We met first this talented lady back in July absolutely burning round the track at the DTRA women's dirt track event & have followed her and her incredible work ever since. Hailing from Yorkshire she's not only one hell of a rider but she's also is an amazing illustrator with a rad t-shirt line under her belt called The Meat Hook. Throw in the fact that she's lead singer in the girl duo Zealous Doxy and you get one all round bad ass lady..
We talked bikes with her recently & here's what she had to say.......
Gemma x ( @ghwfive)
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN RIDING?
About 10 years now (legally!)
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START RIDING?
Its hard to say specifically why I actually started riding. I grew up around cars the scrap car racing circuit with my family. We used to stick the cars in the back of a coach that we ripped the seats out of to travel from race to race. As I got older, growing up in the middle of nowhere meant we had quad bikes and trikes to play with & that eventually progressed onto little 50cc dirtbikes. So its always been kind of inbuilt in me I guess.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST MOTORBIKE?
My first bike was a Yamaha SR125. I loved it so much. It was the first proper thing I ever owned. We went everywhere together. I covered alot of England on that little thing. However, one day I woke up and it had been stolen. I cried like I've never cried before, haha. That was my freedom, my fun, my commuter, my everything and someone took it from me. Absolute dicks! The police found it burnt out a couple of weeks later. I actually have it tattooed on my arm, with a banner wrapped round it that says 'Highway to Hull' (Thats what I used to sing at the top of my lungs heading back home to sunny Hull on the M62, doing 80mph........downhill with the wind behind me!)
I currently ride a Yamaha FZ400, no mods. I never thought I'd own anything that even slightly resembled a sportsbike, but I havent looked back since the day I laid eyes on this 'un. Its been so much fun & because its my daily ride its gotta start every time and it does. Perfect!
Dream bike.... Thats a tough one. I feel like I need many bikes..... horses for courses and all that.
ROAD OR DIRT?
DIRT!! When I'm on the road I get a bit bored like a kid. I end up using speed bumps and potholes as jumps & any opportunity to go over grass, dirt or off road & I'll use it! This makes me sound like a bit of a nutty rider.... I'm not....Honest!
BUILT OR BOUGHT?
You cant deny a classic but I'm gonna have to say built. Ok so I couldn't answer the dream bike question but 'the dream' would be to build my own, ride everywhere on it and be able to know what's up and what needs to be done when it fucks up. It would be such a monster of a bike. Full of all the parts that no one else wants because I'm broke.... If it works I'd take it, aahha!
TELL US SOME MORE ABOUT YOUR BRAND 'THE MEAT HOOK'
The idea of starting The meat hook was a way of me having an identity, a brand, rather then just going under Sami Graystone illustration, so that I could start selling my own art work as well as doing commissioned work. The name is loosely inspired by my family business of butchering. I grew up around a lot of blood guts and gore! My work is generally bike themed, with naked chicks.... maybe a bit dark sometimes. I get alot of inspiration from the 70's and my childhood/life! But I try not to analyse to much and just go with what I think looks rad.
The Meat Hook is ever evolving. I started out just selling prints and stickers but since then I've l started doing tees which I print by hand mayself. So far I've been pretty overwhelmed by the response to what I've been doing. Its awesome that people want to buy my stuff and I'm very grateful of it. Its still very early days, but I've got hundreds of ideas buzzing around my head about what to do next, so fingers crossed, all being well, The meat hook will go from strength to strength & I'll finally be able to build that chop!