Formalities ﬁrst, tell us a bit about your brand and why you started it.La Muerta is a brand that creates exclusive and limited edition goods (from clothing, to accessories, resin figures, skateboards, stickers, etc.) and we are based out of San Diego, CA. We are hopeless art addicts (i.e. we’ll buy horrible beer, medicinal syrups and whatnot if the label design is a killer piece). Great, freaky, global art is what we’re after — and our mission is to deliver it in a wide range of mediums all over the world.
When starting this brand we were looking to create a space where artists could get recognition for the hard work they put into their craft. So many companies use amazing artists’ talent, but few, if any, recognize them in a curated way, like an ongoing gallery show. We wanted to fill that space, based on the themes and artists we love, regardless of their stature. Great, freaky, global art is what we’re after — and our mission is to deliver it in a wide range of mediums all over the world.
We have heard from some artist about their interactions with brands, can you give a brief description of the interaction from the brand owner point of view.
Artists are some of the nicest, most approachable and knowledgeable people we have ever been around or done business with. Obviously your interactions can vary depending if you are just shooting the shit or you actually want to sit down and work with them. If the latter then you should bring a serious proposal to the table and know what you want and most importantly be straightforward about your budget, time-frames etc. If you do it right then it will all end up with a cooler full of beers, some cursing, drunken love you’s and a killer custom piece of art. It’s about mutual respect in our experience.
When you are brain storming and preparing a release, do you already have artist in mind or do you look for those artist after you have planned the release.
We work within the realms of ACTS. So all of the artists we work with get a subject line/matter, a little summary and just go off on that. For our second and current act the title is “Al Son del Hueso” which sort of translates as “To the Beat of the Bone.” They took that vague brief and they came up with their own gnarly approach. All I did as an art director was curate and cheer-lead, basically. All the artists have been blowing my mind left and right.
In your opinion is it better to 100% direct the artist or give them an idea and let them run with it.
Who the fuck am I to tell an artist how to go about their magic? All I do before they do their thing is tell them about the restrictions of the medium we will be using for the piece. Other than that is like the wild wild west out here.
We know that you are into a bunch of stuff, not just t-shirts, how do you maintain the brand across different platforms.
Indeed. We started mainly with t-shirts but we have been playing with a bunch of other stuff lately. Don’t get me wrong, t-shirts are an amazing medium and our bread and butter, but not the only outlet we are interested in. As for how we pick other mediums, well… it has been a “play it by ear” approach. We are kind of addicted to pushing the boundaries of our brand.
We are kind of addicted to pushing the boundaries of our brand.
The latest thing we have been messing around with is a custom IPA beer. We have no idea were will that go but it will surely be fun to learn from brew-masters, deal with bottle label artwork and things like that. As to how we maintain the brand identity all through these experiments and outings all goes back to surrounding the aesthetics with our Mexican roots and our brand name, these two things are the glue.
You work with a ton of artists, are there any out there that you are still hoping to work with.
Oh damn, yes. Too many to name all of them. Like I said, we are art fiends at La Muerta and are always doing our homework and creeping around, we have hyperactive eyeballs. There are a bunch of homies in the fine arts world that we have been approaching and seems we will be doing a lot of SIMULATED PROCESS printing (regarding clothing items) since they work with oils, watercolors, photography, etc. Just some beautiful stuff… but not naming names just yet.
What can we expect from the rest of Act 2 and in the year 2013 from La Muerta?
So far Act 02 has been monochromatic in regards to the color choices. It’s what we wanted for the beginning of it, since it is how we imagined one would see the “afterlife” after greeting Lady Death in Act 01, bit depressed. The party, mariachis and celebrations are there but the evolution of the act will see a couple of bursts of colors, sort of the acceptance that you are dead and now you get to dance to the beat of the bone with all these freaky and happy fellas. I mean c’mon man, a mariachi greets you with mezcal? A little cheer if you will. Not that it will be less obscure, just a brighter acceptance. It’s a story we are telling and enjoying.
As for La Muerta itself we are upgrading bits and pieces of our packaging, smoothing out our webstore experience, expanding our retailers and making sure you get the best limited edition goods out there. 2013 will see an organic evolution of a brand that will turn 2 years old by the end of it. What that trail is I don’t know but it will be fun for sure.