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September 22
41Promote
Artist Interview: Kristopher Kotcher aka Frenemy

Growing up without supervision, Kristopher Kotcher aka Frenemy, cultivated a rich imagination with countless years as a street artist. He runs us through being chased by a madman with a shotgun, moving to Southeast Asia, and collaborating with one of the largest international lifestyle brands in the world. Originally from Austin, TX, he now lives and creates from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Ben: How does a Texas native end up in Ho Chi Minh?

Frenemy: My wife and I originally moved from Austin to Seoul, South Korea, and then on to Ho Chi Minh City. My wife is a High School Art Teacher and she has always dreamt of teaching abroad. With the internet, I can work from anywhere. So, we decided to take the leap. It has been the best decision we ever made.

What's in Ho Chi Minh we won't find anywhere else?

The people. The culture. The sights. Everything about living here is so inspiring. It's a city that pulsates with life at all hours. Also, one of the big differences between Ho Chi Minh and Austin is that the art scene is smaller. The egos and attitudes you get with a lot of graffiti writers and sometimes other artists do not really exist here. No pretentiousness. It is refreshing.

You have a pretty punctuated style. What's it like being a tatted up white dude living in the largest city in Vietnam?

Haha. I actually get compliments on my tattoos all the time. People will tell me they think they're beautiful or give me the thumbs up. It is kind of crazy to me how nice and accepting people are about it. Even when I lived in Korea, people who might not like my tattoos sometimes asked what I did. I gave them a business card with my creatures on it, and when they saw I was an artist, suddenly, it was ok. It's funny how that works.

 

The Treasure Hunters by Frenemy
The Treasure Hunters

 

Speaking of, you're constantly creating wide-eyed, jaw-dropped, colorful creatures set in chaotic environments. Is the source of this theme external stimulation or introspection?

For me, I grew up with a pretty rough home life. As a kid I spent a lot of my time reading my favorite children's books and comics and emulating the artwork in them. I was always creating whether it was building things with Legos or drawing my own comics. Creativity was my way to escape from hard realities. I always loved the idea of making up a world that is your own. Building a new universe. So I would definitely say the source is introspection.

As I grew older, I switched gears with art and put that focus into graffiti as my escape from life. Now that I am older and a lot happier, I've gone back into the world of creating characters instead of letters, which I like a lot more. The possibilities are limitless. I also love to share my art with others. I want others to get lost in my characters and their adventures.

 

Wild in the Streets by Frenemy
Wild in the Streets

 

It's obviously working. You did a big collab with Converse Korea. What was the biggest takeaway?

Yeah. That has been a huge highlight for me. Growing up a punk/skater kid, I always wore Chucks, so I was excited to have the opportunity to design my own.

The biggest learning experience would be the edits and the fast time line. From the beginning of the whole process I had about a week to get them three designs. Then they wanted something with a more music/skate/graffiti culture feeling. I had less than a week to get them the edits. It was high stress because you want to deliver something you're happy with, but the time restriction puts so much pressure on you to produce.

 

Converse Korea Designs by Frenemy

 

Were you happy with the final designs?

In the end, I was really happy with the designs. I learned I work well under pressure. It's like working with any client. You learn to conform with what they want but still put your own style and voice into it. I have to say Korea showed me a lot of love. This K-Pop star, IU, even wore my shoes on her K-Drama television show. Working with Converse was an awesome experience and I really love Korea.

How do you conform to client needs while keeping true to your art?

Usually, if a client is working with me they know what they are going to get. I have a pretty solidified style that I don't really like to stray from. Still, every once in awhile, people ask me to do art for them that isn't at all my style. I think, "Have you even looked at my portfolio?"

 

The Birds and the Bunnies by Frenemy
The Birds and the Bunnies
 
No Training Wheels Required by Frenemy
No Training Wheels Required
 
Given the graffiti background, what's the sketchiest situation you've been in?

Graffiti has given me some of the greatest adventures of my life. It's hard to narrow it down to just one, but a good one is this time I was painting in a warehouse in Houston, Texas.

It was me and 4 of my friends and crew mates. To get into the place, you had to climb a tree, get on the roof and crawl into a window where the board was kicked out. This place was covered in graffiti. It's still a popular daytime piecing spot in Houston. We had done all our pieces and I was just finishing up and packing up my paint when I looked over to the top of the stairs.

There is this big hobo looking guy. Big beard, overalls and he was holding a shotgun. He says, "What are y'all doing in my house? Get out of here!" My friends immediately started packing up their stuff. My friend, Goose, starts repeating, "Just let us get our paint! Just let us get our paint!" The guy shouts "GET OUT NOW!"

