Sloke One isn’t your local street artist, but you wouldn’t know it. The proud Texan travels the country for gallery shows and graffiti jams so frequently that he could be mistaken as a native in any State. Sloke isn’t just an impressive artist; his down-to-earth, approachable attitude rightfully earns him respect from far outside his local community. He has the heart of a traditional graffiti artist, but his expressive artwork might imply otherwise. Years of dedication to the craft have allowed him to develop a unique style pushing his letters to literally explode with color. It is an exciting time for Sloke One, and Infamy Art is lucky to have caught up with the busy artist to learn a little about the man behind the can.
What is your name and where did it come from?
Hello! I write SLOKE ONE. The name came about from experimenting with different letters and words.I always liked the letter S, so I played around with variations and came up with SLOKE. That was in 1990.
Are you a part of any art collectives, crews, or teams? And how did you come about joining these collectives?
I rep for NBK, CBS, LORDS, CREATURES, LAWS, OTM, GTO, and RWS crews. NBK is a crew that SAINT and I started in Austin,TX. back in 1994. The rest of the crews, I was either asked to join or was friends with already.
Your style is unique and very colorful, can you describe your style and discuss a little bit about how it was developed?
My style started out influenced by the Subway Art and Spraycan Art books. Back then that's all we had. As years went by I started focusing on Wildstyle. That's really where my heart is at. I like and do a lot of styles but tight, complex, letters I just gravitate towards. My style continues to develop because I'm rarely satisfied with what I paint. I'll discover a style, paint it for awhile, and then move on to another.
Despite a bit of an abstract element, your letter structure is very strong, in an era of hipster graffiti, how important do you believe letter structure is?
I believe letter structure is very important. Graffiti is about letters. Your style reflects you as a person. I don't want to paint weak pieces. A lot of Graff these days seems to be about effects. Take away the make-up, what's underneath? A strong letter foundation with effects makes for a solid burner.
What’s your favorite brand of spray paint to paint with and why?
I paint with all types of spray paint but MTN is my favorite. I grew up on Krylon and Rusto. I miss old Krylon! I like the valve system on the MTN cans and the color selection, especially the Hardcore line.
What are your favorite colors to use?
My favorite colors to paint with are all of them! It depends on the style I'm painting. I really enjoy pastels. Classic!
What kind of nozzles do you tend to use?
These days my caps of choice are Legos and Astros.
Do you have a favorite marker? And why?
For markers, definitely KRINK. They cover everything.
You travel A LOT for your art, not just national, but internationally as well, can you tell us some of your favorite festivals and events to paint?
I started to travel back in 2006 and haven't stopped. I just wanted to get out and explore and meet other artists. Traveling has been the biggest influence on my art. I really enjoyed painting in Europe at the many graffiti festivals they have every year. The people I've met and the level of talent has been amazing.
Being an active graffiti artist requires a lot of energy, What motivates you to keep getting up all over the country?
What motivates me to keep traveling and painting is the endless learning experiences out there in the world. Life is short. Get out there and get up!
You have enough paint for one Burner or several throwies, how do you use the paint?
If I had enough paint, I would rock a burner!
What kind of project gets you most excited (i.e. Legal walls, crew productions, wholecars, freight bombing)?
What gets me excited these days is getting together with other artists and rocking burners! I miss those days! The culture seems to have changed dramatically. I don't need a film crew, Go-Pro, audience or sponsors. Just give me a wall and some paint!
What do you think of instagram and what impact has it had on you as a graffiti artist?
I look at social media as a double edged sword. On one hand it reaches many people, on the other it doesn't substitute for years of practice and dedication. I was never one for popularity contests. I'm only as good as my last piece.
You’ve painted with a lot of people, any artists in particular you enjoy painting with?
I've met a lot of artists along the way. The ones I respect are the humble ones. They let their piece do the talking. Some people that come to mind are MUSA, JABER, HASTE, TIZER, RUBIN, DYTCH, KUHR, MERES, ELSER, SAINT, KANOS, to name a few.
It seems like you always have something big going on, can you tell us about a few of your recent experiences or accomplishments?
2017 has been quite a year so far. I did two solo gallery shows here in Austin, traveled all over the U.S., and painted at a lot of graffiti jams. Non-stop work! I do my best to keep it moving.
Do you have any big projects coming up that we should be looking out for?
The next big project I'm working on is curating/participating two art shows this fall and a gallery show in April of next year.
Any advice to artists new to this culture?
If I was to give any advice in regards to Graffiti culture it would be Respect is earned, Learn the history, and Just shut up and paint!
If someone wants to follow you or learn more about you, where should they look?
You can catch me at www.slokeone.com and Instagram/slokeone
Big ups to The Universe,My Family,My Crews,My Friends, MTN, and Infamy Art for giving me the opportunity to share some words! Peace!