We caught up with London legend TIZER of ID Crew and asked some questions! Here is the short interview with Mister Instagram of Graffiti!
ILG: Hey man, please introduce yourself!
Tizer: I’m Tizer 1 from South London, bandit country. I started painting in my early teenage years, I’m in my early 40’s now.
ILG: You have so many crews, how did that come about? Whats the difference between them?
Tizer: Ha ha yeah, I’m in a lot of crews. My main crew is ID, Shucks and I started it in 1997, there are 13 of us now, we are old friends and a group legendary dudes. I’m in some international crews too. SDM (Australia) RHC (Hungary) HOD (USA) YCP (Croatia) CVK (Wales) the rest are london crews GW, CBM, KTF, 1T, NHS, TDO, SHK & DUBL TRUBL. I’m friends with a lot of people in the scene, from young to old. I guess I’ve always tried to promote the positive sides of hip hop culture. My brother was a member of the Zulu Nation, we were Zulu’s before he even became one, doing youth projects, stopping beefs, that sort of vibe. I rep all the crews, they are my mates.
ILG: Well, we follow you, it´s not a secret you paint much more than others right?
Tizer: I had a really messed up childhood, I’m super dyslexic and I was an angry kid. Skateboarding and graffiti saved me, they both gave me confidence when I had none and made my friends proud of me, which in turn made me begin to like myself. When I’m bombing or painting, it’s all I’m thinking about, so my worldly problems disappear. I need to paint all the time. Over the last six years I’ve painted more than most crews or people who are sponsored. That was fueled by love loss and the death of my mother. Those were hard times, but I’ve laughed a lot and met some great people along the way. Graffiti literally keeps me grounded and sane. Ha ha
ILG: Describe a regular good day for you?
Tizer: Painting with my friends, going to a hip hop jam, hanging out with pretty girls in hot pants…I mean weather! Ha ha!
ILG: Whats it like for you to be painting in London in general?
Tizer: London has such a fast turnover, you have to paint a lot to be noticed here. London and the UK has incredible writers, past and present, we have been ignored throughout history. I’ve grown up here, so I don’t know about other scenes. I like it, but there isn’t much respect here for history as most older cats never gave direction to the youth. That’s just the way it’s gone, still love it.
ILG: Social media, no one in graffiti post more photos to Instagram than you, do you realize that and why do you post so much?
Tizer: If I’m not painting I get bored, I post way too much, but I’m painting all the time or hanging out with inspirational people or getting my “famous photos” so the content is either really stupid or slightly interesting. I know it annoys the shit out of people, that I post so much. I don’t really care, it’s my page.
ILG: Travelling, what memorable places have you been, and where do you plan to go?
Tizer: I love traveling. I have met kings and queens, been shown around cities like I was a local, spent time with people’s families and friends. I’ve been to places and countries I would have never thought I’d go to, but through doing this art form, I’ve had the chance to see the world. Pretty amazing seeing many teachers at school said I was stupid and never amount to anything. When I started I couldn’t really draw, but over the years I taught myself how to paint. If I can do it, then anyone can. With hard work and perseverance you can make yourself important.
ILG: Inspiration, what makes you paint, who inspires you?
Tizer: I’m super self critical, so I’m rarely into what I do. I find inspiration from my city, nature and people I’ve seen. I freestyle 98% of everything I do. So my inspiration really depends on how I feel.For example, If I’m angry, my graffiti looks more aggressive. I use the paint I have. I’m a total tight ass when it comes to spray, I’ll use anything I can get my hands on. You can still do good stuff even if you’ve got awful materials. My first inspiration was my father, he was an illustrator, then my brother, he is my main inspiration, my mother was a great artist she also really gave me a great love for art, she was truly a great human. I am inspired to try and be the best person I can be. I was dealt a shit card when I was young, but I know it has helped me relate to young people I have taught who are troubled, I have been able to give sound advice because I went through the same things. If you can turn negatives to positives you will win. I’d like to hope in the future that I’ve been more inspirational in my life than necessarily been inspired by others. I love all types of art, but writing is the realist one going. It’s the voice of the people, the unheard, the forgotten. It’s ours.
ILG: How did computers, smartphones and the internet change graffiti?