I was closest to the window so I darted out across the roof and my friends followed. I climbed back down the tree. I'm standing there waiting as each friend drops down and starts running off. Then I see my friend, Sumoe, drop down and behind him is the hobo with the shotgun pointing down at us. He drops down off the tree and we start running as fast as we can and we hear "BLAM!" The guy had shot off the shotgun into the air. We all kept running but once we knew we were safe we couldn't stop laughing. One of my friends was super freaked out. He started calling everyone he knew freaking out about it - telling everyone he almost died. It was pretty funny.

For me, with graffiti, the sneaking around, the adventures and the crazy stories, those are all just as good as the actual act of painting.

 

Frenemy Mural 1

 

You've done a lot of large scale work in your day.

Nothing beats the feeling of spending a week painting some giant wall and seeing your work on that scale. It's something I will always do.

 

Frenemy Mural 2

 

I plan to be that weird, old, tattooed, grey-haired guy out at the wall spray painting. Shaking my cane at the youngins tellin' them how, "Back in my day we had to use nothing but stock tips!" Assuming that by then they have developed some space age spray technology. Haha.

Haha. Until then, what creative or systematic routines are part of your daily process?

I have to say, I'm pretty obsessive about my work. I usually wake up with my wife in the morning and make some breakfast. Once she heads out to work, I get to work. I put on some music. Recently, I've been spending a lot of time working on this video game app. So, I'll work on that for a bit. Usually with one of my cats sitting in my lap and the other laying on a pillow next to my desk. Then I'll work on any other client work I need to do or paintings for shows. I'll take a lunch break and then get back to work on the game or other work. I try to make time to fit everything in I can. When my wife gets home, I will spend some time with her, eat dinner and watch some tv. But when she falls asleep, I usually sneak back into my studio to work on more stuff. My loyal cat follows me around like a little dog. Always sleeps on the floor next to my workspace until I finally go to sleep. She is good like that.

Dude. You're a work horse.

I am. Haha. I have a lot I want to accomplish. I really want to get a Children's Book out into the world too. I've been working on that as much as I can lately. It's so much drawing and revising. I am always thinking big. This little world I make is so much more to me than just a hobby. I want to take things as far as I can with my art. It truly is my passion in life.

 

Comic 1 by Frenemy

Comic 2 by Frenemy

 

As a kid from a rough home life, how are you navigating the emotional process of creating for children?

My aunt said to me this summer when I was visiting, "You sure did do a good job raising yourself." I didn't have any rules, but I always knew I didn't want to be like those who hurt me so much.

Some people choose to repeat those patterns, but it instilled in me the person I knew I never wanted be. I wanted to be better and do better. Growing up like that also kept me a kid in a way. I didn't have any "adults" around to tell me how to act or "grow up" per say. That helped keep the creativity alive in me.

At a certain point in society, I think we are told "imagining is for kids," and slowly we let that child-like view of the world die in us. So, while I had to be kind of adult at an early age, at the same time, I kept this childlike view of the world. The excitement and wonder. So, writing and illustrating for children is something I feel comes easy. I want my characters to get kids excited about imagining and reading the way my favorite books did when I was a kid. I want to write books that have a good message, but at the same time are creative and fun.

 

Some of us were born to explore!
 
What's it been like illustrating for an interactive video game versus something static?

We're actually working on two different games currently. It's super cool to see my characters run around on a screen and control them. The whole process has been fun.

The biggest frustration though, is that my work is highly detailed with heavy line work. Since it needs to look good on a small screen, I'm having to design everything solely in Illustrator and take out all that detail. It's so much work. I can still make characters that are like mine, but I have to take out the hair and stuff. I am really proud of the games we are developing and excited for when we finally get to put them out into the world.

When and where can people download the Frenemy games?

Well, we are shooting to get the first game out by Christmas 2014, but with these things you never know. I am working with a company in Australia so they will be first released in the Australia and New Zealand markets. Then on to the rest of the world through the app market.

 

The Adventures of Rad Story
 
You recently tweeted about implications of drug use informing your creativity. Can you elaborate on your thoughts about drugs as fuel for art?

Well, I get comments every now and then from people who will say things like, "Man, I need some of that acid," or "How much weed do you smoke?" It annoys me. The thought that, "without drugs I couldn't possibly think creatively," is not one I think of. I feel sad that the notion of creativity and imagination would be that dead inside someone - that the first thing they think is that I must be on drugs.

 

 Frenemy on Twitter

 

Everything I create comes from my own brain. No drugs needed. Maybe that says something about me. Haha. Spending a lot of time alone as a kid? Being socially awkward and introverted? Messed up life experiences? Maybe. But not drugs.

