An interview with graffiti artist Paul “DON” SmithPosted: April 16, 2012 Filed under: Art & Street Art, Interviews, London, Religion & Faith | Tags: art, DON, graffiti, interview, london, Paul DON Smith, postaday, postaweek2012, street art 10 Comments
Do you remember back in March when I had a chance encounter with one of my favourite graffiti artists Paul “DON” Smith? Well, he kindly agreed to do a quick interview with me by email, and it gives me great pleasure to share it with you today. Naturally, I’ve included a lot of images of his work, too. Enjoy!
So, should I call you DON or Paul?
LOL. Don is great, but pauldonsmith.com could be better, so you know how to get hold of me.
How long have you been producing street art?
I have been an active graffiti artist for 25 years, but my recent street art, where I create images that I think an audience/people may like, has been a shorter time; say 5 years or so.
Have you always worked with stencils, or do you ever use different techniques?
I have mostly been a freehand spraycan artist, but I am now a mixed medium artist, I have starved myself long enough, I am free.
Why do you choose to make street art, rather than painting on canvases and exhibiting in galleries?
LOL. I do both, but mostly its on the streets, for now I paint originals and paint original limited editions, through selected galleries or my website.
Have you ever got in trouble for painting somewhere you shouldn’t have? If so, what happened?
I used to get into a bit of trouble, but that has long gone; my teenage years, many years back. The police know of all my illegal work, as they offered me a clean slate if I could tell them of other works. It saved time them knocking at the door again, me time and them time, it’s called “taken into consideration” (TIC).
Do you have a “day job”?
Yes I am a self-employed graphic designer.
Do you have any objections to your work being referred to as “graffiti”? Is there a difference between “graffiti” and “street art” as far as you’re concerned?
Not really, I am just more selective now on the locations. It’s all the same, it’s just if the audience can communicate with it or not, if it has a message or is it just ‘ME’ ‘ME’. The market has opened up with the wonderful success of Banksy and Blek.
You seem to paint a lot of portraits (which is why I love your work!). Is there a reason for this?
I think it’s a nice thing to see. One will identify with it quickly and may find it endearing. I tend to stick with portraits that influence myself and I am reaching out to see if others feel the same. Artists, musicians, actors, writers, thinkers, designers, distinguished characters, also portraits of individuals who the audience/people do not know and it’s interesting to place them on the world stage.
I’ve noticed a slight religious theme to your work recently. What’s that all about then?
Powerful images are amazing to paint. I do little twists too with this, like “Queen save the God” [below], I had not seen it reversed before and thought it was nice as the Queen/monarchy is head of the church. Keep the faith, it’s a great thing, like humans, we are powerful.
Which other artists do you admire?
Monet, Turner, Constable, Duster UA, Rodin, Hodgkin and many others.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell my readers about your work, or about street art in general?
More to come so watch this space!
A big thank you to DON for taking the time to talk with me! For more information about DON’s work, please visit his website: pauldonsmith.com.
I hope to do more interviews like this and in person in the future, so watch this space and do get in touch if you’re an artist who would like to have a chat.
Plinky prompts Q&APosted: September 14, 2011 Filed under: Food & Drink, Just me, Q&A, Writing & Blogging | Tags: answer, blogging, cake, christmas, cupcake, food, interview, plinky, postaweek2011, question Leave a comment
Even though it’s September, and eight months of 2011 have already gone by, I’ve decided to join WordPress.com’s Post A Week initiative. Actually, I decided to join last week, but I got “too busy to post”. This is becoming a habit which I need to break, so I’m forcing myself to do a quick post tonight.
I’ve decided to use five random questions from Plinky Prompts to make a little Q&A. If you’d like to add any further questions in the comments box below, I’d be more than happy to answer them! 😉
Cake or Pie?
Cake – every time! Especially cupcakes. I’m having a bit of a thing for cupcakes at the moment, and this week is National Cupcake Week, which is pretty exciting.
When are you happiest?
Funnily enough, I was asked this question in an interview recently. My response then was “when I’m lying in the bath with a good book”. That’s still my answer, but sadly I don’t have a bath (only a shower) at the moment. It’s killing me, but my books are less soggy.
If you could become two people right now, what are the first two things you’d want to do?
I’ve been so busy lately, that becoming two people would be really nice! I’d leave one of me at home to finish writing all the blog posts and articles I’ve started, while the other went to work. I’d let the work-me go out after work to exhibitions and parties, while the writing-me just stayed at home and wrote about it all.
Would you rather be a food critic, a book critic or a film critic?
That’s easy – a food critic! I’ve been dabbling in restaurant reviews recently over at Haikugirl’s Japan, and it’s something I’d like to get into more seriously. Naturally, I’d be happiest reviewing Japanese restaurants, or pâtisseries…
What’s your favourite month? Why?
It’s probably December, because my birthday and Christmas are both in December. I like that winter feeling, of wrapping up in coats and gloves, going out to a place like Covent Garden and seeing all the Christmas decorations. I’m crazy about Christmas and love any excuse to put a bit of tinsel up… 😉
Can you think of some more questions for me? If they’re good enough, I might even turn them into a whole new post!