Tizer: I’m computer illiterate so I have no idea! Ha ha. When I was 15 my mum bought me a cheap camera but I got it robbed in The Pit (One of london’s first legal spots) in the early 90’s. In 2007 I got a phone and started taking photos of my stuff. I couldn’t afford a camera and at the time I didn’t really care, I didn’t have any evidence because I didn’t have any flicks. The internet has made the world smaller you can go anywhere in the world and hook up with people which is great. I think it’s sad that years ago you could tell which city you were from by your style. Now you got kids doing SF or Swedish throw ups, but they’re from England. Or someone will rinse a unknown Eastern European writers whole flex and hope nobody will call’em out for munching. But love it or hate it, it has to evolve and change. It might have made our subculture slightly corny in places, but it will always be street culture so it will always have a hardcore undertone.
ILG: You do both pieces and characters, is there anything you dont paint, or is there something you haven’t painted yet that you want to?
Tizer: I haven’t really painted much 3D stuff or any Anti-style pieces. I just personally like to try and push my self, by no way am I being down on either of those styles. I just dig other styles, personally. I would like to paint a large scale wall by myself. In London all the big walls are given to Street artists or popular travelling writers that also have gallery shows. They always get the same people, world wide. I know it sounds like sour grapes, but there are other people that could do just as amazing or maybe even better than some of the favored artists. I’d love to see Doze Green, Won ABC, RosyOne, Part 1 TDS, CMP, Hoxe, Neist to be given a side of a building. Actually bollox to that…. I’d like to be given a side of a building. I could do something nice too. I see cats with projectors, before they were successful street artists they were failed graphic designers, only jumping on the band wagon in 2006 when it was getting trendy. They can’t even really paint but just copied someone’s stuff, which I think is madness. What do I know though, I sound like a whingy old bastard.
ILG: Crazy fill-ins, you have done a lot of pieces with original fills, tell us about them?
Tizer: Ha ha, all my pieces are weird, Me and Shucks would fire ideas at each other for concepts, coming up with the worst ideas possible. If we’d end up crying in hysterics, we’d be totally doing that one. Normally I’ll do something in my letters which will give me an idea, which will then shape the whole rest of wall. If I do mad intricate pieces half way through I’ll be like why did I think this was a good idea, I will never know. I daydream a lot, it used to drive teachers and ex-girlfriends insane. I’m a space cadet. I should have been an ideas guy in a wanky advertising firm, I can endlessly come up with dumb ass concepts. I guess I did the same a kid, most of my early sketch books, I’d be trying to make every page look like was drawn by someone else.
ILG: What other things do you get yourself in to, you DJ too right?
Tizer: Shucks and a load of my friends are proper DJ’s. I’m a selector. When I went to college most of the DJ’s sucked, so I asked if I could play, people liked my music and I got a job. There’s an incredible DJ called DJ Cash Money, I named myself DJ BeerMoney, I was mostly paid in beer for the first few years. In the 80’s I hated most pop music. I was into Punk, Ska, Psycho-Billy and Reggae, but once British punk had died we got into hip hop, funk and soul. I had residencies in clubs and bars from 1997- 2016. I like playing my music loudly, getting drunk and making people dance. Mylon (P-Break) my longest DJ partner was amazing, we had a residency at Mango Landin’ for 8 years in Brixton, would finish with Zorba the Greek and have hysterics at everyone making complete tits out of themselves. Miss it.
ILG: Got any sayings or mottos or oneliners about graffiti?
Tizer: Never Quit. You will be forgotten. Within a 2/3 year period max, you’ll be forgotten no matter how cool you think you are. Oh and having a shit attitude is really boring for me now, I grew up in South London when people from North and West were fearful of it, so that tough guy persona is really boring for me now, outside of this scene nobody knows us or even cares who we are, they all think we are assholes. Real gangsters don’t do graffiti, you wouldn’t hot up your business with a crime as wack as this. Ha ha I’m sure they’d like to believe they are loco, but I’d say most of the time they just want to be edgy. Ha ha
ILG: And, do you love graffiti?
Tizer: Totally Love it
ILG: List your online medias
Tizer: Tizerid/Instagram and Tizerone id/Flickr