Tuesday, May 29, 2007
2000 words with Emmanuel Labor
2k: state your name and your game and where you represent?
EL: Emmanuel Golden aka EL or emmanueLabor from Seattle, WA
2k : whats coming up for you this year?
EL: I'm just trying to build on all the great stuff that happened for me in 2006 and 2007 thus far. I'm trying to continually push the limits of what customizers do and see if I cant make all the crazy ideas I have in my mind become a reality. I'll be participating in an art show put on by the guys from Above the Clouds at the end of June down in Portland OR. Other than that, I have a few things cookin that I'm working on behind the scenes that I cant really talk about just yet. If they do pan out, it'll be a pretty good look for me. I might do some stuff with a few stores....a lot of stuff is still up in the air though. We'll see where it goes
2k : most famous client you worked with/for?
EL: ummm....I guess I'd say Cam'ron and Juelz Santanna were the most famous? They were probably a lil more famous at the time than they are now though lol.
2k: does being from Seattle make things harder for you as opposed to being from cali or nyc?
EL: nah not really. You'd think so, but that hasn't been the case as far as I can tell. I'm not sure my amount of orders would dramatically increase if I was in NY or Cali. I might have more exposure because those areas seem to get more sneaker related events, but I'm not really hurting for orders these days(that sounds kinda cocky huh? maybe I should erase that lol). I mean I stay pretty busy with the orders I get now, so being in a bigger market wouldn't change much cause I could only do so many shoes. When I 1st started out doing this, I was pretty much the only person in the area. I was working for a local store so people had to go there to get their shoes done. and nowadays, with the internet being a part of everybody's lives, I do shoes for people all over the world. I rarely do anything for people locally. it was funny, after I had a pair of shoes make it in Sole Collector, some people around here were like amazed that I was from Seattle.
2k: what dislikes do you have about street wear/sneaker scene?
EL: buying off hype is corny, for both shoes and clothes. It makes no sense to me to buy something cause a bunch of other people say its hot. If YOU like it, buy it for that reason. if you don't, leave it on the shelf. Dont' get me wrong, I'm not anti-hype, but I am anti false hype. All these limited amounts of Brand X Hoodies and these insincere collaborations between certain companies.....c'mon man. I like stuff thats limited for a reason....like its for charity, or there are a limited amount of supplies or its something old, and not many are left around. THATS limited. Just going to your t-shirt printer and getting 24 shirts printed instead of a couple hundred does not make that shirt limited in a real sense. I mean I cant get mad at the companies that do it cause there are cats out there that buy into it, but if the average consumer would use their head and not feed into that, I think things would be for the better. I cant lie, I've played into that. I've done shoes that I didn't really care for, but that I knew people would go for just because of the hype around whatever the theme or subject matter was...and that was corny of me.
as far as the customs scene(you didn't ask specifically, but I'm on a roll lol) my gripe is that there is still a huge amount of people that wont do it themselves. They wont go through the trial and error that a lot of other people have. They want directions and supplies all neatly package in a box for them. Wheres the fun in that? We might as well start making paint by number shoe kits.(hmmmmmmmmmm) I know myself as well as a number of other customizers have butchered countless pairs of shoes. I did it cause I wanted to know how to do it on my own. You get so much better at things if you learn on your own as opposed to having someone give you directions.
2k: who would you like to thank for where you are today?
EL: so many people. I gotta say Methamphibian 1st off. I mean I don't know the guy at all, but his work really inspired me to go beyond coloring swooshes with graff markers. Steps he took as far as working with stores I think paved the way for a lot of us customizers getting to work with stores....
To any of the cats I've traded stories with or techniques and materials. Cats I've met at various events and through message boards. Dudes that said I sucked or said I was great. People that have felt my work enough to wanna work with me or give me a lil shine, or just say they respect what I do. People that didn't hassle me about my prices LOL basically anybody I've come into contact through doing these shoes...I thank them.