Stega Pop Up at Vivant

If you are enchanted with the macabre wit of writers like Edgar Allen Poe, click through Stega Clothing's website and your wildest fashion dreams will come true. Designed and run by Joe Lydon, the brand makes tees and and patches with vivid prints and apathetic slogans. We talked to Joe in preparation for his appearance at Vivant's market on Saturday.    How would you describe the identity of your brand? I've kind of built Stega into a brand, but realistically the identity is just me as an artist. I'm just one guy designing, printing, and shipping by myself. I make designs that represent pieces of who I am, as cheesy as that sounds.     Where did the name "Stega" come from? The name Stega came from the shortening of steganography. Steganography is a way of hiding images or messages within another image or message, and it fascinated me a while back. I shortened it and started going by Stega almost 6 years ago and the name just kind of stuck.  

If you are enchanted with the macabre wit of writers like Edgar Allen Poe, click through Stega Clothing's website and your wildest fashion dreams will come true. Designed and run by Joe Lydon, the brand makes tees and and patches with vivid prints and apathetic slogans. We talked to Joe in preparation for his appearance at Vivant's market on Saturday. 

 

How would you describe the identity of your brand?

I've kind of built Stega into a brand, but realistically the identity is just me as an artist. I'm just one guy designing, printing, and shipping by myself. I make designs that represent pieces of who I am, as cheesy as that sounds.  

 

Where did the name "Stega" come from?

The name Stega came from the shortening of steganography. Steganography is a way of hiding images or messages within another image or message, and it fascinated me a while back. I shortened it and started going by Stega almost 6 years ago and the name just kind of stuck.  

What are your stylistic inspirations for your illustrations? I get a lot of inspiration from music, skate graphics, tattoo culture, nature and weird excerpts from day to day life. I feel very fortunate to have lots of friends both local and online who are very talented artists and they're a great source of inspiration as well.   You recently did a collaboration with a fellow local brand, Hungry Ghost Press. How did that get started, and how was it working together?   Chris is awesome. I believe we started talking through Instagram a while back and sort of clicked. He's a super talented artist and a great person. I think we share a lot of aesthetics as far as art and how a small business should be done. I've been organizing market type events in the North Shore and he's had prior engagements and vice versa-- it'll be cool to finally be able to link up for one.      How has Beverly shaped your work? Beverly has been huge for me as an artist. I went to school here and I've lived here for about 6-7 years now. I graduated from Montserrat College of Art back in '09 and a lot of friends and fellow artists also stuck around the area, so we've all kind of evolved and matured artistically together. 

What are your stylistic inspirations for your illustrations?

I get a lot of inspiration from music, skate graphics, tattoo culture, nature and weird excerpts from day to day life. I feel very fortunate to have lots of friends both local and online who are very talented artists and they're a great source of inspiration as well.

 

You recently did a collaboration with a fellow local brand, Hungry Ghost Press. How did that get started, and how was it working together?

 

Chris is awesome. I believe we started talking through Instagram a while back and sort of clicked. He's a super talented artist and a great person. I think we share a lot of aesthetics as far as art and how a small business should be done. I've been organizing market type events in the North Shore and he's had prior engagements and vice versa-- it'll be cool to finally be able to link up for one.   

 

How has Beverly shaped your work?

Beverly has been huge for me as an artist. I went to school here and I've lived here for about 6-7 years now. I graduated from Montserrat College of Art back in '09 and a lot of friends and fellow artists also stuck around the area, so we've all kind of evolved and matured artistically together. 

