T-Files 017: Damion Silver

Damion Silver is a very good artist and friend of mine, hailing from Connecticut, way up there in the Northeast. I’ve known him for years, having seen his art exhibitions on both coasts, and having worked with several clothing brands he’s supplied graphics for too. I have more of his art up at home than any other artist, making my house the unofficial Damion Silver gallery here in Venice. He has also provided me with some excellent graphics for my own little reggae brand Selector on more than one occasion. These days, he also happens to work for a rather large sports retail company by the name of Converse, which you might have heard of. While lots of artists seem to be wrapped up in their own world, Damion is really community-oriented and likes to keep in touch with a network of talented creative types, and that’s probably why he’s always introducing me to cool new people, like Kelly D. Williams, for example. You might have noticed that Damion was kind enough to provide me with some great new lettering for my header graphic too! I’ve been meaning to post an interview with Damion on here since day one, and I’m pleased to say that we finally made it happen…

Where are you today? I think I’m in space right now, trying to get back into a groove…just wrapped up a long weekend with the fam. Hard to come back to the 9-5 and get right into it… so…the answer is just North of Boston, at the Converse office.

What are you working on? Checked some emails this AM. Now I’m about to get on drawing some new shoes and jot down some ideas on some logo work I am doing too. Really trying to get my head around some new paintings and prints for a show in Long Beach in August.

Dope. Where have you been finding inspiration lately? My kid, flea markets, and Home Depot. I mean Zuri looks at stuff in the craziest of ways you know…so pure and innocent. Makes me look twice to make sure I am not missing what he’s seeing. The whole family hits flea markets all the time. There’s always something to inspire the mind there and Home Depot man…that place has some great stuff. It really makes me want to make large-scale abstract sculptures.
What is your favorite recent artwork or graphic? I just did a shirt for Booker T and the MGs. Well, its just Booker T now. I did some other shirts for this project Icons Among Us, about Contemporary jazz musicians, which was cool. Besides that…a few logos for some folks, some rebranding type things, a few things doing in the logo/ branding dept.

What are some of the clothing brands you’ve designed for? I know there are quite a few…I’ve worked with Graniph, Selector, Finale but I think that one is on hold for now…possibly working on a small line with Ropeadope, more of an artist series, and I have some designs coming out on 2k by Gingham for summer. Ohh yeah, Spearhead…hopefully some new work with them soon too
As far as your own personal art goes, what have you got on the horizon? I have a solo show @ DDR projects in Long Beach this August. That should be cool. Next month I have a few pieces up at Eastern District in Brooklyn, lots of good folks in that show, should be a good time. I hope I get a chance to make it out for the opening.

Anything cool you’ve seen from another artist or designer lately? Yeah for sure… this guy I work with Timothy Liles. He’s been making a bunch of cool work for shows and such. Recently he made some Crayon rings and a chalk pendant, beautiful and playful ID type stuff…the crayon rings are fun…considering I have a 2 year old that colors on everything under the sun, he would just destroy them. I would put them on a shelf and admire them. We both like them I suppose.

I know you network with a wide range of artists, have you come across any  other artists that you were really impressed with recently? Scott Patt comes to mind. He’s my old Creative Director at Converse. He’s been really focused on making art as of late. The way he plays with color, layering and composition is really nice, plus, he’s an all around good guy to hang out with, and dang…his wife Lisa is amazing too. She’s got it going on. My buddy JK5 [aka Joseph Ari Aloi]…man, he’s been killing it. You will see what’s doing end of this year for sure…but man…Joseph has been super busy with a lot of new exciting projects. Sorry to lead you on with that one…but its sure to impress when it hits. Ty Williams is doing some cool work too. I was at a show last year in New Hampshire and.. he had these super simple drawing/painting things that just sucked me in. I bought one that says “Ride your skateboard please.” So good, it reminded me that I’m not skating for shit. So…gotta get back, but his work is dope. He has a show going to DDR projects this coming month. I think…anyway check it out. My other buddy Dave D’Andrea outta the Oakland area. We went to high school together, anyway. He has been doing some amazing illustration work and show posters. I wish I had the patience to draw like he can, check him out. There’s a lot of folks out there.. Jeff Hamada, Kngee, Nick Z., just to shout some other folks that I think have been doing dope shit, graphic and art wise…man, a lot of work going on…lots of cool people out there making things…now if people would keep stimulating the art community we would be in good shape!

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