Let’s talk colours. Bold colours. Yellow makes us happy, pink calms us and white is fashionable any time of the year. Bright colours can make us hungry – don’t you want these macaroons now? Even 4-year-olds battle over their morning wardrobe choices, because the right colour can make or break an outfit.
We’re celebrating colour at Rogers with our bright new Nokia Lumia 920 series and asked Dudeman, a Toronto graffiti artist, to create a mural inspired by the devices. He took a few minutes away from painting to share by email his thoughts on colour, street art and technology.
How did you get into graffiti art?
I’ve always wanted to have control over my own work. Back in 1984 I found a loose page which had fallen out of the book “Subway Art” by Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant. It was incredibly inspiring and I would have to say that was my strongest influence. I eventually moved into a huge warehouse studio when I was 20 and from there I started working on a much bigger scale – THAT spoke to me immensely.
Do you think growing up in Toronto has influenced you and your art?
It’s hard to say for sure. Seeing the Flatiron Building or the Henry Moore sculpture outside the AGO are definitely things which left a mark on me as a child.
What is your favourite colour?
That’s not a question to which I can provide a direct answer, but I can tell you that when I was a child starting out on this lifelong quest, whenever I would set out to do a project, it was always two of each colour used: red, orange, yellow, light blue, dark blue, light green, dark green, pinks, purples, plus a black and a white. Always BIG COLOUR!
How do colours talk to you?
I am definitely NOT afraid of colour. Colour needs to be balanced and this is not something which I can communicate with words, I’m too busy with my hustle otherwise known “as in the zone.”
I’ve seen on your website that you go beyond graffiti. You’ve decorated furniture and made installations for fashion retailers. How is creating graffiti on the street different from working for a brand?
You earn your keep, build your reputation by pioneering your style and honing your craft on the streets. This is a constant evolution for any artist. There’s no textbook which dictates how and where you should proceed after that. Some graffiti writers don’t believe in doing commercial work, but if you spend your life trying to impress other people, then whose life are you living in the end? Follow your passion and be true to yourself.
The great thing about doing work for clients is that there are two entities at play here, your artwork (which is the only thing which will speak for you once you have left the room) and the art of business. Put yourself to the test, step up your game and give your client the best experience you can, integrity goes a long way in life.
You’ll walk away proud.
How do you integrate technology and innovation into your work?
I have a huge digital background. The most important thing in life is to be diverse. My father taught me that, “The more skills you have, the more choices you’ll have in life.” When times are slow, I am able to switch gears while maintaining a forward momentum. I’m able to superimpose my work onto photographs (of a client’s home, etc.) in order to showcase to my clients what my art can look like in their environment and that is a tool I can use in order to put us on the same page
What advice would you give students who want to become artists?
Joe Jobs are not below you. Earn your keep, just keep at it because you can’t place this much effort and passion into your craft without gaining results eventually. Seek out willing mentors, ask questions, take chances and above all be true to yourself … it WILL eventually come if you follow those rules.
Forward not straight.
Windows Phone 8 is all about colour: the user interface is super bright and the devices are available in a flashy yellow, fireman red or an elegant white. So what happened when Dudeman painted his mural? Find out here! Inspired to paint your own colourful digital mural? Here’s how!
Please link back to your murals in the comments, we want to see your colours!
Elise is a regular contributor to RedBoard.