Tag Archives: Artist Profiles

Speaking with Royce Bannon aka Choice Royce

 I’ve been noticing your work on the streets for years now! When did you first start getting up? I started getting up when I was 13 and old enough to sneak out of my house.

Where were you living at the time?  In Harlem.

Why did you do it? Graffiti was everywhere. And I had some friends who were doing it – so we started our own crew, RKO.

Meaning? Royal Kings Only. The truth is that none of us were kings.

Lately I’ve been seeing lots of your stickers. What got you into stickers? They’re easy to put up and you can keep them in your pocket.

Had you any favorite sticker artists when you first started designing them? No sticker artist in particular. I liked artists like Doby, London Police, Doms KOC and Shepard Fairey – before he became famous.

What about your iconic monsters? How did they evolve?   They started as little sketches that I used to do all the time. Then I started putting them up all over the city using Krink. Now I keep it simple – with stickers.

What’s your favorite surface or spot for your stickers?  I especially love newsboxes and the backs of traffic signs, but I really don’t have any preferences.

How do you feel about folks who remove stickers to take home with them? If they like them that much to attempt to peel them off – more power to them!

Have you ever been arrested?  I’ve been arrested twice. Once for a stupid tag in Brooklyn and the second time in Manhattan for the Public Ad Campaign.

I’ve seen your work in a number of galleries. What are some of the galleries you’ve shown in? I’ve had pieces in Woodward Gallery, Mighty Tanaka, Ad Hoc, Thinkspace, 112 Greene and in 17 Frost Art and Performance Space.

And you’ve also curated exhibits – like this current one Unusual Suspects here at 17 Frost in Williamsburg. Any others? Together with the Endless Love Crew, I curated Work to Do at 112 Greene Street in SoHo in 2009.

Oh, yes! That was amazing! Who are some of the other members of ELC? Celso, Infinity, Abe Lincoln, Jr., Anera.

How does your family feel about what you are doing? My mom likes the shows, but she’s not comfortable with the illegal aspect of street art. My girlfriend is supportive.

Do you earn any income from your artwork? I make some money from the sale of my pieces in galleries and from selling prints and stickers. But nothing that I can live on.

How do you supplement his income? I work as the warehouse manager of Mishka NYC.

What do you see yourself doing in five years? Making more money and curating.

Good luck!

Interviewed by LoisInWonderland

 

Speaking with The Wisher914

I’ve been noticing your stickers for years. Whatever the time of day or weather, I always stop to read your hand-written ones. I love your messages.  When did you first start getting up? I was 13 when I started screwing around with tags. It was some sloppy toy bullshit.

What motivated you to do so?  It was something to do. I was bored.  I liked to mess things up. I’d been writing my name on things since way before I knew what graffiti was.

Where were you living at the time?  In hell.

What’s your first graffiti memory? I was about six years old sitting in a car passing along the West Side Highway. I liked what I saw.  I just wanted to know why and how. I figured out how, but I still don’t know why.

What about stickers? What got you into stickers?  My first encounter with stickers was through the book Graffiti World. I noticed the stickers that were up in Europe, especially in Paris. That’s what got me started.

How do you get your materials for your stickers? The UPS is a dear friend. I’ve also gotten some cheap deals on vinyls through the Internet.

Have you any favorite spots? Anywhere where people will see them. I like surprises. Super random spots like 155th and 5th.

How do your family and friends feel about what you’re doing? My mom hates it. My friends don’t care.

How do you feel about folks removing your stickers to take home with them? Okay, I don’t mind. But only one.

Have you ever been arrested? Many times in the ‘burbs but only once in NYC for graffiti.

What was that like?  In NYC? Hellish. I had to spend the night at Central Booking…dudes pooping all over the place…waking up with cockroaches all over my face. But the ‘burbs will rape your wallet.

What’s your worst street art memory? Me and my best friend don’t really talk anymore because of some legal troubles.

Have you ever exhibited your artwork? A bit. But it’s not my thing.  Too many writers are too concerned about getting their work into galleries.

What percentage of your time is devoted to sticker art?  About 2%. I’m too busy slaving away for the dollar. Screw the 8-5.

How do you make money? I work full-time as a graphic designer.

So when do you create your stickers? On my couch in front of the TV – toasty and bored.

Who are some of your favorite sticker artists? Wrona, Lobster Roll, Overconsume, Cash4, Faust, Kosbe and SURE, R.I.P

What about writers? Any writers inspire you? Anybody killing it.

