In just over a year, Rebel Radical DIY has grown from scratch into a solid business, providing bands with bespoke patches, t shirts and more. Talented artist and designer Rebecca Eaves has a strong work ethic and some wicked painting skills, which have brought her to the attention of many bands in Scotland.
Can you tell NHC music how did Rebel Radical DIY begin?
I started this wee venture last year (2016) making patches for myself because i was skint basically haha. People kept asking about my patches and if i could do orders which gave me the idea, i thought “fuck it, worth a try!” i love music and going to gigs so when i realised i could combine the two of them i leaped at the chance. This all started on cut up clothes and bedsheets so don’t let anyone tell you what you can achieve, you got this!
Rebel Radical DIY is probably best known in the underground music scene. Can you name some bands who you’ve worked with and whose music inspires you?
I did my first bulk order for a band called Decontrol down Newcastle way, took a bit of time to paint 20 patches but what an awesome opportunity! Great band and lovely folk, check them out. I'm in talks with AOA at the moment about some tshirts or patches. Another great band with lovely people! There's a couple others in the pipeline but I won't reveal them all just yet! Whose music inspires me? Now that is a huge question! Literally anyone who has the guts to just get up on stage and do their thing though! Even if i don't like it personally i really appreciate people who make any kind of noise!
What are some of your most popular patches?
The Bikini Kill ones seem to go pretty fast! Yeah, i think the bikini kill ones are the most popular patches, understandably so. My most popular t shirts at the moment though are ones with my logo on which is so cool!
Rebel Radical is an ethical company which strongly supports love, feminism, and social equality. Patches are made from environmentally sustainable materials. Can you tell us more about this aspect of your business and why it’s important to you?
I think it's super important to try leave as little trace on the earth as we can, we really have a beautiful planet and not a lot of people take the time to think about it. I fully support equality for all as well, it's baffling to me how people can even question that. One thing people, think for yourself. Even if i don't agree with your opinion, just have one! And back it with a bit of logic, it's important to think.
Recently you were displaying and selling your work at Girls To The Front Festival in Aberdeen and Edinburgh. How did that go?
This was a really cool thing to do again, i actually sold some patches there last year too. Yup, ones made on cut up clothes haha. I love what Megan and Simone at Unburnt Witches are doing with that, a showcase of girl bands and creators in the scene. It feels good to be part of it.
Any more events coming up where people can meet you and see your work in person?
Not at the moment, although I'm always out at gigs! I may not have patches with me but i did get fancy business cards and stickers made on recycled materials so don't be afraid to come say hi and grab one.
What does the future hold for you?
I plan on evolving naturally as i have been, i started just with custom patches then onto bulk orders. Now t-shirts, bags, pencil cases…. Basically, as long as i can draw the design and paint on the item the possibilities are endless. I'm going to be doing a couple band backdrops too so I'm looking forward to that.
Can you tell us a little about your logo?
I drew up my logo with the tree of life as my only starting point, I'm a bit of hippy i guess but i love trees! They're beautiful aren't they? Anyway, I knew it had to be some sort of tree. I saw a graphic that had 2 people in the trunk which gave me the idea to go for something similar then i just drew branches and hoped it would work…I think it did haha.
You have also created original artwork for some bands- where does your inspiration come from?
Yeah, that's been pretty surreal! Music! And i love ted talks too, get me all hyped for a creative day!
Do you listen to music while you work? Who usually plays in the background?
First of all Radical Dance Faction! These guys are where its at, been together for years, went through some tough times and just keep coming back fighting. Think spoken word over the top of amazing bass sounds, very dub. Also the idea of the name came from hearing Chris’ addedpart in their cover of Soul Rebel by Bob Marley and the wailers. He says “rebel radical, rebel dance, rebel faction. Rebel never change!” Secondly Riskee and the ridicule, these guys btw. They have lyrics that just resonate with me so much“if you focus on your message you can never fail, now repeat after me. My soul ain't for sale” so good! Both DIY as fuck too!
Feel i should do a wee list cause there's so many bands!! Haha Sanction this, Frenetix, AOA, Omega Tribe, Critikill, The Clash, The Bennies, Aos3, The Vaselines, Carter USM, Pink Turds In Space, G.l.o.s.s, Minor Threat.. Etc, etc.... haha
Less expensive than most merch providers, yet everything is beautifully handmade- how do you make this work?
I manage to cover my costs and make a little bit of money when i sell a t-shirt so i don't mind. It's never been about the money.
Where can bands interested in your work find you?
I have a Facebook page www.facebook.com/rebelradicalx or Instagram is @rebelradicaldiy. I'll have a website and Etsy store up and running soon too. Oh, and you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebel Radical DIY is a success story among small businesses in an unstable economic climate. What advice would you give to others trying to earn a living from doing what they love?
Do it, do it, do it! Just don't be too in a rush to “make it” that you miss the excitement of every little thing. The only person who knows what you can achieve is you, so please if you have an idea just go for it. Everything is worth a try!!
Anything else at all you would like to tell NHC Music about Rebel Radical DIY?
Thank you for asking me to do this! And seriously everybody if you want to start your own thing up then do it! And if you need advice and think i can help then ask away!