-So what does “FREEGUMS” mean is it just a name of your clothing line or something more?
Long story but it goes something like this. When I was going to college I would do these house parties and I wanted a name to tie them all in. When I was looking through some pictures to use for the flyer I found an old photo of and old man who had no teeth and had the biggest smile ever. When I saw the picture I though, man that’s Mr.Freedman (I allways liked that last name). I didn’t wanna use that so I changed it little, Mr.Freegums. Parties ended, years went by and I when I was doing a previous clothing line called Thick.cc I got a cease and desist letter so I had to come up with a new name. I had to reinvent myself and I didn’t like any name I thought of or tried to come up with. So one of my friends said “why don’t you use Freegums like the parties remember?” I always like the sound to it, doesn’t mean anything really, and it doesn’t carry any sort of connotation to it. So Freegums it was.
-Did you attend art school or you are self taught- how long have you been creating art?
I didn’t go to Art school but I did go to the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, FL for Graphic design. Went there for 1 year and it was ok. Learned a lot of technical work and had a really good teacher. I don’t think she teaches there anymore. As far as “Art” that’s always been my favorite class throughout my learning years. When I was in elementary school in Peru, Wednesdays was my favorite day of the week cause it was art day.
-What did you do before starting FREEGUMS?
-You recently participated in the Soft Serve Tour along with other artists; how was it as an experience, was this the first time you’ve done something like this?
It was cool. It was my first time and I had a lot of fun. We drank a lot of beer and painted, screen-printed, played UNO, and drank more beer. Met so many people and recognized a lot of the audience that’s buying my shirts.
-Influences can you talk a little bit about them?
Influences I have a lot. I get inspired by so many things sometimes I cant go to sleep or think straight. I get lost in my own head real easy. I imagine stuff so vividly sometimes I don’t know if it really happened. Not like monsters or trippy stuff but more like alternate occurrences to situations. Back to influences so I like patterns, Bats, Dracula Halloween, there was this old writer called “Poesia” from LA I think. His style was so dope and different to what everyone was doing in the nineties. Another person that has influenced me a lot without me knowing it was Herb Lubalin. Another person that I admire their work is Mike Giant.
-My favorite FREEGUMS -shirt is the “Snakecharmer” I read in your website that it took 3 months to complete how was this different from your other work would you like to talk a bit about it?
Well actually the Snakecharmer shirt is a different piece from the one that took three months “October, November, December”. That piece actually is a pattern drawing that can be tiled endlessly. I’ve been planning to make that the lining print for a reversible jacket that I’m going to produce. “October, November, December” is different in the fact that Its the only snake drawing yet that is fully tile-able. Snakecharmer is when I really got started getting serious about snakes and different patterns on the snakes.
-What made you focus so much on snakes?
Snakes have an interesting shape and their colors and patterns on them are amazing. So I took it a step further and created crazy patterns and textures on their bodies. They move so cunningly and have darkness to them that intrigues me.
-Are you afraid of snakes?
Well if its going to bite me yes ill move away from it. I don’t like to handle wild snakes but ill handle pet snakes that sounds weird.
-Any other clothing brand that you personally like or think stands out?
RVCA is doing it right by being involved with the right people. And WE is making it right by the quality of their product. Other brands that have a good running are: PAM, Commonwealth Stacks, Silas and Maria, and there are some good Stussy World Tour Shirts too. There are a bunch that are good but theres so many lines out there right now its hard to keep track of.
-Any current or future projects you would like to talk about? What should we expect from FREEGUMS in the future?
Freegums is allways in the making. There are no recent future projects right now. But Im looking into producing the “October, November, December” piece into 24×36 posters and making them available for other people to have. Taking it day by day.