For this installment of our interview series “A Pizz With…,” we sat down with graphic designer/artist and DatPizz staff member NIPZ. His unique artistic style and vision has had him doing artwork for artists like Horse Head, Shrimp, Lil Peep, and CHXPO. We pick his brain a little and talk about his beginnings, his goals, and his relationship with the mysterious 5k.
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Lets start this off with something simple, who is NIPZ?
I’m a 19 year old graphic designer and art direction. I mostly do cover art for underground artists but I also do some flyers, merch, and branding. I like to keep my social media pretty anonymous in terms of my actual identity, I try keep my image mostly about the art.
How long have you been practicing graphic design for?
I made a few cover arts in late 2016 for just for my own iTunes but I didn’t really start taking it seriously or working at it until January 2017. I actually started because Mackned had posted a public competition for the cover art of Hurt Cobain III. I made a bunch of covers and he liked one of them enough to post it and make it his avi on Twitter, but he didn’t end up using it. After that I decided to keep working at it by making alternate cover arts, and my first real placement was a CHXPO single cover in March, after he and Jake$and had seen the alt I had made him.
So you began in January of this year and got your first placement in March. Did things just blow up from there after the CHXPO art, or was it still a slow process to begin networking with other underground artists?
It was a pretty slow process. I barely got any clients at first. I did the cover for BB Sun & Nedarb Nagrom’s “Cruel Summer” EP in March but besides that I didn’t start getting clients until like April. A rapper I’d been DMing back and forth with added me to a group chat with a ton of underground rappers and producers and that’s where I started to make my first connections. From there, I started to get more clients, and I ended up doing Mackned’s “Walk on Water” mixtape cover that same month. After that I had an alternate Young Thug cover and a couple Newest Magazine posts which got pretty good traction and got my name out there.
Lets talk about some of your affiliations. Youre member of 1500 Collective and Creator Cartel, not to mention all of your work for DatPizz. How did these connections come about?
DatPizz was a connection from before I even started doing covers, I had initially wanted to help out with some of the discographies and then as I started doing cover art they helped me out along the way. I met Sife the Indigo, who’s a cover artist/rapper, through that chat I mentioned before and he basically started Creator Cartel and I was one of the first members. For 1500, BIGBABYGUCCI had tweeted that he was looking for more graphic designers for the group and I sent him my work. He liked it and asked me to send in some flyers as sample work, and then added me like the next day after sending them.
How long did it take you to establish your own unique artistic style, and is there any specific work that you did that you can point to that encapsulates your style the best?
I think it started developing by like April but I hit my stride with those vintage style covers I was doing in May/June. Now I think I’m finally starting to have a style that’s purely my own, where I use a lot of vintage textures with bright but simple color schemes, typically contrasted with black and white elements done in sort of a punk style. I do different styles tho depending on the request, though. In terms of what best encapsulates my style, my favorite pieces I’ve done are GOTHBOICLIQUE – “Pictures 2”, Shrimp – “Runaway”, Steven Cannon – “Clout”, Drayco Mccoy – “8 Ton Gorilla” (alternate), BIGBABYGUCCI – Dream World and Austin Skinner/NOLANBEROLLIN – “Goin Fast“.