Exclusive in depth interview with one of Europe’s finest! POUT! This dude is for real. Putting out bangers after bangers!

Interview credit: Kasm78

K78:  First of all, what do you write and how do you pronounce it?
Pout: First, my name is “POUT” and I think it’s pretty easy to pronounce! (ha ha ha)

K78:  How long have you been doing graffiti for?  When did you discover your love for aerosol? 

Pout: I’ve been in the game since 1998.  The first time I tried it, I instantly fell in love and to this day it’s still my first love. Looking at the graffiti’s around my area got me super hyped to do cool pieces like those. 
K78:  What kind of surface do you prefer to paint?
Pout: Oh! I never really bother which surfaces I prefer. I like steel exactly as well as wood or concrete. I find that it depends on the situation which (surface) is available and what tools I have at that moment.

K78:  I’m sure that if you talk to most American graffiti writers, almost all of them would say that they want to go to Europe to paint or bomb.  Is it the same for German writers to want to go to the USA?
Pout: Maybe?  I don’t know. That’s really a hard question for me to answer as I can only speak for myself. If you want my opimion, I do not necessarily think I would only go to paint or bomb in the United States, but first and foremost to experience the country. But should the chance arise, that would be great of course! I do have writers in the USA I’d like to paint with.
 K78:  How does the graffiti scene in Germany, or Europe, differ from the graffiti scene in the USA?  Is graffiti more accepted in Germany?  Is it hard to get walls, etc?
Pout: As I said, I have never been to United States; therefore it makes it hard for me to compare it with the German or European graffiti scene. But I think if there is a difference – it must not be too big.
I think that the acceptance in the United States for graffiti seems larger than in Europe Maybe  more than in Germany. It will most likely grow over time. All around, I think that the balance between the United States and Germany/Europe is pretty even.
K78:  Has American graffiti influenced your style at all?
Pout: No! Not that I can recall. Clearly back in the days I loved the styles of Dondi, Seen, Quick, Risk and others and we watched movies like “Beat Street” and “Wildstyle” over and over again. But that has not affected my style. I’d say it’s mostly, my Friends and crew mates– my environment and things I Love. 

K78:  Speaking of style, if you had to name it what would you call your painting style?  Who are your influences and the writers that you feel inspired by? 
Pout: Haha, good question! I would say it’s a mixture of everything excluding “wildstyle.” But on the other hand, I’m trying to integrate new ideas that keep my style evolving.  So I would say that the best name or description for my style is – a clearly designed: “less is more” style. I refer to the influences and inspiration for all this with my friends and crewmates.
K78:  You paint a lot—like maybe once or twice a week!  How does painting so often affect your style?  How do you balance your everyday life with your graffiti life? 
Is that much 1 or 2 walls a week? I don’t know, but for me it is normal to do a minimum of one piece a week. That makes keeps my hand trained for doing outlines, colors, fill-ins and so on…Not sure if it affects my style. Maybe a little bit. More important is that I need it to get my mind free of all the negative things I experienced the days before – get together with my brothers and have fun! So is graff  a part of my everyday life? Surely, as long as I keep wifey happy! You know ? 

K78:  Speaking of balance, I have to mention that your “first lines” are some of the most fluid beginnings I’ve ever seen.  Having seen you paint before I’m curious, do you start with a sketch or do you freestyle a lot?  How important is it to have good first lines for a style? Which is more important for a style, the outcome or the process? 
No.  I always go paint without a sketch. I think that you can work better your piece and style, to fit in the scenery of the surroundings. A sketch is pushing you in a given direction. So better be free to adjust. If you say you noticed my first lines then you can see that it is important for me to have clean ones. It is like the “Made in Germany” vs. “Made in China” thing I think. If you start with a good first-line you finish it with a good or maybe even a better quality piece. The foundations of your piece must be good and the first-line of the letters is key to a nice clean style. But I’d will say that the whole process is important to do a cool piece you can’t cut corners! I have seen so many pictures of progress pieces that were cool and destroyed at the end with adding too much effects or colors etc.. 
K78:  Because we are discussing your style, how do you come up with your color schematics?  Have you ever mixed a bunch of colors up and randomly selected colors before?
Not really! I always use the stuff I have at home at that time. I never go straight ahead to the shop and buy cans for the next piece only. If I go, it’s to complete missing colors from the ones I already have – ex:  other gradation of a color or maybe a bit of chrome. I mix the color combinations by eye looking at what’s on my shelf. The shelf is where sometimes super combinations emerge… or me and my boys will also discuss with each other what we have and what is best for us. 

