12 Questions with: Tizer One, ID Crew, London, UK
We caught up with London legend Tizer One.
Hello, first off, can you give us an introduction
I am TIzer One from the ID crew, London, UK. I started painting in 1988. I am also a member of many different international crews which include, HOD America, YCP Crotia, SDM Australia, RHC Hungary, CBM London, 1T London, DFN, MHS, SHK, Starving White Guys UK, The Dark Order NYC and Stomp The Comp, NYC.
And your own crew, ID, how and when did that start and what does it stand for?
My brother and I, Shucks, started it in1997. It was meant to be a two-man crew originally, but it grew over time. We added friends and writers we like. It actually stands for Ivory Dukes, but over time it has also become Idiots, Ice Dragons, Ink Devils, I’m Drunk hahaha as well as various other names.
If you could pick one single achievement from your graffiti career which would you pick and why?
When I complete public murals for local councils. I do a lot of youth work and I work within local communities – I like that because its starting to break down barriers between graffiti and the general public….it really works, people enjoy it and it shows that they are trying to make their community a more beautiful place. It also shows that graffiti is not a bad thing but something which can make a difference to an area in a good way.
I read somewhere once you thanking graffiti for always being such an important part of your life, almost like your best friend, can you explain this further for us?
When I was young I was quite an angry kid, I had various issues, I was never accepted at school so graffiti gave me confidence and made me proud of myself. It gave me something to want to achieve and be better at that. Its just always been there for me and helped me out when I am in a bad situation…its given me friends, allowed me to travel made, me well know in what I do, where I have never been important anywhere else…it’s the same as its done for a lot of people. It’s considered a bad thing but its not, its kept me focussed, and graffiti has only been a good friend to me.
And what about travelling? Which countries have you visited?
I have been fortunate to travel all over the world through graffiti. I have painted USA, Australia, Thailand, India, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Croatia, and many other countries!
And what about the Internet? How important has social media become do you think for graffiti?
I think its great that its you can get in contact with people so easily now, before you had to find them and send flicks and drawings whereas now you can get in touch instantly and upload your artwork immediately and its seen by loads. But the bad side is that people can bite others artwork easier….no-one searches out graffiti like they used to or you would stumble across it, whereas people don’t study it they did…its made it a bit blaze…unimportant. Good thing is that you can also write about what happened on the day and share that immediately, whereas magazines couldn’t let you do that it…. So it has a personal aspect to it. But of course the bad side to that is its lot easier for the police to build up cases against people and people can be quite stupid putting stuff up that will get easily found by the wrong people! Graffiti is all about showing off….which goes hand in hand with all about hip-hop culture.
The world is so much smaller these days…but imagine, if you could paint with any writer from any generation who would you pick and why?
My brother Shucks, he’s the best person to paint with for me, he’s the person I enjoy painting with the most.
Do you think it’s important as an established writer to stay in touch with new younger writers? And if so why?
It’s really important to be humble and inspirational to the next generation of graff writers. When I was younger a famous writer was rude to me and it made me hate him and despise his artwork. We have a chance to be inspirational to the next generation and they might be the next king, you never know.
It’s interesting as now and the future generations coming up have always had access to the Internet, will that change their influences do you think?
You can already see the changes, years ago you could see a type of throw up and you could tell instantly which country it was from. Kids in London are now doing a Swedish style throw up or NYC one. There are already influences, which these kids are getting from the world away from their own community and that’s down to the Internet. Even tags styles are getting influences from California or South America.
What about your influences? Who or what gave you that light bulb moment?
My cousin was a punk so he used to do punk graffiti and I saw that when I was really young so instantly we started looking at tags from that moment. My brother got caught doing a Chad in the primary school toilets…..this started me looking at graffiti and realising that one person was up and people were travelling and getting up…it made me notice this. Because we had an interest in it people were telling us where it was then when I was 12 me and my brother and a couple of other friends started to tag. We started trying to practice and realised that graffiti was something that was really part of the hip hop culture that me and brother could also be part of. Graffiti was also the cheapest part of hip-hop. You could make something out of nothing, making something good by using other tools…..
It always intrigues me with writers, so I have to ask, what is your favourite colour?
Hot pink!! I use it a lot as the tones in my faces; it makes them look more alive.
So any major upcoming plans for the future?
Azerbaijan next year – that’s one of the craziest things, I get asked to go to different places because of graffiti – its amazing how youth culture has inspired by the rest of the world. Graffiti is the fastest growing art form in the world, the best thing about graffiti it’s the voice of the unheard!!!
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Post dedicated to Munson RIP
Interview : LittleWingLost