About the past

Yesterday was a good day, it was relaxed. There was good food, good coffee and some no pressure painting it made me realise that I have a good life. Today though, sullen thoughtful meanderings and critical thinking but I thought to myself yesterday was nice, it was plain sailing and things are pretty good. Moods. Last night I dreamt of graffiti again, this dream was about the fact that I wasn’t on the competitive circuit. Phiber and Dmote were having a friendly battle and I was on the sidelines as usual. This dream made me think how long can I sit it out and keep meandering through my own personal hoops? So a critical dream followed by a critical day of deep thought. I like running my own race and I always felt that was a good option. Well today questions were asked inside myself. Not only did I think I wasn’t up to par but even felt the same when visiting my mother. Once again I felt inadequate the lowly bad son never getting it right. It was all me giving myself an internal hiding.

I remember feeling ahead of the pack many years ago, my ego told me I was the one getting it right, doing things differently and being great. Well today I was just following the herd and made no special contributions whatsoever. Both ideas are just as deluded as the other but I can’t give myself a hard time for being motivated. Sometimes you have to cheer yourself on because others, even though they are happy for you have other things going on. If I am objective and think back a lot of early 90s graffiti from the UK really inspired me to break out and try new things. It was a catalyst for many who were seeing new work and approaches, really it was inevitable, the path ahead. When I look now at some of that work again I feel a great debt to those pioneers who were just being creative. Today I looked over a lot of my work old and new and could see that influence in my work even now. Now that influence is dated and a lot of my work is primarily in a 90s vein even now. What I thought years before was my own creativity really has a lot of debt to that UK scene. I remember a work I did with Nme, a Lid panel on a freight train, the primary idea was ripped straight from a UK piece. I just dressed it up but it was around a year later that I started having my own ideas. The UK thing was a driver for change and really I was just following that change but funnily enough the thing that is unique is that I am still doing it. Still pushing it along, even my new work looks decades old and when I look at current trends in the UK and elsewhere the old stuff just seems to look more interesting and less streamlined. It is disorganised though and messy but there is a distinct honesty in the effort rather than an attitude of ‘this is how it should be done’ approach of current styles.

How it should be done should be your own judgement not just the scenes, the room for individual expression is paramount not the golden rule of the pack. Really it is the fact that so much has happened and some styles have a status as classic and a lot of people find their own niche in that framework which is why Dmote came up in the dream. He has literally carved himself a niche in the classic NY styles even living and painting with the classic NY writers while Phiber has made his own style that translates through graffiti and art into a unique formula that he can apply in many ways. Both the paradigms of the current models of understanding graffiti. Even though I am on the sidelines I feel as though the messy and unorganised approaches still offer something. But it isn’t really about the future especially in my case, it is about the past.

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