By Bella Savignano | June 20, 2022
Known by his pseudonym-slash-social-media-handle, hippieshit, and his art moniker, Dbag, his work is what would happen if your favorite caricaturist dropped acid and decided to follow his life’s true passion. That passion, in the case of Dbag, is the art of sporadic, but deeply allusive, illustrations of live music sets. He sets up at a gig, drawing pad and pen, or charcoal, or oil pastel in hand, and draws what he sees and hears. The result often approximates the sketchbook of a madman, in the most artful, visionary sense of the word. Loose, gestural effigies of musicians are often tinged in soft hues, an effect Dbag achieves by drawing in oil pastel and then erasing it, leaving a diffused, phantasmal wash of color. It’s emotive, an entirely singular way of capturing the feeling of music, and we are obsessed.
hippieshit sat down with the groovement to answer a few questions about his craft:
Where are you from?
From New Jersey, about 45 minutes outside the city. Little suburb, 138 off the parkway. It’s called Cranford. Pretty fucking boring.
How long have you been in NYC?
I’ve been in New York for six years!
What was your first concert?
That I can remember? CKY at Rexplex. It was a big skateboarding event.
What do you do? How did you start it?
I’ve been making art my whole life in different capacities. I spent a lot of time thinking “I’m an artist but I don’t make anything” and then last summer at Peach Fest, on the way there, my ex-partner and I stopped at Walmart, and I got a bunch of drawing pads. I brought them to quell my anxiety and found it to be a rewarding activity and an easy way to communicate with people.
What are your preferred mediums?
As of late, it’s been the fine point of a dual-point Tombow pen. That allowed me to get this line work I started to get good with but less bleeding through the page and more control. I also dosed myself with oil pastels–fill with oil pastel and then erase, then it leaves this dope watercolor stain. These past two weeks charcoal came into my life.
Tell us about the process–do you know the band going in or experience it live?
The process varies–it is definitely something I do as an ice breaker. I like the performance component, it’s also unnerving trying to create when you think eyes are on you. Drawing a fine line between all that, no pun intended. I like to do caricature work; I was drawing a lot of people on the subway, but I don’t like to be invasive. Bands are used to the eyes and used to you staring at them, so they don’t really flinch. It’s allowed me to work on this.
Do you find that you’re drawn to drawing a particular genre?
All the heady music stuff has definitely been an awakening. Primus has been my favorite band for the last year.
Who or what do you draw inspiration from?
I like R. Crumb a lot, who did a lot of counterculture stuff. And Wayne White, who did set design. A lot of weird different mediums and Western imagery.
What does live music mean to you?
Often, when I hear songs I don’t like now, I think “I bet this hits live.” I bet if you’re sitting with this band while they’re doing it in front of you, I bet you kinda dig it. I had such trouble appreciating live music like I’m not smart enough or something. Now, I feel like it’s for me. I calmed down a little bit.
Connect w/ hippieshit on Instagram and Etsy.