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AONE, 1992. Photo: WISKEY

I started writing in 1989, I was living in the Charnwood area of Canberra, where I grew up. I was exposed to the wave of Graffiti and Breakdancing in 1985 from movies like Beatstreet and Breakdance 1 & 2 and video clips on TV by the likes of Rock Steady Crew, Blondie, Malcolm Mclaren etc.. At that point I was just trying to draw ghetto blasters and B-boys on paper until the next fad came along which was Heavy Metal music and Skating where I would copy logos of metal bands and skate brands on my school bag and skateboards with posca’s and artline markers.   

I was in my last year of Primary School when I started doing actual graffiti. My best mate came over one day and said “let’s go bombing”. I had no idea what he was on about but we ended up walking to Charnwood shops with an artline marker scribbling small tags on the way trying to emulate what the older kids around the neighborhood were doing. 

We were out at Woden bowl one day where I found 10 & 30mm markers in the downstairs Plaza Newsagency and that was a huge game changer for getting up. Around the same time we found spray paint used in Chemists marketed for hair colouring which worked well for bombing so we were able to do quite a bit of damage by that point. Things died down in 1990 but in 1991 I’d hooked up with some writers from high school and things took off again, this was when I started to learn how to paint a piece.  

Around 92/93 we worked out where the good paint shops were for Tuxans, Touch Ups, Pascol Easy Spray etc.. And the highly prized Meanstreaks and Solid Markers, it probably took us a year or so to find these in Canberra, eventually we found them stocked on the shelves at an office supply in Phillip and we rinsed it hard. In 94’ Krylons became available in Canberra and we were doing bag fills of craft paint called Folkart so mid 90’s colour schemes were usually pastel shades. Getting paint was always a mission back then, you had to put in the hours to get lucky.

RVETS, 1994. Photo: WISKEY

I’ve always had strong alliances with other writers since the beginning, my crew mates were like my brothers, we looked after each other and came up together.  

The first big crew I was dropped in was FE, established in 1991, which was started by a couple of Tongans in Canberra and consisted of 100+ Fourteen year old kids mostly from my high school. 

To meet other writers back then you had to be on the streets, most writers from the Northside hung out at Arcade Parlours like Top Gun and Happy Days and an underage gig at a club called The Firepit on Saturday nights. Woden, Civic and Belco bus interchanges always had writers lurking around, these were the places where you either made new friends or got rolled for your sneakers.

In 1993 I was in a well-known crew from Newcastle called PDR which only lasted about a year or so. In 1995 my friends in Newcastle started SLY Crew and then I expanded it to Canberra. In 1997 I joined MIA which was another crew to come out of Newcastle/Sydney. 

In the early 00’s when I was living in Sydney I was dropped in a fairly wild crew called KM. Around the same time Seth and I formed Creepshow which is purely a local crew that’s still kicking to this day.   

WISKE, 2021. Photo: WISKEY

When I was starting out there were only about 2 or 3 legal walls in Canberra. I personally had one spot throughout the 90’s which was Hawker College tennis wall. You could paint the tennis walls at public schools during the day on weekends and holidays but there was no actual permission for that. Myself and another writer got Woden and Civic drains legal in 1999 and that opened the floodgates for all the legals we have today listed on the Government website.

Currently there are a few committed writers here in the ACT going hard with the traditional art form, respect to those writers, it takes a lot of heart and dedication to do what they do. 

The style I’m known for today developed around 1992 influenced mostly by my frequent travels to Sydney. I keep my letters somewhat traditional, mainly painting public style and semi-wildstyle based around the foundations built by New York City writers from the 70’s and early 80’s. Most of my pieces are painted freestyle which is more fun but they can often end up being a bit similar to each other. Practising outlines on paper is the best way to create new formulas but I rarely do that these days. My main emphasis on style is structure, movement and flow.

If you look at my pieces from 25 years ago, the style is much the same, but it’s just evolved and more polished now.

I love bombing. It’s instant gratification and it’s never not fun. New spots to paint like abandos get me keen and other writers pushing good original styles keeps me interested. I put so much of my heart and soul into writing graffiti it became a huge part of my life, it follows me everywhere and I couldn’t shake it off if I tried.