We’ve yet to feature a brand from Wales. Luckily for us, this next (amazing) brand hail from Cardiff so we can finally welcome Welsh bredrin to the extended FatKidOnFire family.
We’ve been waiting on finalising this feature for almost as long as we can remember, and now that it’s done we’re itching to get it on the UK independent streetwear brand database (that’s the longwinded title for the FKOF blog haha). So without further ado, we’re proud to release interview #54 with Cardiff’s finest…
I don’t know what it is about DroneBoy Laundry that I love so much, the brand just seems to have that X-Factor (but not in the manufactured pop-shite Simon Cowell antichrist sense of the word). I first came across Dave Shaw (the creative brain behind the brand) when one of my mates moved to Cardiff to go to uni and went to one of the DnB nights Dave organises. Since then, I’ve kept tabs on DroneBoy and when Dave contacted me I jumped at the opportunity of featuring his stellar work here at FKOF and finding out more…
Who/ what is DroneBoy Laundry? DroneBoy is a character I invented while I was struggling for direction and stuck in monotonous/ repetitive jobs. For me he represents the inner rebel, this small guy in your heart that comes out when your pushed too far. He has taken on the traffic cone as his disguise as he can fall back into obscurity when his mischievous ways have gone too far, it also represents a distain for vanity; the fact that he has covered his main body parts with an everyday mass-produced object but still gets noticed means that its the inner self that is important. I think your actions and what you stand for is more insightful than beauty and vanity.
Your current line of tee designs are all strong and striking – do you have a definitive brand image or are you just producing tees with sharp visuals? You offer more than just tees – producing prints of your designs as well. Is this something you will continue? I love monochrome, it’s something that I think works when trying to achieve striking visuals and strong messages. For the past ten years I’ve produced a lot of flyer and flyposters for bass-heavy music and I always loved producing highly coloured, intricate flyers. The real test for me was always to get that message across in the flyposter which for the most part could only use black and white and more importantly stood next to a lot more black and white posters all shouting for attention. It’s this discipline that has always been my favourite challenge.
What does/ will make your brand stand out and distinguish itself from the rest of the UK streetwear pack? I think I’m lucky in the fact that I am sort of out of the mecca’s of Streetwear; Los Angeles, London, Paris, New York etc and being from Cardiff in Wales, a lot of the time I feel like an outsider looking in. It obviously has its cons but on the bright side it means my influences and start point aren’t always the same and the message and product come out a little differently. Being a bit of a loner in this industry means I’m only just now being exposed to the talent we have on offer in the UK. If I’d seen this before I started I’m not sure I would have pursued; brands like DBD, Suffoca, Trapstar, Victate, Villainous Visard, Robot Bunny, Soap-Box and Bake aren’t readily available in Cardiff. Love it all now though.
Who or what influences you in your work? Most of my influences come from reading books; the ideas, thoughts and phrases that jump out of the books create amazing visual images in my head and I guess thats the seed. While designing I’ll always have music or some lecture by Zizek/ some other rebel in the background so this also colours it. There are way too many individuals to list but they would vary from Roald Dahl, Dave Eggers, Walt Disney, Dave Kinsey, Spike Jonze etc etc.
What’s your take on the whole UK streetwear scene at the moment? As I said above, I’m pretty new to it – I have been concentrating on promoting DnB/ dubstep in Cardiff for the past ten years. Making the transition to streetwear was something I was always interested in but I was mainly exposed to American brands like Stussy, The Hundreds, Benny Gold, Supreme & Johnny Cupcakes. It’s like opening christmas presents all the time, talking to new brands and finding out what the UK has on offer – there is nowhere near enough light shone on this area! I was working within cutting edge culture with a big interest in graphic design and street art yet I didn’t really know of this world. But from the glimpses I have received, the news is all good, but the UK needs more blogs like FatKidOnFire [damn right haha!] and The Daily Street to create awareness.
Where do you see you and DroneBoy Laundry being in 5 years time? I just love designing it and the further I push forward the more possibilities present themselves. I would feel blessed if I’m still able to spend the majority of my time producing designs and still getting them well received, especially in the flash in the pan world we live in. Of course I have ideas and expectations I want to attain, mainly within the clothing and events world. I’m working on a vinyl toy at the moment which is pretty exciting and to have a cut and sew range available would be the logical next step, but I don’t want to be a brand that just puts its logo on any product that comes along, I want it to be well thought out and within the ethics and dogma of DroneBoy Laundry.
Where can people expect to catch your work, any stockists to watch? We’re only young at the moment so you can only find DroneBoy on our website – it’s not that we want to be exclusive and underground as the message is universal, it’s just the right offer hasn’t come knocking at the door.
Top 5 favourite albums? Top five albums is the hardest question on here! Top five I’ve listened too today are;
- Deftones – White Pony
- Lung – As yet not an album but a collection of tracks in my ipod
- Karen O and the Kids – Where The Wild Things Are Soundtrack
- J Dilla – The Shining
- Scuba – Triangulation
I also listened to King Blues, Operation Ivy and The Slackers today
Shoutouts Sophia Breakspear, Mum/ Dad, my pets/officeworkers (Frankenstein, Penguin & Roxy), Lincoln Barrett aka High Contrast, James Ellaway aka Lung, Tom/ Rob/ Jude at ‘Visable Art’ screenprinters in Cardiff, all my Djs/ MCs who play under ‘Aperture Family’ moniker, Adam Scotland/ Alex Synamatix and all at ‘The Daily Street’, Daf Stone, Dan Harris, Gemma Jenkins, Astroid Boys, Jon Hayes, James Honey, Daryll at ‘Robot Bunny’, Boyce aka ‘Suffoca’, Drew Watts, Pete Lawrie, Richard ‘Chill’ Hawkins, Owain/ Sam/ Paul at Clwb, Steve Francis, James Bedlam and Wil Benton ‘Digital Journalist of the year’ at FKOF [that’s me! Haha, cheers man – appreciate the love]!
If you’re in the mood to support such a fine brand as DroneBoy, today’s your chance. They are treating you guys to a Black Friday discount code (for the remaining few hours of Friday) – simply use the code ‘BLACKFRIDAY’ to receive 20% off everything from the DroneBoy webstore.
There’s something innately positive about Dave’s work and the DroneBoy ethos. I still can’t quite put my finger on it but seeing a DroneBoy design always gets my creative juices flowing and my brain thinking. There’s not many brands that do that… Hopefully there’ll be sufficient funds for a DroneBoy x FKOF shindig in Cardiff in the New Year, fingers crossed! If you want to discover more about Dave’s work with DroneBoy then hit their Facebook group, Twitter account and peep their website.
If you have any thoughts on what Dave has had to say, or thoughts on anything else you’ve read let us know either via the comments section below or through one of the other forms of contact (email, Twitter and Facebook).
PS – if you’re on a Black Friday flex, also hit up ARDT (who featured here a while back) for a 26% on all orders!
Use the serial number ‘DSC0000028’ and password ‘blackfriday’ to receive your discount. ARDT also has free shipping until 30th November so get copping and get supporting!