Aton Crawley spent a few years casting Hood By Air shows while working with Walter Pearce's Midland Agency. The shows of the time brought a very new fresh take on casting, models, shows, American fashion and culture. Aton's insider fly-on-the-wall perspective gives the viewer an amazing insight into a past time where fashion was being pushed to the edge.
Where are you from?
I'm from Uptown DC, 5th and M St. I lived on capitol hill until I was like 4 or 5 then moved over there. Now I live in Anacostia.
You were born into this art family, tell me about them.
Haha yes I was born into a very creative family, so making things has been installed in my DNA by default. My mother is a sculptor primarily working in stone (specifically marble and most recently rose quarts), wood and found objects. My older brother used to be a graffiti artist and Muralist for the DC Fringe Festival and since then has graduated to quite the genius philosopher. My father is a literary genius and has an impeccable taste in music. One of my uncles used to paint and another uncle had his own funk band. Im not sure about everyone else but Im sure they are just as supportive if not talented in some other aspect.
How did growing up in a family of artist shape your interest in art, what mediums did you start experimenting with first and what medium do you work in now?
From a very young age I was put in a lot of arts workshops and after school programs in the city including C.H.A.W., Sitar Arts Center, Shakespeare theater company, the Corcoran and some others. So my family gave me an incredible amount of opportunities from very early on. Currently i work with oil paint, ink, pencil, charcoal, photography and some mixed media. Recently I've been working to improve my paint skills and master drawing. I also really aspire to start sculpting sometime soon. So I don't really have a favorite medium at the moment.
How is it being in the same google results with your mom?
You funny as shit.
Yeah she's not exactly thrilled about the search results.
What age did you start getting into art and why do you do it now?
It's something I've always done and something I never questioned doing. I do it now simply to broaden my perspective of "Art" as a concept and break it down in a way that has some sort of connection or meaning to it in relation to my own physical experience.
"Yeah she's not exactly thrilled about the search results."
Skating or riding bikes?
Skate. If you know me you would know i learned how to skate and grew up skating at the infamous Fightclub DC, I used to skate all over downtown and shit. Pulaski, Archives, MLK, Courthouse, you name it. Now i don't really skate at all for real. I try to hop on the board every now and then but i'm not very good anymore so I do a lot of biking.
When did you go to New York and why?
I moved to New York immediately after I graduated high school because i figured i'd have a better time figuring out who I am as a person in a new city that I also have to figure out how make my home for that timeframe.
How’d you get into casting?
I met my homie Walter from being out in the NY scene. At the time he was HBA's in-house casting director. Shortly after we became cool I started assisting him with casting and suggesting people for HBA and other side gigs. Shortly after HBA's Hiatus he started his agency, Midland Agency, and everything bloomed from there.
What brands have you worked with?
HBA, Telfar, Vaquera, Gucci, Farfetch, Barneys, Nordstroms, Atlantic Records, Fenty Sephora, Nike, Spotify and a bunch of others.
What are your most memorable fashion shows and or campaigns?
The Nike NBA campaign was pretty sick. One of the first times I casted a major campaign and it was majority my streetcast. Plus they few me to LA for it. HBA was always legendary. Gucci Dapper Dan was really fucking dope just cause dap is the coolest motherfucker. Yeah, too many memorable moments to count.
Do you model?
Coffee of Matcha?
Coffee, fuck matcha. but not because its bad or anything. I have a personal bias...inside story.
What has creating been like since the pandemic?
Pretty burnt. thats all Imma say.
When did you get back to DC and what have you been up to?
I got back to dc in february 2019, I was living in NYC for a little while. Since I been back I've mostly been painting and saving money. I took a trip to Argentina that I had been planning for a while so that was pretty cool.
What made you want to drop "Hood Breathes Air"?
I had this book planned for a couple years now. Just been waiting on the right time. Their relaunch seemed like the appropriate kickoff.
"DC needs places like this for those of us that aren't suit and tie"