Interview by C. Walker
Bombing Science: Lints, how’s it going?
Lints: Well, I just rolled out of bed and am now enjoying some good coffee. Winter is rapidly approaching and it’s starting to get really cold here in Denmark, but everything is pretty swell…
BS: Does the Winter put a halt to your outdoor activities or do you try and use it to your advantage?
Lints: I don’t think it halts me, but at times it forces me to work in certain directions. During the winter it will stay below zero for quite some time and we don’t have that many hours of daylight. This can make it very hard to paint outside. At those times I definitely focus more on posters, sketching, canvas and such. But the darkness and cold can also make it easier to do stuff in the streets. It tends to be a bit more empty outside than usual. I’ve lived here most of my life and I’m pretty used to the cold, so it won’t stop me that’s for sure…
BS: So tell me how you began your painting career- did you begin painting letters?
Lints: I actually did. I painted letters for some time under a different moniker, but I never really liked the stuff I was doing and I’m sure most people who saw it back then would agree that what I did wasn’t really that interesting. It was a bit hard for me to add anything distinctive to my letters and after a few years I took a break trying to decide where to go from here…
At that time I went to Hamburg on a small vacation. Here I saw a lot of different styles that were completely new to me, both within graffiti and streetart. It basically opened up my eyes and gave me an idea of what other directions I could take my creative adventures in…
It took me a few years after this, experimenting with a lot of different styles and mediums before I finally ended up doing one of my favorite things from childhood: drawing.
Even then it took me a while before I was ready to take my characters outside for the very first time. It might even have been to soon?
BS: Do you have any narrative in your work- do your characters have their own stories and personalities?
Lints: Some of my characters definitely have their own function and story in my little universe. I like to add small things as good/evil, which role they play and what they do.
I think it helps me sometimes when I try to further develop a character from the original drawing or version of it. But at the same time a lot of my characters are just characters and might not get a function until later on or at all. In any case it’s more of a personal thing for me and I doubt that I’ll ever share it with anyone other than my self. I like people to make up their own idea…
BS: On the idea of good and evil, are these ideas specific to anything in particular or are they generalised ideas of these concepts? The reason I ask is because it’s always been interesting to me that graffiti, or any public or street art are often viewed in a negative manner, when most artists are trying to present something that will affect people in a positive way…
Lints: The only thing they’re specific or important to, is the way I use these labels to develop the character. I don’t think that any of these thoughts are visible in the final piece or poster. Which is good cause they’re not meant to be, it’s up to the viewer what to make of it. I guess people view my stuff positively or at least they get an idea of what it’s about.
I think this is often the case with street art, most get that from it. People usually get the general meaning, maybe they dont notice it, or it makes them smile or wonder, but it seems to rarely make them as upset as the tag next to the poster would. I guess it’s a familiar medium that most recognize from advertising.
Wether it leave’s a negative or positive impression is up to each person, but the fact that they understand it a bit seems to add to the positive side. It seems to be a different case with graffiti.
Graffiti isn’t looked well upon. The majority of the public don’t understand the meaning of it and they choose only to see the negative side of it. We’ve always had a few people in politics spreading graffiti propaganda to the public via the media, telling the public how people who do graffiti are the worst kind and are basically the same as rapists and drug-addicts. But I guess this is the same all over the world.
Luckily there’s a few good people in politics here as well. They’ve just managed to pass a law which states that any piece of street art, graffiti etc. made on public property or public space in general, which communicates with the public or has a cultural value, should be allowed to stay up or at least last for a longer time. Sort of a selective buffing. How this will work out is very interesting…
BS: Do you enjoy the process of collabaration?
Lints: For sure. It’s interesting to hear other people’s thoughts on what would work with my stuff and what won’t. Sometimes it can be a real challenge fitting together though.
I guess it’s because most people I’ve worked with tend to have a very different style than me. It might be stencils, letters or something completely different, but in the end this doesn’t really matter to me. It’s more important for me that I click with people and like their work. Then hang out, discuss what goes where and after a while you might end up having created something that you’d never come across on your own.
BS: Canvases, street spots, productions, paste-ups- you’re a busy man… What is your ideal painting situation? Is there any one thing that gives you more satisfaction?
Lints: It all depends on what I’m in the mood for and which season it is. I mean if it’s winter and it’s really cold and snowy, then I like to sit indoors with some good music, something hot to drink and then work on some illustrations or canvases. Maybe the odd poster here and there , but nothing beats being out in the blazing sun in the summer time.
