Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Eject (Interview)

Yorkshire based Graphic Designer/ Graffiti Artist/ Clothing designer.

I've been a fan of Ejects art since I first layed my glazed  red-eyes on it. Beautiful use of colours and texts, and a constant changing and evolving of styles and ideas. He did some graffitti that featured on our buddies the Autopsy Boys video 'Cheerleader Massacre', and has done plenty of art for the amazing Junior Bear, and seen as he's from Yorkshire too, I thought he'd be the prefect candidate for the first interview on this blog. Anyone from the Leeds area should keep an eye out for his art, it could be closer than you think. He also runs a clothing label, so do the man a favour and help him pay his rent with an order or two...

1: Have you always been interested in art? When did Eject make the change from 'vandal' to a brand to make a living? Was it a concious decision, or did it just evolve?
I've always been into art, cartoons, packaging, stickers, covers and posters since a child...I was always drawn towards things with crazy packaging with eye popping cartoon characters on them. My mum always took time to draw with my brother and I, we always had sheets of paper over the floor and paints out as a youngster kept us quiet, was a no brainer!! 
As I got more into art and records covers, band logos etc, I was passed a book by a super cool art teacher we had at high school... the book was 'Subway Art', it was the first thing I ever stole, "sorry Miss Gaunt!!". This book changed my world, I copied traced and read this book every day.... there's quite a long story from getting into graffiti to getting arrested for graffiti, so we will probably have to leave that for another day/book ;). As for becoming a brand ,I always put up logos/symbols rather than tagging my name... I guess I didn't know it but I was creating some kind of brand awareness. Eject as a brand is hard to get away from really... I'm a one man band who creates a lot of varied work, some is commercial, some underground... after getting arrested, Eject was cooler than my real persona so it became the calling card for how to contact me. It's going to be bigger in the next few years though ;) .
It's just growing up as well I suppose, wanting to have a business of my own, obtain my own clients, and work doing the things I love best... I'd die in any other type of 9-5 or normal job... I think I'd crack up and end up going 'Falling down' on this bitch of a world ;) 
2: You don't just paint walls, you took your skills into designing clothes, creating graphics, making mixtapes. Is this because you always have the urge to create, or because graffiti alone isn't enough to establish an artist? Who/what are some of the more varied folk you've designed/worked for?
No to me every surface is getting your name up, whether it be a poster to a train to a commissioned wall, it's all relative to me... and I don't sleep much, the urge to create never sleeps. For me personally graffiti has helped me establish my name further than say if I was just Ian the designer, there's loads of designers called Ian... Eject is the one bringing cool colours and impact, the cool thing they can tell there friends about! It's grown from the underground and has been learned from sheer will, not a textbook or winning a competition... people want to be apart of that, shows they are as edgy as we are. 
I've worked with people from great beat poets in Liverpool, to reebok, to super clubs like gatecrasher, to food trailblazers like almost famous, and even warp records artists... My works very varied, covers lots of ground... Most days are different wondering what exciting new client or project might pop up. 
Things like the mixtapes are done out of sheer love of music and getting to work alongside friends and people I look up to... the mixes are there to let people into my world, the music I love, the music I create to, and to showcase some people folk may not of heard of... and kind of give them a platform to show off what they are about too.
Autopsy Boys 'Cheerleader Massacre' - Graffiti by Eject
For a HQ version of this video, click here:
3: You've recently been involved in youth workshops, teaching and offering advice to young ones about getting into art & design. What would you say are the most important things to remember for kids wanting to break into the art scene?  Is it a dream worth following, or should they just knuckle down and get a 'proper job'?
I always stepped in and out of youthwork really, I always saw people like 'Monkee'(leeds graffiti artist and mc) teaching the younger generations and even some of my friends how to paint and use a spraycan...we always respected him for it, back then they were starting the whole graffiti workshops movements, which we now take up. The people who have taught me and developed my mind in the past are always highly regarded in my view...I'd like people to look up to me oneday and say that I helped them on their way.  If you want to break into art...I don't think I even have myself yet?? But prepare to be skint...or find really good ways of being lucky ;) But ye it's not easy, most folk don't understand why you do it or even understand how you make money from it...My good buddy LSK once said to me "Just keep doing what your doing" people will notice eventually if you keep striving. It's not an easy world to be in, but if your creative don't let the fire die down in your belly...its burning for a reason. Keep learning, reading, looking and playing , keep your eyes open and just dive in!!
If it's a dream ...its defo worth following because otherwise your going to be chasing nightmares for a whole lot longer!!
What's a proper job? Are they just ones you don't like doing ? ;)

