Corinne became one of my best friends after we did this interview, I'm going to start recording our 3 hour long phone conversations and have then transcribed into a book called "From C to G and Back Again."

Garrett Faber: Is there anything you would not like to discuss in this interview?

Corinne Alexis Hall: I.... don't think so? I can't think of anything...

GF: Okay, cool, I always ask that and no one can ever think of anything, I always expect someone to be like "Don't ask about Vietnam" then I'd be like "Okay, I won't?"

CAH: [Laughs] Right. I had a teacher who was like that.

GF: You couldn't ask him about the 'Nam?

CAH: Couldn't ask or mention it, and when "the bomb" became a thing to say he started having flashbacks in class. I wasn't there for that though but I heard he turned the desk over once to take cover and started throwing chalk.

GF: No way.

CAH: Way. He died of a heart attack not long after.

GF: How did you get into the clothing business?

CAH: I was working at a comic book store and getting more and more frustrated with my art, thinking horrible and damning thoughts about lack of future so I started making handbags that had paintings on them. I figured it would be much easier for me if the things I painted were useful. I sold the first one before it was finished, which was a good sign. I then made the second one for Rosario Dawson, I knew her because I was dating her uncle Gus and I was always around the building they lived in. She wore it onto Regis and Kelly during an interview for her role in "The 25th Hour", the Spike Lee Film.

GF: How long have you been doing this?

CAH: 2002 if I remember anything correctly.

GF: You do it all by hand?

CAH: A lot of it, some of it Urban Outfitters liked and we had mass-produced, and another line of mine sells at Hot Topic which is also mass-produced.

GF: Awesome, do you do the design and print stuff full time or do you have another job as well?

CAH: I do this full-time, but I sneak in painting and making armor with my boyfriend when I can. We call it "Armor Dorking".

GF: Someone once said that doing what you love and getting paid for it is the American Dream

CAH: I think it's just The Dream, American or not, I have a lot of reasons to be grateful. Except the fashion industry stinks a little.

GF: How so?

CAH: It's the one art form that you hear "can you knock this off" or "rip this off" as part of the standard language.

GF: Sounds groady to me.

CAH: Not a very friendly place for the artists in it, as they might be facing the inevitability of being screwed in some way. Sharks, man.

GF: Have you ever done any skateboards?

CAH: No but I would love to, are you kidding me?

GF: Flip and Mystery have awesome art.

CAH: I'll look them up, I haven't been leaving my cave lately.

GF: How much time do you devote to painting? Do you ever do canvas stuff for galleries?

CAH: I've been painting since my diaper exploded, and I devote a lot of time to it. I haven't shown anywhere yet, but I just started a big series and plan on getting that somewhere, hopefully. Art's a tough bizz.

GF: Andy Warhol made it look so easy

CAH: Andy Warhol's art was his calculating mind and his will to stay silent about what he'd figured out. The rest is just fairy dust and glamour. My clothing company is largely inspired by my idea of what he accomplished.

GF: What's that idea?

CAH: I think he managed to treat pop culture like a religion and to divine things from his immediate surroundings. If you're into predicting trends you eventually become a pop psychic. I'm working on starting a religion based on those ideas, the Church of Pop. I'm getting ordained next month, so if you ever need a minister...

GF: Can I be the archbishop of funk?

CAH: Hell's effing yes dude, that's exactly the kind of fun religions should be, don't you think?

GF: Score! What process do you use to silkscreen your shirts? The photo emulsion process?

CAH: Yes, photo emulsion, then thousand mistakes per screen, and then I eventually have a working screen to....work with. Have you played with silk-screening?

GF: Yeah, back in the day, I didn't know anything about Warhol or anything like that at the time, so I didn't really dwell on how far I could take it. Apparently, you took the idea and ran with it.

CAH: Well he did most of the footwork. My shirts are one-of-a-kind and cool, but they're also set up in such a way that if I mess up it doesn't matter so much.

GF: How so?

CAH: Well for Love Nico I sell tees that are supposed to be unique- so they all don't have to come out the same. So if I forget to say print a gun in the right place, no one's going to complain, so long as there isn't something horribly wrong, those little differences help add to the beauty of the product.

GF: Like the Mothholes thing

CAH: I would never be able to print really detailed text in the same place on each shirt. Impossible, because I do it all on a flat table, and speaking of mothholes, it is so much fun to stab shirts a lot.

GF: They're not moths?!?

CAH: I mean...watch my moths work diligently for me, 24/7.

GF: Oh, okay, sweet. Did you see the movie Basquiat where David Bowie played Andy Warhol?

CAH: [Laughs] Yes, I am a David Bowie fan, that's kind of an understatement.

GF: How do you choose an image to print? What inspired you to do the city stuff like watertowers?

CAH: I don't have any particular process to picking designs. Sometimes I make things on the computer and then pick out things etc. There is no way for me to uphold any kind of system. The watertowers and "psicon" line are there just because I've always loved those things. Powerlines, all that. I like NYC, and it's got a lot of interesting skyline going on. Urban things thrill the shit out of me.

