Evan Rossell 00:00
They’re the crew I never had. The surf crew, skate crew, graffiti crew that I wish I had…so these are just a bunch of little Hairy Fools. Then from there I was like ‘Everybody can be a part of it.’ Everybody’s colorful and hairy in their own way, you know?

Stink is both the alter-ego of artist Evan Rossell, and Evan’s flagship creation. The ring-lead of the Hairy Fools, Evan’s illustrated crew of troublemakers, Stink’s appeared on everything from skateboards to paintings to the broken chair outside the CONVICTS office.  

Despite the Southern California, pastel hues that Evan works, a hard-to-place spookiness lurks in his creations. CONVICTS caught up with Evan before his recent trip to New York. We got his word on street art, the importance of travel, and of course, the Hairy Fools’ origin story.

CONVICTS

Hey mate. To start can you tell us where you’re from?

EVAN ROSSELL

I’m from California, Southern California. Right now I live in Newport.

CONVICTS

What was your childhood like?

EVAN ROSSELL

Childhood was like skateboarding, riding my bike. Very outdoorsy.

CONVICTS

Who did you hang out with growing up?

EVAN ROSSELL

Growing up my mom and dad just took me and my brother to skateparks and the BMX track. So it was like meeting different kids at the skateparks.

CONVICTS

When did you get into art?

EVAN ROSSELL

I didn’t get into art ’til like high school…and that’s when I learned how to surf.

CONVICTS

Where else have you lived?

EVAN ROSSELL

I used to live in Colorado. We would go mountain biking and whitewater rafting and rock climbing, that was like a normal weekly routine. When we moved here I wanted to learn how to surf and kids at school were doing art so I wanted to start doing some art. I was super inspired by skateboarding and surfing so I started making my own little doodles.

CONVICTS

Can you remember those first little doodles? What were they about?

EVAN ROSSELL

They were just like a little cartoon. Like a half-guy with a lil’ smiley face. It was super basic but at the time I was so stoked just to have a little guy doodled on my binder and stuff.

CONVICTS

What was the progression? As in, how did you get from doodling on homework to where you are now?

EVAN ROSSELL

I had the raddest art teacher my senior year and he opened up my mind to screen printing. Turning a doodle into a t-shirt or a skateboard deck or a sculpture. It was rad to see your art progress.

CONVICTS

Talk about the Hairy Fools.

EVAN ROSSELL

Ahh, the Hairy Fools. So I’d do a bunch of little hairy colorful monsters and me, Stink. They’re the crew I never had. The surf crew, skate crew, graffiti crew that I wish I had…so these are just a bunch of little Hairy Fools. Then from there I was like ‘Everybody can be a part of it.’ Everybody’s colorful and hairy in their own way, you know?

If nobody saw my art I would still make it because it’s just what I like to do.
CONVICTS

Do you try to keep that childlike sense of wonder that kids have when they start to draw and name their crews? Or are you thinking specifically and down the line?

EVAN ROSSELL

Specifically. I think of it as making something that everyone can be a part of. So it’s Stink and Hairy Fools. Stink is the main Hairy Fool.

CONVICTS

Is that how you see graffiti? Or street art? As something that everyone can be a part of?

EVAN ROSSELL

For sure.

CONVICTS

Where do you think street art is now? In relation to where it came from and what it’s doing?

EVAN ROSSELL

You see it a lot more now and it’s a lot more open. Communities are more open to it. In the 80’s it was more to get your name on a wall and be seen by hundreds of people a day, whereas now you can actually make a living doing murals all over the world and create a name for yourself. If nobody saw my art I would still make it because it’s just what I like to do, but it’s nice to get hired by cities and countries to go paint and experience things that you probably wouldn’t have experienced. It’s super positive and fun.

CONVICTS

How does experiencing new places and things influence your work?

EVAN ROSSELL

Well, looking up to an artist for so long then eventually meeting them and being able to paint a mural with them in their country is so awesome. It’s just rad to see their culture and how they live and it makes me wanna put that into my art. So like traveling to places like Brazil and South America and got me started doing all these little houses. Just because when you’re going through the city you see a lot of these houses stacked on top of each other so I started stacking houses around my characters. Bringing those different cultures that into my art is very special. I don’t say it’s inspired by this, I just put it out there because it’s special to me.

CONVICTS

But you said you’ve never been to New York City before?

EVAN ROSSELL

Never.

CONVICTS

What do you think it’s gonna be like when you get there?

EVAN ROSSELL

A playground. I’ve heard you don’t drive a car, you take people movers everywhere, and there’s just art all over the street. I’ve see pictures from back in the day to now, and it just looks like a big playground of fun.

The message I try to promote is just to be creative. You can do it yourself, you don’t gotta go hire somebody to do it.
CONVICTS

Does art run in your family?

EVAN ROSSELL

It does. My mom is a really good artist. Growing up she was always doing crafts. Very DIY. My brother would say he wanted a mural on his wall and she would paint a mural on his wall. Looking over his portfolio inspires me to keep making work and using my name, and hopefully one day put him on a platform because it’s just insane to see all his work. It’s almost like he wasn’t noticed for it but it’s super legendary and makes me wanna live the lifestyle and keep doing my art for the family.

CONVICTS

Where was your grandpa from?

EVAN ROSSELL

He’s from Peru, actually. My grandpa and his four children from Peru were just like “We’re gonna go live in America.” That’s pretty special.

CONVICTS

What role does California play in your life?

EVAN ROSSELL

In my life? Everything.

CONVICTS

What do skating and surfing do for you? Is it therapeutic?

EVAN ROSSELL

Yeah they’re totally therapeutic.

CONVICTS

Do you ever have moments where you’re not inspired? Where you need to re-ignite the artistic spark?

EVAN ROSSELL

I change up by doing things outside of the norm. What’s really inspired within the last year has been creating clothes for myself and painting on different mediums, it just helps me kinda think more outside the box and generate new ideas. Travelling also helps. And surrounding myself around different groups of people. I get inspired by people.

CONVICTS

Alright, last question. Any words of advice for the aspiring kids out there?

EVAN ROSSELL

The message I try to promote is just to be creative. You can do it yourself, you don’t gotta go hire somebody to do it.

CONVICTS

Thanks, man. Best of luck with everything.