Interview with Ioke

It’s that time again on nogreywalls, my favourite part of this blog and that’s artist interviews.

This occasion I’ve spoken with Peruvian artist Ioke who tells us about loving the Teenage Ninja Turtles and shock rock…

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

All good, I come from Lima, Peru. Since January living in Barcelona. I’ve been drawing all my life, in urban art for over 15 years, always living and enjoying the style. Apart from painting I also like to build, give life to creatures and make rock and roll.

Where did the name iokefeller (Instagram name) come from?

The name is only ioke. It comes from a letter game,(io ke ze ) also it was a punk band we used to have,  iokefeller is only in instagram coz ioke was already taken by a Chinese serious family guy

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

Totally, the notebooks, the tables, always drawing, There were folders that I wanted to take to my house for the effort and time I had given 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?

Doodling around the neighborhood, I made very few letters, I always preferred the characters, which I constantly polished and created my own style.

The risk attracts a lot, the game, all started by close friends who told me their first mission stories. I always saw it as a fascinating world, adrenaline, transgression, adventure, is what attracts most at the beginning.

Labeling what art I do or prefer is a problem because I simply do not know, one can be several things at once. What to “evolve” is a debatable issue,

I can see a 15-story building with some opportunistic art (which is plenty) that I do not like and see a 15-centimeter signature with all the flow in the world in the perfect space. I like to draw and I do it where I can. There is something for everyone.


Where does your artistic inspiration come from? Your characters make me think of Beebop and Rocksteady from Teenage mutant turtles! The big heads and nose rings and general rock n roll bad guy vibe! Are you a big cartoon fan? 

Hahaha you are right – they are characters that I grew up watching and until now I love them. I have a memory of being 6 – 7 years old and putting a paper on the screen of the TV with the Betamax on pause to trace Skeletor from He – man. I am and have been a fan of cartoons (the synthesis of those of the 30s is amazing) fanzines, cartoons, videogames the art of album covers especially the punks, the skateboards, all of them were a good kick to the head to wake up and clarify the path I was going to take. It could be said that this aesthetic inspires me a lot even though it is not the only one, I also enjoy the illustrations of Russian stories, the anarchist propaganda, the graphics of pre-Inca cultures, the tattoo and a thousand other moves. In the end always everything ends up being a mega mix, the pod is to have the sharp eye.

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?

Well, it depends on the occasion, I usually carry my notebook with the last thing I drew. Once there I choose something that I want and I adapt it to the wall but of course there are times when you see a spot and that second you know what you want to do, the space itself asks.

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?

As it is said in Peru, “son huevadas”(its bullshit ) if you have any kind of blockage when creating, go to the street, take a beer or whatever you like to do, relax and then try again, lots of times you may not be inspired and begin and in the process lots of good ideas come

The ability to improvise is a determining factor.

mural barranco

I know you occasionally like to paint on some of 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, sometimes within minutes of a piece being completed. What are your thoughts on the legals walls here in Barcelona?

That it is forbidden and punishable to paint the walls of Barcelona, be it graffiti, mural or whatever is something fucked up. That this platform exists is even something. It is good to have a good time, register the process and get a good photo. Respect for work is difficult if someone who has 20 years and another who takes 20 minutes doing it can paint on the same wall.

When I started my interest in the walls I remember seeing a hip hop message that was recorded in my mind “if you are going to cover up, do it with something better”. Being a ¨legal ¨ platform, you can not expect the street codes to be applied and good the graffiti is ephemeral, if you are going to paint a wallspot you will not wait for it to last. For it to last you have to go further, plan it better.

Do you have a favourite city or place to paint/show off your work? Is there a dream city or country or wall even that you’d like to do this?

For now im interested in Berlin, everybody tells me it’s the bomb

Do you like to collaborate with other artists?

If clear, why not, if one likes the art of the other, brutal things can be achieved. In construction issues to create huge things you need a team. Collective works have an insane force, the fruit of all present hands related.

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?

Many people with the wall share can inspire you, especially at the beginning, I remember in a part of Lima there was what they called ¨la Panamericana¨ which was a very long wall with a view from the road, where many people got together to paint always. To see all the works of the people with something new was an inspiration, I started a little later but that had an impact on me

That attitude, drawing style I have to talk about Big Daddy Roth that I think is a genius. They were the 30s and invented a style of drawing and construction in force until now and had thousands of children, much of the art of skateboarding for example. Something current and world-wide in the walls that amuses me a lot is that crazy Lush ke is painting memes and teasing in the streets. I see a lot of people every day, you always discover people who break it, today for example via Instagram I found the work of a crazy Wolfbat, with a mutant construction style, trashy very similar to what I do when building or what we did with recycling years ago with the Fumakaka (extinct crew)

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

I play hard the drums in ¨ Los Brujos Negros ¨ and previously in “Aliento de Puta” , projects of Shock Rock with the premise that the show and the music go 50/50, the same percentage is applied in the love/hate relationship of the people who see us live, now I am looking insane people to see that we can give birth here.

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

A flying creature, maybe with the hability to spit fire

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

Just finished Medieval City Rockers, my expo at the Nevermind, I think it came out pretty cool. You can still visit the bat graffiti in the pond, I’m moving the remaining works with an online catalog. In these weeks I’m taking out a T-shirt collection with some Bulgarian friends brand called Sorores. Its all I can say for now, I prefer not to sing the goals

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

Watch my work and if you like follow me in the networks and drop me a line, I’m always doing new projects and enjoy meeting people related.

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

Equally bro, a pleasure.


Piece with Seimiek


Piece with Seimiek


Piece with Borneo & Art3sano

Published by nogreywalls

Lewis Duncan aka No Grey Walls is a Scottish street art lover/photographer/blogger based in Barcelona.

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