#TMMArtistInterviews

Calamity Fair May 14 2018, 0 Comments

Pretty stoked to introduce our next artist that we met through our homie Tom that runs @ArtForTheSick. Before getting too deep into all the details let’s let this amazing artist John Vochatzer have his say in the following interview - enjoy!


Mural Work by @CalamityFair

TMM:
So John, where are you from, and where do you reside now?

JV:
I was born in Coos Bay, Oregon but spent most of my growing up in Stockton, California and the surrounding central Valley. Now I've been living in San Francisco for almost 15 years.

TMM:
Surfing the inter-webs we were able to check out some of your illustrations, murals, and of course your amazing collage work.
Are there any other mediums that you experiment with as well?

JV:
Thank you! Yeah those are pretty much my main gigs lately but I've dabbled in a little bit of everything. I did a lot of oil painting when I was younger but gradually fell out of that. Then I had a brief stint in film school, and although I quite quickly realized it wasn't an industry for me, film was and still is a big inspiration. Throughout my twenties I played in a few goofy punk bands and made a lot nonsense zines and unsigned practical-joke style street art. I didn't really take myself or anything seriously for that matter and creativity during this period was really just a vehicle for my own self amusement and making my friends and myself laugh. I've definitely grown out of that mentality since. I also write poems and like to cook.


Collage On Wood by @CalamityFair

TMM:
So John, we learned about your work via @artforthesick by first seeing your collage art.

Can you explain your process in which you create your collages? Are there particular types of magazines, books, or other mediums that you typically source materials and inspiration from?

JV:
Yeah @artforthesick! My friend and next door neighbor Tom runs that page. He's a weirdo, I think he's from Guam or something.

Yeah, about 98.5% of my material comes from used books and magazines I find at thrift stores, book sales, ebay, and this really cool store in the SF Tenderloin called "The Magazine" that has a bunch old photos and used magazines for like 35 cents a pop. Recently, as in the past six months or so, I've started scanning images and resizing and reproducing them. I found that sometimes I would be buying the same book over and over because it had so many usable images in it that eventually I decided I needed to find a more economic route. Now I'm hooked on reprinting and all the possibilities that come with being able to mass produce and layer the same image repeatedly. I also have a very meticulous way of organizing and categorizing the things I cut out. Everything gets put into boxes and albums each designated for it's specific type: limbs, tails, fish, eyes, teeth, snakes, wings, etc.


Tongue And Cheek Art Work by @CalamityFair.

TMM:
So John, can you talk a bit about your childhood and how any of the elements from where you grew up may have influenced the work you do today?

JV:
During the nineties when I was a kid, #Stockton was your pretty standard Californian city and as I remember it it wasn't at all a bad city to spend a childhood, during that time at least. That being said I did have periods of what I could only describe as a frenetic growing up that I think really led me to developing my imaginative side. I remember heavily obsessing over comics, trading cards, action figures, cartoons and maybe never even really understanding or paying attention to the stories and narratives that came attached with them, instead always fabricating and making up my own. I think my art as an adult still does this in a way, but now instead with things like #religiousiconography, #naturalhistory, #anthropology, #anatomy, #classicalart... the world via printed media has provided me with these #archetypes and with a foundation to disassemble and rearrange into my own #alternativeworld.

TMM:
That’s fascinating and magnificent how the these elements of your childhood can somehow show up in your work now.

So who were some influential artists for you growing up?


Wheat-Paste Collage by @CalamityFair

JV:
From the time I was a teenager all the way into my early twenties the surrealists were my idols. #MaxErnst, #YvesTanguy, #Magritte, and especially #Dalí. When I was a broke 17 year old I would go steal every book I could about them from the corporate book chains in Stockton and needed to gather every existing image and piece of printed information I could about these wondrous and mysterious people. I spent a good year obsessing over Antonin Artaud alone. I soon later went on to discover the lesser publicized women #surrealists like #RemediosVaro and #LeonoraCarrington who I found out were just as if not even more incredible #painters and also bad-ass #anarchists.

