YHP Interview with Mr KABZ
Hello, how are you doing today?
I’m Good Sir, I’m very well, quite tired from the weekend as I just recently participated in a fashion fair with 29 other designers at the Fabrica Gallery in Brighton. How are you doing today?
Im Great you know, just working as usual!!!
Can you give us some background information about yourself?
I’m just a normal individual. A lot of people I know do tend to say I am different type of character, in a good way, especially when it comes to my dress sense and personality. I do like to be ‘Out There’ as I don’t blend in with the crowd. What makes me “me” is my creativity and imagination; one of my strong points.
So can you explain to us what Mr KaBz does?
Well basically I’m a customizer. I give individuals the opportunity of having whatever they want on any piece of clothing; whether it’s some sort of logo or a personal message. A lot of my work is based on old school graffiti which is a style that is admired by many still to till this day. I like to keep everything simple like the origins of the New York Graffiti Scene. It’s simple, legible and exploded with colour and technique.
Why the name MR KABZ?
Kabz has always been my nick name, my parents gave me a name which many people can’t pronounce properly. I thought of adding the ‘Mr’ because that is what I am. I find by adding a title to one’s name automatically signifies some sort of establishment, meaning and portrays an image of importance, it also distinguishes a name much more in my opinion.
Why did you decide to start meaning your own designs?
Honestly, it was because I was fed up and annoyed with people around me wearing the same or similar clothes as me. I felt like just any old face in the crowd; as a society I feel we lost our individuality to certain extent. I wanted to bring back a spark and show my personality more within the clothes I wear. During lectures all I did was draw along with taking notes of course; during one lecture I drew a design which I thought would look quite decent on a t-shirt to wear, this is what started to inspire me so I started to search for printers.
How do you manage your time between studies and work?
Studies ALWAYS came first, regardless of any situation. But at first when I started designing it was always seen as a hobby not as work, whatever free time I did have though I just wanted to spray away onto a t shirt and let my mind go and flow. Now I have graduated I can spend more time developing myself as an artist and my brand.
Are you more of an artist or a businessman?
I consider myself firstly an artist and secondly a businessman. My passion is art and by developing it, I have luckily been able to develop it into a business. Originally I did not start out to produce a business but as a lot of people have shown an interest it has become a perfect opportunity for me.
Who is your role model?
I have many role models that I look up to, a number of them include graffiti artists who have successfully made it; these include artists such as Seen, Can2, Banksy and Marc Ecko. They started doing graffiti and pushed their artwork so far that it has gained worldwide success and establishment. Seen has been named the God Father of Graffiti, Can2 worked with other artists to create the End to End project- a clothing line for Adidas, Banksy has gained worldwide success with his political artwork with quirky symbolism and Marc Ecko has successfully creating a clothing line as well as a game for the Xbox. These artists love their career because luckily their artwork is their career. Another artist named BV80- his artwork absolutely superb. The reason why I would put him as a role model is because regardless of anything, he is one person who has inspired me to develop myself and become a better artist.
Who has your designs being doing so far?
I do all the designs myself. My main clients are random people who want something unique to either gain some sort of recognition or individuals who just want to stand out from the crowd. Many customers tend to order designs for their friends or family as presents for special occasions, etc.
How long does it take you to design these drawing?
Each design varies from what the customer wants and needs, a sketch can take me minutes to do but the actual art piece can take me from half an hour to two hours, depending on the detail and planning involved. This includes the amount of colours needed and the order they need to be in, the background, foreground, patterns, the material etc.
Who are your competitors?
There are a lot of competitors out there but the difference is that each company, brand, artist has something different to offer so there can’t really be any competition. If your product and design is good enough, you’re going to get customers and recognition for your work. The amount of clothing lines, brands, customisers and designers is endless but the difference is what they bring to the table and that is what sets them apart from each other.
How do you market your products?
Most of my work has been advertised through social networking sites and word of mouth. All my clients have been happy with my work and pass along the positivity to their friends, colleagues and family. By this I have done designs for teens to their mother’s. A lot of people are looking for someone with my approach to clothing.
What is the best advice that you've been given?
To keep working hard, plan my time well to achieve my future goals and ambitions. I am always in search for new and different opportunities to become a bigger and better artist, however ill never forget where I have come from and the people that have always supported me.
Did you ever feel of giving up?
Not really, because I love what I’m doing even just for myself. I feel my artwork is a way of expressing myself and a way to grow as an individual.
What advice would you give anyone looking to start designing t-shirts?
My advice to keep at it, always continue to grow as a person and let your develop artwork, stick to your originality and creativity. That’s what going to make your t shirts different from other brands and by making it stand out, it will appeal more to others.
What should we be expecting from you in the future?
More exposure and hopefully a new established brand sometime; I’m in talks with some companies to combine my artwork and designs with their products to expand our brands. A lot of you will hear from Mr KaBz real soon.
Thanks for your time.
Thank you for this opportunity, it has been a very good experience and wish to hear from you in the future.
Till next time.