Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Interview with M.O.F.O. Aka Martin and Felix!

Hey Everybody!! I know we are all excited about Urban Craft Uprising this weekend…but I wanted to wet your whistle for the upcoming Schmancy show on December 11, 2009 Featuring Martin + Felix Ontiveros, a solo show of dad and son aka “M.O.F.O.”(see below)! Come to the Opening from 6-9pm on the 11th!

S: How did you come up with the concept and name of your show?

M.O. (Martin): Our show is called "M.O.F.O." (Martin Ontiveros, Felix Ontiveros). I originally titled us "Team Ontiveros", but then one day we were walking back from school and the acronym hit me... and I was like, "DUH. Why hadn't that occurred to me before??" It's cool because it's similar to other comic team's logos, like S.H.I.E.L.D. for instance. And it's a dirty joke, but Felix doesn't know that... The show concept is pretty simple, it's just about our love of superheroes--specifically Marvel this time around. I was booked to do this show by myself initially, but then thought I'd bring Felix in on it too. He's pretty obsessed with this stuff (in no small part due to my influence of course), churning out comic after comic of his own, and bombarding me with questions about heroes (I have since purchased both the Marvel and DC encyclopedias to relieve me of this duty)... so I figured this could be a good way to channel this obsession. It turned into a great thing to do on our days together over the summer, especially the papier mache sculptures!

F.O. (Felix): I like superheroes, and thought we should do Marvel superheroes first.

S: Wow that is pretty awesome and I love the acronym! So, do you have craft hour/night?

M.O.: Pretty much anytime we feel like it, never a set time really. We do it more than we watch TV, actually.

F.O.: We do it anytime we want to.

S: That’s a really great way to spend time together. So what's your favorite old and new cartoon?

M.O.: Man, that would be several for me. Old: Battle of the Planets. New: Batman-The Brave and the Bold

F.O.: My favorite old cartoon is Ben 10. My favorite new cartoon is Batman-The Brave and the Bold.

S: Seems like great cartoonists think alike! Where do you get your inspirations?

M.O.: For me it's all the cartoons, movies and comics I ingested as a kid, and rock n' roll. Music is a huge part of it. Felix too-- seeing him develop as an artist and storyteller is really something... like the Juggernaut, he's unstoppable!

F.O.: It's something to do while you're bored.

S: Well Felix, I hope you get bored a lot! What's your favorite holiday tradition?

M.O.: Can't say we're very traditional... but the last few years I've had a little silver electronic tree that I pull out of the closet and switch on. If Felix gets a big Lego set for Christmas (and he usually does), we'll hang out and build it together, listen to tunes and eat.

F.O.: Get presents!

S: Sounds like a good time, I think everyone loves presents, especially lego sets! I know I do! Do you have any new projects coming up that you'd like to share?

M.O.: As a team, we're going to continue to make papier mache sculptures of superheroes. Maybe make another zine or two. We're booked to do a show here in Portland next Fall too (at Black Wagon), which will be DC comics themed.

F.O.: The DC comics show I guess.

S: Good to share the wealth with DC and Marvel I suppose…What's a perfect dinner together?

M.O.: Cheap sushi night downtown, probably!

F.O.: Sushi at Sushi Ichiban downtown, the one with the train. It used to be called Sushi Takahashi, but they changed the name. Everybody still calls it Sushi Takahashi though.

S: Any last words for the world to know?

M.O.: Uhhh... I turn 40 years old the day after our opening.

F.O.: I'm good.

S: Looks like we will have another great show on our hands at Schmancy in just a week and a half!! See you at the opening!! xo

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Made by Moxie toy EXCLUSIVE

I think Moxie makes the most awesome, clever, funny amazing felted toys this side of the Mississippi. Don't you? She has made these adorable squeakers for a Schmancy exclusive. Something I would like to add she doesn't do much of get 'em while they are hot! They will be up tomorrow!

S- What was your inspiration behind these fantastic creatures for your plush exclusive?

MBM- Because it's an exclusive, I wanted to make something fun and personable... something that would "speak" to the people. Replace "speak" with "squeak" and you pretty much have it.

S- How has your work evolved from the beginning of creating magical felted monsters?

MBM- While I love making squeakers and finger puppets, I've become driven to creating conceptual pieces. A lot of times my work might be anthropomorphic, but if you look beyond the cuteness, you'll find layers of meaning.

S- Where do you see your monsters in 10 years?

MBM- Ruling the night.

S- What are you most excited for in the next few months?

MBM- I'm excited to be a part of the 5th Annual Urban Craft Uprising show in Seattle. I'm also working on an instructional needle felting book due out in 2010. The next few months will be full of felting, writing and possibilities.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Introducing... Le Merde!

