Arguably the most popular artist of this milennial generation, Jean-Michael Basquiat's notebooks were exhibited at the Cleveland Museum of Art. I took a quick peek, it was nice. I wish I had more time to explore more, but I showed up late af. I never got a chance to return to the museum either. I'll have to find another opportunity to see his work somewhere else.
Went to NYC a few months ago and didn't get a chance to post these crappy pics I took. Enjoy.
Glen Infante is an artist and streetwear designer in Cleveland Ohio. He is the chief creative force behind ILTHY (I Love The Hype) a Cleveland Based Streetwear brand that was started in 2009. Glen has used his creative talents to inspire others into following their passions and creating what they love.
This is the first of many posts featuring the artists and designers involved at Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 2011. Some very cool people. Today we’re featuring Glen Infante, designer and illustrator and founder of I Love the Hype. If you were (or were not) at the gallery at WMC Fest, you must have noticed (or missed) two things:
- One of the tables had a (free) claw game on it.
- The picture of the nude smurfette on the wall.
Both of these belonged to iLTHY. Clearly, they’ve got an interesting little setup that you just have to take notice of.
Glen Infante, founder of I Love the Hype (iLTHY), has become an established figure in the Cleveland music scene as the designer behind rappers Machine Gun Kelly, Chip Tha Ripper, and Kid Cudi, among others. From being a designer at HotCards.com to developing a website to generate funds for a billboard of LeBron James to try to keep him in Cleveland, Infante has proven himself to be a versatile and capable designer. His intent was never even to start a business, but to sell shirts on RealCavsFans.com. However, by January of 2010, iLTHY was a legitimate company and one of the top artistic forces from the Midwest.
When asked what he thought of WMC Fest, he acknowledged that he hadn’t had the opportunity to be part of something like this and didn’t know what to expect, but that he wished it would happen more than just once a year, explaining that he got to be a part of something that wasn’t purely client work and “I feel like an artist again.”
When asked to describe his work, he described it as “cartoon-y” and “bright” and expressed a love of vibrant pieces. He went on to say “My art is very simple. I don’t do a lot of intricate artwork…very thick lines, not a lot of detail…I can do a lot of detail, but I really don’t have the patience.”
For you designers who aren’t so into drawing things with a pencil, it’s ok. While Infante can, he mentioned “I don’t really like to draw with my hands a lot, but if I do, it’ll be a quick sketch and I try to make that quick sketch the coolest quick sketch I can make.”
It’s not surprising then that when asked about where he draws inspiration for his work, he described watching cartoons with his father when he was a kid and how it often came back to what caught his interest during his childhood. “I’m bringing all that stuff back.”
What I learned:
- Don’t use filters. You’ll lose street cred and look n00bish.
- Don’t get sidetracked. You could lose a lot of time and delay a great career.
- If you’re good at art, do it a lot. You’ll always have that talent, but when you get older, you’ll start forgetting things. Keep it fresh.
- Showcase as much as you can. Just show off your art.
- Just make things. A lot of things. It’s the best way to become great at what you do.
Essince: Anyway, I’ve known about Hot Cards for awhile because I believe they sponsor a basketball team? The past 4 years I’ve been heading up to Oberlin to see the park tournament and they always win…I mean ALWAYS. haha.
Being a basketball fan [understatement] are you involved with that at all?
Glen: The Hotcards Basketball team has been around for a while now, even way before I was around. I hear stories on how they crush everyone on the court. Columbus (Hotcards CEO) is pretty proud of that. lol. Currently, I am not involved at all with the Hotcards basketball team… but if they ever need someone to give out 6 hard fouls, I could be that guy. LOL
Essince: Did you ever play basketball?
Glen: I played for a “Rec” league in Highschool. LOL. We were called the “Veterans”. I was number 12, started SG. Now that that’s out, I’ll just say now that I’m not a very good basketball player at all. lol. Imagine a 5’6 version of Ira Newble, I think that says it all lol.
E: How did you get involved doing graphics? Did you do other forms of art growing up?
