What is your name and where did it come from?
I go by the name Reds. Goes all the way back to my high school days, where a friend nicknamed me “Red Crayon” for wearing all red + having red hair. It later on shortened to just Red + just stuck with me.
Who were your first influences?
First influence I can remember is Poem. Someone had handed me the Subway Art book in like 3rd-4th grade. His pieces + style really stuck out to me the most.
Does music play a role in your art? Whats in your headphones these days?
It doesn’t. I actually prefer to be in silence, I focus better for some reason. But say if I’m out at a jam, or painting a prodo with the crew + someone has music playing, I don’t really mind it. But it’s not my preference.
How important is the legibility of letters?
I feel it’s pretty important. But some people have their own style in which with the more work you see done by them, you start to figure out their letters + movement + start better understanding the way they’re moving their letters.
Going back to the beginning, how did you originally get into creating graffiti art?
Taking it back to the 3rd grade where one of my cousins was in the process of moving, the way he had marked all his boxes with handstyles. I quickly grabbed a paper and copied some of the letters and later asked him to draw out an alphabet for me and teach me. Also, just seeing all the graffiti up around my city always captivated me.
Are you a part of any art collectives, crews, or teams?
Currently repping 004 (Double-Oh-Fo’) and PMS.
What do you think you are best known for, and how would you describe your style?
Hmm… probably known for my little palm tree signature I do on the majority of my pieces, zebra fill back grounds, little glowing orbs + my sometimes odd color schemes that seem to work the majority of the time. Also for my little flamingo character paying homage to the city I’m from.
We see that you designed your own toy with Kranky, did you have an idea already solidified before teaming up with them? How easy or hard was it in the process of creating these?
Yes, was very fortunate to have been contacted to be a part of an artists series Kranky set, along with some other dope artists.
What are your favorite colors or are there colors you find yourself using often?
I gravitate towards what I call an army green / olive green. It’s my ABSOLUTE favorite + goes with any color! I find myself using a lot of teals and pinks. But then again, I just love all colors really and use whatever is at hand.
What kind of nozzles do you tend to use?
Legos, universals + cream caps.
Favorite surface to put your paint on and why?
Brick, even though there are no brick buildings out here in Miami. But when I go out of town, it’s my favorite surface to look for and paint on.
How important is the “outline” in your process?
HELLA important. I feel it needs to be super clean, but that’s just me obsessing.
Say You’re leaving the house for a night mission, what are you bringing?
Silver stomp cans and Black stomp cans or night shift cans.
If someone asked you why you write graffiti, what would your answer be?
I’m selfish. I like to see my name on things that don’t belong to me. I like to see how long a spot will run. It’s therapy for me, relaxes my mind.
You are a very active artist, but all those pieces take a ton of energy, What motivates you to keep getting up day after day?
I will be honest, as of lately the lack of motivation has been present. Idk if it’s because of age or what. I’m stuck in a “writers block”. And living in hot ass humid Miami, I never want to be outside, so I find I paint less out here. When I lived in Cali, I was literally painting every single day and multiple times… but it also helped who I was surrounded by + the motivation from them along with Cali’s beautiful weather.
You have enough paint for one Burner or several throwies, how do you use the paint?
Going for the burner. If you would’ve asked me a few years ago, I would’ve answered throwies. But I’m currently in a process of trying to change up my letters, so just trying to see what I come up with next.
What kind of project gets you most excited (i.e. Legal walls, crew productions, wholecars, freight bombing)
The most excitement I ever felt was when I’d paint stompers with Meps and Verse, street side. We would pull off some ridiculous spots, and it was a different rush.
In an age of social media, with cameras everywhere, and police using technology to crack down on graffiti artists, how do you feel about the importance of protecting your personal identity?
You always gotta be careful. But I see it as, I’ve already been arrested for graffiti multiple times. If they’re tryna find me, they have all my info and mugshots. They already know what I look like. But I do try to avoid cameras as much as I can.
Can you speak on the importance of letters and can control in an era of “anything goes”?
I can’t style the whole “anti-graffiti” style. Shits wack. Period. I won’t even take a second look at it. Take some time to develop a dope style. Care about the quality you’re producing. I was brought up with “it always has to be clean” nailed into my head, and I still feel strongly about it.
What is a trick you've picked up over the years that helps out your process?
Slamming cans in a certain way to make them work or to squeeze out the little bit of paint you need.
You’ve painted with a lot of talented people, are there any artists in particular you enjoy painting with and why?
The two guys I will always choose to paint with is Meps and Verse. We already know how we work with each other, and keep up with one another. But every writer I’ve painted with I’ve enjoyed, even if we painted in silence. It’s all been good experience + I cherish all the memories.
Do you have any big projects we should be looking out for?
Yes. I will be teaching graffiti in Nigeria this year with the cultural exchange program Next Level. We were supposed to leave in January, but because of political reasons + things going on in Africa, the trip has been postponed. But hopefully by June this year we will have taken the trip
Do you have any of your art for sale?
Eh, not really. Randomly do I drop whatever I’ve worked on here and there in my website. But I don’t really have pieces laying around. I don’t have the attention span for it sometimes.
As a woman, what would you give as advice to a girl just starting out?
Stick it out if you’re really about this. You have to have thick skin. Stand your ground! It won’t be easy starting out, but just make sure you’re putting in that work, keep at it and keep progressing.
If someone wants to follow you or learn more about you, where should they look?
Instagram is the best way. I don’t really deal with a lot of technology or have the latest app’s and stuff. Trying to keep up with the latest apps is kind of frustrating to me lol
@redskeee or www.redsone.com
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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.