I interviewed the awesome dudes (John Black and Mike Kelley) from Le Merde who will be having a solo show on Friday November 13 from 6-9 at none other than Schmancy!

S: What inspires you to create such awesome characters?

JB - Well.. most of my characters are based on people I went to High School with. Growing up in the 70's and 80's I was left with tons of images of interesting people. I'm inspired by these stoners, geeks and general freaks. From these images and memories I recreate these people into my own universe.

LM - Usually I start with a thought or characteristic of someone and go from there. My Hollis Price character started with being slightly obsessed with Thin Lizzy and John McEnroe. Then added a little Ted Nugent and there he was. But other times it's just doodling and what comes out comes out.

S: Have you been traveling lately? If so where and what was the coolest thing you did?

JB - I recently went to Vegas and saw Pete Rose. Topper for sure.

LM - I just got back from LA and got to hang with David Horvath of Ugly Dolls there. He drove my ass everywhere. David is a top notch dude. Very generous. I also got to shake hands with George Takei.

S: Those are some pretty warm places, hope you can handle the rain in Seattle! So, what was your favorite toy (and/or) cartoon growing up and why?

JB - I collected a lot of He-Man and Transformers until I got my first skateboard and then after that it was all hanging with the dudes. But yeah I still got all my He-Man and Transformers.

LM - I collected the normal stuff like Star Wars and G.I.Joe. But my first gotta have items as a kid was Atari and every system after that. Atari, 5200, 7800 and then Nintendo. Those are the memories I still think about. Staying up all night and playing the first Zelda. That was the best. Most of my toy memories are finding the mark downed toys at the Drug Store down the street. Tons of M.U.S.C.L.E and Imagic Atari games and 3rd party games. These marked down games were .99 cents sometimes in 1982-83. Sweet!

S: I think everyone loves 80’s cartoons! Does Friday the 13th freak you out?? Do you have any superstitious tendencies?

JB - No I'm stoked.

LM - It's more exciting then a freak out.

S: To wrap up, what upcoming projects/shows are you especially excited about (besides the solo show at Schmancy on Friday Nov 13 of course) ?

JB - I'm in the upcoming Post-It Note show at Giant Robot in Dec. Should be killer.

LM - I'm totally digging the new season of Sons of Anarchy. Shit is good. Also Top Chef is really good this season. Project Runway is pretty pretty lame. Go back to Bravo you jerks!

S: Thanks guys!! Can’t wait to see your show “Terry and Vince Go... Way....Way” at Schmancy on November 13!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

APAK! Interview

I interviewed Aaron and Ayumi of
APAK!! and here's the dynamic duo's answers!! Come see them and their awesome art next Friday September 11 from 6-9 at Schmancy!!

S- The story of how you met is super sweet, (see here what made you move from Michigan to Oregon?

APAK- Actually we lived in Oakland, CA and Saitama, Japan for a few years
before we settled in Portland, Oregon. But when we were in College we went
on a little road trip to Portland so maybe it stuck in our hearts since
then. We’ve been here for almost 5 years now and really love it. Portland
has been good to us in many ways.

S- What are your favorite forest creatures?

APAK- Favorites are hard to pick because all animals are all so precious. But we like quails, rabbits, squirrels, bears, deer, sloths, warthogs, snails, and porcupines to name a few.

S- Do you have any crazy habits or superstitious acts that you do before starting a piece of art together?

APAK- We try to avoid habits and go with the flow. We like to look around, go for walks, explore new places. We get a lot of inspiration from nature. We like to experiment and try new things each time. Is looking under rocks superstitious?

S- Only if you look under rocks every few minutes or so I think you are safe! Your show at Schmancy is titled “Tiny Adventures” who is the main character(s) and what was your inspiration for this show?

APAK- Some of our characters are our guides the “Happy Hermits”, they are like little traveling gnomes that live humbly and harmoniously that like to explore fantastic places and show us wonderful things.

S-Do you have any upcoming events/projects you want to tell everyone about?

APAK- We just did a shirt, mug, and wallet with the good people at POKETO, Ayumi has a new set of “Friendship” cards out on our Etsy site, We have a solo show in Portland at GrassHut in December that we are excited about doing a special installation for... Hopefully we will be putting out a childrens book soon! And our house is a never ending project.

S- Sounds like Schmancy is luck to have you in here, can't wait to see your latest work 'Tiny Adventures' on September 11, 2009 from 6-9pm.

Friday, July 31, 2009

This month's artist is Ryan Berkley of Berkely Illustrations he will be showing off his famous animals all dressed up! You can check out his blog too! Here is our recent interview with Ryan:

S-What is your show at Schmancy focusing on?
BI-I'm doing a series of Sasquatch portraits called "Creature People".
One thing I have noticed from doing art shows in Seattle is that the people there seem fond of the Sasquatches. My series depicts a certain zany-ish tribe residing somewhere not far from Seattle.

