1. What crews do you paint for and what are theunderlying meanings of the acronyms?
JOKER: The collective Transcend… look it up, IHU… I Hate You,BA… Burning America and WOW… Weapons of War.
2. Where are you from and/or where did you start?
JOKER: I’m from the Virginia/D.C. area and I started in the summer of
1985… in Reston, Virginia to be exact.
3. Who influenced you the most coming up?
JOKER: Etch (who originally wrote Joker) taught me just about everything I needed to know to get started. He also showed me how to do letter connections and characters. As time went on, in those first few years, I became very influenced by T-Kid, Mack and Bio.
4. How long have you been active?
JOKER: About 15 years.
5. Do you see a difference between West and East coast graffiti?
JOKER: When I first came out to the west I noticed a severe difference in styles and hands. I think it was a really good experience for me as far as learning diversity. These last five or six years though have been more about the states as a whole and not just the East and the West. There’s some phenomenal stuff coming out of the rest of the nation.
6. What is your favorite surface to paint?
JOKER: I’m particular to concrete, but love hitting steel, too.
7. What is your preferred brand of paint?
JOKER: Rusto. But I’m a sucker for Clover green and Dove gray.
8. What are some nice color schemes you’ve recently used?
JOKER: I always seem to stick with the greens and purples… I don’t know why. I just like ’em. I did do a piece not too long ago with a variance in gray’s and hint of pistachio and meadow green. The outcome was pretty nice, but I got horrible photos. The piece itself wasn’t that great, anyway. I think “Cloud Cover” has a good photo of it on their web site.
9. Any particular person or people you love painting with?
JOKER: Nah… not really. I mean I like painting with friends, but it doesn’t really matter. I’ll paint with whoever… I just like to paint.
10. Have you ever traveled outside the U.S. to paint?
JOKER: I’ve been to Tokyo, Hamburg and London… in London I did the silliest piece, but at least got to paint with a good friend. That was more important.
11. Have you had any graffiti related encounters with the police?
JOKER: Unfortunately. I guess this is where I’m suppose to glorify a chase scene or something… nobody likes to have run-ins with the police. And those who get caught hate it even more.
12. What do you think about the new era of writers coming from middle to upper class backgrounds?
JOKER: Whatever’s clever. I wasn’t aware that graffiti was structured for lower to poor class backgrounds.
13. Do you have any advice for new writers on the process of laying down a piece?
JOKER: Practice before you go to the wall. Believe me… it’ll make all the difference.
14. Have you ever had beef with someone for disrespecting you art?
JOKER: Yeah, and I hope to never have to deal with that kind of ugliness again…
15. What do you think about the documentation of graffiti on the web?
JOKER: It’s definitely a neat tool. It’s out there for everyone and I’m not sure yet if that’s a good or bad thing. I like being able to see what’s going on in another part of the world with the click of a button. And the communication is awesome, and scary.
16. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
JOKER: I think I’ll still be painting, but maybe not as much. Graffiti is a hard habit to break.
17. What is your biggest graffiti related accomplishment.
18. What is your current occupation?
JOKER: Grunt worker for a big retailer… it’s a lame job, but I’m somewhat ambitionless.
19. Can you elaborate on your abstract style? Did you give it a name?
JOKER: The style I do isn’t all that original. I mean it may be definitively mine, but others long ago were doing styles that were inspirational. I had been doing the same stuff for so long, and it just got to me one day. I had to make a change. I’m not sure where it comes from or how I got about it, but for the most part it feels right. I feel like it’s what I should be doing. I do wish I were a little more patient with the painting process of it, but that’s okay. I’m not too pressured to speed myself up. I have a lot of ideas and I sketch them all down, but most of them are just ideas. Nothing I would really put up, but it’s part of the process. I don’t have a name for it… people keep telling me I’m on “some next level shit”… so maybe I should call it that.