What are some of your other interests? Photography, exploring stuff, hiking, and my dog. I’m a big fan of my dog. Animals cool, people not so much.

What do you see yourself doing in five years? Sitting behind a computer being miserable.

Any shout-outs? Bles, KW2, Blush, Cake ENV, Sno, Oops, NOF posse and my dog, Mr. Mickels.

Interviewed by LoisInWonderland

Introducing A1one

To most of us who love street art, you need no introduction. Your amazing pieces grace the walls of Tehran, Iran and have inspired artists throughout the Middle East and the world. I’ve noticed that you’ve been posting quite a few stickers lately on your flickr site. When did you first start creating stickers?  I started making stickers when I was just a kid, but I did not intend to post them on the streets.  I just enjoyed creating them and adding them to my “store” in my bedroom with price tags!

What inspired you to create them? My father works in art and photography, so there was always lots of inspiration, along with materials, in our home. Also, I started noticing stickers that my friends’ families were bringing back from their visits to the other side of the world. I was drawn to all these weird multi-eyed, multi-handed characters and tiny crazy creatures that I discovered on these stickers.

Where were you living at the time? I was living in Tehran and hearing and witnessing bombs at the same time.

Your first sticker art memory?  The first sticker that remains in my mind — hahaha — was a sticker of the King of Pop that I made for my school notebook.  By accident, my religious teacher saw it and asked me why I stuck this “girl” on my notebook. I told him that he was a man – a singer. He then said, “But he has changed his sex.”  My parents were asked to come to school. But the sticker I made was so popular in my class that some of the other students asked me to make one for each of them. I will never forget this.

These days when you are getting your stickers up on the streets, have you any preferred spots?  Any clean surface is cool. I like the back of traffic signs. I also like to post my stickers on the eyes of faces on street posters, because many of my stickers are just eyes.

How do you get your materials? I used to get them illegally, but not anymore.  These days I just buy them or use whatever the printing plants throw into their garbage.

Do you work alone or with any crews?  I am alone, and I consider myself a crew. But I do have crews of enemies out there.

Have you ever been arrested?  Ah…forget about this.

Have you exhibited your work in gallery settings?  I have exhibited my work in some group shows — with the help of some good friends — in Europe, the USA and in Australia. But I don’t, as of yet, have either the freedom or place to do what I’d like to do.

How does your family feel about what you are doing?  Art is respected by my family. But for many years they considered what I was doing on the streets as “bad.” They were offended by it.  They thought of me as some kind of insane outlaw. But it’s better now. They appreciate my art and ignore the street aspect of it.

What percentage of your time is devoted to art? 100% — of that 70% is devoted to street art.

Have you made any money for your art? I never made money. Money is made by the Central Bank of IRAN and somewhere – I think – in the UK. But, yep, I live by selling my paintings. I am not living the way many people like to live. I just need to buy paint and pass the day.

Anything else you need?  Freedom and health.

How do you feel about folks removing your stickers from public places and taking them home? Great! After I put my work out on the street, anything that happens is great. I love it. I love to see folks take my stickers, scribble on my work, piss on my stencils. Anything is welcome. It is expression!

What role has the Internet played in your life?  The Internet is one of my friends. It depresses me and makes me happy.

What do you see yourself doing five years from now?  I hate to think about the future when the “now” is like this. I’d like to be living in a world-wide nation without wolves.

Interviewed by LoisInWonderland

Speaking with TR£§ ØH UNO (301)

I discovered one of your stickers on a door near 5Pointz in LIC.  Your character is certainly distinct. He has somewhat of a South American or Middle Eastern flavor. Where does that come from?   Actually I’m neither Mid Eastern nor South American, but much of my inspiration comes from ancient cultures.

Interesting! When did you first get into street art? About a year and a half ago. In September, 2010. I was 16.

Where were you living at the time? Here in New Jersey

What inspired you? My brother had just returned from Paris with a book about street art, and I liked what I saw.

Any first graffiti memory? There was this bully in school who was tagging his name everywhere.  I decided to go over him. That’s when I first “got up.”

What about your stickers?  What got you into stickers? I loved being able to spend as much time as I want on a single small piece before it got out there.

Have you any preferred spots or surfaces? I like metal boxes – like garbage cans — and abandoned places.

How do you get your materials? Lots of different places. I get the vinyl sticker paper from Home Depot. And I use cardboard from boxes for lots of my other artwork.

Have you ever been arrested? Not for stickers. But I got picked up for tagging.

