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Emanuel Couloumy Submitted May 4th 2014

Name Emanuel Couloumy Age 22

What materials do you like to work with? I work with digital most of the time. I have a couple of Polaroids, and I’m trying to get another camera to start doing more film work. What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on?

Where are you from?

Right now I’m mostly doing some work with friends here and there. They support me and help with me a lot. Every time I find a new interesting place to shoot, we start getting all these ideas and just try and come up with something, and I always love the outcome.

Perigueux, France

What music do you listen to while working?

What is your current occupation?

The National, Radiohead, Shlohmo, Lykke Li, Beach House, The Album Leaf, Susanne Sundfør, The Radio Dept. are some of my favorites. Unless I’m outside shooting with friends, where I don’t usually listen to anything.

What is your current location? Miami Beach, FL

Student, and I also work retail and social media management at one of my local American Apparel. Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught? Mostly self taught, but I am currently doing some photography classes, and I’ve done some in the past as well. What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? Photographers such as Jared Chambers, James Nord, Parker Fitzgerald, Katerien Vermeire have definitely help me shaped my vision and style. I’ve been also loving some of Fiona Torre’s work and the like lately, which is a completely different approach to what I do. I like going through Kinfolk, and some fashion magazines such as Acne Paper. I read a lot of interesting interviews of all kinds of artists at FvF. Films/documentaries set in moody, cold environments (my favorite times to shoot) always a good source of ideas.

Where do you like to work? Places that don’t look like anything where I live is a good way to put it I guess. I live in Miami, and it’s definitely hard to find areas that resemble the nature and environment northern US/ Eruope, but I always try to work on even the smallest ones that give a sense of it. What is one of your earliest memories of making art? I remember drawing all kinds of dinosaurs (mostly from Jurassic Park) when I was a kid. I still keep some. I think they are rather good!



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10 FORGE • JUNE 2014


Kimberly Salt Submitted May 4th 2014

“The piece I submitted is about a person’s immersion into sentimentality. I see sentimentality as sometimes being a lush set of memories; of sense, events, people that can transcend time and enfold a person in the present. I chose to represent this with a figure whose upper-body is submerged in a lush, overgrown garden. The blue connotes sadness, and the other colors suggest a more complex set of associations that accompany that sadness. This piece was inked with a brush, then colored in Photoshop. The ink textures were scanned in separately.”

Name Kimberly Salt Age 25 What is your current location? Staten Island, New York Where are you from? Same place as I was born What is your current occupation? Graphic designer / illustrator Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught? A couple of years of fine art/ graphic design What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? Amid completely random things I see day to day, I’m a huge fan of Miyazaki’s work, Alexander McQueen, Haruki Murakami, The Great Discontent, the video game Journey. Only recently have I caught on to traveling (somewhat of a more expensive form of inspiration).

What materials do you like to work with?

-Kimberly Salt

Photoshop is a constant, but these days I’ve been working with brush and ink. What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on? I’m currently working on a personal project I called Moth. It’s a sort of graphic narrative that combines comic book storytelling with web design, in the form of a one page scrolling website. It tells the story of a girl’s transformation into a monster. You can see it here: What music do you listen to while working? Depends on the mood of the piece I’m working on / the subject matter. Could be anything from St. Vincent to Kendrick Lamar to jazz from the early 1900’s. I also listen to a whole lot of podcasts. Where do you like to work? My home office is fine. What is one of your earliest memories of making art? As a kid, I would spend hours drawing on my dad’s oak desk by the window. I’d draw dinosaurs, horses, lions, and jungles; then I’d make up stories within those drawings.



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Joëlle de Vries Submitted April 13th 2014

“Bye mom is a series that shows the love and the memories of Jelle. When Jelle was 17 years old, he died in a terrible accident. His mother contact me and together we depict memories of him. We combine his drawings and his mothers memories with photography. In each image we show a memory whats very sentimental for the mother of Jelle. Most images has several layers to show that memory or feeling. The image ‘plat ei’ is made with Jelles drawings where he also did some writing on. I scanned his drawings and placed it over the images we made. The image itself was made with daylight inside the house.” -Joëlle de Vries Name Joëlle de Vries Age 21 What is your current location? Eindhoven, The Netherlands Where are you from? I’m from a little city cald Spakenburg. You still have women who are wearing their local draft. What is your current occupation? I’m a freelance photographer. With the money I earn working in business photography I suply my own photography projects. Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught? Last year I recieved a bachelor degree in photographic design. And I did also two years graphic design. What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? Rieneke Dijkstra and annie van gemert are really amazing. I really love the way those photographers shows identity in their own way.

What materials do you like to work with? Of course my Canon Mark III with 50 mm lens for photography. For my illustrations I use waterproof markers, paint and everything i can use and will be useful. What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on? I work on a series called ‘Bye mom’. This series shows the love and the memories of Jelle. He was 17 years old when he died in a terrible accident. With his mother we depict memories of him in a combination of his drawings, her memories and my photography. This is a long based project. On this moment I’m also in curacao working on a project what I can’t tell you yet. But I’m really looking forward to it! What music do you listen to while working? Depends. When I’m photographing I prefer silence. I like the wind, waves and other suroundings. When i’m working on my computer I mostly listen to dub step, rock music and other weird music. Where do you like to work? I like to work outside. Especially photographing industrial places. I love photography but I don’t like to do the work on the computer. I’m trying to do al photography so good as possible so I don’t have to do much work on the computer. What is one of your earliest memories of making art? I was always singing and drawing. But my real first memorie was when I did go to center for fine art called ‘langs jan’ and learned a lot techniques from linocuts, erts, soapstone, sculpturing ed. And I taught myself illustrating and drawings.



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Jason Lambidis Submitted May 1st 2014

“The theme of “Sentimental” in my piece rotates around the fluidity of human emotions and specifically the negative ones. When one weeps, it is in fact an explosion of great magnitude, leaving the individual shuddering, gasping for breath, trembling,moaning and wailing in pain. The main figure in view, is juxtaposed with three separate views, revealing how sudden one can feel the sudden rush of emotion, the outburst and in turn the catharsis at the end. The twisted left arm attempts to wipe off the tears, instead leading to the deformation of her face, turning it into a grotesque mask- which signifies the self loathing and hate that follows these feelings. The sea of leeches, depicts how emotions attach themselves to oneself, and feed off ones life force/blood.” -Jason Lambidis Name

What materials do you like to work with?

Jason Lambidis

I revel in the act of getting my hands dirty with paint, charcoal or anything that’s messy. My favourite medium as of late though, has got to be plain old black pigment ink.

Age 26 What is your current location? Athens-Greece What is your current occupation? I’m currently working as a freelance illustrator/graphic designer. I would welcome any part time work on the side currently, but unfortunately the job situation is pretty dire. Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught? I have two degrees in Illustration, having received my MA from the London Royal College of Arts. What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? Books and films usually rotate around my mood. I generally welcome all sorts of literature and filmography, but I’d definitely say that its music that plays a greater part. I thoroughly enjoy the experience of discovering new sounds and I truly admire a great amount of musicians. Recently I have been listening to a lot of Folk, such as Davey Graham, Nick Drake and Jackson C.Frank, aswell as Ben Chasny and James Blackshaw. People that are open minded, humble and honest- tend to hold onto my attention.

What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on? Currently in the works, I have undertaken a sign for an antique car renovation garage, an EP album cover for a Scottish indie band, an open canvas commission for a living room and character designs for a video channel that are going to be animated later on. Other than that, I will be collaborating with fellow colleagues in producing a zine that will rotate around creature designs and another self-published comic. What music do you listen to while working? This tends to follow my mood, but it can also be related to what I’m working on. Where do you like to work? I like working at home mostly, simply due to feeling comfortable and having everything at hand. But I’d also add working next to/with other people. Either standing or sitting down, the collective approach to anything creative is thoroughly refreshing. What is one of your earliest memories of making art? I actually have it documented on VCR! I must be around five or six years old and I’m colouring in a knight with crayons in one of those space filler books.



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Alice Antoinette Submitted March 29th 2014

“Originally these pieces were to be apart of a geometric fashion editorial but they ended up being so different from the rest that I felt they needed to be in something different altogether. All the effects achieved in the photos were done in camera and I used a simple 35mm disposable. I enjoy doing lomography because I tend to be a perfectionist and taking part of the end results out of my hands lets me immerse my self more in the art. It’s a magical feeling to take risks in my projects, for instance I lost one roll of film from this shoot because it was too damaged. I’ll never know what the images on that roll looked like but the rest turned out incredible, and that’s what makes it worth the risk.” -Alice Antoinette Name Alice Antoinette Age Newly 24

What materials do you like to work with? Anything and everything, though I don’t care much for things that get under my fingernails. What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on?

Tacoma, WA

Currently I’m planning for several editorial shoots based around food and teeth. I’ll be shooting with the same model that posed for these pieces. She’s such a wonderful inspiration to me and brings a lot to our collaborations.

Where are you from?

What music do you listen to while working?

Missoula, MT

Lately I’ve been listening to quite a bit of Lana Del Rey and Muse.

What is your current location?

What is your current occupation? Barista by day, Freelance model/artist by night. Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught? I’ve had a bit of both though I have no degree to back it up. I like to think that I’ve been a student of every artist I’ve ever admired. What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? There are so many it would be impossible to list them all here. The darker and more controversial the better.

Where do you like to work? At home in my room, where I always have the heat cranked up, or in new unfamiliar places. What is one of your earliest memories of making art? When I was in grade school my Grandma bought me a tracing book and my mom was terrified it would stunt my artistic growth. One day I took a piece of tracing paper, put it up to a window, and traced the form of one of our ducks in the backyard. I took the drawing to my mom and she was overjoyed thinking that I had gotten past my tracing phase. I stopped tracing after that and my mom still to this day thinks I drew that duck freehand.



