December 16, 2014.
What do you write? Are you in a crew?
I write LEAF. In addition, I am in 3 crews from North Carolina.
In what city did you start painting in the streets? Do you feel your work has influenced the community in return? If so, how? Is there a relationship between the artist and the community in which they work?
I started painting in Phoenix, AZ back in 2002. My art was just graffiti for many years. Just recently it has started to influence the community in a positive way. I think it is part of the muralists job to make work that helps people in bad situations/neighborhoods think positively. We try to do that with our own murals now. I still do throwies, fills, and tags all day but not to make a difference. It's like two different schools of thought, one is to bomb, take-over, diss, and assert your dominance as a writer, the other is to create beauty. Graffiti is like that sometimes. It's different for everybody.
Did you go to school or are you self taught?
I never liked going to school. I got my GED and then eventually got an art scholarship to a small college in North Carolina. I graduated with honors in 2009 and now have a BFA. However, graffiti has taught me more than anything else in my life and still effects everything that I do.
How did you get started in the arts and why?
I started painting graffiti back in 2002 with my homie DEF. He was tragicly killed in an accident when I was 14. Then and there, I decided I was going to write for the both of us and my art has always found a way, even through the shittiest of times, art has kept me going. I now own a Tattoo Parlor in Wilmington, North Carolina and am lucky enough to make art every day of my life. Art means everything to me.
How long have you been working in the streets?
Who or what inspires you the most?
Mostly my artist friends. But many great graffiti writers and tattooers too. I love the work of Aaron Cain, Guy Atcheson, Timmy B, Paul Booth, Heavamech, Carl Grace and Roman Abreggo just to name a few tattooers. In terms of graf I have always been inspired by the work and mentality of Ishmael, DMOTE, EWOK (George Thompson), CRAOLA (Greg Simkins), RIME, RISK, AUGOR, SCORE, PURSUEL, and Jersy Joe for their work. I admire my NY homies SKI, 2EASE, SEV, DE3, SCAE, TEASE, and GNS for bombing all city. All art inspires me, I love art, and that is why I love to create it so much.
What should the general public know about street art? What stereotype about street art/graffiti do you hate the most?
That Graffiti writers are menaces to society. We create the art, art is beautiful and any community can benefit from it, rich or poor. It takes along time to get good at this and it is extreamly dangerous. I have broken bones, friends have died, even been run over by trains, we put a lot of energy into this and it deserves appreciation rater that condemnation.
Are you a full time artist? Do you have a day job? Is it best to be full time artist or not worry about it and make your $$$ elsewhere, that way you can paint what and how you want, which one offers a more creative outlook?
I am a full time artist. I own a Tattoo Shop/Gallery/Art Studios here in Wilmington, NC.
What are you working on now?
I just finished this psychedelic Jimi Hendrix on a wall with some foliage and incorporated it into the mural as his hair.
What do you hope to achieve or accomplish by putting your work in the street?
I want my work to be huge and in every major city so people will recognize it and want to be involved with it. I want to be a household name. LEAF.
check out more of Bryan's work.... www.anvilandink.com