Aryo Toh Djojo is a painter blessed with the ability to create blissful pictures balancing both the raw and fetishized. Often humorous in his approach he strategically condenses into an artwork what is typically discarded. We asked Aryo a dozen questions. He gave us a dozen profound answers.
Why do you do what you do? Pretty much the only thing I know how to do.
Where do ideas come from? The voices in my head.
What’s your favorite color combo? There’s way too many to choose from.
Don’ts? Don’t leave the toilet seat up. It’s not polite.
What’s your favorite place on the Internet? The endless sea of porn sites.
What materials do you work with? Traditional and digital media.
Where do you hang out in Los Angeles? Wherever the drinks and homies are at.
What’s a mistake you’ve made? Beer before liquor.
Where are you from and what did you take from there? Gdubs / Jewel City (Glendale, CA) Took mad slams on a skateboard.
What is love? “Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more” -Haddaway
Where do you see yourself in 15 years? Still making stuff and having a happy life with money in the bank.
What’s your average workday like? Wake up, drink coffee, work on stuff, meditate, masturbate then go to bed.
Band merch is a great way for your crew to build buzz and be marketing non stop. Band shirts often become our favorite shirts and could possibly end up on eBay one day for $500. If you are a band and you don’t have merch, then you should get your act together. It’s been reported that merch sales are 15% of a bands revenues. Also, if you’re a jazz act more than likely it’s less than half a percent. But for rock, rap, and pop you’ve got to develop your merch and treat it like a side business to reap the rewards.
Here is a list of the bands that have trusted Level Press to print their apparel and merch in the past:
Ed Sharpe 30 Seconds Bob Fogarty Ray LaMontagne The Bennies SBTRKT Patty Griffin The Rolling Stones Hermitude
Printing merch is an out of pocket expense, but it’s absolutely necessary for your band to have printed shirts on high quality t-shirts. We can print very detailed graphics, photographs, illustrations in a soft style for a vintage feel or a bright bold fully opaque style for high visibility.
At Level Press we also have full time in house graphic design team ready to assist you and your band with graphics creation and preparation. Contact us today and lets start printing your merch now.
We recently had the chance to catch up with fashion designer Naomi Spindel, one of the designers at For Love & Lemons. For Love & Lemons consistently sets the trend in womenswear and lingerie, their stylish and elegant designer filled us in on finding inspiration and self expression.
Why do you do what you do? Clothing is a universal form of self expression, it thrills me to create unique pieces to better help people express/identify themselves.
Where do ideas come from? Colors and textures, i.e. everything!
What’s your average workday like? Wake up at 8am, make coffee, feed the pets, drive down Sunset Blvd in my convertible, emails, inspiration, sketching… usually a fitting at 1pm, fabric meetings, design meetings, afternoon dog walk, I usually get one last gusto of creativity from 5-7 at my desk (because the office finally gets quiet!)
What’s your favorite color combo? Every season it changes… right now I’m loving green. Mustard. Lavender. Creme. Black.
Don’ts? Don’t do sloppy work- everything counts.
What’s your favorite place on the internet? Google Images <3
What materials do you work with? Lots of lace, embroideries, velvet burnouts, really loving this silk/spandex quality we’ve been using, it drapes well and the stretch lets us cut things skin tight but still comfy. We also use lots of floral appliqués, loop trims, pins, beads and sequins…
Where do you hang out in Los Angeles? I live in Echo Park so I tend to stay in my neighborhood or head DTLA for art openings and performances. I also like to hike and go to the quieter beaches in Malibu in the summertime.
What’s a mistake you’ve made? That’s a good question! I think sometimes I’m too hard on myself, I tend to work an extra hour here or there when it would be more beneficial to make it to a yoga class etc.
Where are you from and what did you take from there? I’m like, totally, a Valley Girl thru n thru. It gave me a sweetness and a toughness you can’t really find anywhere else.
What is love? Love is non-stop smiling ear to ear.
Where do you see yourself in 15 years? Designing a house, the furniture in it, the plates in the kitchen, and the clothing everyone wears in the house. I guess Frank Lloyd Wright already did this but I’d like to have a go at it too…
Bobby Lee printed some limited edition merch with us this past month. The designs are by friends and fans of his podcast TigerBelly. You can peep their work and the episodes to the TigerBelly podcast here. It’s been a pleasure developing merch with George and Khalyla. They’re using SEMBLY as their fulfillment partner as well. Glad we’re able to provide some rad shirts and shipping for this talented bunch.
We recently had the pleasure of working with Josh Scholl of Skim Milk | Whole. His t-shirt designs are a mash-up of fine art and Internet imagery. In this “A Dozen Answers” interview hear what Josh has to say about the t-shirt design hustle.
Why do you do what you do?
I have clothing brands. Skim Milk, which is my graphics brand and WHOLE which is my higher end patterns brand. I do what I do because it’s my outlet. I originally started the brand purely because I love t-shirts and there wasn’t anything available that I would actually wear out there. I had no intention of getting into this business, it was just born out of necessity. I made 5 designs and my friend who owned a shop asked if he could sell them and they kept selling out, so i just kept going and it’s snowballed from there.
