Interview with Yaicecream

After a small break I’m back with the blog and back with a bang! I’ve been fortunate enough to interview Madrid born artist Yaicecream and learn a little bit about her colourful cartoon infused world, her characters having better shoes than her and much much more.

Hope you enjoy the interview below.

Hi Yai how are you? Tell us a little about yourself…

Hi, I am great how are you? A little about myself… well, I was born in Madrid in 1987 and I think I am pretty good at seeing life in a positive way.

I’m really good thanks for asking! Where does the name Yaicecream come from?

Well, I have never really liked using my last names too much because of personal reasons, so when I got a Facebook I named myself Yainosaur, and the next one was yaicycle and then at last Yaicecream. I haven’t felt the need to change the last one and Ive always loved drawing ice cream and candy worlds so it made perfect sense.

Yainosaur is amazing! How did it all start for you? Were you one of those kids always scribbling on notebooks at school?

Haha yes! That was definitely me. My books for school were completely covered in drawings, and my agendas as well. I decorated them for myself and for the other kids at my class. I never paid attention in class actually cause I was too busy drawing.

What was the first ‘spark’ for you to pick up a spray can and hit the streets? Did you start off as a writer then progress to larger more moralistic pieces?

Well, when I was younger I was always drawing, then from drawing I got in to digital illustration and other forms of art but when I started painting is when everything just started making sense. Then I got offered to paint a mural and I decided to try using spray cans because it would be way faster and I had always wanted to do it anyway. So thats when the spark happened. I loved it so much, I actually think painting murals with spray cans is addictive for me.

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I’m a big fan of your style of work, bright colours with cheeky captions and plenty of humour. As a big fan of cartoons your work really jumps out at me. Where does your artistic inspiration come from?

Thats amazing! I am super super happy you appreciate my work.

I think my inspiration comes from many different sources that overall compose who I am. I feel like the characters I draw are somewhat a representation of myself or what I want to be. For example, I always make my characters have the shoes I want to buy but can’t afford, that way at least someone gets to wear them and by painting them I get to enjoy them, haha.

I also grew up (like every kid, I imagine) watching cartoons. Dragon Ball, the Simpsons, the Power Puff girls, Dexter’s laboratory, Cow and Chicken, Mickey Mouse, etc.

You are a multidisciplinary artist, I see you on the streets painting, constantly creating all types of art on IG & I’ve seen your t-shirts designs on multiple websites. Is there one area you enjoy more than the others or do they all give you the same satisfaction? And where do you find the time for it all!?

I enjoy every process of creation in different ways because it always teaches me things I can apply on many fields. When I use illustrator I learn basic combined shapes that form particular designs I tend to repeat but done in a perfect way and then I can use that same technique when drawing or painting or forming ideas. Sometimes I feel super lazy and don’t even feel like having the light on or sitting down so I put my laptop on my belly and enjoy some illustrator, but then I get on a big piece of wood with a bunch of acrylics and go crazy with the combinations of colors and the amazing feel of the brush working its way through the almost perfect lines, and then murals are just amazing as well, so fun, so big, so challenging, but they require a good amount of energy, dedication etc. and so on with other creative choices.

I always have the time for at least some kind of art activity. Like if I go to a restaurant or coffee shop I either have a pen with me or ask for one and draw on a napkin or the paper table mat, I don’t do it consciously it just comes out of me.

When working on a wall do you have a plan in mind when you start a piece? Or do you like to look at the wall and the surroundings and take inspiration from there?

It depends on what wall because sometimes its a commission and I have to go with a plan or I have total freedom and I just start doing whatever I think of at the moment feeling the influence of the environment. But since walls are big size or at least usually bigger size than canvases I tend to prepare myself with a sketch or a render to have an organized idea and to not come in to problematic situations and also coming with the homework done ahead saves up a good amount of paint.

With this in mind what do you find to be the most difficult part of the creative process? I’ve read other artists speak about the fear of the blank page/canvas, do you ever get this?

I usually don’t run out of ideas because if I do I simply go back to old sketches or I go to my iPhone notes and look for all the ideas I had when I wasn’t able to draw them right away and wrote them down for moments of creative drought.