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Lena Klyukina Submitted March 25th 2014

“I wanted to do a retro-inspired shoot. I had that idea of a young and wild modern version of a”flower child”, but in a sadder way. It’s important for me to show a kind of connection between the human and the nature, with beautiful location like this one. I want to create a dreamlike world in each photograph, which evokes a great combination of vintage, modern, emotion, stories and dreams...” -Eugénie Archambault Name

What materials do you like to work with?

Lena Klyukina

When I started my path as a visual artist, I started with painting. It was all colorful and smelled like a turpentine. Now I think that was terrible, but it was necessary to make mistakes, and it still is. As the time passed by, I realised there’s something precious, simple and absolute about pencil, it is the very base of everything, and it is now my best friend. While being obsessed about detail, I love that I just can get on with it.

Age 24 What is your current location? Vilnius, Lithuania Where are you from? Well, I was born in Riga, Latvia. I spent my early childhood in several countries, but most of it and teenage years - in small town of Panevezys in Lithuania. What is your current occupation? Natural scientist and explorer by day, artist by night. Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught? A self taught. What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? I love passionate people who enjoy what they do. I love anarchists who think outside the box. Currently can’t take my eyes off of Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Matheson stories, and never refuse to read anything about black holes and time travel. It’s been like this for as long as I can remember, apparently my heart beats a little extra for sci-fi and vigilantes.

What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on? I’m working on a personal commission of entomological kind. Really glad about it, because drawing insects (and also fish) is the most interesting thing in the world! What music do you listen to while working? Oh, don’t get me started on this one! I couldn’t draw if there would be no music. I used to play guitar and keyboards in a band in high school, but I am far better artist than musician. I love to listen to everything from classic rock to electronica, but when I draw it’s usually just one particular artist or song that fits the mood. MGMT have written some of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard in my life so far. I love Depeche Mode, in Martin Gore’s lovesongs I believe. Nine Inch Nails, Spiritualized, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Toms Waits... Like, 8-10 years ago it was Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Doors and all that stuff on repeat, and then there was this crazy ‘60s period with Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, and the dark post-punk period with The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees. I think now I got more open to different kinds of music, though I think I’ll always remain a fan of the old.



Where do you like to work?

What is one of your earliest memories of making art?

At my desk in my room, it has some good vibes. I also go outside to sketch, but it feels more like taking a picture than working.

I’d love to tell some cool story from when I was a kid, but I’ve started doing it about 6 years ago. I remember the weather wasn’t very good on a summer day, really mellow, and I decided to do some painting.. But I think earliest memories aren’t so important, it’s what you do now that matters.

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Justine Kistler Submitted March 17th 2014

“My illustrations are almost never planned. I draw spontaneously, and my current feelings often reflect in my work. Both of my illustrations here were made over this past winter, during a time of lots of inner struggles (I’ll spare you the details).” -Justine Kistler Name

What materials do you like to work with?

Justine Kistler

For a while, I was mainly a pen & ink kind of gal. As of recent, I mostly like to work with Prismacolor markers, but I still love inking.

Age 19 What is your current location?

What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on?

Rochester, New York

Currently I’m working on a lot of schoolwork! But in my free time I continue to make illustrations for my own enjoyment.

Where are you from?

What music do you listen to while working?

Rochester, New York

Animal Collective, Ty Segall, Makeout Videotape, Deerhoof, King Tuff, PORCHES.

What is your current occupation? Student/Daycare Assistant Teacher Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught? I’ve taken art classes my whole life; in school, at art galleries around Rochester, and so on. Currently I’m studying Fine Arts at a local community college with hopes of transferring to a 4 year school to become an art teacher. What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? As for people, my parents, particularly my mother, have always been extremely supportive of my artwork. I was lucky to grow up having so many opportunities to grow as an artist. I’ve also been greatly inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s films. His artwork has definitely influenced and inspired my own.

Where do you like to work? I usually like to work in my living room, just sitting on my couch, watching whatever television series I’m currently binging on. What is one of your earliest memories of making art? One of my earliest (and fondest) memories of making art as a child was the time I was taking a class at one of Rochester’s art museums, the Memorial Art Gallery. In the middle of the class we would venture into the museum and look at all the different pieces and I can remember getting so excited to go back to the classroom and make art of my own.



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Hana Haley Submitted April 22nd 2014

“This photoshoot was created on a warm January afternoon in Eagle Creek, Oregon at my aunt and uncle’s house. The model got lost trying to find the place, when she arrived we had some candy and got to work going through her heap of clothes. After settling on the dresses we would use, we calmly went from room to room taking 3 or so photos her outfit before changing again. It’s wonderful to have such a relaxed shoot like this -- no make up artist, no fussy stylist, no assistants. It feels natural.” -Hana Haley


What materials do you like to work with?

Hana Haley

My vintage 1970s camera


What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on?

23 What is your current location? San Francisco California Where are you from?

I’m actually taking a beautiful month long break from creating anything! Going to travel until mid summer, after that working on a filming project. What music do you listen to while working?

What is your current occupation?

When planning a shoot I like to listen to my playlists on Spotify. There’s a lot of girl power... The Cults, Lana Del Rey, and Warpaint. Sadly I cannot listen to music while on a photoshoot because I wouldn’t be able to communicate to anyone!

I work full time as a fashion photographer

Where do you like to work?

Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught?

Where there is sun and coffee.

A small town called Estacada, Oregon

I am self-taught for 5 years What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? Cinema from the 1960s/70s are so treacherously stylist and nostalgic... that inspires me the most!

What is one of your earliest memories of making art? I made a custom t-shirt made of rhinestones and jewels for a Britney Spears concert when I was only 7 years old. I’m pretty sure I thought I would wear it forever but I threw it away only a week later.



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Anna Urik Submitted March 21st 2014

“In my skin is a project about human identity, the masks we wear and the roles we create for ourselves. who we are on the surface and who we are inside. It’s as if the feelings that we have within are visible on the surface, the truth surfacing and colouring who we are and even everything around us.” -Anna Urik Name Anna Urik Age 23 What is your current location? London

What materials do you like to work with? That really depends what im working on I think I was really influenced by my background, and there’s always this eastern european feel about my projects. So I’d say it’s animals I like to work with. What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on?

Where are you from?

I’m currently working on a photo documentary about Czech villages.

Prague, Czech Republic

What music do you listen to while working?

What is your current occupation?

It really depends what project I’m working on and how I feel in that moment, however it usually comes to classical music when I’m writing scripts and when I’m editing my pictures it goes from Tom Waits, Serge Gainsbourg to Milk Coffee and Sugar.

Student and freelance Photographer and Filmmaker Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught? I did Foundation in Film and I’m just finishing my degree at Goldsmiths- Media& Communications with the specialization in Film.

Where do you like to work? Anywhere but home.

What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? Oh that is a tough question, I guess what inspires me the most are random people and random situations I usually get into when traveling. I often use some of those stories in my projects One of the inspiring book I’m reading at the moment is Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time- it’s funny and it’s good to know that even the greatest minds were procrastinators.



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Eddie Perrote Submitted May 6th 2014

“Hunt & Peck presents a landscape to be navigated: a harsh and ominous environment derived of various stages of loss and control. Numerous narratives of balance and imminent failure are ever present. Shifting terrain and undefinable space are used to represent an overarching atmosphere of reacherous and underlying motives. Sentimentality is characterized by its ephemeral and erratic nature: inevitably representative of loss.” -Eddie Perrote Name Eddie Perrote Age 22 What is your current location? Minneapolis, MN Where are you from? Madison, WI What is your current occupation? Freelance Illustrator and Designer. Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught? BFA in Illustration from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? Anyone that is happy and doing what is genuinely important to them, and who strives to do something different than what has already been done. What materials do you like to work with? Traditional materials and print processes mainly: I am currently and will always be in a full-time relationship with Gouache, but my love of all physical material is universal. Much of my work is heavily influenced by my background in printmaking processes such as screen-printing and lithography. I’ll draw with almost anything but a good selection of brushes is a must.

I am well versed in digital processes and currently work at MCAD DesignWorks, where I collaborate on projects with other employees in a Design Agency setting, solving more traditional graphic design problems using InDesign and other Adobe products to typeset and layout various projects for production in both print and digital formats. What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on? I recently finished an exhibition called Scategories with my longtime friend Bill Rebholz and longtime friend and collaborator Leanna Perry. And am currently planning a collaborative exhibition with her and several other MCAD grads. Other than that I’m always staying on the grind of working, promotion, and personal artistic growth. What music do you listen to while working? Too varied to define but recent on my spotify queue is Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Project Pat, Wild Nothing, Duster, John Coltrane, Migos, Big Hawk, Lukid, Grimes, New Order, Sun Araw, Machinedrum, Still corners and Big Moe… Some guilty pleasures and some quality music Where do you like to work? Anyplace clean and well-lit, preferably indoors if I’m painting. What is one of your earliest memories of making art? I was obsessed with learning cursive once I was introduced to it in elementary school, and my childhood friend and I started a club of kids that practiced cursive for fun during recess. I’ve basically always loved drawing and have always been the kid drawing in every class. In high school I always used to skip class and go to the art room for hours straight, I think the teachers knew how much it must’ve meant to me so they kind of let me get away with it.