How about music? Has that influenced what we experience in your work?

I always listen to music while I am making art. It's such a huge part of my day. It might be a line in a song or maybe just the feeling the song brings to me and that will end up in my work.

 

Everything Tastest Unfun
 

For instance, I did this drawing a few years ago of a guy puking, and it said "Everything Tastes Unfun". I was listening to the Thee Oh Sees song, "Spider Cider". The first line of the song sounded like he said "Everything Tastes Unfun". I'm still, to this day, unsure if that's the actual line. But I really liked that line so I made some art based on that. Music is definitely a powerful factor of influence.

Listen to Frenemy's Work Jams - an artist-curated playlist on Spotify.

Any cool opportunities because of your work on society6?

I definitely think Society6 has helped me with gaining viral traction. People find my work on the site and then follow me on social media. I've been approached to show my work in some galleries from being seen on S6 and some European sites have approached me to collaborate with them. I recently had a luggage company from France approach me to do artist series luggage with them after seeing my work on your site.

Finally, any shoutouts to other S6 artists?

So many good ones. Here is a gang of them that I like a lot - Jon MacNair, Jack Teagle, Michael C Hsiung, Mikeaych, Anglea Fox, Slaggs, Birdcap, Josh LN, Alejandro Giraldo, Alex DeSpain, Matt Mims, Holm the Tooth, and Theodoru.

 
Frenemy's Society6 shop:

www.society6.com/frenemy

 
Sites & socials:

Website: www.FrenemyLife.com

Instagram: http://instagram.com/frenemylife

Tumblr: http://frenemylife.tumblr.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/frenemylife

 

Artist Interviews

September 19
213Promote
New Artist Collaboration: 2015 Limited Edition Artist Calendar

It's time to find 12 more artists to contribute to our second edition Society6 calendar, each artist representing one of the 12 months of 2015.

Last year's first edition turned out amazing and was one of our most popular collaborations yet, selling out incredibly fast.

Some things to help you navigate this collaboration:

1. Please click the purple "apply" button only if you will contribute work if selected. You must apply by no later than October 2nd to be eligible to participate.

2. If you are selected, you will be required to create a spread for one of the calendar months. The spread will include one piece of artwork AND your own interpretation of the calendar grid for the days of that month.

3. You are not required to create new artwork to be eligible, but we will encourage the 12 artists that are ultimately selected to make new art (or at least rarely seen before).

4. You will be notified via email for inclusion in this limited edition calendar, as well as the accompanying collection that will later be featured in the Society6 store.

 

Collaborations

September 16
18Promote
Fight the Man (A Society6 Collection)

Hey Society6,

My name is Ben. I'm particularly skilled at anything that'll worry my poor mother. I've been adopted into the S6 fam to produce content that exposes more of your art to the world. You'll see me interview artists, highlight new members our community is high-fiving, build collections I'd hang in my house, and sharing as much information as possible on new ways to grow your shop.

In honor of trading eight years of freelance for a full-time writing gig, I put together this collection to commemorate my new commute, desk and burden of wearing pants as a pre-requisite for getting a pay check.

Fight the Man

Social Class by Glenda Tse

Glenda Tse

The zombies of everyday commuting by Marija Tiurina

Marija Tiurina

Fight the Man (A Society6 Collection)

Budi Satria Kwan

Fight the Man (A Society6 Collection)

Lenka Simeckova

Fight the Man (A Society6 Collection)

MARWERT

Boss by Max Elbo

Max Elbo

Fight the Man (A Society6 Collection)

RL$M

Stigma by Corinne Reid

Corinne Reid

Buy Me!!! by YONIL

YONIL

It Cannot Be! by Alec Goss

Alec Goss

Monster in an office chair with exploded head by Carp Matthew

Carp Matthew

Fight the Man (A Society6 Collection)

Josh Ln

and shoes.

Collections

September 11
52Promote
Meet the New Society6 iPhone 6 Tough Case

You've probably heard we recently launched iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Cases to Society6 because we can't stop talking about it. 

But a lot of you have been asking about the new Tough Case assmembly process, so here we are again, talking about our fancy new cases. 

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to get the iPhone 6 Tough Cases operational. In fact, you don't need to know anything about rockets at all.

Here's a quick demonstration video to see how their design allows a user to install the case in under 30 seconds. Seeing as how our video is only 16 seconds long, that still gives you plenty of time to drop it and pick it back up. Kidding. Don't. 

Below you can see some close-up shots of the assembly step by step.

