graffiti | INTERVIEW WITH Conzo Throb BY IVA KANCHESKA 26/06/2012
Q: How long are you into graffiti? What made you to become a graffiti artist?
A: I got into Graffiti when I was 14-15. So around 8 years now. Though I am more of a illustrator and dabbler in Graffiti for now as I am purely focused on leveling up my style and ideas, which doesn't happen over night. My reasons for getting into it are far different for why I still do it though, originally it was just the love for mischief / ego and adventure but now its a simple obsession of creating a style no-one has seen.
Q: Do you have an artistic background growing up?
A: Growing up I have always been a keen doodler, encouraged heavily by my Grandpa when I was just a small kid. Its a complete contrast to what I do now, as it was your usual arty stuff; fruit bowls / landscape / still life etc...
Q: To be a creative person means to be open minder, educated, fun, well balanced etc. At least to me. What is creativity for you?
A: Yeah would have to agree. There is no non-cheesy way of answering that! But for me, its about passing on the buzz of excitement you get from seeing an Artists badass piece of work through your own to someone else, so kind of like a creative circle of progressively fresh inspiration.
Q: There is written" ‘Ren and Stimpy’ ‘South Park’ and ‘Johnny Knoxville’ as some of your genesis. Please guide me into that madness. (laugh)
A: Ha, well I grew up in a small football mad, sectarian old mining town outside Glasgow in Scotland. So imagine the least creative and open minded place. Growing up without a scene or the stereotype of the '4 elements of Hip Hop' which is usually what most graffiti / street artists are sworn by. Videogames and tv were my initial inspiration, especially seeing the 1st ever South Park episode when I was just 10 years old, followed by Jackass in my 'growing hair in funny places stage of life.' these really had an impact on my taste.
Q: I would say that the comic note in almost every
creation is like your trade mark. Can you make a comparison between
your painting style and your personality?
A: Some of the most interesting (and my personal favorite) artists are the ones who project themselves in their doodles and pieces, it makes their work seem all the more interesting, funny and genuine. Myself, I love nonsense and humor but I am one of these people who knows a good joke but is terrible at telling it, so I paint what I love and find funny and its why I moved more away from direct Graffiti, allot of Graffers I know are just far to serious and have this borderline wanna-be-gangster attitude that comes off false or caught up in the image that is expected of you if you take up Graff.
Q: Many interesting characters, many colorful 3D compositions... How would you describe your style?
A: My style is all about flow, smoothness and simplicity meets complexity. Its a series of rounded characters with a mish-mash of retro buzz and mischief that are set out to make you smile and laugh!
Q: How has you style developed through the years? Can you describe differing influences that you've had that have formed your style through particular periods in your painting career?
A: Well with every passing year I look back and I can really see my characters and style improve or look less crap as I would say! It gets bigger, more complex and confident and is really becoming its own entity and flavor as opposed to "it reminds me of" or "it looks like *insert artists name here* " From meeting and observing some of the best artists based in the UK I learned its not impossible to get to that level, it is all about being consistent / self-improving / self-loathing which I def do, there is always something I am not happy with in a piece I do as no matter what or how long you spend on a piece, it can be done bigger and better, but I still have years more of work ahead of me to learn more.
Q: Can you tell me about the making process? How do you usually develop your basic ideas to the final one? Do you use a sketchbook?
A: Yeah I used to doodle in a big blackbook that was to big to even put in my bag and I would spend days drawing and rendering. But now, I use pocket-size sketchbooks which are handy for having on you all the time, especially in the pub or trains and I only do small rough quick idea sketches as I don't see the point in being precious with your sketchbook. Ideas for me are more valuable and I will then pick best ideas and re-sketch them, then eventually either draw them up on the computer or straight to wall with paint.
Q: Are all designs custom made?
A: Depending on what you are referring to, yeah, all my work starts off from a simple idea sketch then I work it either into digital or hand paint it.
Q: There are a lot of art mediums that you work on, canvas, walls, some digital artworks, really impressive! What is your favorite medium? In which one you find most creative freedom?
A: At the moment I love to sketch digitally as I mentioned earlier, I hate being precious when sketching as you waste allot of valuable time in doing so. With Digital you can chop, crop, tweak, exaggerate and always have the original copy, perfect for trying out new things. But, spray-painting is my favorite, it allows you to go massive and visually makes you feel chuffed when done.
Q: Let's say a few words about the Dudebox toys. What is the basic idea?
A: Dudebox is a brilliant step up for me at the moment, pushing my work in another new direction. I was contacted about a year before the launch in May 2012 when they found some of my work online and loved the vibe of it and asked me to come on board and help create designs for their vinyl toy range. I have done some hand painted customs, but have an actual manufactured limited edition toy coming out in July 2012.
Q: Since your style is well defined, have you ever thought to make some changes and start doing something different?
A: Always! That's what's exciting, I wont ever give up my style and the direction it is going, but will always add to it. Its the age of where even the most amazing technically done doodle wont impress, you need something that hasn't been done yet.
Q: What would be the sickest or most mind boggling art piece you would like to work on? No matter the medium. Is there any piece that is still undone?
A: Not sure if this goes down as 'mind boggling' ha, Right now, I really just want to go massive on building sides. Something 100ft plus but in Glasgow we have far to much red-tape to get a go ahead for artists with my style, for now.
Q: Do you still enjoy painting as much now, or do you feel jaded at all, do you still have the enthusiasm?
A: I still love painting, I miss not painting as obsessively at the moment. But I am so busy working on other projects and on a mission to level up a few in prep of getting ready to make folks eyes combust into flames through luscious gawking at my work!
Q: Art could be a great influence on someone's personality. What is the best lesson that you've learned from your art journey?
A: That its amazingly satisfying to know that when you hit a certain point in your creative career and your work starts to get noticed, its great to know that unlike a band or a model or a... wrestler? your career and artwork only gets better with age! So you have a pretty good future to look forward to if you don't get distracted from pushing your work. Unless your artwork involves expressive body paintings...not sure if folk would want to buy a wrinkled human stamp print!
Q: Are there any particular goals you'd like to achieve in your career?
A: Besides from painting bigger scale, to get some mini animations done and it would be amazing to find someone or a crew similar to myself with style and obsession and team up and do tours and massive collab pieces as up here in Scotland I haven't found anyone that I really click with on the creative 'go big' vibe.
Q: What's your best motivational lesson for the beginners?
A: Don't ever let yourself get envious of other artists who are younger or older than you, regardless of their talent. I have seen artists who cant doodle a stick man who are on the front cover of design mags and referred to as 'top artists' it can be based on just great marketing hype! In most circumstances they are just lucky to be in the right place at the right time, circumstances is what really pushes an artist to level up faster than others. I see myself behind as I never grew up in Berlin, London, Barcelona, New York where there is a massive creative boom where you have to compete so hard from a very young age to stand out and get noticed (but I might of never found the style I have the now if I did) So some artists are quicker off the start line than others, but being consistent and focused regardless of your own circumstance, you will eventually catch up and smash the scene with a creative sledgehammer...I hope!
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WEBSITE : http://www.conzo.co.uk
BLOG : http://blog.conzo.co.uk
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DUDEBOX, CONZO TOY COMING SOON : http://www.dudebox.com