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Samantha Blumenfeld Submitted March 23rd 2014

““Magnolia” is a piece that speaks of my pedal-littered memories of spring. Springtime in South Korea was the first time in at least six years that I really saw Magnolia blossoms bloom. I had forgotten of the furry bud coating that reminds me of pussy willow and the large, soft petals that remind me of rabbit ears. I remembered the first time I ever held a blossom in my hands and I remembered the girl who lived across the street who showed it me. It had been so long since I thought about that day and how spring reminds me of yellow morning sunlight on new grass and showers of pink petals. Over time, memories decay and become distorted, and only specific sensory information is truly preserved. In “Magnolia” the memory of that day is fractured and distorted, but the colors and shapes are pristine. To fracture the image, I chose to corrupt the file in a hex editor, where I had access to the raw data. After corruption I collaged the original image over the corrupted image, doubling the visual information in certain “facets” and pushing the saturation of the colors. -Samantha Blumenfeld Name Sambie (Samantha Blumenfeld) Age 25 What is your current location? Seoul, South Korea Where are you from? New Jersey, USA Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught? I attended three years at RISD, where I was formally trained as a printmaker. In college, I struggled conceptually and was most harshly criticized for not finding my artistic niche. It wasn’t until years later that I really understood what type of work I wanted to make, and by that point I didn’t really have access to any facilities. My husband was the one that encouraged me to work digitally, and after he showed me the basics I began to explore how far I could push my work. This transition into digital art has taken a few different paths, and rather than limit myself to a single type of work, I’ve chosen to leave myself open conceptually. I’ve always been the type of artist to make work on a

whim, and I can be incredibly impulsive artistically. I hope to continue to learn new processes, yet remain reflective on my past artistic process. What materials do you like to work with? If given the opportunity, I can be really formal about my work. I honestly prefer to work in traditional mediums where I can work on something tangible. While I lose that sense of handson work digitally, it has really allowed me to push my formal process and open myself to new processes. Ideally, I would like to tie-in the two and create more real-world applications for my glitch and computer-based art (textiles, patterns, prints, paintings, etc...) What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on? I am part of CRN which is a collaborative project my husband and I established together in 2013. Through CRN we feature most of our projects, which are divided into individual portfolios by theme. Within this collaboration I have two separate portfolios: “Softgore” is all of my design-based projects and works considered specifically for screenprint or as a risograph, and “Maruun” is all of my experimental computer art where I can really let my hair down. “Cosmic Horrors” is a collaborative portfolio which is really our crown jewel of CRN; it’s the work we eat, breathe, and obsess over in the twilight hours before sleep. At the moment of writing this I’m working on a template piece from which I will make two large pieces while intermittently working on projects for “Maruun.” Since our big projects



for “Cosmic Horrors” can be tedious and exhausting, I unwind, and refresh myself creatively, by working on “Maruun.” What music do you listen to while working? It honestly depends on what type of work I’m making. If I’m working on something really tedious I like to listen to podcasts, radio, or documentaries, but when I really need to pay attention I just pick something as background music. Between my husband and I, we to listen to a lot of metal, classic rock, and grunge. When nostalgia strikes, we’ll listen to ska, punk, and riotfolk. Previous Work

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Where do you like to work? I like to work anywhere that I can side next to my husband side-by-side. It’s really helpful for both of us to have in-process critiques. We both work differently and it’s nice to have a second perspective.


Shreya Gupta Submitted April 30th 2014

“The idea for this illustration came to me while I was listening to the song Team by Lorde. The image just formed in my head. So I sat down to sketch it. The outcome was a bit different from what I previously imagined though. But I was able to capture what I felt while listening to the song. The illustration is inspired by the part where the rich and the people living in ruins are compared. ” -Shreya Gupta Name

What materials do you like to work with?

Shreya Gupta

I first sketch on a drawing sheet with pencil. Bigger the sheet the better, as I like to detail my drawings. Then I ink the drawing and scan it to color on Photoshop. I also like to paint using watercolors and hope to create some artwork with it in future.

Age 26 What is your current location? India Where are you from? India What is your current occupation? I am an IT professional and work in a major IT firm in India. I have always wanted to be an artist though. Thus, at the end of the last year I decided to pursue my long time dream. So these days I am trying to freelance as an illustrator, alongside my job, hoping to get some work experience before I can apply to college for formal education in art. Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught? I am self taught, but am planning to apply for MFA in Illustration next year. What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most?

What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on? Recently, I got an opportunity to illustrate for a zine- Furore Magazine run by Fishbowl Network. As for the collaborations, I haven’t had the chance but would definitely like to if I get one. What music do you listen to while working? The artists I listen to keep changing. My favorite song at the moment is Instant Crush by Daft Punk. Other artists I am listening to are Lana Del Ray, Beyonce and Katy Perry. Where do you like to work? Presently, I work from home. However, I would like to own a studio in future, once I become an illustrator, and would like to work surrounded with my artwork and music. What is one of your earliest memories of making art? In kindergarten, I drew a card for my mom with a big heart (can’t recall the ocassion) and my teacher told me it was one of the best ones in class. Sounds cheesy but it’s true!

For me, inspirations come from daily life, things I come across, people I interact with, emotions, music... the sources are endless. There are also many artists that inspire my art and the way I perceive it. But the ones that top the list are Yuko Shimizu and Victo Ngai.



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Jess & Beyon Submitted March 23rd 2014

“Collaboratively created poster art for our shadow-puppet play, “Silence and the Earth.” The poster compares the environmental with the human, and reveals the cycles of death and rebirth explored in the play. Borne of the same soil: all life -- whether human, plant, or animal is a labyrinthine network -- always returned to the Earth in the end. The poster was designed by Beyon, inked by Jess, tree drawn by Beyon and collaboratively colored in photoshop.” -LoveHoldLetGo Name LoveHoldLetGo Age Jess- 22 Beyon- 24 What is your current location? Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada What is your current occupation? We are currently both full-time freelance filmmakers and illustrators. Jess is also a spoken word poet, and Beyon is also a folk musician. Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught? Jess graduated from the Film/Animation/Video program at Rhode Island School of Design in 2013 and Beyon is a self taught animator and artist. His education came from adventures concerning: building rafts and living on them, multiple tours across Canada in a school bus with a 12 piece folk punk orchestra. What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? Jess: I gain most of my inspiration from movements and stories of social and environmental resistance. The Tiananmen Square Protesters who lost their lives in 1989. Tibetan Buddhists who will stand for their religion and land regardless of industrial China taking over. The honey bees -- a working colony ruled by women, who will pollinate regardless of how bad the environment gets. Plants who fight to make the air more fresh in a

polluted city. The Earth who will always regenerate. Miyazaki’s films never disappoint. Court 13, the production company behind Beasts of the Southern Wild is always an inspiring reminder to stay hopeful, as a DIY artist against odds much larger than us. Beyon: I mostly find inspiration in my close friends and their work. Bubzee Feller, Elly Ryland Beggs, Noel’le Longhaul, and Mogli Squalor are a few of the most talented and inspiring artists and songwriters i’ve been lucky enough to encounter in this life. They are all a part of the national folk-punk scene. I recently watched an anime series called Now and Then, Here and There, and it was the best series I’ve ever seen. What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on? LoveHoldLetGo is in the beginning phases of converting our internationally-touring shadow puppet play “Silence and the Earth” into an independent feature film. This is the most longterm project we’ve each ever undertaken. The film delves into a day-long conversation between the last human, a twelveyear-old girl and the suddenly sentient four-billion-year-old Earth. Throughout the story, the Earth brings the audience through its’ complex experiences of betrayal, grief from the last millenium of human colonization. The two develop a relationship against the odds of scale as their lives count down. We want to make this film on a relatively small budget with a cast and crew of all emerging artists. In addition, Beyon is working on a hand drawn commissioned animation for a defunct Halifax-based black metal band called “Primary Stress” and an animation for a short poem by Brooklyn based poet, Ocean Vuong. Jess is working on her first picture book -- a magical realist re-imagination of the first memories of a Vietnamese refugee -- also a collaboration with poet, Ocean Vuong.



What music do you listen to while working?

What is one of your earliest memories of making art?

We listen to Joanna Newsom, Beyonce, Sigur Ros, Thorn & Shout, Vashti Bunyan, Ecocide, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Bjork, and nature sounds on repeat. We often listen to our friends’ music and mixtapes they’ve made us over the years.

Beyon: When I was 6 or 7 I used to make up short stories and type them out on an electric typewriter that i had. I liked using the typewriter because of the noises it would make at the clicking of the buttons. These stories were really long and non-sensical from what i remember. I would cut out the words and glue them to things around town.

Where do you like to work? Jess: As long as I can love deeply, live freely, and feel safe to talk about what I fear, I can work anywhere. Beyon: Away from the city, in the forest. Previous Work

Websites: Jess: Beyon: Contact:

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Jess: I had a stutter when I was younger and would always retreat to art making because I never felt comfortable talking. I would fill out collections of coloring books and even make my own coloring books. Maybe that’s why the process of making this piece was reminiscent of a coloring book.


Andriana Nikolaidou Submitted April 28th 2014

“Creating my own personal mythology through my own personal system of references my work explores history as an eternal cycle described with notions of progress and nature as a force of decay and rebirth. Exploring the idea of how the body hovers between presence and absence my practice is based on uncanny and mythological scenes. Creating monumental often fragmented, figurative sculptures and collages appear to be struggling coming into existence in the present moment of their appearance while still carrying an essence of their past.” -Andriana Nikolaidou Name

What materials do you like to work with?

Andriana Nikolaidou

The material combinations play an important role in the effect of my work as is based on historical sculptural structures with unusual material combinations. I like to work with industrial materials like concrete, plaster and clay and with the idea of recontextualizing them. The mixed materials delight and confuse through their new identity as the cardboard is now transformed to a curved column and the bricks aren’t bricks no longer perfume their function (see work “untitled”). Working with dematerialization some ephemeral materials allow accidents to happen, as the figures appear to lead their own fate and role. As about my collages I usually appropriate images found in vintage books, magazines, and postcards from museums.

