I was shown the work of Louise Despont recently and I spent the next 45 minutes infatuated with her work. It feels as though I had come across undiscovered scriptures from another time, or better yet another world. Her work seems to dance between eerily beautiful obsessiveness and formulaic geometry. From afar her work seems meticulous and computer generated, however as you get closer you can see that the graphite from her pencil is far from perfect and the sketchiness and beautifully human nature comes clearly into focus. I have featured some of my favorites from Louise, however I encourage you to visit her site here, or go see her work live (showing at the end of November in New York City).
Gordon Holden has immediately caught our attention. After seeing all of his art we were even more intrigued. What the hell is going through his head when he’s doing his art? We sense a sarcastic humour seeping out of his collages, but the simplicity and thoughtfulness of his work causes us to think twice about his intention.
Gordon’s art is amazing, and combine his designs with apparel and you have some of the best tees we’ve come across. We asked Gordon to talk about them a bit. “The tees are for the most part, pop culture derived. there has, is, and always will be some sort of obsession people have with pop culture. Maybe i do too, and if you can buy a piece of the culture you desire to associate with in the form it something practical then that is the best business. Trends and fads are exciting, mysterious and questionable, but I have always seen the tshirt thing separate from my art. I dont know why, art and fashion are 2 different things and often times get confused with one another. I think thats all i have to say about that.”
This is the kind of shit that get’s us fired up!!! The thought that goes on behind the art, the concept that brings the artist to the point of creating the tee, or the painting, or the collage. Gordon we can’t get enough of your style and what we think you represent. The raw nature of your designs inspire the shit out of us and we are huge fans. Go buy a tee from his online store, or go visit his site.
Here are pages from a vintage book that reviews hats from 1913-17. Each image has been scanned in high resolution and is a wonder to study. The styles from this time period are so flamboyant and grandiose to say the least. Enjoy the Revue des Chapeaux.
There is so much amazing music nestled in this gem of a find called Designers.MX. How it works is designers from around the world submit mixes that they are feeling at the moment. They then post the mix and design an album cover to company the sound and feel of the compilation. The result is an extremely pleasurable experience, “mixing” music + art + design. What we get from it, is a ton of music for free streaming right to our computers. I had a deadline to hit Friday and relied on the mix for a solid 7 to 8 hours straight. Head there right now, sign in through Twitter and be on your way:
It is known that as computers become the root of design in this modern age, the sketchbook gets left behind. I am a firm believer that all concepts should start with a pencil and paper. Your mind works in a different way and creativity, originality, and genius will have a chance to speak out if you just give them the time.
Pat Perry is someone who hasn’t forgot that art. His sketchbooks aren’t even a sliver of all the work he does, but they seem to be the beginning of most of it. I had the pleasure of working with Pat on a tee shirt collaboration with Reef and although we set a direction, Pat’s sketchbooks became the driving force of the project. With each set of drawings he sent, rough pencil lines told the story and the end result was breathtaking and better than I could have imagined. (we’ll feature it soon!)
Sometimes the process of conceptualization and drawing gets forgotten. This post is a homage to Pat’s sketchbooks and his creative genius behind the pencil.
Tocayo works so fucking hard. Last year he was commuting from San Diego to Irvine to work a full day, then heading straight downtown to paint murals in El Camino till one in the morning. He did this for months, and it hasn’t stopped there, he is constantly pushing his art in new directions and is at the forefront of the scene in San Diego. We feel so fortunate to be able to spend time with El Gran Tocayo talking about art and what inspires him.
His love for painting and his lifestyle is very evident as he walks us around his house talking about, art, surfing, his dog, and his beautiful fiance (not in that order). Tocayo is a Genius, and so is Juan Marante the character behind the infamous Tocayo.
What’s your favorite time of the day to work?
Midday/late morning is my favorite time. I miss my freelancing days, I’d wake up, grab a latte, check the surf, poop, then paddle out if it was worth it or just start working and be done by 2 or 3 and then go for another surf. Those days are long gone but they are still in my head, hopefully one day I’ll be successful enough to where I can do my own thing from home.
Can you tell us a little bit about your process? How do you start? What are the steps to completing one of your pieces?
First step of the process is the thinking about it part, I hate that part, especially if it’s for a cheap client. I’ve learned to eliminate those out of my life, of course having a 9 to 5 helps turning down shit jobs pretty easy. Next step is loose sketches, then the tightening of the sketches and eventually the finished piece. That’s for t-shirt graphics but the process is pretty similar for paintings too. I think long and hard, and procrastinate like a muthafucker til it’s absolutely time to get shit done. For paintings now a days I’ve been experimenting with watered down acrylics and loose charcoal sketches on the actual surface I’m working on, then I leave all those shit drawings and subliminal writings (usually done at night when I’ve been drinking) on there for people to discover and then I paint the hero piece over it, and of course ink it, since my style is mostly comic driven.
If you had to be known for just one piece you did which one would it be?
Shit man, I don’t know, I don’t really have any favorites, but if I had to pick one I guess it would be one I gave my buddy Neko. It’s a greaser dude form a band, imposing that he’s the devil and he has some death figures around him. It’s a big piece and has a lot of dark, scary illustrations within it in pencil. I guess that one would be it, but I’ve taken that style and kept rolling with it so all my new stuff is starting to look like it, so who knows? Maybe I’ll have another favorite tomorrow.
Anything I’m feeling at the current time really, anything from 70′s classic rock, to cheezy hip hop, like Chiddy Bang or Kanye. Or I’ll just put Pandora on, it seems the stations get better at night for some reason. Am I crazy to believe that?
Is there someone whom has really influenced you in your painting?
So many people throughout the years, but at the core of it all, it always boils down to my hero’s growing up and reading comics, like Tom Fowler, Todd McFarlane and Francesco Francavilla to name a few. But artists such as Barry Mcgee, Thomas Campbell and those types are so inspirational to me too!
What has been your favorite art show you’ve been a part of?
Wow, there’s been some great one’s, I’ve done 2 for Sezio that have had great turnouts and they we’re in cool locations, one was a solo show at the Luce Loft right by Petco Park, that was rad. But my friend’s Sean and Stacey threw the mother of all shows at a restored building in Bankers Hill, where all the rooms had a different artist paired up with a musician or DJ. Fucking genius! But there have been many other awesome one’s that I just can’t name for boring the reader’s sake.
What are the good and bad parts of being an artist in San Diego?
The good part is, you live in San Diego, helloooo! This place is unreal. Sick neighborhoods, spectacular views, amazing weather, good waves, mellow people (for the most part) and yes… all this affects the way Art comes out. It’s such an inspiring city, there are so many talented artists and musicians all around us. All you have to do is break your routine and drive down to the city if you live in North County and vice-versa, there is much more going on outside your bubbles that you can imagine. The only down side, if you want to see it that way, is this isn’t a metropolitan city. So no, there aren’t millions of people everywhere like say NYC or Miami or LA, so the art and music scene stays pretty mellow for the most part, with some occasional main stream attention from time to time. But I wouldn’t trade it for any of those cities, I’ve been or lived at all of those places, exciting, but not for me.
Are you currently working on any projects?
Yeah, always. I got a few mural gigs coming down the pipeline really fast. Also have a few art shows where I have to submit a piece or two for, so I’m staying busy. Also getting married soon, so that’s exciting. Gotta stay busy man, if not you go mad. Idle hands do stupid things…thanks you guys, you’re all fucking rad and I love hanging out with you whenever I get the chance. Thanks for wanting to put me on your dope blog. Take care and I love you.
see more of Tocayo’s art here.
art by Tocayo
photography: Dean Bradshaw