(Read part 1 of the interview with Risk)
Part 2 of the interview with Risk WCA, MSK, AWR, 7th Letter. If you are in Los Angeles, be sure to check out Risk's solo show at Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica on December 13, 2008.
Thanks to Roger Gastman (Author of such books as Los Angeles Graffiti and Saber Mad Society) for the pictures. Also thanks to Ricks Skate All Cities for the Barcelona pictures.
11. You have been involved with graffiti for a very long time. Does it affect your family life and relationships?
It used to, but on the same token it got me a lot of…lets just say good things. My family now is completely behind me. I have three baby girls, 2 months old, 2 years old, and 10 years old.
The 2 year old and the 10 year old paint with me on the weekends. The two year old needs help pushing the nozzle but still loves it, we draw every night. My whole family knows whats up.
Even on holidays when I go visit my parents I leave their house in the middle of the night to go paint freights, when I come back in the morning my kids are like Dad Dad, let me see!!! And I pass the camera around, then my parents just look at me and I laugh. It's like pay back for all the shit they gave me. Now its my kids, their grandkids, and they can't say anything they just have to deal with it. It took me 26 years but I guess I finally won that battle.
12. Do you think graffiti changed from when you started in the 80s to 2008?
Hell yea, basically this whole interview answers that one.
13. I am not trying to ask you to endorse a company, but do you prefer any paint brand over others?
I can't really answer that one right now, because I am working with a few companies on a few projects, However the paint these days is Amazing!!!
14. What do you think about all the new products that are specifically made for graffiti (spray paint, caps, markers, etc.)?
Dope!!!!! It made me get that old feeling again like when you came across icy grape, or hot raspberry, or a old Red Devil. I am working on some products right now as well. I can't talk about them yet. Check back in a few months
15. Do you like to travel and paint outside of Los Angeles?
I love painting in other places. This year I painted in Hong Kong, The Phillipines, Japan, Mexico, Korea, and Spain. I loved every trip!!!
16. For all the newcomers to piecing. What type caps do you like to use for piecing?
There are way too many caps. I use two caps, the yellow universal and an astro fat cap.
17. The internet is a great tool for people to learn about graffiti artists from around the globe. Before the internet, different locations had different writing and piecing styles. Now since everyone has access to the internet, many of the styles look the same. What are your thoughts? Do you think the internet has stifled creativity and originality?
Yes and no. It is way too easy for people to bite, but it has also raised the bar substantially!!! There are kids out there that have only been writing a few years and they are really good. Sometimes I go on MySpace and just trip out how many writers are out there, and how easy it is to communicate. I used to trade flicks via the mail overseas, and it would take weeks, now it takes a minute!!!!
18. Do you usually sketch out your pieces before putting it on a wall?
I go through stages. Lately No, but I will sometimes draw one letter and then just follow that style.
19. Are you currently doing anything design related outside of graffiti?
I am working on a new clothing line that doesn't have much to do with Graffiti. Otherwise everything else I'm working on is Graffiti related.
20. Did you ever consider publishing your work in a book format? Or, maybe a book about your involvement with the early days of West Coast graffiti?
We have been in the process of making a book for over a year now. It will probably come out in late 09. It is a pretty comprehensive book. It is from my childhood until now,It even has a section about my old company Third Rail. There are lots of great stories as well as photos.
We have cataloged thousands of photos and I have been meeting with a writer periodically, it is a long process but it will be something I'm very proud of when it's done.
Risk Interview Part 1
Risk - Los Angeles Graffiti Veteran
LA Meets New York - Cope2 DVD Release
Rest in Peace Rival WCA