G: Would it be surprising to tell you that I didn’t learn Photoshop or anything like that until maybe 4 years ago? I was heavy into Illustration when I began college. Graphics didn’t really interest me until maybe the last few semesters of college. I started out by just making little graphics on MySpace and message boards and stuff.
I was more of a Fine Arts type of guy. There isn’t any consistant money into Fine Arts so I had to switch my career options. I think I took a good turn.
E: I’m really familiar with your cover art, particularly your vectors [SICK, by the way]. What are some of your favorite projects?
G: I gotta say that the B*tch I’m From Cleveland one is my all time favorite. That cover was pretty much the stepping stone of my career. Lots of questions were asked, lots of inquiries were made after that piece. 2nd place is Kid Cudi’s Kid from Cleveland, that one got some nationwide views it’s pretty cool to see that artwork everywhere.
E: In a time when people and companies are trying to save money, also a time when businesses should up their marketing, how do you find clients?
G: A lot of people still hit me up on MySpace. I get maybe 10 or 15 messages a day just about graphics on MySpace, so many of my clients come from there. There’s Twitter as well. I think it’s come to a point where I’m not searching for clients and they are searching for me and I like it like that.
E: As Shaq’s self-proclaimed biggest fan, I’m ecstatic about his coming to Cleveland. How do you think this will affect the team as well as our hometown hero?
G: I’m ecstatic myself! Lets rewind time and go back to 90’s when Shaq was dominating the league. We were rooting on a team with Tyrone Hill, Chris Mills and Michael Cage as our front line. I would have never thought in this lifetime that we would have him on this team. It’s almost surreal and I can’t wait til NBA opening day. It’s going to be exciting.
I think he fits in pretty well with this team, he plays half court basketball and he wasn’t used properly in Phoenix. I think in our half court system with LeBron they will both flourish.
E: You said on your page you won’t stop pushing until you make a name for yourself outside of Ohio. How do you plan on doing that?
G: Just keep doing what I’m doing. Build a presence on the internet and start a small following and it will eventually fall into place. It’s slowly happening. I get hit up by NYC dudes and people from the South and West Coast all the time about graphics. I want to do more than just Mixtape covers though. I’m more interested in poster art and apparel design at this stage of my career.
E: What’s next for Glen?
G: Who knows? I’m very interested in apparel design. I’d like to dip my toe into that and see how far that can take me. It’s an expensive genre of art but I got to at least try.
E: What’s your rate for say, a mixtape or a company logo?
G: LOL nice question! I don’t really discuss rates in public, lets just say you give me your idea and I can quote you based off your description.
Essince: Any final comments?
Glen Infante: Thank you OHHA for the recognition last year. It was great working with you all, and it was awesome to see all of my work displayed throughout the entire event. Much love to ya’ll.
I was scrolling through old emails and I randomly came across this interview that I seemed to sent to myself as a draft. It was never used for anything and I don't even know who the interview was for. As I looked back at it, It's amazing to see what I was going through in 2009. I also had some interesting stuff to say about the graphic design field, and a lot of nice advice for people who are just starting. Crazy how long ago it was, but here ya go! Enjoy!
Tell us about yourself. Who are you? What do you do?
Glen Infante - Graphic designer/Artist for one of the most popular commercial printing shops in the nation, Hotcards.com
Describe your typical work day?
At Hotcards you can expect a ton of laughing throughout the entire day. We play practical jokes on each other almost every day and still manage to get all of our work done and keep our clients happy. In the mist of all the laughter and pranks, the office does get really busy and filled with customers. So each day at Hotcards usually is a very eventful day.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of your profession?
Advantages: First and for most, I'm doing what I love. I never thought I would be getting paid to do art. It's been a hobby of mine ever since I could remember and every day that I'm working is really a dream come true.
Secondly, I get to use the internet at work! lol, how many people could say that right now? I mean, I need to find all my resources online as well as inspiration. What a great tool to have, and it helps that I'm addicted to it as well. haha.
