Amid the incessant droning of commerce lecturers and the clinical fluorescent lighting of the university halls, a complex soul emerged from the masses. Societal and parental expectations were put aside and his creative conscience surfaced. Soon, he was staring out the studio window, wondering if he made the right decision in swapping the text books for Textas.
Introducing, the illustrative graphic designer and director of clothing label, ‘Bad, meet Evil’. Fonti confidently transfers the bold, dramatic and somewhat gruesome imagery from his mind, to the fabric with a passion. From the quality screen printing to the intricate embroidery, ‘Bad, meet Evil’ is a celebration of Australian design and manufacturing at its best. Firmly adopting domestic production operations, ‘Bad, meet Evil’ extends its local collaborative practices to an entirely new and innovative level. Whether you’re listening to the smooth grooves of Herbie Hancock, Mos Def or Eryka Badu, or you prefer the musical stylings of Cypress Hill, Run DMC or Roger Troutman, it’s about channelling that which inspires you. It’s not about imitation. Live in the present and be. Be moved, be poetic, be melodic. Mass production is for the masses. It’s time to get your fresh dose of Bad, meet Evil today.
What inspired you to launch Bad, meet Evil?
Believe it or not, after finishing high school in 06’ I made the frightfully ignorant decision to study a Bachelor of Commerce/ Law at University. Three years into the course I decided that I couldn’t deal with the dry, monotonous, ‘text-book’ approach to life so I returned to my first true love, drawing. I found myself spending hours on end with a pencil in my hand, not realising that I hadn’t left the house for days. One summer I was lucky enough to make friends with Nathan, a printer in Camberwell, so naturally, I began to print my drawings on the blank tees he had lying around his shop when we hung out.I guess word of mouth began to spread and people seemed to love the fresh, illustrative graphics that were so different to what they were used to seeing. After realising how much I really enjoyed what I was doing, and the amazing response it was getting, I decided that this was it. Despite my ear being chewed off by everyone I knew, and against every semi-intelligent fibre in my being, I decided that I was going to change the face of contemporary street-wear. Enter, ‘Bad, meet Evil…’
Describe your connection to Australian music and how this influences your design?
Although I draw inspiration from many facets of life, music is probably the one thing that I would really struggle to live without. Music speaks to me in a way that connects me in a very real way to the artist, and I try to encapsulate the emotions I feel in my art. I’m very fussy with what I will and won’t listen to (I’m sorry… I hate those guys too), but I’m a fiend for hip-hop, acid jazz, mellow beats, sensual house and the occasional shot of electro.The Aussie hip-hop scene has proved to be a major source of inspiration for me. It’s very rapidly changing into a much more approachable genre with talents like 360, Pez, Drapht, Seth Sentry, as well as up and coming artists like Forbes. Bad, meet Evil… is lucky enough to be working with 360 on the illustration, design and production of his merchandise, and I’ve recently completed the album cover artwork for Forbes’ highly anticipated EP, ‘In My Mind’. Getting to know these guys has been an unreal experience.
How would you describe your debut collection? What have been your sources of inspiration?
The collection is completely illustrated, designed and managed by myself. All prints were initially hand drawn before being scanned into Photoshop only to add those final touches. The screen printing, embroidery and swing tag production is done right here in Melbourne by small, independently owned businesses that are happy to spend the extra time ensuring that their service is perfect. I love working with these amazing, humble people, and have developed a lot of great friendships through the process.The cut and feel must be beyond amazing, and most importantly, it should make you feel different. It should give you the confidence that you’re not like everyone else. You don’t follow the trends. You set the trends. I’m so proud to say that I draw inspiration from what’s real in life. I have experienced joy and love, but I have also felt pain and hurt, just like everyone else. Instead of ‘covering up’ this side of life, I like to draw inspiration from the deeper things too. Nothing infuriates me more than arrogance, insincerity and lack of empathy.
How would you describe your own personal style? Is that reflected in your designs?
I think my style is very much influenced by my personality. I’m a slave to my unhealthy level of perfectionism, to the point where I will spend hours simply ensuring that my line-work is flawless. I’ve also never been one to like being told what to do, and I guess I’ve got a pretty low tolerance for things that don’t interest me.When I direct this energy and electricity into my artwork, my drawings seem to take on this persona. It’s actually quite odd, in that more often that not, my artwork will be very ‘in-your-face’, with bold graphics and a ‘f*ck you’ attitude, but the need for my work to be fastidiously ‘clean’ and ‘perfect’ somehow balances out the chaos. Oh, and I love to work in black and white. It has a haunting beauty and simplicity that gets me every time.
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