Behind The Sticker: Charlotte Dagger
The dagger seemed like Charlotte’s flag in the moon. Something I could create using the QC crown and let the city run with. Everyone told me to sell them, but I just slapped the shit out of stickers everywhere, gave them to all the homies and printed up a limited run of tees. – Zacc Pollitt, Prove Nothing
It’s a slippery slope to think of art as something that belongs in a museum or a gallery only. Artistic expression — and the mediums in which creatives work — aren’t bound by walls or designated spaces. It’s all around us, in murals on the sides of buildings, on sidewalks pressure washed with designs and slapped on the backs of “Stop” signs and on power boxes. This is the story behind one of the stickers you see all over the Queen City … if you’re looking.
The Deets about The Charlotte Dagger:
- Designed by Zacc Pollitt
- Created in 2015
- See more Pollitt icon design at provenothing.com
Information below provided by Zacc Pollitt, owner of Prove Nothing.
Tell us a bit about the origin of the dagger sticker.
I was the creative director for Ink Floyd for a few years before I left the country. After coming to Costa Rica and managing to survive about three years, I went totally broke and had to face the facts and move back to the hood in Charlotte. I only lasted about eight months in Charlotte after figuring out another way to go back to CR full time. During that period, however, I skated every day and did a ton of street art, as well as concepted that dagger and a few other Charlotte icons for myself and some clients. It was almost this feeling of if I had to be home and not exploring Central America… I had to make my mark and make it fast. The dagger just seemed like a punk version of the flag on the moon – like I had to stick something in the ground and make some noise. I had been living in Charlotte since I was 17 prior to that so I’ve spent a lot of my formative adult life in that city. It birthed my career as an artist and am forever grateful. Get a detailed view of The Charlotte Dagger here.
As a 17-year-old, what was Charlotte like? How has it changed? How hasn’t it?
I moved to Charlotte from South Florida in the middle of my senior year of high school. I remember feeling especially that Charlotte society was what America looked like in movies. Coming from a beach town I never gave a shit about organized sports or anything close to it and it seemed I was dropped right into a scene from some high school film. Truth is, I just partied a lot and delved into psychedelic counter culture out of necessity. Social media has helped so much and it seems the city has so many creatives and creative things to get into these days. If I was 17 living in Charlotte today, I’m not sure I would have ever left. But who knows…
What other Charlotte icons did you create?
Over 7 or 8 years ago I had the pleasure of doing most of the design and branding of Heist Brewery prior to them opening their doors… I remember sitting next to Kurt (owner of HB) that day at Ink Floyd. I took the font face they had been using prior to working with us, made 16 mouse clicks to left, while selecting the B of Heist Brewery, conjoining the two letters to form the HB logo we’ve seen for years. Since then I also made the one they use for merchandising, which features the Charlotte skyline. I feel like there’s so many other icons we could discuss, but the more years that pass it seems HB stands the test of time.
What went into the design of the dagger? What do you like about it? What do you want others to feel when they see it?
The dagger was really just one of those things that kinda popped into my head. My whole thing has always been cultured art with a commercial feel. The dagger seemed like Charlotte’s flag in the moon. Something I could create using the QC crown and let the city run with. Everyone told me to sell them, but I just slapped the shit out of stickers everywhere, gave them to all the homies and printed up a limited run of tees.
Where are some of your favorite places you’ve seen the dagger?
I went back to the city after three years of being in CR to visit family. One of my largest and longest standings dagger slaps was still there three years later, and whoever rolled the wall and removed all the other stickers and grime chose to leave that one up. Pretty sure it was at Revolution Pizza on the wall that notoriously gets covered by street markings facing Neighborhood Theatre.
Does Charlotte need more street art? Why? What’s it do for our city?
It seems Charlotte has an explosion of creatives, especially in the mural world. The visible art in Charlotte is helping the city gain creative aesthetic it so desperately needed for decades. The streets were almost too clean for too long in my opinion.
What is different (for you) in placing a sticker in a public place than, say, displaying art in a gallery? Why do you do it?
I’d be lying if I said I’m still motivated by the same things at 31 as I was when my career first started. Back then I would go out every night to add to the landscape of Charlotte, painting and slapping stickies to get my name out there. I was always pretty respectful about how and where I put my art up, and I still am to this day.
What’s next for you?
I live in the jungles of Costa Rica, designing for clients all over the world. I’m really not sure what is next for me other than wake up tomorrow, keep being a good dad to my daughter Noemi, and try to develop some land down here. Coconut trees, some cows, you know… typical end-game zombie apocalypse shit, you know what I’m sayin’?
What other street artists in CLT do you like?
I follow the work of too many greats to mention, but just to name a few: the two Matt’s (Hooker & Moore), street legend OBSO, OWL and Arko, Mike Wirth, and Smoky Contraband (even if he does think the earth is flat). I feel ashamed I don’t know about more female mural artists in Charlotte.
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