I think the most difficult thing for me is organization. I tend to waste some time because of that and I usually wait for the last minute to do the things I have to do because I like that rush, that emergency state, and then it gets tough running out of time but I am trying to get better each project. I just can be a bit of a mess so I could really use the help of someone who organizes my life lol.

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Do you have a favourite city or place to paint? Is there a dream city or country or wall even that you’d like to paint?

I have a lot of answers for these questions haha.

I love Barcelona, but I love New York and I love LA. I think my dream city right now is LA, I think I’ll move there when I am ready to settle up a little for a while and base my projects in that city. I think LA is one of those cities that can keep me busy most of the time. But also I have been really wanting to paint a wall in Greece, I don’t know where exactly, just that country has been calling me a lot recently and I think I could gain a lot from the experience of being called to paint a mural there.

I know when you are in Barcelona you will work on some of the legal walls throughout the city. Of course there are sometimes ‘issues’ with other artists tagging finished pieces and even sometimes unfinished pieces just for kicks, sometimes within minutes of the piece being completed. What are your thoughts on legal walls?

I actually did paint a couple of legal walls out there and one that hopefully will remain there longer at the Nau Bostik.

I think its really cool to be able to paint a wall whenever you feel like it, for fun, photos, exposure, or practice, its dope to have that chance but you need to know what you are doing, and you need to be aware it will be painted over very soon. The ones I did, I did them for fun, because my friend offered me free paint and I love painting and it makes for a great photo.

Do you like to collaborate with other artists?

I looooove collaborating with other artists. I constantly make my friends draw with me because its super fun plus theres always something you can learn from collaborating with other artists who have different or similar styles, its exciting and rewarding.

Something I really enjoy is hearing which artists inspired other artists. Which artists inspired you growing up and who’s work do you really like just now? And is there any artist you would love to work with?

Well, like I said earlier I used to watch a lot of cartoons, so I would just learn from the artists behind Cartoon network and sometimes Nickelodeon and Disney channel. I also remember being inspired by some clothing brands like Emily the strange or Bape but mostly cartoons, and if i was inspired by other artists that came in the time of Deviant art lol, and I don’t remember what artists were the ones I liked the most at the time.

And well now, I fucking just love art so much, I follow too many artists on Instagram I can think of how much I love the Low Bros and Dabsmyla and Supakitch, and I love the dudes who make Adventure time and Gumball and over the garden wall and gravity falls, and flapjack etc. I am just a big kid! I like anything with fun bright happy colors and round cute shapes and animals

Just to speak about something different for a minute, tell us something about yourself that maybe not many people would know!

There’s probably so many things lol. Mmmm… For example when I was about 7 years old and my mom and her ex and me were finishing our meals in a restaurant there was only one piece of pastry with the shape of a ball left (off all the other pastry balls we had just eaten) and I was extremely full, so I asked them to eat the pastry and it turns out they were extremely full too, so I tried to convince my mom and then i started crying because I was just really sad thinking that the little round pastry would be alone without his brothers and sisters, so I conquered my full belly and ate it, or maybe my mom did. I don’t remember but I made sure all the pasty brothers and sisters were not alone.

If you could be anyone or anything for a day who or what would you be?

I would like to be either a super spoiled cat or a monkey who jumps trees in the jungle like a pro, or myself as a man.

Back to the art! Do you have any upcoming shows or projects we should know about? Are you currently exhibiting your works anywhere?

I have a couple of paintings in two different group exhibits in Arizona and I just finished a couple of murals in Madrid, and now that I am going to spend the next two months in Marbella, I am looking for a wall to paint. I am working on details for an upcoming collaborative show with a Spanish artist and now friend I really admire, but everything is super up in the air as far as date and location so I can’t really say yet. I am so working on a few not too big pieces to showcase in Barcelona but same thing, I am still getting the details ready. (See, if I had a manger I could tell you more about it lol)

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us before you go?

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Many thanks for your time Yai and all the best with your future artistic endeavors!

Thank you! It’s been fun! Thanks for everything 🙂

If you want to check out more Yaicream’s work you can find her on Instagram and Behance

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Weekly round up – NBQ Asalto Fest. Special

Every week I like to post the eight most liked posts from my Instagram page and showcase a little of what I’ve been finding around the city each week. This week however I’m going to do it a little differently as spray paint specialists NBQ Company recently held their anti animal mistreatment festival (Ultimo Asalto Fest) and it has most definitely taken over my IG feed.

