Interview by Brian Beavers
BSCI: Where are you from originally? Tell me what the art scene is like there and how you either fit in or stand out from that group…
Tant: Haifa City, Israel. It's hard to say there is a real art scene in this shit hole but I was actually born in kind of a village/hippie community outside the city. There were always people around me involved in all kinds of art, so it was very natural for me to do art. Later, when we were in high school we started doing graffiti, slowly building our own small scene…
BSCI: How do you take an idea or a glimpse of an idea and put it into a tangible form that the world can see?
Tant: It changes all the time, and from project to project. Sometimes I have a very clear view in my mind of how I want it to be, which piece of wood or wall I’m about to paint on, or what color scheme I will use; Sometimes I walk around like crazy for a week until it pops up in my brain.
BSCI: Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration?
Tant: It's really hard to say. Drugs & dreams to old masters such as Durer, Mucha, and Lutrek as well as contemporary artists like Mike Giant, Parra, Espo, D-face, Faile, just to name a few. Also, old comics, old movie posters, and of course my crew and the people around me that are doing cool stuff.
BSCI: Your work has a very retro horror movie/theme park ride feel to it. Can you tell me where and why that style started for you?
Tant: I don't know exactly how style develops. It happens slowly. When you're doing something cool, you say "Hey, this is a good direction, we should develop it!" and you use that thought the next time you're painting. Then as time passes, you collect those, throw away others and store some in a dark corner of your brain.
BSCI: Do you have any formal training like in a university/college or an art school?
Tant: Not really. I took a Photography class in High school. Unga and I used to go once a week to a private Russian teacher by the name of Gennady who gave us lessons on technique and anatomy.
BSCI: Are there any major people or pieces that got you into this scene initially?
Tant: My big brothers in the crew, Kip and Unga's and the tags I saw from my bus on the way to school. Like I said before, I've always been into painting. It's just always felt natural to put this shit out there.
BSCI: As artists and creatives, we can often get “writer’s block” and get hung up on a new piece. What helps you shake off the cobwebs to get back to work?
Tant: I try not to fight it too hard. Some days I just need to accept it and let my brain rest. But there are things that help such as doing physical activity (capoeira, yoga, running, sex), breaking my routine, traveling outdoors, and smoking some good weed.
BSCI: What’s it like working with a crew vs working independently, and how do you approach something commissioned with your crew vs when you’re on your own?
Tant: I'm the kind of person who loves to spend a lot of time alone, at my place and inside my brain but luckily for me I have found amazing friends that I've worked with every day for the last couple of years. It works out well and it is only getting better. Still, each one of us has his own projects and freedom but alone, none of us would be where we are now. Working with people doing crazy shit and trusting their opinion constantly pushes you forward. We're always learning from each other. It's much easier to push things forward when it's 'us.' This is US, this is what WE do.
For commercial projects, it doesn't really matter if I'm alone or with the crew. If the right vibe is there and we have creative freedom, we do it. If not, we don't. It's a lot more fun to do things together, to tour, to bomb, to paint, and to do drugs.
BSCI: Any sage advice you could give the readers out there?
Tant: Just to do a lot. Whatever it is you are doing, do it. A lot! I mean, sometimes it's good to ask yourself 'Why am I doing it? Why this way or another?' but you shouldn't let those thoughts block your creativity. Go with your basic instinct. Most of the time, the first idea is the best one.
BSCI: Thanks a lot Tant.