It’s very rare that you work with clients and colleagues that you genuinely respect, like and I might even go as far as to say become friends with when designing. I wanted to highlight 3 brands that have been very good to me so I am returning the favour by doing a little hype for them and also asking a few things maybe you didn’t know about them.
For the past, I chose Eight-Zombie. I have been working with Ross on occasions now since very early on when he was just starting out and the brand was just a fun project. He is seriously the nicest guy I have never met. Hopefully this year we will rectify that. Now a couple of years on and 8BZ is blasting through the competition on this year’s Tee Madness presented by I am the trend. I dropped a few questions Ross’ way to find out about his next release.
Hi Ross hows it going? Thanks for fitting me into your busy schedule.
Thank you for taking the time to chat Colin!
First up I hear on the grapevine that there will be a release
happening soon. Can we expect the same 80′s explosion as always.
Anything different happening?
You hear right! I’ll be releasing a few rad things at the end of this month and then after that I’ll be dropping a MASSIVE summer release. It’ll be the biggest release for 8BZ to date. I’m beyond excited about it. And yeah it’ll be a little different from what people are expecting I think. But still very much a nostalgic look back at the 80′s. Look for that to drop mid-summer. I hired this rad dude named Gaunty to do a few things for the release, maybe you’ve heard of him? ;)
If you were an 80s character from a movie who would it be?
Oh man, that’s an amazing question. But a tough one too. Part of me wishes I could live inside 80′s movies whenever I watch them. Being a Goonie would awesome. Or a Ghostbuster. I’ve always wanted to be a rad vampire in Kiefer’s gang from Lost Boys too. Bill or Ted would be most excellent. This is hard, haha. If I had to choose just one, I guess I’d say Mikey from the Goonies. That movie was a huge part of my childhood and probably effected my life in ways I don’t even realize, haha.
If you had to do a cartoon marathon for 24 hours but could only pick one cartoon, what would it be?
Either G.I. JOE or The Real Ghostbusters.
What would be your food of choice for said marathon?
Pizza, rootie brews and lots of candy!
Sly or Arnie?
Arnie, no question. I love Ahh-Nold. He’s the quintessential muscle bound action star of the 80′s. Commando, Terminator, Predator, Conan, it doesn’t get any better. Rambo rules too but NO ONE delivers one-liners like Arnie.
Hasta la vista Ross baby! Follow Ross @8BZ and go support him over at Tee Madness 2011.
For the present I chose someone is isn’t a client at all. However over the last year we have chatted regularly and helped each other out on the internet with design critiques, votes etc. Chris Sandin AKA Sockmonkee just dropped 4 new tees on his store and it has easily been his best release so I wanted to find out more about it.
Hi Chris, let’s do this.
Thanks once again for the questions and feature, Colin!
Your work seems to have matured and appears more serious in this line. Any meaning behind the pieces?
In this line, I wanted each piece to have its own meaning and with a well thought out and heartfelt message. Hold Fast Hope was sort of my mantra for this line. We all go through personal trials and I wanted a piece that could remind me of that. Peace by Piece was inspired by my time in Art School. I was constantly busy with school work; if it wasn’t school work, it was freelance. If it wasn’t that, it was something else. I felt like work overloaded me and eventually cut my ties from friends and family. It’s something I’m still working on but learning to let go of your time and spending it with others by fellowship or a helping hand is always good medicine. Leave It All Behind is basically about leaving the excess baggage behind in our lives. It’s good to examine ourselves every once in a while to see where we stand as human beings in our relationships, goals, spiritual endeavors, etc. Brain Food is just a simple and fun design that was made shortly after the Fall line was released.
What can we expect from the Sockmonkee brand down the line. Anything new other than tees?
I’m aiming for some crew necks, pull overs and limited edition screen prints.
I know you’re a big gamer, if you could design a character for any game what would it be?
Hm, as much as I love video games, I’ve never actually given that any thought. Off the top of my head, I’d have to say something in vain of Little Big Planet, Katamari Damacy, or this game my girlfriend and I played last night called Stacking on Xbox Live Arcade.
Where else will we see Sockmonkee illustrations turning up this year?
You’ll just have to follow me to find out! I should be updating my portfolio soon so keep an eye out for that.
Living in Hotlanta do you ever get scared Walking Dead will come true?
I wonder from time to time what it would actually be like and I think I could survive a few waves of the undead for sure.
Cheese or Chocolate?
