MTV Hooked on 'Instructoart'

When freelance creative Matt Vescovo dreamed up Instructoart, it was just that: art. The former Fallon acd and Cliff Freeman and Partners senior cd, who has also freelanced at Wieden + Kennedy and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, had become fascinated with the unspoken daily rituals of life. “We all know how to do them. No one talks about it,” he says. To start a dialogue, he created 11 graphic-design pieces detailing how to perform simple activities such as doing the hokey pokey, separating groceries on a conveyer belt and removing pubic hair from a bar of soap.

“Everyone likes to feel like we’re unique and individuals,” says Vescovo, 34. “What attracted me to doing Instructoart was to break people down and say we’re all similar in some ways.”

Vescovo had gallery shows in Asbury Park, N.J., and SoHo. Then, earlier this year, he wondered if MTV might like animated versions of the pieces as promos. MTV did, and Vescovo hired animation firm Hornet in New York to bring his art to life. Eight spots debuted at the MTV Video Music Awards and are now running on the music network. In addition to four classics, Vescovo came up with four new pieces: how to create a comb-over; how to hide a farmer’s tan; how to calculate the sexiness of musicians; and how to utilize the three-second rule for food dropped on the floor. “I thought MTV would be willing to touch on these subjects,” Vescovo says. “It didn’t seem like any other network would be willing to do it.”

The burgeoning Instructoart franchise continues to expand: A book, to be published by Vescovo and Jorge Pinto Books in New York, is due out next spring.