12 Questions: BUGEEvery few years in Los Angeles, a new crew of writers take to the cities skies and drop incredible works of graffiti art on the advertising billboards that line the streets. In the past, it was legendary names like REVOK, PHAROE, ZESER and AUGOR. In todays game, its up and comers like BUGE, CRABS, and BOZOE. This week, with a little help from some friends, we were able to sit down and interview BUGE, a graffiti writer who is quickly elevating himself to legendary status, with lettering that blend seamlessly into the advertising billboards designs. He has created instant art monuments throughout the cityscape’s skyline and helped bring new energy into the Los Angeles graffiti movement.
Shout out to the amazing photographer AC_IN_CA, who helped in putting this article together. The images provided by AC are incredible and take us with the writers during the creation of these works of art. Without AC, this interview would have never happened and without the images, the words would have been weaker. Stay tuned for future features with AC.
What’s your full graffiti name, where are you from and who do you write for?
BUGE, and I write for myself. I’m from LA and I rep a four-letter crew called BAMC.
Can you give me one of your first memories of seeing graffiti?
I grew up in LA so I’ve always seen it everywhere, I just didn’t know it was called or labeled ‘graffiti’, I just thought it was art. When I was in 5th grade, my mom’s (now) ex boyfriend used to do graffiti and one day I had a notebook that I wanted to write my name on the front of. I was just going to do it the way I learned my name in preschool, but then my mom’s ex said, “hey, let me do your name for you.” I’ll never forget the way he drew it; it was so stylish and I was so astonished to see another way of writing my name, that always after it fascinated me.
When did you start writing?
I got interested in it like I said in 5th grade, but I didn’t start practicing and studying it until 7th or 8th grade in 2008. When I started to really take it seriously was probably in 2011 – doing a lot of illegals.
How long did it take to develop your writing style?
I’m still in the pursuit of fully developing my style and getting better.
How would you describe your writing style?
I have a bunch of different styles, but the one I guess that I’m know for or that people have seen me get up with a lot I would describe as saucy but deadly, like habanero sauce!
Are there other writers that influenced you?
The people who’ve influenced me are in the crew that I’m repping. Aside from that, my influences are the ones that most look up to: Zes and Augor, and the group of LA bombers who were all going hard in the early 2000s.
Whats your favorite surface to write on?
Depends what I’m doing. If I’m bombing, probably tarps because of the way the paint goes in… I don’t know how to explain it. The paint just goes in so smooth and quick. If I was doing a burner and using a roller fill, then I’d probably prefer a flat surface.
When did you start doing billboards?
The first one was the GI Joe one I caught at the beginning of last year in 2013. Seeing it from a worm’s eye view, I thought I could easily do it from side to side. But once I got up there I realized how huge the ad was and I was shocked. Also, I was using whites and it was a cold night; the billboard was all wet from condensation of the dew and it made my paint run. To make everything worse, I realized I had a fear of heights. All in all it was a bitch and I was disappointed in myself after, especially since I’d had such high expectations when I went up there. After that I was over hitting billboards for a minute. I really started getting serious when I would look out for my homie Crabs, that influenced me to want to give it a shot again and from there I started going even harder.
What other writers do you write with? If any?
I came into this game by myself, so I’m used to painting alone a lot of the time, but I do have a small circle of people who I enjoy going out bombing with. Recently these people are: Crabs (BAMC / TUS), Z67r (MTA / RK / AE), and Bozoe (THX).
What have been your favorite pieces of yours?
One of my favorite burners I’ve done was the first burner I ever did on freight with Porfas from CBS. My favorite billboard I’ve done was the recent Spiderman, and before that was the ad for Pompeii.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I think of it in two ways, what’s my favorite thing about graffiti and what’s my favorite thing about going out bombing. As for graffiti, it’s definitely bending letters and structuring them. When it comes to bombing, I love the thrill of being out at night while everyone sleeps; creating good memories with friends; getting away with my mission and going home to enjoy another day of being free, while cherishing the moment that was created earlier.
What’s your least favorite thing about writing?
The drama, the politics, the haters, and the kids who write on whatever with no respect are what really get to me.
More Buge here.