Alright so thanks for taking the time out to do this interview, We previously did a spotlight with you not too long ago but for the sake of the interview can you give us a brief introduction to who you are?
I write ANKOR and I’m in LTS•KOG, GL, and YPN. I’m from the Bay Area in Northern California.
You’re apart of 3 crews currently, and from looking at your work I can see why so many people would want you to be apart of their crew! Your work is stunning bro! Why did you decide to be apart of so many crews, I dont actually see that too often when interviewing artists. You must have a ton of friends! How many pieces would you say you complete in a month with everything combined?
I’ve been in a hand full of crews in the early years of writing ANKOR, that I no longer write. Timer put me in YPN in 2014. Natrl put me in GL in 2015. Arbe put me in KOG in 2020. Then I got put down in LTS in 2021. It varies, depends on how busy I am with work and the rest of my personal life aside from graffiti.
Do you do this full-time as a job? I imagine that’s why youve gotten so incredible because you have the skills of someone who has put in major time. I see you sell original canvases too, so if I had to guess I would say you sell originals, do murals and then paint on your own with your homies outside of that is that correct?
My career is tattooing, but I manage to stay busy with other art-based commissions as well.
What is your favorite documentary or book that covers the history or major players of graffiti and why?
It’s hard to pick, they are all good and have different key historical elements.
Where did you get your education from? Are you self taught and if so was there any practice in particular that helped you as an artist?
I’ve been drawing since I was 3 yrs old because my father was an artist. My early influences came from looking at skateboard graphics and metal band logos among other things. An old close friend introduced me to graffiti in middle school and I became infatuated with it. As time went on and I joined crews, I painted with various friends who either pushed me or influenced me in some way. Jpeg, Timer, Natrl, Medik, Ekose, Years, and 7Seas to name a few. My core style influence comes from being drawn to the LTS style created in Southern California. My style has adapted over the years due to the crews I’ve joined. If you know what you’re looking for, you can see how the friends I’ve made and the crews I’m in have influenced bits and pieces of where I’m at today.
Is there any artist that you grew up admiring that as you got older faded into obscurity that you think deserves more recognition? Who were the artists that you looked up to when you were coming up?
The artists/people I looked up to when I was coming up are now my friends, crew members, or both.
With all this time painting I imagine there must have been times where you guys almost got caught, you have any stories to share of close encounters with the cops?
There has been countless times sober and under the influence where I’ve been chased by pigs. Too many to speak on one specific story nor would I want to drysn*tch on myself or anyone else involved. I can tell you briefly about a story where me and Uter got confronted in NOLA on my birthday by some drugged out vagrant. He approached us as we were headed up a spiral ramp for a parking structure at some bando. He was confused thinking we were with some guy he was looking for. When he became frustrated that we didn’t know what he was talking about, he pulled out a framing hammer and a machete. After charging Uter, forcing him to jump from the first level of the ramp, barely missing him with the machete slash, he came after me going up the ramp. Realizing the seriousness in my face and preparedness in my stance, he somehow snapped out of his rage and retreated. We then painted some pieces and called it a day.
That’s a crazy ass story, so you were ready to throw down with a guy with a machette and framing hammer? This guy was up to no good, you guys lucked out!
Survival of the fittest. It’s always me or them in situations like that. I was ready for whatever was gonna happen or for whatever needed to be done.
What do you think separates the California scene from other scenes you’ve seen or been apart of?
Well I grew up in Cali and have never lived anywhere else. I’d say all scenes have similarities across the board based on places I’ve visited. I think the graff scene in general as a whole has changed a lot for bad and for good.
For people trying to go down the same road as you, what advice do you have for them?
Why do you say “don’t” do you think the journey to being a self employed artist is harder than people realize? Were there low points in your career that made you want to say fuck it and just get a normal gig?
When I said don’t, I thought the question was pertaining to the style of graff I gravitated towards. But yes to support yourself as a full time artist with a massive financial overhead is very difficult and not for everybody. There’s low and high times every year. Life brings a lot of opportunities and surprises, good and bad
As far as travel goes where all have you been? Any crazy travel stories you can share?
I’ve been to Paris, Costa Rica, Belize, Mexico, and Iceland. As far as the states go, I’ve been to somewhere around 20 of them over the years.
Any shout outs you would like to give? Where can people follow you?
I wanted to shout out my crews LTS KOG GL YPN for being my family and home. IG – @_ankor1_
Also, check out the DANG PAINT X ANKOR VIDEO below;