FACT CAUGHT UP WITH NEW YORK-BASED URBAN ARTIST FELIPE URTEAGA TO TALK ABOUT HIS BRAND NEW CLOTHING LINE AND HOW HIS DRAWINGS OF POP CULTURE ICONS ARE READY TO TAKE OVER YOUR WARDROBES.
Felipe Urteaga’s early childhood was spent living in Bahrain – he left at the age of five and moved back to Peru with his family. But, his love for painting started much earlier. “My mum tells me that I started when I was around two-years-old and I haven’t stopped since,” he tells us. “I was writing on the walls, her friend’s couches, getting in trouble. I would just take my colouring books everywhere I went, so I don’t remember when I actually started,” he smiles.
“To me, I’ve just always been drawing.” Felipe’s talent led to the creation of Sickindividual – his brand new t-shirt collection donning unbelievably cool images of everyone from Tupac Shakur to Muhammed Ali, John Lennon, Albert Einstein and many more iconic figures. “It all started when I was in Los Angeles, and I was listening to Natural Mystic by Bob Marley,” Felipe recalls. “I was thinking ‘this is so good, I’m going to draw Bob Marley’ and I just started drawing him and I thought – I’m going to do something different – instead of his dreadlocks I drew trees, instead of a beard I made it marijuana plants – and I realised, ‘this is really cool’,” he says.
In the following days, a documentary inspired Felipe to draw Mahatma Gandhi in the same style as he did the Bob Marley portrait, these along with another earlier drawing of Bob Dylan were kept in his room, until his roommate at the time saw them and said “dude, you should put those on t-shirts” and that’s when the whole idea for Sickindividual came about. The brand is available exclusively at Shoeciti at City Centre Bahrain where customers can take their pick from an array of posters and t-shirts. Each piece of Sickindividual art is painstakingly created after thorough research to effectively capture personalities, lifestyles and ideologies of some of the most prolific icons of our time; translating their legacies into one-of-akind, colourful and intricate designs. The Sickindividual line caters to all personalities and interests – the hardest part is choosing just one!
There’s something we notice immediately – Felipe isn’t the type of artist to sit in one place and draw a bowl of fruit. Alongside Sickindividual, he’s also produced some EPIC works of art, depicting different messages of historical and modern-day events, cultures and society itself. After all, he did graduate with honours in Animation from the School of Visual Arts, New York and went onto work for prestigious animation studios in Hollywood, quickly moving up the ladder as a Storyboard Artist.Felipe’s ultimate goal with Sickindividual is for it to keep expanding and become available, globally.“I want to rock into a mall and see people wearing my t-shirt,” he laughs. “And I would just love to keep painting.” With a high demand for cool art and clothing like Sickindividual, the only way is UP!
GO: Shop Sickindividual at Shoeciti, City Centre Bahrain. Visit www.sickindividual.co for more information.