Sarme One is an artist that really grabbed my attention when I first came across him on his instagram page. He’s one of these artist who is quietly in the corner creating amazing mural and writings but if you look around there isn’t a single interview with the guy. Which is surprising cause the guy has serious talent. His painting are bold in their color, with sharp lines that portray cartoon icons from our childhood. Not only is he a graffiti artist but he is also a illustrator, and he takes this understanding he has for the fundamentals of art to flex his creative muscle to the more than 13,000 people that follow him on instagram.
What got you into graffiti and where does the name Sarme One come from? What is your earliest bombing memory?
I’ve been drawing since I was a kid. At first, those were just scribles on the paper but as I was growing up, I started to draw more meaningful stuff. I enjoyed drawing cartoon characters because Cartoon Network was something I couldn’t imagine my life without and cartoons in general still gives me a lot of inspiration today. I’ve been even drawing my own comic books based on those cartoons, which I was showing to my buddies at school. When I started high school, my classmates noticed drawings in my notebooks and one of them was in graffiti culture for a couple of years. He showed me what tags and throws are and led me into that world. Not a lot of time passed until I bought my first spray can and start tagging and doing outline throws. My first tag name was Marck and after a couple of years I decided to change it into Sarme. It happened during the winter break and Christmas time when a lot of people eat “Sarme”, a seasonal ( and delicious) Balkan meal. One day after “Sarme“ lunch I started to sketch and tag those letters on the paper and that was it, Sarme One was born. 😀
Who were some of the graffiti writers and artists that inspired you to pursue graffiti?
In early 2000s, Zagreb already had strong graffiti scene with high-quality graffiti writers who inspired me with every tag, throw, panel or wall they did. Some of the crews I appreciated the most were PR, GSK, UN13 and IMB because they were highly active and silvers, throws and panels were made on a daily base. As time passed by, I met a lot of cool guys and great stylers as Wenol (PR), Gene (PR, GSK), Teask (PR), Mein (PR) Lolek (UN13), Tron (UN13), Marsk (UN13), Zipo (IMB), Chez186 with whom I’m in good relations today.
Your style is very cartoonish and reminds me of Saturday morning cartoons, where do you draw your inspiration from and why?
As I already mentioned, I enjoyed watching cartoons then, and still do nowadays. Most of my inspiration comes from cartoons such as Ninja turltes, Transformers etc. because those cartoons I watched the most when I was a kid, and I kind of feel I’m part of it when I paint it on the wall. I like to combine my favorite characters with the name I write, and create my own “cartoonish” universe on the wall.
A lot of graffiti artists think the illegality of graffiti art is the most important aspect of it rather than just the medium itself. Would you agree? Have you ever had any run ins with the law enforcement?
I think illegality is important, but not the most important aspect of graffiti as a medium itself. If someone feels good with just painting legal walls, it is up to him. It’s all about self-satisfaction I think. I personally do bomb the streets and some semi-legal places, not as much as I want to, but sometimes you just need to feel that rush illegal bombing gives you. I had some unpleasant situations but fortunately nothing too serious that would stop me in doing it again. I think it’s important to have a crew you can count on and ability to estimate the situation.
The collaborations you do with @186chez are really cool how did the two of you guys meet and how do you split duties between the two of you?
Chez186 and I met almost ten years ago but our first collab took place at @graffitinagradele festival where we decided to paint the wall together. That day we had no clue what to do and we decided to paint the wall on the wall. After that I started to put my pieces into different scenes and perspectives and I liked it. I recognized his ability to fit into those scenes and perspectives, so I decided to paint couple of more that kind of walls with him.
Do you think collaborating with other artists has helped you grow as an writer?
Yes, of course. I’ve met many writers and I learned a lot from them, especially when I was younger. Being a graffiti writer and collabing with others helps you to grow in a personal level, it isn’t all about the wall you paint, but also how you act within the community.
From your instagram one could see you travel a lot can you name some of the places that you’ve been to over the last few years?
Actually, I’m not traveling as much as I’d like to, but I’ve done some traveling through Europe. I visited Germany, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, but never left the continent. Most of the travels are inner state and they are pretty common.
What is your dream place to bomb?
My dream place to bomb is NYC, because all graffiti culture started there long time ago. I like massive buildings, structure of the streets, architecture and there’s a lot of red brick walls, which are my favourite!
Did you have a art education outside of what you learned from bombing or did you teach yourself?
I didn’t have any formal art education, all tought by myself. Hard work and consistency are the most important factors that got me where I am now.
Is there any shout outs you would like to give? What are you up to next and whats the best way for people to follow along?
Shoutout to all my crew mates and great people from abroad I met. I have some bigger plans for the summer, but until then, just some travels and throwies. Also, I have some ideas for some conceptual walls but I usually work guided by my inspiration.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now and what are you currently working on? What is the best way for our readers to follow you?
Unfortunately, graffiti writing isn’t something I live from, I have regular job which is not connected to my talents and passion. For now, graffiti writing and illustration is just a hobby I do, but would love it to become something I can live from one day. Lately I did some smaller projects for the brands linked to graffiti and I hope you’ll see it soon, and the best way for the readers to follow my work is my Instagram account.
Any shoutouts you would like to give?
To be more precise, shoutout to @chez186, @casino.haha, @royal.haha and Elc
You can follow Sarme on Instagram.