27 October 2012

This IZ it!

I've been getting into the Halloween spirit lately from a hip hop perspective. Late night horror movies as well as the late night documentary Style Wars were both huge influences on me as a kid. The most memorable quote from Style Wars, for me at least, has always been "This is it! This is it!" by Iz the Wiz, when the bombed train comes past the camera. The pure child-like excitement in his voice sums up what hip hop is all about for me and my friends even today.

 photo courtesy urt.parsons.edu

The graffiti legend Iz the Wiz has always been an inspiration to me, quite frankly because he happened to be a white guy who achieved the extremely rare graff title of all city king of New York during the height of train bombing. I imagine him as almost a zombie creature of the night. He must have practically lived in those tunnels, and since his passing in 2009, his legendary status has only grown within my imagination. Years of exposure to toxicity were the eventual cause of his death, and in one of his last interviews he said that he would have traded all of it for perfect health. Something about that statement stuck with me.

In honor of Iz, I decided to combine his iconic two-letter throwie style with the lettering of one of the coolest horror comics, Creepy. In case you're not a fan, here is a cover to show you how incredibly cool these comics really are.

I painted the Creepy/Iz tribute onto a vest to wear to my annual pilgrimage to the long-standing Philly hip hop event, The Gathering, which happened to fall just before Halloween this month. I don't think I quite got it right (the streaks/drips looked more like icicles), but shoot, it was fun anyway!

To start, I stretched the vest onto a piece of cardboard and pinned it down to make it easy to draw on. I sketched out the letters with pencil. Can you erase pencil on fabric? Yes, you can! Then I started to fill in the lettering with gesso and a wide brush.

Along the bottom edges of the letters I pencilled in some streaks/drips/icicles or whatever you want to call them to make the letters more "Creepy" like.

Finally, I finished the gesso fill and gave it second coat, followed by outlining the whole piece with a black paint marker.

Ready for the jam!