Today we’d like to introduce you to Drew Curry.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
When I was 14, I went to Kolkata, India for the first time. Back then, and still is today, it was known as being one of the poorest cities in the world. I was greatly impacted by poverty, but most astonishingly I was impacted by their happiness. I met the kindest people in the world there. Some people had nothing but were willing to have you over to their living space to make you the food they did have.
My life changed from that point on. At the time I wanted to pursue architecture, and I thought maybe I could go back to India and help build some of the buildings that were left to ruin midway into a housing project or business building. When I was 18, I started making graphic t-shirts under the name THE OLLIN. “Ollin” is an ancient Aztec word that means “to move and act now with all your heart.” I felt the word “Ollin” really spoke to me, about where I was at in my life, and making a decision to make art. Making graphic tees then led me to learn cut and sew, so I moved to Los Angeles to figure out how to do that. So now I’m 26, making clothing and art in Los Angeles, all stemming from my inspiration by my time spent in Kolkata, India. My mission, which I’m adamant about sharing, is “To promote humanity through art, objects, and contemporary fashion.” And my goal is to use my art to make a real difference in kids lives in Kolkata.
Please tell us about your art.
While I do some photography and painting, clothing is my primary medium. There is something special about how clothing connects us to each other and to our own inner self in a deep way that other art forms can’t.
My exploration into clothing is about deconstruction and reconstruction, with visible imperfections. I call my process of showing those imperfections “adorning.”
My Adorning process is this: With a t-shirt, I will make a full garment, which is what most people would say is “perfect.” I will slash the garment in half, or cut the sleeves off, and I will reconstruct the t-shirt with those cuts on the outside of the garment as opposed to the inside so as to not hide those marks. After the reconstruction of the garment, I hand stitch the wound together. Sometimes with different color threads. This adorning process makes each piece one of a kind. A piece that can never be replicated.
To me, this is me making the garment truly “perfect.”
My belief in the world is: We are all unique because of our scars, and our wounds, and our stories. It’s what makes us who we are. That is what my clothing is about.
As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
I think success as an artist really comes when you see how your art is positively affecting your life, and others lives. Art brings a sense of self-discovery and awareness about the world. When you are making your art, and you are in that positive space, that positivity starts to wear off on others. All of us, as artists, can encourage others to find joy. And we can make a lasting impact on others lives.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Instagram is the best place for me to share my work. @theollin, and my personal Instagram @drewcurryx.
That is where I will announce what I’m doing around the city, and show you my latest work.
I really believe that everyone has an artist inside them. Really you can support me by looking at your community, and deciding how you can use your art to bring joy to the world.