CRMC vs ARTISTS – Round 1… FIGHT!
Posted on March 20 2017
CRMC has reached a key point in its journey where I as an artist, as well as owner, can express myself through the brand beyond its established “dark” roots. CRMC is a reflection of my personality – on the surface, to those who meet me or encounter the brand for the first time; generally label us as “metalhead”, ‘conspiracy nut”, "hippy", or just plain weird...which is fine by me. But get to know me, you will quickly see my roots have grown from all directions.That’s where our latest collection draws it’s inspiration – a collection exploding with colour, iconic characters, celebrities & imagery with underhanded nods to esotericism and nostalgia; combining my vision with those of artists I respect and had faith in to bring these ideas to life.
NVA GRIOT is one of those artists that just pops. He may be a “rookie” on the designer scene, but just looking at his work, I can instantly tell this Mexican lad is gonna go places. I discovered NVA GRIOT while scrolling through Instagram – BOOM! His unique graffiti, meets vibrant illustration with surrealist formation, was an instant hit in my books. His style is exactly what I was searching for when dabbling with the idea for a “Street/Pop style” collaboration range. Featuring hints of our CRMC “go to” occult symbolism – NVA GRIOT & I produced this rad cat design pushing his abstract style of shapes, similarly noticeable in the “satanic” Goat design. The Pharaoh was a great idea that hints yet again to our fascination with the occult. Then there’s the Panda… who doesn’t like pandas? Pandas have & will no doubt be a continuous feature in our designs to come, not just for my love of them, but they’ve always had a tongue-in-cheek nod to Black Metal & corpse paint that I can’t avoid.
It’s been a long time coming and finally an honour to join forces with MYOHMY DESIGN aka DETHKULT CLOTHING aka Matt Young. Like many others of my favourite brands, there’s not a week that goes by that I don’t rep Dethkult – what’s that old dealer saying again? Never smoke your own stash? :P Don’t get me wrong, I love wearing my brand, but it’s been the inspiration and admiration I get from other brands work & sense of quality, that has pushed CRMC to where it is today. So I will always continue to support and rep these brands.
It was great fun brainstorming with Matt. As designers, we were like two peas in a pod when it came to shaping these designs. The two of us laughing away at our ideas was a good sign these were going to be killer.
I don’t know where or why my obsession with having duck/rubber duck’s within my designs came from, but it’s stuck with me since some of CRMC’s earliest designs. The B-Movie inspired “Welease The Quacken” design was an idea I had years ago that Matt absolutely smashed when it came to bringing the concept to life; you better believe I’ve got plenty more duck related designs sitting on the backburner where that came from!
The title of “coolest kids cartoon of the 00’s”, in my opinion, easily goes to Adventure Time – it was just a matter of time until I’d have a bastardised, occult tribute to Adventure Time’s awesomeness; which came in the form of this killer “Occulture Time” design. Matt had me in stitches with his wee addition of “Necro” BMO, a subtle salute to the Necronomicon Ex Mortis (The book of the Dead) featured in one of the horror genres best trilogies - The Evil Dead.
Teenage Mutant… Black Metal Turtles! What is there not to love?? Up there as one of my favourite cartoon/comic creations of all time, it was inevitable I’d merge them with my love for Black Metal – this “TMBMT” Tee fucking rocks!
A brief moment of “designers block” is what birthed our Batman Vs Superman X Ren & Stimpy tribute design. As soon as Matt merged the two in conversation we knew we had a keeper – “Stimpy! Do you bleeeed!?” Needless to say, Matt & I have already begun chatting new ideas for our next project – expect more fun from the two of us.
Throw LZHR ARTWORK AKA JULIAN AKBAR any idea and this Indonesian illustrator will smash it out in no time at all & always exceed expectation! We’ve worked with LZHR a few times prior to this range, and with the style I has envisioned for this range, LZHR was a no-brainer to get involved.
“Play ‘Til Death” was a prior creation of Julian’s, but one I had to take for our own – gamers unite, right? As our parents said, that shit will be the death of us!