Age 22 What is your current location? Cyprus Where are you from? Cyprus What is your current occupation? A full time artist but I’m currently interning at a ‘Science and Technology in Archeology’ Research center. Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught? Yes, I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art, graduated in 2013 and now I am looking forward for my master degree. What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? My ideas usually come from historical and mythological concepts. I can write you about that for days but currently my inspiration is drawn from TS Eliot essays and Greek mythology.

What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on? At the moment I am working on two new group exhibitions. What music do you listen to while working? Well, that simply depends on my current mood and also the concept of what I am working on. Where do you like to work? My studio is my real home. I love the idea of having your secret space, be undisturbed without having to worry about making a mess. The messiness of my studio works more like an inspiration for me…



Previous Work

Websites: Contact:

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Emilie Gleason Submitted April 2nd 2014


What materials do you like to work with?

Emilie Gleason Age

COLORS ! I delight in oil pastels and wool (like huichol technique). This year I simply confined myself to drawing comics, pencil is now my best friend.


What music do you listen to while working?

What is your current location?

Cumbia ! Latin music gives me the power to be constantly happy, and when I’m in a good mood, I work ten times better. I also do like to sing while working, my best reference in karaoke is the lame-french-singer Claude François ! Haha he is so funny.

A tiny Disney-looking city in France called Strasbourg, home of storks and pretzels Where are you from? I was born in Mexico DF of a Belgian mother and a Mexican father, and I spent my childhood travelling back and forth between the two countries.

Where do you like to work? Usually at my desk, with my beloved computer and my beloved chocolate.

What is your current occupation?

What is one of your earliest memories of making art?

I study illustration, so when I don’t draw for school I draw for me.

Yeah I have an (embarrassing) memory: at my 3 years-old my main occupation was to draw my child dreams in the toilet walls (why use paper, if you have plain walls I thought), I did spend hours drawing masterpieces, always ending in spanks.

What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? I really need to laugh while I’m working, so David Zucker’s movies, Tex avery’s cartoons and Jim Carrey funny-faces are my gasoline. Otherwise George Condo’s paintings has driven me into art studies. Since this day my only goal is to succeed in painting a hole new parallel world like his. I travel with my drawings!



Previous Work

Websites: Contact:

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This past April, FORGE. was a part of the second annual Brooklyn Zine Fest. We ran a table on Saturday the 26th and

sold a bunch of issues and merch, debuted a new photo book, and met a several other artists and self publishers! While we were in New York that weekend, we spent our last day in Williamsburg and visited one of my favorite places in Green Point, the Captured Tracks record store.

Captured Tracks is a relatively small, independent record label that was started six years ago by Mike Sniper, a former

member of the band Blank Dog. Although the label has only been around for just over half a decade, Captured Tracks has put out an astounding amount of releases that have both received critical acclaim and have had a huge impact on the indie music scene, most of which come from bands that the label signed very earlier on in their careers. DIIV, Juan Wauters, Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing, Perfect Pussy, and Craft Spells are just a few of the bands and artists on Captured Track’s roster that have put out their first full length albums with the label, and who all inhabit my current personal taste in music. One of the Captured Tracks artists who’s left the biggest impressions on us here at FORGE. is Mac DeMarco, who we even had the pleasure to see do a small solo set at Sarah Lawrence College that same weekend in New York!

In addition to all of the amazing music they’ve released, I’ve been incredibly fascinated with the visual aesthetic of Cap-

tured Tracks, and was able to trace a lot the cover art and art direction to Ryan McCardle. Despite the fact that Captured Tracks is primarily run out of Green Point, Brooklyn, Ryan resides in Savannah, Georgia were he serves as the label’s art director, and manages his own (much smaller) record label Furious Hooves. Since Ryan had designed some of my favorite album covers, such as Mac DeMarco’s 2 and Wild Nothing’s Nocturne, I asked him if would be interested in doing an interview over email. He said yes, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that he’s one of the kindest people we’ve talked to and has an extensive knowledge and excited spirit about the work that he’s creating. Where are you from and where do you currently live? I grew up on a farm in small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia. I moved to Savannah, GA in 2007 and have lived here pretty much ever since... though I do travel a lot – between Virginia, Brooklyn, upstate New York, and wherever else things pull me. Did you go to school for art or were you self taught? I studied graphic design at SCAD – that’s what brought me here to Savannah initially. Growing up though I was always creating or doing something “artsy.” My father is an oil painter, my grandmother was a woodcarver / artist who just liked to make things, many in my family... so I was always around it.  How has living in Savannah impacted your work?

the city is that even with the ever-changing faces and bodies at work, there’s a sense of community (communities even) that you always feel you’re simultaneously benefitting from and helping to grow. Savannah is also starting to get the recognition it deserves for it too. How did you first get into designing album art work? It’s funny, long before I even thought about a career or even a focus in college, I would make these mixtapes as a kid – I think they were called like Ryan’s Mix Tape, Volume 1 through whatever or something. Growing up music was just as much a part of my life as any other artform was. So with these  mixtapes (they were actually CDs) I would design a cover, a label, a tray card... everything it needed to look like a legit compilation. Like I said though, working as a designer in the music industry wasn’t even close to being on my radar.

Living in Savannah is an amazing base to work from. There are so many creative minds at work here – from the students to creative professionals, young and old, to the musicians and performers – there’s imagination left and right. The best part of



What is it like to work with artists and bands on something that is ultimately going to be used to represent them and their work, rather than you and your work? Does most of the concept for the art come from input of the musicians themselves, or is it mostly just your vision and style going into it? I get this question a lot, because it varies drastically as what I do with art / design / layout / package / etc... and it seemingly troubles a lot of people: the idea that you don’t get recognition or something for your work in certain instances. I don’t quite get that at all. I’m working with all of these amazing artists and bands to create something that embodies the audible through a visual. One thing I always tell those I work with is that I think of this as a wonderful collaboration. Whether it’s with an illustrator or a photographer or a musician, we’re all working together to showcase this music in a fitting package. There will also be instances where I’m not collaborating with another artist and I’ll choose to use my own piece of art outside of the design: a collage, illustration, photo, etc. Concept varies from project to project. Some bands come to me with a solid idea that they just want executed. Others have no idea and I start from scratch. Either way, I think it’s extremely important to listen to their music while creating it’s visual equal.

How did you end up getting the opportunity to work with Captured Tracks? Do you have any distinct position at the label? After I graduated from college I moved back home to Virginia for a bit. I was doing small freelance work for friends and people I knew while constantly searching for more work. I’m always on the prowl, ha. It took some time to finally find my path to Captured Tracks, I even started my own label with my best friend (Furious Hooves) along the way. Eventually, I heard that C/T was looking for a “Graphic Design Intern” and I immediately applied. We chatted a bit within that afternoon and I think I had my first project the very next day. Today I’m in charge of all art / design and production at the label along with their sub / sister / friend-labels. I do the same at Graveface. Captured Tracks has been one of my personal favorite labels for the past year or so, and I feel they’re really unique with how they curate their music, and allow a lot of freedom for really young musicians. What is the environment like working with them on the non-music side of things? Yeah, they’re really quite grand! It’s been amazing getting to meet and become good friends with everyone on the label. I’ve

“One thing that stands out for Captured Tracks is how they constantly seek out the unheard / not-quite-known. In doing so I’ve been able to witness the growth of many artists / musicians from having zero releases to a full catalog – that’s pretty amazing in my mind.”

70 FORGE • JUNE 2014

“You evolve and adapt to the changes and struggles in any industry – this is no exception.” FORGEARTMAG.COM


“One thing I always tell those I work with is that I think of this as a wonderful collaboration. Whether it’s with an illustrator or a photographer or a musician, we’re all working together to showcase this music in a fitting package.” met some of my best friends through the label. One thing that stands out for Captured Tracks is how they constantly seek out the unheard / not-quite-known. In doing so I’ve been able to witness the growth of many artists / musicians from having zero releases to a full catalog – that’s pretty amazing in my mind. I’ve always considered myself a strong collaborator – I work well with others haha – and so I make it clear that I like hearing ideas no matter what they deal with: music, art, packaging, whether aliens exist or not... we are constantly running things back and forth off of each other. It’s the same thing with myself and Ryan Graveface over at Graveface Records & Curiosities. We’re reaching for new ideas, even outside of the Graveface label. 

amazing friends. From the start we wanted a few things to remain true, that it would be 1) all handmade, 2) all limited, and 3) all love. Oh, and we would sneak in some ‘90s basketball references in as much as we could. When we say limited we mean super limited – small runs of around 24 or so. We do tapes, mini-CDs, floppy discs, etc. Three years later, here we are still doing the same thing, though we’ve realized certain projects were calling for more than runs of 24 and that’s where a new division called Furhoof: Sixth Man came into play. This allows us to do some “larger” manufactured runs while still pertaining to the limited and handmade aspect of it all.

Are there any style resources you constantly go to for inspiration?

I do a lot of logo design, started venturing more into the world of book design and I have even started brainstorming the  interior design realm (for restaurants, pubs, storefronts etc).

I like using history as a base. I’m a bit of a “collector of things” so I have tons of crates full of useful items to pull when the job calls. I look back on certain found catalogs, magazines, packaging from decades past and see what worked, what didn’t work, how I would have done something in my own way given the chance... Could you describe to us Furious Hooves a little bit, and share a little bit about it’s conception? In the summer of 2011, just after I had moved back home to Virginia, I started this “label” with my childhood friend TJ Hatcher. I call it a “label” because we look at it more as a “family” or “collective” to showcase the talent of our

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What other graphic design work do you typically do?

