Studio Tours - Ryan Hawaii

Studio Tours - Ryan Hawaii

This week we have a long overdue return to our Studio Tours feature with a trip down to south east London. Armed with an Oyster card and camera we donned our leathers and patches for an anarchy themed visit to working class rockstar and artist Ryan Hawaii's creative space in Catford to talk Art, Music and Fashion... Talk us through your space, where do you create your work? The space where I create the majority of my work is my bedroom, I use my desk for sewing and paint all my pieces on my floor with an old curtain to protect my carpet from paint. I use my bed as a flat surface sometimes to cut clothes or canvas, however I do on occasion bring my paints with me to places and do work on site, for example I made a piece at a friends house yesterday using spray paint and a stencil I cut out using a kitchen knife! How would you describe what you create? Art, fashion or somewhere in between? I would describe my work as art through the medium of clothes, I paint directly onto clothes or onto canvas and sew it into the garments, the resultant piece is often a mix of textures and media, paint, pen, tears, canvas, I’ve even (accidentally) cut myself on pins and bled onto my work, ha! I would say it is somewhere between art and fashion as it is wearable art; however I would like to think there is a greater sentimentality attached to the pieces, especially the hand painted one-of-ones. What are the tools of your trade? Talk us through your process. Usually my work begins with the garment, so I’ll come across a piece I’ll see second-hand or whatever that grabs my interest, I tend to go for more utility/workwear pieces, which are often heavier. Then (if I’m making a collection of pieces) I’ll draw out designs or reference points along the theme of the collection. Sometimes I’ll paint canvas patches with designs on them, sometimes I’ll paint straight onto the garment, all depends on what mood I’m in really, it’s quite spontaneous most of the time. Your work carries similarities to design found in the early punk movement, is this something you had intended or is it just a by-product of following the same type of ethos? A bit of both really, when I first started I was just literally making stuff that were literally ideas I’d thought of sitting in front of the garment, brush in hand, then when I started making collections I started consulting more references to make them a more coherent body of work, so I looked at Jamie Reid, Martin Margiela and several other artists who had a strong ethos of disruption and were not averse to controversy or making work that made people think. It's important to be innovative and ambitious regardless of what you have available to you, there’s a certain DIY, no-holds-barred attitude that they have that inspires me, because that is something I have always embodied, after all the only reason I started painted on clothes was because my laptop broke and I couldn’t afford repairs, so I resorted to more traditional (and more accessible) methods. I think also being a musician it has allowed me to have a unique perspective and approach to art and fashion, I see how holistic they are within a scene, so I’d say as with Punk fashion and music went hand in hand, I guess what I do is a modern day reflection of that, but in a different scene which shares a similar ethos of the Punk (and early hip-hop) movements. You're just coming off the back of both an exclusive Boiler Room show and NTS set as a musician. Tell us more about your group Neverland Clan… Neverland Clan, is a group (nicknamed The World’s Gnarliest Boyband) which consists of self-produced Rapper Daniel OG, producer-sometime-rapper OMELET and myself, as well as other contributing Artists such as filmmaker-come-artist Okimi Nine. It all started from my bedroom, that’s where we record all our music, where Daniel & OMELET make beats, I do the album/track artwork & design the merchandise which we get screen printed and sell to fund and promote our stuff. We are heavily inspired by Heavy-Metal bands who had a great approach to branding and always had immaculately designed merchandise, that’s something that inspires us. We also think that live shows are vital in being a good group (or Boyband!) so we’ve always had some kind of co-ordinated costume for when we perform on stage, with lyrics and drawings on or whatever. It’s crazy how far we’ve come and we’re grateful that people are coming out to shows and wearing the shirts. It’s fun as hell. Do you find inspirations in music which cross over to your design? Or are inspirations found elsewhere? Definitely, I’ll see a crowd going crazy at a show and that might inspire a texture that I want to use in a piece, or I’ll interpret lyrics into a piece, or Daniel, OMELET, Okimi or someone from Neverland will say something that’ll lead me to an idea. My inspirations come from everywhere, my surroundings and the energies around me so I’m inspired by music or otherwise, they can come from anywhere really. You often employ guerilla marketing techniques to promote your latest work, unannounced talks in Selfridges, painting building site hoardings – why do you think this is important? I think it’s just a result of spontaneity, as much as Twitter or Instagram are cool, because you can market your work directly to people, I’ve always wanted to do things that are more disruptive and steal people’s attention. Simply because it creates conversation and makes your work more than just a product, it gives people an insight into the way you think, rather than just a faceless, emotionless product, it’s always more than that. What does the future hold? I am currently working on my next collection, which I intend to take myself out of my comfort zone with more varied techniques and more creative marketing. I’d love to do another pop-up shop and design the whole store so it would be a unique experience, rather than just a shop. In terms of music, making more stuff with Neverland - music videos, projects, merch and live shows. Most of all, challenging myself more, learning more, getting better and consistently pushing people's buttons, provoking thought and having fun! Find out more about Ryan's work and latest updates through his Instagram and Twitter.