TMM:
John, where do you typically create your work?

JV:
Everywhere I go haha. I manage an apartment building and have a small office that I've used on-and-off as a workspace and my friend and fellow artist #MaxEhrman also has a studio in the building which he lets me use at night if I need to do anything with #spraypaint or #resin or other noxious chemicals but in all honesty the majority of my creative work gets done on my apartment floor. The type of work I do requires having a wide range of materials and supplies at my fingertips and until they day I can afford a large, spacious studio space to myself I've realized it's most practical just to keep everything together in a single place and that so happens to be the same place I sleep. I overall don't mind it except for I'm always having to step around piles of #razorblades and mounds of #paper and what have you.



Wheat-Paste by @CalamityFair

TMM:
Can you talk about some of the wheat-paste work you put out in the street?

JV:
Yeah wheatpasting is something I've always on-and-off done throughout my life. For the most part though it's usually been more lowkey like plastering up show flyers for my band or doing ballpoint drawings while bored at my job and then going and blowing them up at Kinkos afterwards and gluing them around my neighborhood. Only recently have I started to integrate the street art with my actual collage work. Not only did I just feel like my collages were at a good stage that they'd apply well to outdoor street art, but I've felt like San Francisco now more than ever, as I watch it increasingly become more corporate and mundane, needs more weird, outlandish shit out-and-about to keep things interesting and alive. In the past year I've also spent time in Buenos Aires and Barcelona doing paste-ups and am hoping to get out to a lot more cities in the near future.
TMM:
So John are you involved with your art full-time? If not, how are you currently able to balance the work you do creatively?

JV:
I'm definitely not unacquainted with the side gigs and occasional odd jobs haha! Creative liberty is something that is very important to me and consequently I turn down the majority of commission and design work I get asked to do. I almost always regret accepting it and it distracts me from the projects I'd rather be working on. On the other side of that I end up missing out on lot of money because although the fine art sales can be great at times, I'm sure as a lot of artists know, they aren't consistent. Fortunately when I need to I manage to find work that gives me space to breath and be creative and a lot of downtime to do what I want to do.

Eye Full Flower by @CalamityFair

TMM:
What are some of your goals creatively with the work you are creating?

JV:
My biggest goals are just to keep my imagination stimulated and to keep bringing my inner world into the outer world just with more and more precision, abundance, and detail. I also work in so many different styles and mediums that one of my current goals is focusing on bridging a lot of the gaps therein. Sometimes I look back on my work over the past few years and think to myself "holy shit, this looks like it could be the work of five different people." And while I think that definitely has it's merits, I'm really trying to develop all of my facets to a point in which they more fluidly work together. 

TMM:
John, what advice would you give other aspiring artists interested in pursing their dreams of being an artist that you have learned in your own experience?

JV:
Everybody's path to doing what they want to do is different. If there's one piece of advice I'd give though its don't worry about what other people are going to think or say of you. I think a lot of people hold back from their dreams because of lack of confidence and fear of judgement. I myself was really apprehensive about creating for a good period because I kept thinking in my mind that what I was doing was too weird and people would misunderstand it or think that it was just some kind of freak druggy art. I let that go and I let my imagination run wild, feral, and free now and I've grown a lot more and come a lot further because of it.


Beauty In The Flower Eye Of The Beholder by @CalamityFair.

TMM:
If there were any creator that you could collaborate with living or dead who would it be and why?

JV:
This is a bit of a tough question. What I like most about collaborative art is the element of play and surprise so I suppose I'd want to collaborate with someone who'd cater to that. Alejandro Jodorowsky comes to mind but he's such a one-man visionary dynamo I don't even know how that'd work. Maybe Marcel Duchamp? I don't know. 

TMM:
Can you talk about the current print project that you are working on currently?


A Feral Bouquet by @CalamityFair available here.