GF: Me too, especially trees in the city.

CAH: Dude, trees are amazing. They remind me of nature, which I like better than urban things... but not much I can do about that whole "population" or development thing.

GF: Do you have any tattoos?

CAH: I have a few, one on my arm that I got when I was 17.

GF: What is it of?

CAH: It's an Egyptian catouche from Nefertiti's era, a scarab holding up the sun. It's got to do with a whole lot of deep things about transcendence, and because Nefertiti's era was so unique, they changed everything about the religion of the area. I got this tattoo when I was young and then it's been unfolding its meaning to me since in crazy "voice of god" synchronistic ways.

GF: Are you a spiritual or religious person?

CAH: Spiritual for sure, definitely. I worked at a witch shop too for a while. I did tarot and made incense by hand.

GF: Comic Shop, Witch Shop, what other "normal" jobs have you had?

CAH: I was the jerk that ran the cafe and was rude to people, toy-painter, camp counselor, window display at a big clothing store wrestling with mannequins. I'm sure there are a few others.

GF: Worst job ever?

CAH: Student, definitely the worst.

GF: What inspired your decision to leave school twice and go back once?

CAH: Almost everything that I was paying for was the inspiration to leave and the other students sometimes ticked me off, too. I just saw Art School Confidential. They nailed it with that movie.

GF: How was that? I haven't seen it yet, I got The Prestige and The Departed on DVD.

CAH: I think you might really love that movie, I highly recommend it. I haven't seen those other two. Do you think that the hipster is PeeWee's fault?

GF: PeeWee was all about...he was all about something,

CAH: Hipsters are all about out-cooling each other with obscurity.

GF: I hate that sort of thing, It's one thing to like something because it's good, its another to try to one up someone by knowing some random band from Texas. It's so stupid.

CAH: Well that kind of behavior will either run more rampant or less because of Myspace, it's too easy now.

GF: I think once the novelty of obscurity it wears off, really good musicians will be okay once again.

CAH: Yeah, I see it that way- I think we're going to return to actual skill and beauty again at some point soon.

GF: The sooner the better, but the mainstream culture will always find something (usually) lame to cling to, then when the trends change again, they look for something new.

CAH: As a rule now it takes from the underground. where the real action is.

GF: Yeah, but that money and fame can really corrupt a once really good musician case in point, Nelly Furtado, her popularity is higher than ever, but she totally sold out.

CAH: Yeah but you as a consumer will never have access to the millions of things she has to deal to with or without her consent, there are rules when other people get you where you are that you cannot avoid following sometimes.

GF: That's true, its the classic case of artistic merit versus mainstream appeal.

CAH: Especially if it means losing what you've earned which often means taking care of your family versus not being able to do anything for them. Mainstream appeal doesn't exist outside of the hype and excitement of liking something and the approval of peers.

GF: And record sales.

CAH: Often consumers take the little scraps of originality that they get in mainstream thinking that there's no better, but they won't know because the true grit and message is unknown without a voice or outlet.

GF: But then again, no one really buys music anymore.

CAH: Nope, and as a true testament to that, Tower Records went out of business.

GF: If only Rorschach were here, we'd ask him for help, and he'd say "No". Did you read Watchmen?

CAH: Hell yeah. I'm working on a very angry painting of Rainbow Brite. It's about how she lied to an entire generation.

GF: How so?

CAH: Well, ever notice that kids who grew up in the 80's were completely instilled with the "right to dream" and imagine and all kinds of encouraging things about imagination and art and fantasy and all that?

GF: I grew up in the '90s, but please continue.

CAH: Things that were very much not a part of the "cold hard reality" that we have to snap into all of a sudden one day without much warning or without much of a segway.

GF:In the '90s things were more cynical.

CAH:More realistic.

GF:I was watching Melrose Place when I was like 10, and I always wanted Zack and Kelly to "hook up" even know what "hook up" was.

CAH: Every generation is brought up on themes and I think that the hippies, after having their world crushed and their spirits broken, wanted to protect their kids from "reality" and conserve their innocence but in effect it's caused a great deal of dreamers and a lot of financial crisis with no balance.

GF: Where have you seen your shirts, like, Rosario Dawson, ECW?

CAH: Well I haven't seen them on Rosario Dawson, she had the handbag before the shirts were a thought but I've seen them on VH1 Classic, MTV2, Kerrang Magazine and YRB Magazine, a couple of movies, and a poopload of random TV shows. Also that Dr. Pepper commercial where the guy starts playing drums.
It's hard to keep on top of that, no one informs you, usually, when they're using something of yours.

GF: What stores sell your LoveNico stuff?

CAH: Yellow Rat Bastard, Urban Outfitters, Trash and Vaudeville, Up Against the Wall, Metropark, that's a cool one on the west coast and a bunch of other boutiques around the world. Not too many chains.

GF: Cool, what other artists do you like?

CAH: Well, I consider most people artists, so can I answer from that perspective? Art is the brilliant uniqueness of our minds and the execution of that uniqueness. I like David Bowie, Andy Warhol, Ron English, Carlos Castaneda and Robert Rauschenberg. Robert Anton Wilson is my favorite author, who just recently passed. Gordon Liu is only the best kung-fu movie actor EVER.