Held over two days in two separate locations within Barcelona with over fifty artists attending it was the proverbial hotbed of both local and international talent bringing their amazing work to the streets of Barcelona.

Artists attending were the likes of Cayn Sanchez, Sav45, Manomatic, Mon Devane, Belly and button, Chesone and many many more. Some of these artists are personal favourites of mine so of course I’m always excited to see their work but there were also a lot of new names to me, some of which have instantly jumped into my favourites list thanks to their stunning work over the course of the weekend.

Below is a top eleven (don’t ask how I’ve come to that number) of both the most liked from the IG page and some of my favourite ones also. As always I have tagged the artists IG page if you would like to dive a little deeper into their work. And keep checking my IG page as I’ve still plenty more from this great event to share with you all!

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@pinturamuralbcn & @caynsanchez

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@sav45

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@zoencrks

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@hisemone @dery1mac & @positmen

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@xemayo

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@decimapns & @mugraff

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@ele_man_1

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@bellyandbutton

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@eik_la13catorce

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@manomatic

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@mondevane

 

An interview with Mr. M Lab

I recently published a feature on one of my favourite artists in Barcelona, Mr M Lab and I am fortunate enough to say that he also agreed to do an in depth interview with nogreywalls about all things art and swapping lifestyles with sleepy bulldogs.

Hi Mr M, how are you? Tell us a little about yourself…

Hi! I’m from Barcelona, and I’ve lived all my life in this city, I’ve always thought that this is not my place, but for now I’m still here.

How did it all start for you? Were you one of those kids always scribbling on notebooks at school? What was the first ‘spark’ to pick up a spray can? 

I always liked to draw and from very small I spent long hours drawing, attending drawing classes, reading comics, watching cartoons etc.

I remember that at school my notes in class were only drawings, the table filled with drawings, the washrooms… for that I take some blame haha.

I guess it’s something that comes out of me without thinking about a why. I like it, it relaxes me and helps me disconnect.

I don’t remember very well the first time that I took a spray can sincerely. I remember my first tag, sure! But a spray can… Maybe around 15 years old, to make something more than a homemade marker made with paint lacquer.

Where does the name Mr M Lab come from? 

It’s very simple! The M is the first letter of my name, Marc. I added the Mr. to give it a more regal touch.

The lab is to define a little of what you are, MR. M Lab, a testing laboratory where the only purpose is to have fun creating.

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Where does your artistic inspiration come from? How did you come to start drawing your little monsters?

My inspiration comes from many sides, from comics, animation, graphic design, digital design, illustration, photography, graffiti, street art…

There are countless inputs we receive every day in our brains, today even more with the internet and the amount of information we have at our fingertips.

Today, instagram and pinterest fill part of my time. It is full of artists, designers, illustrators, photographers from around the world that are worth following, observing, learning from.

Were you ever into writing, tagging, creating throw-ups/burners or were you always attracted to character style pieces?

Of course! Since I discovered the graffiti, at that time I think I was about 12 years old, I have not stopped looking at the walls and all their tags, it is a disease that many will not understand and maybe some will, but wherever I go the walls call me!

That makes one day you want to try, and I did not take much longer to make my first tags, with some friends who also liked graffiti. But I never considered it as something firm that I wanted to do as I could spend time without doing it.

When I studied illustration I met several graffiti artists from Barcelona and I returned to the walls again. I kept looking at walls, and tags without any control, for some reason I couldn’t stop looking at the tags, the walls. Bombing is a highly addictive thing! But I left it again.

Writing your name with lyrics, whether it’s a tag on a wall, a train or a good wall, is graffiti in its purest form and I’m fascinated by the people who get those rhythms with lyrics, that simplicity, those wild-style arrows, those simple and clean bubbles. But I’ve always liked cartoon more, I feel more identified with this style.

And here I am trying it again! This time with these monsters!

Are you only painting outside on the walls or are you also doing canvas work, commissions etc?

Everything will come, without hurry but without pause.