Disadvantages. You need to have a quick brain, and somedays the brain just doesn't want to come up with anything for a day. Making graphics on a day to day basis and making each one HOT is a very difficult thing to do. You just go through the motions and pray that the client likes what you came up with.
Why is your job/work important?
We are identity shapers. It is our job to help companies out there get business through ads and artwork. Without us, how will the next guy persuade a mass of people to trust their company? Word of mouth can only take you so far, but being visually attractive through artworkis your way in to entering smart business.
What is the salary range for your position?
I've seen salaries at my position go from mid 30's to High 70's. I'm not at the high 70's yet, maybe one day. LOL.
What inspired you to pursue this particular career field?
Money. What else? lol. I wanted to get into a field that I felt I could make the most money with my abilities. I'm glad that art has taken me this far.
Describe any challenges you may have encountered within your career
field and how you overcame those challenges.
Everyone wants their artwork right away. Like, same day type right away. Sometimes it's difficult to squeeze in someone last minute and create them a masterpiece out of the blue, but I always manage to make it happen.
What advice do you have for people seeking a similar career path?
Sound's a bit cliche, but school is very important. They will teach you the fundamentals of art and design and they teach you how to be prepared for this type of work.
Also, work for yourself for a bit. Do some self promotion. Alot of self promotion. If you design something for someone, put your name on it. Someone will notice that name on that design and will be intrigued to contact you if they like it. I promise.
What's your favorite quote?
Can't win if you don't play.
This week I had great pleasure to work with Game Seven Marketing and Nike Basketball on a collaborative project for the Cleveland Cavaliers. I was hired to design Nike posters for every Nike signed Cavaliers player with the phrase "I Believe in (Players Name)"
Nike then got a team to wheat paste them all over the city, and I got to tag along during the process, and boy that was fun as hell.
Nike also orchestrated a live Mural event in the front of the Q during Fan Fest. I got my best assistants and we killed it for 2 days working on the mural in front of thousands of Cavs fans. At the end of Game 3, the Cavs won and it was magical painting the mural live with thousands of chanting Cavs fans. It will be a moment I will never forget.
So I went to another Art Exhibition this weekend. That seems like the only thing I really leave the house to do these days lol. It was another event at Dead Logic, their events have really been nice lately. I've been 3 so far, and each time I really enjoyed my time.
Sheer was an all female artist showcase, featuring the work of Jasmine Nicole, Sundavish Tan, Destanie Rodriguez, Haf and Haf, Lily Pearl and Pusha Tee (not the rapper lol)
The art world in Cleveland is majority ran by the males in the city with the girls just ooing and aweing over them like we are some big shot artists stroking our egos all the time. It was a nice switch to finally get the females some much needed attention for their beautiful creative sides. This time there was mad dudes drooling all over the artist's work, and it was much well deserved. The ladies really put on a great show. They even had a female Dj spinnin the tunes! I really believe this is the start of the Artistic Woman movement. Fellas better watch out cuh, they might take over soon if they keep uniting together like this, on some female Power Rangers shit. LOL.
Sundavish Tan, (mostly known for her writing and poetry) has expressed her words on canvas with acrylic stamped lettering. Her subjects are mostly about self love, and experiences she's had with love and heart break. The writing is usually very emotional and heartfelt, very relatable stuff for those who are also going through love issues. That picture above aint her though lol.
Lily Pearl is a young photographer who has been working hard for the past year. Her style is very experimental, bright, vibrant and full of life. The majority of her subjects are people, because she sees people as art themselves.
Haf wasn't able to be there physically but I have always enjoyed her work on her instagram page and I was a bit sad that I didn't get to meet her. She has a nice style thats based on calligraphy. You can see her calligraphy writing style translate to her portraits as well. Looking at the strokes I can tell that she does each line with one large stroke with thinning and thickening its shape. It's a great skill.
I was really impressed by Pusha's display. Shes a fashion designer specializing in women's fashion. The feel is high end female wears, but more practical for everyday use. She had a nice set up that I didn't get a chance to take more photos of, but I loved the layout of her concepts next to the actual product samples on display. All the chicks were all over it wanting to buy the samples, but she said she wasn't prepared to sell anything yet.
