Meet Darrius Ford, the Chi-town artist inspiring the next wave of creatives
“People don’t always agree with what I come up with but that’s why it’s my vision. The viewer may not always understand what you see. They don’t always have the eye to see,” said Darrius Ford.
Ford, aka KingSprayKid, is a graffiti artist and clothing designer straight out of Chi-town.
He’s used his imaginative eye to make his visions become reality. Working with a long list of artists, Ford’s talents have been utilized in the creative processes of motivational clothing brands like CEO Millionaires, making tour merch and album art.
The creativity Ford brings to the table is a dish served extra spicy.
KultureHub chopped it up with the street visionary to see what has gotten him to this point in his artistic career.
To Ford, an artist isn’t just someone who picks up a fad for the money. A true “creative” is someone who has experimented with all forms of art.
“I’ve been an artist all my life. I don’t believe in calling you an artist if you’ve never practiced or experimented in all forms of art. I call these kinds of people ‘the creatives,’ people that create naturally. Not because of a check or a fad. Like most of the fake artists today.”
A spray can is Ford’s deadliest weapon.
What aids his artistic vision? The music he listens to. The tunes he hears while designing allow him to see shapes and take him back to a creative space he can never forget.
Ford stressed listening to music is like tripping on LSD without the drug,
“Music is nostalgic for me, so, when I hear a specific song it takes me back to a time or place in my life that I can’t forget. When I hear a specific beat or melody I see color and shapes. When I design period, I usually listen to music. It helps my mind wander into that creative space. It’s kinda like tripping off acid minus the drug. A natural high. I create color pallets off of things I’ve seen that I like or something that was appealing to someone else that I believe I can make better…”
Smacked off the vibes
His eye enables him to incorporate his street art style into wearable custom collections. Ford’s streetwear brand is like something out of a graffiti time capsule from the ’90s. So far he has succeeded in making his street style wearable.
“I started off as a graffiti artist. I called myself Kingspraykid. My brand was called Spraykid and the whole idea behind it was to make street art marketable. Why?”
“Because fashion is art and vice versa. You can’t have one without the other.”
Thus far in Ford’s career working with the like of, 2 Chainz and Charlie CEO on the CEO Millionaire clothing line was one of the dopest collaborations the SprayKid has been involved in.
It was working with Chainz that helped Ford grasp a new of understanding of what it really means to GRIND!
“Working with Charlie and Chainz on CEO Millionaire’s was DOPE. It opened my eyes to the backend of tour merch and brand production as a whole. It takes dedication and a lot of man hours! Coming together collectively to create ‘HEAT’ was fun but only when you have a good team.”
The SprayKid explained how he made a deeper connection with Chainz through his music and his vibes,
“Working with Chainz was cool. He’s a real laid back dude. Definitely keeps it all the way a G. If he rocks with you, it’s a blessing cause his squad ain’t too large. He only Keeps REAL guys around him…”
Ford continued to express Chainz’s inspiration,
“Before working with him and Charlie, 2 Chainz didn’t have much of an influence on my work but I’ve always been able to relate to his music. Being a Black man coming from the hood, 2 Chainz paints that picture for the world that we see everyday growing up. He gives us hope to have goals and be greater than your surroundings. Make something of yourself. To be a positive role model.”
Brands like CEO Millionaire give The SprayKid hope, “For brands like CEO millionaires, I truly appreciate the message and idea behind them because they uplift fashion and bring the culture hope.”
All this inspo has my hype AF! Damn.
So what is next for Ford? He’s currently working on some next level ish, that is looking to incorporate all forms of urban art/culture in one space. Swap or Swindle is finna change the game!
He told us about those next moves,
“I’ve recently started a company called Swap or Swindle. It’s a company that features all forms of urban art/culture in one space. Each city we attend will showcase a different platform of urban art or culture. America was founded on the barter system. Trading is something very big in this country and always have. The method of exchange hasn’t always been an even trade. Hence the name swindle. This is why we have millionaires and panhandlers. We want to create a platform where everyone wins. You can swap, sell, swindle, showcase, preview, and premier your form of art all in one space. Culture will live on but we have to push it forward.”
Lessgetit! For those who are looking to walk in the same direction of Ford, The SprayKid had some useful advice for you,
“HOV said something that my mom would always say to me but through the form of music, it stuck, ‘A loss ain’t a loss its a lesson, appreciate the pain it’s a blessing.’ So, no matter how hard it is, don’t give up! It’s gonna be hard and it’s gonna hurt like hell sometimes. but these are lessons you have to learn to be great. God gives the hardest battles to his strongest soldiers because you can conquer all. Everyone was built like you, there are no chosen ones but you possess the will that others may not and that’s the will to be great!
Greatness is in all of us. So, get out there and create!