JV:
Absolutely. I'm doing a pre-order limited edition print release of three of my more recent mixed media collages starting on May 14th this month. The release will be in collaboration with my friend Mike @strange_cessation who does all of my fine art and street art printing and the goal is basically just to help fund my street art and afford to do bigger and better things and in more cities. I'm hooked on full color imagery and as you can imagine the tab on that runs up pretty quickly. Hopefully it goes well and I can keep doing what I like to do and bring big colorful creatures to life out on the streets!

El Obsceno Pájaro De La Noche by @CalamityFair
Print available here.


TMM:
John, how did you get the IG handle @CalamityFair?

JV:
Calamity Fair was actually the name of a zine I was working on in like 2011 or 2012 that I never quite finished. Somehow I had come up on this gigantic stack of Vanity Fair magazines and my idea was to remix them into this surrealist, dissociative zine called Calamity Fair. I opened my instagram account shortly after with the idea of it being a good platform for posting pictures of the zine as I made it, which I kinda did/kinda didn't do and eventually as that idea faded out the name stuck and it's inadvertently become my artist alias. Now I find myself constantly being referred to as Calamity Fair or just Calamity, and although it was never my initial intent I don't really mind it. It fits.

TMM:
Ok now the fun stuff; tell us a joke.

JV:
No thanks, I've just already spent enough time talking about my life.


Wheat-Paste by @CalamityFair

TMM:
Ask us any question.

JV:
Whats your social security number?
TMM:
222-22-2222 - we got an answering machine that can talk to you. Btw that was the best question any artist has ever asked us! Be sure to follow John Vochatzer on IG: @CalamityFair

If you are interested in future projects that The Method Makers and John will be working on together, be sure to sign up for our mailing list or following The Method Makers on IG.

Peace!
The Method Makers

It's Ooh - We Thought You Knew? March 31 2018, 0 Comments

Super juiced to share this next artist interview.

We’ve been following Udon’s work for the last few years now. As one of the founding members and creators for @oit_taipei we got an exclusive with him about his roots, the inspiration behind all the creative work he does in the streets, his music and with the brand. Yeeeee!


(@its_ooh & we thought you knew)

TMM:
Yo Don, we’ve been following your work for some time now. Really diggin' all that you are doing creatively. How long you been writing Udon & where did the name originate from?

OOH:
I got the name "WU" from my ancestors on the China/Mongolia side of my family. I added the "DON" part cause I went to De Anza high school where the mascot was a Don. I guess also cause I'd rather be a Don than a King...

I was sitting in English class ‪around 2:00pm‬ in the afternoon trying to figure out a name... I don't have any connection to the noodle, but it has helped me connect to my Japanese culture. I started writing Udon in 2000 but was spraying here and there since the 3rd grade.



(The Ghost by Udon)

TMM:
So what's the deal with the character that you write with black eyes and a hood?

OOH:
Ghostface...Thats the spirit bruh...
"The ghost of graffiti " ... I basically am biting Twist since that is the era that really got me.. and that generation made characters an essential part of the game...if not.. at least tolerated.

Sometimes I felt it was a self portrait of me lurking...
other times I felt as though I worked for him and he was/is from another dimension and I had to paint him in this realm for whatever reason.
*hits blunt*


(TAIBAY courtesy @OIT_Taipei)

TMM:
Yo Ooh, when last we heard you’ve split lot time between the Bay and Taiwan. Are you a native of the Bay - or where are you from exactly?

Do you stay in Taiwan mostly and how did you end up taking residence there? .

OOH:
Born in the Bay.. but I have been hybridised since a lil kid always visiting Asia in the summers usually.

I moved to the Philippines when I was 13 for a 3 years. Moved back to the Bay for a while and I left for Asia around the time Bush stole the election. Then I remember seeing Obama win the election and I was like.. Oh man America...

I came to Taiwan not knowing if I would stay but I just couldn't see myself subscribing back into the system that is America.


