All Articles
All Articles

Lenworth, The Righteous Leftie

The Dallas illustrator behind Fresh Kaufee on creating wearable art and his solo show at local lifestyle shop Epocha

by CH Contributor
on 21 August 2014

by Chérmelle Edwards

LenworthMcIntosh-03a.jpg LenworthMcIntosh-02b.jpg

Each morning Lenworth McIntosh—who also goes by Joonbug—opens his Fresh Kaufee Instagram feed with hand-drawn letterings and illustrations that simply say "Good Morning." The simple gesture is an extension of the full-time artist's Fresh Kaufee clothing brand and creative thoughts, which—for the first time—are on view in a solo exhibition at Dallas lifestyle store Epocha. We spoke with McIntosh to learn more about what drives him and his approach to making art.

How did the "Good Morning" series of illustrations begin?

The "Good Morning" project started with deciding to say "good morning." I saw a lot of hand-lettering artists practice drawing a word or a quote, so one morning I got the notion to draw "good morning to you." It was received so well, which was so amazing. People don’t get told "good morning" often enough and it’s such a simple thing to say—to brighten your day, to give you a head start. It’s snowballed into a series on cereal, cartoons and vintage video games.

LenworthMcIntosh-02a.jpg LenworthMcIntosh-03b.jpg
Fresh Kaufee is more than an Instagram handle for you, it’s also your clothing line and a personal ethos. Can you share a little about your road to having a lifestyle brand?

I’ve been drawing since I was three or four. And, I’ve developed my own style. I draw from things in my head. And, when I draw from life I’m stretching what I see. I like to fuse art and create something new so I’ll play around with everything that I draw to make it fun and interesting. I started the clothing line in 2009. It was molded by my drive to become successful at what I loved to do. I found a niche in creating art that is wearable.

Can you explain what you mean by wearable art?

The Fresh Kaufee concept is to take what coffee does to the body and put it in a wearable platform. Just as coffee wakes you up physically once caffeine takes effect, my brand is like that pick-me-up. It supports a lifestyle of waking people up to what they really want to do. If you have doubts about your career, or you’re looking for support in going against the grain, my brand is here to support you. I use to work at McDonald's and I quit to do my art full time, which I’ve been doing since 2011.

That is inspiring!

Yes. I want to wake people’s creative senses so that they do what they love in life; provide them motivation for success. And success is a whole bunch of things. But at the end of the day, I can say I’ve made $2 more that day or I’m just happy—and that's success.

LenworthMcIntosh-01a.jpg LenworthMcIntosh-01b.jpg
Having your first solo exhibition as an artist is a success. How did the collaboration with Epocha come to fruition?

Epocha is a menswear boutique and the owner and I are pretty good friends. He’s introducing a work-live environment with his store. It’s an organic environment, with a New York vibe and an old, repurposed basketball gym floor. The kitchen is on the same floor as where the apparel is sold, there’s a backyard, a DJ on site and a front living room-like gallery space where my paintings are. Once it was together, he said I had to come and do a show—over 200 people came out on the opening night.

The show is called "Lenworth, The Righteous Leftie." What are your show's themes and who is it named for?

Lenworth is from my father. But I wasn’t on good terms with my real father so I was against using that name, so I was using Joonbug—my nickname that is synonymous with my illustrations. But, I was always reflecting on what was happening in the world and I wanted to create a third side to my artistry and the things that I observe. Those themes are in the show and it’s under Lenworth to cover the conceptual, raw and thought-provoking things I thought needed to be exposed.

The show tackles the things that I was taught as a child about Christianity like in "Ominous Children," the one with all the eyes. It's a reminder that what we do in front of a child won’t be forgotten. Then there’s my ideas about women and how society deems a woman powerful by things like her shape and hair, so I did a piece where I made her powerful, vulnerable and bald. I wanted to make the show a place where you came, stopped, looked and reflected.

What was your creative process to get to this body of paintings?

There’s a lot of procrastination. Once I’m in the zone, I focus and knock it out. A lot of times the illustration is so easy, you just need a pen or pencil or paper or anything. And it’s so accessible. With painting, I’m priming wood, working with the canvas, setting out paints and colors—I think about that a bit more. But once the first stroke goes on, it’s all impulsive—there’s no thinking. I want it to be completely expressive: whatever goes on there, goes on there. And there’s really no mistakes—it's impulsive so whatever happens, happens.

‘’Lenworth, The Righteous Leftie" is on exhibit at Epocha through 30 August 2014.

Images courtesy of Lenworth McIntosh

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue
Loading More...