S-That's so true, we are crazy for sasquatch here! For those of us who don’t know, what has inspired you to create animals all dressed up?
BI-I guess it dates back to 3 or 4 years ago when I was into doing old west/turn of the century portraiture. And one day I drew a Koala in a suit. And then another animal. And then tons more.
I'd say my love for all animals and awesome old timey-photos finally came to a head.

S-What is your most favorite animal ever?
BI-Tiger sharks. They're filthy, scary, unpredictable, giant tropical fish with crazy looking teeth that live life by their stomachs- eating birds, turtles, and man-made garbage from the sea floor. They're the goats of the sea. My second favorite animals are the goats of the land.

S-Any new projects or events you want to tell us about?
BI-I currently have a few portraits for sale through Urban Outfitters, I just finished doing some portraits for a RADICAL project with a great design team in Seattle, Creature design (our project: secretsherrysociety), I will be appearing at Crafty Bastards in D.C., hopefully Renegade Chicago, and I will be in Seattle doing the awesome Urban Craft Uprising shows in early August and again in December.
Also, my wife and I are also in top secret talks of a possible book project...

S-Great! we look forward to seeing you at UCU and Schmancy!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bwana Spoons & Abe Lincoln Jr. Interviews!!

Bwana Spoons and Abe Lincoln Jr. will be showing new work at Schmancy this Friday, July 10th. Opening Reception is from 6:00 to 9:00. Below are the interviews we did:

S-Hi Bwana! How is your WTF Book Tour going?

BS-Tour is going great. I’m meeting new peeple and seeing some old faces. It was really awesome to be back in Paris again. This froggy really needs to learn some french. Cause I want to go back again. Only a few hick-ups so far. I just got all my stevens in, so this week before I see you guys I need to back track and paint NYC big apple stevens and some euro stevens and schmancy stevens and Grass hut stevens, then paint the balls off of some more after the weekend before I take off for SF, LA, and San Diego.

S- I've heard Rosetta Stone is helpful in learning French...What has been your favorite place on your travels so far?

BS-WTF travels? Paris is the bomb, but I had lots of fun in london and New York too. Each place has its own magic. New York has hands down the most smells and best graffiti. I went to Mishka, snacky, AG Gallery and a rice pudding boutique, and met up with some huge thunder and lightning. In london concrete hermit was nice, I went to a rad fixie shoppe, Lik neon, and ate some shish.

S- Are you really excited to see any specific place?

BS-I like driving by myself. Looking forward to a little pitstop in the redwoods, as I have been reading about redwood canopies. SF is like my second home, and Tokyo isn’t too far away now. Excited about everything right now.

S-In Paris did you ride the metro or the buses?

BS-I rode the metro which was super easy and fun, London tubers was even easier and was the cleanest so far eh.

S-Have you been poked in the eye from a pencil fight yet?

BS-No, but the Parisians hadn’t done PF’in before and I thought somebody was going to get something in the eye there.
The Pencil fights have been the most fun so far. Good way to bring peeple together.

S-Glad to hear! Thanks Bwana! Now to our other artist showing this month at Schmancy, Abe Lincoln Jr.

S-What new techniques are you using to create your art?

ALJ-For Handcrafted Vectors, I've decided to show this new process I've been working on. Basically I'm trying to combine various techniques from Street Art, wheatpaste, boards, and tagging to create new collage/decoupage work. I'm really happy with how these new pieces have come out. I have to say that this is my favorite solo show yet. It's really exciting to be exploring again and trying out new things.

One of the things I really like about these works is that I've added an element of organic texture to all the pieces. This is really exciting to me after so many years of mainly working in vector or sharpie.

I have tons of paper laying around the house so I started just painting very loose and rough over what I had using primary colors in acrylic. Then I got in there with Paint Pens trying to lay down smooth character shapes that flowed & kept the details simple. I would I then cut out the character shapes and wheatpasted them to painted boards. I wanted to maintain that rough bubbly look of a hastily pasted up poster in the street in these pieces, and I thought I added more texture to the work as well.

S-It sounds really great, we can't wait to see it. What is inspiring you to change how you are working?

ALJ-Basically I've decided I wanted to experiment with merging the style I've used in my vector work with my hand drawn stuff. Simple shapes and clean design are always inspiring to me. I wanted to create a feeling with these works that evoked colorforms, kids books, and mid century illustration. It wasn't until I'd done a few of these pieces when I realized that they really evoked Eric Carle's work as well.

