It’s time for my favourite part of doing this blog and that’s being able to share interview’s I’ve done with amazing artists. This week I’ve been lucky enough to speak to Polish artist and Barcelona resident Oner about spending too much time sketching and wanting to be like Samuel L Jackson…
Hi Oner how are you? Tell us a little about yourself…
Hi! I am graffiti artist and sign painter from Poland, currently living in Barcelona. Was born in the 80’s, my all time favorite group is ‘Wu Tang Clan’, I love Guinness stout and travelling.
How did it all start for you? Were you one of those kids always scribbling on notebooks at school?
Indeed! Notebooks, books, backpacks, school furniture, my father’s garage walls 🙂
What was the first ‘spark’ for you to pick up a spray can and hit the streets?
Around 96/97 I used to read ‘Slizg’ – a famous polish skateboarding zine and I saw graffiti from places like Berlin, Amsterdam and of course Barcelona. At the same time, first pieces appeared in my hometown, done by writers passing by. That was the moment when me and my friends got the bug to write our names everywhere.
Were you ever into mural style work or were you only focussed on writing?
Mostly writing my name, but every once in a while i like to switch up few things. Once I had a little character and his name was ‘Janoosz’ and I painted him in some cool places and canvases for my friends. Also I do typograffiti paintings every once in a while.
You recently told me that you were planning on moving away from more traditional graffiti writing and focussing more on your typography work – what was the motivation behind the change?
Not moving away from it, but to keep mixing things up, I will be doing more typo works. I was always encouraged to do so, just never really went down this path. I think now it’s the time to use skills I learned so far and show my other side.
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?
Usually I have a bunch of sketches to work and play with them. I sketch a lot, some friends even call me ‘Sir sketchalot’. Smaller works often get freestyled on the spot. When it comes to colour scheme, some time ago I got very conscious about choosing the right combination, which in my opinion is half of the successful work.
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?
The most difficult part of creative process… To be honest, it is to be creative. I often find myself ‘empty’ even though the inspirations are floating around me…it gets frustrating sometimes.
Do you have a favourite city or place to share your art? Is there a dream city or country or wall even that you’d like to visit and leave some of your pieces?
If I could put my name everywhere around the world I would certainly do it! Apart from that I always wanted to paint at the legendary 5 Pointz.
Do you enjoy collaborating with other artists? Do you think that collaborating brings something else out of you creatively?
I always do enjoy it, in past year I did few collabs with Bublegum and recently with Ches and I am very happy with the outcomes. When I lived in Ireland, I did few collabs with stencil artist and my good friend Psychonautes and some of them remain my favourites up to day. Also had opportunity to do few works with another good friend, Foundry who always slagged me for being ‘too clean and too slow’. Even nowadays when I am painting I always ask myself: ‘What would Foundry say??’ One of the craziest collabs I ever did were with my brother from another mother 🙂 writer and friend from South Africa Marca Mix. Each time I was able to learn some new tricks and techniques and push my boundaries little by little and have a look at the whole idea of the wall painting from different perspective.
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?
As the kid growing up in a small town, I was inspired by any bit of graffiti i saw in the magazines, photos, streets or movies as back then we had no Facebook or Instagram to follow up your favourites. My all time most liked influence source is 1983 ‘Style Wars’ movie. Nowadays there are too many to name, but i like well executed wild-styles as much as clean and sharp typo works. I am open to work with anyone really.
Just to speak about something different for a minute, tell us something about yourself that maybe not many people would know!
I am crazy for pancakes and coffee 🙂
If you could be anyone or anything for a day who or what would you be?
Samuel L. Jackson so I could say: ‘ Say ‘what’ again. Say ‘what’ again, I dare you, I double dare you motherfucker, say what again one more Goddamn time’ just the way he does.
Do you have any upcoming shows or projects we should know about? Are you currently exhibiting your works anywhere?
Currently I am working towards participation in group shows in Barcelona and I would like to present hand painted signs to the broader audience.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us before you go?
Peace, love and graffiti. I enjoyed answering your questions, thank you and see you around!
Peace Oner, see you on the streets soon!