Suzi Kemp for Altamont
Author: kayla
Monday, November 12, 2012
Words: Patrick O’Dell
Photos: Lydia Garnett.

How did you get involved with Altamont? Do you know Fos?
I got involved with Altamont when Fos moved out to LA and passed on my work to the guys out there. We met a couple of years back, I love his work and all the projects he's been involved in. He's always had my back and looked out for me and given me opportunities I could have only dreamed of. He's a rad guy and deserves good karma by the bucketload.

The T-shirt designs incorporate slang and British phrasing. Is your work influenced by British culture? Is it Scouse maybe?
I've always been influenced by British culture, but mainly the bad bits. I do love to slip colloquialisms into my work, mainly from the south of England where I grew up. It's not Scouse, I've never been to Liverpool, nor have I had any long-haired lovers from there I'm afraid.

Are they zombie hands? Tattoos? Are they good luck charms? What are the people like whose hands these belong to?
The designs were influenced by the idea of escaping normality and the day-to-day … and having spirit. I imagine the hands may belong to someone who's just packed their soul-sapping job in so they can hit the road and have an adventure. They probably got fired for swearing at the manager or having too many hand tattoos.

Did you ever skateboard or have any interest in skateboarding culture?
Skateboarding was a big part of my family life growing up. Chasing my little brother around the country so he could visit different skateparks. Though I gave skateboarding a go when I was a kid, I found it wasn't my forte—drawing was what I put all my energy into—drawing and football, and playing my drum kit.

The artwork I saw around me in skate culture has no doubt influenced my style and showed me that illustration did not have to be twee or delicate—it could actually say what you wanted it to say and look how you wanted it to look.

Mike Watt is the other contributor this season. We remade his “Flying the Flannel” shirt. I know you like punk music. Are you a fan of Mike Watt or the Minutemen and do have any feelings about the pairing of your separate collections?
Contributing designs to Altamont at the same time as Mike Watt is mind blowing—an ultimate privilege. I've always very much been into the punk and hardcore of the 80's, both musically and by the artwork and artists that were a part of it. Remaking the firehose LP shirt is a stroke of genius and it’s awesome that the guys who's work I admired then are still creating and staying true to themselves now. That’s truly something to aspire to.