Thursday, July 31, 2014

INTERVIEW | Real talk with Rachael Finley (aka STEAKTOOTH)

Who is Rachel Finley (aka steaktooth) and how did you end up on this planet we call earth?

I'm just a swamp thing from south Florida trying to figure out this big city life. 

I think my parents "did stuff".

Most people know you from the "internet" or as the babe behind Blake Anderson but you've got your own shit going on too. How did you get into fashion and blogging?

Fashion found me when I was in need of a paycheck. It's fucking expensive out here. I got scouted at lunch when I was working at the record label I moved here for.. The $$ was a lot better and for a while I tried to work both but the fashion world took over my life as my primary source of income. I kinda  had to smash my leggings + big tshirt together with high end pieces that I would get for free from fitting jobs to be taken seriously. That's where I still am today. My mantra is 10$ outfit 400$ shoes... Uh, and sometimes a hat.

Blogging started as a way to avoid the phone. I moved really far away from everyone I knew and frankly I was tired of having the same convos all the time. So I just started documenting what was happening in my life out here. A lot of people outside of big metro areas don't understand freelance and how you can be successful doing it.. I guess it was kind of a way of telling everyone I was ok. I've never written about fashion outside of the lifestyle. I guess that's what I am, a lifestyle writer.

Now I have platforms, like nasty gal and my advice column (steaktalk), where I can sneak in my alternative agendas.. Encouraging young girls and women to worship themselves without ripping each other apart.

What is TEENAGE and how did it come about?

Oh gosh, teenage is my primary headache, number love, blood sweat tears and relationship fights.

I got cancer for the second time and had to leave the fashion community, which was hard for me because I had just gotten a promotion to fit and consult. I was making fuckinggg bank. 

I feel like this is funny to say given who my life partner is but I'm kind of a workaholic, or at least it literally eats me up when I'm stagnant. My guy saw that happening as I stayed home with my illness so he gave me projects, " make me a shirt with xxxx on it". So I did, and since production houses have a 144 piece minimum I sold the rest through my blog.

It got wildly successful because I was able to use not just my Internet access to talk about it but also I was able to throw it on a semi public figure when ever I needed to. We also have great friends, with equally as large demographics and they wear it too. That really helps. I always try to figure out if they really like it or if they're just throwing my cute little tshirt line a bone. Either way I'm grateful for all of this.

TEENAGE is very fun, bright and quirky. Where do you get your design inspiration from?

Blake collects what I used to think were the ugliest vintage shirts and now they're all I think about. He has an eye for things.. Don't get me wrong though some are still ugly. I think that's the charm too tho.

Teenage draws from that completely. Back in the day people we were making tees they wanted not tees that had a 75% profit margin. Tee shirts were art pieces and wild looking and expensive to print. That's us.

Is there any plan to branch out the Girls range and do more clothes aside from the basics?

There is. We just got an office and a warehouse.. A fucking staff.. Man. As soon as I am able to make sure that structure is concrete, I'm excited to get back to only doing the design and with that will come a heavy hitter girls line... Although it's still gonna be a dudes line, heavy weight tshirts are our thing .. Chicks can wear them too.. What am I saying.

How would you describe your own personal style and who are a few you of your favourite brands and places to shop?

I like tee shirts but I have too many. I also like short baby doll dresses and tight tops/short shorts. I look like a sloppy Kelly Bundy most of the time.. which might sound like a dime a dozen but it's fun to pull that out around posh Hollywood freaks in the world we are in. 

Obsessed with Aussie fashion.
Evil twin, ksubi, estate of mind,friend of mine.

Stateside: opening ceremony and wasteland. There are a few good online sites you can get weird stuff at. 

I don't really like the trend of gothy ironic teeshirts. I used to have a pentagram shaved in my head 8 years ago.. So I guess that phase is over for me. 

5 fashion items in your wardrobe you cant live without?

My mini leather backpack, lagence gold lambs wool trophy bomber,
Nasty gal shoe cult tabotha boots, hookups teeshirts, and fuck, probably AA leggings tbh.

I've followed you on tumblr for quite a while and I'm always surprised by some of the questions people send you. Is it bizarre having people writing you asking for advice on the weird stuff that happens in their lives?

In the beginning, I was like why the fuck? so you care what I think? But I guess I've lived an alternative lifestyle for a long time  and that's something people wanna know about.. Or at least it's something that's given me insight to situations others might not have.

Plus I'd be lying to you if I left out that I'm pretty sure a lot of my readers just wanna know how I tricked a relatively successful actor into loving me... But I L L N E V E R T E E L L L L L L L

Your personality and quirk shines through in your writing and your online presence. You've dealt with some pretty heavy things (aka cancer) in the past and now you are a wife and mother. What is being a mother like? And what's the wackiest mom experience you've had so far?

Being a mom is a trip. I'm not gonna lie, I was really scared to give up my lifestyle.. I liked being out and about.. and if giving that up seems "bad" I can tell you that it's NOT as bad as you'd think. Two things start happening..One - you're just way more stoked to be at home. Like you have the best thing in the world just home waiting for you to love it... its like a cat x 9000. ..well, if you're a cat person.  Also, my partner and I 50/50 parent.  So if he wants to go out with the guys one night.. I stay home but also VICE VERSA. We don't feel like I'm missing out on anything at fact life has only gotten better, sweeter, and more fulfilling.

Wackiest? Aside from soaking tee shirts with milk in public ? I dunno.. babies haven't learned shame. They fart and shit when they need too and sometimes its loud... and also in public. 

Photo © Natalia Mantini

You've popped up across few sites - Nasty Gal, Opening Ceremony, Motel... are we likely to see you do any guest edit or writing for any mags or brands coming up?

