But the last six months I've been able to finally "move out."
I've been excavating my old place, tossing papers and relics I've long forgot about, sorting all the archived work, and organizing wayward supplies. I've been finishing up this move-out project this week. My last place truly housed some seriously creative years during the last decade of my life. Imagine a grown up clubhouse where we could create nearly anything you wanted to, where like-minded friends would fall through at any given time to discuss ideas and get some hands dirty drawing or recording. Countless paintings, drawing sessions, comics, audio, and videos were shot here during this period, much of which you may be familiar with (ahem, where do you think I made all this shit?). And while the work is the work I'm also very interested in the environment where the work is created. I've always been interested in what people keep and how they decorate their creative spaces. In return I will make this post a running thread archiving images from that era, posting images as I find them.
The name Phillie Mansion was a spoof name to a local Houston rap label SwishaHouse, known for putting out their signature Screw tapes and boosting the careers of many prominent Houston rappers. What became my last house/studio was an empty house next door my parents bought and rented to me. At first I just took my sound system and equipment there to make tapes, hence the name took hold and the Phillie Mansion was born.
Behold, The Phillie Mansion!
Computer room, Northeast Corner of the second floor
The South wall collage. Snips and compilations of my favorite images over the years. It's a big photo so click and zooom in if ya like.
The West wall collage. Below I had my turntables, above is a couple of CD shelves.
Downstairs, the band would play. Drums, bass and guitar amps, plus a PA with mics so vocals could be heard, music stand to hold lyric sheets. Most nights we would be working upstairs, we'd take a break and go downstairs to wail and play a few songs, then head back upstairs. The room was surrounded by other rooms so disturbing neighbors was hardly an issue.
But back upstairs we had more light and A/C
|Afternoon sun in the kitchen|
There was never any shortage of friends and collaborators.
I scoured my archive looking for other shots of friends who'd always fall thru but I couldn't find any more. You folks know who I'm talking about, I didn't forget about you, there's just no archival footage.
So there saga of the Phillie Mansion is divided into two distinct eras separated by a pivotal storm in Houston's history, 2008's hurricane Ike. When you see the walls of the living room as stark white that's Pre-Ike. When they're green it's Post-Ike.
In the Pre-Ike era I was still in college. It's also when my kitten Luna came to live with me. Here's are some Pre-Ike images.
|The brown chair|
|Random Devin the Dude lyric: "I wanna quit smoking this shit but no luck."|
|Typical Work night.|
|Me with a tiny Luna, her early days.|
|Coolin' out in the kitchen. I loved that window, it always caught the nicest breezes.|
|View from my seat at that kitchen window.|
|Selfie before selfies were thing. I loved that shirt, it disappeared under strange circumstances.|
|Downing Grey Goose on a weeknight.|
|Stanley British invasion.|
|One of my first screen printed stickers, art made with filler fluid.|
|And then I would fill in a tooth with a gold paint marker.|
|My first multi-color screen print. Edition of 25, were Christmas gifts that year.|
|The struggle was real. The winter of 2008-09 was sooo cold and the Mansion had no central heating. This was how it was waiting for the oven to heat up the kitchen.|
|A Christmas in the Old Mansion.|
Late Summer 2008, changes came, relationships ended, and Hurricane Ike hit forever changing the Houston landscape itself as countless trees can tumbling down, including a tall pine in my parent's front yard. I remember taking this pic in the kitchen afterwards, there's no power in the house. Gas was still on so family came over every so often to cook food and boil water.
As everything changed around me I only saw it fitting I change my surroundings as well. That winter I put some fresh paint up in the living room, light green walls and a dark green ceiling with an area rug to match. Out came the carpet revealing some decent hardwood floors underneath. I also splashed the stairway hall with a bright orange just to shake things up.
Hello Post-Ike Mansion.
The Mansion couch I had for quite some time. I bought it from a man who had it out in his yard after I saw it riding my bike one day. His place was in that neighborhood between Forest Park cemetery and Mason Park. Coincidentally he also graduated from HSPVA, albeit a much earlier class. I bought the couch for $20 and it was still in decent condition.
Here it is in it's last days. After countless hours drawing comics while binge-watching our favorite shows as well as tons of other shenanigans it's finally had it. But moving it out we were able to make one last video with it.
|Living room art deco.|
|Even more substances.|
|A post-production shot taken after we wrapped the filming of Hi-Talk TV chapter 2. Watch it below!|
|KCool and some computer teardowns.|
|From that one time I puppy-sat a baby pug.|
|A collection of wasps I would catch flying around in my house.|
And now the official mascot and resident pet of the Phillie Mansion, Luna!
Luna came to me in 2006 as a street kitten found by my mother ans sister. I kept her in the bathroom with her litter box that first week until I kitten-proofed the Mansion.
Since then everybody that has come thru has shown her love and she's shown it back. She loves creative energy and hates Sonic Youth (she'd hide under the bed when I blasted it). She's my lil' studio pal, and she'll hang around whatever room I happen to be working in, keeping me company.
|KCool got this image of me and Loon passed out on the couch.|
Lots more to come, this post ain't finished yet. I'll let you know when it is!