What does it take for you to feel you've done a really good piece ?
I don't know. Sometimes you just have a really good feeling ..... other times I'm spending so much time goofing around enjoying the day that I do end up losing a little concentration on what I am doing.
It's weird, half of the time I'm not really too satisfied with what I have just done. It's several weeks or months later when I come across the photo that I actually take the time to look at it closely and try and work out what it was that I was trying to do on the day....
Who do you think was the greatest influence on your style? Is there some Case2 in there somewhere?
It's more like Case2's mentality than his style that influenced me. I was already of the feeling that this was something that "we" did. It wasn't for the adults to control or to even understand.
With that...it was definitely guys like Case2, Nok, Mitch77, Dondi and a few others who confirmed those thoughts. Their pieces were like the ultimate language that unless you were a writer you would have no idea... they were just crazy shapes that constructed together formed letters....and messages.
That's not to say I jumped straight into wild style, My first piece was actually a small block letter "funk" piece, and amazingly it's still up today. Very faded but still there.
At first I was much more into bombing. Piecing was too easy. There was a layup right behind where I lived, so it was just easy to paint. Getting up was what it was all about. And getting up with mad tags. Clouds, stars, numbers, the whole thing.... It was ultimately the crew (the original IBS) that encouraged me to get into piecing regularly. That was about late 85. By then I had only done about 30 pieces and most were either smallish or on trains, so there was no real study of style going on.... After some time I just moved more into concentrating on letters. Using what I had learnt in tags and throwups and just adding things to the letters and so on.
You've said that there's a lack of originality in the writing of today. What's holding writers back? Has it just all been done?
Well yes and no. I mean guys like Delta and Sento (for example) are just amazing letter creators of the modern age. But for every one Delta piece, there are 100 cheap imitations. That's where I think the lack or originality comes into it.....
It's almost all right to fully bite an established writer's style. You know... They just say, "he is my influence".
It's wack. I mean, what people don't understand is that in order to innovate and or create, you have to have a complete understanding of the subject. It's easy to take a portion and just reproduce it over and over until you master it and ultimately get "known" for it. It's easy to Paint a 3d style when you have 20 shades of one colour enabling you to get the most exotic effect imaginable.
Most writers who started in the last 5 years have started with the aid of mags, flicks, videos, and or computers, which of course is normal to a certain degree.
However, I do wonder how many of them can do fresh tags.... fresh throw ups... simple letters, etc., etc., and that too includes some of the so called "big names" Through that, you really can tell if someone has got that real writer's blood, or if they are merely artistically inclined and are simply here for the cheap fame. Don't be fooled by all that big colorful rah rah shit. That's just technique disguised as style.
There's a lot of discussion these days about technique vs. style. What are some of your thoughts on this? How or when does technique overwhelm style?
Technique will never burn style. That's like saying a clean blockbuster will burn a fully original piece with drips. Never going to happen. Technique is the means to an end.
Style is what you should be trying to achieve. You know, you can paint and paint and paint .... Have mad skills, be technically crisp... but if you are just chomping someone else shit - what's the point.
How can true style be cultivated? Who's got it?
Through my experience, those out there who I believe have the dopest styles have the ability to pull off the funk with all elements of writing.
Sento TFP is one of the best examples of this. If you look back to the bombed NYC subways and follow his progression, you will see it. He mastered tags to throwups, clean simple letters -- round and blockbusters, semis to wilds, and then applied them to all different names for further development. He has a complete understanding of each letter -- proportions, shapes, curves, structure etc. -- and applies that knowledge to the ideas he has. The end result you can see out there today.
As for all this 3d style debating that's constantly going on, well I will continue to say this. Delta to me is the MASTER of it. The difference between his 3rd-dimensional pieces and others is that each letter has a style of its own -- the 3d element is incorporated to give further flow and further dimension. You could pull out each and any letter and it will still be able to hold tight. They're not letters that are merely blockbusters reshaped with a perspective that allows for the 3D to be exaggerated.
On top of this, the fading of similar shades of colours is minimum. Often he uses colours that don't match at all and still pulls it off. They just seem more natural. This to me is the difference between STYLE and TECHNIQUE. One colour or a dozen Colours - in Delta's pieces, style is always apparent. There ain't no cheap shorts.
These are only two examples, there are definitely a lot of writers out there who have cool styles, probably A LOT more than I even know of. Letter constructors.