Hello My Name Is: Pref


Name: Pref
Crew: ID
City/Country: London, UK
When did you start writing? In the early 90’s

What’s graffiti for you?
Fun with letters.

Graphic design, typography, music, modern art, graffiti, TV series, Travel, Work, Friends, Family, my girlfriend and my dog.

Tell us about your city, how is life and graffiti there?
For a young person growing up and into graffiti, London has everything. It’s a massive city with a lot to explore. Big train and subway networks, streets, Walls, abandoned buildings, nightlife, major art galleries, and a long history in the culture. It’s very easy to take it all for granted.

What first made you interested in graffiti and how did you end up on that track?
When I was 11 I bought Spraycan Art at a local flea market. It gave me the key to understanding the tags and pieces I had been seeing from the bus and train window on my journey to school. I was already into skateboarding, skateboard graphics and Hip Hop music and in a way, all these things have the same subversive, D.I.Y spirit and attitude as graffiti. I think for a lot of creative people of my generation already into those types of things, graffiti was a natural progression.

What trends are you seeing now in the graffiti world that you don’t like?
I think people have become lazy when it comes to ideas. Graffiti is a strange parallel: in some ways it is something creative but in other ways there are prewritten rules about what your work needs to look like. In my opinion those rules and ideas are there to be broken and played with. But for some it can be a free pass to either copy whatever everyone else is doing or just do the same thing over and over, forever. People are into graffiti for lots of different reasons, and that is what makes it so great. But I think for me it’s more important to try to push what you do, go on your own journey with your ideas and try to create something new and original. These are the things in life that inspire me most.

What do you do when you’re not painting?
Mostly working.

How would you describe your style?
Layered words and letters.

Can you remember the first piece you did?
Yeah it was in the middle of the day with a friend looking out. Stopping and starting every time someone walked by. I wish so badly I had a photo of that.

Future plans?
Just to have fun developing my work and enjoy wherever it takes me.

Do you adapt your pieces and tags to the spot/surface?
Yeah definitely. It’s essential to get a good photo of the piece as this is often the only record I have of it. Considering the choice of colours and placement, the best spot for photo angle, where the sun will be shining at the end of the day, etc etc. It can be magic when it all comes together. Nothing worse than doing a nice pice but getting horrible photos of it.

What do you think about the new generation of writers in your city?
There is a thriving London scene and a lot of kids focussing on getting up which is great to see. The explosion of the Shoreditch street art scene has pretty much turned the whole of East London into a hall of fame. There are mixed opinions about painting permission pieces around there but in a way, it has also given illegal graffiti a new lease of life as you can get away with painting pretty much wherever you want. This culture is spreading to other parts of the city too.

What are the best and worst aspects of graffiti?
The best aspect aside from the creative process is the friendships and experiences it can bring. The worst is probably the sacrifices you have to make to give it the time and the money that it requires to get any good at it.

Who do you paint for?
Ultimately I paint for myself.

What writers have inspired you?
Growing up my favourites were (in no order of preference – that would be too difficult): PetroDietTeachCrockDraeShekElkStaksDunePabsRate. London style masters and true pioneers in my world. Have to also shout out HoreSHK, he mentored me a lot when I was young. These were my heroes and idols in the early magical years.

What do you hope people will think and feel when they see your stuff?
I hope people want to stop and look. I hope they enjoy working out the wording and I hope that those people are not just graffiti writers. Most of my work is simply about making the effort to create something new, Hopefully I can inspire others to do the same.

Spray Paint: 94
City: Amsterdam
Markers/pens: Posca PC.1M Bullet Shapet 0.7mm
Surface: Raw concrete
Cap: The Kak One cap and Pink Dot fat cap are the only two caps I use.

Website: prefprefpref.com
Instagram: @pref_id

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