“Just the Case” will turn your guitar case into a work of art
Being the procrastinators that we are, while carelessly scrolling thorugh our Drooble newsfeed, we randomly stumbled upon Just the Case. These guys seem to be doing something really wonderful – making guitar cases better by painting awesome things on them. We thought it would be nice to ask them a few questions and share their work with you. Meet Micheal Gabriel and Mel French:
Hey guys, tell us a bit about yourselves.
Micheal and Mel: Hey everyone, First and foremost, thank you so much for your interest and support in “Just the Case- Custom Instrument Art”. Our team currently consists of Mel French and Micheal Gabriel, of which both have passion and interests in the visual arts and music. Mel French is currently a student at Sheridan College, studying fine arts. Being raised and submerged from a young age in arts and music has given her the drive and ambition to create her own mark in the world of visual arts. Micheal Gabriel is currently a student at Metalworks Institute, studying Music Performance and Technology (guitar program). Studying, writing and creating music and art have been prominent focuses and ambitions of his own.
Your art looks great! Usually, you can see younger musicians drawing on their guitar cases and sticking stuff to them but then they grow up and start carrying these boring depressing boxes around. How did you come up with the idea to turn this into a business?
Micheal: We really appreciate that our art is being well received. It was really an interest of my own to begin with, I had came up with a concept for an artwork that was going to represent my music, when I decided to paint the piece on my guitar case, so I could carry my thoughts where I would carry my guitar. For the next year or so, I have been receiving some really pleasant feedback on this work. I was seeing, just like you mentioned, many people with work of their own, decals, stickers, etc. It was then when I had the notion to see if others would be interested in having artwork done professionally, with each and every person who receives the work being closely involved in the process, and having something they could be happy with long term. There was immediate interest.
What materials do you use to create your beautiful cases?
Mel: What we’re using right now is an acrylic-based, spray-on satin varnish, followed by acrylic paint(s), followed by more acrylic paint (haha), finally, multiple coats of satin varnish that seal the paint between two layers of acrylic varnish, resulting in a strongly sealed finish- but we are always looking for other techniques that will preserve our artwork for even longer.
When someone orders a custom guitar case, I’m guessing they usually want something particularly meaningful to them to be painted on it. Do you still manage to express yourselves as artists even when following your customers’ exact requests?
Micheal: Absolutely, as much as we may change our styles, techniques, and interpretations of subject matter and meaning, we always work hard to produce a well executed, symbolic, and personal piece of artwork for our client(s). We as artists are looking to grow, trying to overcome any boundaries that stand in our way. We are able to use those different methods within our own stylistic approach. Often, this will result in work that both pleases our customers but also carries our own personal style or ‘stamp’ if you will.
I guess you play the guitar yourselves? Favorite guitarists?
Micheal: Very much so. That is a HARD question, if I had to narrow it down to five, I would have to say; Freddie King, Rory Gallagher, Jimmy Page, Bert Jansch, and Muddy Waters. Although there are so many more I would love to credit as well, these artists, in particular, have all made drastic impacts on my taste, enthusiasm and love for music.
Have you considered creating custom painted cases for other musical instruments? Some, like the bass, offer quite a big canvas to work on!
Mel: Absolutely. We do offer work on other instrument cases, but for the most part, the interest so far has been regarding our guitar cases. We’ve done previous work on a violin case, and we always welcome any kind of case that someone would like an artwork on. No matter how big or small.
Assuming you can deal with the issue of acoustics, have you thought about painting instruments rather than cases?
Micheal: Mel French did an artwork on one of my acoustic guitars about a year ago and since then we have been educating ourselves on how to achieve all sorts of products and finishes on an instrument. Perhaps soon, we will move into that market as well, but until that point, we are going to carry on with the cases, with future aspirations to offer package deals – both guitar and case artwork.
What else do you do? How do you make a living?
Mel: As of now, we are both students, therefore, we work part time, trying to balance education and work. Because. College (haha). ‘Just the case’, is what we hope to build up now and after college. As of right now, it is a small business, but more so a creative outlet.
Name three musicians or bands we’ve never heard of but are definitely worth listening to and pick their top performances
Micheal: Definitely check out ‘Rory Gallagher, Live at Montreux (1975). As far as albums, ‘Link Wray, Law of the Jungle’. ‘Freddie King, Getting Ready’. And all the Led Zeppelin albums, just because :).
What do you think of Drooble?
Micheal: I think it’s a fantastic idea, and I’m looking forward to seeing your network of talented and unique musicians expand even more.
Once again, Just the Case would like to say ‘thank you!’ for the interview, as well as interest, and support. Thanks
Just the Case – Custom Instrument Case Artwork. Would you buy one?