Renegade art, guerrilla artist
Remember those days long ago when movie posters were done by hand by artists and people who barely knew how to paint? Did you ever wonder who made those band posters and album covers? Have you ever designed a poster for a gig—one that would perhaps end up on someone’s bedroom wall someday?
In Manila’s music scene, since gig schedules are most often published online, the poster is really important. The poster should visually convey the intended vibe of that night. Apart from that, the design needs to be enticing enough to make a dent on the audiences’ peripheral vision and stand out from the welter of statuses, memes and videos.
One guy has been slowly making his mark in the poster-making world and beyond. He is an example of guerrilla branding at its finest, a punk renegade image manipulator who understands completely the intricacies of visual design.
He makes shirts and stickers, and what he calls his Dorwings which are available online and in several stores around Manila. His real name? Roseller Velez. But we know him as Redslim08.
The first thing you see when you meet him is his hair. He literally has one helluva full head of hair. Actually, that is an understatement. His hair arrives before he does. He is a slender fellow, with a surprisingly quiet voice. I suppose he usually lets his hair do the talking for him. But really, whatever you got to say about him, he knows his art.
Can you describe what you do, exactly?
Soul food. Food for the mind, for the for the eyes, for clarity, for calm.
When I was in elementary, I used to get many stars in our art subject. I also used to make name tags and folder labels for our neighbors. I charged them P5 per nametag and P15 for the label.
You’re in and around the music scene; what instrument do you wish you could play?
A guitar would be nice to play, especially when going on road trips. But I can also be happy playing a kubing and a djembe (percussions).
In your line of work, what or who are your influences? What inspires you?
Hunger. The Philippines, colorful streets, pretty chicks, candy for the eyes!
What would be your dream collaboration?
The highly respected and dearly departed Sir Roberto Villanueva. I remember watching one of his shows on Living Asia and being totally blown away. To me, he served as inspiration and proof that we can move mountains and make waves in this world as long as we stay true and persistent in whatever we do.
You can find him here: http://members.tripod.com/ ~in_the_bag/roberto.htm.
Would you consider what you do art, and why?
Di siguro, pero sabi ng iba oo. Sila na bahala mag-interpreta dun, hehe. Mga tropa ko sila lahat lalo na yung mga Dorwings, mag-isa lang kasi ako sa bahay ko, madalas sila lang nakakausap ko kaya ko sila nabubuo.
What else do you do apart from this?
By day, I work as a graphic artist for a small company. My light work load there allows me to still do rackets and sideline for small design jobs here and there. I also make posters for bands in the local music scene. I organize these little events that combine “art for the eyes and art for the ears.” In these events, I also set up stalls to sell trinkets and “shiny” products. I also sell T-shirts imprinted with some of my designs, stickers, postcards, button pins and, someday, many many more.
I spend my free time travelling to different provinces in the country to “retreat” and to think of something new to do. Tumatakbo. Umaakyat. Naglalakad. Nagbibisekleta.
How do you come up with your work?
What were the first things (albums, paintings, books) you bought with your own money?
I started working as a graphic artist in 2007, and the first thing I bought with my salary was a new pair of shoes. My old pair was pretty worn-out, considering it was my only pair for four years.
Favorite international artists? favorite local artists? Why?
Sa music, sa international, Jack Johnson. Kasi simple. Di masyado malalim sinasabi pero baon sa puso. Sa local, Dong Abay siguro. Diretso. Totoo.
Sa art, sa international, si Jean Giraud Moebius. Baliw. Sa local, Beejay Esber. Ka-birthday eh! Haha! Idol yan.
If you were to give advice to those who want to do what you do, what are the top five tips you would give?
To feel hungry. To have problems. To be hurt. To feel vulnerable. To make mistakes. We are human. We all need experiences to strengthen our heart and mind. To learn from the experiences with an open mind. Get your pencil and paper and just let it all out there.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
What? This interview? I should have been eating siomai by now. Just joking. Kung di ako nagdodorwing o sumisining siguro … nagbyahe na lang ako ng pedicab o nagsasaka dun sa’min sa probinsya.
What are three words that describe your work?
Buhay. Baliw. Masaya.
How would you describe yourself?
Buhay. Baliw. Masaya. Ganun din.
You can catch Redslim08 and his art at the following exhibitions in the coming weeks: Art O Clock in Paris from Sept. 20-22 (http://art-oclock.com/Accueil.html), Bloom Arts Festival in Cubao X on Sept. 29 (https://www.facebook.com/ bloomartsph), The Pocket Universe Art Collective on Dec. 4-15 (https://www.facebook.com/ pocketuniverseart). You can also find him on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/redslim08pilipinas)