ARTIST PROFILE: MIKE SIXX, HOUSE OF DAGGERS
Mike Sixx is an artist and BJJer who has just started his own clothing label, House of Daggers, based loosely around grappling and jiu jitsu themes. I talked to Mike about his background and plans for House of Daggers. (You can also see a couple of his t-shirts below that he sent me.)
Q: Hey Mike, let's begin by telling the readers about your art background/education/influences please?
A: I started drawing at a young age, always scribbling on homework and school notes. I remember getting into trouble in class once while I was drawing and supposed to be paying attention. Just so happens I was listening the entire time, and repeated everything the teacher was lecturing about. He didn't think it was funny. Used to spend a lot of time in my fathers screen printing shop after school. Watching, learning.
My Sophomore year I went to a High School for Art. Ended up hating it, ended up being really remedial. Few years later found my self graduating College with a Degree in Graphic Design.
Influences .. hmm.. All my life and to this day my biggest influences have been things I surrounded myself with. Skateboarding was huge. I wanted to be an Artist for Powell Peralta when I was a kid so badly that I used to draw and send them Art asking how I could become an artist. I just got stickers in return. LOL
My other influences range from Graffiti, Movies, Designer toys and the music I listen to.
Q: And tell the readers about your BJJ/grappling training, rank, school, tournament highlights etc?
I 've been into BJJ/Grappling for a total of 3 years now. I started in Tampa with Rob Khan at Gracie Tampa. I made the decision to move to South Florida in 2009. After floating around trying to find a school that suited my needs; I finally found myself with my current team at Alliance/Marcelo Garcia. My instructors are the original guys who trained under him in a garage until he opened his own academy here in South Florida. Amazing group of guys. As for comp, I've only competed once locally. If I'm not training, I'm usually embarked in some mission of Art. Hoping to compete a little more this year.
Q: What is House of Daggers?
I like to think of it as the Streets meet the mats. A cerebral collection of Art, Passion, Jiu Jitsu, Life Lessons, all mixed with a little bit of "DILLIGAF" attitude. If you know the acronym you're already on board. I want to break free of this "Everything has to have a Black Belt and Triangle shape" mentality people have for their clothing. I want to make people think (even laugh in some cases) about what their wearing. It's Art with an edge. And edge my followers will hopefully recognize and appreciate. You see someone out with a Daggers shirt on, you'll know. I like to think of HOD as being the Black Sheep or Underdogs who succeed. Kinda like the Rudy. God that was a horrible movie.
Q: How much does jiu jitsu influence your art and how much does creativity feed into your jiu jitsu?
Since 2006 House of Daggers was many things and because of Jiu Jitsu it's now finally off the ground and in it's infancy stages. If it wasn't for my passion for Jiu Jitsu I don't think I'd be at even this stage. It's an all around creative process. I'll be in the gym and hear something or think of something and get home and sketch it out, or jot it down in my Black book. Believe it or not I've been break dancing all my life. Creativity is KING on the dance floor. For me it's just as important for House of Daggers to be that leader and Creative as it is for me on the Mats. I find myself doing things often that others can't grasp or do. I owe it to the ability to flow and make stuff up on the fly. In all Three worlds, Jiu Jitsu, Dance, and Art you've got to know when and how to move.
Q: What plans for the future do you have for yourself as an artist and for HOD?
As an Artist I try to learn at least one thing I every time I sit down to do Art. Be it on the computer or hand drawing something out. My artistic integrity is important to me and that is echoed through HOD. Sky's the limit I guess. I joke about it a lot, but in all seriousness I'm going after a big name company in the Jiu Jitsu world. I think there should be a rival, or Black Sheep of sorts. I'm hoping later in 2012 I'll release the first of many Exclusive Limited Edition/Numbered Kimono runs. I plan on doing a regular stream of them, so people aren't left waiting 8-9 months for a new release. They'll follow the same HOD design philosophy through a quality product. I'm already starting the year off right by bringing on a pretty big name to the HOD team. Multiple title winner, accolades galore. This guys a pocket sized beast! I'll be making the announcement soon.
Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/pages/House-of-Daggers-Limited-Supply-Co/207243722670095?sk=info