Do you think Beverly has an art scene? How can it be improved (or if there isn't one, created)? Beverly has a very strong and kind of strange art scene because there's really two of them, and they are the complete opposite of each other. One is the Beverly Main Streets, which is responsible for the arts fest and events of that nature.  There is a small handful of very talented artists associated with them, but the majority is not nearly as interesting. It's very family friendly and to put it bluntly, pretty dull. The majority is older people selling tacky homemade jewelry/crafts, tie dye shirts, and poorly executed paintings that look like they all spawned from the same paint nite. The other art scene in Beverly, however, is fucking awesome. It's full of very passionate and creative people with a DIY attitude and a lot of motivation. It's pretty tight knit, but also pretty open and accepting. There are no real specific styles or mediums that connect us, but just general aesthetics and passion. I've been organizing vendor events for these kind of artists in town and the response has been awesome. We've got names like Steez Design and Deathwish records that call Beverly home, and additions like Night Watch and Black Veil Tattoo. The scene is only getting stronger.

Do you think Beverly has an art scene? How can it be improved (or if there isn't one, created)?

Beverly has a very strong and kind of strange art scene because there's really two of them, and they are the complete opposite of each other. One is the Beverly Main Streets, which is responsible for the arts fest and events of that nature.  There is a small handful of very talented artists associated with them, but the majority is not nearly as interesting. It's very family friendly and to put it bluntly, pretty dull. The majority is older people selling tacky homemade jewelry/crafts, tie dye shirts, and poorly executed paintings that look like they all spawned from the same paint nite. The other art scene in Beverly, however, is fucking awesome. It's full of very passionate and creative people with a DIY attitude and a lot of motivation. It's pretty tight knit, but also pretty open and accepting. There are no real specific styles or mediums that connect us, but just general aesthetics and passion. I've been organizing vendor events for these kind of artists in town and the response has been awesome. We've got names like Steez Design and Deathwish records that call Beverly home, and additions like Night Watch and Black Veil Tattoo. The scene is only getting stronger.

What are the pros and cons of working in a smaller town like Beverly as opposed to a bigger one like New York? I know a handful of artists who work and live in bigger cities like New York and for the most part they all seem to love it. I'm not sure what their cons would be but one thing that I think makes Beverly great is just having so many artists in such a small town. No matter what you're into, there is something here for you.     What's next for the brand? I've got a lot of new things in the works as [far as] products and events. 2017 will be a busy one for sure, but I'm very excited!

What are the pros and cons of working in a smaller town like Beverly as opposed to a bigger one like New York?

I know a handful of artists who work and live in bigger cities like New York and for the most part they all seem to love it. I'm not sure what their cons would be but one thing that I think makes Beverly great is just having so many artists in such a small town. No matter what you're into, there is something here for you.  

 

What's next for the brand?

I've got a lot of new things in the works as [far as] products and events. 2017 will be a busy one for sure, but I'm very excited!

Meet Farewell By Penelope Mack

Farewell is a Boston-based clothing brand founded and designed by local Jeffrey Zeppieri. The clothing Zeppieri makes uses all kinds of materials and pop culture references to create truly one-of-a-kind pieces. A mix of images and his own drawings and logos, the jackets, tees, and hoodies from Farewell are a blend of influence and individuality. We talked to Jeffrey about his work and life as a Boston artist.   How did Farewell get started? It started with some basic designs and illustrations for tattoos I wanted to give myself.    Where did the name come from? It started simply as a word I just really liked-- and I'm sure it came from a subconscious bias from "A Fond Farewell" by Elliott Smith or maybe one specific line from "Teeth like god's shoeshine" I had stuck in my head.  Regardless I loved the word... it sounded cool and dark. But it [..] regained a whole new meaning [when] I lost my best friend to suicide in late 2014.    A lot of your designs seem influenced by street art and/or graffiti. Is that something you have in mind when designing? Street art makes me want to vomit. I only like graffiti-- you know, letters, people hitting crazy spots etc. I can't take away what graffiti has done to me: the way I sign my name on the tab of a restaurant bill, or having a Dremel bit on my key chain always. So it's something that is applied sometimes when I don't even necessarily mean too.   

Farewell is a Boston-based clothing brand founded and designed by local Jeffrey Zeppieri. The clothing Zeppieri makes uses all kinds of materials and pop culture references to create truly one-of-a-kind pieces. A mix of images and his own drawings and logos, the jackets, tees, and hoodies from Farewell are a blend of influence and individuality. We talked to Jeffrey about his work and life as a Boston artist.

