If you grew up influenced by classic arcade fighter games, recording the latest summer jam on a 2 inch in your silver boombox, or pondering the latest Area 51 theory, this collection is for you. And especially if you're cool like us and did all three.
So check it. Bigfoot Kick is excited to launch a new collaboration featuring a unique twist on mythical and other-worldly creatures. The Charlotte-based company tapped local Charlotte artist Euli to lead the creative effort, inspired by an eclectic mix of fighting video games, hip-hop, and pop culture. The first capsule includes street-style 100% cotton shirts hand-printed in Charlotte showcasing an arcade fighter werewolf, a super emcee Nessie, and an adventuring alien named Glorp.
Glorp and Zeno by Euli
We caught up with Euli (find him on IG: @euuuuuli) to discuss this project, his inspiration, and the creative arts scene at large.
When did you first start to get into the creative arts?
It hit me in waves. Growing up I was always drawing, sketching, creating things without much of a thought. Like many kids, it's just about the environment you grow up in and I had my brother who pushed me to draw, especially the characters we grew up watching on television. Lots and lots of Saturday morning cartoons and late-night anime on Toonami to keep the fire burning. But I didn't pursue art professionally until last year. After I was laid off from a job, I realized I couldn't stand the idea of my future being in the hands of another person or entity, so I decided to pursue my passion in my way.
Euli wearing the Lord FiNessie shirt in mint green
What early inspiration did you have? What inspires you now?
Most of my early inspiration comes from watching a lot of Looney Tunes and Hannah-Barbera cartoons mixed in with the styling of Matt Groening from The Simpsons. I loved how their designs are so simple yet are so memorable, they left a huge impression on me growing up. Nowadays, I'm catching up on a lot of anime I missed out on growing up. Either they were too mature at the time, or unavailable in the US, I spend a lot of time watching anime from every era and try to learn something from their styling.
Lord FiNessie Illustration by Euli
What's your canvas of choice?
Depends on the weather! I'd say right now it's a 70/30 split with digital being my primary drawing method and painting/murals taking up the lesser. I use Procreate on the iPad for most of my work and occasionally use photoshop when I need the tools.
I'm totally new to the world of murals so I just try and paint as much as possible, I built a backyard wall for that purpose. I'm trying to get the split down to about 50/50, I just need to stick to it and keep improving!
How would you describe your style?
If I had to describe it, I'd say my style is simple and clean. I constantly ask myself while I'm drawing,
"If I remove this will it change much"?
"Does this thing actually improve the design"?
"How can I get the same effect/idea without convoluting"?
Sometimes in life, and in art, keeping it simple is best. It's largely what makes certain logos or cartoons successful, it's their power to influence with as little shape as possible. So I'd say I've found a good balance of detail and simplicity but am always working to improve it through each design.
Euli wearing the Bigfoot Kick WolfGore shirt in Navy blue
You're a creative artist in Charlotte, N.C. What is the art scene like?
The art scene, like any scene, has its ups and downs. There are so many inspirational artists that have amazing stories to tell, any gallery or show you walk into you'll come out learning so much about their struggles and victories. I've had my growing pains in being a part of the "scene" but at the end of the day, I've learned that focusing on your work is most important. If you happen to find yourself in good company with like-minded artists then that's all you can ask for.
WolfGore Illustration by Euli
What challenges do you see in the space?
It's difficult to speak on issues that affect other people because all our experiences vary but, some issues affect us all. Generally speaking, companies and brands will try and always get themselves the best deal on any creative work. I'm all for a little capitalism but, creating art is serious work. It takes time and mastery. Just because an individual has given themselves to their passion it doesn't mean they can survive off the exposure or likes. It may not seem it but art is essential. It is an everyday part of our lives and I hope more companies, whether they're local or not, give the respect the craft deserves.
If you could change something about the creative arts scene, what would it be?
A challenging question, everything is a push and pull with the art scene. I feel that any major change that would benefit one group would end up hurting another. Change will happen no matter what. I just hope more people keep supporting the artists who work diligently and consistently towards their expression.
Glorp worn by Euli
What was it like working on this project?
It was awesome, I felt legitimately trusted to see my vision come to life. I never felt pressured to make something I didn't love myself and felt from the get-go that whatever I made was exactly what it should be. It was a pleasure, I can't thank BFK enough!
Where did you get inspiration from for this series?
Phew, I got inspiration from everywhere! Wolfgore was heavily inspired by 80's/90's arcade fighters, such as Street Fighter and Killer Instinct mixed in with wacky proportions from cartoons.
FiNessie was a challenge but her inspiration came from the big hat, big glasses phenom of the 80's/90's hip-hop scene mixed in with some chill summer vibes.
Finally, Glorp and Zeno were a crazy mix of styling from The Simpsons, Alien, Toy Story, and stuff from my subconscious I forgot existed. Glorp and Zeno mean a lot to me, it was probably the most hands-off design BFK trusted me with and I think it turned out amazing!
What do you hope people take away from this series?
I want them to feel fresh-fresh! I want them to feel good that they have something totally unique that was truly crafted through love. These designs are the culmination of many dreams coming together for a singular purpose, and that is expression. There is no other objective for me than the ability to share the creation and the love that created it for the sake of expression.
What would be your dream project? Any brand you want to collaborate with or special interest?
My dream project would be to work with the esports brand TSM on a whole collection of apparel, art, maybe even a mural for them. I'm very into the esports scene and gaming in general so my peak dream project would be to work with them in any capacity. Now if Adidas or Hypland wanted to collab I would happily agree too :)
Lastly, any causes that you want to highlight?
There are so many things happening in the world right now good and bad. What I would say to anyone is, whatever issue or passion you feel you need to pursue, pursue it. Some of us are meant to be activists and some of us are just trying to hang on for dear life. Try not to be so harsh to one another and remember that love is always the answer especially when it's hard.