We took 5 with Raw Inc bossman and all round nice guy Kalis recently to talk all things Inc! Check it out below!
What is Raw Inc and how did it come to be?
It started back in 1987, by myself (KALIS) messing around with a few crew name ideas, while hanging with friends getting up to no good late at night walking the streets on the outer Western Line as you do. Raw originally stood for Real.Aussie.Writers or Read.And.Weep among a few others…
Raw is a collective of artists starting from Australia, England, Germany, France and America. The guys support and rep us all the time and we try to support them in anyway we can as well. We’re all on the same path.
Who are the brains behind the company?
We run the business from here in Sydney studio. I create, design and illustrate, marketing and the whole shebang for both Raw and other clients needing artwork. I’m always sketching up new ideas for future designs or working with other collaborating artists.
We don’t personally print our own t-shirts as we don’t have the room yet but we have good network and relationship with great printers and they always do marvellous work for us.
Who or where do you draw your creative inspiration from?
Hearing a funny quote or thinking of something that makes you smile, and try to add it into the design we’re working on. Just by adding a sense of something more than just a design. A classic design by adding fresh colours to add our take on it, to revamp it up into something more, and people do relate to the original as well even though it’s our version of it.
We always seem to add elements with old school b-boys or graffiti artist with a fat marker or spray can or even a Kangol in there somewhere, things like that any other graff writer will pick it straight away.
Over time we have also worked with many different collaborations of artists from around the world on t-shirts we have produced in our range of apparel to add a new mix and some extra flavour.
Running a small, independent business is never considered easy… What motivates you to keep on trucking when the going gets tough?
It’s funny there are really busy times and quiet times, but in the end if your passionate about what you do you have to keep pushing and sell it and keep a good relationship with your clients and customers. I’ve always got something to do, it’s never a quiet day.
We have grown so much and still getting more recognition, we get companies and stores contacting us each week from all over the world. We have been around for sometime and then suddenly boom it’s went crazy and hasn’t stopped.
Can you tell us a bit about your can cushions? How do you choose who to rep next?
We collect alot of old cans and the collection grows on a daily basis. Some hold something more than just a can, it’s once was history that you used to have and use back in the day. There are so many styles and brands out there to pick from, but we try to pick the best or even sometimes randoms as well.
We try to look into each countries classic and add some new designs out there to keep people looking for there favourite one. Lately we just released some of our mega spray can cushions and along with some fat marker pens that seem to be taking off very well as people can relate.
In the past we have had a few paint companies contact us asking when were going to make there spraycans range into cushions as well and they seem to take the cushions on board and embrace the idea of someone advertising them in a different way, its almost like making a cult following of classic spray cans.
What’s your design philosophy?
We want to redesign all those boring downloadable free logos from the internet, and add some clean crisp colour and funk! For the love of fresh designs and style we are very anal about what goes out, it has to be 100% or not at all.
Were very fussy about quality and final finished products from design through to our products we create. And that all starts from the very beginning through to the end going out to stores and customers.
If you could collaborate with anyone on apparel or homewares, who would it be, why, and what item would you choose?
With other larger businesses I think Nike, Adidas, Stussy and that wonderful juice of the gods from Montana spray paint. But I think any big or small brand would be great to do something fresh and different and to try something new outside of the box and too see what we can bring to the table. These days there are so many independent clothing and home wares out there as well… it would be fun.
With artists we would love to do something with Flying Fortress, 123Klan or D*Face, love those guys, a great inspiration and we work on the same sort of design elements as well like colours and layout.
What’s next for Raw Inc?
Apart from world domination, so many things to do so little time, releasing more collaboration t-shirts and some new cushions always out there… We are looking at relocating to the UK in the near future to help step up ourselves into more European stores. We already stock around Australia and to a UK store called Graff City, and they seem to be going very well in the European market.