The Fridge: Beyond stickers and posters, what have you been doing with Giant?
Shepard: Well, I still do T-shirts and skateboards, but now a company in San Francisco, Crux, prints and distributes all the merchandise.
The Fridge: What other changes have been made since moving to California?
Shepard: The main change since moving to California? Well, I have been doing graphics with Black Market Designs and now that’s my source of income. It’s allowed me to concentrate more on the posters and the conceptual side of Giant. Even though I’m still doing new t-shirt designs all the time, I’m not as influenced by what’s gonna sell, so Giant has become more pure now. When making the posters and graphics, the aesthetic is solely based on how I feel it’s gonna work on the street level, rather than a sales level.
Fridge: How many posters do you do a month?
Shepard: I do about one a week, so four a month, and I do sticker graphics along with the posters.
Fridge: What’s your favorite city to poster?
Shepard: New York, by far. Its the biggest challenge and also the best reward if you get some good spots, because so many people see it. It’s so dense. I’ve also hit Providence, Philadelphia, Charleston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Long Beach, San Diego, and lots of coastal South County cities above San Diego.
The Fridge: How do you justify illegal postering?
Shepard: Why should it be o.k. to shove billboards and other types of advertising in public spaces where people have no choice but to look at it, just because you have money? It’s the public spaces and saying you have to pay to use it is discrimination against those with less money who want to express themselves in that space. Whether it’s nonsense, like what I do or an ad, or for an actual product, both can be taken offensively, and neither is more or less offensive than the other. I’m just reclaiming the public space. If others did the same maybe it wouldn’t be accepted as illegal.
Do you feel your art enlightens anyone?
I feel that if people realize that I’m using the same methods used In propaganda and advertising, (which are things that may have a negative affect on them that’s because Giant is nonsense and the only thing left is the process of being told to consume everything, whether it be ideals or actual products. We learn to accept things through repetition and if Giant makes you question that, than I think that is enlightening.
What is the greatest pleasure you get from doing Giant?
Shepard: When it inspires people to do something on their own. The world is so apathetic. A lot of people feel they can’t make a difference or make their mark. If what I do inspires them to make their own ‘zine or make art, or whatever their own thing is; that inspires me .
Who has inspired you, and who’s work are you into now?
Shepard: Warhol. I like the concept of what he did. The guys around now that I like a lot aesthetically are Dave Arron, Phil Frost, Arron Rose, Twist, Mike Mills, Adam Wallcavage, Misha Hollenbach, and Ken Sigafoos, and the Fort Thunder guys in Providence do good stuff, so do people in Philly at the space 1026.
The Fridge Word.