Going to go with cheese on this one as I’m not a huge sweets fan. My girlfriend and I were at The Cheesecake Factory one time and the waitress accidentally dropped this huge chunk of Parmesan cheese onto the seat–totally an accident, but I didn’t let it go to waste, that’s for sure! Is that gross?…
Not at all I would have chosen cheese too! Follow Chris @Sock_monkee and go check his new shirts out today!
Finally for the future I have chosen a brand that hasn’t even dropped yet. Run by Luis, a web designer/surfer bum, La Muerta is exploding with artistic talent and I hope it will be as successful as it seems to be on paper. I wrote some questions and put them in a bottle and they arrived at the nose of his surfboard while he was sitting in the Black lineup in San Diego.
Hey Luis, I know things must be crazy with the launch coming up. I’ll keep it short and sweet (that’s what she said).
Hahaha, yeah things are quite hectic right now. I like to think I thrive on stressful situations, not counting those two times when I curled up into a ball and passed out – I blame beer for those ones.
Tell as a bit about the background of the new brand. What makes it different from what’s out there?
I’m from Mexico, a land of many contradictions and a ton of color. We have all of these amazing, colorful folk rituals that we hold on to in spite of our Catholicism–Day of the Dead, Catrinas, etc. We picture death as a beautiful-but-foreboding peoples’ saint, La Muerta. And isn’t that what art is all about: transforming the terrifying into something we can understand and relate to universally? Sugar skulls and chrysanthemums liberate us, bring us paradoxically closer to and farther away from what scares us. The name of the brand comes from this aspect of Mexican culture, and specifically from Lady Death, of course.
I am also a bit obsessed with the Carnie way of life. They too give that dark and scary thing a face and then charge money to satisfy your curiosities, high and low. Haha! It is brilliant! They also bring you their sideshow freaks mobily. They’re on the road. They touch everyone, everywhere. And that’s what the Carnie spirit brings to the brand. Together with the idea of Lady Death as an overarching symbol, you’ve got yourself the La Muerta Carnival.
Which In the end it is more of a global community art project. We feature art from designers all over the world, and their names, websites, and inspiration get associated with their shirt–something you normally never see, e.g., who’s responsible for the “graphic tee” you got at that big box store? La Muerta smashes that separation and celebrates the art and the artists. As for mobility, we’re online and global, and we produce work in acts. It’s a circus show with worldwide reach. Each act has an underlying theme for the art.
We will be switching it up constantly and all pieces will have a limited running time. So come watch the shows, and drop some bucks before the tents leave town!
What artists are you using?
Oh man, We have been super lucky to work with a bunch of my favorite artists all over the world! People from Holland, U.K. Mexico, Canada, Bolivia, Poland, Portugal, U.S.A. etc.
Killer Napkins has been doing tons of stuff for us, shirts, stickers, paintings, etc. He does a mean chicken dance too. Michal Dziekan also dropped a bunch of stuff on our inbox, his illustration skills are out of this world. Johnny Crap designed our “Carnie” logo and some mean pieces too. Motorbot has been working on some maniacal stuff, he is also our sexy model. Michael B. Myers Jr., uberkraaft, Scott Johnson, Wotto, Mr.Gauky, Greg Abbott, Michael Kennedy Nils Vögeding, Biff, Ugly Betsy and many more. We even got some stuff from you too. Haha! Everybody has been amazing to work with.
When is the first line dropping?
This is a good one. We have delayed the release a couple times in order to get things to run as smoothly as possible. I think we are finally on the right path and I would probably say launch will be in the next two to three weeks. Keep your eyes peeled because the carnies are out and about!
Having Mexican roots I have to know what is your favourite Mexican dish?
Chapulines contained in a Taco al Pastor… Heavenly! Also, my favorite mollusk is the scallop.
I know you’re a keen surfer. If you could hit any wave tomorrow where would it be?
The interview was going so good and then you have to throw this curve ball at me homie? I need to do so much traveling and try out so many waves. But I am going to go with what I know and say I would love to be out on an offshore morning 6-8ft at San Pedrito (down in South Baja). Warm water, super rippable walls and barrels too. Yep. But no, never mind, the waves there suck balls and dengue runs rampant. Don’t go people. Unless Gaunty is there as your mosquito firewall.
Dinner party or BBQ?
My BBQs bring all the girls in the hood. Thump bohh wah, thummp!
Follow Luis @_LaMuerta_ for updates on the launch.