Teko Mamaladze: Thinking on the Toilet

By Alixandra Rutnik Posted on Apr 01, 2020

Young Ones winner reminds us all to “Do cool shit”

With everyone on lockdown across the globe, we asked our One Club Members to share their recent projects with us– seventy responses later (and counting) we have a lot of great member content to go through, which is very exciting during these times. We love to see what our members have been up to, so keep sharing your work with us!

2019 Young Ones Winner Teko Mamaladze created a humourous print series all dedicated to thinking on the toilet and presented it as a Valentine’s Day gift. Bright colors, catchy taglines, all reminding us to “do cool shit” and be bold. With all our time spent at home these days, we have all the time in the world to think– so let’s start pondering on the toilet. And hey, who knows, your next best idea might come from the porcelain throne.

Talk to me about this extravagant office Valentine’s Day celebration that initiated these prints. These posters have a wild sense of humor– where did the idea stem from?

It was my first day as an intern at the creative agency Rethink, and even though I was already super nervous, they made it even worse for me when they handed me a box full of staff member names and told me to pick a random one. After I picked a name they told me to keep it a secret and do something crazy for that person for Valentine's Day. The name I pulled was the man I looked up to the most, the guru of advertising and the partner at Rethink– Aaron Starkman. I knew I had to do something that he had not seen before. As an intern, this was the best and worst opportunity to show Aaron my creative skills, but the hard part was that he had already seen it all!

How do you even start a project like this? Do you sketch with pen and paper? Is it all created digitally? Give me the play by play of your creative process.

So I started to prepare a month before this important day by asking around about him– his likes and dislikes, and at the end of my research, I still did not have much information. All I knew was that he had won dozens of awards and that he likes to think on the toilet. I did not have any other choice than to merge these two ideas and create a print series of tips: “how to make award-winning shit.” I changed real ad tips into fun shit related ones and posted them in all the bathrooms we had in the office. I was kind of nervous that it would be a little bit too much and he might not like it, but I was bold. In the end, he said to me that it was one of the best gifts he ever received, which made it all worth it.

"I was kind of nervous that it would be a little bit too much and he might not like it, but I was bold. In the end, he said to me that it was one of the best gifts he ever received, which made it all worth it."

Have you created something like this before?

In total it took me one month to create the whole project along with my intern, school, and awards work. To make it less time consuming, I chose the tips first and remade them in my own words, then I started sketching different versions of how I wanted the prints to look. After I had all my ideas, I opened up Illustrator and started painting. The tricky part was that I had never done caricatures before, so I watched youtube tutorials for a week and learned how to make them– thankfully and surprisingly it turned out very good.

In this series, which print design do you love the most?

My favorite print in this series is the one with the Jesus Christ crucifixion on the toilet saying “create a holy shit moment” which originally was– “create an aha moment.” I like it because it is so random and bold it just makes you laugh. I knew the whole agency would see these prints in the bathroom and I was hoping to make them laugh. I wanted to show that you can be bold and not be scared to crucify one of the most important people in advertising on the toilet and make the whole agency giggle about it– even when you are an intern.

Is all this isolation and work from home inspiring your creativity?

I believe you can turn every problem into a possibility to make something great, and isolation and working from home can add some magic to our creativity. I do hope this quarantine time will help me to look at life from a different perspective, discover new ideas, and create amazing work. Finally what I want to say to everyone is– Stay home, stay safe, and stay creative!


Young Ones winners and One Club for Creativity Members get featured here on the One Club website and across our social media channels. Have a new project you'd love to share? An upcoming exhibition and you'd like us to help spread the word? Drop us a line at membernews@oneclub.org.




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