What sort of design decisions go into packaging? Is it a lot harder thinking about laying out a 3 dimensional object? Well, you definitely have to consider a lot of other things when designing for packaging – really, print in general. The type of varnish, stock really changes the whole outcome. For example, when working on Heavenly Beat’s ‘Prominence’ record, I knew I wanted a classic design throwing homage back to  vintage fashion design & cigarette culture. On top of the design itself I wanted there to be a feel to the package: elegance with the gold metallic ink printed directly onto a textured unvarnished jacket. It was key to bring it all together... I sort of envisioned the package as Heavenly Beat Brand Cigarettes.

Please note: I do not smoke and never will, but I can appreciate the beauty of their design through the years. What are some of your favorite album covers or album packagings? Well, I’m a huge fan of the golden age at Factory Records, late ‘70s throughout the ‘90s. They were working with Peter Saville, Mark Farrow and likes thereof. However, near the end of college I really got into studying the early 4AD designers of the ‘80s and ‘90s, mainly Vaughan Oliver and the 23 Envelope Studio (where he collaborated with photographer Nigel Grierson). Also, growing up I was always fond of the Radiohead album art & packaging design. It wasn’t until later that I connected a name to the work laid out in those CDs: Stanley Donwood. How do you think peoples attitude towards physical releases of music have changed since the beginning of the internet and downloadable music? Do you ever think about how the art you make for records comes off when they’re just looking at a much smaller digital image of it? Since the majority of people today just buy/steal/stream music digitally, it’s a bit of a struggle to fit in design-wise for both a 1400x1400 pixel square that you may only see a handful of times on your phone or iPod (or maybe even your new Pono...) versus in your hands turning and flipping through and around. My Dad and I actually talk about this a lot... growing up my parents always had music playing and it was important to look through the liner notes and the artwork, just as much as listening to the record. My Dad listens to his iPod nowadays while he works on the farm / in the garden and he’ll say to me how much he misses looking at the artwork of new releases. He would tell me about how he’d just sit down in his room after he got a new record and spin it while flipping through the lyrics or notes and taking in all the imagery on a gatefold LP. It’s still the same for many, but it has definitely diminished... you know what though? You evolve and adapt to the changes and struggles in any industry – this is no exception. I know this will come to a shock to most, but I actually like holding a CD package in my hands more often than that of vinyl packaging. Not saying that I don’t like vinyl packaging, but typically the components of a CD are hands-on. The booklet is just the right size to hold and flip through. I love that. The more compact the better... If it’s a physical product, I like to have it engaging me – panels to open, pages to turn, etc etc. Who have been some of your favorite bands or people to work with? Shoo, this is a tough one... they’ve all been so fantastic to work with, it would’t be fare. Haha. I know that’s a lame answer, but really that’s it.  As for other designers or artists though: Early on I had the privilege to work on a Captured Tracks project with Bruce Licher. He was this pretty incredible l etterpress designer from out west during the 90s and was

impactful in the southwest shoegaze movement. It was great to see how his mind worked in creating something for a physical package. His work is something you can’t really get if you’re just seeing a 5x5 image on your computer screen... you really have to hold it in your hands, opening every fold and seeing every minute detail. I’ve also had the honor of working and becoming friends with William Schaff on a number of Graveface projects. Other than Graveface, he’s done a a lot of work with Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Okkervil River and Jason Molina to name a few. Will made an amazing Ouija Board for a Graveface Indie Gogo campaign and I worked it into a 10” cover for the Marshmallow Ghosts. Who are some of your favorite contemporary artists or what artist, that you’ve had the chance to meet, have had an impact on your work? Again, far too many. Some amazingly dear friends of mine have really impacted and shaped the way I think, execute, and communicate my work.  Kelsey Lesko ( – We met back in 2006 at Virginia Governor’s School for Arts summer program, then again at SCAD and became great friends. We’ve collaborated on a number of projects and ideas, during and since. Today she lives out in San Francisco working on a number of projects, companies and continues to do good.  Ramona Tadoca ( – Super talented and intelligent designer living in NY working as Art Director for Ogilvy & Mather with IBM.  Capucine Gros ( – NYC Multi-media conceptual artist from Lyon, France. Currently deals with  relationships between language, geography, obsolete and modern technologies. Kyle Read ( – Probably the best typographer around right now. Just amazing. Backpacked Europe with this guy back in the day. Is there anyone you hope to work with in the future? Yes, but they’re probably not even on my radar yet or vice versa – which is exciting. There are just too many. Are there any projects that you would like to embark on, but that you just don’t have the time or funding for? There’s one project that I can’t really go into, but it’s a photo book of sorts. It’s been on my to-do list, but I just haven’t found the right time for it yet. I think a lot of my projects that I don’t have time or funding for are with personal / side projects, Furious Hooves and the like. Since I sort of keep to myself most of the time, I can’t share any of my top secret plans with you... haha.





Grant Singer is among the many prominent and versatile music video directors to arise in the past few years. Grant,

along with Hiro Murai, Emily Kai Bock, Evan Prosofsky, Nabil Elderkin, and many others, has brought about a new generation of directors and cinematographers who’s collective body of work exemplifies consistently beautiful and inventive visuals paired with some of the most well regarded music of today. Grant has worked with musicians like Bradford Cox (of Deerhunter and Atlas Sound), Kendrick Lamar, Starred, DIIV, and most notably Sky Ferreira, many of whom he’s fostered long term friendships with. Grant’s unique aesthetic and vision often changes with each project he embarks on, but sill remains incredibly vibrant and polished. His enthusiasm and drive towards his work is so apparent in his videos and films, that it can easily be seen within every frame. Where are you from and where do you currently live?

When did you first start making films?

I’m from LA and I live here.

In college I guess. You’re instructed to make films although they’re more like exercises. It wasn’t until I was living in NY in like 2010 that I did video stuff which existed in more of like an art context. Around then I met Liza Thorn and Matt Koshak who at the time had yet to form Starred. The three of us moved to LA in 2011 and started collaborating. I did all their visuals for their music and that was my entryway into music videos.

Where did you study film, and what do you feel you gained from that experience? I went to Bennington and then transferred to Loyola Marymount University. The best part about studying film is being exposed to types of film that you might not necessarily seek out on your own. And the rigorous approach to thinking about it, how it’s constructed and conceived. Although I’m not into film school. I don’t think people can learn to make film from studying it. You either have vision or you don’t. And then you have to have the rare ability to actualize it which is tough. You can’t teach that.

How has living in Los Angeles impacted your work? It’s hard to say as I don’t know what my stuff would be like if I were living anywhere else. It’s a really beautiful, peaceful place for me so I guess it allows me to focus.



What course of events led you to starting to direct music videos? Working with Starred. Although it was never intentional. It wasn’t like I set out to direct music videos. It was really innocent collaboration with two people who were and still are my best friends, and who I felt connected to creatively. From my Call From Paris video I was contacted by a lot of bands and began working with ones that I admired like Black Bananas and so forth. You seem to have a really great ability in creating distinctive styles and aesthetics for each of your music videos and short films. How did you accomplish developing so many different styles, and what do you feel is consistent with each of them?

What was the process of making IRL like? Looking back on it it was one of the best times in my life. It was also very stressful and traumatic but I’m grateful it happened and I learned a lot from that experience. I read somewhere that Zachary Cole Smith from DIIV came up with the concept for the How Long Have You Known? video before you started filming it together. Do you usually try to make videos around an artist or band’s idea like that? What was the experience of making that video like?

That’s a tough one to answer. I think it’s my job as a director to find that balance between imposing my own will and vision, while also translating the soul of the song and finding its own vision. And then I let them collide.

Cole and I were close before I made that video. We were hanging out a lot so it wasn’t like a typical job. I knew I was going to direct their first video. He had this idea to take the soul of all these objects and put them in a blender and then swallow its contents in pill form. Most of my videos now are generated from concepts that I have. Sometimes an artist will have a world they want to set it in but usually I prefer to start from scratch.

How did your relationship directing videos for Sky Ferreira start?

How close is your relationship with DIIV, and how did you first meet them?

I cast her in IRL and we became good friends from that.

They’re all still some of my best friends. Cole and I met through Matt Koshak.

“ I think it’s my job as a director to find that balance between imposing my own will and vision, while also translating the soul of the song and finding its own vision. And then I let them collide.”

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“ I love all forms of art but I’m drawn to the visceral and mental capabilities of film.” Do you generally try to develop a relationship with the artists and musicians you get to work with? It really depends. At least for me, It’s important to have trust with the people that I’m working with, so there can be an intimacy there or else it seems fake. What things do you feel film as a medium of art can accomplish or display, that other mediums of art can’t?

You seemed to have used a lot of VHS or VHS style in your past work. How do you feel about the aesthetic that quality of film produces and why do you think people have become attracted to that style in recent years? I really only used VHS in the beginning because it was cheap and I was shooting all my own stuff back then. I produced, directed, shot, and edited everything alone. So I guess it was out of necessity. And VHS has a lot of inherent character and can be nostalgic.

I believe film is the most complete and total art form, as it can depict the world as we experience it. I love all forms of art but I’m drawn to the visceral and mental capabilities of film.

Do you have any tips on making films with out a really small budget?

What films or directors have had a really big influence on you and your work?

Work with people who are captivating and talented. Embrace your limitations.

Stanley Kubrick. The Shining is my favorite movie of all time. Andrei Tarkovsky. Paul Thomas Anderson. David Fincher. Nicholas Roeg. Gaspar Noe. Billy Friedkin. The list goes on and on but Kubrick’s at the top.

Do you have a preference between using analog tools and using digital tools to create your work?

Who are some of your favorite contemporary artists or what artist, that you’ve had the chance to meet, have had an impact on your work?

Is there any advice you would give to people interested in working in film in the future?

