Interview with writer TUBS dropping serious Calligraffiti works. If you don’t know about him you definitely been living under a rock!

Article courtesy of Sandi-O

For those that don’t know you, who are you and what crews do you rep and how long have you been writing?
I rep WARCREW from my city of Chicago. I have been painting since 95′
How do you believe living in Chicago has affected your graffiti, whether it is style, flow, color schemes, or just the way you think?

Chicago is a very unique place when it comes to graffiti and art. It’s a huge melting pot of so many styles and cultures. A lot of west coast influence with major east coast influences as well. But it all ravels together to give Chicago graffiti in particular a tough no fuckss given wild style flavor.

You recently participated in an art auction to stop gun violence in Chicago, could you tell me a bit about that and the way that issue has affected you and the people you know?
Definitely, there was a friend of a friend whose father was gunned down for no reason other than bringing in the groceries. As many know Chicago has a long history of violence so if there is anyway I can help a fellow artist or a friend and his family in need threw art, Ill do everything in my power to do so.
Chicago recently protested Trump so hard that he had to cancel his speech, how do you feel about him and your cities reaction?
It shows you that Chicago will not stand for that racist bullshit and that type of division. It was good to see brown black and white gathering together to shut down Trump.
Do you have a presidential candidate that you would back?
Bernie

Graffiti can take one all around the world, what are some of your favorite places and why?
Art is a international language that breaks down all barriers. I love traveling to the west coast, Miami and Latin America to see first hand how art can change lives.
Do you have any particularly crazy stories from your travels?
I remember when i was about 21 or 22 traveling to Guadalajara mexico to visit family and friends. We went on a rampage of painting and partying, meeting local artist. Just a overall great time.
Is there any place that you have not gone and would like to go?
I would love to visit Sao Paulo Brazil.

If you had to pick a type of paint (ironlak. montana. etc) to paint with, which would it be and why?
Spanish Montana.
What is your favorite color scheme?
Love monochromatic, but also really like to experiment with some spider and the neon paints for more of a abstract style.
If you could describe your style as a food, what food would that be and why?
A mixture of latin/asian cuisine with Middle eastern hints of flavor.

You are known for your calligraffiti, could you explain what that is and how you got into this particular style?
Both my parents are artist, my father is more of a traditional painter and my mother was more on the contemporary side. But one thing that she was really good at was calligraphy. When I was about 5 she used to do our families wedding invitations so she would sit me down next to her and have me copy everything that she would do. So from then on I had a love for letters, calligraphy and typography. So when I first noticed graffiti it blew my mind and was experimenting on how to merge all the art forms that i loved into a style. Then witnessing the cholo letter style come out of the west coast and the more traditional Arabic and old English styles of calligraphy here in Chicago. I was always trying to come up with my own unique style and find a way to push the envelope when it came to calligraphy and graffiti. But the term “Calligraffiti” i first seen was from Neil “Shoe” Mullman from the Netherlands I believe. And since then there have been many titles that have been giving to this emerging and evolving art from. But to me its always about finding a way to merge the old with the new.
Is Calligraffiti harder to execute in large scale pieces?
A bit, but if you come with the right game plan and you are prepared it will all come together.

What was it that got you into graffiti in the first place?
I think art is in my DNA so when graffiti hit me in the face it was meant to be.
If it wasn’t for hip-hop, do you think you would still be painting? Would you be making different kinds of art?
Of course hip hop and graffiti have this relationship that moved a culture to levels the world has never seen. But I don’t feel hip hop was the sole reason for my love of graffiti.
What would you be doing if it wasn’t for graffiti?
Probably working in advertising or making logos.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years in regards to graffiti and life?
Hopefully I will have progressed as a artist and built a platform and resources to help the next generation of artist coming up in Chicago.

Who were your influences growing up and who are your influences now, in regards to graffiti?
There are so many its hard to name them all. Coming up in Chicago it would be Temper, DC5 crew, Zore, Pose, Aerosol crew, Sivel, Acter, Pride, Cove, Trixter, Ark, Empte, Ohde, Peas, Awol, Belo, Nozel, Egor and im sure there are others i cant remeber right now. And from other cities it would be Barry (Twist) McGee, Chaz Bojorquez, Revok, Saber, Obey, Keith Haring, Zephyr, Daim and Seek, Espo, Gary, Retna, Shoe, Reyes and Bates and the list goes on. I could be here all day name dropping artist that have inspired me. But that is some of them.
Is there anyone in particular that pushes you?
I think the list above answers this question.

Who were your influences growing up and who are your influences now, in regards to graffiti?
There are so many its hard to name them all. Coming up in Chicago it would be Temper, DC5 crew, Zore, Pose, Aerosol crew, Sivel, Acter, Pride, Cove, Trixter, Ark, Empte, Ohde, Peas, Awol, Belo, Nozel, Egor and im sure there are others i cant remeber right now. And from other cities it would be Barry (Twist) McGee, Chaz Bojorquez, Revok, Saber, Obey, Keith Haring, Zephyr, Daim and Seek, Espo, Gary, Retna, Shoe, Reyes and Bates and the list goes on. I could be here all day name dropping artist that have inspired me. But that is some of them.
Is there anyone in particular that pushes you?
I think the list above answers this question.

What do you say to those that say canvas graffiti is not graffiti?
Canvas graffiti is not graffiti. I see it as graffiti art, a expression of graffiti. Graffiti will always be on the streets. So the rest i guess falls under art.
Do you have any upcoming shows that people should check out?
I will be at C2E2 in chicago this weekend doing live painting and producing art work for charity. All proceeds will be going to St.Judes Children Hospital.

As writers get older we are conflicted between the desire to settle down into family life and the desire to keep traveling and painting, have you faced this conflict and if you have how have you handled it?
I believe I answered that in the prior question. But yeah shit changes for some. That’s just my path. Each other graff writers is different.
Is there anything that you would like to say and/or mention in regards to your work and life as a graffiti artist?
Hopefully whatever Ive done and will produce in the future can inspire the next generation
We strongly suggest you follow TUBS on IG @Tubsz_illa