Where am I from exactly? I'm still searching for that answer but for now the word "Baysia" will suffice.


(OIT Eggshell Slap, courtesy @Oit_Taipei)


(@Oit_Taipei courtesy @Oit_Taipei)

TMM:
Word up! Traveling man we dig it. With regards to Taipei, we’ve been checking the creative work you’ve been doing for OIT. Are you the main creator for this movement, or are there others involved that are puttin in work?

OOH:
OIT is a Tribe.. A collective.  I do my part doing some creative/design work and also keeping our Taipei location in motion but am not the main creator.

At the moment NOE, @onetwoclu  @fundelight  @tpooc are very active in projects but the list of names goes deep. Shout out to everyone who does their part to keep OIT and the tradition alive.


(@Oit_Taipei courtesy @Oit_Taipei)


(@Oit_Taipei courtesy @Oit_Taipei)

TMM:
Yo Ooh can you breakdown the history and inspiration behind OIT?

OOH:
OIT originally stood for "Only In Taiwan". Used to express how amazed we were as Cali kids in Taiwan getting away with what you wouldn't in the Bay. Around 2009, SAYM and FAST were drinking beers in a 7-11 in Taichung and xerox copying photos to make the first OIT zine. After that, NOE made a OIT zine with lots of gems. We were just focused on painting and photos at that time. No idea of ever making clothing.

A year or so later, HOWA and some of the homies printed some OIT logo T-shirts and slowly it bubbled into where we are now. Having a team full of writer/biker/skater/lurker kids we had the city grilled with stickers and paint so we got alot of free advertisement.

OIT at this point in time is both local Taiwan culture and a mixture and blend of the outside culture that comes and adds to the flavor.


(#OnlyInTaiwan courtesy @Oit_Taipei)

TMM:
Word!

So Ooh, you’ve been involved with music, for sometime right? One of our NBK homies RUOK @w3tpaint was talking to us about how he picked up one of your mixed tapes a while back. Can you describe how the music you are mixing/producing/listening to influences the work that you do?

OOH:
I would say the one main direct effect music can have on my graffiti is hitting up lil quotes next to tags.

But I suppose a certain song I might have on repeat might make me feel a certain color vibration and I will want to use that color to paint with.

1. In the street - good mobb music for driving around at night to smack spots and make me feel all ninja.

2. On the OIT Label - as far as when trying to do creative work for OIT.. I just try to listen to whatever fits the vibe im in. I usually take walks and listen music and take visual queues from the streets and snap shots for reference.

TMM:
That’s dope. We can see how music can have a big impact on you depending on what you are doing creatively at the time - we can dig it.


(Udon by @Its_Ooh)

TMM:
Yo OOH, what are some of the major projects that you are working on creatively right now and the rest of ‘18?

OOH:
Mainly, I'm just trying to get these passport stamps and dump these streakers, stickers and cans of paint. I'm trying to wrap up the Udon world tour by 2020. Other than that, more mixtapes and possibly some type of production?! I wanna record a mix of songs to give to people at my funeral service too.

*hits blunt*

I'm also helping Optimist and Stuey with their UCIT video project which is coming along well and hopefully we can get some type of backing to do more episodes in different countries.

Other than that, I'm currently working on building up a new location for OIT in Taipei as well as doing more pop up events around the island of Taiwan, Asia and even in California.

Oh and I just decided that I am gonna work with @e40 at some point soon. Can't speak on details but it will happen.

TMM:
Sick! Looking forward to hearing and seeing more of this as it develops.

Can you share some of your goals creatively for the art you produce in the streets, and/or for galleries?

OOH:
For the streets, to get those super dummy cutty tuck spot tags that when seen fools will be like "bruh!?"

Also, to do it all from shitty fill ins to colorful bangers to huge rollers preferably on a rooftop up high or close to airplane landing zones so fools flying into a country see it as they descend on to the tarmac.

