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Introducing Riff // Secret Wars London team member, artist, creative and all round nice guy…

Riff has been under our radar for a good while now, creating great drawings for us, so we decided to show him some love and feature him in the 1st of our series of artists interviews.

 

Hi Riff, tell us what a typical day for you consists of….?
When I’m not staring at a computer screen, then I’m probably staring at a sketchbook, it’s all part of my rock n’ roll lifestyle.

 

What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m working on a pitch to design merchandise (T-shirts and stuff) for this years Field Day festival, the deadline is pretty tight, so there goes my weekend.

 

Why did you choose to go into art/ design?
Drawing is pretty much the only thing I’m half decent at doing, when it comes to doing other stuff I’m mostly clumsy and terrible.

 

What has been your most challenging job so far?
Honestly taking part in Secret Wars was the most challenging thing I’ve done so far (even though its more of a competition then a job) I was totally out of my comfort zone, for starters unlike most of the guys involved with it I haven’t done a lot of big murals before, so things like doing large scale artwork in a short amount of time and collaborating with other artists was new to me, throw in a crowd of people staring at you and it can get pretty nerve-wracking, I don’t regret doing it though as I definitely learned a lot from the experience.

 

Pro made a video featuring you drawing, how did that come about?
hmm, that was a while ago now, but I think he saw me at one of the Secret Wars events, I didn’t speak to him on the night, but a few days later I got an e-mail from him asking if I could be part of a video feature so that’s how it all started, I just recently did a design for his T-shirt company “muck” so we still keep in touch.

 

You were part of the Secret Wars London team, How did you get involved in that?
The whole thing was a complete fluke, I wasn’t even meant to be drawing on the night! Basically before the Euro League began there was a “qualifying” battle to find a new artist to join the London team, I was just there with a few mates and as it turns out one of the artists didn’t show up so there was a spare board to draw on, I’d had a few beers at this point and felt kinda brave so I asked the guys running the night if it was cool if I took that guys place, they were cool with it so I ended up drawing that night…..and the rest is history.

 

Wow- that’s a brave move by you, how did you feel about being on stage in front of 500 people drawing?
The first time was the worst, seeing as I was still learning to deal with large scale drawing at the time, the build up to stepping on stage is usually way worse than the actual moment itself, but by the third battle I was pretty relaxed, so it didn’t take long to get used to it and to get into the swing of things.

 

Your team was knocked out in the Quarter Finals by Birmingham who then lost to Amsterdam in the finals, how did it feel to get that far in the league and do you think you could have beat Amsterdam?
Honestly I didn’t feel that bad about it, in a weird way I felt slightly relieved. The wall for the final battle at Village Underground was MASSIVE (well for me it was, anyway) so as confident as I was at that stage I think I might of crumbled under the pressure on the final round, we beat Amsterdam on their home turf anyway so I least I can always hold on to that!

 

Where did you get to visit on the SW tour with your team?
Amsterdam was the only place I went to on the SW tour, our hotel was a boat. so that’s an instant win right there.

 

Do you have any funny stories from the Secret Wars tour?
I remember being slightly drunk and breaking into an impromptu freestyle rap with this french dude that was probably twice as drunk as I was, I’m just glad nobody filmed it on their camera phones……the world isn’t ready for my MC skills, trust me.

 

Haha, ok, maybe stick to the drawing then? What would be your dream job/ client?
To me a “dream job” is when I can create something that’s true to what I would do in my personal work, it’s rare to get a job without a lot of compromise, but the ones with a lot of artistic freedom are always the ones I get the most out of.

 

What are you inspired by?
Cartoons taught me everything I know, I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

 

Whats next for you in between staring at computers and cartoons?
More drawing, and hopefully more money.

 

Thanks Riff!

 

Keep up to date with Riff’s work on his Flickr and behance

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