Feature by Roller :: Thursday, January 08, 2004
This is the unedited full fat version of the feature in Blowback magazine.
Introduce yourself.
Iím Reka. Iím from Melbourne, Australia: the most livable city in the world. Currently studying Graphic Design at University, one year to go, fingers crossed!

How is the street art scene in Melbourne, and in Australia in general? Who is representing over there?
At the moment the street art scene especially stencils are booming in Melbourne. I guess it was only time before people found out that street art consisted more than just graffiti, but you could say stencils and stickers are a form of graffiti anyway. Everyone in the street art scene makes stickers, whether they are for tags, a different medium to put your stencils up or for drawings characters etc.

In Melbourne, stickers act like magnets, for example, you hardly see a sticker by itself. Stickers attract other stickers. A lot of stickers get ripped off and buffed so I guess people put up their stickers next to others which have survived the buffing in hope theirs will stay up for a while as well. Thatís why we have so many sticker walls and some streets in the city are covered in stickers because they have lasted a while. I think the Melbourne scene in getting really intelligent and creative with the application of stickers. Instead of just slapping your sticker up anywhere that might be seen a bit or in a high risk area, people are putting their in stickers in context which the surroundings. For example a lot of characters that people do are put at the base of the wall so it makes the character look alive and look like itís walking. This fresh approach really makes stickers a creative medium.

Unfortunately Melbourne is basically the only city in Australia that is really getting up in regards to the stickers, and stencils for that matter. If you want more information on Melbourneís stencil scene go to www.stencilrevoultion.com - Prism, a local stencil guru runs the site.

Your stickers have a nice old school vibe to them. How long have you been doing them for?
Yeah old school is definitely the word I would best describe my stickers. Back in the day I used to write a bit and when I got into stickers I sort of changed my style but still incorporated some elements of graffiti in with my newly found little characters that I draw. Thatís why I use a lot of drips, bubbles, tags and arrows in my stickers, not forgetting some graff as well. At the moment Iím really into the old school 80ís style of big bubbly fat throwies and goofy stoned looking cartoon characters.

In any successful and working identity, there has to be some consistency in form, shape, color and size. I chose to use color as my main weapon that helps link my other stickers together so that people can identity. I use black and pink Poscaís as my main colors, with a touch of silver when I feel up to it - thatís how I have incorporated an old school 80ís vibe to my stickers. I chose pink as my secondary color to black because itís so 80ís and so rude and plus it does stand out heaps so people can see it. Iíve been told that my stickers are fucking huge! I guess the grandeur of my stickers also link back to the graffiti side of my style: Bigger is better.


Do you ever use a computer to make your stickers? Do you think the computer is a lazy way out for artists?

All my stickers are 100% home made, hand drawnÖ My stickers are just doodles. I find it an essential part of my style that I draw all my stickers individually. I guess it makes each of my stickers originals because I have never really made the same sticker twice. I think another element I took from graffiti is the raw physical process of creativity, whether itís making/drawing/tagging/graphing and thatís why I couldnít and would never use a computer to make my stickers.

In regards to whether I think using computers is a lazy way out for artistsÖ I think we all have to find our style. If an artists images look better done on the computer than do it on a computer. I definitely know itís easier to make stickers by using a computer, because when you do your final design you can just print out hundreds. In the end I think street art has to be hand made, in its rawest and purest form. The word street says it allÖ


What/ Who inspires you now? What / Who inspired you back in the day?
Mainly artists and writers are my source of inspiration including: Dave Kinsey, Twist, Espo, Reas, Delta, Fatoe, 123Klan, D*Face, Buff Monster, TLP and locals like Perks and Mini, Burn Crew, Dmote, Fers and Renks. Another big influence is just my surroundings in Melbourne. I would say my friends I go bombing with and just local talent are such an influence on me. We feed off each other. Itís the best way to do it. Back in the day when I was growing up I loved comics and cartoons and I think that has heavily affected my style. Even these days I watch a lot of Japanese animation and buy a lot of cool toys.

Where can people see your work besides the streets of Melbourne?
I like keeping my work on the streets. I find I get more satisfaction out of people recognizing my work on the streets than if it was in an exhibition. Recently I was part of the city lights project where over 10 Melbourne street artists do their art on huge A0 sheets of acetate and then is projected in light boxes on walls in the city. It looks pretty cool when itís nighttime.

Further reading...
+ Stencil Revolution
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia
 
reka 1 :: Australia