GF: Was he in Kill Bill?

CAH: Yup! I screamed in the theatres when his name came on the credits. You should look into armor dorking for yourself, it's great fun.

GF: What is that?

CAH: It's when you build yourself your own armor, out of anything you can find, then you test it by letting friends whack you with a stick or other things.

GF: No way! That's awesome. Where can I see that? What do you make them out of?

CAH: My boyfriend thought it up. Him and his friends grew up making crazy things. We make them out of anything we can dig up, from the garbage mostly. He actually did some stage armor for Don Omar and set design and all sorts of things. Check it out at Jayel Draco

GF: Wow, that's impressive, what new things are you coming up with now?

CAH: In general? I'm sorry, I wasn't sure if the question was related to clothing or art or armor or world domination or...

GF: Oh, sorry, LoveNico stuff

CAH: Well to be honest I'm currently at a bit of a loss in that arena. I'm not sure if what I might want to see on shirts is going to sync up with what buyers are looking for, and it's difficult for me to go for a long while just listening to buyer demands and not my own ideas. When I put inspiration into things they tend to do well in the stores, but not so well when I try to hit on some mass market demand. If I don't create something that is a sure sell, no one will take a chance on it.

GF: Oh, will people just like, give you ideas and let you run with it?

CAH: In the short 4 years I've been doing this, buyers have become more and more specific. I sometimes lately feel as though the entire point of what I'm trying to do is getting lost in a flurry of mass-market regurgitation.

GF: Has anyone had you take their picture and commission a shirt or anything like that?

CAH: Nope- too expensive and too time-consuming to silkscreen a one-of-a kind. I hand-painted a couple, but as gifts, and for fun.

GF: I like "Fuck Love shirt" with the hands all over it.

CAH: That one of course is literally hand-painted. I stick my hands in a gallon of red ink and think angry thoughts and listen to Nine Inch Nails or System of a Down.

GF: I love System, what did you think of the new albums?

CAH: I also think that a few of their videos are more creative and have more plot than most movies I've seen.

GF: Are you into filmmaking at all?

CAH: Nope. I've been itching for a video camera lately. My boyfriend and I do a lot of photo shoots together, at random, when we're off for the night. It's been getting me wanting to start documenting all of the crazy shit we do and make. We both live in a house with all of our art endeavors at full blast here.

GF: I hung my art in the gallery in January and nobody bought anything. I remember, nobody bought any of Andy Warhol's paintings from his first show Then I was talking to this art dealer, an older woman, Me and Joe were at her gallery and she totally trashed my art, like, trashed it and I walked around the gallery and I saw what she was hanging and I said "you don't like my stuff because its not your style, you're here in this place you rented selling kitchen paintings to housewives"

CAH: Nice!

GF: Joe was pissed, but I didn't care, I was just concerned with the whole artistic merit versus mass consumption thing. I wanted to make a living as a painter, whatever that means, and what I was painting wasn't what was "popular" in Lancaster PA at the time which was last month. So, I asked myself, would I be an artwhore, doing shit I hated for money or would I be Van Gogh, who considered himself a failure until the day he died. Which, is terrible.

CAH: It's hell.

GF: It doesn't matter what other people think about you, what matters is what you think about yourself. Do you have any advice for a fellow artist?

CAH: Don't take any shit, seriously. It goes all the way up the chain, the only way to make a difference is to always demand being treated like a human and eventually people will just feel that emanate off of you and you'll have a lot less of an issue with respect than most people.

GF: Yeah, Ross Halfin gave me a great bit of advice in his interview, he said PR people act like don't respect anything you do and that you have to have control over what you do.

CAH: In a lot of ways I had a really great run of the past few years, got a lot of chances, and good luck- then for some reason, this year, it's been down from there, a long way down, before I've even been given a chance to do the big stuff

GF: How so?

CAH: Originally people loved what I made, the tees were original. Then by next year everyone's shit looked just like mine and a few other people's, only mass-produced. Then after that, the buyers started asking me to copy what other people had copied from me and some of the more original people. The flame wasn't in that, so I've been fizzing out since. So Garrett, when someone tells you to compromise or sell out a little, and tells you that it's necessary, you go tell them to fuck themselves. Because it doesn't work, not for the truly original people of the world. We set the standards and others follow. The role of the creative individual is very powerful and feeds potentially whole tribes of families. Just one brilliant mind can change the lives of thousands if not millions. And we're supposed to cave in? Live by someone else's standards? You've got that spark, I can see it in your videos. Don't let it happen to you, just be yourself. If it takes years of determination, it'll work. Trust me....Okay I'm done ranting.

GF: Dude, that was really inspirational.

CAH: Cool. It came from a real place.

GF: One more question?

CAH: Of course.

GF: Do you have any parting words for everyone who will ever read this?

CAH: Parting words, hmmm...Buy my shirts so I can escape the apocalypse. Thank you. How's that? Too much?

GF: Perfect.