Interview with Brysen Kinslow
Owner of Sharkface Apparel and Design
-by Vinnie Peachey
Q: First, for everyone reading, please state your name, location, and company. Anything else really personal you want to tell the world reading.
Q: Sharkface Designs, that is an interesting name. Is there any meaning
I went to Atlantic City when I was 19 and while on the boardwalk, the
group of people I was with were discussing how certain people have big facial features. Apparently they thought my nose was larger than normal, and they started calling me Sharkface. I was just starting to
really focus on my graphic design, so after that weekend I went home and did some research to see if that name was taken. Luckily, it wasn’t, so I decided to go with Sharkface Designs.
Q: I know you went to school for graphic design, but you went your own route
with interests. How did your other interests develop? And now years later
into your business, you’ve associated many mediums [sic] to help with education
and your success in your business. Tell me about all the areas you like to
cover and practice with?
I attended NCC for roughly a year and a half. I signed up for the
Graphic Design program and for the first year, I wasn’t even on a
computer. I ended up learning almost all of my skills at home, by
trial and error. Luckily, I have super great friends who knew I wasn’t the most experienced designers, but still gave me jobs to do, such as
business cards, fliers, stickers and shirt designs. I am thankful though, for the first year at NCC. I took a lot of fine art classes which really improved my painting and drawing skills. By sharpening
your drawing skills, and learning different techniques with lighting and shading, it really helps you design better.
Q: Tell me about your apparel. I always see new designs being displayed. You
are pushing this hard recently. Tell me what got your interest so much in
With owning your own business and trying to be successful, the more
you know, the better. I really wanted to expand what I was doing. Instead of doing design work for other people, I wanted to basically do design work that I could use. I had a few designs back in 2009 that I wanted to print, and I never got around to printing them. 2 years later, in the summer of 2011, I finally made up my mind to print my own Sharkface shirts. Some of the first designs didn’t do so well. It is really tough trying to find out what people will wear and trying to find that market for it. Selling a brand is very very difficult, but I
am determined to succeed.
Q: Your turnaround time for paintings and designs is impressive. Are you a
Yes, actually I am. I don’t sleep, I don’t eat, I just crank out work.
Kidding. I actually eat entirely too much. Gluttony is without a doubt
one of my biggest sins. But I manage to eat and work at the same time,
so maybe that’s how I get such impressive turnaround times.
Q: Okay, but say you were a machine, what would you do all day with such
I would continue to create beautiful things. I wish I had the time and
patience to learn other mediums [sic] and try different things. Watercolor would be on the top of the list of mediums [sic] to conquer. As of right now I usually only work in acrylic, oil and charcoal.
Q: Aside from humor, what else inspires you? Artists? Motives? Movements?
Any form of art. I am heavily into the tattooing industry. I attend
multiple conventions every year, I have a ton of friends who are artists, and I support safe tattooing practices and I carry over 150 hours of work on me from numerous artist all over the nation. I really think tattoo artists inspire me the most. Just being able to create such stunning pieces on the FIRST try. That to me, is the most magnificent
part about it. Yes, you can go back into a piece and fix it, but if you butcher it the first time around, 9 chances out of 10 that person will not come back for you to fix it. I am also a huge fan of Realism art. Any painting, drawing, design, that looks like a photograph just blows me away. Every piece that I do, has that realism style.
Q: What’s new for Sharkface Designs in ’12?
I just started getting Sharkface Apparel into local tattoo shops. Hard Core Ink in Catasauqua, Pa, is now carrying Sharkface Apparel and I really hope to get my apparel into more shops. Local and ones outside of the area. I have also been doing a ton of shirt designs for bands and tattoo shops in New York, Oklahoma, New Jersey, United Kingdom and Pennsylvania.
Q: Next 5 years?
I really would like to take Sharkface Apparel to the next level. I
want to open up a store. Selling Sharkface Apparel, designing for clients and having a screen printer in house and selling local artists
work. I would love to get other apparel companies to get in on this and have their apparel in the shop as well.
Q: Anyone you would like to thank? And who seems to be your biggest
The big guy upstairs is probably the biggest supporter. By giving me
the imagination and talent to create beautiful things. My parents for
buying shirts, and never telling me that what I am doing is a waste. I
honestly think my parents have more paintings of mine in their homes
than I do. My homies Vinnie Peachey and Brian Geckle (www.briangeckle.com) for being super good people but never putting my work down and by opening up my eyes to what the tattoo industry really is. Cory Malpiedi (www.duceTWO.com) who has been there since I started. Printing shirts, website edits and basically everything that
has to do with my business. Also, Axelrad Screen Printing for printing
a large portion of my apparel. They knock it out of the park
everytime. (www.axelradarmy.com) and last but not least, everyone who
supports me and what I do. I have been very blessed to have shirts,
designs and artwork, in many countries, including Jamaica, United
Kingdom, Ireland and Japan. If I didn’t have such great supporters, including my girlfriend Evelyn, I would never be where I am at today. Every time I open up an email with a picture of a fan wearing my
shirt, it puts the biggest smile on my face. We we put here to help
others and if creating artwork or giving people shirts to put on their back helps them, then I am a happy person.
Q: Lastly, Brysen, thank you for this interview, but i like to leave readers with something to think about after reading. A little motivation, if you will. Explain your philosophy towards your work, goals, and hopefully many more years of Sharkface Designs.
I have had a ton of negative energy by people and been turned down by local businesses but that is no reason to stop. In order for people to take you seriously with something, you have to be serious about it.
People can spot if you aren’t serious about what you do. Always be true to your word. If you say you are going to do something, stick to
your guns and follow through with it. And most of all, help others. I
am an Eagle Scout, and their slogan is Do a Good Turn Daily. I really
try to follow that. Not only in my personal life but my business too.
Again Brysen, thank you for the interview. I hope the readers follow up on
you. Find Sharkface Designs on facebook, and on the web at :
www.sharkfacedesigns.com for weekly releases of art and apparel.