interview with Does LoveLetters | graffiti stories & art 02/01/2014

Hello Does! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. It's a great honor having the chance to share some of my thoughts with you.

Q: Professional soccer player and artist. What was your first love, passion?
A: My first passion was soccer. I started when I was 5 years old and until I was about 25, I completely focused on soccer. I didn’t attend many classes in school and my dad even did my homework. At some point I was forced to give up my career due to several knee injuries. Luckily, I was able to fall back on what had until that time been my secret passion: graffiti and drawing. During my soccer career my interest in graffiti was related to a certain relief that I needed from the routine and discipline in the soccer industry.

Q: When did you start?
A: I did my first piece when I was 14 years old. It was a black and silver piece that said DOES. My best mates were on the lookout for me. A few weeks earlier we had founded our own crew, unofficially known as the Pancake Rebels South crew. We were four typical adolescents looking for some excitement.

Q: What was it about the word or the letters, D, O, E, S that drew you to using this as an alias?
A: I first heard the name DOES during a soccer match and it appealed to me because the word suggests taking action: ‘He who does creates’. Besides the meaning of the word, I choose DOES as I like the shapes of all the individual letters.

Q: Your graffiti style is pretty remarkable, there's so much energy, a great color mix... I love every piece. How would you describe your style?
A: I think my work and style is best known for the bright color combinations, the details, the clean and strong lines and the balance in the letters.

Q: Is your approach premeditated or improvised?
A: It’s a mixture of preparation and improvisation. The only guideline that I generally bring to a wall is a rough outline of the letters. The rest evolves while working and the colors are often a mixture of what is available and what seems most suitable in combination with the design and the surrounding area.

Q: Can you describe your approach to each medium?
A: I very much enjoy using different media. It’s a challenge to use and experiment with new materials. When I work with acrylics, brush, pencil and marker my work tends to become very detailed, which takes up a lot of time. Working with pencil and markers is prone to error; with markers you can’t afford a mistake as you can’t erase or touch up anything.

Q: What's your favorite medium?
A: It depends on the surface. When I work on canvas I prefer to use acrylics, for paper I mainly use pencil and markers and for murals I use spray cans.

Q: How do you ensure that you're always pushing your letterforms to new heights?
A: I try to develop my style and push the letter form by sketching a lot.

Q: How do you pick your locations?
A: I am always on the hunt for good locations. When you travel the locals are usually pretty good at taking you to incredible locations.

Q: How important is the location?
A: The location can make your piece more interesting. For example, to me looking at a piece in on old abandoned church is much more interesting than looking at a piece on a standard wall.  My work is always a product of my surroundings and therefore I imagine that my work is somehow influenced by the Dutch vibe and landscape. On a conscious level, it’s mainly travelling to other countries that has really broadened my mind and perspective.

Q: What inspires you?
A: Traveling is a great source of inspiration.

Q: What gets you fired up?
A: Train tracks in the moonlight.

Q: What’s the best thing about graffiti?
A: The freedom.

Q: What are the top three skills you need?
A: Dedication, perseverance and personal style.

Q: What are some of your craziest experiences while traveling and meeting new people?
A: A few things come to mind. My top 5:

1. Glue sniffing kids who trying to steal my bags and cans in Bogota, Colombia.
2. Painting next to a big tigersnake in Tasmania, Australia.
3. Painting in a favela in Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana.
4. Painting under a bridge in the Bronx in NYC – I was standing on piles of dirt and hundreds of serringes and I came across the people who lived under this bridge.
5. Another experience that I’ll never forget because it was so terrifying is the earthquake in Christchurch New Zeeland. My girl and I were there when a 6.8 and a 5.4 aftershock hit the city and 60 little aftershocks followed during the next few hours.

Q: What advice would you give anyone looking to break into the field?
A: Wear your mask.

Q: Any shout outs?
A: Feel free to ask me anything via does@digitaldoes.com
www.digitaldoes.com
www.facebook.com/digitaldoes
www.twitter.com/digitaldoes
Instagram @digitaldoes
and http://1xrun.com/runs/We_Built_This_City_Original_Artwork This is a link to a print that was released last week and that will only be available for another 4 days; there are 15 pieces left.