Pretty sure most of you will have seen the cool street art that has just gone up on the wall at the Something Good car park - the one immortalized by the infamous "Don't live here, don't surf here" graffiti a while ago. I caught up with Joff, one of the artists behind the spray can, to find out a bit more about the project, and street art in PE.
The wall you guys have just done at Something Good looks amazing, how did that come about?
A few of us have been talking for a while about pushing street art in PE , and have been doing more & more live art shows around the city. So we teamed up with some of our favourite artists. One of the artists, Nathan Sanan, spotted the wall made contact with the right people and we began to paint! Myself, Quintin Weyer, Nathan Sanan & Pola Maneli did the wall together.
Must have been a pretty cool experience doing live art – get you get any interesting interaction with the public?
I have been doing quite a lot of live art recently and you always get you fair share of entertainment, from chasing people who have stolen your cans, to drunk folk trying to “help” you on your wall but in general people are just amazed at the process and you find people sitting and watching you for hours.
You’ve done a coupla other live installations – tell us about those.
It started when Nathan contacted me about doing a live art show for the Feiyue shoe range event , it was really cool and interesting to paint during a party as you get to meet such a lot of people as it seems to break a social boundary and acts as a good ice breaker for people to come up and ask you questions. So there was a really good response to that which lead us to do a live art show at the architecture department at the university recently and then the Something Good Wall!
So who is Joff?
I am Joff
Is street art your main focus? Or do you paint in the traditional sense of the word as well….as in with paints and brushed on canvas?
Street art is fairly new to me, I have been illustrating and painting for a long time now but always had an attraction to get involved in the street scene as I grew up in the skating / surfing /music scene. The last few weeks the street art scene as really burst open for me and am booked up for quite awhile now so it seems to be my main focus for the next bit of my life.
What are your favourite places to paint? Anywhere in PE that your spray can is just itching for?
Hmmm , this could get me into trouble, haha. No. normally when I paint traditional painting style I have a little room at an abandoned house where it’s quiet and I can just do my thing. For the street art I'm currently in talks with a couple of projects that will be popping up around the city soon!
Do you come from a trained art background, as in graphic design or something like that?
No, I'm self-taught . I studied animation and visual effects but that was more focused on the technical side of things and not too much on the creative process. I am still learning everyday and not owning a tv in my house helps me to keep busy with my art.
Your style is really unique. Is it something that’s taken a while to develop – and where have you drawn your influences from?
My style developed when I started drawing with the old traditional bottle of ink and a nib on the end of a piece of wood. The images would come out slightly messy and raw which I loved. It also taught me a style where you have to be confident in you drawing and strokes as I work directly in ink and any mistakes can be very tricky to fix.
I guess that aspect has helped me a lot when it comes to confident lines when spray painting. My influences or inspiration comes largely from music, my painting can be very emotionally driven and music is such a powerful tool when it comes to expressing that that I find it inspires me and when listening to music and it puts images in my head for ideas to paint.
Do you paint solo mostly, or with a crew?
I do paint solo mostly but recently I have been collaborating with some great artists and can see myself working with them a lot in the future.
Artists tend to be multi-faceted – do you also dabble in music a bit?
Yes, I feel extremely lucky to be able to play with the amazing mind and rapper Jean Du Toit and Megan Du Toit who hands down has the best voice to come out of a face! We play in a band called The Cottonfields, and play foot stomping Bluegrass Rap n roll.
Any other cool pieces you have planned for the near future?
I can't go into too much detail at the moment but there is a good few pieces coming PE’s way soon!
Where can guys see more of your work or contact you?