Meet graffiti writer SKORE
When did you start to write graffiti? What is your first experience with graffiti?
As a kid I was always drawing letters, way before graffiti came along. I was really into drawing band logos and copying packaging logos.
Things like heavy metal record covers, funfair art and the graphic design of the days. It was not until the Winter of ’83 when hip hop first came to Europe that I saw the first graffiti in my town, an ‘Electro’ piece by an older kid.
I was 13 years old at the time. In the UK in the 80’s there was a big explosion of American youth cultures – BMX bikes, skateboarding, roller hockey, breakdancing, electro music and graffiti just kind of fitted in there amongst it all. It caught my eye straight away, because it was letters, colors and art, and I had been doing all that kind of stuff prolifically already.
I knew straight away, I wanted to do it, but it didn’t happen immediately, because Subway Art hadn’t come out yet. Subway Art was the first thing, that showed you the process a little bit. We made a few crude attempts before that, we would sketch up the outlines and then try to fill-in, approaching everything the wrong way. We didn’t know anything at the time, so we were learning about which paint was good, and which paint was terrible, because everything was car paint at that time (laughs). It was a real learning curve.
When did you start writing SKORE then?
I did my earliest SKORE pieces in the summer of ’86. Before that I must have had another 50 names, you know. You were just throwing out so many ideas until eventually something sticks. I guess you get to that point in your journey where you do a few things, that are memorable, and you think I better stick to this. When I started, it was actually with C. SCORE. Most of my earlier names were influenced by other people at that time. Well-known taggers, whose names were beginning with S-C. There was a guy, who wrote SCARF and another who wrote SCAN, not in my area, but in places I would go and look for graffiti. I grew up in a small town about 30 miles outside of London. We lived on a mainline to London, so we were going to London every weekend for graffiti, music and hanging out really. So naturally, we started painting graffiti at the train lines, and of course the trains themselves (laughs).
What impact did graffiti have on your life?
Huge. One of the biggest things is just meeting so many different people of all types, colours and nationalities. If I wasn’t doing graffiti, I can’t say, that I would know so much about the world, travelled to so many different cities and met so many of the wonderful people in them. You become interested in architecture, road structures and trains in the persuit of painting. You know, constantly looking at your environ – ment as your canvas broadens your mind so much. Through graffiti and my style journey I’ve also discovered all sort of different fine artists, abstract painters, comic book artists and graphic designers. I’m on constant need of stimulation creatively. I can’t picture, what normal people do, and I often think about, what would I be doing if I wasn’t constantly thinking about graffiti. It sounds strange, but that is on my mind so much.
when looking at the new generation of writers, what is one advice you would like to give?
Whenever I go paint a wall, I want to burn everybody. I still have that attitude to graffiti. I don’t wanna turn up and not compete. But, at the same time I want everybody else to drop their best wall as well. I don’t wanna be doing my best piece and the person next to me is doing a terrible piece. I want us all to burn, you know. I think that is a good attitude in graffiti. You should want everybody to have success. You should wanna see the best graffiti to push you to do your best graffiti. I think graffiti is a very freeing feeling and there is a whole movement in the world to become more international and break down borders and push back against crap like government control and this whole consumer throw-away culture. As graffiti writers we don’t really see countries or borders. We travel, and we just enjoy the best from every country you know. We don’t have that small-minded mentality, which is nice.