Baby-Faced Killa On The Court
24 November 2015 by Sancho Murphy
23 year old baby-faced killa, Dave Court is a Visual Arts (Honours) graduate, independent t-shirt label guru and now legit shop owner + operator based in Adelaide. And if that didn't make you feel like a non-contributing zero of a human, to add to that impressive list of achievements, earlier this year Dave was nominated and won the 2015 South Australia AustralianSuper Career Kickstarter award allowing him to finance his winter collection.
For someone who started this venture so young, the social and conscious awareness is strong in him. Certified by Ethical Clothing Australia, all designs for Dave's label foolsandtrolls are created and screen-printed by hand with environmentally friendly water-based inks. I was actually introduced to his gear through a fellow independent creative - Keo Match *high-five* back in my shop pop-up days (further solidifying why it's so important to nurture and build these independent networks, because we're all in it together) and I've watched the the evolution of the garments from bold logos to more illustrative based works to repeat patterns.
I'd actually written this interview a few months back but was caught up in the rush of the new shop space setup, so it had been benched. I'm really pleased to dig it up now and share this young gun's feel good story with those who squiz the Dirty Laundry blog :)
Photo credit: Baxter William
What / Who is foolsandtrolls?
foolsandtrolls is me, Dave, and the things that I make.
Where did the name foolsandtrolls come from? Because most label names I can make a direct connection, this one puzzles me.
The origin story of the name foolsandtrolls is from when Charlie Sheen was having his melt down and one of the things he would say is was 'I'm surrounded by fools and trolls' and I thought it was an amusing set of words, it doesn't really mean anything though. Is that less funny now that he has HIV? Is that not an amusing association? Maybe I need to abandon that story.
Nope, it's v.funny and honest! #nofilters.
Photo credit: Sam Berry
When did you come up with the idea for foolsandtrolls? What was the inspiration & motivation? How has the line developed since you first launched?
I think it was something that came about pretty naturally, I was always into drawing, art, illustration stuff and started teaching myself to screen print and making tees when i was at uni for painting around 2012, and it has become a full time proper thing in the last year or so.
The line has developed from embroidery hoop screens printed on shitty K-mart tees and now I do custom tees made in Australia, screen printed legit, plus socks, pins, patches + other cool stuff.
You're only a young'un, how did your education and experiences in school & beyond lead you into the role in which you are working today?
In school I was a bit of a nerd, I never had any real idea of what I wanted to do ever so just worked as hard as i could at everything so I would have the option to choose whatever I wanted to later on. Studying visual arts at uni led me to approach making clothing from more of an art/design perspective rather than as fashun. I think the main thing was developing working habits, to be always doing something and working on/towards something.
What have been your most successful designs and why do you think that is?
I dunno, early on people responded well to my food designs, the burgers and ice cream, everyone loves burgers and ice creams.
Lately though I’ve been designing in collections, which is pretty fun, and can be a better way of exploring a theme or idea in different ways - each collection is kind of one big design/art body of work exploring an idea.
Photo credit: Baxter William
You rad people behind foolsandtrolls recently opened up a legit shop-front, how did that come to be? How has the journey been so far?
Yeah legit business owner - Created Range is the store i run in the centre of Adelaide, stocking a heap of awesome local labels, as well as some interstate friends (S/O to Unempire + Boywolf).
The store came to be through an opportunity I applied for with Renew Adelaide, which is an awesome initiative that should happen everywhere. It’s been a pretty fun journey, we had our first birthday party in August which was fun, our whole arcade was in on the party and we had some special releases and stuff in the store.
Photo credit: Baxter William
Ooooooh, tell us more about Renew Adelaide!!! What is it that they do? (I already know, but some of my readers don't)....... I really wish Canberra had something like that to offer independent's.
Renew Adelaide is an organisation that works with property owners to secure empty stores, and then match them up with creative retail sort of businesses to use the space rent free until someone else comes along and leases the space, or the business decides to take on the lease and go legit - which we did in July this year, stressful and exciting.
The world of endless scrolling, everyone seems to have their mobile device as an extension of themselves (even in the public toilets I can hear from neighbouring cubicles the sounds of Facebook validations). How has social media impacted on the way in which you work, brand and promote yourself?
I guess I haven't ever promoted and branded without social media - its definitely the main thing, Instagram is where it’s at since Facebook buried business pages under pile of stock price reports. I’ve joined the party late and started using Snapchat recently for the shop and my stuff which can be pretty fun, we’ll see how that actually works though.
Photo Credit: Baxter William
What brands, artists, general fellow creative minds would you recommend from your social media circle of friends?
Oh man too many to list - all the brands we stock at CR (@createdrange on Instagram) - Jungles, Beyond Killa, Print Cult, are doing some really strong art based design work - Yewth magazine, which I’m involved with - neighbours down the road Average Cat, who I’ve been working on some stuff with - there are a lot of brands just starting up here in Adelaide as well, so will be interesting to see in a couple years who the best ones are that have stuck around and grown.
If you were a box of cereal, what would you be and why?
Froot Loops, because Toucan Sam seems like a cool guy to hang out with.
*Whilst the website is getting a bit of a nip and tuck, we won't be adding new stock until we re-launch, but you can get select foolsandtrolls gear in store from the physical shopfront. Drop in sometime!
Photo credit: Danny Howe
Click here for foolsandtrolls Facebook // Instagram