Friday, January 17, 2014

Meet Grant J. Kidney, Artist and Entrepreneur

Grant J. Kidney is an artist and entrepreneur whose work focuses on presenting sustainable solutions to world wide challenges.

He is the chief designer and chief executive officer at Vril Studio, a graphic design company. He is also the designer of a new vehicle: the Anticar.

1. Reading about your career, I see that you shifted from doing a lot of written work into more of a concentration on visual art and design. Was there a turning point for you that made you decide to change your focus?

The turning point came with a bit of a mental growth spurt I went through. In one sweeping moment, I decided that writing and speaking concerning the political issues of our time just wasn't my thing. I wanted to try something new. Sure, I still wanted to affect change in the world--but this time it would have to come through art and through innovation.

2. What does "Vril" mean, and why did you choose it as the name for your companies?

The term "Vril" was extracted from an old science fiction book written by Edward Bulwer-Lytton called The Coming Race. In the novel, a race of subterranean super-beings wield the awesome Vril force which is kind of like Qi energy spoken of in ancient Chinese tradition. I like to imagine that there's some underlying current of potential in the universe (Vril) which, if tapped in to accordingly, could yield tremendous results either for a person or for a company.

3. How did you first get the idea for the Anticar?

The Anticar represents the birth of a new kind of affordable transport that much of the younger population in the first world desperately yearns for. The millennial generation just isn't driving as much as their parents used to. Owning a vehicle can be very expensive. Everything from gas to insurance, maintenance, and so forth is a huge burden--especially on those who've grown accustomed to shrinking wages in an economy reminiscent of the first Great Depression.

4. It looks like a lot of the information on the Anticar has yet to be released--what can you tell us about it now?

The Anticar project is something I'm tackling under the guise of my new startup, Vril Transport. Here's our description of Anticar as it reads on the official Vril Transport website:

Anticar is a human/hybrid electric vehicle that promises to disrupt mainstream modes of transport. Affordable, lightweight, and fast, this "velomobile" takes one from point A to B without gas, insurance, or traffic to stand in the way.

There are a few details not mentioned in the above description such as how the Anticar is capable of charging itself. With a new take on existing technologies, I was able to craft a unique system that would allow Anticar to generate and store its own power through pedal motion. Remember, Anticar is a velomobile. In other words, what we're dealing with here is essentially a bicycle contained within a pod-like body. So for traveling up hills or for moments when the driver just doesn't feel like exerting any effort, energy collected while pedaling Anticar can be used to activate the electric assist motor.

5. How will your upcoming Kickstarter campaign support your work with the Anticar, and where can people learn more about your project and possibly get involved themselves?

Crowdfunding is going to provide the necessary capital in order to build the first set of Anticars. Kickstarter has been a miracle for some startups--and I'm hoping Anticar can share in some of the success that many have gained through community funded efforts.

For now, all of the information made available about the Anticar can be found on the official Vril Transport website,

Thanks, Grant!

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