 

How did Farewell get started?

It started with some basic designs and illustrations for tattoos I wanted to give myself. 

 

Where did the name come from?

It started simply as a word I just really liked-- and I'm sure it came from a subconscious bias from "A Fond Farewell" by Elliott Smith or maybe one specific line from "Teeth like god's shoeshine" I had stuck in my head. 

Regardless I loved the word... it sounded cool and dark. But it [..] regained a whole new meaning [when] I lost my best friend to suicide in late 2014. 

 

A lot of your designs seem influenced by street art and/or graffiti. Is that something you have in mind when designing?

Street art makes me want to vomit. I only like graffiti-- you know, letters, people hitting crazy spots etc. I can't take away what graffiti has done to me: the way I sign my name on the tab of a restaurant bill, or having a Dremel bit on my key chain always. So it's something that is applied sometimes when I don't even necessarily mean too. 

 

Many of your pieces are made up of different materials-- the half denim/half camo "Dopamine jacket" for instance. What was the process behind designing that? Purely cut and sew. I find multiple pieces that I personally enjoy, or are specific to a vibe or era I am looking to incorporate. I'll lay everything out and look at it as a whole and then slowly start detaching and attaching piece by piece.    How has Boston shaped your work? I met a lot of my best friends out here, some of which happened to be connected into the fashion scene and I kind of just utilized my plugs. Sam of Straws USA is my best friend and he helped throw me the assist of getting stocked in Bodega as well and meeting a ton of people who have helped support my brand on a higher level.    Do you think Boston has an art scene? How can it be improved (or if there isn't one, created)? Yeah, for sure. There are multiple though-- you really just have to decide which one you like being entertained by. There's, like, the South End high art shit-- all the ritzy galleries and what not. Then you have the younger artists and musicians on the come up, throwing warehouse and house parties, unofficial events, without security and all the unnecessary, stuffy, high art bullshit.  I think Boston just needs more unity amongst those who are shining in their said art form. People can be very very hard to work with-- especially if that ego starts to inflate.   

Many of your pieces are made up of different materials-- the half denim/half camo "Dopamine jacket" for instance. What was the process behind designing that?

Purely cut and sew. I find multiple pieces that I personally enjoy, or are specific to a vibe or era I am looking to incorporate. I'll lay everything out and look at it as a whole and then slowly start detaching and attaching piece by piece. 

 

How has Boston shaped your work?

I met a lot of my best friends out here, some of which happened to be connected into the fashion scene and I kind of just utilized my plugs. Sam of Straws USA is my best friend and he helped throw me the assist of getting stocked in Bodega as well and meeting a ton of people who have helped support my brand on a higher level. 

 

Do you think Boston has an art scene? How can it be improved (or if there isn't one, created)?

Yeah, for sure. There are multiple though-- you really just have to decide which one you like being entertained by. There's, like, the South End high art shit-- all the ritzy galleries and what not. Then you have the younger artists and musicians on the come up, throwing warehouse and house parties, unofficial events, without security and all the unnecessary, stuffy, high art bullshit. 

I think Boston just needs more unity amongst those who are shining in their said art form. People can be very very hard to work with-- especially if that ego starts to inflate.   

What are the pros and cons of working in a smaller city like Boston as opposed to a bigger one like New York? I feel like Boston has a roof; you can only climb so many floors until you smash your head against a beam with a rusty nail. With that being said, since it's small, it's much easier to get noticed if what you are doing isn't complete shit. New York has no roof, no limits-- yet you are a small fish in the sea and there is always going to be someone with more money and opportunity because of that. Therefore for someone like myself I must get all my things in order before I take on NY... someday soon.    What's next for the brand? More leather, more custom denim, more ready-to-wear garments. Less screen printing, more embroidery.    See more of Farewell on their website or Instagram, or at Vivant Vintage's pop up on February 4.

What are the pros and cons of working in a smaller city like Boston as opposed to a bigger one like New York?

