1. introduce yourself - I'm Wasp, a graffiti writer and artist.
2. Being an artist, Is there a certain point you are trying to make? Is there any messages that go with what you do? - Right now as an artist I am not pushing a narrative with my work or trying to convey a message. I am making work that is visually pleasing to me and built on composition and colors.
3. what made you fall into being an artist, How was the mediums you use introduced to you? - I have been working on paintings for almost as long as I have been writing graffiti. I started writing graffiti in 2006, by about 2008 / 2009 I was experimenting with canvas' or found objects and painting on them at home. It wasn't until 2016 that I became an artist for a living and started a studio practice. The studio is a shared space with the collective I do murals with. As far as mediums I use go, I have experimented with a lot of things, but as of late I use acrylic bucket paint for my studio paintings as well as spray paint.
4. It looks as though you do some graffiti, some murals and some fine art. Is there one that takes more priority ? and why is that? - You know, they all kind of run parallel right now. I basically find myself painting something everyday. If it isn't for work it's for fun and those intertwine a lot of the time.
5. what are some of the goals you have as a fine artist ?,considering you have a solo show very soon. - Staying consistent with my work, that is an ongoing goal for me. I also want to show more work outside of my hometown and region, I would like to get more involved with group shows in larger cities. I have some long term goals and aspirations, but for now I am keeping things simple and just continuing to learn more about my craft.
6. Where are the best places you have put your art work? legal or illegal just the most fitting in your eyes. - I am just now starting to show my paintings in new places, so really I dont have an answer for my art work...but as far as graffiti...the best places I have left a mark are the small off the beaten path up's that I may get on road trips. I love painting abandoned buildings, so that may be the most fitting, I think that my work looks eye pleasing on those surfaces that come along with lurking old buildings. But as far as best spots, I can't think of any landmark things that stand out to me, but more so just the cutty places you may see me up.
7. Discuss some of the mediums you use. Is there anything different that you see with your process compared to other artists? - So my process and tools aren't too out of the box or surprising. I use acrylic paint and spray paint. But from start to finish my process is me. I hand build my surfaces out of wood, which start as 4x8 sheets and end up in various sizes. My content (in this case the plants) is photographed by me and then designed / illustrated to fit my surface. I take pride in not going to the store and purchasing pre built canvas' and also not using outside sources like the internet for my content. I use my camera a lot, i enjoy shooting photos just as much as painting graffiti, murals, or in the studio...so that being said I am able to capture the things I paint. I am still learning how to paint and how to use the tools etc, so I haven't started to get outside the box with my process or techniques quite yet. I want to nail down the basics before I am getting loose.
8. what has been the hardest part about being an artist to you? - Staying confident and also staying patient, I find that to be a mental battle.
9. why do you continue to paint? What is the main motivation? - Painting is therapeutic for me, I enjoy the process a lot. I also get flooded with ideas at times and I just have to get them out of my head! But there are so many things that keep me drawn into graffiti and painting on a daily basis, to answer the question generally, it just makes me happy!
10. I know you work on large scale murals as well, what would be a bucket list sort of project if the money was no object? - A mural in a tropical place! Somewhere that has a great view...and BIG. OSRS ( the collective I work with ) enjoys painting large scale projects, things that feel like a challenge. So a dream project would be, creative freedom on a large wall somewhere beautiful!
11. Does music play a part in the things you create visually? If so or if not tell us what you listen to at this point in your life. - Music doesn't only play a roll in my visual art work but my life as a whole. I am the type of person that turns music on when I get up and keeps it rolling all day. I have a WIDE variety of likes, I find myself listening to a lot of deep house music, love female vocals over some dark deep beats. Also a big fan of Glass Animals! The sounds they create are so funky and psychedelic, that is my feel good music. But I love young dolph, freddie gibbs, big krit, etc. Rap can get me in that motivated, time to get shit crackin type of mood. It really just depends where I am at and what is on the to do list for the day. I am always exploring music and seeking new artists / sounds.
12. What countries are on the list to leave some art in and why? - Man...this list could go on and on until I check off everywhere! European culture and public art is so rad...so just group all of them together at the top of the list..but also I would really like to see Asian culture and paint in that part of the world. I mean there aren't many places I don't want to go...and of course wherever I go I have to leave something behind!
13. Do you see yourself ever relocating? tell us why or why not. - Right now, it is not in the scope. I travel a lot, take as many road trips as I can. I have driven around almost the whole country, missing a few pockets but it will happen soon enough. I like where I live, I feel pretty centrally located and enjoy my city still. Relocating sounds intriguing and exciting but right now I am in a building phase of my life and if I were to relocate I think I may be taking a couple steps backwards. In the future, I could see it as a possibility, but for now I am pretty content with where I am and when i don't feel content, I take a trip!