Destanie's showcase was killer and it gained alot of attention from the gallery attendanees. Destanie's known for her remixed drawings of Peanut's characters. The drawings showcased the classic characters dressed as current youth. Charlie Brown rockin a Yeezus Tour tee, Snoopy looking like ASAP Yams with a Coogie sweater on. Shit was lit as fuck lol. There was a Last Supper one that when I looked at it I was like damn, I want to own this lol. If she keeps continuing with this theme, I can see it going pretty far.
Jasmine's "Art Will Survive" Wall spread through out the entire back area of the showroom. Her large paintings (to me) symbolizes beauty and strength of women. Majority of the pieces seemed to be self portraits mostly done with acrylics but in various forms of canvas. She had an awesome painting of a woman on these 2 sheets of triangle shaped wood, and also sold merchandise that she hand painted herself. Women are forms of art, and she captured the beauty of a woman's body in every piece she had.
Overall it was a great showcase with positive vibes. The women of this show should be very proud. It isn't easy to put yourself out there to the public for everyone to see and judge you. It takes guts, getting past self doubt, believing yourself, sleepless nights, tons of encouragement and lots of hard work. I hope Dead Logic continuous success and keep this thing going, not only is it really bringing some good culture to the city, its making people believe in themselves. Thank you.
Heres more flix and shit below.
CLEVELAND, Ohio--Cleveland-based artist Glen Infante is a pretty chill guy, but there's more than meets the eye.
The 35-year-old also owns the popular clothing brand, iLTHY where they specialize in T-shirts, hoodies, headwear and other accessories. He showcases his art in a variety of platforms including paintings, digital drawings and clothing. Infante's work is a little all over the place, but it allows him to explore different ways to share his creativity.
Many know him as the guy behind the paint brush, but who is he as an individual? We sat down with Infante where he shared some interesting facts about himself. Watch the video above to hear about the inspiration behind his interesting projects.
Since you design clothes, describe your fashion style.
I don't like jumping into trends with clothes. Someone who has to change their look every year seems fake to me. It's like, accept who you are and don't do it just because other people are doing it. I think my style is very practical, but you don't need to buy expensive clothes to have fashion sense.
Why did you close the iLTHY shop?
I wanted to explore my options. I didn't want to get locked down to a long-term contract in Lakewood. So I wanted to see if there was a better opportunity for me out there for a better place. It might not be in Ohio or Cleveland--or it could be. I'm trying to open multiple locations so right now we're taking a step back and focusing on the brand. There's a bigger picture that we want to paint and if we get stuck in one place we can't finish that picture.
So, are you planning to open up another spot?
You asked the secret question. Yea, we will have a shop. I don't know when, but we'll have one soon.
You move a lot--it's like a routine with you. Why?
The real reason is because they're only one-year leases. I guess it also might be an artist thing since I don't like being closed inside a box. I don't want to be told I have to stay at a certain place and only make Cleveland tees. My box needs to be wide open or collapsed so I can spread out all over the place. It might not be the best business move, but I'm constantly searching not just for my brand, but also myself.
Kristel Hartshorn, cleveland.com
What would surprise people about you?
I have feelings--strong feelings. When people are negative, that really gets to me and I'm like an escapist where I won't show up anywhere for a long period of time. So if you don't see me for a while, it's because someone said something mean. I know I should brush it off, but this is your brain you're putting out there--not your face or body, and when there's a negative response it will get to you.
What's the most annoying thing to you about Cleveland?
As much support you get here, there are also people that want to bring you down. The people that are in the same business as you don't want to see you succeed and I guess that's just the competitive mentality with Clevelanders. I just wish there was more positive unity.
Do you plan to stay in Cleveland?
My family is here and my daughter is here, which is one of the biggest reasons why I haven't left. I'm a single dad and I'm sharing custody with her mom and it would kill me to leave her. It doesn't mean I can't do business outside of Cleveland, but it takes time. Cleveland's definitely home.
