• Artist Editions: Bigfoot X UO

    Designed exclusively for Urban Outfitters, Artist Editions is an ongoing series of limited edition graphic t-shirts created by a rotating roster of artists from around the globe. 

    Beloved throughout the skate industry, Oakland-based artist Bigfoot creates work that depicts a cast of Bigfoot characters fighting against mankind’s destructive agenda. We caught up with the reclusive Bigfoot at his studio to talk about his love of nature and his latest Artist Editions designs. 
    Photos by Sam Hylton 

    You were born in New Jersey but moved to San Francisco at a young age. What drew you out to the West Coast? 
    Yeah I moved here right after High School in New Jersey in 92', I left under the guise to go to art school at San Francisco Art Institute on Chestnut street, but the real motivation was to be closer to the epicenter of the Grateful Dead, and to see them where they played most frequently: the Oakland Coliseum. It was my hippie motivation coupled with SanFrancisco's identity as being one of the street skating meccas of the world at that time. One of my favorite skateboard videos of the 80's was "Sick Boys" which was mostly filmed in SF. That video showcases the city's natural skate architecture, it was something I had to experience in person.

    When did you first begin making art? Did you always want to be an artist? 
    My Mom was a artist so that template was natural to follow, but I feel like I started consciously making art in 2nd grade. Garfield was really big at that time and i tried to draw him over and over, thinking it was good practice in order to become a comic book illustrator or a cartoonist someday.... But it wasn't until 10th grade that becoming a artist really came into focus because i was really excelling at my high school art class and also I transformed into a hippie and went deep inside myself and discovered the world.

    How has San Francisco influenced your work? 
    Wow too much to list! When I arrived here in 92'  I was really influenced by Barry McGee because he stepped out of the normal traditions of graffiti as far as using iconography and images sometimes alone and not paired with lettering... it really opened up my mind and gave me understanding of the importance of having a unique style. SF is so different than the east coast... The Nature, the almost prehistoric vibe of Golden Gate Park, the history of all the psychedelic concert posters of the 60's seemed to come alive in the streets to me. The predominance of culture here also influenced my life, I felt a heavier presence of every aspect from across the pacific and began to be heavily effected by that.

    Your work is influenced by your love for nature— What is it about the great outdoors that inspires you? 
    Nature represents purity, freedom, and magic. It's a world that is so close to us,and its obviously what we were born from, but yet most of us are so far removed from it and live in a bubble of the modern world... when i first started making art as a teenager I would repeatedly tell myself that Mother Nature is the greatest artist of all time, and no one can ever come close to her. My own personal religion is comprised of seeing spirits and faces in things like rocks, plants, and atmosphere. It's these experiences that show me theres a world of magic right in front of us.

    Do you remember the first skateboard you ever designed? What was it like? Do you have any particular favorite pieces you’ve created over the years? 
    The first skateboard graphic I ever designed was for my friend Matt Field, for Real skateboards in the summer of 1996. It was a amazing experience and a dream come true to get art printed on a board and have them be released into the world and have lives of their own. Right now my favorite skate graphic I've ever done is out now for Mike Valley's company Street Plant, It's my remix of the Barnyard graphic originally drawn by Mark McKee in 89' for Mike.

    Are there any other artists or designers who have influenced you over the years? 
    Definitely my top favorite artists are Stanley Mouse, Rick Griffin, and Shigeru Mizuki. They are my masters and always inspire me to push forward and capture the individual abstract spirit that we all possess. 

    Can you tell us a bit about your contributions to the Artist Editions series? 
    I have two designs for the series and they are my manifestation of my Bigfoot alter ego persona, which can now be accessed by the wearer to channel their own inner Bigfoot nature spirit consciousness.

    Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to design? 
    I definitely get discouraged when the illustrator program vectorizes my art and changes the line quality significantly. I'm still learning the ropes, but at the same time strive to keep my drawings as primitive as possible, while still minimally utilizing these modern tools.

    What makes wearing a t-shirt so special? 
    Wearing a t-shirt is special because it allows us to show our identity, express ourselves, and represent how we feel on the inside through what is printed on the t-shirt. T-shirts have also liberated us from the confining world of the button up shirt, have allowed us to be free in the modern world, and fit on our bodies more naturally acting almost like a second layer of skin or fur.

    What are your favorite t-shirt designs of all time? 
    I really love the shirt Stanley Mouse designed for the grateful Dead when they played Egypt in 78'. When I was 12 I was really big into Town and Country Surf Designs t-shirts designed by Steve Nazar, Then immediately after I was only wearing Powell Peralta t-shirts designed by Vernon Courtlandt Johnson, most notably the Mike Valley Powell Peralta elephant shirt.

    What’s next for Bigfoot? 
    To go deeper into my art, specifically my paintings, While maintaining a balancing act between painting and doing graphic design. I have intentions to start making animations of my drawings soon, and also to start constructing large scale sculptures along with a few giant murals on the horizon.

    Any words for the kids? 
    Develop your own individual style first when it comes to making art. Individuality is truly infinite. If you take the years and perseverance to marinate and cultivate it, It will make your creations special. And respect Mother Nature and all the plants and animals.

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