Do-Badder Brian Irizarry: From Fan to Fiction
Ok, simple enough. We made sure not to piss him off and what started off as a fun idea quickly manifested into a full blown project of costuming, makeup artistry and photography. As Brian practiced his makeup over and over just to get it right, his entire family came together on this project with sewing and prop gathering. Little did we know, Brian already had quite the experience scare-clowing unsuspecting victims at a near by Haunted House every October which (as he explains in his interview below) made this cosplay project a matter of the heart.
Creativity and invention nearly always requires trial and error… and we mean a lot of trial and error. Brian’s experience becoming Spaudling was no exception. His dedication to producing an expression of the Captain – as true to character as possible – demonstrates his understanding of the creative process which every Master Mind Artist can relate to, making this project an official success!
The Villains and Master Mind Artists here at teeVillain salut you and thank you, Brian, for being a part of our family of most devoted T-shirt supporters! A lot of us artist know you by name for all of your support buying our T-shirts and spreading our work across social media. As such, this is our way of returning those kind and supportive gestures, with one of our own.
Now we can all enjoy this DevoTee-turned-Villain Face stamped on a T-shirt!
What we’ve learned from DevoTee Brian Irizarry:
1. How did you discover the wonderful world of T-shirt art made by independent artists?
I’m not sure of the exact moment that I fell into this world but I do remember one shirt that may have been the fire-starter to my minor addiction. It was a Zelda design. “Take This” by Truly Epic was featured on a daily site and I panicked at the concept of only having 24 hours to get it so I practically threw my wallet through the screen. I was just so amazed that somebody took the time to re-imagine an iconic moment from one of my favorite games and turn that into t-shirt magic. I needed more. So I starting to check in daily, I followed artists that would be featured and the cycle spread from there. Those artists would share other sites that they were working with and I would head there and see even MORE artists who worked with MORE sites and so on.
I remember right when I came into the game and just started to dip my toes into collecting tees, Teevillain was just getting its legs and hadn’t launched officially yet but they were doing something that I hadn’t seen anybody bold enough to attempt to do: they were building an army of DevoTees right under our noses before they even sold a shirt. They were truly one of the first sites to make me appreciate the art that went into each line and every shade of each design.
One other thing that is a huge perk of being a fan is that not only have I met and made friends with many of the artists involved in keeping my torso fresh but getting to know some of my fellow T-shirt fans has become a pretty cool experience that I don’t think I would change it for anything. Whether or not I’ve met them in real life or just have frequent chats about what to predict for a Villain’s Christmas, I’ve laughed alongside most of them as though I’ve known them forever. Even you, Tony Trujillo hahaha
2. How many T-shirts do you now own?
Toughest question I always have to answer. Do I have an exact number? Not quite. Could I get away with wearing a different tee each day for an entire year? There is a very likely chance that I could pull that off hahaha
To put things in perspective, if I have all of my tees washed, dried and hung up, I have about 250 in my immediate arsenal. This covers all of the fandoms from gaming to horror to sci-fi to one Hello Kitty design (it said Hello McFly. How could I resist). Because I have so many, I’ve put some away in a couple of boxes to swap out with some others down the road. So basically, all of my old shirts will be new again. Add in that pile all of my kid’s T-shirts and my expansion into tanks and hoodies and I would say that I have a good size selection. Now if it was only easy to pick one to wear every day. It has to match the event or situation that I’m in, am I right DevoTees?
3. Ever considered your face being stamped on a T-shirt?
Funny story: One time my friend won a big settlement from a car accident and came into a decent sum of money. She wanted to put my face on a billboard that was for rent on one of the busiest streets in my city. Not to sell anything but just to say “Hey, look at this guy!”.
It never went through and the majority of the settlement went to tacos and beer but that’s besides the point.
Anyways, being on a T-shirt was the one thing I never knew that I wanted. It really is the most badass honor to even be thought of to be the first DevoTee to make it on a t-shirt.
4. So tell us about your fascination with Scaring people and clowns?
Fine. I’ll just get this out now. I hate clowns. They’re terrifying. Don’t tell anybody. Also terrified of porcelain dolls and getting my head stuck in uncomfortable places but I’ve said too much. Dammit.
