Hello My Name Is: Leans


Name: Leans
Crew: Fuck that, but shouts to the YCV muppets.
City/Country: Brisbane, Australia
When did you start writing: 2012.

What’s graffiti for you?
A best friend, a bitch, a lover, a form of therapy, a motherfucker, an addiction… The list goes on, but ultimately it is a way of putting my brain on a wall and saying, ‘Hey, check it out.’ I think it is important to have your own style, because at the end of the day it is a direct representation of who you are. Majority of the people that see my pieces will never know who I’am, so I think putting personality into my work is important. Some people get this part mixed up and try to portray who they want to be, rather than who they really are. I’m not about to sit here and say I haven’t taken influence from other writers, but I think to be able to take something and reproduce it in a way that resembles you is important. Also I think acknowledging your inspiration is a big thing in graffiti. I’ll be the first to admit I take inspiration from the likes of Treas, John Kaye, Uter, Nemco, Quench, Reals and more recently Pantone, but its how you interpret these influences that makes the difference. A lot of writers also talk about how graffiti helped them find their identity whilst transitioning into adulthood. As I’m going through this transition now, I can tell you first hand that for a culture deemed to be the art form of ‘lost youth,’ I have never felt more sure of who I am and what I want to do in life. Natural progression is something I hold to heart more than anything in Graffiti. I use to sketch pieces quite a lot and take them to the wall. After a while it became clear that this was like metaphorically putting my piece in a cage and feeding it some fuckin sesame seeds and expecting it to evolve into something ‘super-fly.’ I got to a stage where I was happy with my lines and started leaving my sketches at home. This causes you to focus a lot more on what you’re doing and I definitely think I could draw some comparisons to meditation; Your mind is giving it’s undivided attention to what you are creating for however long your piece takes you. This is why I like to paint by myself a lot, I feel it is more beneficial to progression and getting to know yourself. I know this is a big answer to the first question, but fuck it, you guys asked 🙂

As mentioned before: Treas, John Kaye, Uter, Nemco, Quench, Reals and Pantone. I also take influences from outside of graffiti. Visuals I see on the street; Patterns, drawings, adverts and other things like that.

Tell us about your city, how is life and graffiti there?
Brisbane has produced Sofles, Fintan Magee, Mik Shida, Lister, Reals, Meks and a whole bunch of other writers. Apart than that, it is what you make of it. A lot of people say it’s boring, but if you have a good group of hombre’s, it’s all CHEERS. What keeps you still writing? The need to do what I love.

What first made you interested in graffiti and how did you end up on that track?
My friend ‘Bokeh’ and I wanted to make a mark on a scene we didn’t really know anything about. We had both been interested in graffiti and art for a while and we decided to make a crew (if you can call 2 people a crew…). These were some of my favourite memories of doing graffiti. We set out with the intention of never doing individual pieces, just crewies. We did some stompers and we ended up turning some heads in our local area. We never told our friends who had already been doing pieces for a while. One of the coolest things was when they showed us one of our pieces without knowing that we had painted it. We began to get hate from the other crews our age and we loved it. I think ‘hate’ is definitely one of the main reasons why I got so hooked on graffiti. It’s almost motivational to know that people are going out of their way to write you a little hateful comment, or line your piece. How thoughtful of them 🙂 I always like to think of what their face would look like when they are doing it.

What trends are you seeing now in the graffiti world that you don’t like?
I can’t really hate on the ‘Graffiti Instagram revolution,’ because I wasn’t writing when it wasn’t around. I don’t really hate anything actually.

What do you do when you’re not painting?
Eat doritos, Skate, talk shit, travel, about to go to uni (maybe), draw illustrations. I keep graffiti pretty separate from my day to day life. For me it’s something that my friends outside of graffiti don’t need to know about.

How would you describe your style?
This is a good question. I don’t think I’ve found my ‘style’ yet. Although I’d like to think it’s pretty unique, I know it will progress and evolve into something that is a lot more in the future.

Can you remember the first piece you did?
Yepp, I’ve included it in the pictures. I think the sign off was something like, ‘Ready the cannons – shit’s about to go down….’ Future plans? Progress into a more legitimate artist.

Can you ever feel tired of graffiti?
Definitely. This is when I normally draw illustrations, or just take a break for a while.

What do you hope people will think and feel when they see your stuff?
I don’t really mind. As long as I’m happy with it, people can think what they want.

Instagram: @thatprettyphlako
I’m not worldwide enough for a website.

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