If you’re unfamiliar with the Lost Cat Project we met up with skateboarder/founder Maxmillian Piras and asked him what it was all about. Here’s what he had to say.
Lost Cat™ began as a joke sometime in the early 2000s. I had just started skateboarding at the age of 14 & was instantly addicted to skate videos. In heaviest rotation was Yeah Right!, One Step Beyond, & CKY because in addition to skating they added an element of comedy. Inspired by these, me & my friends started making our own skate videos which included skits & pranks. One segment was a collection of reactions from people walking by our over-sized & crudely drawn Lost Cat poster, which only stated that “If you find him, give him back.”. Years later I returned to the idea as an art project. I started creating philosophical statements based on the idea of spiritual & mental lack of direction, something me & my friends were struggling with. I paired them with my minimalist illustrations & posted them outside in hopes of unexpectedly instigating excitement into peoples’ everyday routines. The response was overwhelmingly positive & I realized that this project provided a surprisingly genuine connection to the audience. I wanted to see if I could translate this connection into a brand, so I started testing things out at Labor skate shop. There were already so many good brands out there, so instead of a typical approach I started developing the idea as an ‘Art Project or Experimental Brand’. A brand that functions like art, or art that functions like a brand. As Shepard Fairey once discussed, the major difference between commercial art & fine art is intent. So here is the intersection of intent: a project focused on testing the elasticity of a brand by avoiding traditional techniques, aiming for discovery over profit, & exploring new ways to communicate with consumers. Doing it wrong, to see if right is really right. -Maximillian Piras.