Presley Woodall is an independent artist and screen printer in the valley. Originally from Indiana with roots in New Mexico and Illinois, her brand Original As Fuck is definitely garnering some attention amongst other regulars on Phoenix’s local scene. With her uncensored drive and tenacity, it’s not only a passion for her. It’s also a message. I recently sat down with Presley on a scorching Friday afternoon in South Central Phoenix over a cold 40 of Mickey’s to pick her brain about what that message is and what keeps her hungry.
When did you establish O.A.F.?
It’s been about two years since I started screen printing. As far as it being my artistic name? Since high school.
How did you get the nickname?
There was a substitute teacher. You know what “O.A.F.” means, right? It’s like a lazy bastard, and I was pretty lazy in High School. So he called me that once, so I looked it up and I liked it.
When did you decide to incorporate the Old English into your logo? That’s probably my favorite part of it.
I know! Me too. I try to make sure it’s in all of my drawings. I’ve just always loved old english. It’s just my style. The Old English “O.A.F.” with “Original As Fuck” underneath it was my first shirt.
So when did you move to Phoenix?
Well I grew up in Albuquerque, but I was born in Indiana. We moved to Albuquerque when I was like a year old so I don’t…
You don’t remember any of it?
No. Not at all. But then I moved here to Phoenix like right after I turned twenty-one.
How old are you now?
I’ll be 27 next month.
You seem older than that because I feel like you were closer to my age. Like you seem to have your shit together more than most.
Yeah I kinda get that a lot.
What inspired you to get into fashion?
It’s more just getting into screen printing. When I got into screen printing I just loved the process of actually doing it, so I guess I wouldn’t even say I’m into fashion really. Like I love 90’s fashion, but I’m not designing tee shirts or sweaters or anything like that. It’s more just the screen printing that I like.
So do you just come up with an idea, sketch it then decide what you’re going to put that on? Do you just kinda say ‘Ok, I’m going to put this on a shirt, and then on some buttons?’
No, I try to put all of my designs on a shirt. There’s only so much I can do because I don’t have a dope ass studio with like a 6 press machine like I did out in Illinois. So I just have a single press, which means I can’t do all these crazy colors or stuff like that. Like right now I’m in the middle of finding a good paper to use. It’s kind of just about where I’m at, the connection I have at the moment.
So would you say that your process is constantly evolving?
Oh yeah, especially from moving. I had a good connection out in Illinois for everything. Being out here I’ve had a hard time getting people to commit to whatever it is that we’re getting together, for like doing a new vinyl for me, or burning a new screen or whatever. Not a lot of people come through on time. That’s when I’m kind of like, “Peace”, and I’m on to the next; because I don’t fuck around as far as that goes.
It’s definitely hard to find good help.
Yeah. And when everything comes out of your pocket, you have to be super wise about all of your decisions.
As far as what you’re doing now, do you have a mentor? Is someone teaching you this? Who do you look up to in the industry?
My friend Berto. He’s the reason I moved to Illinois, so he was the one who taught me how to screen print. I had followed his brand for a long time, so he was the one I wanted to teach me. I didn’t know the process even though I had worked at an art supply store for a couple years and sold the material for it. So he’s been like my number one fan through this whole screen printing process so from the beginning of O.A.F. and making it into a brand.
How long did it take you to decide that this is what you wanted to do?
Literally the day I learned how to screen print.
No shit… That quick, huh?
Yeah. I knew I wanted to do something with it, I just didn’t know what. I was always making art and other crafty things, and I know how to sew, so I made zip-up bags and just other random stuff like that. So I knew I would do something, but the screen printing and tee shirts that became the bigger picture rather than my crafts.
So you thought to yourself, “I’m gonna put this on a shirt”.
Yeah and other people saying, “you should put this on a shirt”. That’s what pushes me to get into this thing.
That actually brings me to my next question. How do you feel about the valley as a market? Has Phoenix been good to you?
