In late July, Twyla launched a collaborative collection with Pharrell’s creative agency, i am OTHER. The series includes limited edition prints from M. Tony Peralta, Angelica Hicks, and Freegums. Creating vibrant patterns from illustration and collaged imagery, Freegums’ pieces for Twyla caught our eye. To learn more about his process, Whitewall caught up with the L.A.-based artist.
WHITEWALL: How did this collaboration for Twyla with i am OTHER come about for you?
FREEGUMS: A friend at i am Other put me in a pool of artists to work with for the TWYLA collection.
WW: i am OTHER brings together artists who defy expectations with unique approaches to the creative process. How do you define your role as an artist?
F: My role as an artist is to interpret what I see/experience and share my perspective.
WW: How would you describe your creative process?
F: I wake up. Meditate. Ask myself what day it is. Check deadlines, emails, engagements. Eat breakfast. Sit at my worktable and keep working on an unfinished project or brainstorm new ones. Eat lunch when I’m hungry usually 4pm. Go back to work. Eat in or go out w friends for food or drinks. If I stay in a put a little more time into work. Go to sleep. Start all over.
For the TWYLA pieces I first would go to bookstores and check out all their fashion /lifestyle magazines. Leaf through all of them and see which ones will give me the most interesting poses, models, motion. Buy them. Depending on the pattern/piece I would either draw first or collage. Switching between them for each piece. Scan them, color correct and some tweaking and voila, behold, new artwork for TWYLA prints.
WW: How did your interest in street art, lead you to illustration and collage work?
F: I have always had an inclination to illustrate and be creative with my hands. That’s what lead me to graffiti and other things including painting, drawing, collage work and eventually mixing all of them together. It’s an ever-growing process. I’m evolving each day and only hope I keep at it.
WW: What interests you in working with patterns?
F: The idea that something can continue on forever on a dimensional plane is amazing. That idea has gotten me to experiment with different mediums to achieve patterns.
WW: From where are you sourcing collage material? What kind of imagery are you drawn to?
F: For the Twyla pieces the collage material stemmed from fashion editorials to then lifestyle magazines. There is something attractive about the evolution of garments in fashion trends and the static, forced movements of the editorials in them. The juxtaposition of the landscapes and cut outs create an interesting dialogue.
WW: You’re currently based in Los Angeles. Can you tell us about your studio there and what you like about the LA art scene?
F: Los Angeles is beautiful. It’s dark, it’s pretty, it’s Hollywood, it’s big, it’s serious, it’s dense, it’s superficial on the surface but if you start digging there are roots. The art scene shares a lot of those qualities too. You are always meeting new people and every time I go out and see what’s happening I want to go back into my studio and work harder. I live and work out of my studio. I’m constantly thinking about my work and evolving it. I want to collaborate more with this city. Keep a dialogue going. Making it a two-way conversation.