The younger generation in graffiti often times goes unnoticed, but occasionally you find a youngster who has some real talent for graff. That’s FEATURE ONE in a nutshell. He’s young, motivated to paint and artistically talented. He maybe an up and comer, but it is a name you should definitely be on the look out for in graffiti over the next few years. We have to give a nod to the youth of our culture, because they are the ones who will carry the torch when we are gone. So make sure you remember where you came from and when you have the chance to show the younger kids what’s really good, show them. Be a good example.
Where are you from?
I’m from Marin just outside of San Francisco, CA.
What do you write and how did you come up with that name?
I write FEATURE and I write it, because I was writing a couple different names at the time and none of them were really coming together as far as letter connections in a way I was stoked on. And FEATURE just kind of ended up being the best combination that I was happy with and that I could be most creative with also.
Do you remember any of the other names you used to write?
Started out writing NOLLIE, which went into writing WATEVER and I wrote that for like a year and that actually kind of got up surprisingly. Then I was bummed on that name and I wanted to paint, but didn’t have a name to paint. So I was writing NOISE for bout a month knowing that there was already someone writing that and with the intentions of switching it, which is kind of stupid, but I just had to paint. After that, I decided on FEATURE.
Do you remember what first inspired you to paint graffiti?
Every time I would go into the city to see family or go there to skate, you know anytime I go there you see immediately, right after getting across the [Golden Gate] bridge, there is the blue tunnel with all these tags and throws on it and it was like “welcome to San Francisco.” It was just the sickest thing to me and it was always an inspiration for me and it became something I had always wanted to try.
Who are some of your main influences, as far as other artists?
Well at first it was just a lot of the local shit I would see around, so a lot of the UM guys. Like QUAKE and DABS and some of the FES guys, like AZRA and DEMIZER. Then later on as I started coming out to the East Bay more to paint it was more inspiration from CEAVER and slowly train painting writers like WEASEL or SAUTER just people with that crazy Los Angeles wild style. It’s always kind of changed up here and there as far as directions and inspiration, I try to take a little from everything in graffiti.
Have you painted a lot of trains?
I try to paint trains as much as I can, I fucking love it. Auto racks definitely, for sure!
Do you have a favourite spot or surface you like to paint?
Not really a favourite spot, but as far as a favourite surface brick is always interesting and fun, but nothing too specific. I don’t really care, a surface is a surface, a wall’s a wall and a spot’s a spot, you know?
I know you skateboard, have graffiti and skating always gone hand in hand for you?
Definitely, because where I started drawing and doodling was really from skate graphics and a lot of logos and things that I would see from there,which also had their own graffiti influences. A lot of skaters who design graphics and a lot of people who are the specific graphic designers for skateboard companies started in graffiti themselves. So it just kind of took from there, researching into the different artists and being like, well this is where a lot of people started. And it just kind of exploded from there.
Do you remember any of those skateboard artists specifically?
I know one of the biggest ones that stood out to me, not so much an artist but a pro skater, Karl Watson used to get up and I’ve seen him up around a couple times, which is sick. Other than that it was just like, as far as artists, they dabbled in graffiti, but I wanted to start with it (graffiti).
You’ve been in the game like four years?
Like three or four years yeah.
So you are relatively young, but what would you have to say to writers who are still in high school coming up in graffiti now?
Learn your history is number one! Who cares if you’re fucking sick if you don’t know what came before, every tag has a science behind it and every style has a science behind it. There is a reason for everything, you know what I mean? And you have to learn the culture before you really start bombing and getting up or you won’t understand anything. That’s the most important thing I could really say.
Are you particularly meticulous in your work?
I mean honestly, if I get too perfectionist about it then I will never get anything done, so I try and do my best then move on. I hate looking at my old work (laughs).
Have you done canvases? or art shows?
Yes and especially right now, because I’m injured, so I’ve been cranking out canvases more than anything lately. But I prefer to paint walls more than canvases for sure. Then I did an art show for Chop Sticks Art Space, check them out, they got some sick stuff and they always have an online gallery. But as far as [art] shows coming up, not too much, I’ve just kind of been selling canvases here and there through myself and like social media and things like that.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Just paint as much as you can, if you’re tired of not seeing yourself up, then fucking paint. That’s all it is, you know what I mean? That’s it.
Follow on IG: @feature.one
Interview By: Skaz One