Kid Acne Turns 21

It’s my birthday next week and it occurred to me that ‘KID ACNE’ actually turned 21 this year, which I’d say is worthy of a mention! The first piece of artwork I signed as Kid Acne was the illustration credit for this record sleeve I designed (and screen printed) for my brother’s punk band in July 1996. I just finished my first year of art collage. I’d been doing graffiti since ’91 but my tag at this point was EDNA. Being a spotty teenager, I also started writing ACNE 201. I added the ‘Kid’ at the start in homage to Kid P​anama and later dropped the ‘201’. ’96 was also the year I exhibited my first canvas in an epic group show titled GRAFFITI BASTARDS, curated by Chu at Birmingham’s C​ustard F​actory. This led to me designing flyers for a new club night, FUNGLE JUNK (where we’d hangout most weekends listening to the likes of The Psychonauts) – Having no computer of my own at the time, I’d take the hand drawn elements to the printers and they’d patiently scan in my artwork and piece together the composition using some alchemy known as “photoshop”. I also produced a couple of fanzines named VELCRO GRASS and ZEBRA FACE, which sparked some interest and got my cartoons published in underground hip-hop magazine DOWNLOW (later known as FATBOSS) and a book from Bristol called SCENES FROM THE INSIDE, which celebrated the international DIY movement. I was particularly chuffed to have work published alongside artists I admired such as Pete Fowler and J​ames K​ochalka. Before the year was out I met ​Futura 2000​, Delta and M​ode 2​ at a rained off Graf jam in Milton Keynes and recorded my first 2 records as TOAH DYNAMIC and ​MONGRELS. So all in all, it was a memorable year with enough positive experiences to propel me forward.

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