There was one thing that did change all of that, though. 6 years ago, a friend invited me to come work at a Haunted attraction with him. It was a 3d clown house that was better known as the Freakshow, one of the main haunts at Nightmare New England (shameless plug: Number 3 haunted attraction in the country! Come find us!). My first night there I had the best scare (that I still haven’t topped to this day) but basically, there was one tough guy who I spooked a little bit inside the haunt but I also ran into him after work while I still had my full makeup on. Long story short, he probably slept with the lights on that night and I didn’t sleep at all because I was jacked up on Monster energy drinks and adrenaline.
It eventually turned into an addiction not because of the thrill of the fright but because of the people. I fell into a great haunt family. I’m pretty shy (surprise) but I can show up, put on my costume and slap on my makeup then be anything I want to be. I learned that every single one of us are a little messed up in one way or another but we are all just after the same thing: to be happy… Even if being happy is making others scream and pee their pants.
So now, I spend my days creeping around corners to scare co-workers, screaming in my car and practicing my clown laugh so much that it has leaked into my normal laugh. I went from a creepy little kid banging on the walls to give you a jump to a terrifying upside-down clown who will crab walk the entire night just to make sure that you are running for your life. One of my favorite haunt actors once told me the Golden rule of haunting, “Don’t just scare them. F*ck them up for life.”. That seems like fun.
5. Who is this funky Clown, Captain Spaulding anyway?
Captain Spaulding sure is one of a kind, isn’t he? I think that his character does so well because he covers the entire Clown spectrum, from fun to fear. He just simply has no middle ground. On one end, he can seem like the sarcastic asshole that everybody can laugh with and want to be around. A regular old, clown. But get on his bad side and he can flip his mood in the snap of a finger.
6. Can you describe your experience as you cosplayed this Creepy Clown of a Villain?
Well, I got to watch a lot of Devil’s Rejects and House of 1,000 Corpses while eating chicken and ice cream. So not much was different.
Seriously though, my whole shtick at Nightmare New England is a crab walking clown. I’m pretty much a one trick pony that will wear down fast. Doing this project gave me the chance to test out for myself some basic do’s and don’ts of makeup and costumes so that I can eventually start to build a couple of characters and give my back a break.
Getting into the character of the Captain came pretty naturally because if you take away his homicidal tendencies, we’re pretty much the same person. Hilarious, sarcastic and loves ice cream. Just don’t piss us off
7. As a devotee, you support a lot of independent artists who work hard to make a living. How can others do the same?
The easy answer is to buy art. I’m not the richest man in the world though so I know that is not an option all the time. There are so many other ways that you can help too! I’ve made so many artist friends over the years and am truly amazed at some of the things that they can pull of with their hands and make it look so simple, but that talent didn’t just fill their bodies over night. A lot of us fans see the outside successes and the final projects but behind every masterpiece, there are struggles. These artists have spent their lives developing their craft and those lives were full of not just the good but also rejections, late nights doodling and hard drives crashing.
Nothing makes me happier than when I walk into somewhere and somebody looks up at me and says “Hey, nice shirt”. Feel free to let them know where it came from. Help recruit loyal fans one at a time.
Even something as simple as sharing an artist’s work with friends is great support because if you show ten people and one of them likes it enough to support it, you’ve helped whether or not you know it. Not only does the artist have a new fan but your friend may have found a piece of work that makes them happy.
Also, in this day and age of technology and social media, we can pretty much talk to anybody, anywhere, at any time. Follow your favorite artists. Give them feedback, good and bad. Check in regularly to see what new projects they are up to. Don’t be afraid to make a suggestion if you have an idea. I know that I can’t draw basic shapes, even of I tried but if I get a good idea, I might run it by an artist who I think may fit that theme. They may not use your idea all the time but it’s the simple fact that you thought of them that may just keep them loving what they do.
Speaking of not being afraid, don’t think that you can’t provide constructive criticism. Don’t be a dink about it of course, but maybe you see something that they didn’t catch on to.
The key is interaction. You don’t have to buy every piece of work from every artist you come across. That would be quite the task but if you can help spread the word so that maybe somebody else next in line will, you’ve done a great thing. These guys and gals work hard at this. For many, art is their job. It’s their life. If you see something you like, don’t just scroll by with a half smile on your face and move on. Tell them you appreciate the efforts they put into it. A little engagement can really go a long way.
Love Fried Chicken? How about Ice Cream?
This Tee’s scaring cars right off the highway!
Get “TOP SECRET CLOWN BUSINESS” today
October 27, 2015
Only @ teeVillain.com