It takes someone with a certain je ne sais quoi to have worked with both musicfest extravaganza Bonnaroo and the likes of the ultimate DIY diva Martha Stewart, but Ed Roth takes claim to both. Ed’s journey started out as many passion-driven endeavors do – as a hobby. In the 1990s, running the Williamsburg gallery Who Do We Appreciate sparked his interest in street art and stenciling. He created a line of street art inspired stencils, and Stencil1 was born.
Today, Stencil1 has evolved into a brand beyond the basic stencil. Ed continues to evangelize the art of the modern stencil through his four books, DIY collaborations with brands like The Gap and Sharpie and continued innovation through not only his designs, but where and how stencils are used.
We’re excited to be a part of Ed’s journey as he partners with us as one of Plaid’s Craft Experts. He brings a fresh, edgy take to the craft world, and he will be posting exclusive content for the Paint Me Plaid blog.
We interviewed Ed to help you get to know a bit more about him – read on for his take on Brooklyn, being creative and the wackiest place he’s ever seen stenciled!
What are some of your favorite places in Brooklyn that represent the flavor and innovation for which the area is known?
I love this question as I have seen Brooklyn change a lot of the last 15 years. I love our Flea market, Brooklyn Flea, for it’s support of independent businesses and Smorgusburg, our outdoor food market,
also for supporting all the food purveyors. The Wythe Hotel is probably my favorite addition to Brooklyn as it is a refurbished industrial brick building turned into a fantastic destination hotel with a great rooftop bar. The space combines old and new and features local artists works in it’s halls and rooms. Love it and find it totally inspiring (minus the crowds now!).
For those of us who sometimes hit a creative roadblock, what are some of the ways that you help to foster your own creativity that we can try too?
We all hit those! I can’t imagine being ON all the time. I give myself a break in those cases so I can recharge. I also socialize, talking with others is inspiring, always lessons learned.
I also will look outside my usual places for inspiration, go to a neighborhood I have never been to, walk in nature, or go to a museum or show that I might know nothing about going in.
You’re a big advocate of using stencils in unconventional places – what’s the most unusual thing you’ve seen someone do with one of your stencils?
One or two that stand out are when BUST magazine stenciled a toilet tank with my baby deer stencil and in my book Stencil 201, a barber used one of my patterns to
shave a pattern into the side of a guys hair! I want to stencil everything!
When you’re not out DIY-ing and working on Stencil1, how do you spend your time?
I’m happiest when painting at my studio. I’ve been focusing on my art again and that feels great. Other than that, I like going to art openings, taking my dog Larry upstate, shopping at thrift stores, and cooking with friends.
To learn more about Ed Roth, visit Stencil1: