While you're younger you roll with a variety of people for the impact of getting up or whatever. It's cool and it's so much fun getting together with other writers from all over the city.
Now it's totally different. The fun is and always will be there, but we (IBS) are like family. We have a respect for each other as people. It goes much deeper than just painting associates, you know. Mentally we're on the same levels. The painting might have originally brought us together but over the years you experience a lot of what life dishes out and you're there for each other.
As for TFP, it's a lot the same. When we hook up with each other in some crazy city, we're just friends who also happen to be tourists having our own kind of fun. Yeah sure our idea of fun includes a few other extracurricular activities, but like Redman says... "If you see a bag of weed lying on the floor -- what the **** you gonna do?"
You travel a lot. How do you manage it?
I work -- non-graf related work. It's simple. As much as writing is a big part of my life, it certainly doesn't pay the bills. But at the same time, that's by choice. For me it's about the experience and experiences shared while out there. This is my escape from the ins and outs of everyday living.
Pimping yourself is compromising the ethics of our culture. Yeah sure it's a fine line between making a living and being a gallery slut, and there are definitely a lot of people at both ends of the spectrum. So to avoid that whole nonsense, I just avoid "it" to begin with. I mean I have been involved with legal jobs and have also had a few things exhibited, but I'm definitely not painting shit just for the money and or doing gallery shows so I can enter the gallery to my resume............ like some we all know.............
I guess in many ways it does get complicated, but again it's up to the individual. I have seen pieces in galleries that have been raw -- almost like they were actually peeled from a wall or train. And on the other hand I've seen stuff that makes me laugh. I mean good artwork but definitely not piecing.
Where's the best spot you ever painted? Where do you like to go and why?
I don't really have any one particular place. There are a whole lot of places that hold deep memories... some we didn't even get to finish but the company, the surroundings, the mission, all of it adds to the experience.
Still there are always going to be spots like those big bad yards in the Bronx.... The hills and cows in Bavaria, those lovely young ladies in Amsterdam.........
Mmmmm I guess as a whole...Europe for the painting fix and New York for the vibes.
Is battling important anymore?
If it's constructive then yeah of course. If people are racing each other for a line or shit like that then yeah go for it. But when it's just there for bullshit, well why bother.
I really doubt any opinions are going to change on the strength or weakness of one piece. Consistency is what it is about! Most people just don't realize it.
Your style is highly developed and unique. What is it that you're most concentrating on in your own style now? ? Are you in an experimental phase or a refinement phase?
Basically just pushing it... bending and shaping the letters infinitely. Keeping the skeleton visible to some degree, but yeah, just pushing it...
Of late I feel I have been getting closer to being more satisfied with what I'm doing. I'm trying to create a style of fills that matches the style of the letters. Over the last few years I've been trying to reach a level of style that is timeless. Timeless in that you can look at the piece a year or even 5 years later, and it still holds tight. I think DeroTFA mastered his shit to this exact level.
I've actually even started drawing my sketches with lead pencil for the first time in about 5 years, along with actually drawing in a book. That's kind of new for me - really strange in a way.... But good though.... I am kind of surprising myself (to an extent).
I've never been one to sit down and draw with colour markers and that whole blackbook thing. Even now it's just pen or text. I mean it's cool to see some of the books and drawings out there, but again for me personally I've always preferred to be out there painting instead. As of late, refinement is one way of putting it... being back in the lab is another.
The thing with pencil is that you can forever be rubbing things out... kind of sucks in a way.... I just seem to find that I lose too much of the spontaneity of drawing. In another light though, it's a new technique of drawing that even by its appearance changes the overall look of the finished sketch. Again giving me another perspective and ideas in relation to executing the piece.
I notice that most of your angles between straight lines are 90 degrees or 45 degrees. Are these just the angles you feel are right or do you have another reason to do it that way?
I really have had no conscious thought about them while sketching.... It's kind of weird because at certain times while drawing "A" I actually think of B.Boy stances and bone constructions... how they would look bent this way and that way.....