Also I’ve spent the last couple years really focusing on concept driven projects, be it platform toys, or my new project for design objects - Fugue State Records. Its nice to take a break from pitching ideas to companies and trying to figure out how I'm gonna finance projects and just focus on doing some hand made work that just requires me some supplies and a lot of hard work.

I'm certainly not changing up styles completely but I want to integrate more hand made art in my body of work in the future.

S-That's really cool! Tell us more about the work in your show.

ALJ-One of the things I really like about these new works is that they are often bright and inviting but then you look at them and there's a confrontational element to many of them. The inclusion of private parts on a lot these simple cute characters is really jarring to me, specifically on Remain Awesome. I mean holmes has a boner and his butt is talking... The boner was unintentional but I think its hilarious and totally adds to the work.

The theme of the show seems to have evolved into primitive tribes, old tyme religion, animism, mythology and of course a new series of Char (the bird) pieces all made by hand instead of my traditional vector work.

Doing these Char pieces in this new style has kind of revitalized him to me and I'm planning to do a a new series of Char work in this style for the future.

S-Are there upcoming shows or projects you want to mention?

ALJ-Mainly right now I'm trying to secure backing for a new project I'm working on called Fugue State Records. Its basically a fictional Extreme Music label and I will be laser etching various materials to look like stylized 7" records. I've got a roster of fictional Hardcore and Metal bands that I will be doing releases for in the same way a real record label would. The first release is by the Icelandic Black Metal band Asspanther. There is no music associated with any of the releases as I'm currently using to raise the fundage so you can go check out the site and if youre down you can contribute to help bootstrap an awesome new Art Project: fugue state records

I also have another solo show at the Last Exit bar on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn in October.

S- Do you like cats or dogs?

ALJ-This is the second interview in a row where I got this question. Lol. I am a cat person.

S-Thanks Abe! See everyone at Schmancy on Friday July 10!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Coco Howard and Spencer Moody Preview

Please join us on April 10th from 6:00 to 9:00 for the opening reception of 'Is This Love or Just a Beautiful Dream?'.

Spencer Moody
Is This Love (#1, #2, #3)
$80.00 each
Water Color
18" x 24"

Spencer Moody
Or Just A Beautiful Dream (#1, #2, #3)
$80.00 each
Water Color
18" x 24"

Coco Howard
Pupae : needle felted plush creature incased in a 100% silk cocoon.
Edition of 5

Coco Howard
Serpent Dream: Needle felted wall hanging, mounted on board,
48" x 37"

Coco Howard
Grub Dream: Needle felted wall hanging mounted on board.
35" x 35".

Coco Howard
Arctic Dream: Needle felted Painting mounted on board.
47" x 23".

Coco Howard
Deep Sea Dream: Needle felted wall hanging mounted on board.
34" x 24".

Coco Howard and Spencer Moody- Interview

s- Congratulations on your successful show at Vain back in January, What We Do Is Also Secret!

ch/sm- Thank you!

s- This show only makes us excited for your future projects!

ch/sm- We are glad you are excited. We are excited as well.

s- Any major installation plans?

ch/sm- Some time in 2012 we will be unveiling "felted paris, joie de vivre" paris in it's entirety to 1/200 scale.

s- Do you typically map out your ideas 2 dimentionally or 3 dimensionally?

ch/sm- No maps. In fact, we rarely discuss the overall plan in detail. We just begin working and figure things out as we go, and it all comes together in the end.

s- How often do you cradle your precious pieces once completed?

ch/sm- At all times.

s- Do you have any interest in a s o f t l i f e movie?

ch/sm- Oh yes! Can you get us the financing?

ch- Actually, I hadn't thought about a movie, but I would love to do a book based on the Daily Creature Blog.

s- Coco! We hear youre teaching a kids needle felting class! How exciting! Working with kids, does it give you that childlike lift that gets you inspired? Or do you usually find that inspiration within? I usually find my inspiration at the bottom of a Baked Ruffles bag. It's different for everyone!

ch- I teach creature making classes to kids as an after school program. We make all sorts of creatures out of recycled sweaters, faux fur, fabric, and needle felting. The students get really excited once they realize that they can make whatever they dream up and that I am there to help, not to boss. They come up with some really great stuff, and it does give me a thrill to witness their creativity. Inspiration, for me, comes from just doing stuff. If I keep making, then it seems that the ideas keep coming.

s- Hey Spencer Moody! We hear you're moving your radical store, The Anne Bonny! Where too? And what can we expect?
How do you prioritize? Between your art, music, shop owning and saying hi to little dogs...whats first? And how do you do it?

sm- the store is moving to summit and mercer. near cairo gallery and the summit tavern. the move happens in may. i just do what i like to do and it happens to be the things you mentioned.