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Books & Magazines April, 2 2012

Highsnobiety Q&A: Tabatha McGurr on her New Book – Tabatha

Simply entitled Tabatha, Tabatha McGurr makes her first moves in the world of publishing. Daughter of one of the most famous graffiti writers/artists, Futura, and integral part of the Married To The MOB team since the age of 15, she quickly became the voice of the brand. We have been following the brand’s blog for many years, as the young writer and artist took the task to a completely new level. Rather than speaking about the brand all the time and about the latest t-shirt release, she really managed to create a voice, a signature and a very unique way of communicating the values and point of views of the brand. Marketing on a entirely new level.

Today Tabatha will be releasing her first book and we wanted to find out a little more about it. Created in collaboration with Married To The MOB and New York Art Department, the 100 page art book is composed of Tabatha’s colorful photos, illustrations, text, and numerous collages – one which is printed on sticker paper to peel out completely. You can pre-order your signed copy here now. The book will also release at The Hole Gallery in New York and at colette in Paris.

Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Hi! My name’s Tabatha, I’m a twenty-one year old freelance writer from Brooklyn.

Tell us a bit more about your work.. how did you arrive at the point where you’re having a book published?

It basically all started when Leah asked me to do the Married to the Mob (Mobliving) blog when I was 15. It was initially more of a hobby, but then little by little it grew along with the company until it became a full-time thing. Since I was so young when I started, the entries were all super honest and childishly opinionated and it eventually became an extremely personal outlet of mine where I’d share some of my deepest thoughts with the readers. Just one confused adolescent to another, if you will. After 6 years and hundreds upon hundreds of entries though, we realized there was quite an interesting archive of work left behind. Finally one day Leah simply said “we’ve gotta do something with all this”, so we started gathering the content and less than a year later here we are!

Read the rest of the interview after the jump.

Leah described this to us an an ‘Art Book.’ From my perspective, the written word is your primary art form.. is that true or is it more multi-disciplinary?

It’s true, writing is my main squeeze and all the other stuff comes after. Problem is, I’m still in a phase where I’m not all that comfortable or happy with my work, so I get really obsessive and critical about it. When we were putting the book together and I was sorting through old blog posts to add in, I was practically cringing the whole time – like looking through ancient diary entries you just get embarrassed about what/how you write things. At the same time something about seeing all that is kind of endearing, so we definitely included some favorite written pieces within the layout, but I ultimately wanted to mold it after an adult-style scrapbook filled with all sorts of different media – it’s really more images, drawings, collages, etc. than text. The whole book is basically like a visual journey through my life, from early childhood & family photographs to adolescent escapades to my current musings, there’s a little bit of everything included.

How long has this project been in the works? Any interesting ‘making of’ stories you can share?

I’m actually not 100% sure of the start date, but it’s definitely been under a year. The whole thing happened super fast. As far as stories go…I hate to let you down but it was a pretty mellow process overall, haha. In a nutshell there was only about four of us really working on the project (Leah, Rob, the printer, and myself) and we’re all already super close, so we were all on the same page in terms of aesthetic and concept.

There are some amazing old photos of you and your father in the book – what was it like growing up in such a creative family?

I can’t lie, it’s been pretty fucking amazing. I was really blessed being born a McGurr – we’re certainly not orthodox but I prefer it that way. Between my Dads artistic background and my Mothers French roots it’s been quite a fantastic juxtaposition of cultures. It’s hard to quickly sum up in words, but all that perspective definitely gave me a special outlook on life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

What’s your favorite page in the book? Why?

Wow that’s a tough one, they’re all dope! If I had to choose though, probably the purple collage titled Drink Sizzurp on page 67, just because it’s a full-page collage printed on sticker paper so it peels out.

Talk a bit about your experience at Married to the MOB. To this day, the MOB Living blog is one of the greatest (..how great is One Tiny Hand?)

Aw, thanks! Like i briefly mentioned earlier, Mobliving came about when Leah approached me at around 15 (we’d already been friends for about 2 years) asking if I’d like to do the MOB blog. I was a huge fan so naturally I said yea, and what started as about one or two posts a day after school turned into a full-on paid position once I’d graduated. I was 18 at the time and Leah had just signed a deal with investors, so being that I had no intentions on going to college, I happily accepted the job instead. We got put up in this super dope loft office on the 66th floor of the Empire State Building where I had my own desk and million dollar view – for an 18 year old it’s pretty hard finding a better arrangement than that. Working a 9-5 schedule I also realized that it didn’t take 7 hours to put up 3 or 4 blog posts, so I quickly started taking on other tasks around the office, like our PR and overseeing shop photoshoots. We eventually split from our partners and took MTTM back to being a more intimately-run operation, but as long as the brand is still around, I’ll be here posting dope shit and updating the blog regularly. It’s like my baby after all! Plus nobody else could do it justice…

What are your thoughts on the current “streetwear” community? Clearly things have changed quite a bit since you first got on board with MTTM.

Pretty lame? Haha. “Street” and “urban” wear is always going to be around on some level, but it definitely fizzled out in the last several years. If you look at what most kids in the “street” are actually wearing these days, it’s all like structured jackets and Givenchy t-shirts and fucking Versace prints. People aren’t nearly as crazy about collecting sneakers and hoodies and Bape (what’s that?) or any of that shit as they were years ago when the company first started up. And thank God! Not to say that there aren’t still some good street-based companies out there, but overall the majority seem wack. Luckily I think MTTM has always strived and succeeded in being more than that. Our demographic has never been just the ‘street wear’ kids, it’s everybody from soccer moms, to dominatrixes, to female boxers, and all the other heads in-between!

You’ve recently started writing a column over at Complex on love, sex and relationships – what’s the weirdest question you’ve been pitched thus far?

Ah yes, I’ve gotten some interesting ones so far. I actually kind of brought this one on myself, but when I went in for the interview and we were throwing risqué column ideas back & fourth, I jokingly said I could write a piece on “how to get your girl to open up the back door”, if you catch my drift. Then a month or two later I get an email from my editor requesting a column on just that. Awkward…

When and where can we find your book? We hear you’re doing a signing.

Indeed! I’ll be doing a signing from 6-9 at The Hole gallery on the Bowery on Tuesday, April 10th. The books will be available there, as well at Colette in Paris, and you can actually pre-order a signed copy already through the MTTM shop online! (http://mttmnyc.com/shop/womens/)

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