Upcycle artist and Philadelphia native Eazy Denim (Terrance Woolford) revitalizes the familiar and transforms everyday objects with his unique style. His environmentally-friendly creations showcase the raw, transformative nature of art and how it speaks to audiences on a personal level. In a fascinating chat with QG, he shared his creative vision, views on the environment, and how he got his name.
As a Philadelphia native, how has urban culture inspired and influenced you as an artist?
Being from West Philly, I feel like the gritty and raw elements of the city are very reflective in my artwork. Some pieces like “Rap, Trap or Ball” tell the story of the three paths society says the black man can pursue to make it out of the urban environment. I love that kids today are exposed to so much more and can avoid the stereotypical way out.
As an upcycle artist, how do you uniquely implement your creative vision through art?
With art, sometimes I want to tell stories, and other times I want the viewers to tell me what they see. Every piece stands alone. My vision is not only to make art I want to see but to speak for the people who aren’t always heard, yet have something important to say.
Can you explain how art and environmentalism become one in your creations?
A few people told me that my work was environmentally friendly/sustainable art and at first I was like, “Nah, it’s not.” Then, I took a step back, read more into what upcycle/upcycle art stood for and was completely on board. Some of the upcycle ideas I stand for, and other things I aspire to. Who doesn’t want to help the environment? At the end of the day, it is the trendy thing to do, but more importantly, it’s the responsible thing to do. I’m being responsible with my talents.
What message do you hope to convey through your artwork?
I just want people to think outside the box more and never go back into it. Maybe my art inspires you to go thrifting versus shopping for clothes in the mall. Maybe my art inspires you to recycle versus throwing your bottle of water in the trash. Or better yet, maybe it inspires you to take a second look at things around your house and find a new purpose for the things you planned on discarding. Don’t do what I do. Do better.
How did you develop the name “Eazy Denim”?
My homie Kap gave me the nickname Eazy back when I was in 11th grade. I just liked the way it sounded, and it mirrored my personality. Denim came from a Walmart employee whose real name I heard over the intercom. I immediately went outside and changed my IG name to (@Eazy_Denim) that day and never looked back.
What is your favorite or best art piece to date?
I haven’t created my favorite/best piece yet. It will be larger than life. But for now, I like them all for their particular reasons and feel each piece conveys the message I intended. They’re all perfect. The one I’m most proud of is the “From Boy to Man” bike I made for my son. One day I will give it to him as a gift for his house.
When did you realize art was something that you seriously wanted to pursue?
Since adolescence, I always knew I could draw. I didn’t know it could one day become a career. Even when I attended the Art Institute of Philadelphia, I was still unaware of the possibilities. It wasn’t until I saw a few artists and brands become successful that I knew it was something I wanted to pursue.
Why does upscale art appeal to you more than other art forms?
I love all forms of art. Not just upscale. I like dope things, and sometimes it just happens to have a higher price point. High end or low end. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is the execution; does the finished product resonate with my core and is the artist being true to themselves?
What advice do you have for up and coming young artists?
Look within. The answers are within. You have to first be open to sitting down with yourself, asking yourself what you really want, and willing to travel down the rabbit hole until you find it. It’s that one thing that you can’t stop thinking about, or that a few people told you’re good at, but you haven’t given it your full attention. Also, it takes time. I didn’t know hand painting on HRT pins would eventually turn into what I do today. Also, don’t just paint celebrities in hopes of getting reposted either. They’ve seen themselves painted millions of times over.
What can followers and the art community expect from you in the near future?
Bigger. Better. This ain’t nothing yet. I tell my homies all the time, “…these are the dreams we can afford right now”, some of my ideas aren’t in the current budget. When the bag grows, so will the output. Until then, I’m planning my second art show entitled “Lost In The City of Love 2.0”. It will be a continuation of the first show which turned out to be a huge success. I’m excited, but I also have a lot of pieces to finish up. It will be another epic night.
Did you have a mentor or favorite artist that inspired you to pursue art as a career?
My 10th-grade art teacher inspired me the most and sparked my creative fuse. I forgot her name, but it was when I moved to Greenwood, SC for my sophomore year of high school. We lived there for a year, but she not only challenged me but the whole art class. She was awesome and I think about her often. She took a liking to everything I created back then and would be thrilled how things are turning out now. One of my pieces she loved so much, that she had it temporarily placed on display in the local art gallery.
Photo Credit: Curated Vibes Group.com -Side Hustler Corner With Terrance