Hi Crack thanks for taking the time to do this interview, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you have been involved in graffiti? What crew do you run with?
Hi Bombing Science. it’s a pleasure and thanks for having me. First of all, my name is Crack, I’m a Designer and, a graffiti artist based in Indonesia. I represent HLT and Crwpx as my crew. It’s all started from my childhood since I was being raised with parents who moved a lot from one place to another place because of their jobs. It’ll become hard for me to learning a new language, culture and even finding a new friend in a short period of time before they moved to a new place again. The conclusion makes me being an introvert person at school and started to spent my time doodling and drawing cartoon characters that I saw or imagined a lot. Soon after, I tried graffiti when I was in junior high school (lived in a new place again of course). I saw the other kids doing some graffiti tag around my school and it makes me curious and wanted to try it, so I bought some cheap spray cans with my lunch money and started making school name tags all over the place. I began focusing on making graffiti and illustration, and that was when became something that I was passionate about. I went to pursue Visual Communication Design with Animation Major. Having practiced Graffiti and design for 10 years now, and doing all of this has opened up my mind, allowed me to work with different mediums, collaborate with brands and other individuals.
So many people asking why I’m choosing Crack as an alter name, at the first time I’m choosing crack as a name is because I’ve lack of knowledge with that word, personally I didn’t know crack word have so many negative impacts and aspect to it, such a reference to drug or whatever. And nobody cares about 15 years old kid making graffiti with CRACK word on it all over the places, however, it grows on me in so many ways, and I never regret a single day picking up CRACK as my alter name.
When I first came across your work what really drew me to it was how you incorporate text and figures together to create some really iconic looking work. Lately, you have been KILLING IT with these awesome gangsta samurai ninja dudes you’ve been throwing up on walls and making traditional illustrations as well as 3d pieces, how the hell did you become such a versatile artist? Did you begin your career as a traditional artist and then went into the streets or the other way around?
I describe my work as a kind of self-discovery, I always try to develop my work/style as much as possible and trying out different ways to get where I want. That’s probably one thing that makes me such a versatile artist because I get bored easily. So I started to digging some stuff that can combine with all of my graffiti works.
I started from the street before jumping to illustration and animation. And at one point when I got so bored with the graffiti letter, I started to include some basic spray can character into my letter. And that is like the turning point for me and to my work. I often like to represent Graffiti, Hip Hop, and Japanese culture in my illustration and my other works such an Animation, Motion Graphic, and lately been busy digging and learning to adapt my work to imaginative figures or designer toys. I don’t want to stick with one style all the time, maybe the link between my works is my spray cans character that I’ve been developing. And I really enjoy the challenge of adapting my work to different mediums. And having the chance to work in such a variety has definitely opened up opportunities to me.
I assume you do this for your business so I’m curious how is the reality of making a living as an artist versus what you thought it would be? Do you find that it takes up all of your time?
It’s fun I admitted it, I can work and play some games at the same time. 9 to 5 people can do that at their office. It’s so beautiful. But at the same time, the struggle is real. It’s kind of hard to managing time, art block, paycheck after paycheck. I’m still trying to figure it out to this day. It takes up all of my time of course, but as long as you enjoyed and that’s your passion, you got nothing to worry about.
One of my favorite things that I’ve come across on your Instagram is the death stranding 3d animation piece you did. Really cool that you did that, I assume you’re a big fan of the game? Also how are you creating these simple 2d animations of your illustrations and laying them over music, all of this stuff you do is really out of the box and super rad!
You love dead stranding so much huh? Thanks man, much appreciated. I am a hardcore gamer. My first console is Sega genesis, and can’t wait to hold on to a Playstation5 that will come out next month. Mostly all of my works are reflected from the game as well, so many game references that I used at my works. I just love to see my illustration into animation with music that I enjoyed, it just fascinated for me. And hopefully one day some movie director or game producer see my spray can character and want to give a shot to make something from it.
What is your favorite graffiti documentary, book or piece of history and why?
I love Wild Style, graffiti kings, style wars, bomb it, and many graffiti documentary because it’s like some knowledge that I should know about and I can learn from it.
Your social media presence, from the outside looking in, looks calculated. As if you thought “What can I do to bring people to my page” and then you just set off and created a bunch of cool stuff would you say that’s the way you approach social media? For artists that are trying to create an audience around their work what kind of advice do you have?
Social media is great, you can reach people who don’t know you, publish your work and you can expand your connection easily. Some people say followers/ audience is an important point, but in my opinion the most important thing is about your work, what your produce, the consistency of your work and your work ethic then at the same point peoples will look up and recognize you
What kind of music do you listen to when you paint? Who are your favorite hip hop artists that you think got overlooked or faded too fast? By the way, the death stranding soundtrack is amazing!
I like every kind of music as long as the music is enjoyable to me. But personally I listen to hip hop a lot and mostly golden era of Hip Hop. I love Wu-tang, Mobb Deep, J Dilla, De la Soul, a tribe called quest, MF Doom, Madlib, J Cole, and Kendrick is one of my favorite artists and they’re inspired and reflected a lot to my work.
Recently I’ve been digging Cookie Chips by Rejjie Snow ft MF DOOM, that joint was dope. I think Rejjie Snow is one of rapper that so underrated but the quality of his music is super fresh.
For people trying to go down the same road of running their own art business what advice do you have? Do you remember your first paid gig?
Believe in the process and believe in yourself, let go of the past and create a new one, that’s all from me personally. And because I’m still on the process as well so I can’t give any opinions about where I am right now. But in reality is easy to get involved especially with the internet. Having an incessant attitude will take your dealing and selling process up to a certain level of success. And most importantly do what you love, and love what you do!
I remember one time I paint at a hamburger joint, that I got paid with 1 milkshake and 1 hamburger that’s it. But the good thing is I got the leftover paint that I used for that commission, which is pretty nice.
Any shout outs you would like to give? where can people follow you?
Shout out to all graffiti writers in Indonesia and the rest of the world who still burning their names. Thank you for always inspiring me with the crazy works.