It is a project with very little time of life in reality, and that has come out a little spontaneously, without thinking too much.

At the moment I’m painting outside walls and I do digital illustrations for print.

This summer I also did limited print t-shirts and soon the winter collection will come with sweatshirts!

But basically, I really wanted to spray paint so the main objective was the street walls.

In mind there are canvas, skateboards, and whatever comes out really.

It’s about enjoying, not setting goals, just having fun!

Do you have a plan in mind when you start a piece? Do you pre-draw the monsters before you head to paint or is it just whatever you are feeling at the time? 

At first, when I started, as I was not very clear about his characterisation, I drew and drew them before putting them on a wall. There’s a lot of monsters sketches at home.

But now I think I am finding a certain style, and it’s much more spontaneous, without so much control, it is as if they leave me without thinking too much about them, they leave from a natural form. That allows me to be free in front of the wall and for now I do not think much about what I’m going to do, I have a slight idea about what I’ll paint but I’m evolving as it comes out.

Lately what I do is choose a range of colors that I want to use, and with those colors paint the wall with the monster.

I continue to do sketches, but for the simple fact of drawing and evolving.

With this in mind what do you find to be the most difficult part of the creative process? I’ve read other artists speak about the fear of the blank page/canvas, writers block so to speak, do you ever get this? 

The most difficult part is to be consistent and not stop looking for ideas. Work, work and never stop producing.

This is a project that I have in parallel with my work as a digital art director and visual designer in an agency. So there are many nights that I take off sleep to be able to move forward with these creatures.

That also means that many times I can not spend as much time as I want.

What about if I suffered from the blank page syndrome?

If we talk drawing, of course! I was several years without drawing, suddenly the desire, the ideas, they leave.

I guess computers and graphic / digital design got all my attention.

If we talk in graphic / digital design not so much, I’ve had days that cost me more, but the timmings of clients are a priority, so we have to work hard.

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Do you have a favourite city or place to paint? Is there a dream city or country or wall even that you’d like to paint?

The truth is… no, any spot or wall seems a good site, so I would paint anywhere in the world.

If i choose one city I think I would choose New York for what it means in the world of graffiti.

But I think the monsters would look good on any wall in the world.

Do you like to collaborate with other artists? Is it quite easy to collaborate with other artists for you?

The truth is that I have only had occasion to do it once and very recently!

I had the pleasure of meeting and sharing the wall with Tim Marsh. It was a very good experience, and I think we were both very happy with the result!

Mixing different styles spontaneously without thinking too much about what you are going to do and getting something worthy is wonderful!

I think the good thing about collaborating with someone is to have a sense of style and to complement each other.

I hope to repeat with Tim, and have new collaborations with other artists!

Something I really enjoy is hearing what inspires artists. Are you mainly inspired by other artists or do you find influences literally everywhere? Which artists inspired you growing up and who’s work do you really like just now? And is there any artist you would love to work with?

As I said before, instagram and Pinterest right now are my source of inspiration. Pinterest I use it a lot at work and instagram for pure consumerism of images.

I follow a good number of artists from all over the world and it sometimes take a lot of strength to see how good they are.

But they are a great source of inspiration.

I think my influences are a mixture of many things, from comic strips to Mortadelo and Filemón, Super López etc. to Batman, Wolverine, The Punisher and ending with the cartoon of Dr. Slump, Dragon Ball, Coyote and the roadrunner, Tom and Jerry, Disney in general, Pixar also.

Graffiti by its aesthetics, its typographies, its graphics, its use of the colors, the forms, the design.

And the graphic and digital design because it is what I dedicate my time to professionally and makes me constantly look for inspiration.

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I know you like to paint on the many legals walls here in BCN but there are sometimes ‘issues’ with artists tagging finished pieces and even sometimes unfinished pieces just for kicks. You recently called it a “jungle” during a recent chat with myself… what are your thoughts on the legals walls here in Barcelona? 

Well, I see it very easy. It is about respect and education.

Every artist who paints on the street knows that it is an art that can last, sometimes more and sometimes less. I think it’s accepted by everyone.

But although there is nothing written, at least as far as I know, respect must always be had.

