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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Polite Conversations | Bigfoot One

It's always refreshing when I get to interview someone that really inspires me.  First time I ever seen a Bigfoot piece, something really attracted me to it.  Bigfoots are my favorite cryptoids.  I used to read about them, watch documentaries, when I was a young geek.  

It was an honor meeting him and an even more honor when he agreed to have this polite conversation.  A real down to earth dude and everything he said just blew my mind because in so many ways I have the same thoughts about humans and society.  So let me stop rambling and get to know Bigfoot One!

You're living in Southern California now, how's that going? Why the change from San Francisco?
Well, I was in San Francisco forever, about 13 years, and 2 in Oakland,I started to not appreciate it anymore and needed a change.  Then I moved to NY for 2 and a half years because my girlfriend was living there.  It was OK for a couple months in NY, but then I realized that it's not a good place for my survival.  After complaining for two years about missing Northern Cali, finally me and my girl have just moved to Southern Cal.  Ideally I would've moved to Humboldt or Mendocino, but I compromised cause she wanted to live down here.  I'm just happy to be anywhere on west coast.

I have to ask but do you miss Jersey? I know you were born and raised in it. What do you miss most/least?
Currently I don't miss New Jersey at all. I miss some friends and my Mom's there. Actually wait.. there was a huge KISS expo/convention in Somerset,NJ yesterday on May 14th that I wished I was at. So I can't say I don't miss NJ at all. It's sad because I was born and raised there, but the general public makes me feel like I don't belong there. I've only been arrested in NJ for the most absurd stuff. Basically being that I'm a long haired hippie, I'm easily a target there. On the west coast I barely ever feel that people are giving me bad vibes because I have long hair.

I think the North East in general is a great place for me to visit but not for living. I have a theory that the North East part of the country is a little more old in its ways. Mostly because it was the first place on the continent that was settled by Europeans and concentrated earlier than west coast. West coast to me represents freedom, my adult life and good cheap organic green produce. The east coast to me represents The Man,High School,people that treat me like I'm still in high school, and expensive vegetables that don't have the life in them like on the west. If I had to live in Jersey I'd wanna live up near the Delaware water gap past Wild West City in Netcong, NJ. Either up there or in the Pine Barrens.

As far as graffiti, who are your favorites?
Right now everyone should give it up for this PK and Kid duo...they are killing NY and Jersey...also currently people like Adek, Nekst MQ, Rime. Some of my all time favorites are also Seen, Lee, and the most influential graffiti for me was in SF in the early-mid 1990's done by people like Twist and Giant(Mike Giant). I really love the old stuff. I know there's a lot I'm forgetting.

When was Bigfoot born? I really want to hear the story behind the legend.
Well,I was always into Bigfoots ever since I seen anything about them on TV when I was little in the 70's and furry cartoon creatures. I also was fascinated with graffiti when I was very young seeing it in Jersey and NY and always wanted to "figure"it out somehow. I left New Jersey on a Greyhound bus in August 92' to go to art school in San Francisco, really with no plan except to go to as many Grateful Dead concerts as I could. I was painting, doodling, exploring and trying to develop the drawing line styles I had started in high school. At the same time I was starting to experiment with developing unconventional tags and drawing random stuff on walls for 2 years before I settled on Bigfoot in 1994. It was a long process that led to this determination and it's hard to explain it all in a paragraph, but I was drawing a lot of hairy humanoids with the disenfranchised from human society look on their face for years trying to convey a magical sense of nature. The whole Bigfoot existence dawned on me slowly from different signals and signs, also the spirit of California had encompassed my being and the trees spoke to me and said that someone should take vengeance for them. I felt that I wasn't part of the human race anyway.

You're Bigfoot designs are rad. They're well known throughout art, apparel,to skateboarding. Is there anything else you would want Bigfoot to appear in?
Oh shit, well thanks yo...yeah I'm pretty occupied just with the art side of things, but it can be applied to anything really, would wanna make some music with some animations to go with it somewhere down the line. I guess I would ultimately like many Bigfoots to appear in a revolution where they come out of the bushes and start attacking all the centers of human authority. If I could conduct something like that it would be good.

Most of all how does it feel inside to be apart of something so positive and to be able to just continue to build a brand, a name?
Like I said earlier I was just trying to get outta Jersey and go to California and see the Grateful Dead, but art school and the surroundings really inspired me to make art like crazy. I never imagined that anybody would ever care, or my creations would be printed on things. My goal was to do art for the spirits, nature spirits, to give them a voice. To be the listener of these visions I receive and to make these things which as an act are deconstructive to usual human activities and society building, painting magical primitive humanoids! Art for nature, nature art, is what I feel I have represented. I have been told by some people that the work produces these different themes and issues for them. This makes me happy because it was my original goal, and I don't see many art that brings these things to light. I was just psyched to do my first board graphic, it was for my best friend Matt Field. It was his first pro model for Real Skateboards in 1996. After that every project has been a bonus. It's great to work on things and get to do what I love, bringing these Bigfoots into the human world to show people we are not alone and that the earth does not belong to humans.

What keeps you motivated?
Definitely like all most artists I guess, I have the drive to develop and evolve my art and take it further. It's addictive, making art. I'm addicted to the materials, the wood the house paint the pens, the ritual of the habit of drawing my dudes, slowly evolving them and applying them in different ways. I have so many ideas that I probably only produce like 2 percent of them. Also of course life in general, the need to survive and put up a struggle in this futuristic human society we're all caught in.

What upcoming projects do you have lined up?
Happy to say it's officially official that I'm working on a vinyl figure, the sculpt is pretty much done, and production should be around in spring 2012. It's gonna be 11 inches, and I'm really happy with it and will be mostly available on my site. I'm also painting a mural with Jason Maloney and Bwana Spoons for Hurley in Costa Mesa at the end of June. More soon to come from that.

It was great meeting you at the Northface event. You were mad humble and just wanted to finish painting. In a few words, how would you describe yourself?
Aw right on, nice meeting you there too! Yeah, The North Face event was cool,I got my homie Teddy Becks to DJ.
Describe myself? I'm just an introverted rock and roll monkey man trapped in the modern human world trying to deal.

What's a typical day off for you?
I hardly ever take an official day off. I'm my own boss so I just kind of always work slowly on things, even if I'm not painting or drawing, I'm preparing,organizing or dealing with logistics and checking emails, etc. It's pretty common for artists to have assistants or interns butI do it all myself. Going to the post office, building panels to paint on etc, there's a lot of stuff to do so I'm always working. I have a dog now so I take a lot of breaks and chase him around the house. My most favorite times are when I'm traveling, if I go to Japan once a year or once every two years then that is my reward for not doing much other than staying and working from home in America.

Thanks for this polite conversation! Shout outs, advice, wisdom.
Yeah yo, no problem. I'd like to give a shout out to Matt Field from Rasa Libre, FTC skate shop, and BP Trading in Japan. Thanks!

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