Continuing our stint of interviews with writers from the UK, we caught up with Vodker to see what makes him rock, and how he rolls.
ILG: When did you start being a graffiti writer and what got you into writing graffiti?
VODKER: I did about a 6 month carnage session when i was 14, we were just going through the motions, rackin cans from the car shop after school, tagging and being pretty wreckless until i got lifted and then other things started to become more important like skateboarding and drinking. Then to be honest graffiti was the last thing on my mind until 6 years ago i met BIRD272 who asked asked for some help on some backgrounds then next thing it had consumed almost my whole life and we were painting pretty much when ever and what ever we could. its been none stop ever since.
ILG: What are you first memories of seeing graffiti?
Vodker: Its the classic of seeing it on train lines when i was a kid. i honestly could not tell you any of the writers i saw as at that point it was just about the act of doing it, the concept of burners and productions never entered my head back then.
ILG: What were/are your influences, and what/who directly influences your style and flow?
VODKER: I guess you could call it ‘graphic design’. I mean graphic design does not really define any specific thing but i prefer doing block colour, drop shadows, negative space and all that shit and im sure there is a better way to describe that type of graff, and thats what appeals to me. The obvious influence is DARE but i always prefered RESO ONE from the 123KLAN. His letters seemed to have more of a liquid form mixed wit a bit of aggression. Looking at his stuff started me of with the concept of having flow in your letters. Looking outside the graffiti scene is always important.
The amount of imagery we get force fed whether we notice it or not all goes into the melting post. Id like to mention an artist who is not graffiti whos work i follow but as much as i try to broarden my horizons if its not letters i tend to forget about it.
ILG: What crews have you written with and write with at present?
VODKER: At the moment im not strictly in a crew. I painted with REO from the USA who asked me to put up the HI crew which was dope as i had always looked up to their walls but as i live literally mile away i take is as being kind of an extended member. I paint a lot with REBUS and JATE, We travel to walls out of town and plan productions almost weekly so guess that could be called a crew but were all to useless to come up with a name or to bother making it happen.
ILG: Do you find you are influenced by the works of your fellow crew members to advance your work further?
VODKER: The people i paint with regulary are into different styles so when we plan walls each of us brings different ideas to the table which is a good thing as i forces us to paint things we normally would not choose to paint. plus there is the competitive side when i see them doing a piece that is stepping it up it makes me want to get out there and do something even better.
ILG: What writers are doing it for you at the moment?
VODKER: Im all about flow so i would say SOKEM (bristol) STAY, MOSK, BACON, VOGEY and PHIESTA.
ILG: Where has graffiti taken you? travels? memorable stories?
VODKER: Not far, I did some painting while i was in australia but the furthest iv been just for painting would be Glasgow to paint a few walls with SMUG, it aint very glamourus. Iv done some other hopping around the UK and there have been cool people and some funny times. One memorable situation was being caught in a stand off between an anti racist march and a group of skin heads who very nearly chose the space infront of the wall as there battle field.
ILG: Filled-ins, trackside, panels, bombing or a chill wall?
VODKER: I think my personal choice would be tracksides, i rate that you can go all out with the added comedy of having to dive into bushes every five minutes. Iv been seriously lacking on them over the last few years since i moved to Brighton and now most of the painting is on legal walls which have different appeals but from time to time we still get busy.
ILG: Any major projects in the pipeline?
VODKER: Im involved in a few things which all just seem to be different ways of planning to paint more and better walls. not much more i can say about that really.
ILG: What is the best piece of advice you have been given along your journey?
VODKER: “Its not about what you have done, its about what you are doing and what you are going to do”. GARY from HA told me that fucking years ago, im not even sure he would remember saying it but still its stuck with me and its a good way to look at things.
ILG: What is the graffiti scene like where you are from?
VODKER: Brighton has had a good reputation for graffiti for a long whlie now. The public in general except it and it seems to be a graffiti tourist spot. A lot of the best writers around the world seem to pass through Brighton at some stage and the Heavy Artillery is based here so we get world class graffiti on out door step. There are quite a few people painting here at the moment and the HOFs are getting a battering which is a good thing but like anywhere i guess it goes through good and bad stages. There is not really to much beef but there is a lot of street art that good walls get wasted on. All in all its good.
ILG: What is the best piece of advice you can give to up and coming writers, still trying to find their feet and direction?
VODKER: Dedication i would say is them most important, and dont dwell on pieces, whether good or bad. Once its done start thinking on the next.
Interview by Nexus
For more work from Vodker, step to his Flickr here