Alright first off, thank you for agreeing to do this interview with us. Please introduce yourself, how did you get involved with graffiti? How long have you been doing it and when was the first time you picked up a spray can?
I write Aches, I rep HUK and HOG. I had always noticed it as a kid and was interested in it pretty early on but it was some friends in school later on who got me in to actually painting. Ive been painting on and off again since 2007
Do you do this as a full time gig or do you only do this on the side of your main gig?
Unfortunately I don’t do this full time but I try to dedicate as much time to it as possible.
The one thing I really like about your writing is that you are always exploring and trying new things, the latest ones you have been doing with these double vision and glitch paintings are really awesome, what inspired you to do this and how are you doing this?
Thanks, I always try to look for inspiration in new places. The double vision stuff came from exploring transparencies and overlays. I had started doing that a while ago which lead me to additive and subtractive colour theory, I used that to create the RGB pieces I do. From there I just changed the colours to greys and that gave the blurred vision effect. The first time I tried it I had actually got to the wall with a different piece in mind and realised I hadn’t got a colour I needed to that piece so I decided to try out the RGB style with the greys I had. Happy accident really.
You throw some really cool marvel character illustrations into your pieces too, I especially like the wolverine one you have posted on instagram. Were you a comic book kid growing up? Or are you just a fan of the movies that have come out? I loved Marvel growing up and their movies are pretty good, especially Logan.
Yeah I haven’t done any latley because I don’t think they will go with the style I’m going for. I do have a few more traditional graff sketches I want to get painted so I might throw them in there somewhere. Not really, I had always liked spiderman but never really collected comics as a kid, now I just buy stuff based on the artist, I like Humberto Ramos and Joe Mads drawings, they’re really graphic and well suited to graff.
I see you are now trying to sell prints of your work, how important is this for you to be able to support yourself as an artist and where can people buy your work? What are your thoughts on graffiti on the streets vs on the canvas? Can people expect canvas paintings by you in the future?
Yeah, I had never aimed to make prints really but I was asked by someone who was holding an Exhibition of Irish artists to submit a print. I thought it was a good idea to showcase some graff amongst all the other styles of artists on show. I think its a great way to support yourself, if I had the chance to do that full time I’d take it. I think people wanting to buy your work is the highest compliment you can receive and if that helps you create more work why not. I never really thought about it, I suppose most writers I notice who are producing canvas work are also still out painting on the streets as well so I don’t see why they can’t put some of that on to canvas. Ive seen some people come on the scene a few days and they’re tryna push canvases and shit, thats a load of bollox, they see graff and street art as this easy way in to the art world but its not, if you wanna do that you have to have served your time. Having said that I just finished 3 canvases for an Exhibition called Just Type in Shoreditch, London at the end of March.
Do you get to travel a lot, if so what was your favorite place to tag? Do you have any crazy travel stories?
I haven’t traveled much to paint to be honest, I hope to travel a lot more this year. The best place I have painted so far is Roskilde, unlimited paint and walls, what more could you want.
What kind of books, movies, music or art is inspiring you right now? Who do you listen to when you are painting?
It would be too hard for me to narrow that down, I look at absolutely everything for inspiration. I do a bit of design work on the computer so I’m always looking at graphic design pieces and letter based designs. I’m interested in Typography so if I see an ad or something that has nice type I’ll take a picture. This has helped me to stay away from the classical style of graffiti, but by using handstyles as the main structure I think it makes a nice balance.
I listen to a load of different music, if I was painting a piece today I would probably be listening to Kojaque (Irish Hip Hop), Damien Dempsey, Arctic Monkeys, Bicep, Prodigy and loads more.
Where do you want your work to be in 5 years? Do you have a plan for where you will end up or do you just go with the flow?
I never plan ahead, I go with the flow, if an opportunity comes up that I like I’ll do my best to make it happen. You never know whats going to happen so I think planning that far in advance is a waste of time. I just hope its still as enjoyable then as it is now.
Who are your favorite graffiti writers/artists these days?
My favourite writers these days are writers who are painting really graphic, not the usual graff style letters, writers like Gary, Roids, Zedz, Rage, Stare, Omin, SatOne, and loads more. I like when people stray far from the roots of graffiti when painting letters but still manage to keep the balance. In Ireland theres a lot of good writers too, Dublins gettin smashed by crews like EDS, IOU and BPK, its good to see. My crew mates are a big influence on me too, if it wasn’t for them and seeing how much they are doing I’d probably still only be doin 2-10 pieces a year.
How does one get better control over the spray can when they are laying in their colors to avoid getting drips and making your image look overall messy? Have you noticed any differences in performances of one brand of graffiti paint over another?
Thats just down to practise, getting used to the can and trying out different techniques. If something isn’t working for you, change it. Mess around with different caps for different things, theres no one cap thats better than the others, its all down to personal preference.
Always be your own worst critic, always look at how you can enhance your pieces, never settle. If you get complimented on your stuff take it, but don’t let it get your head, just because someone like something you did doesn’t mean its good.
Any shout outs or last words? Where can people follow you these days?
Shout out to everyone keeping the scene alive and growing.
Follow ACHES on instagram
Interview by Wesley Edwards.