Design Splat | Interviews with Awesome Designers and Creatives

OLIVER PROUDLOCK – SERGE DENIMES – ARTIST

Posted March 19th by Design Splat in Artists, Clothing Designer, Fashion, Fashion Brand, Fashion Designers, Fashion Label, Graffiti, Photographers, Visual Artist

Today we welcome Artist Oliver Proudlock and his super awesome brand Serge DeNimes to Design Splat!

To get the readers started Oliver, tell us a bit about what you do and how Serge DeNimes was born:

I am an artist and recently set up a t-shirt company called Serge DeNimes. Ever since my first art exhibition when I was 17, I have always printed my artwork on t-shirts to give my friends a chance to buy something, as well as promote my art. T-shirts are an amazing wearable tool to express your creativity.

I have always been into fashion, and Serge DeNimes has been a natural development of my movement into the fashion world.  Our first line is inspired by a series of photographs, taken in 1978 by prominent photographers Lena Proudlock & Douglas Villiers, which focused on the world’s largest and most renowned Carnival, in Rio de Janeiro.

Walk us through a typical day in the life of Oliver Proudlock:

I usually get into the office around 8am. My day is made up of designing, looking for features for the blog, doing photo shoots for the brand as well as shooting videos. We have recently done a Serge DeNimes Song, ft. rapper Cushman and Caggie Dunlop. It’s very exciting, a very catchy summer track and we are currently planning the music video to be ready for the start of the summer. This will be realesed alongside our new Collection!!

What is the vision for Serge DeNimes? Where do you see yourself and the brand in 5 years time?

To start I want to establish the brand by creating original urban t-shirts of the highest quality. As well as producing our own designs, Serge DeNimes also plans to collaborate with other artists in the future, acting as a platform for up and coming talent. We hope to create an artistic community that focuses on producing cutting edge clothes of the highest quality.  However t-shirts is just the beginning, I want to start experimenting with denim along with other fabrics, aspiring to be an ever-evolving brand. In 5 years time, I hope to have a wide range of products, from board shorts, sunglasses, knitwear and jeans!! And I hope that the brand will be stocked worldwide. The pressure is on, but I am so excited and passionate about the future of Serge DeNimes.

The first collection of Serge DeNimes t-shirts are of the Rio Carnival, what made you choose these photographs for the first collection?

My mum took the photos with her first husband, and they published the book Carnival In Rio in 1978. I have always loved the book, and thought the images were unreal. Since visiting Rio for the 1st time when I was 18 for the Carnival, I fell in love with the place and everything the festival represents. As a result I have always wanted to print these amazing images onto T-shirts, so for me they seemed like the perfect subject for the first collection.

Can you tell us anything about the next collection of t-shirts and what they will be like?!

We have a Serge Basic Line coming out, with emphasis on cut, and material. Alongside these we have some LOGO Tees, and we our currently designing a Serge Celeb. line. We are working on Samples at the moment, and they should be out for the summer!!

Who would you most like to see in a Serge DeNimes t-shirt?

Lil Wayne

Now, we know you’re an artist so tell us how did you get into creating art? Was there a defining point in your life? If so how did it shape you as an artist?

I have been interested in art since a very young age. From the age of 8 I was obsessed with drawing, during class I always used to zone out and draw. It definitely didn’t help my grades! This passion then developed into my teens, and when I went to Eton, this is when I became serious. The facilities there were amazing, and they had an amazing Art block, where I would spend hours on end everyday after class. The head of art there was a big inspiration for me, and I was lucky enough to have parents who supported me when i decided to continue with art after finishing school. I realised at this point that art was my passion, and I could never see myself doing anything else so decided to specialize in art and applied for a foundation at St. Martins. After this I then applied for a 4 year Fine Art course at Newcastle University, this was an amazing course and was a great opportunity for me to get out of London and experience a completely different artistic environment. I loved it, it gave me an opportunity to live art in an environment very different from my own. I met some amazing creative people, and massively developed my style and understanding of conceptual art.

What does art mean to you?

For me art is an opportunity to express oneself freely. There are no boundaries, it is pure creativity free from rules and oppressions.

What do you go for inspiration for the pieces you create?

My artwork is conditioned by my immediate surroundings: the chaotic, culturally diverse and volatile urban atmosphere.

What media is your favourite to work in?

Within my work I explore a wide range of media from photography to painting, collage and printing.  But my favourite is probably painting, I find this the most exhilarating.

What drives you and gives you the ‘go’ to keep at it and do everything?

I constantly have a need to flourish and develop in anything I do, and in order to do this one has to live their passion and not stop in order to succeed. As soon as you stop or slow down, you miss a beat and spend your time catching up. You need to constantly be fighting to stay on trend, only then can you push yourself to achieve to the best of your ability.

What obstacles – if any, have you encountered along the way?

Of course to live as an artist is not easy, as one doesn’t have a steady income and it is hard to regularly sells artworks. When I left university, and came back to London it was very hard, as I had no money and no base to live or any studio to paint. It took my a while to become settled, I lived out of a bag moving from house to house for months and this made it hard for me to have a routine and as a result effected my production of artworks. This then lead me to where I am now, and inspired me to continue my art form but through a different media. Printing artworks on t-shirts, and hence Serge DeNimes was born!!

What do you think it takes to become successful in the art industry?

It takes a number of factors, first of all it goes without saying that you have to be extremely talented, you have to be extremely driven and not only produce art but live it every second of every day. Also i think there is an element of luck, I feel in todays very competitive world you have to know certain people in order to get your foot in the door. It could also be a fact of being in the right place at the right time.

Do you have qualifications in art? How important do you think qualifications are for artists?

Yes, I have a BA in Fine Art. However I do not think it is a necessity to have qualifications for an artist. I feel that your artistic talent is intrinsic; through teaching i feel it can of course develop and be finely tuned, but fundamentally i think you can achieve this through life and our experiences.

Can you recall the first piece of art that you created that made you go “Wow that’s pretty awesome I’m not bad!”?

Haha yes funnily enough I can. It was a piece called ‘Flaming 5’ which i did when i was 15, to this day I remember the last brush stroke i made and stepping back alongside my teacher. We both looked at it, and he said, “You’ve got yourself a painting there Ollie” I cannot let it go, and it currently hangs in my dads apartment.

What is the most memorable piece that you have done and why?

My most memorable piece has to be the one above ‘Flaming 5’ because of that reason. And to this date it is still my favourite piece, I think I peaked way too early!!

How do you rate yourself as an artist?

Right now I do not rate myself too highly, as I haven’t painted in a while because of my new t-shirt company Serge DeNimes, which takes up a lot of my time. I am a little rusty!!

What in your mind makes a good artist?

For me it is someone who is able to create artworks that stand out, and reflect a sense of originality. In todays art world it is so rare to find this, so much art is too similar.

Three words to describe yourself?

Driven, Creative & Eclectic

Hobbies and other interests?

Film, Fashion, Football, Tennis, Running.

Who is your favourite artist?

Robert Rauschenberg

And finally, is there any advice you can share with aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries, and create things that inspire you.

Thanks Oliver!

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Links of websites: www.oliverproudlock.com, t-shirt website is www.sergedenimes.com

Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Serge-DeNimes/197436926939967

Twitter: @SDNIMES

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Some of the pieces created by Oliver:

Some of the Serge DeNimes collection:


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