“Luna Cubi Matrix” goes back to our more subtle symbolism in design – another design concept I had years back, the “hidden meaning” in this piece is a nod to conspiracy theorist, David Icke’s, “Saturn-Moon Matrix” theory .
The title, Luna Cubi Matrix is Latin literally translated as “Moon Cube Matrix”, the cube/black cube being symbolic of Saturn/Cronos aka Satan… we’ll leave that there at this moment. The Astronaut crow was a cool idea, to take a little off the overall “conspiracy” edge to the design.
“Listen all of y’all, it’s a sabotage!” Crow headed Beastie Boys… enough said ;)
“Orange Odyssey” is of course based on the twisted epic that is A Clockwork Orange and furthermore, a nod to the master of cinematic mystery & conspiracy – Stanley Kubrick and arguably his magnum opus, 2001: A Space Odyssey, theorised to play a literal part in the moon landing conspiracy.
As featured in the film, A Clockwork Orange, we’ve added a few “hidden” symbols in plain sight – notably, the 9-pointed Enneagram in the background. Some will be pleased to know, we’re already back working with Julian on quite possibly CRMC’s biggest project to date, but we’ll save that for another blog post ;)
Japanese illustrator & designer, RYOSUKE SATO aka 01DESIGN, is another artist that instantly just stood out and slotted perfectly with this collection. It was his Neon “Chosen One” art project involving over 500 awesome neon portraits of his followers that caught my attention. He was perfect for the designs I had in mind – which were actually designs I had planned way back in the first year of CRMC. Titled “Bitchslaps & Beatdowns” & noticeably inspired by illustration legend & O.G., Mike Giant. This quartet of badass tattooed babes was, as mentioned, perfectly executed (exactly as originally envisioned by myself those years ago) by Ryosuke. Retro neon coloured hot chicks with weapons, covered in tattoos, inspired by films like Kill Bill – it’s the simple things in life.
Riverside, California, based artist DELA DESO aka DIGITAL DEATH & GRIME aka Richie Velazquez, is the King of Grime design. You have no idea how stoked I was to get Richie involved with this collection. Merging his style with both our love for iconic celebrities, has resulted in some of the meanest designs we’ve had the pleasure of putting to print. It goes without saying; I can’t wait to work with Dela Deso again in the future.
Growing up as a kid & teenager, there are two icons that will always stand tall as my biggest idols & inspirations. Firstly, the legendary Bruce Lee - not a fan of Bruce Lee? Well we can’t be friends… just kidding, Bruce Lee would whoop whoever you chose ass anyway ;)
Secondly, the living legend, Michael Jordan. As a kid I was surrounded by Jordan memorabilia - trading cards, Air Jordan sneaks, jackets, t-shirts, toys; you name it I had it. I religiously watched the Chicago Bulls throughout his early-mid NBA career – the dude could fly! And that’s that.
What’s an icon list without Jimi Hendrix? Love him or “don’t get him” – the man revolutionised music and arguably birthed the rock & metal music genres, which alone gets my respect.
Then we have our three-headed fourth icon, Run DMC, who joined forces with rockers Aerosmith giving us the first marriage of Rock & HipHop in the form of “Walk This Way”.
Fan of the track or not, it united two seemingly nothing-in-common genres, giving way to countless bands and music collabs that shaped a whole generation. To me, that’s what this whole collection was about – uniting various styles, interests, genres and beliefs in to one epic collection which wholeheartedly, I feel, is a reflection of my personality, as CRMC will forever be.
I want to take this time to thank each artist who was involved with this collection – each one of them brought their own individual style to the table & smashed every design. I couldn’t recommend each one of these artists enough for their work. I look forward to when we next work with each other.
Which leaves me with one last thing before ending this blog post; this collection is the first of many CRMC Vs Artists collections - if you’re an artist/illustrator and wish to be part of our next collab-collection then please contact myself (Gareth) at crmcclothing(@)gmail.com.
Want to win a free tee from our CRMC Vs Artists collection?
To enter; share this blog post on either Facebook or Twitter, hashtagging #crmccorvidblog & commenting what your favourite design from this range is & why?
The winner will be announced at the end of our next blog post along with a new prize draw.
Thank you for reading & for your overwhelming support.
As always, big love,