Heresy x FatKidOnFire - Interview #114

Heresy x FatKidOnFire

Interview #114

We’ve been spoiled for content here on FatKidOnFire – Chris is well and truly on a roll with the streetwear features at the moment. Tonight sees him talk to a new London-based brand who are producing some awesome work…

Two features, on two new brands, and both look to be raising the bar for all new brands. Last time we had Swindon’s Known, a brand who impressed both me and Wil with how ambitious and well executed they were with their launch. Today, we have London-based Heresy

Heresy are a brand who, according to their website, have ‘a commitment to the handmade’. Everything is done in house, and you can see the thought that has gone into their products, which span across a range of quality caps, hats, sweats and tees. They also, rather interestingly, describe themselves as having an ‘anti-theistic lean’. This is something that shows through in their designs, making them really quite different and interesting; the first time you see one of their designs, the religious vibe grabs your attention, and you’re really drawn into them when you realise they’re perhaps not quite as they seem. My favourite example of this is definitely the grey and black baseball tee graphic.

Read on to see examples, and hear about the guys decision to take this slant with their brand…

Hey guys, tell us who Heresy are… Hi! We are Dominic Owen & Jasper Dunk. Heresy is a project that we started together last year. We are both illustrators, both studied in Bath and are now based in London. We make small run, hand-screenprinted apparel.

What’s the background story behind starting Heresy? We’ve been friends for a long time, went to school together and ended up on the same degree course. While we were studying we collaborated on projects a lot, finding that we worked really well together – so when we finished our degree we just decided to carry on collaborating. We both got really into printing while we were studying so working with that medium was a natural choice. Also when you come out of education as an illustrator it’s tough to get steady work, so starting a project that was totally under our control was kind of a reaction to that. We wanted to have some practical and immediate application for our drawing rather than waiting for commissions to show up in our inboxes.

Your designs have clear religious connotations, and you say you’re two friends “with a shared anti-theistic lean”. Explain a little more about your style and ethos… Well basically we had a sad drink of Johnny Walker when Christopher Hitchens died. In our opinion, religion is dated and crazy. Some religious art and architecture is amazing though. We’re not trying to ram our opinion down anyone’s throat, but it’s something we were both interested in, and it’s a fun topic to poke at.

We’re big Attenborough fans as well and we’d rather take his word on how the world works over old books about magic. It’s pretty nuts how you see people watching YouTube videos of preachers on their smart-phones.

What inspires and motivates you? We’re lucky enough to be surrounded by a lot friends that make good art. London is great for art at the moment and everyone we know seems to have something going on, putting on nights, running galleries and print studios, it’s definitely encouraging to have that around you. I think the number one motivation though is that there’s two of us involved, having another person to rely on or potentially let down makes a massive difference, we’re pretty good at motivating each other and its easier not to let deadlines slip. There are artists that we really look up to; Geoff McFetridge and Nathaniel Russell are Heresy favourites. Simon Hanselmann deserves a mention for being a current obsession, Nous Vous seem to have a really good work ethic and make some ace stuff.

You claim to have a commitment to the hand-made, and back this up by printing stuff in house. Why is hand-made important to you? Well we’re in it for the making process rather than the business and spreadsheets side of things, so it was a logical step to do everything ourselves. We put our work into a computer but we think it’s important to get it back out again into an analogue state. Screen printing is such a great process that we have a lot of respect for, I don’t think we’ve met anyone who gave it a go and didn’t fall in love with it. We’d rather be mixing colours right there in physical form than picking pantones.

What do you see the future holding for Heresy? Any long-term thoughts/things you want to achieve? Short term we’re producing a limited edition t-shirt for Jaguarshoes Collective, they’ve been ace and asked us to put on a party at the Old Shoreditch station to launch it. We’ve got a bunch of our friends to DJ some Doom and Psych and Hans Lo will be making some audio visual stuff to project on the night which we’re really excited about.

We’re also in the early stages of our next collection, hopefully for this one we will be extending the collaborative aspect by getting some of our illustrator friends involved in the designing process.

Long term, we hope to grow the project and work with some charities that are relevant to what we are doing. We want to get involved with Stepping Stones Nigeria and Tanzania Albino Charity Organization who help kids that have been seriously FKOFed over by religion.

What’s providing the soundtrack to your days? It changes every day, it’s kind of like Peter Broderick in the morning and Wolves in the Throne Room at night. Dom DJs a lot and co-runs a sound system so he’s got a nice vinyl collection. Recently we’ve been re-living school days with some Task Force, the last track we got super psyched about was this Sroeng Santi cover of Iron Man. We put out mixtapes on our site and there’s an ace classic Doom one by our friend Cloven Hoose that we’ve had on repeat.

Any shoutouts? Rupert Dunk for making our rad website and putting up with us being tech-noobs, Richard Naylor for photographing and editing all our shoots, Laurie Lynch for being handsome and reliable.

Also look out for our friend Nkoyo who puts out rad textiles, Recession Sound System who are sorting us out with weapons for our party, All Cats Are Grey, Peckham Print Studio and Beach London.

We’ll be playing some Doom and Psych at Old Shoreditch Station on Friday the 19th of October [tonight!] for the launch of our collaboration tee with Jaguar Shoes, it’s free so come down and get grim.

And that wraps up another quality brand feature! As touched upon at the beginning of this article, it’s really exciting to see new brands coming out the blocks hard, with a variety of quality and well executed products.

Hopefully we’re going to start seeing the UK scene grow and take its own shape; pushed on not only by the brands, but by the supporters, people getting behind the quality and potential on these very shores.

If you’d like to see what Heresy get up to next, give ’em a thumbs up on Facebook, a follow on Twitter or head over to their website to grab yourself some unique items.

Hit Chris up on Twitter (or you can have a chat with me on @FatKidOnFire) or shout away in the comments if you enjoyed his latest post!

And if you’re a brand looking for exposure, why not drop Chris an email?