LSD Magazine interviews Inkfetish

Issue Five – Coming of Age – August 11th 2010

Whipping together a Molotov cocktail of  pure graffiti, outlandish comic book references, an edgy nod to the world of Japan’s manga and all the bubble gum of pop culture, Inkfetish’s larger than life characters and explosive palette straddle both the legal and illegal worlds alike. Drawing inspiration from his background in comics and firing it through the prism of the can, his richly evoked, mildly sinister comic book universe of the bizarrely neon collides with renegade geisha’s and cartoon characters apparently on crystal meth .We had a word

How long have you been painting and what made you decide to go that route?

I’ve been painting walls for about 7 years, and drawing my whole life. I ventured into using acrylics for canvas work about 5 years back.

You do lots of legal work, is this a decision you consciously made or did it just pan out that way?

A couple of arrests and the fact that I like to take my time quickly made me realise that painting legally in the streets was the best option…the legal/illegal context isn’t that important to me…I just like to paint big.

Your iconic characters can be seen around London, what influences your work most?

At this point of time, lots of different factors. Comics, anime, Japanese culture, and recently vintage cartoon characters from America are all playing their part…

Tell us a little about the comics you’ve self published…Including your first edition ‘No Strings’

I grew up wanting to be a comic book artist but realised later in life that the control freak in me would find it an incredibly difficult industry to work in at any professional level from a financial and creative point of view. I’ve always been into contemporary versions of fairy tales. In 2005 I self published ‘No Strings’- my own version of Pinnocchio, a story that was already implanted in the public psyche. It was never one of my favourite childhood movies but I definitely found something in it pretty unsettling. Viewing it again with adult eyes, there’s definitely some pretty twisted subtext in there. My comic version acted as a surreal prequel to Disney’s version and was really a chance to do something subversive with Disney’s iconography,- something I’ve actually injected into some of my recent pieces. I’d published a few zine type things before that but ‘No Strings’ was my first comic. I still have all of the hand drawn original artwork that I’d like to exhibit at some point.inkfetish-5

Do you think the comic book culture of the eighties and nineties is alive and well today and are the current artists making a good living from it?

It’s been dead in the UK for years. Europe and Asia still have a healthy comic book scene whilst America relies on it’s Superheroes and subsequently the movie franchises they spawn.

Aside from the money how does painting for corporations compare to painting for yourself on the street?

There is no comparison. I’ve painted for very few corporations simply because I’m not very willing to compromise my vision. With illustration work I realise I have a brief to follow but I got into graffiti because I love the purity of it, and therefore hold it pretty close to my chest unless there’s a project that I feel is geared towards me and what I do in that respect.

Paint brush or spray can?


inkfetish-2When painting on the streets, are you doing it for your own pleasure or for the public at large?

I’m doing it for myself…most of the walls I paint are pretty hidden from public view. I grew up interested in graffiti rather than street art so interacting with the layman on that level has never really been something I’ve considered too much. I feel like I’m competing with my peers rather than for the attention of the public.

Do you work with other artists or stand alone?

I’ve done a good few productions with my crew 40HK (Forty Hit Kombo) this year who are all extremely talented artists in their own right. My solo work is just as important and if I’m honest, sometimes more satisfying as I really like to control the space I’m working in without compromise. My collaborations are very considered.

How does an artist make the transition from painting the streets to painting for corporations?

There’s no set path. I generally don’t paint for corporations as half the time they don’t really understand what I’m about and are approaching me simply as ‘a graffiti artist’ that can possibly paint something ‘urban’ for them. I usually back off at that point of give them a price they’re not expecting because they aren’t expecting graffiti/street artists to realise they’re own self worth.

Do you think that London street art can stand up against the rest of Europe?

Right now no…but that’s mainly because of the clean up operations going on right now due to the 2012 Olympics.

inkfetish-1As an artist do you think its easier to get recognition by deploying online marketing techniques?

I suppose it depends on your agenda (if you have one). I’ve always considered myself an artist first and foremost and have always struggled to make a living from what I do…therefore an online presence is pretty important, but not half as important as actually getting on with creating your artwork. ‘Marketing Teqnique’ is not a phrase or notion that sits well with me…I see a lot of people talking about what they’re going to do rather than just getting on with it.

What you currently working on?

Working on a few small canvases to send to a gallery in France.

Any shows planned for the future?

No solo shows planned. I’m contributing to a show at the London Miles gallery in September.

Anything else you’d care to mention to readers?

Do what you love, love what you do.

Inkfetish Website

Issue Five – Coming of Age – August 11th 2010