Queen Andrea’s vibrant art can be found from concrete walls to major brands and every surface in-between. All facets of her work impact both streetwear and graffiti cultures. Constantly on the grind, Queen Andrea AOK has “killer styles for miles”.
Interview by Stefanie Grossman
What’s going on with Queen Andrea?
Queen Andrea: I’ve been busier than ever these days. Superfreshstudio.com is where my new illustration, art and apparel projects will live, separated from my commercial endeavors and client work. A lot is happening in early 2012, including a new poster series, a solo show of paintings, toys and apparel for KidRobot, and special SuperFresh tees and bags. I paint murals often and stay in the graffiti mix and squeeze into as many group shows and big art fairs that I can. It’s an amazing time for the urban art world.
What do you love most about graffiti’s present influence on streetwear?
Queen Andrea: Stylistically, graffiti brings an exciting element to streetwear design; the handstyles, illustration, lettering and especially the attitude. Tagging is a unique way to brand clothing, very renegade. Graffiti writers are some of the most innovative, fearless and inventive people I know. I love the opportunistic brashness of graffiti writers and their originality. It’s more real than anything else. If you look at all the major urban brands out there, most of them were founded by graffiti writers, and writers often cross over into apparel graphic design, like I did. I started writing graffiti at 14, well before I became immersed in studying graphic design. Graffiti is my first love.
What do you like about the application of graphics to fabric/apparel?
Queen Andrea: It’s exciting to transform unexpected surfaces with my art. “Customized” apparel is great because you’re basically wearing an original work of art, one with personality and real uniqueness. The t-shirt game is too saturated these days, but great graphics still rise to the top. For me, murals are the greatest form of transforming surfaces. Bringing visionary creativity to walls transforms the neighborhood and all the people who see it. I’m also working on larger online branding projects and graphic movies. It’s important to use the web creatively; it’s such a viral force for art.
Have you ever thought about creating textile designs?
Queen Andrea: Yes, I’m currently working on graphic patterns that I’m building from motifs in my fine art and illustration. I’m inspired by the patterns of brands like Pucci and old-school Coogi, and Navajo and Aztec motifs are amazing. I’m an all-over print junkie.
What are your thoughts on the graffiti-inspired imagery that appears on designer clothing?
Queen Andrea: It’s great to see graffiti embraced by high fashion. Most people feel that graffiti is so intriguing, outlaw and daring, either praising our culture or looking down on it. Graffiti is an undeniable social movement. Tags are calligraphy, personal signatures – they’re beautiful. There’s a huge divide between the typical lifestyle of graffiti writers and that of high-end fashion designers, so it’s satisfying to see the graffiti aesthetic appreciated by the masses.