Interview with Dave Little

von Lev Nordstrom

Streng limitiert ist immer gut, dachte ich mir und entschied mich Dave Little zu interviewen. Ja, ich habe es getan. Ein Interview für ein T-Shirt. Fairer Deal und Frühling halt. Im Rahmen der Urban Experiences Lifestyleplattform haben sich Beck’s Gold und der Berliner Select-Store Firmament entschlossen zu kollaborieren. Für das Projekt gewonnen wurde der britische Künstler und Illustrator Dave Little, der bereits Ende der 80er Jahre durch seine Plattencover- Entwürfe für Bomb The Bass, Paul Oakenfold und den Stereo MC’s Aufsehen erregte. In New York holte sich Dave schließlich – in den Fußstapfen Keith Harings wandernd – die nötige Inspiration für sein aktuelles „All Seeing Eye“ T-Shirt-Design. Weltweit gibt es davon nur 500 Stück. Und eins davon habe ich.

Can you remember and describe one of your first ever drawings as a child?

Well one I remember was a ‘suspension bridge’ of all things, as I was mad on 2nd World War aircrafts. I drew the wings from many angles, which was amazing and worrying for a 5 year-old. Also, for my 6th birthday my Mother said I asked her for a real skull, she knew then I was different.

At what point in your life did you know that you were destined to be a visual artist?

Well let me say this, I’ve never done anything else, and have never had a ‘proper’ job – never worked in a bar or done anything other than art or design. I remember drawing Albrecht Durer’s praying hands woodcut by the time I was 10 so I knew the gift was there, but anything with mathematics involved I was rubbish!

Your bio says you escaped Art College in the mid 80s. How come? Did you have some sort of epiphany?

Well yes, you could say. I’d taught myself airbrushing by the age of 18 and was fairly adept at it – by then I had all the kit. DeVilbis airbrushes and compressor, even a Pasche ‘Turbo’ which in the early 80’s was £380 and could create a detailed line down to 0.01 mm. My senior illustration teacher hated the technique so he would downmark all my work, but once a month a professional airbrush artist would come to teach and he turned up in a Porsche 911, so that convinced me I was onto something. He was a success in the ‘real world’ so from then on I took no more advice from supposed college experts!

Do you have an underlying philosophy to your designs?

It’s all in the detail I guess. I greatly admire the ‘Old Masters’ and the real classic artists like Robert Williams, Gerald Scarfe, Ronald Seattle, the list goes on. The underlying theme is draftsmanship, i.e. a total command of the medium, with fantastic drawing and detail mixed with great ideas. All good to have a great idea but to finish it to a high standard, which the average person would admire that’s why we’re called artists. Basically, a blank canvas to create something from nothing. A great idea badly executed to me is a let down.

Part of your fame stems from record sleeve designs. Which band(s) is/are an inspiration to you at the moment?

I have designed a limited poster, which will be going into vinyl only release by Leo Zero and Soft Rocks, as part of the Milky Disco 3 album on Lo Recordings in July, search that one out, as it’s fantastic. I’m working with a group called Sabatta, on a small scale at the moment – plus a London band called the ‘Rotten Hill Gang’ which features my old chums Dan Donovan and also Mick Jones from The Clash. Mick to me is a living Rock God – basically anything with attitude.

What is your relation to graffiti and/ or street art and to Keith Haring?

Graffiti has always had a connection to the music scene, and I remember the first Hip Hop tour with Run DMC. Then friends started one of the first white Hip Hop groups called ‘Renegade Soundwave’. They had a sound-system by the same name. I used to graff all their illegal warehouse parties (The Hulk spinning the decks was a favourite), which led to my sleeve work, and more importantly the Club Flyer A/W, which to me is still street art. Also, the Keith Haring connection was through my brother who is gay, and through him I met and became friends with the gay mafia! Paul Rutherford (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) Boy George, plus I met the guy who came up with the ‘Cabbage Patch Doll’ craze, as he knew Keith, and that’s how I briefly met him. He really knocked down the walls of the established Art world on a massive scale, and to have met him is a great inspiration – I just love his style, a true giant and innovator.

What’s the idea behind the ‘All Seeing Eye’ design?

Well the design needed a visual ‘shock’ and I must admit I love an eye in the design; it’s basically a hangover from the Acid House days of ’88. Plus, we have more surveillance cameras in London (10,000) than any other city in the world so it was my ‘dig’ at the authorities I guess.

Thank you for your time and ‘piece’ of mind!

And thanking you …’Keep the Faith!!’..Dave Little x (T-Shirts hier erhältlich)

Interview Lev Nordstrom

Lev Nordstrom

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