Whether or not you’ve spotted our latest Random Acts of Art, one thing’s for sure – it’s seen you. This psychedelic monster-eyeball mashup comes to us from Ben Adams of Freak Street.
We’ve been peeping his killer tees & “RELAX” memes for a while now so we were pumped to take things to the bag. Read on & hear about his eye-first process, his connection to the Rolling Stones & his beloved orange VW Kombi.
WHAT’S THE ORIGIN OF FREAK STREET & YOUR MAIN SOURCE(S) OF INSPIRATION?
I’ve drawn monsters & unsavoury characters for a long time, I find drawing humans boring, because they’re all around us. Creating monsters & these things that don’t exist & forming your own little worlds is one of the funnest things to do. Freak Street came about just because it was a catchy name. I Imagine this long alleyway of gross mutants trying to mug you & sell you things. All kinds of things inspire me, but at the moment its been a lot of Japanese monsters, Kaiju, Ultraman, retro sci-fi posters & films, that kinda stuff.
ONE OF YOUR MAIN GIGS IS ILLUSTRATING T-SHIRTS. HAS ANYONE NOTEWORTHY OR UNEXPECTED WORN ONE OF YOUR TEES?
Haha, the dudes from Regurgitator, Ben Ely & Quan Yeomans have bought a few of my shirts, I also saw a photo of Marie Devita from WAAX wearing one of my orange Pig City shirts in this fucking awesome photo of her singing on stage. I’m actually strangely related to Mick Jagger, he’s like a distant second cousin, so maybe I’ll get him to plug my shit on the next Rolling Stones WORLD TOUR.
WAS THE PROCESS OF ILLUSTRATING A PACK HEAPS DIFFERENT TO DOING A TEE? (WAS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR YOU DID DIFFERENTLY FOR THIS?)
Working with size dimensions & blank areas was something I don’t usually have to deal with. I also usually illustrate on A4 paper, but for this I wanted to do a lot of smaller details so I drew it on like A2 so it could be scaled down instead of scaled up, & all the details would look crisp. It was a really fun job, I enjoyed the whole process.
IF YOU WOKE UP AS A MONSTER TOMORROW, WHAT WOULD YOU LOOK LIKE?
WHAT’S YOUR MOST PRIZED POSSESSION? (WE SPY YOU’VE GOT QUITE THE COLLECTION OF TOYS!)
I unfortunately horde a few things which makes it a lot of fun when it comes to moving house (as I’m doing now) I love all my strange toys, my record collection, above all my VW Kombi, it’s bright orange & I’ve had it for eleven years. We’ve been up & down a lot of the East Coast together.
WHAT DOES YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS LOOK LIKE?
I usually just sort of sit there for a long time & look at all of my pens. Then I’ll draw some eyes, & work out a head. Then work out if it’s something that’d be good for a shirt, or something I’ll turn into a regular sketch. I’ll do all of this in pencil. Then I’ll ink it & detail it with black ink, take it into photoshop & colour it with gradients!
WHEN YOU’RE NOT MAKING FREAK STREET ART, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
I’ll go for a skate or surf, hang out with buddies & go look for records. I work from home so I like to listen to records or have a British TV show going while Im drawing. I drink a lot of tea & water. I just realised I really don’t do much when I’m not drawing or screen printing.
WHAT’S UP NEXT FOR FREAK STREET?
I’m going to Japan soon with my partner, she’s doing a ceramics artist in residency & I’m just going over there to explore & most likely buy a lot of toys & music. I’ve just recently had an Art exhibition at Mongrel in Brisbane called Space Scum & that was a lot of fun. Later this year I’ve been talking with Ben Ely from Regurgitator about doing an art show together. Just keep working on my own stuff, printing shirts, drawing freaks.
WHO SHOULD WE WORK WITH NEXT?
There’s an artist from Brisbane called Euan Boyd @euan_boyd_art. He’s been super supportive of my art over the years, & his stuff is unbelievably incredible, huge psychedelic monster murals, it would look spectacular on your coffee bags. Definitely hit him up, he’s incredible & deserves recognition!
CAN YOU WRITE US AN ACROSTIC POEM USING THE LETTERS OF SINGLE O?
Slimy monsters In your head Now they’re crawling in your bed Go to sleep it’s just your thoughts Listen you can hear them talk Everywhere! They look like phlegm