Yeah I’ve gotten a lot of feedback. There’s been a lot of people who have wanted to do interviews with me too and…
You told them to fuck off because you knew you would be sitting down with Burning Hot Events?
Haha, no I still did it. I’ve knocked out a couple of interviews on podcasts and they went pretty well. I’ve met some really cool people. I do first Fridays downtown and the people from Public Image, Kim and Daryll, they hit me up when I first moved out here. I was really promoting myself.
I’ve seen your pics on Facebook before a couple First Fridays, and I’ve loved seeing your stuff. You made some really dope candles that I absolutely loved.
I always try to include new stuff like that. I might make candles every time I go but they’re all going to be completely different candles every single time. Same with the designs. I’m always trying to have something new to bring. I just recently got a promotion at work so that’s what my focus has been for the last 2 to 3 months. I haven’t really done much. I’ve made art but not really any crafts. I haven’t been to First Friday in like 3 months.
I made a cartoon with a buddy of mine. It was a lot of work but we ended up making about 6 episodes but we never made another one because we both got jobs about the same time.
I know! It’s hard to do both no matter what it is. It’s tough and it’s hard to stay motivated. I’ve definitely struggled that in the past from time to time but it’s like they say, “If you want it badly, you’ll do it”. That’s what’s gotten me this far.
So what keeps you hungry? What keeps you driven and doing what you do?
Ever since I was little, I just felt I needed to be somebody that made some kind of difference. I’m not saying I want to be some crazy celebrity superstar or anything like that. I just want to be someone to send out a cool message and help people that way. The “Original” in my logo has a lot of meaning behind that.
That’s what actually drew me to it in the first place. Not only is it a brand for you but it’s also a message. Like, “I’m original as fuck, and fuck whatever you’re doing.”
Right and it’s really rare for people in our society to have that kind of view. There are so many people telling you what to do and what to say and what to look like and you see it on social media being shoved down everyone’s throats and it’s shitty. It’s super shitty. The younger generation eats that shit up. I don’t have to have a 19 year old niece to know that, I just see it everywhere. Nobody knows themselves and you can tell. Because they are so focused on trying to look this way and how to be accepted… It’s just really sad to me because I think life is just being you and figuring things out. I think that’s a really big accomplishment.
I agree. I feel like you have a stubborn tenacity to lead rather than follow.
That would be going against everything I believe in. Nobody is original these days, I mean, it’s fucking 2017. There’s so much art out there that everyone gets ideas from different people and stuff but yes, I try to keep my style as original as possible.
It’s very obvious looking at your art that you have a love for hip hop. Old School. What was your first exposure to Hip Hop?
I’m the youngest of five. My older sister babysat us a lot when my mom had to work. She always played all of the good shit. I remember listening to it in my carseat. Like I didn’t know what they were talking about, it was just literally music to my ears, ya know? That along with the other stuff my dad played, and the stuff that my mom played. He was more into rock. Tom Petty and Joe Walsh.
It’s actually an entire genre called “dad music”.
Right! It has it’s own Pandora station haha
Notable successes? Failures?
There’s been a lot, even with just screen printing. Just little things. I don’t know how many tee shirts because screen printing is messy as fuck and I’m still not really that great at it. I just… Try to wing it as much as I can. It’s hard to learn new apps to do my digital art. And then you have to vectorize and pay for THIS program and… I’m still failing and I’m going to be failing even if I become “something big”, we’ll say. I think that just doing it in the first place and having the balls to get into it and do it and keep doing it even though I may not be able to afford some stuff right now.
I feel like I’ve come a long way just doing it myself. I feel like I’ve come farther than some people that have had a helping hand throughout the whole entire process. But that’s like you said earlier, ya know? I’m hungry. I’m hungry for getting this message out and seeing if more and more people will relate to it.
And how do you handle those failures or setbacks?
I have to smoke a bowl or I have to have a beer… Go for a drive? I don’t know. Do another piece of art because that’s what calms me.
