I was given a book (“Graffiti Art Germany”) on graffiti by a friend. I read it in one night and was absolutely fascinated by the art, the possibilities and the community behind it. I wanted to be a part of that and paint big walls myself. I was pretty disappointed about the outcome of my first piece though. Handling a spray can was much more difficult than I thought.
How do you come up with ideas when doing a wall?
No idea really. I have ideas in my head at all times. Sometimes I just pick any kind of colours, go to the wall and paint without any plan. Other times I have a clear vision of how the wall should look like. Then I make some rough black and white sketches, choose the colours carefully and try to work by the plan as exact as possible.
How has the transition been from working on gigantic walls to relatively tiny pieces in gallery settings?
That was a process of about 3 years. All my work is very energetic and dynamic and in the beginning I found it difficult to transform the energy to such a small scale. I finally managed to do that by changing the tool – from spray can to brush, from spray varnish to acrylic. I also allowed chance to create the base of my canvases, for example having the letter M in mind and then just splashing the paint in the movement of this letter to the canvas. With the flow from that I was able to built up the whole canvas in an energetic way. Step by step I add details and of course the colours are as striking as on my walls. Also I work with transparencies a lot on walls, which was even easier to do on canvas. Now I feel very comfortable on canvas and wall and don’t have the feeling either causes a blockade to my creativity.
When did you first start doing works on canvas and paper?
I worked on paper first, when I was only a kid or teenager. I had my first solo show when I was 16. So graffiti actually came later. My graffiti work on canvas I started doing more seriously around the year 2007.
You seem like you always have multiple projects going at the same time. Are there times when you feel a creative block or pressure to continually create something new? How do you get past this?
I work under pressure all the time. But usually the pressure come from myself more then anyone else. Luckily I never had difficulties being creative. I can’t remember ever having a creative block. Probably also because I have various projects going on at the same time, so I can always work on what I like most at the time. I get bored pretty fast.
A lot of your lettering has a painterly feel. How did you develop this style?
Probably because I started out with classic painting techniques like watercolour, acrylic and oil before I even started painting graffiti. After only painting graffiti for many years I returned to what I once had learned and connected this with my graffiti art.
What exciting projects do you have planned for 2013? Anything non-graffiti related, ie. A new book, prints, film projects, etc.
I haven’t planned that much for 2013 actually even so my schedule is already full until summer. I have no canvases left, so I have to paint a lot of those, plus I will work on some commissions and exhibitions. I want to paint more canvases and walls in general and maybe try working with sculpting. I won’t start a new book yet, for now I want to focus on my own art and see where it’s going.
What would be your ideal creative environment?
A studio with outside and inside walls to paint in the middle of nowhere – space, nature, fresh air and solitude.
If you could paint another huge wall (like the 700 wall) and had complete creative freedom, what would you paint?
That would depend on the wall itself. The 700wall was very much inspired by it’s immense lengths compared to it’s height. The given architecture inspires me a lot. Either I’d do something huge and abstract similar to my canvases, or I’d try to tell a story again.