I always come to the site to paint, first I take a turn to see what is already there. First to enjoy the views, and second to choose where I’m going to paint. I always choose something that I think I can improve.

Recently I said to you that this is the Jungle, it’s simple! You can accept the game or you will always be angry.

What I believe is that more walls would have to be free yet, the city is full of gray walls that do not contribute anything and sometimes the only way to give color to the city is by other ways that do not fall within the legality.

Here we could start a kick off on legal and illegal and there would be opinions of all colours. The basic graffiti is illegal and like everything has its good things and its bad things.

For me, the illegal, the pure bombing, I see it more spontaneous, with speed and adrenaline! And it’s great! But my two knees do not have enough to run like I’d want!

With a legal or not legal wall but “allowed” things are different, there is no adrenaline, not speed if you want,  but you have calm and more time to enjoy.

Thanks to Wallspot we have the opportunity to paint on walls of Barcelona and other cities of the world without problems, and that is appreciated.

Hopefully they will continue to offer new walls!

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Just to speak about something different for a minute, tell us something about yourself that maybe not many people would know!

I love to sleep, although the moon always keeps me awake.

If you could be anyone or anything for a day who or what would you be?

Without hesitation I would exchange with my dog, a French Bulldog who loves to sleep.

Those days that you get up to go to work and see how he falls asleep after his walk, that moment, I would change with him.

Do you have any upcoming shows or projects we should know about? Are you currently exhibiting your works anywhere?

Right now everything you see is in the streets, I have some digital illustrations and many sketches made, but as I said I’m playing and having fun.

In mind I have many ideas, so step by step we will try to do them. I need more time! And that is already difficult to get.

I hope soon to start a small canvas production and try to set up a small expo in “petit committee”

I want to start testing the paste-up, the stickers, the stencil, there are so many things!

And above all to continue working, painting and playing with these monsters.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us before you go?

I think I’ve talked too much!

Nothing more, just thank you for the interview, interest and support on your part.

And thanks all those who directly or indirectly support me in this project. Some people say, “Why do you keep painting walls at your age? and some others they encourage me to keep doing it.

To all of them thank you!

Many thanks for your time Mr M and all the best with your future artistic endeavours!

Thank you man! A pleasure! See you on the streets!

 

If you would like to check out any more of Mr M’s work check him out on Instagram or his Website

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8 of the best – The very late weekly round up

Yes yes it’s Tuesday and actually almost Wednesday as I type this and the best of the week really should be on Sunday or maybe even Monday but I… well but I nothing, I’ve got a hatful of really lame excuses that no one wants to hear so lets just get on with it and show everyone what they came here to see, Street Art!!

As always the weekly round up is the eight most liked pictures from my @nogreywalls Instagram page. All very simple and not too much waffle from me.

I will be tagging the artists Instagram page below each picture if you wish to delve into the artists work any further.

Happy viewing and as always feel free to hit me up either on here or on Instagram if you would like to know more about any of the artists below or the street art scene in Barcelona in general.

Oh and one last thing, the picture at the top is always my favourite of the week and this week it’s by @onetruth_bros who you’ll see a little further down the page again with a different piece.

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@enricfont2310

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@onetruth_bros

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@gentermichael

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@manumanutwice

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@manumanutwice

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@decimapns  & @lezzartist

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@sav45

Strong Together – Tim Marsh and Ivesone

Hot on the heels of my interview with artist Tim Marsh last week I was fortunate enough to spend an afternoon with Tim and Dutch artist and founder of Amsterdam street art, Ivesone as they collaborated on a piece at Barcelona’s famous Tres Xemeneies legal wall.

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It really is fascinating to watch two artists with very different styles at work on a collaborative piece with no pre-planning, solely working off intuition and an eye for what works and what doesn’t. Tim with his methodical tape and spray style and Ives with more of a free hand style of working. Ives by the way, works at an incredible pace, it’s amazing to see something so detailed be created so quickly, it really blew me away. I would also like to think that the beers that were sipped at during the afternoon definitely helped the creative process also.

The final piece merged Tim’s and Ives styles nicely, with Tim’s colourful shapes overlapping Ives stencil style facial work creating a really great piece that hopefully will manage to stick around for a while on the ever changing walls here in Barcelona.

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