Alright so thanks for taking the time out to do this interview, can you give us a brief introduction of how you got to this point? When did you start, what crew do you rep (if any), and what’s the story behind “Sikemigm”?
Hey what’s up everyone!. I go by the name Sikem. I’m based out of a small town in Colorado and I represent Infamy Gets Made Crew the C.O. addition. My back story started when I was a skateboarder. I used to write little quotes on my boards to keep the motivation up such as “live for today” “get loose” or simply “enjoy the moment”. I had a local sponsor called @gony skateboards. When we used to go film, we used to put stickers on or around the spots to let people know we were there. A homie that used to ride for the same company would catch tags on dumpsters and landed up handing me the marker. The obsession never stopped from there.
To start things off I see you are based out of Colorado is that correct? I love the Colorado scene, I’m curious what your opinion on Colorado vs. the other major graffiti hubs in America? Do you ever participate in Colorado Crush?
That’s correct. Awe man I love the Colorado scene honestly. We have some real heavy hitters out here that constantly push the bar who stay true to the culture such as East Tuke Emit to name a few. Nothing but respect for the heads that have and continue to pave the way.
What is your favorite documentary or book that covers the history or major players of graffiti and why?
My favorite documentary’s would have to be Piece by Piece and Style Wars. My favorite books would have to be Subway Art and Dare To Be Different. I love knowing the history and hearing why individual’s started, why it’s here and why they continue to keep rocking. The pulse to the letters.
Your style is super sick and is always transforming and looks incredibly different from wall to wall and even the marker pieces you do are pretty dope too, what do you think separate the really great writers from the merely ok ones? Do you think its constant exploration?
I think exploration is key. I think what separates a dope writer from merely ok ones would have to be heart, the real love for the game not the fame and someone that stays true to themselves and the culture. Some cats want all the eyes and the rep, well others simply enjoy the moment. Let real recognize real
You post pretty consistently which makes me think you do this either as a side hustle or as a main gig, do you make money with your work or is it just pure passion? If not, do you think that business spoils what makes art art?
I would have to say pure passion. I have made money from paintings before but it has never really felt right to me. I do believe the business side throws off some writers from there journeys. I think some artist put on retail smiles and become friendly a little to fast.
So you said that you used to skateboard, do you still skate today? What do you think the similarities are between skating and doing graffiti if any?
I don’t skateboard as much as I would like definitely not as much as I used to but it always been a big part of my life. I usually spend my free time painting or being a family man these days. But I will for sure be rolling around here and there. I believe there are tons of similarities. When I started skateboarding it was such a rebel thing to do. Only outcast did it and you were looked down upon. The feeling I get from catching a solid line is like stomping bolts. Both require allot of self motivation and drive to actually progress in either of them.
On the topic of skateboarding who do you consider to be the top in skateboarding right now and what is your favorite skateboarding documentary/movie?
I’m not really in the loop with who’s who now a days but some of my favorites were Wade Desarmo, Mark Johnson, Mark Appleyard, Ryan Gallant, P-Rod and Chris Joslin. Style kings. One of my favorite videos would have to be Transworld In Bloom. Nothing but amazing footage and solid skating.
Outside of painting I imagine you must enjoy other activities what do you do that isnt art related that helps you recharge for your work? I imagine you spend a lot of time in the Colorado mountains!
No doubt!! It’s a must!!. I love disconnecting from my phone and truly enjoying some nature. Fishing, camping, hiking hanging out around the fire bs’ing man let’s go!!. Hahaha I also really love working out to recharge. I know how that sounds but I always say a healthy body is a healthy mind, a healthy mind is a positive life. It’s great therapy and my cloths fit allot better.
What kind of music do you listen to when you paint? Who is your favorite hip hop artist and why?
Man I love all types of music. Anywhere from old school swoop your lady jams, to hip hop and heavy metal. Hahaha depending on the day. Kinda weird but I been rocking heavy metal when sketching to take the edge off then nothing but hip hop smooth lyricisms from there. Some of my favorite artists would have to be Tone deff Benefit, Cunninglynguists and Em to name a few.
Any crazy travel stories you can share? How close have you been to being caught?
I have a story about almost getting caught. We were partying at this apartment downtown really putting em back. I kept looking at this box trunk right outside the window and I just finished up painting a wall earlier so I still had my paint. I couldn’t help myself. About halfway threw my throwie a cop rolled up on the opposite side!. I pushed my bag of paint under the truck and at the right moment I took out!. Got away. Stood in a ally behind a trash can. I took off my gloves, hat and hoodie and tossed them in. I waited for about an hour and decided to go back to get my paint. Got rolled up on a few blocks away. When they were patten me down I decided to take off! I got taysed knee-deep in a sprint and locked up. They ended up letting me go cause of lack of evidence and the fact they didn’t catch me in the act. Wear your gloves and don’t answer anything.
11) For artists that are starting down the path you have already walked, what advice do you give them? Is it simple as pick up a can and go tag some walls and figure it out as you go?
I would say In a since yeah. You have to put in the work. Learn the un written rules, remember why you started and keep your focus there. Respect the cats that paved the way before you and don’t go over my stuff. Haha
When you were coming up who inspired you and taught you the ropes and who inspires you now? Who are the artists that are inspiring you now?
My inspirations growing up would have to be the Colorado scene for sure. Being able to walk up to paintings to actually see size, mistakes, blends etc. really set it off for me. I’ve never really had someone show me the ropes so to speak by giving me letters or telling me what I should or shouldn’t be doing. I had a paint partner that showed me the fundamentals about the home town yard but that’s really it. My way of teaching myself was learning what not to do then go from there. My inspiration now would have to be Obskur87 because he’s not about social media and I believe one of the best out. Mind blowing stuff. Strae for his constant clean structure and legibility, his finger print. Dleys cause of his leadership, letters and his love for the game. East, Tuke, Fedup for their constant hunger you could clearly see and can’t help but be motivated off of to name a few.
Any shout outs you would like to give? where can people follow you?
Yeah I would like to give a major shout out to my right hand man bubs aka little G My family Dleys and The whole IGM Crew!. We here!!!. You can follow sikemigm on Instagram.
Interview by Wesley Edwards