One of the most under-appreciated aspects of the music scene and arts in general is the area of visual arts. Being such integral parts of songs and albums, people too often forget that there had to be an artist to set the mood a musician may be going for. Artists can find themselves in an uphill battle when it comes to such important things as merchandise. However, the guys as OSNS are here to change that. They believe in helping the little guys to try and get their names and merch out. Check out our interview with Noah and Dean from OSNS to see what these guys stand for and get a feel for their brand.

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SUPPORT THE ARTIST.

Website | Twitter | Noah | Dean 

5k:
For those who don’t know what is OSNS and what do you each contribute to it?


Dean:
OSNS is a platform to give up and coming artists a chance to gain some exposure in a fun and unique manner.

Noah:
OSNS basically wants to give artists a platform to express themselves and through that get a little exposure and earn some money.

Dean:
As for what we both do, Noah is mostly the creative (artist finder and talks with them) and I do more of the business side. But we both work both sides creative and business.

5k:
How are you monetizing artists?


Dean:
We simply throw the designs of artists onto merchandise for people to wear. We’ve started with t-shirts because it’s just the right season for them and anyone can afford a t-shirt.

We work with the artist to make a piece of clothing into another one their projects that reflects who they are.

5k:
How is the art chosen for your merchandise and do you seek out artists to work with or do they come to you?


Noah:
OSNS is all about supporting the people around us- so some of the artists are our friends- but the artists range from our friends to strangers on the internet. Some people come to us, sometimes we go to them.

Dean:
As our social media presence has grown we’ve started getting approached by artists more.


5k:
Do you prefer working with local artists or people on the Internet?

Dean:
Working with local artists is awesome because we can meet up and talk with the artists and really get to know them and what they are about.

Noah:
It’s always a case by case situation though.

Dean:
Exactly, but working with artists over the internet is nice because there are so many great ones out there and typically they already have an art page set up we can look through. Without social media we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.

Noah:
Working with your friends is always super fun but I think working with people you’ve never met is always great cause it brings a little more out in ya and we’re able to bond with this person over their art and the connection is awesome.

5k:
When did you start OSNS and why


Dean:
Noah is the one who started OSNS, I was working on another brand but got bored with it because I really wanted to be working with artists and the brand I was doing didn’t have the same flexibility OSNS has. I actually found OSNS and Noah on Twitter it had next to no followers and the only product was stickers but I loved it and DM’d the page for a collab. From there I dropped my brand completely and Noah and I produced the OG shirts (through a lot of trial and error lol).
The brand started 1/1/18 when the OG shirts went on preorder.

5k:
what is the meaning behind “OSNS”?

Dean:
Old School New Scholars


5k:
Dean, how long was Noah running OSNS before you came in to help out?


Dean:
You’ll have to ask Noah about that I’m guessing no more than a week or two maybe.


Noah:
Like Dean said I had nothing out. OSNS wasn’t anything. I wasn’t looking to thrive from it, it was merely something to play around with. I didn’t have a schedule of when to start grinding I just made stickers and a couple weeks later Dean found me. I simply created the concept of OSNS and Dean executed it.


5k:
How did your recent collaboration with @lamedotking come about?


Dean:
I think the collaboration with Lame King was an amazing and fun one to do. Not only did his design come out really well on a shirt but he gave us some really creative content that we used to hype it up. All in all I think it came out really well


5k:
How competitive would you say the clothing industry is? Would you compare it to the current hip hop industry?


Noah:
As corny as this is, I say we are like the Chance the Rapper of the clothing industry. Chance made being a good person cool and he’s a big advocate of creative liberty, which is important in an industry that runs off of creativity.

Sure if I have $20 to spend and there’s 2 different companies dropping a shirt and i can afford one but not the other it becomes a competition. But we want to keep it a healthy competition. Push each other and whoever is the best, gets the sale in a sense.

Dean:
Yeah I’d say the clothing industry is super competitive right now everybody is trying to get in on it that’s why we try to set ourselves apart by doing something unique.

5k:
What brands are you most inspired by and why?