Meet the New Society6 iPhone 6 Tough Case

The case out of the package is simple, clean and noticeably light weight.

Meet the New Society6 iPhone 6 Tough Case

The soft rubber lining easily separates from the hard shell case.

Meet the New Society6 iPhone 6 Tough Case

Completely removed...

Meet the New Society6 iPhone 6 Tough Case

The phone is easily fit into the lining.

Meet the New Society6 iPhone 6 Tough Case

Once the phone is secured in the liner, it seats snuggly back into the hard case backing...

Meet the New Society6 iPhone 6 Tough Case

...for a clean, low-profile fit that cuts down the bulk without compromising protection. 

If you haven't already browsed around to see how they look you can find the most popular iPhone 6 Case designs here.

Products

September 9
353Promote
Introducing New iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Cases to Society6!

We gave the sneak peek of our new iPhone 6 Cases last week and are excited to let you know they're now ready and available for purchase in your shop now!

As a reminder, the new iPhone 6 Cases come in two styles.

For the reckless phone smashers that treat their phone like a frisbee, our Tough Case is the right fit. They've got a rubber inline that snaps into the case for extra padding and premium protection. (09/11/14 Update: See how to Tough Case assembly works here.)

On the flip side, for the careful carrier, we have our original Slim Case design for a tight fit low profile. Great for iPhones that usualy live in a pocket and not in flight.

Additionally, both styles are available for the new sizes of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

If you're already selling Phone Cases, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus option will be automatically activated for customers in your shop and will use the file you provided for your Phone Cases.

We encourage you to please take a moment to review the new iPhone 6 Cases. If you need to EDIT them for any reason, just click "ADD T-SHIRTS & MORE" at the top of any post to update your file.

Or spend a minute to browse the best iPhone 6 Cases chosen by the Society6 community.

(Please Note: Orders between now and September 18th will ship on September 19th when the physical iPhone 6's go on sale in retail stores.)

Art above by House of Jennifer / Marie Eve Richard / Marianna Tankelevich

Whitby Row Boats IV by Distractedgraphics

[ clarity ] by Nicolaus Ferry

Back and Forth by John Turck

Overfished by Paul Meates

Riot by Tracie Andrews 

Products

September 3
53Promote
iPhone 6 Cases Coming Soon to Society6

While the internet sets itself on fire over rumors of an iPhone 6 release date, we've been working our asses off to make sure our iPhone cases are tested and ready to go.

Yesterday we got the package we've been waiting for - iPhone 6 case samples. The art looks sick and every design sold on our site for iPhone 5 Cases will also be available for the iPhone 6.

S6 iPhone 6 Cases // Slim or Tough

For you reckless phone smashers that treat your phone like a frisbee, we'll assume our Tough Case is for you. They've got a rubber inline that snaps into the case for extra padding and premium protection.

On the flip side, for the careful carrier, we have our original Slim Case design for a tight fit low profile. Great if your iPhone usually lives in your pocket or somewhere safe.

Either way, we're stoked because they're both going to be available for purchase soon.

Your followers and fans can sign-up for real time notification for when the iPhone 6 Cases go live here.

Stay tuned for more information!

Products

281Promote
Introducing Long Sleeve T-Shirts on Society6!

As temperatures do that slip-into-fall, we wanted to make sure your shop was loaded up before the cooler seasons hit.

That said, we're excited to add Long Sleeve Tees to the mix! Similar to the incredibly comfortable American Apparel tees currently sold on Sociey6, they feature the same durable rib neckband and are crafted from soft-combed fine jersey cotton or tri-blend.

The short sleeve tee now has a long sleeve cousin.

All long sleeves are unisex and available in sizes S-XL. Colors will include black, white, navy, heather grey, asphalt, red, and athletic grey/tri-blend.

If you're already selling apparel, the long sleeve option will be automatically activated for customers in your shop and will use the file you provided for your T-Shirts.

As always, we wanted to get the word out to you before the customer announcement. That way you have time to check up on your designs and make sure they are appropriately represented.

We encourage you to please take a moment to review the new Long Sleeve T-Shirt colors. If you need to EDIT them for any reason, just click "ADD T-SHIRTS & MORE" at the top of any post, then uncheck any color that you wish to turn off.

Art above by The Good Press, Anita Ivancenko and Parallelish.

Refresh yourself on best apparel file preparation.

Browse available Long Sleeve T-Shirts.

Introducing Long Sleeve T-Shirts on Society6!

Art by Anita Ivancenko and Mattchinworth

Introducing Long Sleeve T-Shirts on Society6!

