“you need to be passionate about what you do. You must be humble and accept the fact that you’ll probably fail many times along the way"
The Hobo Journal sat down with Woskersi, the artist responsible for some of Europe's most imaginative and compelling street art. Origianlly from Bydgoszcz, Poland, Woskersi moved to London in 2012. Needless to say, We had some questions...
How did you get into the industry?
“When I started out, I got caught 5 times painting trains and ille- gal walls. I got into some real trouble with the police! That’s one of the reasons I focused on the legal side of urban art. I started spraying 22 years ago... I think I must’ve seen a graffiti sprayed on the wall and thought “that’s cool! I want to do that too!” Please don’t judge me. But I was always eager to do more. I started (or tried to start is probably a more accurate way to describe it) to paint 3D graffiti and characters. But my first attempts as you can imagine were far from mediocre. Only 3 years ago I decided to put more effort into it and I think that was the best decision ever!”
Are you a Graffiti Artist Full time? If so how did it transition from a hobby to a full time job? ‘
I know I could quit my job and just earn a living painting walls and canvases, but I fear that would take away from the joy. I’d end up having to paint commissions where I’d be required to depict a load of weird things, ranging from portraits to someone’s favour- ite goldfish, football club logos to marvel characters. Having a full-time job gives me the luxury of refusing such jobs – I only agree to paint a small percentage of commissions, and even then only the ones that appeal to me. I have to be given the freedom to create the designs myself or at least alter the design to add my own twist.”
How has your style evolved over the years & Who do you look at for inspiration?
“I don’t think I have a style as such, at least not yet. But I’m hoping one will evolve and manifest itself within the next few years. Obviously there’s a big difference in what I used to paint compared to what I’m creating now. As I become more skilled, I become more confident and more willing to experiment – that’s where the progress is. Inspiration is everywhere, it could be anything, really... I used to eat a lot of ice lollies in the summer, and then I thought ‘why don’t I just paint one?’ Same goes for the watermelon. I’m inspired by most art forms, everything from Calligraphy, graffiti and street art to fine art. I think the variety of my works reflect the different inspiration sources – I’m still working on blending them all together in my murals.”
In your opinion what makes a great artist and what advice do you have for beginners trying to get a foothold in the industry?
“Good question. I don’t think there’s a straightforward answer. First of all you need to be passionate about what you do. You must be humble and accept the fact that you’ll probably fail many times along the way. Never give up and learn to accept constructive criticism. If you do it for the money you’ll proba-
bly never really earn the money – you’ll most likely become one of the many skilled painters without an identity. It’s important to create your own art and to find joy in it... and after years of hard work you’ll devel- op your own unique style and get the recognition you deserve. Most artists are usually unhappy or at least sceptical about their own art – and that’s probably what keeps us going as we want to better that next time.”