Laia is one of those artists who’s work I’ve been seeing since I first stepped foot on the streets of Barcelona. There is a real feeling of positivity in her writing, be it the shapes or the colours that she uses. It feels warm and fuzzy! After 20 years in the game I had the chance to speak to Laia about her writing and life in graffiti.
Hi Laia how are you? Tell us a little about yourself…
Hi! My real name is Laia, and I’m from Barcelona. I don’t like to talk about myself, ask for me and see what they say, which is surely a lie! Hahaha ❤
When did you first start spraying on walls?
I started making tags with markers on the street and many sketches (which I gave away to my friends) in 1999, and in 2000 I spray painted a wall for the first time.
What was the original inspiration for grabbing a spray can for the first time?
It’s a story that I’ve explained many times and that I remember very fondly. One day I didn’t want to go to class and I stayed home. I put the TV on and The Fresh Prince came on. Something happened in the series that I remember perfectly as I thought: “I have to do this too”, and that same day I bought my first sprays. It took me two or three months to use them, until a friend wanted to join me, since she didn’t know anyone.
Do you like to work with a sketch or just freestyle?
It depends on the moment, most of the times I paint without a sketch, but other times if I want to think a little more and prepare it before.
What’s it like being a female artist in the graffiti scene?
It has its good things and its bad things. Being a woman in the graffiti scene gives you much more visibility, but also a lot of difficulties to be treated like one more. You have to hear a lot of sexist things and work twice as hard to get respect. It’s not that easy, and whoever thinks it is, it’s because they’ve been very lucky. But the differences are still pretty big. I could talk about this for hours.
What’s the inspiration behind your work? A never ending list of things right?!
There are many things that inspire me but mostly I paint as I am, so I am inspired by my own state of mind, my experiences and how comfortable I am in this at the moment.
Do you have a preference — legal walls or illegal spots?
The same goes for preferences, there are times when I need to paint illegally and discharge energy, and others when I need to be calm and paint quietly.
Is a piece ever finished in your eyes?
Hahaha, I’ve had to learn to say “enough”, because if I didn’t I’d load the pieces so much that I’d regret it later.
Do you have any crazy ideas/projects that you’d love to do one day?
Yes, I have many crazy ideas and projects. I would love to travel all over the world without stopping, like Willy Fogg and paint in every city and every town. That would be a dream. Another would be to have non-stop active projects.
What do you like to do with your non-painting time?
To be with my family and friends, not to be separated from my dog, to travel, to LIVE! ❤️
What’s the ideal soundtrack to a day’s painting?
I would like to answer you something that is beautiful, serious and cultured, but I have to tell you the truth: reggaeton.
If you could have one super power for the day what would you choose?!
A super power… invisibility, that would fix a lot of things. Hahaha
What’s next for Laia?
Next, I wish I was rich and powerful, but I think for now I’ll just keep working hard! Hajajajajaja