K78:  How has social media impacted your graffiti and the notoriety that it brings?  In other words, how has social media helped you to get your work out?  Do you think that some people “pop-up” over night with fame, but have not done the actual work to get there?
I think that social media are blessing and a curse at the same time.  The advantages of the internet are that your work is available to a wider mass of people. You can better communicate with other writers and make new friends with the same interest and preference as yourself. The disadvantage of all is the whole wannabes shooting like mushrooms from the ground with their spotter pages. All the haters that hide behind a pseudonym and mean to fuck you up with stupid comments too and obviously in real life they have no balls, to say it your face. Worse, I find when toys take your images as a reference to get started and drag your name through the mud. But the true benefits to stay positive for especially for me, Is the chance I get to meet new writers through the social media and make new friends outside Germany.
K78:  You paint alot of abandoned buildings, raw brick walls and trains.  Is it safe to say that you actively participate in “keeping it real?”  😉  How do you feel about people calling themselves writers when they have not actually done graffiti, but just legal walls?  I know that in Germany, it’s easy for young art students to pick-up a can and start painting like it’s a medium and not a lifestyle.   What’s your opinion about this?  
After “TAKI 183” brought graffiti to life, so much as changed. So not sure we can talk about “keeping it real today”. Writers work differently and have more tools like stickers, scratching, tape, fire extinguisher and many others. So what is right or wrong? You have all those different mediums to leave your name on and various surfaces? Why legal should not be real? In any case, you are doing the same – you will leave your name. That’s what graffiti is! 
Why people who only paint legal can’t call themselves writers also? They do it with the same joy and heart like illegal writers do too. For me these kinds of questions don’t matter. That’s my opinion.
Being a “Writer” is a way of living a life doing letters however you want. The rest is something else (Ha ha ha!).

K78:  How do you feel about the BIG jams with lots of different artists—many that are not graffiti writers?  What’s POUT’s take on these big type jams?  Many of the jams that you go to are throughout Europe, how does all the traveling affect your relationships at home?
It feels good because you can meet a lot of friends at once, make some new connections, have a good time and a lot of fun with different people. Most of them are Graffiti writers like me but over the years street artists also come to these kind of events. This is not a problem for me because it doesn’t prevent me from doing what I love and that’s Graffiti! My wife knows what it means to me to travel to jams and meet friends and she is super supportive. The hard part is to get time off from “work”.
K78:  Do you think that jams make the line between graffiti and street art blurry?  I had not asked yet, but what do you consider yourself:  A graffiti writer or street artist?
As we speak I don’t believe so, maybe in 5-10 years? Who knows it right now? For the second part of your question it is clear that I’m a graffiti writer because graffiti is what I do and not street art. 
K78:  Tell us about your DHS and COPS crews.    It seems like COPS is based more on bombing while DHS is more of a walls crew, is this correct?  
Yes that’s right! The Cops Crew works 95% at the night and the DHS is a legal crew. That and the number of writers are the only differences of the two Crews. Both crews work like a family what also happens to be the strength of the two. That’s what matters to me.
K78:  How does surrounding yourself with like-minded graffiti writers help you to push it to the next level?  Everyone in DHS seems to have a similar style, but then adds their own unique twist to their letters and pieces, does this help the crew to be cohesive? Does COPS have the same mentality?  Do you all give each other advice when painting productions?
When I get together with my regular boys for sure I take note of their tricks and gimmicks and learn them faster and I guess it helps me improve. The thing is that we all love the same: simple letters with swing or graphic letters. This and the help/tips of the other crew mates makes it similar. The virtue of it is to have a better harmony. If we do bigger walls, but every one of us has his unique parts in his style then it will usually knit together. For COPS, it is similar concepts but it makes pretty much every style its own.  When we do productions we usually bring all our own ideas together and talk about what we do and what we decide not to.
K78:  Do you guys ever get into brotherly fights?  
No not really, only loud discussions sometimes. That’s all.

