get to know: CMRTYZ


CMRTYZ are comprised of CMR (C.M. Ruiz) and TYZ (Ty Ziskis). They’re two multi-talented guys from Seattle who are all about DIY, music, hanging out, smoking cigarettes, and collaborating with like-minded folks, who happen to be select brands, retailers, and sweet bands. Fashion and visual art are currently what CMRTYZ are producing for those lucky enough to encounter their unique pieces, with a few more things in the works.

Individually, CMR puts his brain to work on designing screen prints and posters while doing seemingly mundane tasks, such as laundry or washing his hair. The results are hand-drawn images mixed with collages that are a bit rough around the edges. Meanwhile, TYZ is making sales and working at getting involved in cool projects to put their name on. It’s a match made in heaven, and we all get to reap the benefits. They just arrived in town and we had a chance to learn a bit more about them beforehand, and we were pleased to find out that, indeed, CMRTYZ is A.OK.


OAK: Can you introduce yourself to our readers, and provide some information about yourselves that they may not know?

CMRTYZ: hey friends of oak…we are CMR and TYZ we smashed ourselves together to create CMRTYZ


OAK: How’s the summer going for you so far?

CMRTYZ: Crazy busy… wicked phat!


OAK: How’d you two meet, and what made you decide to start CMRTYZ? How are things going so far? Have you faced any unexpected challenges or successes in starting a new brand like this?

CMRTYZ: We were brought together by a mutual friend to work on an art show. We really clicked, became fast friends, and came up with all sorts of crazy ideas for the art show. They were all shot down by this mutual friend, who was “curator” of the show. Once it was over we were kinda bitter about the whole thing and decided to work on some projects together. I guess we didn’t really know we were starting “CMRTYZ”…we just dug hangin’ out with each other and both liked to be productive. I think that’s also why we have such a horrible name…we didn’t really think about it in terms of being a brand of a label we just wanted to have fun and do things our way…cuz fun RULEZ!!!! Things are going GREAT!


OAK: Have people really invited you to river trips through your blog? What other invites have you received?

CMRTYZ: No, no river trips yet…or people flying us anywhere, but we are going to Europe this summer for a month and we got tons of invites to crash with people all along the way!!! Thanks all you kind folks across the sea: YOU RULE!


OAK: What made you expand from printed t-shirts?

CMRTYZ: We smoke cigarettes on the roof and drink Mexican beers and talk about “what-ifs”. Sometimes we do that all day and at night realize that we forgot to work so we have late-nights doing stuff. We don’t really make long-term goals, those are no fun! We just get an idea and make it RIGHT AWAY and then see if anyone likes.


OAK: What or who are your style influences?

CMRTYZ: Man, lately you would think TYZ’s style influence was the drunk homeless guy playing bongos on the corner, you would also think they wore the same “fragrance” as well. CMR likes jean jackets and ray bans.


OAK: What are your favorite prints/pieces that you’ve created?’

CMRTYZ: They’re all our babies- we love ‘em equal


OAK: For CMR – I’ve read that you have no formal background in art – how’d you get started? Was art always an interest of yours?

CMR: I moved to Seattle right out of high school to do art because it seemed like an art city to me. Liking bands, I offered to do art for them and some said yes. I would do posters and other bands would see those and track me down, so soon I was doing tons of them all the time. It made me really prolific and got me a niche in Seattle. I never had a computer so I just learned analog techniques to produce images that I really wanted to make or had in my head. Luckily, I met like-minded creatives.


OAK: What is your zine about and when did you get started on it?

CMRTYZ: The Zine we are creating is a component of a gallery show we are putting on at RARE Gallery that opens at the end of the month. It will house art work from the 4 artists who are showing at the gallery. There will also be some interviews with our fav. bands along with comic strips, horoscopes and other fun stuff! I think we may have them available for the FIRST time at our event w/ A.OK on the 17th at OAK Williamsburg.


OAK: Can you guys speak about psychedelic summer? Is this your first show in NYC? What’s the deal with it? How often do you guys make it out here? We’re stoked about it!

CMRTYZ: PsySum is a gallery show featuring new works by C.M. Ruiz, Cassie Ramone (vivian girls, the babies) Matthew Volz (the beets) and Johnny “rattail” Malta. All of these artist have been doing gig posters, records covers, and zines for a while and all have admired each other’s work from a far. In the last year we all become good pals. This show is a tribute to a specific music/art community that has spread so far while remaining super close knit. In line with the theme of the show there will also be a record store installation. It will house tons of records that these artists have designed art for among records from labels who we have worked with or who have influenced us. Labels include: Goner, Hozac, Bachelor, Hardly Art, Captured Tracks, Vice, Scotchtapes, Animal Image Search, Shdwply Records, Florida’s Dying, Boomchick Records, Family Time, Sweet Rot, No Pain in Pop, and Group Tightner.

Oh yeah- The Beets and Babies are gonna play at the opening!!!


OAK: You’re based out of Seattle? How does being in Seattle inform your business and lifestyle? Does it present any different limitations or opportunities, than say, NY or even LA?

CMR: I like, now like earth tones and flannel and have always hated LA.


OAK: Where are each of your top three places to hang out in Seattle, and why?

CMRTYZ: Ty’s roof, Suzie’s apartment playing chess, Ulrika’s castle, and the funhouse in front of 20twenty.


OAK: Do you have any other new projects coming through the pipeline for us to look forward to?

CMRTYZ: A record label.


OAK: Who’s better at games?

CMR: Ty is slightly better at chess. I’m way better at 3-point basketball shots. We are scheduled to race/sprint 40 yards in Paris.


OAK: Anything else you’d like to say?

CMR: “I’m sending these questions”
TYZ: “whatever.”


meet the guys behind cmrtyz this thursday at CMRTYZ IS A.OK

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