Noah: I was a huge hypebeast last summer because I could afford it. I was on Supremes site every Thursday at 10AM ready to buy something. I would see what sold out the fastest and what people like and I took s second to think “why do people buy this” and it’s simply all about the hype- it’s about the brand.
5k you know why a tiger has stripes?

5k:
Nature probably

Noah:
So nature knows not to fuck with it.
Same reason why homies buy Gucci, LV, ‘Preme, all this expensive shit, so people know they’re more important or whatever. We wanted to sorta take that away. We want you to buy something with a legitimate meaning, then the hype will follow.

5k:
What release so far has been your favorite to work on?

Dean:
Favorite so far is a hard one because each one has built on. Each one we gained a bit of experience and progressed the business. If I had to say though probably Polhill because his artwork is phenomenal. It’s really a shit for everybody in the art scene or not. I’ve never met him in person but Noah had a good relationship with him so it produced an amazing drop altogether.

Noah:
I met Polhill in line for a concert back in March and that was the only time we met before the drop.

5k:
How would you describe the overall aesthetic of OSNS?

Noah:
It’s that mosh pit feeling.
You feel like you have nothing to lose, It’s that “fuck it” mentality. That’s what we said with the careless stamp tees. “Fuck it” you’re here for art and nothing less. You’re here for the impurities, for the rawness.

5k:
What’s your production process like from creating / choosing the designs to releasing the clothing?

Dean:
So for an artists product we connect with the artist and have them send us some designs they would like to potentially like on a shirt. We like to give an artist as much creative freedom as possible to ensure that it’s a product that really represents them. Then as a part of the launch process we have them send us a introduction video, a sticker design and a artist note. The video is posted on the twitter for people to see and kept on the website if new people wish to look back and get to know previous artists and the sticker and note are packaged with the final product.
We release shirts for a limited time and we do not plan to bring back previous shirts unless in special circumstance

5k:
Do you make a certain amount of shirts each time or do you run pre-orders and just fill however many orders you get?

Noah:
We do preorders and we do this to protect everyone. No one loses money, safest way.

5k:
Would you say artists are fairly compensated for their design if you end up using it?

Noah:
Yeah but that’s something we’re constantly adjusting.

Dean:
I would say so and the artists always know how much they will receive off a product before we start sales. So far they’ve all been happy with the pay. We also never buy the designs so artists can use them in later works. We like to make it about exposure but we know exposure doesn’t pay the bills.

5k:
Artists know how much they’ll receive before you start sales, so does that mean you pay them a flat amount and not a percentage of sales?

Noah:
Nah we go based off percentages and we’re still experimenting with the cuts that an artist will receive because on one hand, we are entirely for the artists and want them to have what they deserve.
On the other hand, we are taking time out of our lives and considering the fact that we are full time college students with other jobs as well, it can be difficult. But we put in the work to market this product and produce this product and we need to eat as well.
In short each artist receives a pre-determined percentage.

5k:
Do you guys think you’ll ever be able to run OSNS full time?

Noah:
That’s the DDDRRRREEEAAAAAMMMM. So of course. As my homeboy Radig said on his new single Vanish, “This is the beginning, give it a minute then we get to winning.”

5k:
How would you describe the art scene in the Quad Cities currently?

Dean:
Growing rapidly it seems to me.

Noah:
That’s partially thanks to this new literary magazine called “Gold Coast Almanac” who is ran by this lady named Lauren Wood.

5k:
Do you have any details about any releases coming in the near future that you could share with us?

Noah:
SEPTEMBER 20TH SUSO HOODIE BY KAITLIN TRAINOR
It goes absolutely fucking nuts, there’s a very obscure DIY short film shot for it. There’ll be little rad clips to hype it up, SUSO SZN BABY.

5k:
Can you share any teasers of the design?

Noah:

5k:
Before we wrap this up is there anything else you guys would like to say? Any shoutouts?

Noah:
Buy our stuff because it helps people and your mom will think you’re cool. Go to our website to the participants page to see who we care about.

Dean:
All I gotta say is watch out for SUSO he coming for you and he never sleeps. 9/20/18

5k:
Alright cool thanks for doing this interview with us.


                    Made possible thanks to:

Questions by: 5kirr, Colby Baldwin & Juneil
Edited by: 5kirr
Other Words by: Stevie