I don't have much aspiration to be in galleries but I am not 100% against it. If I did do anything gallery wise, it would be something to do with the Ghostface character or just centered around photography I have been working on lately.


(Often In Transit courtesy @Oit_Taipei)

TMM:
Yo Ooh, what about OIT? What are some of the goals you hope to achieve with the movement?

OOH:
Although, there is always more to achieve, I do feel happy about where we are and what we have accomplished. Seeing people from Japan, Australia, USA, Europe, Vietnam, Philippines, Hong Kong etc. come to the shop keeps me pumped.

But one thing other than making more dope gear, would be to start bringing both musical and visual talent to Asia and doing shows and parties out here. I feel that both sides need it. Some DJ or painter from the Bay would probably benefit from coming out here and the local youth and scene here needs to be exposed to the culture in real life, not just thru the internet.

TMM:
Word, travel and culture exposure is good for the soul.


(YE'OL, Udon, OptimiStuey, Metro Manila, Philippines Courtesy Is Tap)

TMM:
So can you tell us about your crew THE MD's.

OOH:
The MD's was founded by YE'OL and myself in the early 2000's around the time grape Swishers and Hyphy Juice were poppin.

I had met YE'OL in passing several times at Hip Hop in the Park in Berkeley but we never linked. When I moved to Oakland, I noticed his cutty hands around the area I lived and figured he might live around also. When we finally linked thru other hip hop functions I realized he was repping YMD and I was repping BMD which was a lil fake crew me and my older brother made in like 1994-95.

Finding out me and YE'OL were basically on the same vision and mode we decided to drop the Y and the B and just rep THE MD's since there weren't many crews with that kind of name.

We have Many Definitions for the MD's but here are a few : #MyDogs #MaineyDreams #MobileDispensary #MarijuanaDoctors #MakingDollars #MultiDimensional #MostlyDirty #MobbingDolo #ManagingDistricts #ManilaDecorators #MayorDellums #MikeDream #‪MacDre‬

‪TMM:‬
‪Yeeeeeee!‬


(Udon Roller by @Its_Ooh)


TMM:
Yo Ooh, top 5 hip hop songs that you feel everyone should search for that you feel are underrated, underground or otherwise?

OOH:
Stunny - Run that shit back
Green Team - Go Dumb USA (intro song) (this song should replace e40 tell me when to go as the main hyphy anthem)
@E40 - three jobs
Messy Marv & San Quinn - Smile
L-Deez - Going up (only on sound cloud)

I could go on and on .. but there you go.

Can I just include one song I hope to never hear in a party setting again...
Jay-z and Alicia Keys - New York ... please never play that

No diss to those artists.. I fux with them but that one song.. please spare me.

TMM:
Haha word that shit gets waaaaay too much play. I think we can all agree we good for the next 10 - 20 years.


(Udon Roller by @Its_Ooh)

TMM:
Yo Don tell us a joke.

OOH:
Donald Trump is the president of the United states.

Hella people still think 9-11 was caused by middle eastern terrorists.

TMM:
Got emmmm... Ok, ok, so nowww ask us any question. What have you been dying to ask? Anything you want. Go!

OOH:
How do you feel when you hear a record like ‪2pac‬'s new one?

TMM:
Hahaha 🔥🔥🔥

OOH:
Would u rather eat noodles or rice for the rest of your life?

TMM:
Noodles all day boyyyy. Long life on birthdays for all the Pinoys - shout out to moms!

OOH:
What do you think would happen if all different ethnicities left America to return to their home country and brought all their money and resources with them?

TMM:
A small population of Native American tribes that still own Casinos would continue to prosper and all the writers would go buck on all the govt. buildings.

Aight anyone out there you wanna shout out before we rap?

OOH:
@wontywon @strait.toy @gravoringo @enjoy_one1 @nastynush
@later_est.2013 @henkaone @220_220 @dynomiteemcee

TMM:
Word we got em! Peace & Love homie! Bless Up!