Chilling and taking your time painting a wall. Preferably with some good people to keep you company. I guess that’s my favorite thing. Hanging out and working together.
BS: Do you think a lot about particular spots to paint or put up wheatpastes or is it usually more spur of the moment action?
Lints: I like to have an idea of where I’m going before I go out on a pasting round. I usually check out the spots beforehand so I have an idea on how the vibe is in that certain area.
It’s more of a security precaution rather than putting up site specific pieces. I go for spots where I think my poster will look nice and hopefully last for a while, but I guess they don’t interact as such with their surroundings.
When it comes to painting it’s usually an abandon building or such. I’ll go there first to find a spot and get an idea of what to paint there.
I don’t paint that much in the streets since I’m rather slow at it and I like taking my time.
BS: What are your preferred tools to work with?
Lints: It can vary quite a bit depending on what I’m working on. But in general I’d have to say marker and brushes. Lately I’m getting pretty fond of small rollers and spray paint though.
BS: What place does colour play in your pieces? I ask because I notice periods where you will work within quite a strict palette…
Lints: It’s true, I usually work for long periods of time within the same color scheme. Especially when it comes to posters and canvas. Over time I will add and remove certain colors if something doesn’t really work. I like to play around and use a lot of colors that normally wouldn’t fit together. It’s quite interesting but sometimes it can go horribly wrong and that’s a bit frustrating.
On the other hand, when I work on a wall I sometimes use a much more minimal color scheme. It depends on which colors and medium I have available and will in most cases differ a lot from what I use on canvases and posters. I quite like that as it adds a bit of variation for me in my work. It creates more of a challenge that I’m used to within the "safe" palette I normally use.
BS: Are there any colours that appear to be mainstays in your palette? Any colour that you just can’t paint without?
Lints: The most important colour for me is black. One of the most recognizable things about my style is the bold black lines.
I can always adjust my colour scheme, but preferably I’ll always have some kind of dusty and matte colour and red copper.
BS: Are all of your paste-up’s hand-drawn?
Lints: Yup, except for one collaborative project. In general I prefer to hand draw them. For me there’s something about seeing a poster that is one of kind. A design might be great but after you see it over and over again it loses interest. People often ask why I prefer to do it this way, when it’s so time consuming and in the end I might not even get a picture before it’s torn down.
It’s very important for me to keep on moving, keep on developing my work and the best way to do so is drawing. You also get to see all the pencil sketching, the small details and mistakes that add to the whole look of the piece. Of course it’s a shame if I don’t get a picture, but that’s just the way things work.
For me it’s more of a labour of love and I enjoy drawing each piece. There are some pieces that go completely wrong which will make me furious and force me to destroy them. But when re-drawn these usually end up better than the original.
BS: I know it’s tough, but can you name some of your favourite artists?
Lints: Yeah that’s quite a long and very mixed list of names, but a few would be: Herbert Baglione, Vitché, Calma, Os Gemeos, Michael Sieben, Travis Millard, Jeremy Fish, Pete Fowler, Microbo & Bo130, The Msk crew, Saner, Kegr, the list goes on…
BS: How do you feel about the current Street Art/ Graffiti scene both in Denmark and internationally? Do you feel that there are many bandwagon jumpers, fakes and chancers? Do you believe that the current popularity of all things spraypaint is a good thing?
Lints: The whole scene is currently booming globally. There’s a lot of new faces and there’s definitely a lot of talent, but it’s trendy at the moment and this means that the bandwagon is filling up. Surely there’s a lot of people who show potential, but it seems that many would stop pronto, if they knew for certain that in 5 years from now they wouldn’t have achieved much acclaim or recognition.
In order to maintain a certain quality to the whole scene it’s up to the individual artist to be their own worst critic and keep raising the bar in order to raise the level of the graffiti / street art scene. But it’s also up to galleries and the public to be critical and not just take everything in just because it’s "street".
BS: What are your main interests outside of painting?
Lints: I have a big interest in music and love digging for new records. I also spend a lot of time on films and lastly I spend way to much time looking at other people’s art wether it be on the net, magazines or exhibitions.
BS: What are your plans for the future? Have you a speceific plan of things you’d like to achieve with your work or do you prefer to le things take their natural course?
Lints: I definitely want to travel much more, get my work up in other places. For me it’s a roll with the punches thing. See where my work and opportunitie take me and try to develop along with it.
I don’t have a grand master plan I have to fulfill, I’m just happy with how things are going so far.