Some artist origin stories are so remarkable that they seem stranger than fiction. Such is the case with how artist ArcherOne got his start. This LA-based artist was discovered by world-renowned artist Charles Bibbs at a career day program when he was in high school. Bibbs saw ArcherOne's talent and took him under his wing to learn the ways of the entrepreneurial & art world. He's since worked with the Wayans Brothers on their animated series and on their movie White Chicks, has made his mark on the fashion world where he currently designs Marathon-brand clothing, and left his footprint on Bucketfeet with his massively successful "Archer" design, which has just been released on slip-ons for the first time ever! We talked to this amazing artist about the projects he has going on, about his work in the art business world, and about his legacy with Bucketfeet. Read all about him!
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First things first, what does "ArcherOne" mean to you? How did you come up with this name?
ArcherOne to me, at the end of the day, means that I am always on point; like an arrow hitting a target. ‘One’ is something in the graffiti world that means, “when you roll solo”. You’re a 'oner', that’s where that comes from. The actual way the name was acquired was a very long time ago - about 1987-88 when I grew up in Pico-Union in Los Angeles. My sister was a well-known Graffiti writer and I was lucky to grow up around some of the graffiti greats of the late ‘80s in the downtown Hollywood area of Los Angeles. So growing up around this I wanted a graffiti name. At that age, I was a ginger and therefore my sister called me “Archie” like the comic, and that became my Graffiti name.
You got your start when you met Charles Bibbs in high school and he made you his apprentice - what did you learn from that experience? How did that shape you as an artist?
The biggest thing that I learned from him was entrepreneurship. This led to really understanding how to know my value, how to charge for my gift, and to really understand and run a business for myself. I took this to grow and mature as an artist and really make my business succeed.
You've worked on some huge projects, including several projects for The Wayans Brothers! What's been the most rewarding project for you to work on?
I believe the most rewarding project is the one I am working on now. I am part of a design committee for the Crenshaw Metro station for the Crenshaw District. I am one of the project directors and managers for this huge project for Los Angeles. It is going to be a three-mile-long station full of art and culture spotlighting African American culture. Along with this project, I am also going to be involved in the production of a mural and this mural will up for many years after I have passed for my family to enjoy.
ArcherOne's original "Archer" design on the old lace-up style of Bucketfeet.
This design has been brought back to Bucketfeet on slip-ons for the
What got you started in fashion graphics? What attracted you to that industry?
I have always drawn characters, cool letters, and graffiti, of course. Even when I was little, I was mainly attracted to t-shirts with cool characters and letters. My favorite t-shirt was T&C shirts; Town and Country with the surf graphics. Every weekend, I was at the mall looking for new graphics. So when I found the avenue to make money drawing graphics that I could put on t-shirts, of course I ran that play and it went very well for me. I have always been heavy on fashion. Even being poor growing up, it always mattered what I was wearing. We didn’t have much, but somehow my mom always kept me in name-brand labels; Polo, Sperry boat shoes, Levis. That made me always pay attention to fashion. Naturally, I started getting work in that industry. I did very well, it was easy for me. It came naturally; the cut and sew, the graphics, the colors. So I made it one of my main incomes and ‘til this day I work heavy in the fashion industry.
"Archer" newly released on slip-ons!
Tell us a little bit about your original Bucketfeet design, "Archer"! Did you create it when you were just starting out in the fashion world?
Nope, I was a little seasoned already in the fashion world when I hooked up with Bucketfeet and created the first shoe named “Archer.” I basically went with what was popping in fashion. I had recently designed some native patterns and they did very well. I added a little bit of my sauce with some of the colors I always use: turquoise and pink. Later it was turned into red, so it just worked better with the shoe. It was a success; top seller for the first three years of Bucketfeet’s footprint in the shoe industry.
I’d also like to ad that in my latest design that I’m super excited about, the “Arch Lightning” I wrote my daughters names as well as my name hidden in the Lightning: ArcherOne, Naomi, Kaeli, Zoey.
"Arch Lightning" by ArcherOne.
What are your tools of the trade?
My weapons are my Macbook Pro, my iPad Pro - which I recently started using and it’s amazing - my Wacom tablet, and my Cintiq screen. When I am at home, I have a whole setup with my Cintiq and my Wacom, which is the digital display that I draw on (which is amazing) with my pen. I do not use or buy any extra brushes, extensions, or filters because I like to feel like I am drawing raw. So I just use Photoshop and default brushes with a pressure-sensitive pen on the Wacom. When I’m on the go, I use my little tablet and MacBook Pro. Now that Apple has dropped the iPad Pro - which was designed for designing - I feel comfortable doing a lot of my drawings on it and delivering them to my clients and making them a lot, a lot, of money.
Pic via Instagram.
What books, tunes, or podcasts inspire you?
My biggest inspiration is J Dilla’s music. He has inspired me for many years. I do listen to a little bit of Drake lol. “I Drake and draw.” LMFAO. I’m into Lil Baby and Gunna. Music fuels my illustrations. While I’m on this subject, one of my favorite album covers I designed was “From the Westside with Love II” for my bro Dom Kennedy and Nipsey Hussle's greatest Hits album cover.
Album cover for "From the Westside with Love II."
Any upcoming projects you're excited about?
I’ll be at Complex Con this weekend. I’ll be rocking with YG and 4Hunnid. I’ll be onsite doing tags of peoples' names. I’ll have a team airbrushing them on t-shirts. Also, the metro station is something I am really excited about. I work very closely with Nipsey Hussle and a proud member of the "All Money In" team art directing and designing all the Marathon clothing. I am also a creative director and designer for an up and coming clothing brand called “Section 8” that I am excited about and looking forward to sharing the upcoming collections that will be coming out soon.
ArcherOne with an original painting he did for his "I Feel Like
Pablo" show. Via Instagram.
Anything else you'd like to share?
I’d like to share that even though I am a very busy artist and I juggle a lot of cool stuff for a lot of cool people, I do it all for my family, so it’s all worth it at the end of the day. I believe if you do what you love for the people you love, it all lasts longer and is worthwhile. That’s my little bit of advice for the up and coming creative community. Follow my IG to stay up to date with all my upcoming projects. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.