Covering The Toy and Art World One Post at a Time

CHRIS GLIEBE

UVD: Would you mind telling us a little background about yourself (i.e. where your from, when you started designing, etc)?

Gliebe: I’m from Cincinnati Ohio, I graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s famous DAAP design program back in 1997, with a B.S. in graphic design, but I’ve been illustrating and designing things since at least 1993.

UVD: Can you tell the readers about some of the designs that you came up with when you were first starting out and how designs have progressed over the years? Also, what are some things that influence you and your work? And is there any artist’s work that inspired you and your style early on in your career?

Gliebe: Well, back when Cincinnati had a big underground hip-hop scene, (95 – 2004ish) I was doing lots of album cover art (12 inches & CDs) for all the bigger local acts. I got a lot of attention for doing graphics and promo things for Scribble Jam. I even started a record label with Mr. Dibbs called “Stereo-type” records. All these artists needed logos and t-shirts etc. So I was always doing something on the side. Eventually I hooked up with Rhymesayers (Atmosphere’s Record label) and was able to do some stuff for them and several other record labels. (Note: I designed the now infamous RSE “battle kings” logo.)  Inspiration wise, I just took lots of cues from my graffiti work. I was always trying to do some next-level handstyles in my design work, and on the street. Graff was, and is still a huge influence. If I had to name one artist I would say TWIST (Barry McGee) had the biggest influence on me back in the late 90’s and even now.

UVD: With living in Cincinnati, I have heard widespread lore of the days of the DF group and their command of the streets along with Scribble Jam. Would you mind telling us a little about how you were recruited in to the group and maybe an interesting story during your time in the group?

Gliebe:  Well, first you should know the original crew that was running big Cincinnati walls and productions (and scribble jam) was TSC.  (Tri-State Crew / True Skull Crushers / Taking Suckers Cans / Team Sweet Cream… We would just make up new acronyms every time we did a wall.) Because of Scribble Jam we had lots of DF & ATT guys coming down to Cincinnati to paint, so a lot of the TSC guys got absorbed into that crew. I actually got put down with Bashers crew from L.A.  Everyone else either fell off, changed crews, got caught up or quit. We always were cool with the other O.G. cincy crews, TA for example with many TSC mem

bers coming from there. In reality I’m not actually a DF member… but they were nice enough put a few of my pieces in their book.

UVD:  Would you mind telling us a little bit about Lightborne? And what it is like working there?

Gliebe: Lightborne is a motion design, production, and post production studio. It’s pretty much the best job I could ever ask for. I’m a creative director / designer, and have got to do some really great things I never thought Id’ ever do. For example: Animating a Beastie Boys Commercial for MTV, or directing music videos for Atmosphere.

**For Beastie Boys Promo click HERE **

UVD: After watching the “Banksy vs. King Robbo” video, it called in to question the value some people place on graffiti as street art. Would you mind sharing your thoughts on this trend where an artist can be despised and another can be revered for their vandalism?

Gliebe: This is sort of a deep pool, to dip into. I can see both sides of the street art / graffiti argument. In my opinion Graffiti and Street art are really two different worlds, There is some overlap… but traditional aerosol graffiti is where my interest lies. It’s an extremely focused and disciplined art form and tradition. You can’t really just start doing it, and be any good. “Street art” is easy for most people to appreciate and like. Sort of like, Pop music in comparison to  free form Jazz. Don’t get me wrong thought, I have a lot of respect for what “street art” is and the people who do it.

UVD:  During Fatcaps series 1 you were a one of the featured artist. What was it like working with KidRobot and how did you come up with your design?

 Gliebe: It was cool, they pretty much let you do whatever you want. – I wanted to give my guy a tree branch… so I designed it, and they loved it. That’s what made it stand out. I just finished designing a figure for Fatcaps Series 3 which should drop before the end of the year. My latest design features additional robot wings and owl-inspired graphics, so again it should be one of the stand out figures to get.

UVD: Other than Graffiti and toys what other forms of art do you do?

Gliebe: I mostly do paintings, graphics and Digital illustrations. Hand drawn typography is also one of my passions. I love doing graphics for T-shirts.

UVD:  I really enjoyed your piece for the INLE group show at Gallery 1988 this past spring. What was it like being apart of that show and what inspired you for that piece? 

Gliebe: It was an honor to be included in that show, so may HUGE artists. It was all put together by Greg (Craola) Simkins. – The inspiration for the whole show was the Black rabbit (angel of death) from the book and cartoon “Watership down” – If you haven’t seen it… look into it. (there are clips on you tube.)

UVD: I hear you have a upcoming show at UNheardof in Cincinnati during November. Would you mind telling us a bit about this show and what we can expect when we attend?

Gliebe: The show is called “UNDEAD STOCK” – It opens on Friday, the 11th (11.11.11) @ 7pm – Basically Unheardof will be releasing 2 or maybe even 3 new t-shirt designs I just did for them.  (some are “unheard of” Zombie themed.) In addition to that I’ll have a grip of new paintings & illustrations as well as a few old ones on display and available for purchase. I will also have some limited edition posters for sale, and I might break out some of my 4” TOY CUBE “KANIZA” figures from the vault, that I’ve had on ice. – A lot of people can’t afford my paintings, or can’t find my figures because they are blind boxed, so I want to have stuff people can actually afford   even on a modest budget. A lot of smaller paintings people can scoop for less than they would spend on a pair of kicks. Actual “Art collecting” is sort of the next level maneuver, in comparison to the urban vinyl / sneaker / wax collecting games. You can’t really lose – you just have to pay to play. That’s why rich folks collect art – it just makes them richer. Get there early!

UVD:  Were there any challenges while creating your Dedicated Feralmade Gallery wall instillation in 2007? That show had a lot really cool pieces, would you mind talking a little on how that how came to be? And about some of the pieces in it? 

Gliebe: I started creating that show earlier in the year, then my older brother Nick unexpectedly passed away, a month or so before the show was set to pop. I knew he wouldn’t want me to cancel the show, so I changed the name and focus a bit, so that’s where the title came from. There was originally a lot of “darker” imagery in the show, and I took it all out, as I was already in a dark place. I wanted the artwork to inspire my family and friends, and even myself. It brought us some joy in a fucked up time of our lives. A lot of good people turned out for that show… and was basically a sold out affair.

UVD: Are there any future projects that you wish to discuss for the reader to keep their eyes open for in the future? 

Gliebe: My future plans definitely  include, more t-shirt designs… and art wise I want to do a more conceptual art show with some REALLY BIG paintings. But that is on the horizon, I have to find the right venue for that sort of thing. I’d also like to bang out a few more walls around town before the winter weather really kicks in.

UVD: What would your encouragements/suggestions be for artists/designers that are either just starting out or who are trying to get themselves noticed?

Gliebe: Words of advice / inspiration are, don’t just “talk about it… BE ABOUT IT.” —  any time I find myself  wishing I was doing something cool, or talking about it with friends is time you can spend actually doing what you’re wishing for. You gotta strike while the ideas are hot. And always, be yourself. Don’t bite other people shit. Originality and skill are the 2 things that can get you recognized try to have at least one of those two qualities.

UVD: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Are there any parting words you wish to say to the reader?  

Gliebe:  STAY UP!

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