Check The Method: An Interview With LOSER AIDS Crew
12oz contributor Chester Copperpot has been documenting graff for his zine project, Todays Mathematics. Below is an interview he conducted with Loser, repping Jersey City. The two sit down and have an insightful conversation regarding paint preference, techniques, and influences, all based off of a collection of photos that CC took of Loser’s work over the last year.
12oz: Hey, thanks for taking the time to build with us. For those that don’t know, maybe you can tell the people who you are and what you rep?
You know the name (Loser), and the crew. Word. I’ve been painting seriously since 97, but started probably in 93-94.
12oz: I recently saw a comment on Instagram. Someone was shocked that you used only rusto and stock caps for that FreeMason collabo with Snow (detail below). Is that how you always get down?
I’ve been strictly using rusto and stock tips for about two years. I obviously started my career like that rusto krylon etc with stock tips, graduated to German thins and newyorks. Plus, I like NY thins more than German thins.
When euro paint hit the scene I loved it, paint and tips were dope but color seemed to fade. And it took more paint to get the job done So bombing was def rusto.
For a while I was fed up with paying for paint but ultimately had to, rusto was then cheaper than “magic” paint.
(Laughs) magic paint.
Rusto changed their nosels and at first I hated it but slowly got more control. It’s like anything new. But the more you paint the better you get. So here we are, I do strictly use rusto unless someone buys magic paint for a wall but I don’t buy it. Plus I do think rusto has better coverage and lasts longer.
12oz: Can you tell me a little about the faces that you incorporate in some of your work, both in the photos , and more generally?
90 percent of the faces I do are from my head. Years of trying to faces learning things hear and there. When I was 12 or 13 I watched a guy do caricatures. He banged out his drawings fast, [and] I started to notice similarities in them. I saw him do about 7 to 10 of them and started seeing him recycle nose curves and chins, things like that and a light bulb lit up. I said to myself I could do that. But [I] never wanted to do caricatures, I wanted to work that into what I was doing [with graff]. Basically a toy trying to come up with letters and faces. Fast forward. Luckily I was somewhat schooled by a guy who wrote Zeser FR. He had dope letters and characters and that’s what I wanted to do. I would do a face and letters and he would give me pointers. I came up with a fast throw character named Benny with an x on his one eye. Later came up with the blockhead. Both by just drawing and painting. I also have been painting portraits of people since 2000. The more work, the better you get at it.
12oz: I also see, and really enjoy your technique of, what looks like skinny lines of electricity in your work, almost like a shading with lines. At times you combine this technique with your use of the lines in the blocks of the wall. Both techniques are on display in the middle picture. Maybe you could expand a bit on that, when you started doing it, what inspired you, that sort of thing.
The line work I’ve been doing recently morphed from painting fast and trusting your hand to do what,it wants. Speed. Angles. Pressure. Rusto stocks are actually very sensitive , the harder you press , the more paint comes out. I’ve learned to make it work for me. I like how walls look with just sketches on them, they almost vibrate. I dig that. Also I’ve struggled in the past trying to get my piece clean and tight and not being happy with the outcome. Today for me it’s all about layers and not worrying about having the tightest work, just pushing my style. I’m still not totally happy with my letters. I hope I’m always getting better. The zigzags and x crosshatch are me trying to make [it]flow more, and give it the feel of a sketch when it’s finished.
12oz: Ok, we appreciate you taking some time to talk with us. Do you have anything in the works, or are there any one you want to shout out before we finish up?
I’m always working on something. I’ll hopefully have a couple shows this year, plus some murals with the Green Villain.
Shouts to my crew, Todays Math, and every artist doing it. Peace.