Tim Jentsch from the team went to meet NOMAD CLAN, the collective of two artists Cbloxx and AYLO, an internationally acclaimed street art muralist duo from Manchester, UK. After being wowed when watching them work at Bristol’s UPFEST in 2017 we finally met up with these lovely ladies for an interview and are excited to give you more insight into their views and background.
(ISSA) -Introduce yourself to us:
(Nomad clan) – We are Nomad Clan, a duo of painters from Manchester …. the bleak North of England.
– Where does your tag name come from?
Nomad Clan was derived from the fact that we are always on the move, wherever we lay our hat is home so to speak. The Nomadic life style is part of the nature of painting murals all over the place so it seemed fitting. The Clan element comes from our commitment to what we do and to each other.
-How do you define yourself? Artist? Street artist? Anything else?
Err Artists that work on the streets, muralists I guess or painters.
Photo by @sebalos
– How did it all start for you, and what is it nowadays?
We both started painting over ten years ago, pre Nomad in quite different ways. Aylo painted more letter pieces and ran a graffiti supplies shop in Manchester. I painted predominantly characters, weird stuff and the odd portrait when I wasn’t feeling too stressed. Aylo & myself were in an all girl crew called T&T, which was a lot of fun. We began taking on the odd commission together which resulted in us naming the beast ‘Nomad Clan’ & Aylo having to close the shop as demand for our work grew.
-What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
If we are at home we drink pints of coffee, pet the cats, do all the emails, whack on a schlohmo or Clams Casino playlist and begin design/sketch work and a million other tasks to keep the boat afloat! There is a surprising amount of admin.
If we are away working on wall/project we drink pints of coffee, cry about the cats, absorb the energy of the place, put on the same playlists and paint like there’s no tomorrow!
-Street art is mostly a visually stimulating form of art. To add one more sense to it, what music would you pick to accompany your art work?
Music is crucial to my creative process, Aylo is more of a ‘netflix in the background’ lass. The music on rotation at the min in no particular order: Trentemoller, Clams, Casino, Schlohmo, Mogwai, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, NIN, Nextro, Chelsea Wolfe, Gogo Penguin, Forest Swords, Savages, True Widow, Black Sabbath, Zeppelin, S.Maharba, Lorn, Hash finger, Bjork, Teeth of the sea, shabazz Palaces.
-In all forms of art, inspiration is crucial. What is it that inspires you?
We are inspired by many things, people we meet, but we have a few go to starting points. We always research the area that a wall is situated, paying attention to the heritage or famed industries that played a role in the local community. Sometimes its straight from local folklore & tales other times its more of a social justice slant about relevant issues effecting the area. We often have underlying messages that indirectly speak to people or inspire debate but its presented in a non offensive, non elitist way.
-What is the hardest part while working on a piece of art?
The elements, weather can be a real challenging bitch but we quite like the punishment. Knowing when to stop and walk away is sometimes an issue or wishing we had more time to add extra bits on a mural.
-Do you have any artist(s) you admire and what for?
There are so many! In terms of street art names, we had the pleasure of painting alongside Lucy Mclaughlan who I used to look up to back when I was a young artist and didn’t know what I was doing.. she is still killing it and is one of the most humble legends we have ever come across!
We are big fans of Aryz, love how he always switches it up and keeps stuff interesting…. those colour pallets are to die for!
One of the most moving pieces of artwork we witnessed last year was by Faith47 at Urban Nations Museum launch in Berlin. AURUM was a collaborative piece that used film projections and choreographed performance art to deliver poignant messages around immigration & migration.
Really love Lauren Ceval’s sculptural animals, she had an awesome show ‘the trophy room’ at Art of Protest gallery in York who we will be showing with later in 2018.
-Which cities are the most inspiring for you?
No two cities are the same in our eyes, each has a web of quirk ready to be unpicked. Some of our favourite and most inspiring are Lodz in Poland (the crumbling architecture, history & murals), Berlin obviously! We love a lot of Dock/port cities such as Liverpool & Hull, transient by nature and full of heritage.
-What other passions do you have apart from art?
CATS. Music – I used to play drums in bands, for long enough that was everything in the world to me… I still miss it now but wouldn’t change anything about my life.
Travel is a big Nomad passion, luckily it comes hand in hand with what we do. End of the world films, zombies, gaming and coffee… and beer! We don’t have much time for anything outside of art these days but going out into nature needs to happen more, luckily when we are home we aren’t far from the moors, rolling peaks, old mills and woodland outside of the city.
-Do you have a wild project that you dream of achieving some day?
Loads but the wildest projects are always the ones that appear unannounced !
-Tell us about your art, does it include symbolisms, messages or repeated patterns?
Sometimes we hide things in there, mostly nods to stuff that get people thinking or asking questions about their environments.
– How long does a piece of art of yours usually survive for?
Most of our work nowadays has been commissioned or arranged by art orgs in the form of giant murals which tend to have a much longer shelf life than your average wall. We have been lucky with most of our murals not being defaced or removed. The stuff we paint elsewhere on free walls/legal we don’t get precious about as its the nature of the beast to be temporary.
-Do you have a secret you would like to share with us? 🙂
We don’t keep secrets 😀
-What are your creative plans for the future?
Keep doing, aim big and relentlessly work to make it happen!
photo by @sixmileimages
Thank you! It’s been great to get to know more about the mind and person behind such talented and inspiring works.
Interview by Tim Jentsch – I Support Street Art team
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