Alright so thanks for taking the time out to do this interview, can you give us a brief introduction to who you are, what your history is in the graffiti game and what crew do you rep? Where did the name Lost come from?
Honored by the request! I write LOST from the SF Bay Area. I first noticed graffiti back in 1993 on trips between Daly City and Chinatown. Unbeknownst to me, it was one of the best places and eras to grow up in the evolution of aerosol art. Graffiti was ubiquitous in the city and already caught my eye before I was a teen. I would sneak away from the family to take pictures with my Kodak 110 film camera. I loved getting lost and finding fresh burners in forgotten places, and back then San Francisco had a lot of them.
In 1996, NOCK•ADP(rip) moved to my high school from the city (SF). He taught me how to rack paint and find caps from random cleaners. We would steal his mom’s car, grab 40’s of shit beer, and hit high-profile spots on freeways, city streets, and outsides of transit.
Around 1999, I linked up with JAPAN•DE•FGS when he moved up from Southern California. Up until then, I had probably painted 2 pieces before we started painting freights together. I was hooked immediately in this niche of graff. It was a golden era for painting boxcars, seeing the tail end of Solid Colds and having more open panels than painted ones. I stayed active, painting at least a hundred boxcars a year until I had my first kid.
“Sidename” was just a random username I tried on instagram cause I couldn’t think of anything better.
One of my favorite pieces of yours was the “Style Man #1: Lost Variant Cover” You mentioned being a comic book and Todd Mcfarlane fan growing up, how did comics influence you? Did you ever consider going into comics?
Thank you! Trucks are one of my favorite canvases. Not only do they move around, but they’re the perfect size for one-man productions.
I haven’t really thought much about how comics have influenced my aerosol work. I was into collecting before I noticed graff, at a time where comic book artists started to get pushed into the limelight. I was a huge fan of artists like Rob Liefeld, Jim Lee, Todd Mcfarlane, Eastman and Laird, etc. There was a transition in the comic book industry to put more detail into pages that really captivated me as a kid, in hindsight that level of visual fidelity influences me till today.
I’ve never considered doing comics. I don’t really see myself as an “artist” in any traditional sense. That truck is along the lines of what I love to paint, concepts and styles fully integrated into one. I love the push and pull of the two because it often forces me out of my comfort zones. Sometimes I’ll sit on concepts for a while, iterating on them till they feel right.
You do a lot of stuff that involves painting on someones van or something along those lines, I’m just curious is this apart of your business? Do you do this full time or just for the kicks?
It’s all for fun. I do take on paid gigs from time to time but am not actively marketing myself for that. The types of things that get me hype to paint aren’t usually the types of things people want to pay for.
What is your favorite documentary or book that covers the history or major players of graffiti and why?
Good question! I can go on for hours about graffiti books and videos (and magazines). It’d be hard to pick a favorite, and even harder to find something that includes the major innovators of the craft. The evolution of aerosol art has many branches and has touched many countries, so when it comes to history I feel we can only really speak on our personal evolution and influences.
Subway Art & Spraycan Art are major influences to me. Back in the day, these two were usually the only books on graffiti at popular bookstores (although not the first graffiti publication). They were a pandora’s box that set ripples of influence across the world. Spraycan Art showed me that Bay Area writers could get known on an international level.
Although it might not fall under “documentary” my favorite graff movie is VideoGraf 8, which featured Clark & Ces in the Bronx as well as artists from across LA, SF, and Oakland. The writers on that video and their affiliations have a major influence on how we do things today.
Style Wars is of course up there as a favorite, but I didn’t actually get my hands on it till 2005. After over a decade of studying Subway Art, seeing Style Wars gave me a much clearer context to the culture of style writers of the time.
A while back you posted a flashback piece saying that it was the first piece you found out that you were going to be a dad and you briefly mention how everything you painted from then on would have to “threaten your comfort zones”. Can you expand on that and what was going on in your life at the time? Congrats by the way!
I appreciate it! I think it’s different for everyone. For me, being a dad meant the risk was no longer worth the reward. This was a tough realization because my drive at the time veered towards unsanctioned quantity. My life in aerosol flashed before my eyes and I realized I was on a slow path to achieving my goal of doing productions and exploring styles. I needed to take broad steps in experimentation which meant threatening my comfort zones.
Around that time I started my career in design and began using approaches I learned at work to plan productions. Low-pressure paint just dropped in the states and I began dabbling in photorealism when the homie Chez nudged me in the direction. This shift gave me a new purpose and a challenge: come up with a concept and try to find a matching style and color scheme. It’s an endless journey and in hindsight, is probably the reason I’m still spraying today.
What kind of music do you listen to when you paint?
My playlist is a mix of funk bands, 90’s hip-hop (and original samples), and lofi beats. Big fan of producers like Preemo, Diamond D, Pete Rock, Dilla, Nujabes, and Madlib. I dig pretty much any funk band from the JBs to the Menahan Street Band.
Viktor Vaughn (MF) DOOM is one of my favorite MCs, so when I heard he left the earth my homie Kepto and I painted an end to end for him. Although it didn’t have our names, it’s a personal favorite. Many things fell into place the night we painted that one, it’s one of those magical moments we live for as writers.
With kids and other responsibilities now do you feel your time is hard pressed to do things creatively? Do you yearn for that time again or do you just put that into your family? I feel as an artist you never really turn that part of you off…
I have my hands in a lot of different things besides graff and tend to flow in various directions throughout the year. My wife is extremely supportive and I try my best to balance time with her, the kids, work, spraying, and various side hustles & hobbies.
I’ve come to understand that the hunger to get out makes me go harder when I get the chance, I try to feed off that.
You recently just launched your first NFT piece, can you tell us a little about how you think NFTs may influence the graffiti game? Do you see this as being a big part of what you do going forward and how has it worked for you so far?
I don’t really know where NFTs will go in the future. The project popped up and I’ve learned to never pass up these types of challenges. I’ve been playing around with 3D programs since then and may release more digital NFT work soon. Regardless of how well it does, these programs are confirming some of the lighting and dimensional theory I’ve been putting into my spray work in the past few years. It has also shown me a bunch about shadowing that I might bring into my graff.
My guess is: it will be less of how NFTs influence graff, but more so how writers will influence NFTs.
Any shout outs you would like to give? Where can people follow you?
Shout out to my wife for the support with my obsession. I’m blessed at my age to be surrounded by some extremely talented friends who are a major source of inspiration: Amuse126, Kaer67, Keptoe, Satyr, and True54. Much love to everyone in my crews DE and FlyID.
You can catch me on Instagram: @sidename