My formative teen years and adolescence were filled with riding BMX bikes and traveling around to do so. When my friends and I would end up in a new city and out riding bikes we would often encounter someone wanting to watch what we were doing. After they saw a successful attempt they would exclaim “Yo, sick!” or something similar that expressed their enthusiasm for what we were doing and what they saw, basically a nonsense string of words that conveyed some level of jubilation and excitement. Admittedly it’s not the best name, but I have been using it for so long that I can’t turn back, and it’s simply turned into an umbrella name for my creative work without having to use my actual name.
I think more people are paying attention to small scale operations like mine because they are tired of being offered the same cookie cutter ideas and fashions, and are hungry to seek out small scale operators whose work they connect with and support. I think the desire to be seen as an individual has never been higher, and so many people want to be stand out from the next person, and if they believe wearing a certain graphic or pinning a button to the lapel of their coat gives them the confidence they are looking for, then so be it. These things are just adornment, but it can be a way for some people to give themselves a boost, or just to share a thing that they love with those around them.
Everyone wants to be seen as an individual. People want to express that with the art they fall in love with. Wearable art is great because it’s affordable for almost everyone, and a way for people to collect art and engage with it at their leisure. You engage with the graphic on your favorite t-shirt you wear every two weeks or a zine on your coffee table differently than a print you frame and hang on your wall and have to see every day. You can have the things that you want when you want them, and put them away when you don’t. We are used to this sort of accessibility with the internet, and it makes sense that it would bleed into other parts of our lives, like the way we access and consume art.