I feel like Boston has a roof; you can only climb so many floors until you smash your head against a beam with a rusty nail. With that being said, since it's small, it's much easier to get noticed if what you are doing isn't complete shit. New York has no roof, no limits-- yet you are a small fish in the sea and there is always going to be someone with more money and opportunity because of that. Therefore for someone like myself I must get all my things in order before I take on NY... someday soon. 

 

What's next for the brand?

More leather, more custom denim, more ready-to-wear garments. Less screen printing, more embroidery. 

 

See more of Farewell on their website or Instagram, or at Vivant Vintage's pop up on February 4.

Thank You Sean An Interview by Penelope Mack

If you live in Boston, you've probably seen Sean Patrick Watroba's art somewhere. His prints have graced the walls of Refuge Cafe in Allston and pop up markets all over the city. The biting black humor of his art is endearing and jarring at the same time. 

If you live in Boston, you've probably seen Sean Patrick Watroba's art somewhere. His prints have graced the walls of Refuge Cafe in Allston and pop up markets all over the city. The biting black humor of his art is endearing and jarring at the same time. 

You go to a lot of Boston events/markets. How has that face to face with so many people changed the way you approach your work/the brand? I think doing lots of face to face events has been one of the best ways to build the brand/body of work. Being able to engage with someone who enjoys my artwork in person is much more personal than a sale online, or if the stuff is in a retail shop or gallery when I'm not physically present. I really enjoy doing markets.   What is your favorite type of item to make-- prints, pins, shirts, etc. ? I think doing prints is my favorite. Who doesn't like prints?

You go to a lot of Boston events/markets. How has that face to face with so many people changed the way you approach your work/the brand?

I think doing lots of face to face events has been one of the best ways to build the brand/body of work. Being able to engage with someone who enjoys my artwork in person is much more personal than a sale online, or if the stuff is in a retail shop or gallery when I'm not physically present. I really enjoy doing markets.

 

What is your favorite type of item to make-- prints, pins, shirts, etc. ?

I think doing prints is my favorite. Who doesn't like prints?

Your illustrations have a very distinct style. How did that evolve? My style evolved from years of drawing, doodling, and emulating artists that I liked. As time goes it kind of just happens where you figure out what styles of artwork you like the most, then do your best to put your own twist on it.   Do you think Boston has an art scene? How can it be improved (or if there isn't one, created)? Yeah, I think Boston has an art scene. It might not be huge, but in my experience there are lots of creative people here looking to collaborate or help each other out just for the sake of being a part of something, and the warm fuzzy feeling you get when your artistic friends/local contemporaries are successful.   

Your illustrations have a very distinct style. How did that evolve?

My style evolved from years of drawing, doodling, and emulating artists that I liked. As time goes it kind of just happens where you figure out what styles of artwork you like the most, then do your best to put your own twist on it.

 

Do you think Boston has an art scene? How can it be improved (or if there isn't one, created)?

Yeah, I think Boston has an art scene. It might not be huge, but in my experience there are lots of creative people here looking to collaborate or help each other out just for the sake of being a part of something, and the warm fuzzy feeling you get when your artistic friends/local contemporaries are successful. 

 

What are the pros and cons of working in a smaller city like Boston as opposed to a bigger one like New York? I've never lived in New York, but my friends who do are a little more jaded than the people here. I think in Boston, because there's less competition with other artists, it allows the creative people here to work together more often as opposed to a constant feeling like you have to one-up your peers to gain some sort of recognition.     What's next for the brand? 2017 is going to be a big year. More art, more "cool stuff."

What are the pros and cons of working in a smaller city like Boston as opposed to a bigger one like New York?

I've never lived in New York, but my friends who do are a little more jaded than the people here. I think in Boston, because there's less competition with other artists, it allows the creative people here to work together more often as opposed to a constant feeling like you have to one-up your peers to gain some sort of recognition.  

 

What's next for the brand?

2017 is going to be a big year. More art, more "cool stuff."