Posted: Sep 30 2013
by: Jill Johnson

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A Collaboration With Wallace

                                     Credit : Photo by JAM PHOTO


Before the mayhem, before the art, we were partners. And ever since then we've had a truly inspirational connection. My most recent collaboration with Wallace was a quick one. That's how we usually do things.. we just go for it. No planning, no meetings, no sketch pads and idea-list-writing. It comes with a vision and place to create. In this case it's Wallace's grungy and awesome art studio in what we lovingly call "Containerland" in the bowels of the now-ritzy and famous "Funk Zone" of Santa Barbara.

We've been collaborating in this neighborhood for over a decade in various warehouses, studios and lofts. What this one lacks in plumbing (sorry.. but I cannot be okay with the porta-potties).. it makes up for with a raw, true, and inspiring environment. Ideas just come to us and it's a symbiosis of grabbing different mediums: fabrics, silkscreens, paints, mini skirts… whatever we have to work with and it just.. works! It's great to be around such mutual creativity.


I showed up with my machines, equipment, fabric and patterns. Wallace gave me free-range with his amazing silkscreens.... all original art of his, plus some vintage screens he had salvaged from the 1960's. I cut the fabric. He printed. I sewed.

We made one-of-a-kind TEE SHIRTS,

MINI SKIRTS.. printed on authentic vintage fabric,

And eco-chic cotton canvas TOTE BAGS.

(To see more items for sale in this collections, please click on the images above or click here.)

Sometimes we took a beach-break or walked over to one of our favorite restaurants in the funk zone, but other times, we loved to keep working with a studio lunch. Admittedly, the "bunny lunch" was pretty funny...I had a deadline for some costumes I was commissioned to make so Wallace brought me cheap wine and carrots... not bad, but I really like the decadence of the proscuitto, cheese and cava that came from Metropulis, just across the street... Yum.


Evenings were often spent de-compressing with Wallace's killer tacos, back-yard al fresco style with a symphony of frogs in the background, or with a few Jack-and-Cokes and some punk rock juke tunes at The Press Room, or making appearances at one of many art-openings in the funk zone.


Hanging Wallace's art in preparation for his show at The Press Room.


Getting ready for Wallace's art opening at Michael Kate Interiors.

Definitely a great time in Santa Barbara, creating, collaborating and hanging out in the funk zone with my long-time bestie!

Be sure to check out Wallace's website and check out the things we made for Bunny Jackson!

To see more work from Jill Martin of JAM PHOTO (the photographer that caught my all-time favorite photo of us) click here!

Of course we would love to read your comments below. Thanks for reading and lots of love to all of you! 




  • Jill! I loved this post! You two are both so talented and creative! You are such an inspiration! xx

    Posted by Vanessa Rivers on October 05, 2013
  • That’s really amazing… You were incredible together back in the early years at True Grit and continue to exceed beyond all standards of the definition of iconic trendsetters today. Lots of love to you both, and kudos for leaving such stylish and delightfully controversial imprints to live long after our present becomes the past. Xoxo

    Posted by Sarah Reed Farmer, on October 02, 2013
  • This is totally TRUE GRIT STYLE and I love how you both continue to collaborate!!! I love all the pieces especially all the horses and mini skirts and t-shirts!!! xoxox

    Posted by Renee Vargas on October 01, 2013
  • I Love This!!! Captures you both SO well!!
    Good old ORIGINAL True Grit, Grit Girl, Wallace and Bunny!!!! Love them all and still have almost everything from each! Xoxo

    Posted by Emily on October 01, 2013

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