Modern Fix

STEVEN DAILY – interview by m. young

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This month we’ve managed to exchange words with spray can artist Steven Daily from the Bashers crew, Los Angeles. Not your typical graff artist, Steven paints strange and wondrous images on surfaces that range from walls and trains to canvass and hats. He’s staying busy now doing commissions and other illustration work, while other examples of his work can be seen on the Art Crimes website. Check him out more at StevenDaily.com.

Many people have been doing art in one way or another since they were young. Did you have an interest in other types of art before you began painting graffiti/spray can art?
I started painting and drawing at a very young age, around five years old. I was into sci-fi, fantasy and heavy metal like Iron Maiden. I learned a lot from those album covers. It was a way to escape the uneasy feeling of not fitting in. I could create my own world.

Do you keep most of your graffiti on the legal side of the spectrum? How do you feel about the illegal side of graffiti art?
Lately I have only been doing legal graffiti. I am getting older. I just turned 31 and my career is just now taking off. I am working on illustrations for three books. Not to mention commissions and t-shirt designs, so I have my plate full. But I still try to hit yards as often as possible and keep my skills tight. Man, the things these kids are bombing are insane! Like full color burners on bridges and roof tops. I give these guys a lot of respect. They have a hunger that is unquenchable and they keep the graffiti food chain going. The only bad thing I see about the bombing aspect of graffiti is these kids bomb super hard for a while and get up like crazy and then they get caught and fade away. You can’t bomb forever. You have to grow up some time and pay the rent.

A lot of the material in this magazine is music oriented. Does music of one type or another tie in to the art that you do?
Yeah, music is a big influence in my work. I usually paint to Radio Head, jazz like John Coltrane or some sort of Brit pop. In my CD collection right now is The Clash, Ramones, The Verve, Walkmen, Interpol, Sonic Youth, Joy Division and The Jam.

It is always interesting to know what an artist is up to when they are not creating art. What do you find yourself up to in your spare time?
Videogames! Man, I love videogames. I like to collect vinyl, books and watch a lot of movies. I love Japanese and Hong Kong flicks.

Who are some other killer artists right now that people should be on the lookout for?
Michael Hussar, Rygar, Greg Craola Simpkins, Roman Dirge, Axis, Jeff Soto, Jonathan Wayshack, Konker and Saber.