Monday, August 31, 2020

My Interview with Spion

People who frequent my blog enough know that I've taken a liking to the work of the sticker graffiti artist known only (to me anyway) as Spion. I've liked their work so much that I've given them their own tag for here. Thanks to a mutual online friend, I was able to contact Spion and ask for an interview. It took me a while to get around to sending questions, but here it finally is along with some recent photographs of Spion's art I've been sitting on for a while. This was fun. Much thanks to Spion for taking the time to field whatever questions I threw out.

Is Spion your artist's name? Do you go by any other? How many of your fans know you by your real name?

Sometimes. Depends on the fan.

Is your anonymity so important you keep your gender and age hidden as well as your name?

Not particularly no.

How well known are you in artist circles? Is there an artist circle for what you do, or do you share with others?

It’s tough. Graffiti is based on anonymity but then how can people access your art. It’s been a tough path to traverse.

I would call myself an emerging artist.

It’s hard to say if there's a specific circle for my style because I utilize many mediums to get my art out there

I do share. My stickers are meant to be passed around and help others navigate the tough times and remember to love themselves.

What was the first sticker (or non-sticker) art that inspired you to do what you do?

I kind of stumbled onto the stickers. It a common practice of graffiti writers to make slaps, so it's hard to say one sticker artist specifically inspired me. I’m really looking to bridge the gap between street art and graffiti, and my hope was for the slaps to help with that. I also wasn’t trying to get arrested for drawing on walls and the stickers helped me focus on my goal.

Who have you met as a result of your work

Immersion into the local art community has been most adventitious. While i did choose to take time off from cooking and work at Blick and follow my attempt at being a more regular artist I feel like my strongest connections from my work are not the ones people would initially guess. Sure I know many amazing artists but I feel like it’s the nonprofit organizations and people who serve the community that have strengthened my Rolodex the best.

You have a familiar pattern with many of your stickers (particularly your Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stickers, which I've seen the most of). How did that come about?

My mom gave me a small quote book from MLK when i was younger that resurfaced and was helpful during tough times. My hope was that sharing his quotes might help others the same way it helped me.

Do you have any memory of your first design you ever used?

First sticker design? I always appreciated hearts and grouping them together almost like birds flying was probably my first concept "idea."

You’ve taken to doing animals, even Marvel characters. What's your mindset when trying out these styles?

The animals and Marvel characters are my attempt at technical training. I’m self taught and so i practice proportions and dimensions this way in order to strengthen my skill set.

Why do you think your stuff keeps getting torn up? Is it MBTA workers trying to clean up, or just petty people? Is tearing down a benevolent message a sign of our ridiculously fractured times?

Mainly MBTA but a lot of people don’t like the hearts or the message. They misinterpret my intent. They have darkness inside them and fear the light, my stickers are ESPECIALLY for them because i was once the same.

What's your master plan in the future?

Sticker the World

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