4. Is there a lot of rivalry amongst the graff scene, or is it very much based on respect for one another?
Graffiti is a funny ole game...everyone starts off hating on you if your styles whack, then you get good and people start hating on you, then you get up on more and more spots and everyone likes you, then you get up on too many spots and everyone stops liking you, then you go painting with a member of a rival team and everyone likes you again, then you take a few spots with your own team...and they hate you again...then someone in your team goes soggy and you hate them ...then you get arrested and stop giving a fuck....and then competition within styles, then thats a whole different story. But then theres the whole multitude of graf writers who are just safe as hell and lovely people and great drinking buddies. Even if you don't like a graffiti can still have loads of respect for the amount of work they have put out there. 

5: The classic 'My God...' question: With which folks would you most like to drink, fight & fuck?
The person I would most like to drink with would of been hunter s thompson I reckon...I know it wouldn't just be a quiet drink... it would end in lizards at bars, melting floors and all that good stuff ;)  I still want to get high with Howard Marks tho!
The person I'd most like to fight would probably be my shadow... the bastards been stalking me for years and can't shake him off... shady lurking character he is... oh and that Eject Ep... wait a minute... 
The person(s) I would like to fuck would probably have to be ...obvious ones like Beyonce(we love milfs!!) , Mila Kunis...Scarlett johansen, I have a weird thing for KT Tunstall...I like creative bitches!! Most females from Japan... That girl with turquiose adidas track top who drove past me once in Leeds...the girl at the pizza shop...the girl on the checkout at the supermarket...haha Ive said too much ...I need to stop working in closed bars spraypainting when everyones partying!! 

6: Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? How do you hope Eject evolves?
I hope to see Eject and Ejecto's grow as a brand, working busily on big projects hopefully for folk like adidas so they can finally make my Ejecto colourways for the world, since they got slack ;)  You be seeing Ejecto's grow bigger and stronger the next few years, creating large scale interiors, exteriors and large public works across the UK, Europe and hopefully the  world...outernationally.

I'd like a team of trusted creatives and blaggers to work alongside me with the clothing side of the business to help grow the business into something bigger...kick a few doors down and tag up the fashion show tings ;) 
Eject as an artist will keep growing , strengthening styles, techniques and ideas...growing as an artist. I want to get my first solo show boxed of by the end of the year...a full one man show of personal work, this still excites me...I think im bottling it at the moment though. In the next few years or hopefully before I'm looking to relocate to Holland, buy a orange bike and have a studio, gallery and cafe all in the same building where I can work on design and paintings while enjoying my favourite place in the world.
DJ P-Nuts / Paul Cockcroft / Ejectos - Earn Your Ego
Scratch/Turntablism Routine 2013
For a HQ version of this video click here:
7: And finally, plug your shit, let the kids know where they can find your works, what you have coming up in the pipeline, and any shout outs or other folk that we should be keeping an eye out for? the main place to get me, or instagram @eject1, twitter for moody mondays and drunken hangover anecdotes @ejectos... or just genErally trawling the inner city streets looking for the perfect ramen spot. 
Shout outs to LSK (Faithless song writer and singer) always an inspiration and a friend, The Easy Peasy boys (EP graffiti crew) these guys are friends and family all rolled into one, John Young R.I.P , Topdog R.I.P, HARO R.I.P, My Dad for telling me to get a proper job so I could rebel against it, my Ma for always let us paint as a kid, and every graffiti artists/designer/illustrator/client who has ever been sound to us, Ian Anderson from the designers republic, and the guys at Almost Famous who let me scrawl the odd swear word on the walls ;) anyone else its written in white ink ... we still love ya ;) 

And to end the article with, what are your top 5 records to paint/party or chill to?
Thesedays I mainly just bruk out to dancehall... but heres a few faves:
'Going in circles' - Friends of distinction - Probably my favourite ever tune
'Futureghost' - Braintax - This used to play on rotation constantly
'Hold yuh' - shyfx-gyptian - I fucking love this tune, I dont care if you think it's cheesy!!
'Every man do his ting' a lil way different' - Errol Dunkley - This is a new one in my top 5, big ups to Bdawg from Big toes hifi for introducing me to it... puts things into perspective this track.
'Clampdown' - The Clash - Good tune to tell the world to piss right off haha!

For a HQ version of this video click here:
Eject | Graphic Designer/Graffiti Artist/Clothing Label Owner | Ejecto's 
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