Hello My Name Is: Nako

Name: Nako
Crew: No crews in the classic sense, but I have a little thing going with partner in crime “The N Words”
City/Country: Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
When did you start writing? I started writing in 97

What’s graffiti for you?
Graffiti for me is a creative outlet, something to clear my mind of stress and forget about everything except for my piece.

Growing up close to Vancouver in the late 90’s was great, the city was crushed and there was always a ton of shit to pull inspiration from. So I would say I was influenced by the city.

Tell us about your city, how is life and graffiti there?
Surrey has grown a ton in the last 10 years but prior to that it was shithole of drug abuse and gang violence. It’s a big city area wide but a pretty small scene. It’s fun aside from a few other cats I have the city to myself.

What keeps you still writing?
A lot of things keep me involved, first off I’m passionate about painting and constructing letters, it keeps me away from the bad influences of drugs that are pretty rampant and I have lost almost my friends to it. Plus it can never get old if I’m constantly trying to one up myself and progress my style with every piece. 

What first made you interested in graffiti and how did you end up on that track?
My first real exposure to graffiti was “The Source” magazine. I’d always flip to the last section first to check out the graffiti feature. Then I saw that 2 dudes from Vancouver had made the feature ( Virus and Dedos ) and hoped that one day I could be in the back of the Source. 

What trends are you seeing now in the graffiti world that you don’t like?
Hate what’s happening on North American freights. With all the exposure given to freights these days you got mad kids with no business painting trains, painting trains. Going over legendary monikers and peices from dudes that have passed away and endless sidebusting and disrespect. I waited a good 10 years before I ever attempted trains for a reason.

What do you do when you’re not painting?
I don’t do much to be honest, work kicks my ass and most of my free time gets devoted to painting. If I can I’ll hit some trails and go for a hike in the woods. 

How would you describe your style?
My style would probably fall under the classic category, I like to try and follow the script the subway writers of NY laid down, legible styles letters, chunky 3D, and cool cartoonish backgrounds.

Can you remember the first piece you did?
Lol yup. The first piece I painted was in 1997, clover green, emererald green safety plum and ultra flat black Krylon. It was fuckin’ terrible.

Do you adapt your pieces and tags to the spot/surface?
I don’t sketch and don’t usually have a plan until I get to the spot and survey the situation. I need a feel for the surface the space and depending on my mood and the colors how I will structure my piece.

What do you think about the new generation of writers in your city?
Like I said there is a pretty small scene here, so I’ll use Vancouver, which to me is dominated by the vets. There is a lot of young kids banging that new “my style is no style” type of graffiti, not a fan. If I can’t read your shitty throw up I don’t give a shit about how much I see them, they still suck.

What are the best and worst aspects of graffiti?
The best thing for me about graffiti is the experience, I can look back at a piece from 10 years ago and know who I was with, what the weather was like, what we shit talked about and so on. The worst thing is ego and politics. People are so segregated into their little cliques here, it’s getting better now but for a period no one got along, nothing stayed up long before getting dissed and it was kind of embarrassing.

Who do you paint for?
I paint for me. Period. I don’t push crews, dick ride or claim to be shit. I just love painting.

What writers have inspired you?
Considering one of the all time greats lived around here when I was coming up, and had the price page to study his pieces in person, Virus was a huge factor, also crews like WCB and PB killing all aspects of the game back than, them as well.

Can you ever feel tired of graffiti?
I only feel tired of graffiti when I see how petty it can get. People need to check their egos and just have fun.

What do you hope people will think and feel when they see your stuff? I
Hope people appreciate the effort I put in. It’s easy to take short cuts on a peice, I think it should be a puzzle to try and solve. Like why does this look that much nicer than other graffiti? The little things, the details. I take pride in not missing a spot or carving out my first outline for an hour to fit it all together smoothly, and different than I did the last time.

Spray Paint: Montana 94
City: I don’t travel so I would have to say Vancouver by default
Markers/pens: Sakura streakers
Surface: raw concrete
Cap: NY Fat

Instagram: @can_action

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