Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Sotofish1 Print- background and sneak peek

My best friend in third grade, Dwayne Britton sometimes called me "a little sotofishy" in a fake British accent (his accent was actually pretty damn good for an 8 year old). The nickname lingered for a while and in 6th grade stuck. People started calling me Sotofish.

I enjoyed having a nickname, even more so that is was completely nonsensical. Sometime in 1986 I developed a character and called it the Sotofish. It had pointy, triangular ears, a circular face and a wide grinning mouth of teeth- always with one distinct gold tooth. I realized only recently that the round shape and ears were directly inspired by seeing graffiti along the 5 freeway in L.A.- the L.A. rivercats. I must have seen these as a 9 year old and kept it stored away in my brain for a while. The Sotofish appeared on all my school notebooks and peachy folders, I frequently "tattooed" it on myself and my little brothers and I drew it on the white circle logo on my duct taped Converse All-Stars. I spray painted it in skate spots before I knew what graffiti was, and as the graphics smeared off my skateboard, I would paint the Sotofish using whatever model kit enamels I had in the garage.

It was my first creation that felt completely original to me. It was my own symbol, and an early form of self portraiture. It takes me back to the past, not only my early days of discovering art, graffiti and skateboarding, but the youthful days of trying to make sense of the world. The Sotofish has been appearing in my paintings the last few years, and I decided to make a new screen print- Thee definitive Sotofish print!

This is actually the start of a print set. The first print, "Sotofish1", is basic and iconic, the start of a story (think of Jim Phillips' famous Rob Roskopp decks and the progression it showed). I'm planning on completing 4-6 prints in this set, with each print getting more complex with technique and number of colors. The first print is 6 colors, and the final one could be 25-30. All will be editions of 100, on 22" x 30" paper. Sotofish1 drops in a few weeks. Here is a sneak peek:


sven said...

enjoyed the backstory there, so look forward to seeing the sotofish series.
my first skate deck was the jim phillips / rob roskopp blue full face. awesome. hurt myself pretty bad with that thing.

greg oakes said...

very cool; looking forward to seeing the final product(s)!

DebK. said...

Sotofishy dishycool, Jeff. Sometimes our childhood leads us to our true destiny.

nate said...

shoooooooooooot. i want them all. can't wait to see em. :)

saLe said...

hey, am I missing something or were you the creator of World Industries' devil logo - http://www.skatesonhaight.com/v/vspfiles/photos/4559127551-1.jpg