Where was this? A few towns over from where I live.  The cops recognized my tag on papers I was carrying with me at the time.  

Do you work on your own or with a crew?  I share my stickers with the TEC crew. We send stickers to each other. We’re just a bunch of guys with common interests.

Have you ever exhibited your artwork? Yes, through school and at the Martinsville Studio here in NJ.

Have you made any money from your art? I sold nine out of 25 pieces in one of my shows. I made about $1,000.

Very cool! Have you a day job? I work part-time in a pizza store.

How do your parents feel about what you’re doing?  They’re pretty positive. My mom likes what I’m doing, but she’s wary of my getting up on the streets.

What percentage of your time – would you say – is devoted to art?  A good part of it. When I’m in school, I do stickers, and when I’m home, I paint.

What are some of your other interests? I’m into music. My father’s a musician. He plays bass in a rock band.

How do you feel about folks who remove your stickers from public places to take home with them?  If someone likes my sticker enough to take it down, then I’m glad to share it.

What role does the Internet play in your passion for stickers?  It helps me get my stuff out, and that’s how I met you.

Have you any favorite artists? ManyBasquiat, Diebenkorn, Bo130, UWP, 108, Flying Fortress, Sickboy!

What do you see yourself doing in five years? I should be out of college, working on my artwork, and still doing stickers, or course.

Good luck!

Interviewed by LoisInWonderland

Speaking with Eye Never Sleep

I’ve admired your stickers for awhile now. When did you start creating stickers? It was sometime around late 2008. I did a lot of random designs before I became eye never sleep, though.

What got you into the whole sticker thing?  I guess what got me into stickers was what the skateboarding and bike companies were doing when I was like 12. You would always get stickers with shoes, decks, wheels, or whatever.

Where were you living at the time? I was living in Waco, Texas

What is your first street art memory? When I first moved to Waco, I started seeing these little aliens painted everywhere.  A guy named Negative was getting them up.  There was also this guy who did this moniker type face thing.  Both played a big role inspiring me to start creating stickers and getting up.

What are your preferred surfaces or spots for getting up? Just about anything anywhere. If I had to pick my favorite spots, I would say electric meter boxes or poles.

How do you get your materials? I find a lot, or I find ways to get what I want. I’m not into spending money on anything art-related.

Do you work alone or with any crews?  Mostly alone, but I do have a group of friends that get up too. We started a “crew,” I guess, called NGD. It’s more of a joke, though. Just a group of friends.

Have you ever been arrested?  Never for graffiti!

Have you ever exhibited your work?  I had two pieces in this one show at this tattoo shop about two years ago. It’s not really my scene, but I wouldn’t mind doing more in the future.

What is the attitude of your family and friends to what you do? They don’t really care. Not many know, and the ones who do know mostly don’t understand. The only time my family has said anything was after Pac, Skev and I did a huge NGD extinguisher tag right by the highway. My mom called me that night and said it was ugly, ha!

What percentage of your time do you devote to art? Not as much as I used to. I’m a full-time college student with a job, so I don’t have much spare time. And I’m not around my friends who kept me in it. But I’m into printing a lot more these days.

Have you made money from your art? Yeah. I have a big cartel store that sells sticker packs, buttons, canvas and other random stuff I make.

What about your other job? I work in a call center right now while I’m in college. It’s not terrible, but I hate to work at any kind of job, really.

I can understand that! Unless you’re lucky enough, of course, to have a job that you love in a field that you love! What are some of your other interests?  I enjoy reading, making and recording music, making zines, taking photos, building or fixing cars, watching movies…

How do you feel about folks removing your stickers from public places and taking them home?

I know a lot of people flip out about it. I can understand feeling upset if the person taking your sticker is—somehow—making money from it. But if someone is taking it to keep because he likes it, I really don’t mind. Stickers are not meant to last, anyway.

Also,  I wanna do the whole shout out thing. Thanks to Pac 5, Skev, eep, Home Alone, Whit, Shane, Colby, Ian, my whole family, hallucinogens, the whole NGD fam, my love for Cassie from the English show Skins, the Internet for making me feel cool for a few minutes a day, the embalm fam, the Pythagorean theorem, stuffed crust pizza, ancient aliens, Lou Reed, ups and usps for all the help, all the people who put my stickers up for me all over the world, and my boring life. It’s my boring life that got me into all of this!

http://eyeneversleep.blogspot.com/

http://eyeneversleep.bigcartel.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/eyeneversleep/

http://embalmzine.blogspot.com/

Interviewed by LoisInWonderland