It's been a difficult task sifting through all the fake, "How can I be down?", shitty people that I have met over the years while owing this business, but every now and then I'm fortunate enough to meet a handful of deadicated, talented individuals that appreciate and love what they do. This is where Mike Sumoto comes in. I met Mike a few years back and managed to click with him right away. We started taking about a variety of topics and as the conversation progressed it seemed like we were sharing a lot of the same viewpoints and opinions on things. Those of you that have met me know I can be very opinionated, to the extent of sounding like an asshole even if I know I'm wrong about something, but still can't seem to let it go. Mike and I about the same age so maybe it's the way we were brought up. However I try to dissect it, it's always cool when you meet someone that you can relate to and after that first conversation I knew we needed to work with him.
Mike was born in Mississippi and moved with his family to San Diego when he was three. As a kid growing up he was into typical stuff like BMX and body boarding and in the 90's found himself getting heavily into graffiti writing and hip-hop. Around 2003 he picked up his first camera and to this day he is a completely self-taught photographer. He spent most of his days at Borders Books thumbing through all the photography books and magazines. He would look at all the various techniques they used and then try to apply them to his shots the following night. I never asked him, but I assume the influence of graph writing probably had something to do with his style today. Mike has managed to capture San Diego and it's downtown city in a way that is very unique. Long exposed panoramic shots and time lapses are his speciality but he's not limited to just that, he also has a background in shooting hip-hop legends like the Beat Junkies, Visionaries and Dilated Peoples.
Being a San Diego based company it has alway been important for us to highlight and showcase talented artists from this city. Mike is at the top of the list for us. We have been lucky to work on several projects since that first day we met including two solo art shows, button packs, post cards and we even had him shoot a picture of Roxanne and Doug that we later put on a tee and sold. Keeping with tradition and the relocation of 5&A Dime back to 828 G St, we thought it would be cool to have Mike shoot a picture of the view from the roof of our building. This took a handful of tries but eventually Mike found the right lighting and colors he was looking for. We then took his photo and ghosted in our 1904 logo and boom there you have it! Our Mike Sumoto x 5&A Dime "Cityscape" tee. We have a very limited supply so make sure to get your tee before it's gone.
Please take a few minutes and check out more of Mike's work HERE