Burial is my favorite living artist. I love Lars Von Trier and Paul Thomas Anderson. Outside of music and film I love Mike Kelley and Sterling Ruby. I met Trent Reznor which was surreal. I’m a big fan.

Digital because it’s easier.

Work hard. Don’t compromise and try not to be influenced by what other people are doing.





Out of all the artists we’ve had the chance to meet and interview over the past year and a half of running FORGE, Richard

Kern probably has had the longest career, spanning almost 40 years, and bares the largest body of work. Richard first moved to Lower Manhattan in the late 70’s while he was in search of a large city with a thriving, weird and grotesque underbelly. Following his move to New York, Richard began producing his own series of handmade zines entitled The Heroin Addict (later changed to The Valium Addict) which ran approximately between 1979 and 1983. Then, after meeting fellow artist Lydia Lunch, Richard started making short films including Submit to Me, Fingered, and even Sonic Youth’s Death Valley 69 video, through which he became an important film maker in New York’s No Wave scene.

For the past few decades Richard has been working as a portrait photographer both commercially and for his own

personal books and exhibitions. In the past, Richard has photographed for magazines such as Hustler, Barely Legal, GQ, and Purple and worked for several years with Vice, a partnership which also resulted in an online series called Shot By Kern which documented a number of his shoots across the world. Although Richard has been active for nearly 40 years now, he continues to produce a stagering amount of work, and his impact on modern photography is ever present. Where are you from and where do you live currently? I’m originally from North Carolina, from a town called Rock Rapids, and now I live in New York City and have lived here for 30 years or something like that. What made you decide to move to New York? I lived in a small town and right out of school I moved out to Philadelphia with a girl, think that it was going to be a big city, but it’s not. Nothing around here compares to New York for the art. When I was in school, you’d go to the library, there was this art library inside this little museum, and that’s how you’d find out about stuff that was going on, and everything was going on here. You never see “This movement started in Harrisburg.” Unless it’s music, then it happens, but it was usually here. Sometimes Chicago, sometimes LA, a lot of times in London, but most of the time it was here. I should say actually, another reason I was moving here was because there was a big music scene, and that’s very important when you’re young. How has living in New York impacted your work? The early stuff was influenced a lot by the druggy neighborhood that this used to be and by all the abandon buildings and bums and derelicts and the fact that everyone was poor. Now I’m shooting people that I’m far distant from in age. I’m not sure if I’m shooting reality, I have no idea. Sometimes I think I am, since I know it’s the persons house. It has a big influence on everything I’m doing. The city of New York has always been really good, because there’s a large talent pool here that is ever evolving. It just keeps coming, people come here nonstop.

Do you have any formal training in the field of art you work in? I had no idea what I was… I mainly went to school to avoid the draft. I had an art class in high school, but I had no idea there was this thing called the “art world.” No clue about that until I went to college and started taking these art courses; art and philosophy. The philosophy teacher I liked the most. I asked him what job I could get and he said, “You could probably get a job as a banker or something and do your writing.” and I though “Oh God, that sounds terrible.” In art classes you were left alone to do what you wanted to do. Don’t be fooled though. I say art and philosophy, but I have no idea about the philosophy. I can’t remember any of that shit, but it sounds good. How would you describe your photography to someone you has never seen your work? This happens all the time, I’ll meet some adult somewhere and they’ll say “What do you do?” and I’ll say “I’m a photographer.” and they’ll say “What do you shoot?” and I’ll say “I shoot everything, but mostly portraits.” and “Anything that someone pays me for.” I’ll say that a lot too. How would you describe the over all tone and aesthetic of your work? A lot of the themes are still of the themes are still the same, there’s an undercurrent of humor that I think has been consistent since the beginning, although there was some darker periods where the humor wasn’t the same. I’ve tried to keep relatively consistent, but I don’t think I’m as dark as I was, although the last couple of things I did were pretty dark depending on how you look at it.



“You take a photo over there and take it over here and put it in the water and it turns into the same place that I just saw. That was like magic. It’s still magic.” When did you first get interested in photography?

When did you start making your own films?

My father was a photographer and a managing editor of a small newspaper. Reporters had to take their own photos wherever they went. They had these big speed graphics cameras. You take two shots and there’d be this big film thing and you’d flip it over, pull the thing out, shoot a shot. They weren’t thinking “This was a fantastic shot.” They were thinking “Gotta line the Elts Club up over there, boom. This is all the guys, so I can write down ‘This is so-and-so.’” That’s what they were thinking. He taught me how to make a camera, that was for a science project. It’s incredibly easy. It’s just a can with a piece of tape. He also had a dark room. We’re talking in the early 60’s. That was like magic to me. You take a photo over there and take it over here and put it in the water and it turns into the same place that I just saw. That was like magic. It’s still magic.

The first films I made were in high school. They were these kinda bad surrealist films. Stop motion where someone was sliding across the floor, stuff like that. Then I made a fake French surrealist film with all this French dialogue. The French I learned in the South sounds nothing like French. It was this weird hybrid. I started making them here around 1980. It was because I kept fantasizing I was going to make movies and it just occurred to me “Are you going to keep fantasizing, or are you going to do it?” I was making these 42nd Street underground movies.

Did you get involved in the No Wave scene in New York? I was a fan of it before I moved here. The way I got involved was with Lydia Lunch. Someone introduced me to her to do some live performance stuff with her readings. That just led to everything else I did. She introduced me to Sonic Youth and a ton of other people. That scene already existed before I came around.

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How hard was it to direct and produce your own films by yourself back then? Was money ever a big issue? Back then, film was super cheap. Once you had the equipment. These filmmakers Beth and Scott B loaned me al their equipment. Two lights and a camera. That’s all you needed. Super 8 was maybe 5 or 10 dollars to shoot and process it. When you think about video, it may seem expensive, but if you shoot that stuff now it costs a fortune. It didn’t seem that expensive for the Sonic Youth stuff. I spent about $200. For this movie Fingered, which was the most successful, the total budget was $5000 from start to finish, everything included. I quickly made that back selling it as a videotape. Back then you could spend some money, but also make some money. It’s a little different now.

How did you get the opportunity to do Sonic Youth’s Death Valley 69? This was through Lydia Lunch too. Sonic Youth wanted someone to do special effects for Death Valley 69 because it was supposed to be about the Manson family, that’s what the songs about. They wanted to show themselves as being at the Sharon Tate, Roman Polanski crime scene. They asked me to do the special effects, and I said “I will if I can direct a version of the video too.” So there were two directors, a woman named Judith Berry who has one version, and I did another version. Sonic Youth also used a photograph from your film Submit To Me for the cover of their album Evol, right? How did that end up happening? That’s actually Lung Leg (on the cover). I shot that film as a separate movie, and butchered my own movie to put into their video. That was just Lung in my apartment smearing lipstick on her face. I got a lot of mileage out of that. They used another photo on Sister. Years later I did a video with Marilyn Manson and one of the reasons he wanted to work with me was because he’d seen this Sonic Youth video with her smearing lipstick on her face and he wanted to do that in his video. He said “I’ll just get you to do it.”

Do you still have a relationship with Sonic Youth today? I have two separate relationships now. I was with Thurston doing a show in Spain some time in the last few months. Thurston did a lot of music for me. Almost all the films that I’ve done over the last couple of years, that were my films, Thurston did the music for. Kim, I made something for her. Body/Head, I made a film for that she was using to tour. Do you try to approach your work with a specific attitude, or do think a certain attitude is necessary in your field of photography? That’s a big question. There’s so many aspects of what I do. Each one is associated to a certain area. The stuff I do for myself, I have an idea that I want do and that I’m excited about, and then there’s all this other stuff I have to do to try to make money. Things for shows and all this extra stuff you have to do. For the very specific stuff, I just have to think about that all the time and hope to find time to do that. The thinking part, you just have to sit there and think. It looks like you’re doing nothing for days, but you’re actually just thinking. That’s the hardest thing, I think. Like when you’re writing something, you know exactly what you’re talking about, but getting it on paper is really hard. Getting it on a piece of paper so it doesn’t look stupid.

“You tend to get more tunnel vision as you get older, and even when you’re younger you have to focus on what you’re doing.” FORGEARTMAG.COM


How did the series you did with Vice, Shot By Kern, come about? That show was dreamed up by Jessie Pierson, the old editor of Vice. It came at the perfect time because I had used up every avenue I could think of to get new models. A lot of times I would have a girlfriend, they would know younger girls, and we’d get them that way. I never really went up and asked people if they want to model. When Vice said they wanted to do this, the show was so popular, I had girls start to write me again. I was getting them off of Craigslist sometimes. That was tremendously helpful. Also they said, “We’ll get the locations, we’ll pay all the expenses.” and I went “Great!” I only pay the models $150 but it adds up. The location part is really hard. It turned into these European trips that were really good for me. I got a whole book out of the last one. I still shoot of Vice all the time. They’ll let me run some story, like I can’t call up New York Magazine and ask “Hey, do you want to run this Medicated photo?” They wouldn’t even know what I’m talking about. They’d have a story about someone who takes medication, but it’d never occur to them to run a portfolio that’s kinda conceptual about it, Vice just immediately will be like “Yeah, that sounds great.” Anything a little twisted, or with some type of content or subtext, they’ll be into. Generally. Did doing that series impact your career at all? Did you notice any change in the people who were interested in your work? That’s the other thing, I’ve been doing this for a long time, and Vice has added this whole younger crowd to what I was doing and eyeballs to it. I have to say though, Vice has changed quite a bit. I think they’ve changed in a good way, but they’ve tried to clean up their image a bit, of this lad’s

magazine. They’re going more for hard news. If I can come up with something that can seem to appear to be some kind of news story, or they can relate it to something, they’ll go for it. In the old days you could say, “Hey, how about girls standing on their heads, with their head in a bucket?” and they’d go, “Yeah, sure!” They won’t do that anymore. Now they tell me, “No boob’s in a story.” The thing I just shot in Australia, this girl had written me and said she was a mountain climber, she wanted to be photographed naked climbing rocks. I told Vice, “I’ve got this opportunity, do you wanted to do it?” and they said yes. By the time I’m shooting this thing, it’s turned into not just a naked rock climber, it’s a fashion story. I was told, “Maybe one boob in the whole story.” It’s gone from being naked to one boob. I always have to shoot things two ways now. Boobs, no boobs. Nudity, no nudity, I should say, since it’s the same for guys. They don’t mind showing guy’s butts. How did your relationship working with Petra Collins first start? I can’t tell you how much I get asked this now. I did a show in Toronto, someone invited me to do a show, not a real show I found out, but the guy who owned the space was going out with Petra. They told me they would do a casting for me. All these girls came, and I looked at Petra, and thought she looked the best. She didn’t even say she wanted to be shot, but she was the best looking girl, or the most interesting one I should say, out of all the girls that wanted to be shot, so I shot her. Then she said any time I wanted to come to Toronto, she could help me out with casting. I went back again and got her to organize a lot of stuff for me, because she knows a million girls. In Toronto it’s good, because it’s not New York, people are eager to do something, and they weren’t too concerned with what it was. I’ve met a lot of good models through her.

