It’s interview time again on No Grey Walls! I have a few of these little beauties saved up but I’m pretty unorganised with finding archived photos! The lock down in Spain has forced my hand so here we are with a killer interview with French artist Dogz Art. Dogz first came to my attention early 2019 with a cartoon-ish piece of Snoop Dogg. Since then I’ve been following his progression and it’s been fascinating to see how much he has grown in such a short space of time. He even got a Wednesday wall on this here page.
Hi Sebas how are you? Tell us a little about yourself…
Hi Lewis, my name is Sébastien, I’m 34 years old, I was born in France and grew up in Sarcelles, suburbs of Paris. I’m based in Barcelona since 2009 when I came for my last internship and never moved back. I really love the Spanish way of life and Barcelona’s unique vibes. Probably because my father is originally from Cordoba, Andalucía. I studied Spanish literature and civilisation but changed to economy and management in Hospitality after an Erasmus key year in Alicante.
Where does your name come from?
My name comes from my limitless passion for my little Beagle named Marvin who is now 3 years old but also for dogs in general for all the values they represent. Actually the first art project I jumped in was the customisation of name patches on dog harnesses and “dogz custom” the brand name I wanted to use. I decided to keep only Dogz for my artwork.
When did you first start spraying on walls?
The very first time was almost one year ago, the 3rd of November of 2018, when I got the chance to participate in a workshop at Montana Colours shop in Gràcia district (I take here the opportunity to thank the entire team and especially Xavi aka Noble(@realnoble), could not dream of a better master, my real first introduction to graffiti. However I’am a big fan of Graffiti since my childhood. A as t that time I was already fascinated by those painted walls, trains, doors…and I made some tags on paper and few ones with markers in my neighbourhood but did not last for long as I did not know any painter to be properly introduced to this world. I felt alone and the stigmatisation and repression of graffiti was not of big help either.
What was the original inspiration for grabbing a spray can for the first time?
You know, sometimes in life you must be selfish and think about yourself and the dreams (small, big whatever) you had one day and you have always postponed. We sometimes use false excuses and other’s opinions can be an obstacle to achieve a dream. I believe that no matter the age, we are always on time. Only a question of spirit and attitude!! So grabbing a spray can was one of these dreams as a continuity of my passion for drawings.
Do you like to work with a sketch or just freestyle?
When I paint characters I always work with sketch and when I do letters I usually have a base on paper or in mind only and then I follow the vibe to complete the piece. Not always the most convenient choice as it makes me carry more spray cans than I finally use!!
What’s the inspiration behind your work? A never ending list of things right?!
Yes indeed quite a bunch of things but I remain a big child so cartoons, comics, mangas, movies, video games and music are the essence of my inspiration. I also love watching other painters works to find new ideas and build my own identity. I mostly paint in the streets so yes, the audience also has a small influence as one of my purpose is sharing and familiar characters to most people is a warranted shortcut to generate a reaction when they see the painted wall.
Is a piece ever finished in your eyes?
You can spend a lot of time retouching details of your piece, adding things but I believe that sometimes less is more and usually you yourself have the feeling when it is the right time to stop spraying.
Do you have any crazy ideas/projects that you’d love to do one day?
In relation with spray I would love to develop some graffiti workshops for young and not so young people. Maybe in a more social way as an insertion tool for left out people. If I can be the shortcut that when I was younger I couldn’t enjoy to try spray paint, I would feel glad!!
Having a passion is the most important for a great life balance I think.
I also have some business ideas like a sustainable eco friendly laundry bar with art and music live performances/exhibitions but shhhh it stays between you and me!!
What do you like to do with your non-painting time?
I like to spend time my my dog and do great walks in the nature to find new painting spots. I like to play the guitar(another of these dreams that I started 4 years ago), do some crate digging to complete my vinyls collection: I’am a big Motown fan and have more than 450 records and one of my really special. I am particular proud of an original 1974 US release of Marvin Gaye what’s going on LP. I like traveling and dream about returning to Japan, what a fascinating culture! I also love food, cooking, and of course my family, my friends and the best for the end my girlfriend that is and has always been a great support and a great part of where I am now. Thanks for her patience!!!
What’s the ideal soundtrack to a day’s painting?
Good vibes is the only leitmotiv, so mostly hip hop, funk, reggae/dancehall and soul for the energy!!!
If you could have one super power for the day what would you choose?!
Bwwuuuff hard choice, so many ideas are of course coming up but let’s put apart the good intentions saving the world and fighting wars…and let’s have fun: I would love to travel back in the time and live a day during the 1970’s and be part of a soul train Tv show wearing one of these crazy outfit and boosting nice moves during the dance battles.
What’s next for Dogz art?
The way is still long, I just started in this world and it really became an addiction, but for now I simply try to improve my skills through practice keeping it a fun thing to do. The goal at mid term is to develop my own style and universe and introducing maybe a more personal vision of our world and reality. The world we live in is sadly inspiring and social critics about our habits and way of thinking are taking every day more space in my mind…
And to conclude with a big thank you to you Lewis for your love and dedication for street art. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be part of your blog.