STACKD: Thank you for taking this interview with us! For those who don’t know, who are All Out Design and exactly what do you do?
All Out Design: No worries guys, we’re big fans of STACKD and the work you guys are doing right now. We’re a multifunctional creative agency that specialises in mural work, guerrilla marketing, graffiti workshops, video and creative direction. We’re also the brains behind Life Styles, a really cool live art battle event held in our warehouse studio in North Strand.
STACKD: Ireland is known for many things but one of the main things is our art. We have seen a bloom of new, exciting and talented artists from all ends of the cultural spectrum in recent years. What do you believe to be the source of this artistic explosion within communities nationwide?
All Out Design: I think there’s a certain mind frame that exists among people of our generation. When the recession hit we were all trying to get on our feet while others sat down and moaned about how terrible everything was. There’s a common characteristic between us and the likes of Mango + Mathman, the guys in District Magazine and others in the creative field where we just get out there and do our very best to make (what we feel to be) cool things happen. There’s a lot of people now thinking like that and, the more it happens, the more infectious it becomes to others. People begin thinking ‘jeez, maybe I could try that thing I’ve been wanting to do for years’. They see others giving it a lash and give it a go themselves. It’s a really natural and healthy way of growing the creative community into something unstoppable.
STACKD: What words of advice/encouragement do you have for any aspiring visual artists looking to make a living/hobby in arts?
All Out Design: It’s always difficult to not sound cliché with questions like this but there’s a reason that the same answers crop up time and time again. Don’t be afraid to fail, we’ve grown up in a society that punishes us and makes us feel stupid if we don’t get 40% in an exam when really, it’s not the truth. Try a million things and fail at almost all of them, each time you don’t succeed you’ll learn a bit more and get closer to achieving what you set out to do. I’d also advise speaking to people in the creative community. People are far more approachable than you think and willing to answer any questions you have. You can learn a lot from just talking to a person who has more experience than you. Lastly, do what you enjoy most. Too many people spend time working on projects they don’t like and it won’t make you happy. I did my degree in Graphic Design but made a conscious decision a few years ago to stop doing design for others unless it was a special case. I stopped enjoying it and it stressed me out way too much. Since then I’ve been a lot happier and have been able to focus my time on doing other things that I enjoy more.
STACKD: Do you believe that there is still a stigma associated with urban or street art (Murals, Spray-painting etc.) in Ireland? If so, what do you believe to be the reasons for this stigma and do you think it can be overcome as the years’ progress?
All Out Design: There’s always going to be a stigma around graffiti due to the nature of how it’s created. People running around the city in darkness leaving their mark everywhere, inevitably rubbing a shop owner up the wrong way from time to time. This is always going to happen so it’s important for the public to realise that it won’t ever stop. Murals and commissioned art is being welcomed with open arms by businesses and brands nationwide and this does help combat the stigma somewhat. The public has a habit of putting every piece of art created with spray paint under the same umbrella when this isn’t the case. It’s like comparing The Beatles to BARQ because they play the same instruments. They’re both great bands but they make different music. The same applies to spray paint.
STACKD: All Out Design has been commissioned for and collaborated with some very big brands, businesses, etc. In your personal opinion, which was the most enjoyable/impressive piece of work that you guys created for someone else?
All Out Design: We’ve been fortunate enough to work with a tonne of amazing brands who fully trust in us. It’s a great feeling knowing that other people, whether they’re little or large, like your work enough to want to be a part of it. A personal highlight was teaming up with Warner Music and Gorillaz to promote their newest album, Humanz earlier this year. There were so many things going for this project that made it special. Firstly the site for the mural was in my hometown of Limerick. The site chosen was a huge wall on the main vein into the City Centre. It felt good to be able to produce such a cool project back home. The plan was to create a monster sized mural overnight without warning. The nature of the project meant we had about 50% permission to paint where we did. We ran into problems with the City Council, security and the property management company. It felt like we were never going to get it finished but eventually, we did and it turned out great. I also got to work with Shane Serrano of Crude who I’ve admired for years. We skated together when we were kids and since then went our separate ways. He became an incredible videographer and getting to work with him on this was a joy. As a bonus, the video went globally viral! All of these things combined made this project the most enjoyable.
STACKD: How do you envision All Out Design developing as an organisation in the next few years? Do you collectively have any goals that you would like to reach in the near future and if so, what would those goals be?
All Out Design has continually evolved since our inception. We only ever do what we feel is fun at the time and it rarely feels like work (accounts are not fun). With this approach we sometimes find ourselves saying ‘Oh man, I had this crazy idea where we could blah blah blah for this brand!’ and before you know it we’re in a meeting with that brand pitching something nuts, and they usually love it! At the moment we’re concentrating more on guerrilla marketing, taking our same values from graffiti culture and applying them to concepts that might not necessarily include spray paint. We’ve got a few massive projects in the works with dream brands so watch this space!
STACKD: Would you like to see more collaborations between Irish Musicians and groups like yourself in the future?
All Out Design: Always! I think it’s really important to have that synergy between the different creative fields. It makes the whole scene thrive and expand. Creativity breeds creativity. We’ve played host to a lot of great musicians in our studio like Rusangano Family, BARQ, Ham Sandwich, Girl Band and Enter Shikari for gigs and music videos. It’s great to be exposed to these things and to see how people from the music industry approach their projects in different ways to us. We’ve learned a lot from it.
STACKD: Do you believe that the arts scene as a whole in Ireland is in a healthy place right now?
All Out Design: I think it’s at the healthiest its been in a long while. There’s so many artists, songwriters, actors and musicians all thriving right now. Everyone is so pumped for each other and it makes the community such a positive thing to be a part of. When I meet musician friends or similar we get to talk about all the great stuff each is working on and it pushes the other to keep doing what they’re doing with confidence. The scene is only getting stronger and it feels great to be a part of it.
STACKD: Most important question of all. We noticed from your website that you like good pizza. Where would be the best pizza place in Ireland from your knowledge?
All Out Design: Oh man I get asked this a lot and I can never choose just one, especially if you’re opening it up to the entire country! I can narrow it down to maybe five or six, and all for different reasons. Papa Gino’s in Limerick is top notch. The Revolution in Rathgar is beyond excellent. Da Mimmo’s makes my mouth water just saying the name. Honest To Goodness, Dublin Pizza Company, the list is endless. Star Pizza on Talbot Street gets a special mention.