I’m lucky enough to reside in one of the best households ever with the amazingly talented Nomad Clan, Aylo and Cbloxx, so I decided to interrogate them while we had a little jam. We got a bit carried away so get comfy!
Who are ya? (Repeated in scouse chants from myself, followed closely by Aylo saying “I’ll tell ya who we are when I’ve finished this spliff loool)
We are Nomad Clan, the collective duo of Cbloxx and AYLO. Together we fall out, make up and release loads of different projects in the field of street art, illustration, graffiti, and design
(cbloxx explains) Aylo is a manchester based street artist and paint enthusiast who owns a graff shop in the heart of the northern quarter. Her work combines playful bold graphics with super slick urban stylings, influenced by everything from old school graffiti to sign writing & vintage animation. She is a huge inspiration to me, if I have a crazy idea and mention it, before the sentence is over she will have the project finished without me knowing! The most efficient collaborator I have ever worked with, her mind is a maze!
(Aylo explains) Cbloxx well where do i start? She’s dark, interesting and continues to inspire me constantly. Her work blows me away, every piece has levels upon levels of meaning to everyone that views it. Since painting with Cbloxx I feel I have opened my eyes to being who I am and paint what I want without a thought towards the audience. She has taught me so much in the short time we have been painting together, which I believe has been the biggest influence to my work so far… plus she a right catch (dodgy Rochdale/Middlesborough accent)
How did you both meet?
Well… its a long and probs boring story, but as fate would have it we met at Upfest 2011, when we were programmed to paint next to each other! We didn’t really speak much (hayley adds: cos Joy has such a resting bitch face) and (Joy adds, hayley was too shy). This scenario continued for at least 3 more significant graffiti events until the opportunity arose for us after Femme Fierce to both be featured in a book. I (cbloxx) was looking for a female graffiti writer who would piece with me at the time. I was well aware of Aylo but we hadn’t painted together at that point. Once we had spent at least 7 hrs stressing/bonding at a wall I guess we connected and began to put in place a network of other lasses that paint up north…. this is when T&T was officially formed!
How would you describe your styles, do they differ much?
Individually we have fairly different styles, yet when we paint together it becomes a ball of weirdness that is toned down and built up depending on where and when we are painting. We have levels of dark shit in our pockets (cbloxx pockets are massive) and that will no doubt explode at upfest!
You recently painted at Lfest, how was that?
It was an experience that defies words.L fest is the largest Lesbian festival in Europe, with people attending globally. We had an amazingly positive response to our work, which was moving and humbling at the same time. This year in particular (with gay marriage equality and a massive improvement in LGBTQ rights) it felt monumental to be a part of something so epic.
What has your experience been like as a lesbian couple who paint in the Graffiti/Street Art scene?
Our vision for where we want to go with Nomad Clan pretty much grows and adapts every time we do something. Sometimes we feel like there is some level of fate going on… or some pre destined direction that we follow but for the most part we just want to grow it and follow it around and see where it takes us. Its exciting and really unpredictable at times but thats how we like to roll!
We are reaching out globally at the minute because as our crew name suggests we like to be on the move as much as possible! We crave the journey, meeting weird creative people, collaborating and seeing as much as we can ,so we have a few things in the pipe line to keep us occupied!
We as a crew have been featured in the New York published book All City Queens Book released in december this year, how did that come about.
We were given a heads up by Ayaan who is the mastermind behind Femme Fierce (The biggest and probably only all girl paint jam) and dropped them a msg… obviously we let you gals know cos, OF COURSE, and the rest is tidy history. We have a section in the book dedicated to T&T as Syrup (GOT) fancied featuring us all as a crew.
Tell us more about the Amazing T and T crew.
Well, we are a group of fully Northern girls who have painted in our separate circles for years. We came together through being kindred spirits in a scene that is primarily dominated by ego men. Mainly we wanted to have fun, paint big productions and get wasted together…. all have been achieved. What was just a play thing soon gained recognition by magazines such as VNA when we got the opportunity to exhibit with Vans.
(Lei-Mai) Me an jade on the floor there pissed up haha, good times.
What has been the most ridiculous experience whilst painting together?
Apart from “that traumatic time in the gay quarter” when you sat on a crate of brown spray paint (HAHAHAHA) shitty knickers! Aylo is very accident prone so there is an endless list of ridiculous stunts and injuries (including tripping over her own crotch… go figure) The most crazy thing however was what we now refer to as ‘the curse of the Molly House’. Everything that could have gone wrong did, including divorce, house break ins, partial homelessness and breakups.
One morning the scissor lift operator reversed her car over a load of spray paint resulting in what looked like the biggest bird shit in the world all across the car and Aylo of course… who was flailing around on the floor trying to rescue her bag (which had also been run over with her mac book in it). She had paint in her mouth, in her hair, up her nose. Things only got worse when Karen (the scissor lift operator) jumped out in a panic locking herself out of the car… so she picked up a brick and attempted to smash her own windows in!
What’s been the best experience?
Read above hahaha!! Actually we are just on the way back from Upfest 2015 and had the best weekend with some artistst and got such a good responce from people who saw our piece. We had a great spot, got on VIP to see Goldie, got featured in Guardian and managed to get a lift home! Winner chicken dinner!
(Lei-Mai) Yeah that wall was a beast!
On that note… whats your favourite piece haha…
weekend at Upfest in bristol, i love the compsition of the peice, the concept and the colours. Plus painting it was so much fun. (Joy) I agree, though there are so many paintings that I have loved doing over the months that I forget about every time we do something new!
So you’re both budding tattooers, who you learning with and who have you met through that?
We are trying to balance our painting with tattoo apprenticships and running the paintshop which is a frantic juggling act, but a fun one. Its super hard work but we are lucky enough to be training under the watchful eye of Dylan Lisle, a talented tattooist and oil painter! We were picked up by Rob who owns Cheshire Ink, a super slick tattoo studio in Wilmslow frequented by Manchester United, TV celebs etc etc. Boog ’script killer’ Brown worked there for a good chunk of time as well as Stigma One…. some of the industries best!
You own a pretty sick paint shop in manchester, how are you building your brand and what can expect in the future?
Aylo opened Dirtywork Paintshop way back in 2010 and it has gone from strength to strength. I got onboard after the honey moon period of our relationship ended and we expanded the shop to accommodate Tshirt printing and to stock top street wear brands such as Snob Mob. We have started working on Blackout, our own line of clothing/accessories to compliment the graffiti stealth like side of things.
You mentioned gettin’ about the world, are there any particular countries you wanna visit, have you had any sick offers to jet somewhere to paint?
A lot of amazing offers that we really don’t want to jinx by mentioning them! We are in talks with some international paint festivals and a few high profile projects.
Where can we catch up with you next?
So whats the big plan you pair of nutters?
The big plan is to just keep doing what were doing, making art and travelling the world, get some big walls and smash the shit out of them!
Sounds like a boss plan gally’s! I don’t even feel like we scratched the surface but thanks so much for your time, now pass me a beer!
Ways to stalk Aylo and Cbloxx…