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A Portrait of the Artist : birdO

birdo

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Tell us how you first got into street art, what was the scene like where you grew up and how many years have you been painting?

In Canada I was lucky enough to get introduced to graffiti culture through the freight scene. I used to spend hours/days/weeks bumming around the yard watching trains pull in from all over North America. The way an artist’s work vagabonds it’s way around the continent is priceless. 

 

What has been your favourite place to paint and why?

I’m not saying this to suck up but Waterford was definitely a great experience. An amazing time is certainly had when you have Viking Crystal Magic behind you.

However, my favourite place to paint so far is Los Angeles. It’s also pretty magical but sunny every damn day!

 

What is your biggest source of inspiration in your work? Do you have any favourite writers or artists? 

I actually like to look through graphic design articles. The level of talent from writers and muralists is out of this world these days. I’m constantly scratching my head as to how good modern painters are. For inspiration I tend to look backwards though. Can’t go wrong with Rene Magritte. Or a Dr Seuss book.

 

What city do you live in now? Has this affected your style, medium or technique in any way?

I’m based in Toronto, Canada. I’d say the city has most affected my approach. You’ve got to have a thick skin in Toronto and it doesn’t hurt to be comfortable as a lone wolf. I’ve learned the beautiful art of buckling down and getting stuff done here.

 

We’re very excited about having you at Waterford Walls 2017, What attracted you to the project? And what are you most looking forward to?

Having made a whirlwind trip to Waterford last year I couldn’t help but want to come back. It is very easy to make great friends there. I very much look forward to getting back to see my wonderful people.

 

How would you rate Waterford Walls in terms of artistic quality standard? 

With a roster that includes the likes of Fintan Magee and big Smug One the artistic standard is certainly world class. Some kats to definitely look (way) up to.

 

The theme of Waterford Walls 2017 is “Renewal & Regeneration”. What do you see as being street arts role in this? 

I’d rather suggest it is the individuals role/responsibility. As long as artists are committed to evolution and integrity the culture as a whole will sort itself out. Graffiti invented this thing for us. Street art pivoted and the large scale muralists are out there blowing minds. I reckon whether you’re throwing up a scratch fill in a tunnel or on a hundred foot swing stage with 50 cans if you care about what you’re doing this whole thing is moving in the right direction.

Do you have any projects, trips or shows coming up that we can look out for? 

The world unfortunately lost a very special person recently. He was from Toronto and we are currently working towards putting together a worthy tribute in his hometown. It’s in the early stages but I’m looking forward to helping honour his legacy.

 

Any shoutouts, thanks, links or comments?

As mentioned the calibre of talent globally is off the charts. Inspiration is around every corner and I’d simply say thanks to everyone out there doing their damn thing with passion.  

To keep up to date with birdO follow him here on Instagram.

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