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Freehand Profit is a freelance artist based out of Los Angeles with a taste for music and a penchant for really cool masks. As well as keeping himself busy working freelance with local rappers and artists, he also runs a killer clothing line called Profit Ink.orporated, selling shirts emblazoned with his bold graffiti style. He’s currently working on a project called MASK365, and we’re lucky enough to be able to bring one of his killer masked creations into the world of threads.

Freehand Profit created this apocalypse ready bird as part of his ongoing MASK365 series, and you can grab it in machine embroidery, hand embroidery, and digital stock art formats for anything that needs a little attitude.

Tell us a bit about your background -- what led you into art and what drives you now?

I've been drawing since a young age. It's a 50/50 type of situation; some of it came naturally to me and most of it developed from my love and passion of the craft. Of course, there are always outside sources – my art got me noticed, I liked being known as “the artist.” I got hooked on hip-hop young, and graffiti became a new voice and lifestyle for me. It still plays a role in my identity, but I think Upski said it best in Bomb The Suburbs when he said “graffiti is for kids.” I had amazing art teachers in high school. One in particular, Ms. Florimonte pointed me down the right path and pushed me to work hard and try new techniques. After high school I went to Corcoran College of Art and Design and received my bachelor's degree in fine arts.

Tell us a bit about your design. Is there a story behind it?

This design was based on a sketch I did while waiting for a flight at an airport bar in Austin, Texas. I just sat there with my beer and sketched birds that would perch on the fence outside the window. The gas mask is a recurring theme for me. I recently completed a year long project of creating/designing a mask a day for a year called MASK365. The gas mask, a focus of the project, is a very charged image. It carries a foreboding, warlike or apocalyptic connotation but is actually a protective tool. It strikes me as odd that it instills fear instead of security, like fearing the vest instead of the bullet. The hybrid nature of the gas mask is what interests me the most and inspires me to combine it with natural and iconic elements like the cardinal. A narrative is developing from the series of hybrid gas masks (most belong to a collection called the Guerrilla Art Squadron).

What’s your favorite handmade craft you’ve ever made?

I'm my biggest critic. I look at most completed pieces and wish I could redo it using the knowledge I gained in creating the original. Sometimes I'll actually attempt the same project twice but for the most part I find it best to push forward and to not dwell on making each piece perfect. That being said I'm proud of the Nike SB Blazer gas mask I created as part of my Branding Wars series. It was such a HUGE leap for me. I rarely work in three dimensions and never would have thought I'd be wrapping and redesigning gas masks with sneakers.

What’s your studio/workspace like?

Small, and cluttered while I'm working. Living near downtown LA makes space a commodity. I share my workspace with my girlfriend and fellow artist, Betsy VanDeusen, and our dog and cat. Often things are shuffled around based on what media I'm working with whether it's oil paints, sneakers and glue, or pen and paper. It's another perk of working digitally for me.

Finally, if you were a Crayola crayon, what color would you be?

Ha! I have a new favorite color every few months. Right now, I'd say my Crayola crayon color would be “On The Come Up CREAM.”


If you’re hooked and want to see more, you can check out his blog, follow him on twitter, or perhaps visit the oddtastic world of Freehand Profit on etsy.

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