Sunday, 16 January 2011

Off The Wall

A Clumsy View

This view started with a purchase of a well cool T-Shirt from the shop in The House Skate Park, Sheffield. We liked the T illustration so much we decided to track the artist down.

After a bit of a Google thrash and following a couple of leads we managed to hook up...

RD: Hey Clumsy nice to finally meet up, firstly tell us where you got your name please?

I’ve always been a clumsy person. Tripping over, walking into lamposts etc. I put it down to the fact that I am usually off in my own little world and therefore not fully concentrating on my surroundings! There is another, more sensible(?) reason. No matter what medium I work in, I always like to do things my way. I’m not a fan of reading the instructions. So I guess I have a Clumsy approach to technique, it’s not perfect, but I think that forms part of the appeal of my work.

RD: Fill us in about yourself, where your from, where you live, are you a self-taught artist... etc.

I was born in the USA but my parents are English, and we moved back when I was 3. I grew up in the middle England, but I always felt like part of me belonged in the good ol’ US of A. I moved to London when I was 18 to study graphic design at Central St. Martins, and then went on to work for Streetwear brands like Stussy, Underground England and Criminal Damage clothing.

RD: Can you describe your style for us?

It’s a mash up of all the things I am interested in really. I am fascinated by the 1950s, especially the emergence of youth culture in America around that time. My style is influenced by a lot of elements from that mid century era; Hot Rod culture, Rockabilly, skateboarding, and then later on Punk and street art, and old school tattoo art.

RD: What media turns you on?

I’m still a sucker for magazines and books. I love the internet, but you can’t beat a good magazine packed full of articles about inspiring people and cool shit. My current favourite magazine is called Dirty Magazine(see bottom of post for links)which is about people who take old stuff and chop it up and make it into something amazing; hot rods, bikes, musical instruments. It’s great if you are like me and into mid century stuff, but not a purist.

RD: Are you a proper tattoo artist... you know throwin down on skin?

I’m not a ‘proper’ tattoo artist, no. I’ve been fascinated by tattoos and tattoo art for many years now, but was always a bit scared of the pain (oh the shame) so I only got my first tattoo a couple of years ago, when a friend became a tattoo artist and talked me into it. Now I look back I can’t believe I put it off for so long!

I do ‘tattoo’ wooden things though. I actually started my tattooed wood after a dream I had a few years ago. I dreamt about the technique but I had no idea how I could actually do it. I spent about a year trying to find out! I am so grateful for that dream, because since then my work has developed to another level. I still like to draw and paint, but I am most happy when I am burning my art onto wooden objects!

RD: Where did your interest in skateboarding come from, do you skate yourself and where did the idea of tattooing boards originate?

Skateboarding is something that I grew up around I guess. I was always one of the ‘alternative’ kids and we all used to hang out in a certain section of the park, by the skate ramp. I also loved the art that could be found by visiting the local skate shop, and checking out decks by greats such as Jim Phillips, Shepard Fairey and Andy Mueller. The Punk side of it also really appeals to me, when skaters had to break into peoples back yards to skate in their empty pools. It all ties in with my fascination for mid century youth rebellion!

I don’t skate myself due to the aforementioned Clumsy issues. Lord knows I’ve tried! But when I started burning my art onto wood, tattooing skateboards seemed the logical thing to do!

RD: We bought a couple of your t-shirts from The House Skate Park in Sheffield, tell us how you came up with the designs.

When Phlegm approached me about the project he said I could do whatever I liked, which was exciting. I thought The House sounded a bit like a b-movie horror film, plus I have a penchant for sock monkeys wearing Fezes. So I decided to combine the two. It’s so random it actually works! And I love the glow in the dark girls version Phlegm printed up. He did a great job!

RD: What influences in your art do you get from the city of London, if any.

London is great because there is so much going on and there is a great melting pot of people, but sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. I’m lucky now that I have a few great artist friends in London and I meet new and amazing artists all the time, through my group London Lowbrow & Kustom Ko-op. I find the creative people around me inspire me more than anything else.

RD: If you sat on the Olympic committee and where asked to propose a different event into 2012, what would it be? (Go wild, the world your clam... ha ha).

Oh wow! Clumsyfest! Ha ha! I’d hold it at Tabacco Docks, where they have the London Tattoo Convention. It would be a massive exhibition of all the fantastic Kustom, Lowbrow and Street Artists I know, with stalls selling awesome handmade stuff, and independent labels. Tattoo artists, Live punk bands and live painting. Obviously a Vert ramp or two, and a bunch of cool Hot Rods. And Rum. Lots of Rum. Wow, I’m excited already!!!

RD:We're stoked as well... ha.

RD: Would you like to throw out a thank you to anyone?

Every one of the fantastic artists and designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and exhibiting with. The people who have been foolish/kind enough to put me in exhibitions and give me commissions in the last few years. Anyone who has ever bought a piece of my work. And you guys for asking me all these fun questions!

Kate Hawkridge

A.K.A Clumsy

Ace Clumsy- it's been a mutual thumbs up from The Collective, that you should give skin tattooing a go... thanks for your time and all the best☋

Do a catch up with Clumsy and her fave site:

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