About & Contact

To contact Freehand Profit just email me at gary@freehandprofit.com.

Gary Lockwood (Freehand Profit)

ARTIST/DESIGNER/ILLUSTRATOR: [Hip-Hop head / sneakerhead]

“Difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week.” – Jay-Z

*- known for destroying coveted kicks in order to make gas masks from them.

BIO:

Gary Lockwood aka Freehand Profit came up in the DMV area as a lifelong artist with a passion for Hip-Hop, graffiti, sneakers and art. In 2005 he graduated from the Corcoran School of Art & Design with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts.

In 2006 he made his move to LA to pursue his dreams of art, design & music. Some folks call it persistence, some call it stubbornness; whatever you call it Freehand Profit continued to push forward and in 2010 he began his daily creative project – MASK365. In the search for new materials he began creating gas masks from deconstructed sneakers.

Want to know more? He ain’t hard to find, check out freehandprofit.com for all the latest news and releases.

Still want more? Find all of Freehand Profit’s various social media links here.

ARTIST STATEMENT:

My first passion has always been art but Hip-Hop became my mistress. She first tempted me in grade school with Snoop Dogg’s ‘Doggystyle’, in middle school she introduced me to graffiti and emcees/rappers like Bone Thugs N Harmony and Busta Rhymes, in high school Method Man & Redman sealed my allegiance to the beat of Hip-Hop. In 2001, when I arrived at Corcoran College of Art & Design, I set my mind to exploring and expressing the visual languages of Hip-Hop beyond graffiti.

After earning my BFA in 2005 from the Corcoran I moved to LA chasing those Hip-Hop dreams. In 2010 I began a year long creative project inspired by Noah Scalin’s ‘Skull-A-Day’. It was called MASK365 and every day for a year I created/drew/assembled/designed/painted/sculpted a mask and published the work through my site: freehandprofit.com. This creative gauntlet forced me out of my comfort zone and a few months into the project my hunt for new materials led me to tear a Gucci handbag apart at the seams only to reassemble it into a functioning gas mask/purse. The finished work clearly held the key to unlocking my next body of work, but I knew and cared very little about handbags. I wanted to work with materials that I cared about and revered.

Shoes, kicks, sneakers – whatever you call them – have always been a part of Hip-Hop. Run DMC turned the Adidas shell-toe into an icon for a culture. Since then rappers & emcees alike have curated the dress code adding staples like Chucks, Uptowns, Timberland boots, Jordans and Pumas. The shoes on our feet came to represent a part of our identity. The lines, color and textures of sneakers sold today even parallel those used by graffiti artists.

But why the gas mask? Mask making is an ancient art form and I look to link our modern times to this ancient art. The gas mask is the mask of our times, it represents atrocities at war, civil unrest, environmental damnation and works both as a symbol of fear and of protection. It also tips its hat to the keepers of the graffiti flame who wore/wear respirators and masks to protect their lungs from their poisonous art of choice. The ties to Hip-Hop’s original art form deepen when we examine the language within graffiti- the act of painting renamed “bombing” solidified the warlike nature of the art form.

I don’t offer answers in my work, instead I seek to explore issues we face within the Hip-Hop community. Issues of identity, materialism and duality intertwine as the work reflects a world that is in love with objects but that also has a love for a culture & lifestyle. The masks embrace our guilty pleasure while reminding us there are much more important problems at hand. The sacrifice of the shoes I love for the sake of my art is essential.

-Freehand Profit (Gary Lockwood)

More factoids:

  • Living in Los Angeles, CA : Milwuakee born : Northern Virgina/DMV raised.
  • Corcoran graduate (2005 BFA) : Bully Breed Lover.
  • Freelance designer, exhibiting artist, eternal student.
  • Founding member of the Fat Chance Crew (FCC): “Flying Pigs”. STAY MUDDY, GET FLY.
  • Thinks a string of facts works as a bio.

“Army of the Undeadstock” is Freehand Profit’s first book and features more than 250 pages of full color photographs showcasing his work from the past few years. Each one of the more than 30 sneaker masks featured in “Army of the Undeadstock” is accompanied by a custom crafted haiku written by San Diego poet B(e) Selah. The book also features excerpts from Freehand Profit’s blog ‘The Hip Hop Nerd’ discussing the meaning, the process and the spirit behind the work.

“I chose to balance my work with B(e) Selah’s haikus because art should be discussed at length, not explained at length. In just 17 syllables, B(e) Selah captures a few ounces of each mask. There’s also a tie to the ancientness of each art form (haiku poetry & mask making). – Freehand Profit

“Army of the Undeadstock” released November 28th on PROFITink.com it is now sold out in the US but can be purchased from Canada via DRUNK OFF SHOES

49 thoughts on “About & Contact

  1. Always had a love for gas masked … But you took it to the next level n I love it, is it any way to supply the kicks to get a mask made

  2. Are any of your jordan masks for sell? im an urban artist from cleveland, ohio. all i can say is , im in love with your craft. these types of things can revolutionize art as well as fashion! keep up the amazing work! -izzy

  3. Hey man i saw some of your pin up girl pics and got them tattooed on my legs just wondered if you want to put it on your website

  4. Email me. I would like to have you do a series of Lebrons and have a show in NY and possibly Miami.

  5. Big fan of your work.. Wanted to know if you would let me do an illustration of one of your masks? Im not going to sell it. Maybe you can use it as a tshirt design when im finished if you want. Please let me know. You can see some of my work here. Thanks
    behance.net/brianjtafoya

  6. I wanna get a price on a custom mask.. I have retro blk3s with the nike on the back.. I want u to get Dwn on a mask.. What’s the price I’m looking at on something like that…call me @559-394-6624

  7. yeah i wanna knw if i can get a tat about one of your tats cause they sick and im into gas mask my self and kicks so yeah lol

  8. What’s up freehand, I just wanna say your masks are a super dope form of sneaker art that is one of a kind and creative. My question to you is I’m opening a sneaker store in upstate ny and would like to have one made to put on display in my store. Can I get some price ranges and things like that depending what shoe it is. Good lookin and I look forward to hearing from you and keep bangin them dope mask out

  9. I love the gas mask. What do I need to do to get one? I’m a huge fan of Nikes and this would be a great art piece for my wall.

  10. Yes Freehand Profit your designs are super crazy. Im just coming to the end of my first year doing Graphic Design at college and i have included your work in my research hope this is cool i have recently done some T-SHIRT designs and would love to see what ya think and if you could give me any advice. Oh yeah and i collect kicks as well prob havent got as many as you though but we all start somewhere.

  11. Hello,
    I’ve seen you work for a while and I think it is really really sick. I love it sooo much. I’m interested in getting a mask but i want to know how much it costs and I wanted to do a royal 1 or lebron 10 Tennis ball. If you could email me and let me know some details that would be great
    Thanx

  12. Is it possible to have 1 mask made of 3 pairs of shoes done? If so how much would it cost? If not, how much is a mask of 1 pair of shoes? Email me if you can at coola95@aol.com Thanks!

  13. Any chance you’ll be re-editing your book ?

    Can’t find a single one in the whole world, grrrr.

    Keep the good work going, your stuff is really awesome !

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