Hi Kever Ones thanks for taking the time to do this interview, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you have been involved in graffiti? What crew do you run with?
I write Kever Ones. I’m currently living in South Florida but originally from Brooklyn NY. I’ve been into graffiti since the early 90s. As a young kid I use to ride the train and bus to school every day and see the crazy dope graff being put up everywhere. I was immediately intrigued by the dope work that was around me at the time from tags to pieces. I really wanted to get into wildstyle so I got myself a Blackbook from one of the kids in school and haven’t stopped since then.. Some of the writers that inspired me were Setup, Rime, Nace RIP, and many others! Currently rocking with my very close friends from XCEL Crew.
When I first came across your work what really grabbed my attention is how much you seem to offer people who follow you. You have youtube videos, products that range from prints to shirts to cans as well as your services as an artist. I like that because I think a lot of other graffiti artists could learn from that, can you tell us a little about how you set your business up and how you have benefited from having your hand in so many different income streams.
I’m always finding new ways of networking and creating new sources of income and opportunities. It’s something I learned early in life. A lot that I have learned is thru trial and error. I’ve been on my many platforms experimenting and discovering new ways to do things. My biggest advice is to get yourself your own website that has all the tools. Squarespace is what I’m currently using to work the business side of it. It has many benefits and features. I like going live on Instagram from time to time and helping others get some inspiration to do more and try new things. I’m always available for questions and more. One is the key benefits is having the ability to collaborate with many different companies and also receive many sponsorships. Shout out to Alpha acrylics, AD chartpeak markers, Fredrix canvas, and my fam over at Infamy art. Many others to list as well.
I assume you do this for your business so I’m curious how is the reality of making a living as an artist versus what you thought it would be? Do you find that it takes up all of your time?
Actually, I’m still holding a normal job as an operations manager since the early 2000s. I’m just lucky to have been able to manage my time wisely. I do lose plenty of sleep because I’m constantly working on something. Hopefully, in the future, I can actually sit back relax and dedicate most of my time to my craft. But yes I find it extremely difficult to balance it all together and hold it. Plenty of people get distracted and lose focus. I think if you break it down into small achievable goals you can make it happen easily
I love your youtube presence especially that sketchy peeps piece you did for spray daily. How has recording your process and growing your own youtube channel helped you as an artist?
Thank you! Working with the spray daily and recording the sketchy peeps was pretty cool. They have a bunch of talented artists on their Playlist. I was extremely happy to be featured. But as far as videos I think I have benefited more from Instagram because it helps you reach millions of viewers. I’ve had plenty of success from that alone. I think allowing people to view your work from start to finish is a good thing. I’m always posting videos and stuff for people see. It’s good to see people get motivated from what I do. It’s very humbling.
What is your favorite graffiti documentary, book or piece of history and why?
First book I’ve ever purchased was Spraycan art. That book really opened my eyes to a lot of new things I didn’t see before. Having those visuals in front of me definitely helped me back then understanding techniques and more. Also, the movie Wildstyle was very inspiring as a kid. I loved what they were doing with the whole cars and more.
One of the other cool things I see you do is that you let your followers support you by subscribing to you monthly and then every quarter you email them some stickers. This is super smart and I’m just curious have you looked into patreon? It would be cool to see you offer more tiers for higher-level subscribers maybe with more videos behind a paywall. Just a thought!!
Yes, I have a Patreon but I haven’t released it yet. Hopefully, in the near future I can offer that service. It’s very time-consuming putting videos together and extra goodies for the tiers but very beneficial. I really don’t have much time usually having a job and family to support. I think it’s a great tool for artists alike. I’m currently just using the Squarespace platform at the moment. I think it’s just as effective but without the tier options.
What kind of music do you listen to when you paint? Who are you favorite hip hop artists that you think got overlooked or faded too fast?
It depends on what mood I’m in or what I’m doing at the time. But most of the time I’m listening to hip-hop classics. I’m not much of a music guru.
For people trying to go down the same road of running their own art business what advice do you have? Do you remember your first paid gig?
Keep it professional and don’t be afraid of experimenting with new mediums. Try breaking out of your normal routine and try new things. My most favorite gig was a place called Smash and Grab. I had total freedom on the artwork. I covered up the whole place with nostalgic characters and letters. Also added many of my own characters called Lookers. It was the most exciting project.
9) Any shout outs you would like to give? where can people follow you?
Super shout out to my very cool son Kayden and my lovely Boo Jenny! As for the rest, I’m super grateful for all especially my really close fams at XCEL.