(TMM Blackbook - Handstyles by Udon)
---

Mad love to the Don for taking the time to connect with us!


(Ghost by Udon)

-TMM


Never Say Nevr March 29 2018, 0 Comments


(Live from Laguna, Philippines; Walls By
@nevr_lgs #NoseBleedKrew)

We're pretty stoked to present the next artist that we’ve had the opportunity to connect with.

We’ve been following the work of Nevs for the last few years since @basiclee inducted the homie into NBK.

Let’s get into the interview...

TMM:

Ok Nevs, where you from in the Philippines?

Nevs:

Right now, I’m currently living both in Santa Rosa City, and Marikina City, Philippines


(Walls By @nevr_lgs #NoseBleedKrew)

TMM:
And so tell us how you got the name Never/Nevr/Nevs?

Nevs:
I got it from a magazine article of a writer that used to write Never, so since he's writing a new tag so I thought I use it. Then took the 2nd E out cause I'm lazy to do 5 letters, so Nevr. Then facebook won't approve of that name so they recommend Nevs. But the name is also for all my frustrations in life all the "Never" things in my life. So yeah that's it.


(Walls By @nevr_lgs #NoseBleedKrew @quiccs #PilipinasStreetPlan)


(Walls By @nevr_lgs #NoseBleedKrew @quiccs #PilipinasStreetPlan with
love from Pasig, Metro Manila, Philippines.)



(
#NoseBleedKrew by @nevr_lgs #KillTV @basiclee with paint from Marikina, Philippines.)


TMM:
Yo Nevs, from our understanding you get down a lot and are super busy. From following your work these last couple of years it seems like you rep a bunch of different crews. Can you name them all?

Nevs:
I do rep a lot of crews. Let’s see there’s GAK, ECDK, NBK, TFK, PSP & LGS..


(#ThreeFlareKrew By @nevr_lgs)


(
Walls by @nevr_lgs #LagunaGraffSquad)


(
Walls by @nevr_lgs #LagunaGraffSquad)

TMM:
Damn that’s crazy! What do they all mean brooo?

Nevs:
Yeah - Guerrilla Aerosol Kru, East Coast Dead Kids, Nose Bleed Krew, Three Flare Krew, Pilipinas Street Plan & Laguna Graff Squad.


(Wall Art by
@distortmonsters @nevr_lgs #NoseBleedKrew Parañaque City,
Metro Manila, Philippines)

 

TMM:
Dope. So is there any message message your trying to convey with the work you do within each of the different crews?

Nevs:

I'd say for the LGS, it's all Laguna based writers.

PSP, is like a collective, that each member has been focusing on their own. But the main focus still is being the street art. Promoting the sub-culture/culture for the mass.


(Walls By @nevr_lgs #NoseBleedKrew @quiccs
& various writers from #PilipinasStreetPlan)


(Wall Art by
@nevr_lgs #NoseBleedKrew in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna,
Philippines.)


TMM:
Rad. But what about the work you do on the street? Like graffiti for instance?

Nevs:
Well I feel that doing graffiti is political itself.

As for the crews I rep, there are no political agenda/causes, but maybe some. Just awareness of what's happening I guess.

TMM:

Word up Nevs, we can dig it. So what projects are you working on currently?


(Assorted Bando Signage Exhibited by
@nevr_lgs #NoseBleedKrew Laguna, Philippines.)

Nevs:

Current work now at Ronac Lifestyle Center in Magallanes for the Manila Takeover exhibit alongside many talented artists.

TMM:
Dope brotha, much love for taking the time to connect with us. Also appreciate the time given our 15+ hour time difference. Much love and regards to the fam back home!

Nevs:
Peace!


---

You can follow more of Nev’s work
here by hitting the follow button on your instagram app, or signing up for our mailing list here, or following The Method Makers on Instagram. Yeeeeeee!