Originallity Kills Covers: Mike Knapp

Ra: What up, Mr. Knapp! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule and doing this interview with us. We really appreciate this.

Mike: No problem man. Thank you guys for taking the time out for me

Ra: Having said that, how are you doing?

Mike: I’m doing great actually. Just been focusing all my time and efforts on school, photography, and trying to balance my time. But yeah errrthang is good haha.

Ra: Thats good to hear, we are glad that you are smooth sailing! Before we begin tossing questions at you, can you please give our viewers a small piece of background information about yourself as well as your craft?

Mike: Well my name is Mike Knapp. Known by some as SNAPPS. I’ve been into photography my whole life but got into it seriously about 3-4 years ago, like towards the end of my freshman year of high school. I was born and raised in New York and wouldn’t change that for anything. I love this city. I spend more time in the city than I do in my house. It’s always something new when you go out there. I’m constantly inspired by what is happening around me. Next year I hope to attend School of Visual Arts to expand my photo skills mayne.

Ra: How long have you been a photographer and what pulled you towards it?

Mike: I’ve been a “photographer” for about 3 years. Like a serious photographer I mean. I’ve been interested in taking pictures my whole life though. I used to go around with my little digital camera taking pictures of my friends and my sneakers and stuff like that. Yeah I thought I was cool haha. Then I started going on photography-related forums and started meeting other photographers and seeing the work they did. I started to think like if they could take amazing pictures like that, then why can’t I? With that being said I started saving up money to get myself a good camera that I could work with. Ever since I bought that camera I barely ever put it down. I think that’s why I improved. If you love something you have to be willing to put as much time and effort into it as possible. The work you put in is more important than the result you will eventually get out of it.

Ra: Most of us know that you are heavily affiliated with The Brand With No Name and Dertbag, but how did that come about?

Mike: I met Kobi from TBWNN about a year ago at a Dunkxchange. I saw his brand before that on Sole Collector forums and was really feeling the work that he had done. I contacted him through Sole Collector or Twitter or something. I forgot which it was. But I contacted him and we started talking and eventually met up. On the other hand, I met Phil from Dertbag Design through Kobi actually. I would always see him posting stuff on Kobi’s Facebook wall and he seemed like a cool dude. I found out he was into Lil B and Odd Future so I hit him up to introduce myself. I first met up with him and Kobi at the OF show at Santos in February. The rest is history. I mean we are the future of the whole streetwear/urban/whatever you want to call it era. Expect great things in the near future from us.

Ra: We also know that you are huge on Supreme, how long have you
been sporting Supreme and what brought you towards it? Also, how do you feel
about Supreme’s hype being inflated due to Odd Future’s success?

Mike: I’ve been wearing Supreme for as long as I can remember. It’s my favorite brand. I love what they stand for and their whole “we don’t give a fuck” attitude. That being said, as everyone knows, it’s probably the most hyped up brand out there. The thing I can’t stand most is kids who wear a brand simply because they see other people wearing it. Before Odd Future, well mainly Tyler the Creator, there weren’t many famous people wearing Supreme. Well as often as he does anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for OF’s success. I watched them come from the bottom up to where they are now and I’m inspired by them because they have stayed true to who they are the entire time, but what I don’t like is how people, who a few months ago had no idea what Supreme was, or they knew and just never wore the brand, are now wearing it because Tyler does. I can’t do anything about it though so I’ll just let it be.

Ra: Your photography is slowly becoming more and more popular let alone in New York but in different places around the states. How do you feel about your success picking up speed? Have you completed any of your goals so far in 2011?

Mike: I’m excited that people are into my photos. It’s always nice to have someone tell you that you’re good at whatever you do and that they like your work. It’s what keeps us motivated and constantly pushing forward. Well that’s how I look at it anyway. As far as goals, I did complete a major goal this year and that was to be published in a magazine. In the past month I was published in 2 magazines. SSB Magazine and The Source. The credit I received in The Source was very small but I don’t care. It’s still The Source! Oh yeah and I shot the main spread for SSB magazine for the upcoming issue. It’s only available in New York though so if you’re reading this and don’t live in New York, sorry. Another goal I had was to get 1000+ notes on a photo on Tumblr. I feel like Tumblr is a great way for people to view my work. Anyway, my picture of me uh…peeing on Lady Gaga’s face, or putting my dick in her mouth as some have interpreted it to be, got over 5,000 notes in the first 2 days of posting it. I couldn’t believe it man I was so excited. Every time I refreshed my page it would have more and more notes on it. So yea those were my 2 major goals for the year and I achieved both of them. Swag!

Ra: Have you set any goals photography wise to conquer throughout 2011? If so, what are they?

Mike: Yes, definitely. I would say my major goal right now is to get out to Los Angeles this summer hopefully and take photos out there. I’m really interested in the whole LA lifestyle, and I actually have a lot of connections out there. I’ve met so many people through my photography from all over the country and I would really like to meet up and work with them. So that’s my major goal for now, go out and explore LA. And of course meet up with RA from OGKills!

Ra: Whenever you drop some new photos we will be sure to post them here on OKills! Speaking of OKills, are you a supporter of OKills? If so, how’d you find out about it?

Mike: Thanks mayne I appreciate that! I found out about OGKills from Kobi. He would post the link up to the site like every week or so and I would always go on and check it out. I asked him about the site and he told me all about what they did and what they stood for. At that point I had to become a supporter. But yeah I will always support you guys man I love the site. You guys doing big things always. Like I said before us kids are taking over, OGKills included.

Ra: Thank you for your time, and thoughts. I really appreciated
doing this interview with you, we wish you the best, and we look forward to
having you stop by for a part two. Here’s the part that everyone likes…shoutouts!

Mike: Thanks man I really appreciate it! Of course I have to shoutout RA from OGkills, Kobi at TheBrandWithNoName, Phil at Dertbagdesign, my mom, my whole family swag swag, uh, my real friends that have been there the whole time (you know who you are), Sean Lynch and OJ from The Source magazine, Todd from SVV and also anyone and everyone who supports me and what I’m doing. Without you guys I would have given up!

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