Next up in my street artist interview series is prolific Mexican artist Berol377.
Based in Barcelona Berol377 tells us a little about himself and the inspiration behind his pieces that are seen regularly on the streets of this beautiful city.
Where does the name Berol 377 come from?
My name comes from a color brand and 377 it’s my old crew.
How did it all start for you? Were you one of those kids always scribbling on notebooks at school?
At school there were guys who knew how to draw very well, I always wanted to imitate them.
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 muralistic pieces?
My neighbour came home one day with a spray can and went to do tags for the neighborhood.
For many years I made bombing and tags, and then began to make more elaborate murals, at first with the people of the crew and later I started doing it alone
Where does your artistic inspiration come from? Your pieces are so colourful and vibrant, how did you come to find your current style of drawing/painting?
I take references of the culture of my country, it’s a very vibrant and colorful place. Sometimes I try to emulate the colorful ornaments of a boat very typical of the place where I grew up, called trajineras.
*collaboration with Ivesone*
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?
Besides painting, I like to take pictures, I spend a lot of time looking for faces that catch my eye, either by a look or a facial expression that I like, then I make a sketch with few strokes and then experiment directly on the wall, with textures and color combination.
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 think the most complicated part is when making the sketches, I like to generate drawings with few lines but very expressive.
Contrary to what happens to other artists, the white canvas allows me to work better, I like to have control on the wall.
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 like to paint in Barcelona, there is good weather, people come from all over the world and you can see many different techniques and styles.
I know that 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?
The lack of legal walls in Barcelona causes traditional graffiti writers and other artists to use the same spaces, at first it bothered me to cover my pieces but now I’m used to it.
Sometimes I think that works are covered without criteria, some cover pieces that have many hours of work and leave others that were made in a matter of minutes.
Do you like to collaborate with other artists?
Of course, I’ve always liked to work with different artists.
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?
I grew up with the influences of great artists from my country, nowadays they are great international artists, some of them are Benuz, News, Cix, Saner …
I wish I could do something with them at some point.
Currently I really like the work of Dopie, I had the opportunity to paint with him at the Teleport Hotel in Amsterdam.
Just to speak about something different for a minute, tell us something about yourself that maybe not many people would know!
I do not know … I like orange juice very much…just kidding…
If I did not paint, I would have liked to learn to play the trombone…
If you could be anyone or anything for a day who or what would you be?
I don’t know… maybe Miles Davis
Do you have any upcoming shows or projects we should know about? Are you currently exhibiting your works anywhere?
I am preparing a solo exhibition at the beginning of 2018.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us before you go?
Thank you for sharing my work and some personal experiences.