Well nasty gal is my main gig, outside of my own blog. But I am working on huge writing gig for myself as well as a web series. I've had to step back from my own blog for awhile to do that and it makes me sad but over all I'm excited for these temporary new projects.  You gotten keep your life interesting.

What are your favourite sites to lurk online?

I'm always on tumblr lurking, but twitter is a big deal to me too. I look at world star and reddit.. but that's all common place now. One of my favorite blog''s archives is ignored prayers. 

Something I read on your blog kind of stuck with me . - "I don’t idolize anyone. Take what you admire and respect about them and turn it inward to better yourself.. But don’t put anyone on a pedestal except yourself." Today's generation seem far too interested in what other people are doing and bringing other people down rather than encouraging and supporting. How do you keep your mind on yourself and stop yourself from getting sucked into the vortex that is other people? What's the solution to stopping girl hate?

Fuck man, if I had a solution to girl hate I'd fully commit myself to spreading the word. One time I also wrote " that I worry sometimes that I'm a bad feminist, but eh, I'm trying my best". I think sometimes I am guilty of tip toeing around that vortex.. I think everyone is and I think that is the problem. I am often worried about my feminism because I often find myself disappointed in catty women more than I am disappointed in the way the world is treating my sex. Girls are gross to each other. As women we are taught from the beginning that there can only be one princess and one prince and we rip each other apart trying to achieve that... I'm out here just trying to tell everyone that we can all be princesses and we can have all the princes we want. 

Lastly, what can we expect in the next 12 months from Steaktooth and Teenage?

Fuck, I feel like I said all the real shit. So, I guess all that's left is "a lot of limeritas and a few naps".

Instagram: instasteak


Wheels & Dollbaby | SKULL WESTERN

Everyone from Slash to Alison Mosshart to Sienna Miller has worn the Wheels and Dollbaby Skull Collection!

The iconic ‘Skull Western Shirt’ returns in store and online. 

Shop this limited edition piece now 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fantasy, Mysticism and the Feminine beauty | An interview with Tom Bagshaw

Were you always interested in art an early age or was it something that grew into?

Art was something I have always been interested in, that's the one thing I can always remember, constantly drawing or painting from a very early age. Way back in the day my father was a commercial artist (what would really be termed an illustrator today) and although he had moved on by the time he started raising the family it was something that he encouraged in me.

Did you undertake any official art training?

After leaving school at 16 I went into college to do a course on graphic design, at the time it was the only course that covered any illustration, but it soon became apparent that it wasn't for me and I dropped out after a year. Everything I know I have taught myself. 

Where do you draw most of your inspiration from?

It depends on the type of work I'm doing but for the main part its really feminine beauty that I find most inspiring but also fairy tales, folklore and mythologies from around the world.

Where do you come up with a lot of the faces and mannerisms of the subjects in your pieces? Are they semi-based on people you know or simply people grown in your imagination?

All the portraiture and figurative pieces I do are based from photographic reference, if you're striving for any level of realism in your work you need a good starting point first.

How would you describe your art?

I honestly don't know, maybe that's up to others to decide. Its just what I like doing.

There is a kind of dark ethereal feel to your work but also a sort of whimsical fantasy to it. How do you find a happy medium when working on a piece and deciding I where you want it to go versus where it could take you?

Yeah, I do try to refrain from going too dark with my pieces, its not to say I don't want to and some have certainly come out pretty dark- but for the most part I like to keep it quite light and some pieces as you say, are quite whimsical. I just try and take each piece as it comes really.

Majority of the subjects in your pieces are women. What is it about females and the female spirit that you like so much?

Like a lot of artists through the ages, feminine beauty has always been something that's fascinated me and quite importantly, a strength of character more than anything. Portraying a frail 'damsel in distress' type really doesn't interest me in the slightest!

Who are some of your own favourite artists and why?

Really, I never know how to answer these types of questions as there are so many artists out there, with a range of styles and mediums who work I love and feel inspired by- if I start with one or two then I would be remiss not to continue and name every artist whose work I like! Needless to say, the vast majority of artists I like do figurative and portraiture based work as well.

Is there a particular person or artist you would love to work with?

Not really, although there are numerous models out there I would love to paint and lots of designers and photographers I would like to work with in order to produce better quality works- I'm not a photographer and shooting my own reference can be really hit and miss, likewise- although I can do it, I know there's a lot of designers out there who are way better than me, it would be nice to be able to work people who specialize in those types of mediums!

Would you say you are at that stage in your art career now where you can live almost solely off your art's earnings or is that something that's still a little ways off?

I actually do live off my work, this is what I do full time, its why I'm so grateful to those people who buy my work at shows and direct from my shop, all the print sales and with the Black Lodge book- all the book sales- its what enables me to keep doing what I love!

What are your favourite colours, formats and materials to work with?

Favourite colours are more towards the blue and green spectrum, cooler and then a hint of warmth. As for formats and materials, I haven't really worked with anything other than digital paint for well over a decade now!

There are a lot of soft colour schemes and almost fairy tale like aesthetics in your work that evoke a enchantment and imagination. When you're working on a piece are there central themes you tend to re-visit or concepts you like to base your projects on?

The vast majority of my work will center around a female lead character, that's usually at the core of my work but then I do tend to work in folklore and fantasy elements as well.

Is there any direction you would like to go with your art that you haven't conceptualised yet?

I'm sure that as time goes on my work will evolve and explore new avenues but for the moment I'm still happy exploring more portraiture based works.

What can we expect from Tom Bagshaw in the future?

Time allowing I would love to go back and produce more character driven fantasy pieces, much like my older Yokai Dreams series, theres so much to that folklore that would love to continue exploring!