Last weekend I went to a schnazzy little art show. I don't go out much these days. I like to keep myself busy at home, where I can comfortably be myself. I have been in hibernation mode for the last few months, and I blame it on the depressing weather here in Ohio. It actually started to Blizzard on there way there. Fun drive to St Clair/Hamilton all the way from Lakewood lol. Ugh.
This was the 2nd time I've attended a Dead Logic event. The first time was Terry Urban's art show. That was pretty nice too. For those who never been to Dead Logic, it's a nice little gallery/work space that friends' Dre and Derrick started over on Hamilton and St. Clair, kinda near one my favorite restaurants, Siam Cafe.
I like the vibe in there, everyone was very respectable, polite and positive. Dj Corey Grand was on set providing the vibes. I must have missed King Dom, whom was scheduled to dj during the first half of the event. I haven't seen him in a while either. Sucks that I missed that.
"Beside's the point" was a collaborative show featuring the photography works of Justin Hustle, Daniel Shapiro, Andrew Wells, Julian Muller, Teresa May Nichta, Josh Teplitz Siân Wright, and Sarah Rodda.. At least thats what it said on the event page. I don't know for sure, but I don't think all of them ended up participating, I might be wrong who knows. Regardless, that's besides the point. (muahaha, see what I did there?). Anyway, it was a nice body of work from all of these artists that did hang stuff.
I really liked the concert photos on copy paper when you first walked in. I did my share of concert photography back in my hayday. He took some photos that made you feel like you right in the action. Good job to what's his face that shot them. Sarah Rodda had some cool pictures of Kanye West. I really liked her taped up name tag next to her photos. Felt very college girl photo wallish. Julian's 4x6 matted photos were nice. He had interesting photos of people. Sian Write had this amazing photo of a little girl looking up to the sky. I stared at it for a while trying to figure out what the heck that had her whole attention. Justin had a really cool picture of a sports car. It was pretty rad. Daniel had magazine quality images of people. His work reminds me of those photography books you see at Barnes and Nobles that are filled with weird and interesting people.
Overall, it was a nice chill night. Literally because it like blizzarded all day. After the event, we ended up getting chicken and waffles at XYZ and went home. Fun stuff. Here's more photos to skim.
I some how got obsessed with trying to obtain a new skill. I downloaded Sculpris and went a little nuts on it. Here's some of the shit I made.
Click on image to cycle through gallery
This is an introductory post to a photo series that I will begin called "Photos I never posted." Going all the way back from the year 2010, when I got my first SLR camera, I took a lot of photos, but I never really put any work into some shots. For therapeutic reasons, I like looking back. I love the feeling of looking at the past, reflecting, reminiscing, reliving the moments. It's like opening up a book of your life story. I love that feeling. It's that nostalgia, and I'm a huge sucker for nostalgia.
Art takes me to a different place in my mind. I'm not talking about the art you do for other people, like logos, flyers or cd covers. That's service work. I'm talking about art. The kind of art that brings back the passion in your soul. The kind of art that brings a smile to people's faces when they see your work. The kind of art that makes people want to chip in and help, so they can say they were part of the process. The kind of art that gets you lost in your headphones. The kind of art that reminds yourself that you're still alive. The kind of art that makes you feel like a kid again. The kind of art that sets you free, and I've been trapped in the evil world of graphic design, and I can't get out of it.
Art is my only freedom.
It's been a long time since I took blogging seriously. For a while I just didn't have anything to say. Since I started my last blog back in 2009 , my social media accounts kinda took off. The more followers I got, the more I'd rather spend time choosing filters and snapchatting videos. I started to neglect my blog. Basically, social media made it so easy to talk to people that I didn't see anymore use for my blog. I've always said this, but social media killed the blogger. But I'm back from the dead. I peeled the old layer of dry flesh off my brain like the dry skin on an onion and now I'm fresh and ready to add some flavor to your life. Welcome to the area of my site where I spill my brain, like chopped onions. (that didn't make any sense)
This completes Entry 1.