Alright so thanks for taking the time out to do this interview, can we get a brief run down of who you are and how long have you been in the game? What crew do you rep and how did you get the name s3chor?
I’m Sechor, born in the beautiful city of Chicago and raised in Lviv, Ukraine. I moved back to Chicago when I was about 15 years old. I started doing graffiti in 2011. Currently not in any crews, as I’m still trying to figure out what I want to further do in my art career. My name started off as “Echo” when I was 14 years old I think, but it didn’t stick to me very well since it was too short. I like to do very wide pieces with a lot of extensions on the letters so a 4 letter name did not stick for me. After trying out “Echo” for a few months I added the letter “S” at the beginning and “R” at the end, Although I like to paint my name in many different ways SECHOR, S3CHOR, and SECHO, SCHR.
What I like about your work is that you arent afraid to put your hands into a whole lot of different ways to serve the graffiti community! You do custom pieces, sell trains and original paintings. Are you supporting yourself with your work exclusively now? If so how long?
I’m glad you noticed the different ways that I like to express my work. I always love to find different ways to do graffiti whether it is sculpture, painting on miniatures, playing around with cement, doing pieces, canvas work, tags, stickers, etc. That is truly what still drives me to produce work. For the past couple of months, I’ve been working on miniature scale freight trains, and now I am working on a few sculpture pieces that include a lot of cement work, carving, epoxy, and acrylic laser cut pieces that I am planning to have a show with at the end of July in Chicago, but that is still in the works. As of now, it has been about 5 months that I have been a full-time artist and a college student.
For working professional artists, keeping yourself going can sometimes feel like a struggle, you run into snags of motivation or not knowing if you are going the right direction, what did you do in these situations? is your strategy to always keep moving?
Personally for me when I run into artist blocks I try to spend some time outside whether it is a bike ride or just a walk, sitting in the studio all day and trying to create new work can sometimes be a pain in the ass for finding motivation, so looking at other artists’ work always helps me. I would say that just keep moving is a great strategy, you are not always going to produce your best work, but it’s important to maintain consistency
What is your favorite documentary or book that covers the history or major players of graffiti and why?
Of course, you can never go wrong with “Style Wars” Dondi, Kase2, Seen and many more fathers of graffiti, the reason why I love this movie is because it shows what graffiti is really all about. Recently I just watched “Rolling Like Thunder” featuring some of my favorite artists like Merlot, Maple, Ichabod, Aerub. Perfectly for me, this movie came out about the same time I got into freight writing and it made me fall in love with the culture even more. There are many more YouTube docs that are great but this list would go on forever if I kept talking.
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?
The first time I got introduced to graffiti was by my older brother whose graffiti magazines I found under his bed which I actually still have to this day dated from 2001. My brother later showed me his sketchbook where he had done most of his work since at the time in Ukraine at our age it was hard to get hands-on spraypaint, so he would stick to sketchbook pieces only. I got my start by literally looking up “Graffiti Alphabets” on google and just biting all of the letters into different words. Since then graffiti for me was very on and off when growing up in Ukraine. After moving back to the US I started taking graffiti and art way more seriously doing pieces and tags here and there but mainly perfecting my studio work and making work that I am satisfied with. Just recently I started hitting the yards trying out new styles and painting more outside of the studio.
Is there any way you havent expanded your business yet that you are looking forward to expanding into such as apparel? Where do you see yourself 5 years from now or do you just go with the flow?
I think I like the flow that I am at right now, I’m hoping to get into more gallery shows and start creating more work. I have done apparel before but nothing feels better for me than making 1 of 1 pieces. I also want to work on more sculptures, toys, and paint a lot more pieces to keep perfecting my craft, I have a lot of plans for 2022-2023 it is just a matter of time. In the next 5 years, I’m hoping to get more exposure on the streets and just keep doing what I love.
Do you like doing collabs with other graffiti artists? Any cool painting stories of almost getting caught from your early days?
I love collabing with people, nothing feels better than combining 2 or more completely different artists and creating one piece. My usual partners in crime are Face and Zora One they are the 2 guys I paint with the most. As for a funny story, the First time I ever painted side of the train I was finishing my background and I just look to the side and see 2 neon yellow vests, believe me I’ve never ran so fast in my life, I got away by running through like 200 feet of complete thorn bushes and honestly could not even recognize my tshirt after I got in the car it was completely ripped.
For people trying to go from being a street artist to a mural artist what kind of advice do you have for them?
My number one advice is don’t be afraid to meet new people, you never know who might be talking to whether it’s a random person on the street or a store owner who needs a mural. Introducing yourself is a big key to finding clients for commission work. Rejection is your best friend and don’t be afraid of it. For mural work a lot of the times you will have to change up your style to fit the criteria of the person that’s commissioning you it’s not always a pleasant experience but it doesn’t hurt.
As far as travel goes where all have you been? Any crazy travel stories you can share?
As far as travel goes I haven’t done much traveling yet, I am planning a big road trip across the US very soon, being a full-time artist and a student is hard to combine so there isn’t much free time for travel.
Any shout outs you would like to give? Where can people follow you and purchase your work?
I’d like to shoutout my best pal Face you are a true inspiration also ZoraOne, and some of the writers that I look up to Stuk One, Amuse126, Neen, Jugs, Joos, Merlot, Maple, Geser, Sheva, and big shoutout goes to my father for helping me out on many of my projects and for being for the hardworking father that he is and for always busting my balls. And a special thank you goes out to my family in Ukraine my mom my brother and my sister without you guys I wouldn’t be where I am at today.
You can follow me on my Instagram @s.echor and if you are looking to purchase some of my work my website is sechor.com