“I’m trying to master becoming a cheapskate.”



That’s how it started. I introduced her to the guys at Vice and I told Purple about her, but they forgot about that and found her again on their own. She just kinda blew up. I don’t think it had much to do with me, she just somehow blew up there. I think it was that she was a very young photographer. A lot of it was to do with this magazine Rookie, this online magazine that she was doing stuff for. The media is always looking for someone to focus on as ‘the new person.’ I’m already an ‘old person,’ in more ways than one. I’ve been around forever. It was pure luck. There have been other people in my career that the same thing has happened with. She’s good in that she’s a female in what has traditionally been this male dominated photography, There’s a bunch of other girls like her too, it’s not just her. It’s at a time where there’s this reaction to males taking this kind of stuff, so have a female do it. That’s a long answer. But yeah, she’s fun. What do you think of her work now, and what she’s accomplishing with her photography? I went to her show that she had here recently, but I haven’t seen what she’s doing. I don’t do Instagram or any of that stuff, so I don’t know what people are doing. You tend to get more tunnel vision as you get older, and even when you’re younger you have to focus on what you’re doing. When you’re younger you can be aware of all this stuff, but that means you have to go out all the time. I have to zero in to keep interest. Most of your photography involves women with very natural or realistic bodies, unlike a lot of other nude photography. How do you choose the women you photograph and do you try to take a specific approach with depicting their bodies? I was just thinking about this, I get asked this a lot too. It’s usually girls who write to me. That’s the first thing. If they look even remotely interesting, I’ll meet them and talk to them. Mainly to see if they show up. There’s a lot of crazy people out there. They are all good looking to me. I had this big revelation last night, I went to an opening and there were a ton of fashion models there, and I thought they looked like freaks. They’re all so perfect. I realized, I’m not shooting girls like this. I used to shoot fashion models all the time, but I’ve really gotten away from it. It’s interesting to realize that there’s such a big difference. I never think of it as being different, because I think everyone’s kinda the same. The choice all relates to the things you responded to in your life early, your first girlfriend, your mom even. You’re responding to people because of things that are already in their head. Sometimes you’re responding to, “Wow! Look at that girl’s butt!” Do you have any suggestions around creating good looking work, on an incredibly low budget? I know what you mean. Any time you’re doing anything, even when there’s a ton of money, you have to figure out the way to do it so that you can make the most money out of it. That carries over into when I’m trying to do stuff for myself. I’m thinking

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“I have $20, what can I do here?” Video makes it super easy, or digital, if you can get a camera and a computer, you’re pretty much set. It becomes another thing, like when you refine your eye, or what you’re looking for, I’m trying to master becoming a cheapskate. It’s so necessary to see what can be done. I see movies and people say “He got a million dollars to make that movie!” and you look at it and think “He must have walked away with $900,000, because I don’t see it up there on the screen.” I’m going to make a movie this summer and we’re going to be lucky if we have 30 or 40 thousand dollars. Some of the best movies out there had no money. On all levels. Sometimes the money just seems to destroy them. Photography too. It’s just part of the working process. It’s not just me, everybody does this. Unless it’s a big fashion shoot where they know they have a hundred thousand dollars and the producer gets fifteen thousand, the agent gets twenty-five thousand, the photographer gets twenty thousand, and whatever’s left, you sprinkle around and hide it in things, and it gets back into your pocket some other way. If budget isn’t what determines somethings quality, what do you think actually determines it? That varies from each thing. Like a magazine, you could spend a ton of money on it, but if the stuff inside is crap, it’s still going to be crap. There’s one of the movies on Vimeo called Cutter, and its this girl talking about why she cuts herself. I interview her about it. That cost nothing, I did it right here. It’s got bad camera work, a shitty camera, a cheaper mic than this one, but what she’s talking about is so strong. It stands by itself. It surpasses the cheesy video I did. It looks super amateur. It’s in the product, if it’s not there… I was just looking at Harper’s Bazaar, looking at this photoshoot I know they spent $50,000 on, and it looks fucking boring. I couldn’t believe it. It looked so bad. It was this girl just standing there in some exotic location. That goes for everything, from magazines and books to building even. Are there any projects that you would like to embark on, but that you just don’t have the time or funding for? I have a project I’m working on, and what’s putting up this big resistance is fear. I have this fear about if I can do this, and then I think, sure I can. It’s usually that more than anything. The money part I don’t usually think about. Again, with the digital media thing, you can make something really strong. You know the movie Tiny Furniture? She made that with a (Canon) 5D. It cost nothing, that movie. There’s countless examples. Louie CK’s show, I heard he gets $15,000 an episode, and it’s just him walking around with a camera shooting. The content is so good it didn’t matter. It’s mostly time that becomes to issue. Time and having to support yourself become an issue. I don’t make a ton of money, I make enough to live on, but as soon as you want to step beyond that, it becomes an issue. God, I’m really talking a lot.



On an incredibly hot and sunny Friday afternoon in April, we took the 6 train up to Harlem. It was just a couple days

before we were set to table at the Brooklyn Zine Fest, and our arrival into the city the day prior was dreadful. Despite the setback and overall exhaustion, we were really excited to meet up with graphic designer, typographer, and illustrator, Ray Masaki at his apartment to film an interview. Once we finally arrived at his stoop, he buzzed us up and offered the two of us some much needed glasses of water.

Ray graduated from Parsons The New School For Design just a few years ago, and is currently studying typography

and lettering at Cooper Union. Ray has been doing his own independent design work for years now and started websites such as Emceez Ansari, clothing company LowdTown, and a new magazine called Atlent. Now, after studying design more intensively at school and on his own, he has several new directions he’d like to take his work. Although Ray is concerned with taking his art in a more serious direction and producing work that’s reverent to the masters of design that he looks up to, he still retains a youthful spirit towards projects, like his dream of creating his hot sauce label. Where are you from and where do you currently live?

And now you’re studying at Cooper Union?

I was born in Long Island, I grew up around Princeton in New Jersey, and I live in Harlem now.

Yeah, it’s like a post graduate program. It’s only one year, but it’s a certificate program for type face design, so it’s a pretty specific field to get into. I got a crazy teacher named Jesse Regan. He’s ridiculously amazing at typography. His eyes are like microscopes.

Did you go to school for art or were you self taught? Yeah I went to Parsons. I originally went for the Design and Technology program, but then wasn’t really feeling it. It wasn’t really what I was looking for I guess. I took a couple of illustration classes and the program seemed a little more focused and in my junior year I decided to switch.

How has living in New York impacted your work? Oh man, immensely. I’d say it’s one of my biggest influences. I mean, I haven’t lived anywhere else, so I can’t really say for sure, but I’m constantly inspired by the city. I love going to



museums. I love seeing people. I also get really car sick, and there’s not a lot of cars here. I love that, it’s all subway. Also, I don’t know if it’s specific to New York, but I’ve made connections that are very serendipitous and I feel like New York spawns a lot of these connections. At what point did you get interested in typography?

tell what region, what year, what location, how old the wine is, just by tasting it. I feel like that’s the same thing for these dudes in the type program. They’ll tell you who taught what, their influences, what country, why they do it a certain way, and obviously the name of the typeface, the foundry, the year it was released. It’s unbelievable the database of knowledge in their mind. I totally forgot the question. What was the question?

I was never really into type that much in college. I went to school originally for animation, and I was really into motion design, and that’s what I thought i’d be doing, but then literally my senior year of college I took this calligraphy course with this dude named Paul Shaw. He’s a crazy guy but he’s an amazing calligrapher. I didn’t really know what calligraphy was up until then, I just wanted to do more drawn type. I took that class and I was really really into it and that’s what led me to going into typography. I actually found that it suits me a little bit more, since I like detail oriented things, but also simple things. Typography is the perfect balance. It’s super fucking detail oriented, but at the end of the day it’s a simple form.

As I was saying, the people who become typeface designers, that’s their thing. I kinda liken it to being an animator, or a 3D modeler, I’m not trying to generalize anyone, but I feel like people who go into very specific fields, that’s sort their thing, right? You have to master it, you can’t really be a hobby animator. Can you? I don’t know. Maybe you can, but it’s a very time consuming thing. I like to do too many things to just be like “Alright, this is my thing.” That’s why I like lettering, it’s a combination of drawing and typography. That’s what works for me I guess.