So what’s next for O.A.F.?
I would like to get more into the designing of my clothing. I’m really into the 90’s style so I would definitely love to bring out some kind of cool color-blocked sweaters, tee shirts, and bucket hats; and anything else 90’s related. I would just want to design them. It’s just the point of doing a business plan and pitching my idea to some of these manufacturers and making the next big move.
Let’s say that you come to these manufacturers and that money is no object. What is your ultimate goal for O.A.F.? What are your aspirations?
I just want to have it out there for as many people as possible. I’m a private person and I’m not going to let it stop me from my brand becoming something big. I definitely put myself in uncomfortable situations. Not that I’m uncomfortable at the moment, but you wouldn’t find me being this open with anybody right now. I don’t care to tell anybody anything, even with my brand, so I would like for it be something as big as it can be but I’m not going to compare myself to any of the brands that are huge right now. I just want it to be as big as it can be without me personally being out there in the shine. I don’t want people to look at me before they look at what I have to offer, my message and my art.
I was talking to this girl one time and I telling her pretty much everything I’m telling you… And she says, “Oh! And you’re pretty so that’ll help!” And I was like, “fuck that”, I don’t want people to look at what I look like. I have a lot to offer other than what the fuck I look like. I hate to think that people look at that first before they look at the other shit that really matters.
So in the grand scheme of things, how would you feel about seeing O.A.F. merchandise at Target?
That would be cool. That would be way cool.
It would probably barely sell…
I know, dude! I’d have to change the name.
“Mommy, I’m original as fuck!”
Yeah, I would definitely have to get them to NOT put the name on it unless the world just dropped some acid and tried to be open-minded fuckin people about the name. I don’t know what the fuck has to happen. I’m just pushing it as I go. It’s just my journey. I’m not in any rush to become something. I’m just pushing it as much as I want, when I want. That’s just the way it’s going to be until whatever comes.
So, we’re getting to the fun part of the interview now…
Top 5 artists and songs. Your deserted island mixtape. If you were going to die…These are the songs you want to hear. What’s your flavor?
That’s like when somebody asks me what my favorite color is. It’s almost impossible to answer, being an artist and loving music so much. Like am I going to die if I don’t answer this?
It can be less than 5 if you want.
How about just artists? Because songs? That’s tough.
Ok, fine. Just artists.
I’m a really big Tom Petty fan for a lot of reasons. Mainly because it just brings back to childhood memories and there’s a song for every fucking situation.
I think “American Girl” is the quintessential American rock and roll song. You just think cheeseburgers, muscle cars, and electric guitars.
Mine was “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”. I knew every word to that song at a young age even though I didn’t really even know what it was about until, obviously, I started smoking.
So Tom Petty. Who else?
Pharside. Definitely Pharside.
Pharside is fuckin dope.
Probably TLC as well. They’re females so I gotta give them props.
I still remember the first time I saw “Creep” when I was 9 years old. I’ll never forget those silk pajamas.
Dude, I’m going to be that for halloween! I’ve been trying to do that with my sister for the longest time but I think this year we’re going to do it because we found our third musketeer. We all gotta be TLC. I don’t give a fuck what you guys had planned. It’s an easy fucking costume, it’s comfortable and we’re just gonna do this. I’m gonna be Left Eye. I already called it and I called it long ago.
So Tom Petty, TLC, Pharside… And who else?
Ok so… What is a Led Zeppelin song that just hits you?
“When The Levee Breaks”
So we’re at 4 now.
I’m having a hard time because I think I stopped liking music since about 1997.
If it’s less than 5 that’s cool too. Obviously Hip Hop is your preferred genre. What comes second after that?
Classic Rock for sure. I ran into my dad at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert once!
You can follow Presley’s O.A.F. page on Facebook and on Instagram for updates on First Friday appearances and new merchandise. And make sure to contribute to the Patreon to ensure that Burning Hot Events and Kataklizmic Design can continue to bring you more amazing content!