Where do ideas come from?
My ideas come from all over. Definitely music and my affinity for bizarre and edgy art. Honestly, I strangely get ideas out of nowhere while driving in Los Angeles or when I go back to parent’s church back in St. Louis. I’ll zone out and have a bulletin full of design ideas. Some of my more edgier material too. Kinda weird, but I guess God has a sense of humor in that way.
What’s your average work day like?
Work, work work…. There is always work to be done in this business. Answer emails, ship out orders, Instagram, scheme new designs, scheme new ways to grow the brand, take care of what I should have gotten done the day before, etc…
What’s your favorite color combo?
Honestly, it changes depending on my mood. I love classic colors like black and white which are always staples. But right now, I’m really digging on cherry red and mustard together. I also like hunter orange and white.
DON’T just copy what someone else is doing. If it’s successful, you’ll know that you’re not a genius and if it fails, you’ll feel like a douche because weren’t being true to yourself. It’s good to know what’s trending and being cognizant of it, but add your personal flare or do something totally different. That way, despite how it performs you’ll be proud of your creation. This is also the only way that your work will be art. Otherwise your work can only be work. There are enough boring shirts out there. David Lynch once said that a true artist enjoys the process of creating, not merely the finished product. I couldn’t agree more with the process of making a t-shirt and what brings true joy in creating our wearable art form.
What’s your favorite place on the Internet?
Youtube. It’s the greatest website ever! The shit on there is amazing and in some cases the only place to find rare music.
What materials do you work with?
Cotton, cotton modal for t-shirts, sweaters, overalls, etc. I use all sorts of different fabrics for WHOLE. Wool, plastic, blends, suede, you name it…
Where do you hang out in Los Angeles?
I live and do most of my hanging in Highland Park. I spin records at Tenants of The Trees a couple times a month, so I’m there for that. I go wherever tho. I don’t snob (too hard).
What’s a mistake you’ve made?
In the beginning, I was stubborn and didn’t listen to some other wiser folks in the game. I was young, punk and dumb. I missed out on some opportunities. Also, early in the game, I wouldn’t order correctly. Not every design is going to be a hit and it sucks when you’ve made 150 of a design that only you, your friends and a few other random people are into. Produce conservatively depending on your numbers.
Where are you from and what did you take from there? I’m from St. Louis, MO. One of the great things about STL is the people there. Friendly, kind and loyal. I take those 3 aspects with me to anywhere I live. Really sticks out here in LA.
What is love? A sick band from the 60’s.
Where do you see yourself in 15 years? Assistant manager at a Carls Jr.
Where are you from and what did you take from there?
I am from the East New York section of Brooklyn. I took the resilience of the boro that so many heroes came from like a Michael Jordan a Mike Tyson a Spike Lee a Jay Z or a Jimmy Lovine. We are built to win.
Why do you do what you do? As an artist you walk through life wondering “what’s my niche?” I found mines early on in graffiti and stuck with it.
Where do ideas come from? My ideas literally stem from God, my environment, my experiences and my passion for life.
all images courtesy of Shirt King Phade
What’s your average workday like? I get up early 6:00am, go running come back meditate, drink tea. Read all my thoughts that were jotted down the night before and begin to tackle my “to do” list. Any appointments I may have that day I do a prep. Image is everything in Hollywood. So I choose carefully how I want to be projected that day. I then check my social media. It’s like reading the newspaper but juicier. If painting is on the agenda then I put my all into whatever project is beforehand.
all images courtesy of Shirt King Phade
What’s your favorite color combo? Hues of blue were my favorite colors as a kid. But now whatever is the most brightest and cheerful.
What materials do you work with? I have worked with a Paasche airbrush for 30 years. But I enjoy using other mediums like watercolor, acrylics, but pen and ink is my favorite.
all images courtesy of Shirt King Phade
What’s your favorite place on the Internet? Graffiti sites are key to me today. The graff sites enable me to constantly revisit my roots as a NYC subway bomber and the wave we started.
Where do you hang out in Los Angeles? I like to hang out at Escala Ktown restaurant where the music is authentic Hip Hop, the food is Colombian and the walls are filled with art.
What’s a mistake you’ve made? Every mistake I make eventually turns into a victory. That’s the irony of life. But maybe giving too much of my style to the point some don’t know the source on the internet.
What is love? Love is seeing your God given gift enabling others and yourself avenues of revenue.
Where do you see yourself in 15 years? Myself in 15 years, spreading the Good News all over the World.
This photograph was found at an estate sale in Beverly Hills for a property owned by the late Sir. Carlos Joshua, most known for his steamy Hollywood scandals published in tabloids during the 70’s. We do not know who shot this picture, but we do know that this is quite a cool image. Hope you like it too and share it around.
Four color CMYK process printing is a great way for you to print full color graphics, detailed illustrations and photographs. The graphic printed below is using a 4 color CMYK process screen printing technique. We have mastered the 4 color and simulated process printing techniques. This is ideal for higher quantity orders to get the most ideal pricing. Contact us today for a quote.