How about a completely predictable question? Let’s start with a self introduction. Give us the basics, what made you first start art?
I am ASIN and I am a graffiti artist from Thailand. I have been doing street art for four years now and I am known for doing a chicken character. As far as the beginning goes, it is honestly nothing amazing. I simply just grew up liking to draw. This story is the same as any other child. I grew up drawing flowers, houses, and sharks, just anything that caught my eye. Simply put anything that I wanted I put on paper. While I was growing up, I saw my friend draw a cartoon and instantly I wanted to do that. I guess it became my drug of choice.
From that point on I did nothing but draw comic-like characters. I started drawing the same picture over and over till I could do it well. I then ran to my mother and showed that picture to her and asked her to buy it! My mother bought it for 5 Thai-baht. After that moment, I was very happy and continued drawing until now. Maybe it was at that moment that caused me to study and get my vocational certificate.
I wanted to do graffiti but I knew nothing about it. So I sprayed on my house’s wall. During that time, I was in a university, and I started to tag. I started on overpasses but it wasn’t very fun. Maybe I did not appreciate letters that much and really didn’t incorporate them into my art works at that time. But never the less I graduated. I worked for a magazine with my own desire then I changed my work for an advertising agency or maybe call it a graphic company. At that time, I really liked to do illustrations, so I had realized that I was not truly focused on my drawings. At first, I couldn’t see the way to earn money because there are many illustrators. Then I saw the street! The idea of a paycheck rang in my head. I realized that it doesn’t have to be only a graffiti letter or certain style. So I became a lil more interested to test my drawing skills and learned as much as I could about caps. So I got much experience from hitting the streets to improve my talent.
Are we born to be artists? I have always been good and wondered why some can’t do it. I was self taught so I find it hard for it to be considered a natural ability, I think anyone can learn what do you think.
I think everyone can draw and some may not be born with talent. But normally every child can draw, it’s up to them if they are happy with it or not, then maybe they continue drawing. In my own opinion, I don’t believe in talent. I used to talk with other artists, every artist has tried so hard to draw, paint, or any form of art. It comes with perseverance and much work. Doing it over and over for years or almost all their life. But one thing that is different for them is that they are happy doing it. I think that the progression for art is based upon happiness. Simply put, we are happy with what we do so we continue to do it. Most of the people, who don’t do art, may think it involves some type of skill and that talented people are born with some type of skill. For me that is wrong. Everything in life you can choose. If you fall in love with it, you could do it from your heart. Because art is happiness from doing it so we love it.
How does it feel to be able to do it? To have many major beautiful accomplishments like what you have? I once interviewed an artist named Frode from Italy. He said, “When I am first done, I am satisfied. But immediately after that, I am busy looking at everything that I don’t like while many people are complementing me. So I just try to make each piece better and better.”
I think like Frode. While everyone said my work is beautiful, I am not satisfied with it. I think my work still is missing something within the means of communication. I want to create my work colorful but include meaning as well as show my emotions, thoughts and feelings. I think street art should be shown from the standpoint of a story for the audience. Apart from the beauty, it is like there is more than one world in another. It can be seen and interpreted by many different people. We don’t know what the people think so I think we should be clear on how we express ourselves. Messages change. In the beginning street art was a form of protesting, or a way of resisting society. So I think except the beauty that well shown in public, the artists may latent the standpoint to social. It is what I try to do now.
In my country, the cops do not care of spraying on a wall. But there are simple, common sense walls. If it’s not someone’ house or wall, you can’t do it. Houses, churches, and certain businesses. So we can do wall art on the walls of many places just as long as we have permission of the owner. The police don’t care.
But in another case, I once painted on an abandoned building’s wall in our town with friends. That day I went with my friends from Italy and Belgium. We had already met with the building’s security guard first and asked for permission. Then we choose the 2nd floor terrace to do our work. Everything went well, and then someone shouted from downstairs, “What the FUCK! Hey you stop stop!!!!! I will call police,” so obviously we were frightened.
