The Takeover: Dirty Canvas

        Dirty Canvas; a creative collective of four close knit friends who are taking over all avenues day by day. B.Scott, with his in your face, say what I feel Cleveland personality is the creator of the clothing brand General Public, formerly known as Urban Hooligan. James, the chill, let’s just get to work personality, has his hands tied in few things. He is the creator of clothing brand Studio 103, interviews top talent in the music and fashion industries and explores with production as well. Jay, laid back with witty remarks, is the man behind photos and videos for Sole Classics and many social events. Wyze, reserved, yet still outspoken is a photographer, who’s truly able to capture any moment and a part of some large projects in Columbus, such as The Columbus Book Project. While no one has a specific role Wyze says B.Scott would be the producer, James the host and personality, and Jay and herself behind the scenes with all of the technical aspects.

Photos by Wyze and Jay of Dirty Canvas

         I ventured to Near East Columbus, where I met up with the quad that makes up Dirty Canvas. B.Scott sits comfortably indulging in a family sized bag of Grippos, as James relaxes next to Jay and Wyze who are glued to their Macbooks. Well before we began this interview we dove into the current music and beefs. Jay played Cardi B.’s new album, Invasion of Privacy and we soon began to discuss the RnB “beef” between Tory Lanez and Eric Bellinger, debating if RnB beef was really a thing, we turned on the Joe Budden podcast to hear him weigh in which was accompanied by sirens and gunshot animations. We began to listen to what James refers to as sad negro spirituals, as Jay and B.Scott danced merrily to Gunna’s song Phase and Wyze shook her head at their activities. In this moment I was able to see their personalities shine through and how they all mesh together.

         B.Scott and Wyze became acquainted at CCAD (Columbus College of Art and Design), after he relocated from Cleveland. While getting accustomed to his new environment B.Scott attended high school with James. They were far from friends initially, but that would soon change with their common interests in art and skateboarding. "He would just always be mean muggin", says James of B.Scott. Jay moved from Atlanta and met B.Scott at a photoshoot for Urban Hooligan, while Jay was simultaneously in contact with Wyze via social media in hopes of taking some pictures. Once Jay let everyone know he had his own place, it became the hub for smoking and chillin for a year straight. With James and B.Scott living across the street from each other, picking up Wyze to carpool to Jay’s house five minutes way became an everyday activity, especially with James and B.Scott losing their jobs and Jay battling Sickle Cell, the group became very close very quick.

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Photo by James Drakeford

 

         B.Scott and Jay bounce around their initial name ideas; Creative Collective, Clean Canvas and Three Dubs. “In the midst of a bunch of other corny ass names Dirty Canvas was born”, says James, whilst also losing their fifth member of the collective. While all working on separate projects; fashion, music, photography and videography, they found that they could make it all mesh. “Jay would be in the house practicing taking pictures of shoes on the table like everyday, like 24/7. He would be with Wyze all day out shooting”, says B. Scott. With James and B.Scott trying to get their clothing lines off the ground, they found fashion to be their lifeline for stability.

          Dirty Canvas took a turn, when noted photographer JD (James Drakeford) collabed with them on a photoshoot for Urban Hooligan, with him being the subject for a change. Following the shoot, Jay was hired as a photographer for Sole Classics, a retail store in the Short North Arts District. Soon after, the group attended their first Arch City Streetwear Flea. Following the flea they attended an art show where they were able to network with many attendees including host Toniesha Renee, a writer for Animal House at the time, who currently works for RCA records. “It was just a series of events, like a ripple effect. Things were just forcing us to come together more and more, it just all happened organically”, says Wyze.

         Once the collective was reached out to by Rio Hairston, manager of TACKMA , entrepreneur and event curator, to be a part of his event XL, they found it time for them to rebrand. They really started to focus on all of their crafts and “locked in”, as Wyze calls it. As a group they started to make their presence known at the most relevant events in the city and continuing to put out their individual work, but this time under the name Dirty Canvas.

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         At the top of the year, B.Scott and James learned that their clothing lines would be carried in-stores at Sole Classics, which opened more doors for them. James, who had dreams of being a journalist one day landed their first big interview with Dougie F, a rapper from New Jersey, after the conclusion of an listening event at Madison-USA. The interview was spur of the moment and lacked the technical aspects they needed, but they didn’t care they took advantage of the opportunity. This was followed up by interviews with artists such as Freshie, Rarri and Trippie Redd, all hailing from Ohio. James, who really wanted to get to know Trippie Redd as a human being, as he finds that we all get caught up in the barrage of colored hair and face tattoos and the controversy surrounding rappers with similar physical appearances.

Before this point, people knew of them, but they didn’t really know who they were and what they did. “We’re like on tour right now”, says B.Scott. The collective attributes their success up to this point to good marketing and not being lazy awaiting someone to put them onto a new project. While Dirty Canvas continues to churn out project after project, whether it’s fashion, journalism, photography or videography, know they have no plan on stopping anytime soon. With talks and plans of launching an app featuring all of their content, General Public and Studio 103 new releases, and documenting their lives and yours they want you to remember one thing; “It is not our responsibility to make yall feel comfortable”.

For all things Dirty Canvas visit their collective and individual social media:

Dirty Canvas IG

Wyze’s IG

B.Scott’s IG

James’ IG

Jay’s IG