FAQ with Freehand Profit
Thanks for coming by to find out more about me and my work. Here is a set of Frequently Asked Questions I put together, if you have any other questions leave it as a comment and I’ll get back to you! – Freehand Profit
Why? Why do you cut up shoes? Why do you make masks?
Do you sell your masks? Do you offer commissioned work/custom masks? Where can I buy one? How much?
How do I contact you?
Do you offer freelance design work?
How many shoes does it take to make a mask?
Are they working gas masks?
Are you available for collaborations?
How long have you been making these masks?
How do I make one myself? How do I get started? Books? Materials? Inspirations?
Where/how do you get your shoes/gas masks?
How long does it take to make a mask?
Can I donate sneakers to you/your work?
Have you ever made kid sized masks?
- Why? Why do you cut up shoes? Why do you make masks? How did you come up with the idea? What made you start making these masks? The masks I create are part of a body of work I’ve been working on for a few years now. It started out as part of my daily, year-long project called MASK365. (I made/drew/created/designed/assembled a mask every day from 5/17/2010-5/17/2011 – inspired by Noah Scalin’s Skull-A-Day & in conjunction with my good friend Charlton Yu’s Burger365 project) My focus was on gas masks and I was looking for new ways to customize these iconic masks since paints chips, peels and flakes off of the rubber and latex gas masks. The first piece was made from a Gucci handbag that Sebastian Bleak‘s mom was going to throw out because it was falling apart. I chose to work with sneakers because I wanted to use a material that was special to me. Being a Hip-Hop head since the early 90s and artist all my life sneakers represent a cultural visual language much like graffiti (which was my artistic weapon of choice from middle school through high school and still lingers to this day and also where the name ‘Freehand Profit’ came from). Besides these influences and inspirations the work also explores issues of identity, fear, branding and materialism. I don’t look to preach through my work but instead to spark conversations as a community, to discuss these aspects of the culture we create and propagate. More on the different issues can be read throughout FREEHANDPROFIT.com in the various blog posts and artist statements, click here to view posts regarding Army of the Undeadstock (originally titled Branding Wars).The work also fights a dangerous mentality facing our generation as we fight to keep everything deadstock or in mint condition. This has altered the “sneakerhead” community in a way that has long time ‘heads and even some newbies feeling fed up. Instead of following individual tastes and rocking our kicks, we’ve been surrounded by resellers and collectors who are more concerned with perceived public value of their kicks rather than staying true to the passion that sparked our interest in the first place. Everyone should do what they like with their kicks, I ain’t gonna tell you how to live but I’m here to endorse making memories in those kicks because even the best made Js rot away after years on the shelf. Like the homies at 8 and 9 Clothing say: “REAL HEADS ROCK THEIR KICKS”
- Do you sell your masks? Do you offer commissioned work/custom masks? Where can I buy one? How much? *COMMISSIONS ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED TO NEW COLLECTORS WHILE I PREPARE FOR UPCOMING EVENTS. PLEASE EMAIL gary(at)freehandprofit.com WITH ANY QUESTIONS. Although I would continue to make the work without the sale of my work, sales of masks and commissioned work truly allow me to pursue and push forward in my career as a creative professional and artist. Early/existing masks were/are sold via FREEHANDPROFIT.com/PROFITink.com and eBay but completed works can be purchased through PROFITink.com. I do take commissioned work, average cost of a commissioned mask is $2000-5000 plus materials (you supply the shoes) and shipping. Each piece is a 1 of 1, I will do just about any sneaker once, for example I’ve done the Black Cement IIIs already so there won’t be a second mask made with those BUT other colorways of the 3s are available. Turnaround is 8-10 weeks, however there is a waiting list. A 50% deposit is required up front, that secures your place in line and reserves your choice of shoe. Thanks for your support!
- How do I contact you? Shoot me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org. I try to reply to every email but your patience is appreciated as every hour I spend replying to emails is an hour I’m not in the lab creating new work.
- Do you offer freelance design work? I enjoy working with a variety of design clients. Email me at email@example.com for rates.
- How many shoes does it take to make a mask? Almost all of the masks use just one pair of shoes. The only exceptions are (in chronological order) Black Chucks Gas Mask (2 pairs of Converse Chuck Taylor lows), the Adidas Stormtrooper helmet (2 pairs of Adidas Superskate Mids), the Chicago X Gas Mask (2 pairs of Air Jordan 10s) and the EA Football Helmet (3 pairs of Nike Trainer Mid 1.3s)
- Do the masks work? Are they functioning gas masks? Technically, yes. Very little is done to alter the gas masks that I use as base material. Each gas mask filter has an opening/intake on the bottom to allow air in to be filtered. I usually cover this with the sole of the shoe, so if a new filter/air canister is installed then they are still functioning gas masks. HOWEVER, these are art pieces and are not intended for use as a safety device. Most of the gas masks I use are surplus/vintage masks and no longer meet safety standards anyway.
- Are you available for collaborations? Maybe! I enjoy collaborating so shoot me an email- firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How long have you been making these masks? The first piece was the Gucci Handbag Gas Mask published on freehandprofit.com during MASK365 on October 29, 2010.
- How do I make one myself? How do I get started? Books? Materials? Inspirations? NIKE says it best, “Just Do It.” I had never really worked in this type of capacity, my art had previously meant paintings, drawings and the like. Practice with shoes you pickup at Goodwill or at an outlet (that’s how I started). If you’re already a creative type the best advice in the world (in my humble opinion) is to start your own daily project like MASK365. There’s a great community of folks who have done so, are doing so or are thinking about it. Noah Scalin has published great books like 365: A Daily Creativity Journal and Unstuck! that can help you along the way.
- Where/how do you get your shoes/gas masks? I get my shoes and masks just like anyone else. Various websites, sneaker shops, surplus stores, and of course eBay.
- How long does it take to make a mask? One of these days I’ll have to get an actual count of hours but I hate to think of making art as punching a clock. I simply spend the time it takes to get each mask done, on average from start to finish though is about 4-6 weeks. Paint and glues require different dry and cure times, materials get shipped in quickly or slowly, some shoes are tougher to deconstruct than others, and so on. There’s a lot of stages to each piece and a lot of problem solving, sometimes things come together much quicker.
- Can I donate sneakers to you/your work? If you really mean “donate” then of course. I can’t guarantee that they’ll be used in my work or how they’ll be used but I appreciate the support.
- Have you ever made kid sized masks? Not yet, I should have grabbed some of those Cool Grey Flips when they dropped. I do plan to make a mask or two from GS sizes.