Art by Carlos Credi

Introducing Long Sleeve T-Shirts on Society6!

Art by Fabian De Lange

Products

August 19
266Promote
Public Order Art Show Video & Photos
As a follow up to my recent post about our Public Order art show, we are excited to share a rad video of the night with you! Shot and edited by Mark Underwood, it captures the amazing art from our artists, Kingswell's awesome space and all you cool people who came out to party with us. Check it out and then make sure to not miss the next one!
 
 
 
  
 Public Order Art Show Video & Photos
 
Public Order Art Show Video & Photos
 
Public Order Art Show Video & Photos
 
Public Order Art Show Video & Photos
 
Public Order Art Show Video & Photos
 
Public Order Art Show Video & Photos
 
 
 
The show will run until August 23rd at Kingswell.
 
The show includes new work by:
Austin England
Base-V
Boneface
CamRaFace
David Penela
Doug Smock
Farizwan Fajari (aka Speak Cryptic)
Jesse Draxler
Jonathan Campo
Kyle Cobban
Mariana, a Miser¡vel (aka The Miserable One)
Matthew Goik
Noah Harmon (aka Relax Adult)
OOh!
Philip Morgan
Ryan Humphrey
Scott Listfield
Sofia Bonati
Wasted Rita
 
About the show:
 
P U B L I C   O R D E R
Whether from the advent of social media, society's collective addiction to reality TV, or both, it seems deviance in pop culture is at an all time high. The bummer about our front row seats to the unsavory activities of public icons, is how infrequently we see the culmination...until now. Our contributing artists have interpreted the best (and worst) outcomes of community disruption in the form of the quintessential mugshot and are showing the world what it looks like when the subject gets caught.
 

 

Song is "History Eraser"
Performed by Courtney Barnett
Courtesy of Mom + Pop
By Arrangement with Hidden Track Music

Mixed MediaMovies & TVPhotographyDigitalMovies And TV

August 1
50Promote
Announcing the Society6 x Ezekiel Clothing Contributing Artists
After reviewing the work of nearly 1,500 artists with the Ezekiel Clothing team, we've finally narrowed down our selection to the following Society6 artists.

Anna Pietzrak
Frank Moth
David Cristobal
Vin Ganapathy
NGHBRS

Big congrats to the contributing artists, whom now have the task of designing a killer clock to the tune of Ezekiel's 'All We Have Is Now' mantra. The clocks will be made available in our Editions collection in the coming months.

An even bigger thank you to all those artists that applied. We've got a lot of great colloration opportunities in the works - so keep an eye out on your My Society feed for new announcements!

Ezekiel's Statement:

The All We Have is Now Artist Collaboration series represents a collaboration between Ezekiel and artists looking to express the temporal nature of living. The program in its simplest form is an enabler and amplifier for individuals and collectives to reach a broader audience with their work, through our motto "All We Have Is Now".

http://society6.com/ezekielclothing
http://ezekielusa.com/
July 31
398Promote
Public Order Art Show Recap
I wanted to send out a HUGE thank you to everyone who showed face at our Public Order group art show at Kingswell this past Saturday night! There was amazing art, great tunes, drinks flowing, and literally a packed house. The contributing artists killed it with the mug shot pieces they submitted, resulting in a SOLD OUT show.

If you weren’t able to attend, we’d like to invite you to check out the Public Order collection right here: http://society6.com/r/public-order

A video of the event is in the works, so you can either re-live the event or watch and pretend you were there. We'll share the video the moment it's ready!

Massive thanks to our participating artists, Kingswell for hosting us, our videographer Mark Underwood, our photographer Micah Cordy, and all of you for just being awesome.

The show will be up now thru August 23rd at Kingswell.

The show includes new work by:
Austin England
Base-V
Boneface
CamRaFace
David Penela
Doug Smock
Farizwan Fajari (aka Speak Cryptic)
Jesse Draxler
Jonathan Campo
Kyle Cobban
Mariana, a Miserável (aka The Miserable One)
Matthew Goik
Noah Harmon (aka Relax Adult)
OOh!
Philip Morgan
Ryan Humphrey
Scott Listfield
Sofia Bonati
Wasted Rita

About the show:

***** P U B L I C O R D E R *****

Whether from the advent of social media, society's collective addiction to reality TV, or both, it seems deviance in pop culture is at an all time high. The bummer about our front row seats to the unsavory activities of public icons, is how infrequently we see the culmination...until now.
Our contributing artists have interpreted the best (and worst) outcomes of community disruption in the form of the quintessential mugshot and are showing the world what it looks like when the subject gets caught.

More about KINGSWELL
http://kingswell.tv

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