14. If you had to pick between Being extremely wealthy or extremely well known for art what would you pick and why? - You know...both of those options sound great and also overwhelming at the same damn time. Financial stability is necessary for me and my lifestyle, but extreme wealth is not. And being well known, top tier artist sounds awesome, but comes with some serious responsibilities! I think I would choose being the well known artist...eventually that would bring me the wealth, but also it will bring the life experiences that I am seeking. I live a pretty low cost life, my overhead monthly isn't crazy, I don't need a lot to get by. I like having nice things and feeling comfy, but I really enjoy a challenge and chasing shit, which is what being an artist has been for me. Having a bunch of money sounds cool, only if you are using it to make power moves...not just logging into your bank acct every morning to stroke your ego.
15. What do you think the internet does for artists? - It creates a platform to be found, seen, heard, shared. The internet has become so integrated into daily life that for some, it IS their life. Artists specifically. I have used it for networking, met some of my biggest inspirations because of the internet and being accessible through an easy line of communication. I started writing graffiti when it was NOT cool to post your own work. the 12 oz days, you got shamed for trying to slip your photos into threads! So it has been interesting watching the transition where now its like the goal for a lot of people is to just shove their work in your face, through the internet. I don't participate on that level, I do not like to leak every thing I do and when I do post, its on a delay. Instantly blasting the shit you are doing feels a bit desperate to me. But I like the internet for the most part.
16. Did the internet destroy graffiti culture? or enhance it? - Both, I think there are angles to both sides of this question. As i just mentioned, I feel like some people are abusing the internet, like gearing their work for the internet. Making sure that what / where / when they are painting is prime time for an IG post. ( LAME ). I like having the opportunity to see what is going on throughout the world, in this graffiti culture. But when it gets abused, it just feels so corny. There is no going back to the magazine days, the dvd or even vhs days...this is where we are now and it is where graffiti lives. I have a lot of respect for the writers that are still passionate about this shit with or without blasting their work and it getting a certain amount of likes, comments, or reposts. There is nothing like getting out and seeing the work in real life, finding spots, benching trains, or cruising cities and seeing who is REALLY doing the work.
17. Are you political? Does that matter in art? - Im not political no. I rarely keep up with day to day news. Does it matter in art, sure for some people....not me though.
18. what do you think about cancel culture? - For the most part it's annoying as fuck. On the other end, some people deserve it. I find myself confused at some people's motives and decisions, I don't go out of my way to participate in "cancel culture" but I do avoid people and places I don't like. No one is perfect, we all do or have done some fucked up things...so to be so harsh and judgemental on others is confusing to me. But again, I do understand it in some cases...I just don't have the time to rant and rave about the silly stuff like that through social media, arguing with people in comment sections etc. It is a waste of time, those moments come and go.
19. In your day to day life does anything thats happening in the White House effect you? and if it does when did you notice ? - Majority of the time no. I honestly don't have much to say about the white house or our government.
20. Do you have any regrets that you wish you could go back and change? if so would this be something you would share with the youth in efforts they wouldn't make the same mistake or are you the type of guy that lets people find out the hard way? - I have a lot of things I wish I could go back and change, but then when I really think about it, without those experiences and even the bad ones...I wouldn't be who or where I am today. I am not the type to dwell on the past and "wish things were different". I have had some hardships in my life and have kind of enjoyed the uphill climb. You learn things through these mistakes, and that builds character. Fuck taking the easy way or trying to cut corners. As for the second part of the question, I have a little brother, he is 12 years younger than me. I often try to kick him knowledge that I have learned along the way, little info to implant in his head in hopes that he does avoid some of the things I have encountered. And same with some younger writers / artists I know, I don't mind sharing what I have learned. I enjoy a good conversation.
21. If someone reading this right now wants to do what you are doing (which Is probable cause we on line) what would you tell him? - Write down your goals, like literally write them down and put them in your face. Don't hesitate, life takes work in all aspects, very rarely does what you want just land in your lap...take risks to get what you want. Also be patient and be persistent, nothing good happens overnight. I have been working on paintings for over ten years, I am just now having my first solo show, I have been painting graffiti for 15+ years, I am just now getting to a point that I feel somewhat accomplished. Sleepless nights are good. Being tired is good. Work for what you want. Whatever excuses you may have, push them to the side and get something done!!
22. Tell us what the theme of your first solo show will be. Why did you choose this theme and how do you feel about the over all work? - The body of work consists of hard, bold graphic shapes and images of house plants, most of them being my plants. The color palette is a heavy contrast between blues and oranges. My graffiti is big and bold and I wanted to keep those elements involved with my studio work. I live alone and enjoy tending to the plants I have, they "live with me" in a sense. So i wanted to capture that with my work over the past year and a half. I am excited about my show, I am excited to see the work all together in one room. Now that this is up and rolling though, I am going to dial back in on the design process and start exploring a more abstract version of these plants and the shapes they provide.
I thank you for your time, If there is anything you want to promote or add feel free to do so
leave any links as well. - IG @wasp.mfk / @oftenseenrarelyspoken
Art show details - Wasp "One thing is certain" Opening May 7 @ Revelry in Louisville KY ( Closing May 31 )
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