We asked 24 of our favorite minds—including Robert Pattinson, Dua Lipa, Offset, Desus & Mero, and more—what they’re discovering about art, and about themselves, in this age of isolation. See how they’re all staying creative in the time of quarantine here.
In the great graphic T-shirt revival of the late 2010s, nobody struck a chord quite like Alix Ross and Elijah Funk, the artists behind Online Ceramics, which has grown from a scrappy bootleg Grateful Dead merch operation into an insurgent fashion movement cosigned by the likes of John Mayer, Virgil Abloh, and Bella Hadid.
Though the coronavirus shutdown has put a steady stream of summer collaborations—and their yearly ritual of touring with Dead & Company—on pause, Ross and Funk are taking advantage of the downtime to expand the universe of psychedelic skeletons, cosmic mindfulness, clean eating, and earth magic that animates their graphics. “We haven’t felt this creatively free since the start of the brand,” Ross says. “There’s actually more time to access ourselves during this,” Funk adds. “So it’s leading to more creative thought.”
From their respective homes in L.A., Ross and Funk have launched a new radio show with Elara Radio called Train Wrecks and Trip Reports, where they read spooky and shocking accounts of what they call “good trips gone bad.” They’ve also completed a virtual look book project with the digital artist Jasper Spicero, and continue to work on a forthcoming painting show. And in between their projects, they created an Online Ceramics design for GQ that reflects the far-out zones their minds have wandered to during lockdown.
“This shirt is about process, and it’s about what we do when we’re locked in,” Funk says. “I’m trying to figure out a way to illustrate the fact that you can go anywhere while still being somewhere.” Unpack the dense symbolism and you’ll find a quote from ethnobotanist Terence McKenna, text from a Wiccan spell, bean sprouts from Funk’s garden, and a selection of albums and books for isolation. “The overall energy of what we do comes from these things,” Funk says. “They are all Online Ceramics in a way.”
Listen to this week’s episode of Corporate Lunch to hear Ross and Funk discuss their art school origins, how they hit it big in the fashion world, the brand’s cameo in The King of Staten Island, and much more.