1) Alright so thanks for taking the time out to do this interview, can we get a brief run down of who you are and how long have you been in the game? What crew do you rep and how did you get the name Jimbo?

I write Jimboe, from New England, USA. Thats the upper east coast corner of the States for those that don’t know.  I started with spray paint in 1999, but had no idea what I was doing. Scribbling with stock caps, just being a dumb kid.  I’d say around 2002-ish is when I really got into writing. I had moved away from my hometown and been living in a big city. Thats when I started to really consider style, quality, quantity, locations etc.  

Im down with YouLose, CPS, and PFP crews.  Jimbo is a nickname I’ve had since childhood,  so it was just a natural thing to use that. I always liked that famous Skeme quote from the movie Style Wars, where hes arguing with his mom and says “I just write my name”  Figured I’d add the “E” to help balance the “J” and give me options to style out the last bit of my name while painting it.

2) Man you are crazy prolific and your work is always fresh, I really dig the style you put into your work and it looks like you do a lot of collabs, specifically with Allchrome. Is doing collabs one of the things that you love about being a creative and a graffiti artist in particular? Do you think you grow as an artist by collabing with others?

Collaborating with people is something that just happens when you’re around those people. I enjoy doing it, but usually its not something I plan. I have a pretty small circle of people I paint with and those people are likeminded and trustworthy. I do paint a solo a bunch too. Sometimes I actually prefer that; its nice to just have some time to explore and think on your own. Can be relaxing.  However its always good to keep those people around you that will push you and make you have to step your game up.  Steel sharpens steel.

3) What is it that drew you to doing graffiti over doing something else? I mean you definitely have an insane talent, so Im curious what was the thing that made you say its gotta be graffiti and nothing else?

I grew up in a paper mill town near a very active rail yard. Before I ever even thought about graffiti being a thing I could do, I saw it and was just so impressed by whatever it was. All these shapes and colors rumbling into the neighborhood, then just like that, gone and headed somewhere else. Once I learned the shapes were letters in people’s names, my mind was blown. The freights in my area slowed and as I got older I got into music and skateboarding.  Something about that time frame(early-mid 90s) had graffiti in it everywhere visually.

It just kinda stuck in my mind.  I could always draw and that was my past time to relax. I just sort of started scribbling my nick name on paper one day and from there it was on.  As I aged, skateboarding lost its allure to me, and thats when it fully became about graffiti. Graff gave me that feeling of calm, but also an adrenaline rush, and a reason to go out and explore. Climbing onto roofs, into tunnels, bandos, trackside walls and rail yards was my new thing. Plus the idea of leaving a bit of my art behind seemed so cool.

4) What is your favorite documentary or book on graffiti? Who are some of the unsung heroes in the field that you think deserve more recognition?

My favorite documentary book has to be Subway Art.  That book, to me, was the first thing to explain “this is what it is, this is what it should look like”  Theres lots of other good books, but that specific one unlocked a few codes for me. Style, shapes, colors and stories, it has it all. I still have hardcopy photos of some of the earliest graffiti i caught on the trains, specifically MBER.  I know he’s since pursued other things, but Id love to see an interview with him about the early days of American freights.  Ghouls or the A2M guys would be great.  Also Dizer from Paris, dude is a beast and OG in the game.  Hes got every style and element down and has traveled the world.

5) From the looks of it you seem to travel quite regularly but I dont ever see you ping where you go. Where all has graffiti taken you? I imagine this must be one of the coolest elements of graffiti, that you get to travel all over and create awesome art with friends. Is there specific places you would like to go to that you havent yet?

I think one of the best things about graff is it can give you a network of people all over the globe. Europe, Canada, and all over the states for me.  Id really like to get to anywhere with raw   walls or clean trains.  I’d really like to paint somewhere in South America and Germany is definitely high on my wish list.

6) What’s your go-to hip hop artist to listen to while you’re working? Who would you say is underappreciated in either hip hop or graffiti that deserves more recognition?

I don’t have a go-to hip hop artist, but Im always down to have Mobb Deep, NonPhixion, Gangstarr and  Capone-n-Noreaga on.  Im a huge fan of the early 90’s east coast hip hop.  Going down to New York City on the train to buy tapes and records also exposed me to graffiti.  Seeing the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan just blasted with fill ins and pieces was amazing. That era and feeling will forever be etched in my brain. Just a personal opinion, but I wish Cormega got more shine, his music really captured the essence of that time for me.

7) For those coming up, what kind of advice do you give? Do you think you have to give your heart and balls to it in order to get good, or do you think its ok to be casual about it?

If I ever give newer writers advice, I tell them to draw ALOT and to focus on developing their own style. I say draw all the time, because that keeps you sharp. If you have to change something to fit on a spot, or something that require you to stray from the plan, having those drawings in your brain help to adjust on the fly.  Focusing on style, helps to set you apart from everyone else.  

Plain and simple, why make something that looks like somebody else’s graff? You can be inspired by someone, but ultimately, you wanna be your own person. Focusing on those 2 things seems to separate those that will go far from those that won’t. If you really want to be good at something, you have to put that time in.

8) If you could give us your top favorite collaborators or artists that you follow who would they be? Whose coming up that you think people should have a eye on or deserves more recognition?

My favorite people to collaborate with are(in no order) Kems, Geser, Ouija, Above, Burye, Vokles, Osteo, Preys, Mauve and Soems. Pretty much anyone from my crews and close friends.  Id say you should keep your eyes on Vokles, Burye, and Soems.  They’re all super talented and driven! 

9) Thanks again for taking the time out to chat, Any shout outs you would like to give? Where can people follow you and purchase your work?

Shouts to my crews; YL CPS and PFP and everyone i’ve painted with and met along the way. 

Thanks!          -Jimboe          IG: @jimboewashere