MY INSPIRATION: CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Go your own way and do your own thing no matter how far out” is the call to arms, manifesto and mantra of Darlington-based artist and designer Stephen Round, aka Control of Your Life. We caught up with him to find out more about his inspirational clothing range.

What is C.O.Y.L?

C.O.Y.L is an acronym that stands for Control of Your Life. It’s a clothing, art and lifestyle brand based in Darlington.

What does C.O.Y.L mean to you?

It’s about living life on your own terms. Control of Your Life is a proclamation to go your own way and do your own thing no matter how far out. It’s about mindset, attitude and action.

What are your influences?

I’d say my style came from the cartoons I watched growing up in the 80’s, simple black outlines and block colour fills like the Mr Men and a lot of the usual suspects of the surrealist movement influence my work. There is definitely an overarching esoteric theme, I like to recreate lucid dreamscapes, but to be honest I’m still working it out – it constantly changes like one moment forever unfolding.

What do you sell?

I sell sustainable premium quality hoodies, long-sleeve t-shirts and t-shirts alternating between vibrant abstract, high contrast hand drawn illustrations and more recently photo collages.

Anything else?

Next year I’d love to do a beer can and some large scale work, I will be expanding my lifestyle range and looking to collaborate with other artists and brands that have some kind of synergy, so if that’s you and you’re reading  this get in touch.#

Where can we find you?

I have a space at the Made Up North pop-up shop in the Bottleworks in Ouseburn which runs until 18th December, and I’m part of the Spot of the Wall exhibition at Platform gallery in Richmond which runs until 18th January. Check me out online at 



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