K78:  While we’re on the subject of styles and productions, what are some of the projects that you have been asked to be a part of lately?  Have they been a positive part of your graffiti career?
Puh! I think the last Productions I did was the front of a house in Antwerp with Rize and Semor and the Whatsart wall together with different writers. The thing is that I like small productions with only 3-4 peoples. Size, does not matter. The harmony is just way better I think then with too many guys.  I don’t know whether they were positive for my career. Maybe-maybe not. For me it is not really important, I will always paint with friends and have fun!

K78:  What are some projects that you would like to do?  Are there any places you would like to paint that you have not?
Yes, a plane and a rocket would be nice. Everything else will come later.
K78: Where do you see yourself in the future?  Five years from now?  What about ten years?  
I hope that I become the greatest Artist in the World! Hahahahahahahaha! Just kidding!!!  All that matters for me is to keep having fun with my friends and do pieces I like! I don’t see how that could change.


K78:  What’s your opinion on graffiti and galleries?  Does graffiti belong in art galleries?
Yes, why not! It is also art and how the people interpret it is their own thing.  
K78:   Do you think that people take advantage of graffiti artists when it comes to paying for work?  For example, do you think that people expect to pay less for a mural or canvas since it’s made by a graffiti writer rather than a street artist?
Yes! Not all, but the majority anyway.  But I think that it comes through the illegal image of graffiti. So many people want it for free because they say: If you’re doing this illegally you get no money for this, why should I pay you? At least here in my area.  On the other hand, there are also those who appreciate your work and that also pay tribute. In the end everyone wants to spend as little as possible.  A car or a mural, no matter what.

K78: I can see the truth in that. In the change of topic, who do you think are some of the top writers in the game right now? 
Oh man, there are so many on top! Too many to name! I think is Sofles has been pushing it a lot. I also think, everyone knows about that! Haha!
K78: How do you feel about change of style and progression? What do you think about writers that produce the same style over and over again? 
Man, what a question! Really, I like it. I like to mix different styles to create new stuff. I think that doing the over and over again style has to change. Not to stay in the same spot. which brings us to the second part of your question. There’s seems to be two types of scenarios for writers that produce the same styles over and over: 
1.) Writers who want it and see it their name as a kind of stamp. Some train bombers are like that. Guess it makes it easier to recognize. 
2.) Writers who have no ideas or fantasy and resting on their old hyped things. Sadly often writers invest more energy in hating and criticizing you and your style because they do not manage to break out of their own cage. It is not difficult to make something new because the only thing you have to do is “to DO it”. Love what you do and do what you love is the slogan of my brother Semor and he’s so damn right with it. 

K78: When painting, do you have any unique technique that you like to do (Like exploding cans all over the wall)? I know you like to pop cans all over the wall. LOL. 
Yes, I love to pop cans. But I don’t have unique technique I think. I use tape or cord as anyone else or maybe stencils. I mean, how you use it is more unique than what you use. 

K78: First of all, I gotta say that I appreciate your taking the time to make this interview. “Thank you” for all the insight you’ve given us into the world of Pout76. So, we’ll end the interview with asking this: Who would you like to give notice or shout-outs to? 
First of all, I thank you for doing this interview with me (Hahahahaha). My Crews “Cops and DrunkenHeroeS.” Especially to my bro “Semor the Mad one” for the person he is and who opened my eyes a long time ago. Also, for always being there when I needed him. Pens, another brother I never had. Also,  he always has been by my side when it really mattered. Shout-outs to: KKade, Onur, Wes21, the Topnotch and Demon, Ole Van Eupen, Qumi, the Certains, Pures and Sanjek, Mr. More, Dleys, Dfoe, Topic, Bonzai, Relay, Pref, Kinos, Ezend, Soac, Siras, Shogun, Inca, the Aerosol Kings, the N1 Boys and all the cool dude’s which I know I did not name here.


I hope you already following POUT. If, not then you know what to do : @pout_cops

Major S/O to Kasm78 for putting the interview together with Pout.