Portraits & Stories of PEOP(le) by Fly
The PEOPs Project is a continuing collection of Portraits & Stories of exceptional, creative & passionate people; for the most part my friends, comrades & people who i admire & who inspire me. Each portrait occupies one page – a face surrounded by words. The words are the story told to me by the subject &edited on the spot. It’s all very immediate. Some people tell their life story & others might just talk about a specific event or ideology. It’s all up to them & is very much influenced by my interaction with them as i am doing the initial drawing.
The idea for PEOPs is based on my life-long obsession of constantly drawing, writing & documenting my life. I always carry a sketchbook! When i was touring the world in the mid-nineties playing bass in a band called God Is My Co-Pilot we would be in a different city & often a different country everyday. Between set-up, showtime & other downtimes i would be drawing people & making notes. I found our international conversations fascinating & confusing in a good way because most people i met had english as a second language so they would phrase things so poetically which was so much more interesting than america-speak – i just had to write it down.
Sometime in the later 90s i decided that these drawings would make a really great zine! (I have been making zines since the mid-80s so this was not surprising.) That is when i came up with the name PEOPs. From there the project gradually got more formal & i would actually make appointments with people. For me this was a great excuse to be able to socialize, as i am a workaholic & it is difficult for me to ‘make time’ to “hang out” without being productive.
The first PEOPs zine was published in 1999. following that a 200 page PEOPs volume was published by Soft Skull Press in 2003 to great underground critical acclaim. Around the same time i started doing a long-running PEOPs Page in maximumrocknroll. A PEOPsShow dvd was produced in collaboration with Killer Banshee Studios (Oakland) in 2003 to coincide with the first PEOPs Tour.
I continue to publish PEOPs zines (currently up to #7) & my lower east side PEOPs can be seen regularly in local paper The Villager (& East Villager). PEOPs is a life-long project to me. It is about my own personal world-wide community, about wanting people to appreciate the hidden history of our everyday life & about radical networking. Everybody has an incredible story to tell & everybody deserves to be heard.
For PEOPs info & to contact fly: PEOPs.org
For other Fly art & publications: flyspage.com