GRAFF TV is a series of graffiti videos capturing the style and techniques of some of the best and most interesting writers around the world. From simple new school styles to futuristic 3D-burners or playful naive pieces. Follow the process from sketch to finished piece, all cut down and compressed to three minutes episodes.
Name: Serval Crew: 7$ & ATT City/Country: Geneva, Switzerland When did you start writing? 1992
What’s graffiti for you? hard to tell, it’s been part of my life for 24 years… so it’s hard to separate it from the rest of my life.
Influences? So many over the years, mostly the people I got to paint with and the artists I’ve met and worked with outside of graffiti.
Tell us about your city, how is life and graffiti there? Small city with a lot of high quality painters, people get along relatively well, so it’s actually a nice scene.
What keeps you still writing? That’s what i do best, as much as I work to improve in other forms of art, that’s still what I do best, so I need to paint walls to relax and get the creative juices flowing.
What first made you interested in graffiti and how did you end up on that track? A few guys from school who took me out painting with them, just tags and throws for the first few years.
What trends are you seeing now in the graffiti world that you don’t like? massive recuperation of visual codes or specific elements of styles and histories are copy/pasted for quick fame or a few bucks…
What do you do when you’re not painting? Take care of my family, draw, read, dance, play basketball…
How would you describe your style? Making letters dance.
Can you remember the first piece you did? Oh god, yes, it’s a really embarrassing story… I’ll tell anybody who asks me in real life, but it’s too embarrassing to write online.
Future plans? more collaborations like the one I have with the Museum of Art and History, a new series of paintings with different techniques, and try to paint better pieces as usual.
Do you adapt your pieces and tags to the spot/surface? I try to, it’s something I need to improve.
What do you think about the new generation of writers in your city? Courageous, the buff has become so bad, they have to think 10X more than we did to hit spots that will stay. Most of the ones I’ve met are cool and passionate about their work, which is great.
What are the best and worst aspects of graffiti? I’ve gotten rid of the worst a long time ago, so it’s all good now.
Who do you paint for? letters, still haven’t gotten them to do exactly what I want, so we have a lot more work to do together.
What writers have inspired you? That’s too long a list to write down, those who really care and love letter forms and styles can guess quite accurately by looking at my pieces and the places I’ve been.
What do you hope people will think and feel when they see your stuff? Hopefully the same I was feeling when I was painting, or at least what I was trying to get across as an emotion with that piece, that’s the point of it, isn’t it?
Name: Emit Crew: DF, ATT, IMOK & RTD City/Country: Currently living in Denver CO – USA When did you start writing? 1989
What’s graffiti for you?
It’s changed dramatically over the years. It used to be to get up, get fame, get recognized, etc… Now it’s just a reason to get out of the house and hang out with friends. I try not to take graffiti very serious these days and I find myself looking for ways to keep it interesting. Two summers ago I painted a ton of pieces drawn for me by other writers. Last summer I made a book of abandoned places, and I really enjoyed getting back to really simple graffiti. Solid fills, simple outlines. Since I don’t paint very often, going into a building and busting out 2-3 simple pieces in a couple hours was more entertaining that spending an afternoon on one wall. At the end of the day graffiti is still an escape from everything else going on in my life.
When I started my main influences were guys from my area in Connecticut and a bunch of NY writers, particularly the Bronx and Westchester County. As I learned more, the writers that really pushed me and changed what I did were crew members like Gaze, Noble, Besm, Sub, and East. I’ve always looked to graphic design and other more traditional art forms for ideas and colors.
What keeps you still writing?
Not exactly sure.. Sometimes I ask myself, “why do you keep doing this”? Sometimes I just see new cans of paint, and I just want them all. Despite the consequences, there becomes a biological process that would classify graffiti as an addiction.
What first made you interested in graffiti and how did you end up on that track?
I always liked to cause trouble and be out at night. Once someone showed me graffiti, the idea of just being out at night sneaking around seemed appealing. Once I actually wrote on a wall, I was instantly hooked.
What trends are you seeing now in the graffiti world that you don’t like?
Trends come and go, so I guess that’s just part of every sub culture. Hopefully trends will make people see the need to reinvent themselves and try new things.
What do you do when you’re not painting?
Work, watch movies, play hockey, and bash RC cars.
How would you describe your style?
Well, It has evolved a bit over the years, but in the early 90’s during the first wave of 3d graffiti, Sub and I were also doing variations of 3d graffiti. I was always hooked on traditional NY graffiti, so I always incorporated an actual outline. I moved forward with elements that made the piece look as if you could grab it off the wall. Shadows, 3d with lighting effects and overlaps, fill-ins that overlapped the letters. If I can, I like to incorporate brown or grey with a couple bright colors and it’s probably pretty obvious, clean lines are important to me.
Can you remember the first piece you did?
Yes, it was stock caps and Krylon and said “wire”. It looked a bit like that retro graffiti you see with random arrows and disproportioned connections.
Do you adapt your pieces and tags to the spot/surface?
There was a time when I always wanted a nice flat surface with no obstructions, but guys like Jive and East helped me to see the beauty in random spots that were not perfect. A big part of the abandoned places book was the uniqueness of the spot. Seeing a broad picture that showed the location and how decayed the building was.. the spot becomes just as important as the graffiti.
What are the best and worst aspects of graffiti?
Worst: Corporate marketing using graffiti. Overpriced art. People getting recognition because of who they know, not because of what they have actually done. Street art getting too much recognition, when graffiti artists really paved the way for all of it.
Best: Events where a ton of writers from different cities get to come together and paint. People that know graffiti history. The new age of social media being much more positive then the early days of graffiti message boards.
Who do you paint for?
Are you asking about sponsors? I have received free paint here and there, which was awesome. I really don’t like to paint for other people. I tend to stay away from painting as a job, but receiving free cans to paint what I want is a blessing.
What do you hope people will think and feel when they see your stuff?
I remember the feeling I used to get when I saw a piece in person walking along the train lines in New York. The graffiti I saw made me want to paint. I hope my work inspires others to want to paint as well.