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Street Artist EINE Talks to World Graffiti – 2010 Exclusive Interview

This is an interview we did with EINE in 2010 for the now dead world-graffiti.com site, we will be restoring the old exclusive interviews over the next few months…

Street Artist EINE Talks to World Graffiti

Art Republic had an event in London down The Ivy to celebrate the announcement of the winner of their latest competition. London graffiti and street artist EINE was there so we bugged him for some answers, he talks of his early days painting trains and running away…

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WG – When did you first start doing your art?

EINE – I suppose it started when I was about 14, so it was a long time ago… I spent years and years just tagging and vandalising shit around the West End (London), all the clubs and stuff and the things we used to go to were in the West End. So yeah, just running around with cans of spray paint, bottles of beer tagging stuff and going to clubs.

Then I got more into trains and spent years tagging the trains.

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WG – How was that back then, because it’s getting hard now (in London)…

EINE – Yeah it was a lot easier back then, there wasn’t the cameras and places just had these stupid little fences, it was easy. But we used to get raided all the time, there was a dedicated police force out trying to catch you but it was easy to get in places.

A lot of the police forces would be laid up in the trains, there was a lot of running away.

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EINE street Art

WG – Did you ever get caught?

EINE – Never got caught in the yards, got chased loads of times and got stopped going in and coming out of yards and arrested loads of times for tagging.

WG – What were the punishments like back then?

EINE – It was fines, I got loads and loads of fines and loads of community service. The last time I nearly got nicked I went into this yard and I jumped over the fence and just as I jumped this car came round the corner and the 2 guys I was with didn’t jump over.

It was plain clothes police and they got caught, I legged it and got away and one of them got sent down, the other one got like 300 hours community service. If I’d have got caught I’ve definitely have been sent down, so I was lucky I was the first one over the fence really.

At that point I thought do I really want to go to prison for graffiti, so at that point I stopped doing the big graffiti and started getting more into street art because I didn’t want to stop painting. I just changed what I was doing slightly and I could get away with a lot more and still carry on doing what I had been from the start.

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WG – How did you change to do the lettering and typography, because your old graff’s wicked and what your doing now is quite different.

EINE – Well it’s still kind of typography, when I was doing graffiti I never into characters, backgrounds and all of that. I was all about the letter forms, and how letters change when you put them with different letters. I would regularly change my name, I’d pick a name and write it like 20 times and then pick another name and write that.

I was always interested in the shape of the letters, and how letters interconnect. When I got into street art everyone seemed to have a character and the stencil stuff, so I wanted to do something different, not another stupid bit of clip art slightly changed. So yeah, doing letters seemed like a natural progression.

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WG – What letter do you find the hardest to paint? I do a rubbish W…

EINE – Straight letters are easier, so you know, Es and Fs are relatively easy. When you’re painting something bigger than you it’s hard to get it precise and with straight letters it’s easier. A circle for example is a bit symetrical and it has to be right, so yeah drawing a circle is probably the hardest thing.

WG – Where did the Care Bears thing come from?

EINE – I saw an old Vivienne Westwood tshirt that I had that has a Care Bear on it. I was getting the site up at the time, and I didn’t want to do the usual drips and lettering design for it. So I ordered a bunch of Care Bear comics and it went from there. From that eventually came the Care Bear print that I did.

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EINE street art

Cheers to EINE for talking to us, you can buy his art at Art Republic. Check out his site to see loads more of his art from all over the world…