Blake Armstrong is a Visual Artist based in LA. Blake and I met in 2012 and we instantly connected artistically and personally. Blake's work is brave, striking and always a bit disturbing. He illustrates the quest for balance between light and dark, a theme that Wolf + Sadie explores with every collection.
What inspires you as a visual artist?
First and foremost I am inspired by other artists. It would be pretty daft of me to ignore the feelings, ideas and textures that are out there in the world, nor to take advantage of such things. I do feel that inspiration does not come naturally or easily to me, so when inspiration strikes much like falling in love, I tend to fall quite hard. I almost over obsess to the point of emotional/mental/physical discomfort. I have been drawing and painting since I was about two, or so my parents tell me, so I like to think the first language I ever understood was visual. In general, my inspirations and ideas stem from a perceived lack of feeling, colour, ideas, emotions, and construction that should be represented in the world. If I couldn’t find a certain looking character or feeling I felt, I would simply create it to be. Makeup is merely an extension of what I was putting on paper – only now my pieces were alive, blinking and breathing.
What inspired you to create this series?
What I most wanted to do was capture how organic Wolf + Sadie pieces are; regardless of shape or decoration, they melt into your skin. It almost just seems like they are extensions of your bones. So with this character, my focus was to establish an overall picture by highlighting the pieces with lighting and contrast while having a distinctive visual story. I was always confused for a girl when I was younger up to about the age of twelve, and then androgyny become a word I heard quite often as a teenager. This piece embodies my androgynous nature.
What is the story behind "V"?
I’ve always been fascinated about why adults put kids in corners as a form of punishment. The idea of sitting segregated and forcefully denied of experience, knowledge, or life in general has always made me feel uneasy even when it is a basic human right to govern your own actions and body. Discipline, or scolding has always bothered me in general – to imply that someone is a bad person. Really let that marinate on how detrimental that could be to someone’s character. I wanted to embody these themes this character and visualize him in his own corner. He lives there, but is he bad or good? Does he deserve to be there or not? What as a viewer does this character impress onto you?
Why do you consider yourself an artistic ally of WOLF + SADIE?
I think I might be one of the biggest Wolf + Sadie cheerleaders out there. As a man, I feel that there is a lack of artistry, imagination and candour when it comes to men’s fashion. With Wolf + Sadie, you have something that is so simple but so loud in what it says – regardless of gender, aesthetic, or lifestyle. That is something I will always support.
What is it about Ancestors that you want reflected in your work?
I enjoy the idea of inception and the genesis of what is and what will come, predominately because it is the first time a thought becomes artistically alive in a project. Ancestors are pure clusters of artistic expression, so the attraction I have with the pieces is intense. What better reflection of artistic and collaborative success is there?
See Blake's full series "V" here