TJ Cowgill is the "man in black" behind the line Actual Pain. He personally designs each piece referencing the occult, fine art, and the heaviest of metal. TJ writes for Seattle's the Stranger, has his own band Book of Black Earth, and maintains a pretty solid blog of his own. TJ makes the kind of clothes guys want to wear, and their girlfriends want to steal. Also, he likes girls in platform shoes - really, he said so! Check out his amazing stuff in the store and our comical exchange below:
Sarah: So TJ, describe your personal style in 5 words.
TJ: Not so young Roy Orbison.
Sarah: What is your favorite thing you've ever designed?TJ: I always have new favorites, but I think our Pyramid Logo is one of the best things I've ever designed. It's really half luck, I beat a lot of people to the punch on that one. And now we see where triangles and pyramids have gone... But I still believe in the importance of the hidden meaning of the trinity as an esoteric concept. People really want to understand that these days.
Sarah: If you could have Anton Lavey, Aleister Crowley, Elvira, Genesis Breyer p-orridge, Kelly Bundy, and Lil B at dinner party; what would you cook? who would you sit between?and who stays after dinner was over (wink wink)?
TJ: Geez, ha ha! I don't know. Probably pizza. Everybody likes pizza right? And I wouldn't cook it I would order it for delivery. I'd sit between B and Kelly because I would want to watch everyone else very closely. I know that Crowley would want to stay over because Kelly Bundy and Elvira would be there, and since he'd have a big bag of dope I'd probably let him. Then Anton would want to stay because Crowley was staying, and that would make Gen P want to stay and ask Anton questions about the Process or something, and Lil B would probably be on my computer recording a video of himself... So I guess everyone would stay over. I would try and get 1980s Zeena's telephone number from her dad.
Sarah: If you were trapped in a room for the rest of your life watching one director's films on loop, who would it be?
TJ: Easy. Werner Herzog.
Sarah: Are there any musicians or artists who have influenced you so greatly over the years, that now you can see/feel a connection to them in your designs?
TJ: I rip off Raymond Pettibon a lot when I draw. Also if it weren't for the Blues, Rock n' Roll, and consequently Heavy Metal I would never have drawn anything beyond comic book characters.
Sarah: Do you have any style "pet peeves"?
TJ: Not really. I really don't care what other people wear. I do like this trend of women in platform heels, like Jeffery Campbells. It makes girls like 10 times hotter.
Sarah: Lastly, and super important of course, any advice for girls who want to wear fitted caps and not look so..."bro"?
TJ: There's only a few girls that can pull this one off. Having really long hair helps. Also dress the rest of your body really girly and you should be fine. I hope that helps.
Actual Pain, TJ's graphic tee and accessories line, is available HERE