For our Summer 2009 collection, we collaborated with UK artist, Savage Pencil. He’s known worldwide for his commercial work, doing album covers for legendary artists such as Sonic Youth, Sunn O))), Rocket from the Crypt, The Fall and Bonnie “Prince” Billy. Savage Pencil has exhibited drawings and etchings at galleries throughout the world. Here are a few questions with the mysterious man they call Savage Pencil…
STUSSY: Where did you grow up?
SAVAGE PENCIL: I don’t think I ever have. But seriously, I was born and raised in the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. I stayed there for nearly 20 years before deciding to move to the South of England where I have lived ever since. I currently live in London.
STUSSY: What kind of things influenced you to start drawing?
SAVAGE PENCIL: My main influences came as a result of living in my parent’s shop that sold (among other things) magazines and comics. I used to read all of the comics that arrived in the shop and this led to me drawing my own. The first comics I drew were based on a plastic blob called Super Blintz, an idea that came after reading a MAD Magazine spoof of Plastic Man.
STUSSY: Where did the name Savage Pencil come from?
SAVAGE PENCIL: Savage Pencil was originally the name I had planned to give my imaginary comics company. Later on I decided to use it as my pseudonym and it has stuck ever since. I am also known as Sav X. This I use for my fine art work.
STUSSY: What are some of the favorite projects you worked on?
SAVAGE PENCIL: Apart from the Stussy tee shirt job (of which I am very proud) my favorite pieces have been the posters for Sunn O))), my Dead Duck compilation CD for EMI, Corpsemeat Comix 2 (deluxe edition), Gold Sabbat (a gallery show of my monoprint work) and the poster I recently did for Sonic Youth’s Italian art exhibition of a Satanic cow. An image that was (apparently) suppressed so at not to offend the church authorities (or something). I am very proud of that one!
STUSSY: You work a lot in music, doing covers and your own compilations, how did that come about?
SAVAGE PENCIL: Through my work at Sounds (a now defunct rock music paper) where I used to draw a weekly strip called Rock N’ Roll Zoo. Because of this I was approached by record labels and bands who wanted me to draw covers for their LPs, picture sleeve 45s (and later, CDs). This kind of work continues to come my way. Which is a good thing.
STUSSY: Who are your favorite musicians?
SAVAGE PENCIL: There really are too many to list. My preferred listening at the moment includes extreme music such as free jazz and Black Metal. LOTS of Black Metal.
STUSSY: What projects are you currently working on?
SAVAGE PENCIL: A new poster for Sonic Youth, a book of drawings, plans for my next exhibition and two possible book illustration projects. I am also toying with the idea of drawing and publishing Corpsemeat 3. Don’t hold your breath or anything though.