at info@flowtoys.com. Happy creating!


 




elements music project

Inspiration: We released the Elements album in 2012, working with our friend and music artist Matt Ganucheau, with the mission to provide more beautiful music for flow artists to practice and perform to. We then built on the Elements music project, this time turning to our community and beyond to crowdsource and create inspiring music for all of us to enjoy, share and do more awesome stuff with!

Artists: Our inspiring and talented community of friends, fans and flow artists.

Process: We asked participants to create 5 tracks, each representing one of the five Elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Spirit. During an open entry period in May 2013 we collected over 30 tracks from musicians around the world for consideration for the album.

Participate: The music from the project is available on a public soundcloud group and we are taking submissions - if you have a track which represents an element, please submit it to the group for others to listen and enjoy!

 

 


flowtoys elements music


elements music album

Inspiration: This album is part of Flowtoys' vision to propagate beauty, optimism and inspiration through supporting the art and artists that we love, while creating a deeper context for the flowlights. Music plays an integral role in the Flowtoys experience - enabling its users to immerse and express themselves more fully in their movement - whether in practice, play or performance.

Artist: After several epic flow sessions to our friend Matt Ganucheau's original music, we sought to work with him to create music that evoked beautiful, textured landscapes to move through and play in.

Listen and enjoy: Corresponding to each color theme in the Flowlight Elemental Series - water, fire, earth, air and spirit - the tracks in this album are full of opportunities for movement exploration and discovery.

 

 


interactive art installations

Flowtoys loves creating unique interactive illuminated installations. Our installations focus on creating sublime visual experiences for participants and are often interactive, allowing the audience to take part in co-creating the art and directing the collective experience.


FlowVision:

FlowVision is an interactive, live visionary art piece designed to inspire action, creative expression, meditation, wonder and play.

Participants dance with light while real-time video effects amplify and elaborate their movements. The system has been fine tuned to bring out the magic in the Flow Arts. Participants at any skill level can create beautiful illuminated mandalas and see their impulses translate into sacred geometric patterns that fluidly morph and evolve in a perpetual organic motion. It is a live visionary painting, where the dancer is the painter and her gestures are the paintbrush.

Spinning illuminated props motivates and inspires everyone to creating beautiful patterns with light. Many of these patterns are so fundamentally related to the structure of our universe, it as if we are beings of light chanting our source DNA through a movement meditation.

FlowVision is interactive and inspiring. It is live art made by moving people moving light - anyone can participate and the result is captivating.

InnerVision:

InnerVision is an interactive installation that propels its users to undertake an extraordinary visual and cerebral journey in which the voyage is directly navigated by users. InnerVision provides a vehicle for our minds to transcend our immediate environment and experience what is often described as psychedelic visions. The installation also challenges the preconception that we cannot see with our eyes closed. Appropriate for indoor and outdoor use.

There is generally no hierarchy among the hundreds of art installations at the annual Burning Man Festival, but there are a few locations that do connote prestige. Inside one of the galleries located directly under "The Man" is one of them, which is where I first experienced the InnerVision technology. There was a line-up to sit down and don the mysterious, pulsing eyewear, and it didn't let up all week. You had no idea what people were seeing, but those reluctantly leaving would say, "You've gotta try it! It's totally worth the wait." I've had my share of hallucinogenic experiences, and this ranks right up there (without drugs I should add), instilling a sense of deep mystery about the functioning and capabilities of one's own sensory apparatus. Only a sense of propriety led me to give up my goggles to the next curious person.
-- Mark Achbar, Director, The Corporation

In a culture of substance and increasing external context, InnerVision is a welcome change, offering similar states of consciousness and inward journeying without medicine or drugs. It unlocks the mind's potential for transcendent vision and beauty within seconds, re-patterning and unlocking the psyche's concept of reality.
-- Matt Atwood, Producer, Entheon Village

Innervision has been enjoyed by thousands at the following events:
- 2011 MAPS 25th Anniversary Cartographie Psychedelica | Oakland, CA
- 2007 Burning Man | Entheon Village
- 2006 Burning Man Pavilion and Entheon Village
- 2006 San Francisco Burning Man Decompression
- 2006 Synergenesis: Visionary CoLaboratory
- 2006 Exotic Erotic Ball

AstralVision:

This interactive analog laser projector shines a laser through a specific textured glass and its resulting effect produces incredible morphing visuals that resemble the creation of the cosmos.

... it looks like the moment when the skeksis merged with the mystics.
-- Luke Brown, visionary artist