“ANYONE WHO WANTS CHANGE FOR GOOD, IN OUR WORLD, IS A TRUE SICKINDIVIDUAL“
When we started Binge Magazine, we vowed to Binge on the good things in life and share that with our readers. We opted to help create opportunity for ourselves, and for others. When I was introduced to the brand, Sickindividual, I first watched their promotional video (above) and couldn’t believe how similar our thoughts were on being the good in our world and what it means to use your creativity and passion for the better. I couldn’t wait to interview Felipe Urteaga the Co-Founder & Creative Director at Sickindividual. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did, and don’t forget to check out their rockstar Kickstarter Campaign as well!
Can you explain the style of Sickindividual tees and how this came about?
There are so many brands of T-shirts today. There is so much competition within the industry. If you think about it, why would you want to add another brand to the table? And if you do, how will it succeed? How will it be recognized among so many competitors? What will you have to offer that is new and appealing? What’s the “Aha” factor?
Sickindividual is a brand that has a personal, original and creative look. It is a revolutionary concept for the T-shirt world that brings fashion and art to a perfect balance.
The style of Sickindividual is based on surrealism, symbolism and psychedelic features; all strongly influenced by today’s pop culture. And all combined to make the art intellectual. We have launched our brand with a category named “Minds”. “Minds” is about people who have changed and influenced the world in a positive way. We call these people ‘Sick Individuals’. Prior to each design, we research every ‘Sick individual’ detail to represent their personality, life style and ideologies.
It all began after hearing a song called “Natural Mystic” by Bob Marley. I was hypnotized by the song and driven to it completely. It made me want to draw Bob Marley. The result was a very unique portrait of Bob like no other that I’s seen before. Then afterwards, I watched a movie of Gandhi. Inspired by this amazing peace icon I decided to illustrate him too. A friend later on told me that he would love to wear my designs on t-shirts, and that was is when the idea hit-me! My unique art on premium 100% cotton T-shirts.
We love to hear the back story of names- how did you come up with the name Sickindividual?
It was when I had the opportunity to reunite with my childhood best friend, from my years living at Bahrain, who I hadn’t seen in 13 years. He visited me when I was living at Los Angeles, and while catching-up I told him about my T-shirt idea I was working on. I remember him saying … “T-shirts? Man there are too many, it’s not a secure business”. So I replied … “Hold on man, let me explain the whole idea and show you my designs before you jump into a conclusion” By the end our conversation he said… “I have been working with numerous known brands for several years and I finally found the one that I would be passionate to work on”.
On our way to Las Vegas, we brainstormed names for the brand, but it was hard to land on a catchy name that truly represented the idea. That same night, as we were rushing through one of the casinos in the Encore hotel I told my friend. “Man… one day I would love to walk around here and see people wearing my T-shirts. He replied… “haha, for sure man! It will happen because you’re a sick individual” and BOOM! We just looked at each other and both knew that was the name. Today that dear friend of mine, Jameel, is our business partner that represents ‘Sickindividual’ in Dubai.
I learned that you’ve always been a creator, how did you decide to use it for fashion? What keeps your creative juices flowing?
Since I was two I have always been constantly drawing. The purpose of my drawing has had an evolution throughout the years. It began as a necessity, as a way of entertaining myself, as a way of feeling peace, as a way of feeling joy. In my early years I expressed my creativity by drawing characters, copying cartoons and involving characters into a fictional world.
At my years at ‘School of Visual Arts’ at NYC, my mind-set and perception of my art changed. It was about giving my drawings meaning, a message and most of all… It was about making creative and original art that would appeal and get peoples attention. It was my challenge, my passion. My motivation and ambition was to create, to inspire and to build my name.
I was always interested in the urban fashion; and as an intern I worked at an important clothing company called “Ruehl No. 925”. Working there I began to understand the retail business and the importance of the brand, material, style, design and fit of clothes. I became more selective about clothes. I initially didn’t do much about it, but further down the line as my friends opened my eyes on how I could reach more people by having them wear my art, together with the knowledge of what good quality shirts was, I decided to leave my job at Hollywood and dedicate myself to Sickindividual.
What keeps me creative and inspired is the fact that there are so many more sick individuals to illustrate and so many more sick individuals to come. But most importantly, my biggest inspiration is to make Sickindividual accomplish its goals; offer people an artistic clothing brand that represents their personality and style.
Can you give our readers some words of advice for following your passions and developing a company that you truly love?
You have to really enjoy and love what you do. That is the key of being happy, passionate and successful.
When you realize that you want to drop anything you are doing and go back home to work a little more on your personal project. When it doesn’t feel like work, but it feels like a hobby. When you are willing to go the extra mile to make your dream come true. Go get it, make it yours! Never let anyone turn you down, and remember not succeeding is not a failure, it’s an amazing learning opportunity.
Your product or service is your baby. Take care of it, feed it and educate it to grow strong and succeed in a world of competitors. As I said before, I created Sickindividual because I believe it brings something new to the table. And I believe people deserve to wear it. You must have a good reason to push your projects. Why repeat what is out there? Create something new, different and innovative. Think outside the box! We all have great ideas… but only some make it happen. Why? Because they work hard. They put in the extra hours.
Love what you do and you will always want to do it.