I met Helno about 8 years ago . Pretty much thought he was a pro skater that just tagged when he skated around town. Then I started seeing his stuff pop up all around town and on trains. I always tease him because he looked like a baby face high school kid and pretty much still does . What a lucky fucker. If you ever wondered about this odd name you see up here’s a little back story....
How did you get involved with the graffiti culture?
- I essentially got involved with graffiti, mostly tagging, through skateboarding and hanging with the homies on the block dealing weed. We had our click and I would write my hood name are with sharpies and stuff, I was about 13 at the time. I got into painting through Batle 663 (RIP) and Gone 67, that was around the time I was 17.
Where have you been in the past that inspires you to paint?
- Let’s see, Chicago was pretty fun, pretty much anything outside of Southern California inspires me. Train yard alone inspires me too.
Have you put yourself in danger while doing illegal graffiti? if so when and how?
- You never know how your night/day is going to go when you’re out trying to get it. Whether it’s running/hiding from the police helicopter, running across the freeway from the CHP, running from dogs, people with Machete’s on the side of the freeway, gangsters shooting at you, I’ve seen a lot.
Tell us about style and how you see the art of lettering?
- Art is cool, but I consider graffiti to be letters mainly, not so much character stuff but if that’s your thing, by any means do you. Style wise, this anti style thing that’s going around is pretty lame for the most part, but if you have fun doing it, keep on keepin’ on.
Have you ever gotten into a fight over graffiti?
- I can’t really think of too many graffiti fights off the top, but I did grow up fighting over hood shit and other stupid things that there was probably no reason to fight over.
Explain how social media plays apart in the graffiti culture for you.
- Social Media has taken, what I feel like, some of the genuine things from graffiti, I feel like a lot of people just do it for the likes, yeah I have an Instagram like everyone else but I don’t post everything I do, let alone I don’t even flick everything I do. A lot of rumors get started through social media, as well as dry snitching, I say it hurts the culture.
Where would you like to travel to for painting?
- Abroad I would like to go to South America, Europe, and Asia. No country in particular, just over all. Domestically I want to go back to Chicago and New York. I also want to go to Seattle, Florida, Portland, and Canada. Half of these places is for food and not even graffiti.
What is your goal in the graffiti culture if any?
- I have no goals besides trying to have fun with my friends and travel.
What is your favorite color scheme to use?
- Silver fill, black outline, white highlight, and whatever bright background color. I’m easy to please.
What is your favorite tool for writing your name?
- Your usual streaker and these silver Japanese markers that I’m starting to have trouble finding sadly.
What are some of the regrets you have had in life?
- I can’t prevent this, but not spending more time with people that mean a lot to me who are no longer here.
Have you ever left a piece unfinished? Why?
- I hate leaving things unfinished but my freedom is more important to me than finishing a piece.
If you were giving advice to someone who just started writing what are some of the words of wisdom you would drop?
- It’s a marathon, not a race. Not everyone is against you. Also - always take advice from everyone you meet but don’t let people step on your toes but stay level headed. We all bleed the same blood at the end of the day and it’s just graffiti.
Shouts to your people in the game / in life…
- Shout out to all the men and women from the Squads. OS UDM GTV. My family. RIP Kure, Batle, Seler, and Wasup. I’m not going to name names because I know I’m gonna forget some heads and not hear the end of it…
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Graffiti and writers used to be insanely mysterious- graffiti was really personal because we only knew what we actually saw in person.