This week on CRAFT-ish is street artist, entrepreneur, and founder of Stencil1, Ed Roth. Vickie talks with him about navigating the space between mainstream and indie, art vs. craft, and the inspiration he finds from Brooklyn living.
Stencil1 is a street art-inspired brand founded in 2004 by artist, painter, graphic designer and DIY enthusiast Ed Roth. In the 1990s, Ed created art while operating and curating the Williamsburg gallery Who Do We Appreciate, showcasing affordable art and giving soon-to-be well-known artists, like Dalek and Mike Giant, a place to be seen. Ed’s affinity for street art and stencils grew while running the gallery. “It exposed me to a lot of street art,” he says, referring to his graffiti-inspired style.
Ed also worked as a graphic designer for ad agencies and TV networks, honing his digital media and packaging skills, and got an inside view of running a business. He realized he could apply all these skills to his passion for stencils. So Ed set out to make his vision a reality, creating the first Stencil1 stencils and selling them on his website, Stencil1.com. What started in the ’90s as a hobby grew into a grassroots business.
Stencil1 has become more than just a stencil company — it’s a cutting-edge design brand, and Ed is a compass continually pointing toward the next trend. Stencil1 has an organically grown social media following and devoted fans who don’t miss a Stencil1 event. Stencil1.com’s fun, easy-to-follow how-to videos and creative tools are the essence of the brand.
Stencil1 has collaborated on DIY events with high-profile brands, like The Gap, Converse, Sharpie, and Etsy, to engage their customers and grow their base through interactive, creative, hands-on experience. Ed is an engaging host who knows his stuff and is equally comfortable in front of a crowd and a camera.
Ed continues a long-term partnership with Benjamin Moore and has created large-scale, custom stencil installations at chic New York hotels, like the Ace Hotel in Manhattan and Z Hotel in Long Island City, where he has applied his stencil skills to 99 rooms by hand.
Stencil1 continues to evolve as the brand seeks new collaborations, design licensing, and custom DIY events.
Ed lives in Brooklyn, New York with his dog Larry where he designs products for Stencil1, creates custom installations, and curates DIY events.
–Stencil1 on Facebook
Produced by: Vickie Howell
Edited & Mixed by: Dave Campbell
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