What’s your process when doing typography?

I don’t really do that stuff too much right now. I started this t-shirt hustle in high school and I was one of those “Oh, I’m so into street art” and I thought the best way to get my stuff out there was to put it on t-shirts. I was actually really fucking corny. I’d sell it to all my high school friends. I’d get misprints and I’d still sell them because I didn’t have any money. When I got into college I tried to do it more seriously. It was still really bad, it wasn’t good at all. I was kinda jocking the Kid Robot style of designer toys and that kind of aesthetic. I guess it got kinda popular, but I wasn’t really feeling it that much. It started as one thing, but as I went through school it kept evolving into another thing. My senior year I was trying to work on it as my thesis and that was kinda the time I was trying to be a ‘serious artist’ or something like that. It really changed the direction of the brand. I didn’t really like that stuff either. Right now, I haven’t really told anyone yet, but I’m thinking about scraping it and starting fresh with something else. A lot of the stuff I do now is about my sense of humor, not my characters.

It really varies from project to project. Most of the stuff I do now is lettering based, custom typeface solution. Usually I’ll try to research the mood or time period or genre I’m going for. Then I’ll pull that all together and sketch a bunch. Usually, unless I’m doing some rough thing, I’ll bring it into the computer and digitize it in RoboFont. That’s the program we’re learning at the type program at Cooper. I can’t go back, I use it for everything now. It’s a super crazy version of Illustrator. It’s crazy. Do you have a specific goal with your typography? Do you eventually want to sell your own typefaces? I don’t know, I’m not that good. I wish I was. Some of the people you meet in the type program are insane, it’s very inspiring being around those people. Have you seen that documentary Somm, about the wine connoisseurs? They can

How did you first start Lowdtown?

“Typography is the perfect balance. It’s super fucking detail oriented, but at the end of the day it’s a simple form.”



I’m leaning more towards a lifestyle thing. I just make random shit that I think is funny. I had one idea for one of those felt pennants that says “Last Place” on it. I find a lot of humor in mundane shit. I think it’s funny where being normal is celebrated rather than being good at something. That’s what I’m trying to work on now. How did the utility of the internet affect you’re ability to sell clothing? Was it mostly helpful because it allowed you to reach a wider, more specific, audience? Or did it hinder a lot of sales, because of how unwilling to spend money people are due to the internet? I was very naive when I first started, I don’t think I could have done it without the internet. At the same time, I did some pretty bullshit amateur things because I felt empowered to do so. Back in the day, if you wanted to start doing t-shirts, you’d have to sell them out of your trunk and really get in front of people and sell them to stores. When you have a website, you don’t have to go through the tough stuff. I was arrogant when I first started off. I’m going to make a cool ass brand, but it wasn’t cool at all. I didn’t have a brand, I was faking it. That was a big thing for me, fake it till you make it. Looking back on it now, obviously there’s resources that help you push those things, like Twitter, Facebook, Instragram, but at the same time, now I’m more focused on trying to build a more organic audience as opposed to being a whore.

How hard was it to mass produce so many physical items to sell on your own, with such a risk of losing money? Before, I would work with printers. I’ve had some horrible experiences. I think the big thing was that I wanted to look like I was legit, even if I wasn’t. I’d want to do cut and sew, and make custom fabric hats. It would push me into a territory that I wasn’t comfortable with, and that I wasn’t ready to be doing, and I got screwed over a bunch of times. Now I’m trying to focus on limited goods that I have very strong control over and I can see the whole process and luckily I have some friends in the fashion industry. I have way more resources now to do the things I want, instead of trying to fake it. How would you describe the overall tone and aesthetic of your work? It’s weird, it’s almost cyclical. I almost started off with random drawings that made me happy. It was really corny, like in high school when you’re into street art and you draw a bunch of spray cans and stuff. I didn’t even vandalize anything, I was just like “Oh man, this is so cool.” I don’t think that’s as popular now, but back in high school if you had paint drips your shit was dope. Then I got into the toy culture. That was very vectory; sharp, crisp lines. Then towards the end of school I got into very rendered drawings.I think I was self conscious, because I thought that if I didn’t draw realistically, or figuratively, or very representational art, people weren’t going to take me seriously. When you go

“The funny thing is, the more loose my stuff is now, the more people respond to it. I guess that’s the evolution of my artwork. ”

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“Whenever I try to do something, I try to learn everything there is about it, or at least the history behind it. Even if not everything I do is historically accurate. I try to be as inspired as possible by the root. � FORGEARTMAG.COM


through your thesis, they’re sort of like “Hey, you should know what you’re doing by now.” In truth, nobody knows what they’re doing. I don’t know what I’m doing now. Your thesis is supposed to be this culmination of all your study, and it scares you into being like “I have to be serious now.” After I graduated, I started doing really loose stuff, and I figured out that’s what fit me the most. Your art isn’t supposed to be impressing anyone, and I found out that my constraint was trying to be cool or trying to be popular. The funny thing is, the more loose my stuff is now, the more people respond to it. I guess that’s the evolution of my artwork. Are there any specific clients or companies you would want to work for in the future? In terms of freelance, I always want cool new clients. I do have a lot of personal projects, just because I like making stuff. In terms of dream clients, I’d really want to do a hot sauce bottle. I’m a hot sauce nerd. I really really love hot sauce, I have like 12 bottles. It’s hard to find a really good one. I found one, it’s called the Dorado Diablo hot sauce from this taco place. I totally digressed. I want to do a bottle just because I really love hot sauce. Doom, he’s my favorite rapper of all time, and he has wonderful art direction. The artist who does most of his work is one of my favorite illustrators. I forgot what this dudes name was, but he does the coolest fucking artwork. He also works with ESPO, he’s a sign writer, and I’ve always wanted to be in that mix. I think he’s probably one of my biggest inspirations aesthetically. Spiritually. Who are some of your biggest influences as far as typography and lettering? Probably Lubalin. He’s just like, the god. Same with Doyald Young. Old school, traditional letterers. For a while I was into the trendy letterers, not that there’s anything wrong with that, I’m trying to be one. You know how if you look at the inspiration of the people your inspired by, that’s like the source of what’s good. I fucking hate when you look at Pinterest, and people aren’t lettering because they understand what they’re doing, they’re just copying the people that are lettering. That’s bullshit. It’s like trying to fly a plane because you like planes. You’re skipping a bunch of steps. Whenever I try to do something, I try to learn everything there is about it, or at least the history behind it. Even if not everything I do is historically accurate. I try to be as inspired as possible by the root. When you look at modern lettering, you see the Doyald Young, the Tom Carnase, Lubalin, Louise Fili, all those people. I think it’s really important to look at those people. I think one artist that I was really blown away by, and during college really influenced by, was Faust. He does a lot of very calligraphic things, and you can tell he’s the sort of dude who’s had some sort of formal training. Even with his tag, he doesn’t do a super quick one, he sorta takes his time. I don’t write or anything, but I always figured if I were to, I’d do some really nice shit.

What contemporary artists have impacted you and your work? My buddy John Garcia who is one of the sickest painters I know. He should be famous, but he’s playing the long game where he’ll be famous as shit in like the future, forty years down the line. I’ll own his pieces. Two contemporary illustrators that I’m good friends with, they’re really blowing up now, they all have a studio together. Monica Ramose, she’s a superstar now, I feel like I was watching her do it. Rachael Levit is also extremely talented, she’s probably the coolest person I know. Leah Goren is also part of that studio, she does amazing textile work. How has social media affected your ability to have more people find you and your work? I’m really bad at that stuff. I wish I had an intern to do it. I’ve actually had this conversation with Monica before. I don’t like that I care about what people think. I can’t help it, like when you get a heart or a like or whatever, it’s like crack. Aw man, I just want some more. I don’t want to care, but at the same time I’ll be really psyched about what I’ve done and post it on Instagram and nobody will like it. I’ll be like “What the fuck, this is the nicest thing I’ve done! Give me a break!” That’s the one thing I really don’t like about it. Sometimes I’ll feel like I’ll want to cater more to be popular, but like I was saying before, the more I don’t care about it, the better work I do. Tumblr I don’t really use, I just started a Tumblr recently. I post my doodles up there, I don’t really care. I use Instagram pretty frequently. I always don’t check it at night so when I take a shit in the morning I can go through and have my time. Same with Twitter. I really love Twitter because it’s all up to you. You follow who you want to follow. You can’t complain about Twitter, because Twitter is just the platform. When people are like “Why do I care about someones breakfast?” Well you’re following the wrong people then. I care about the people I follow and they provide interesting material to me. Art there any projects you would like to embark on, but just don’t have the time or funding for? I have this one project I’ve been working on for a while now. Especially because I’m in the Cooper program. Last summer I was teaching this girl calligraphy, helping her one on one and I was like “Oh man, it’d be really helpful if I had a notebook that had a grid system for learning calligraphy and lettering and stuff like that.” Don’t steal this idea, it’s mine. I have a prototype of this notebook for some time that has this niche grid system that I can use to teach, learn or just doodle letters. I think it’s a cool project that I’ve been wanting to work on, but I haven’t really had the time for. Sometimes I get lucky with the people I work with, and I’m working on this rebranding and a website for this dude named Todd from Canvas Society, and he’s this amazing business man who runs this stationary thing. It’s the perfect connection. I’m hooking him up with the website and branding, and he’s going to help me with stuff, an d he’s going to make it beautiful. I’m really excited about that.




FORGE. Issue 4: Sentimental  

FORGE. is a quarterly submission based art magazine, with the sole purpose of showcasing the work of different artists on the internet and a...

FORGE. Issue 4: Sentimental  

FORGE. is a quarterly submission based art magazine, with the sole purpose of showcasing the work of different artists on the internet and a...