My foreign friends panicked and were frightened about the police. I tried to tell them to calm down and shouted out the person downstairs “The security guard allowed us already.” He shouted back “This place isn’t abandoned. This is my house. Why you sprayed on my house. I will call police.” I tried to make him calm down. During that time of course we prepared to move out or even run. The police came. One of my friends ran downstairs and broke the door to escape. The police wondered what’s going on here and they caught him. One of my other friends ran the other way. I was so confused and didn’t know what to do. The police was confused and so was the security guard. I followed my friend to the corner of the building. I told my friend, “The police will not catch us because we painted. They will catch us because we ran away.” The people in that area came to see what was going on. The police told the man who called the police to calm down. His mother said he is insane. Everyone knew it. The police explained, “There has been many times he has called us, but we can’t arrest anyone because this is an abandoned building and will be destroyed soon.” It took hours to solve this problem until that man let us finish our painting. This story is a joke for years.
What goes through your mind when you draw or paint? Are you just focused on the art or do you have things within your own mind?
Actually I’m thinking in my head all the time, but when I am working I will just attend to, and focus my mind on my work. For everything that is great, we need concentration. That really makes the best work come out. I can’t do my works for a long time if I don’t have concentration. Sometimes, it’s not the thing in my head. It’s the hot weather that I let prevent me from doing the work. I guess I need to concentrate harder.
What are your major achievments? What are you working on? Your recent achievements?
I plan year by year. The first year I started worked on wall and learned how to use color, spray nozzles by myself, tutorial on video and learning from other artists. The year later, I try to improved my own character, color, shapes and put the ideas and meaning to my work to tell people what I thought or what influenced to my mind. For this year, I doing the first solo painting exhibition. (This coming 23 April 2016 at MIDNICE Gallery, Bangkok.) I’ve got a chance exhibit my work with other artists before until the gallery saw my work then asked to work together. In the future, I will have any exhibition or not, please stay tuned. For the major achievement, I’d like to travel the country first. I think Thailand has many places to paint. The other one is, for once in my life I want to paint in Brazil . I like that Brazil is filled of many great street art. The last achievement is left my work out there on the street to all the people, to let them appreciate ,questioning themselves and let it be the inspirations for the next generation of children who interesting in street art. That’s it.
What are you influences? Maybe you can start with your childhood and up to today. Like have they changed in any way?
I might have to start out saying that I started street art at a rather old age, but from another standpoint I felt kind of young. I just thought a lot and sketched what I wanted to tell the people. Drawing just seemed to be the method of what and how to express myself to the people. If I started at a young age, maybe I could not express myself so clearly. So I did tag quite a bit on the street and overpasses. I really didn’t care where it was or whom does the house belong to. Everything around me had to change. I wanted to change society, create stories and the situations around me. It changed the world around me and made me realized what I was doing. One day change will come and I will be part of it. My first artistic period was influenced from my favorite artists, but I tried my best to do it in my own style. People will always remember that this character is mine. Then I did more in developing the meaning of it later.
Some people follow rules. Some people break them. Why break the law to express yourself? And what does graffiti mean to you?
It’s depend on the meaning of rules of each person. It varies. In my opinion, some people break the rules to be in their own set of rules. If you paint in public, the government labels you as a criminal. Some people bomb around the city and technically we are breaking the rules. But that becomes your own rule without knowing, giving yourself permission to break the rules is your own personal rule. Graffiti is showing off the personality of any artist and making people know about you. It has no rules about what to do or how to do it. We have made up our own rules. It’s up to you. Nothing is right, nothing is wrong. If you’re still happy with your own work, then maybe the audience is happy. But if you like to destroy stuff and make trouble, your work will be worse. Graffiti in my meaning is painting on the wall for any reason not to notice who I am or what I be. I don’t care the meaning you will give to what you do. Example, If you do art, people will call you artist. You say “No I am just someone who paints, That’s enough. “ It is the word people named you, it isn’t the thing you try to make yourself noticed by the world.
In addition, what does art mean to you?
Nowadays, I try to find the meaning of it. If you know, please tell me what art is. Actually I think art is something that you do with a great intention and much attention. Will it be art or not, the creator couldn’t judge. It’s up to the attitude of the audience, social value and culture. Example, a shoemaker created beautiful shoes and said he made them with creativity. The other people may think so, but on the other side of the world may think it just as a pair of shoes, not art. That’s it.
Take your time to say anything to the world.
I am Thai. I have worked as a street art artist in Thailand. There are a lot of great street and graffiti works here. You should check it out. Wherever you will be, you can do art. Just do it with happiness. I hope you all are happy with what you do!