Veyz from Brazil: «Graffiti saved my life»

In this exclusive interview, the Brazilian artist Veyz tells us his story of revenge and how his dreams comes true thanks to art and graffiti…

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Hi Gabriel, thanks for your time. First of all, we would like to ask you, how u doin’? How did you spend this particular pandemic period? Did you face any problems in your city? How do you think life will change, both on an artistic and professional point of view.

Hello good day! First of all I would like to thank you for the invitation to this interview, it is an honor for me to be chosen from so many talented artists around the world.

This period was not too bad for me because I had saved money to travel to some events outside the country, and as everything was canceled because of the pandemic, I am using this money to keep me in this period without working. I didn’t face any problem because I live in a small city in the south of Brazil, there are a lot of cases happening, but not as much as in the country’s capitals.

I believe that life has already changed for me, I work as a tattoo artist, and I was very focused on tattooing every day and I wasn’t doing what really supplied me as an artist, it was more a search for money than for happiness, and that time without tattooing made me reflect and you can analyze that this was not what I wanted for my life, so when I return things to normal, I will focus much less on the tattoo and focus much more on the artistic work.

Do you remember the first time picking up a spray? Why did u do it? How did you approach the Hip Hop and graffiti culture? Do you have any artist in your family?

I was always focused on drawing since I was a kid, but the first time I painted with a spray was in 1998, I did it because a friend from school Vinicius Bero bought the first graffiti-only magazine launched in Brazil, showed it to me and said we could do it that, I already had some b-boy friends and mcs, and it helped to get into hip-hop culture.

I never had any artist in the family, so it seemed very strange to my father and mother, because I was 12 years old and they criticized me a lot for that, I had a lot of problems with the police at that time and they tried to forbid me to paint , so I started doing hiding and lying to them.

Tell us about your origins and your artistic journey from graffiti to the creation of tattoos, canvases and illustrations …

As i said i started doing graffiti in 1998 at the age of 12, as it was a very criminalized art at that time, i had a lot of problems with the police and my family tried to stop me from doing graffiti, however i loved what i I did and never gave up, at 14 I occupied an abandoned house and turned it into my clandestine studio, where I would draw and produce my ideas, I kept my paint and my painting clothes, I did it until I was 18 years old. As time went by my technique evolved and I started to be invited to do some art exhibitions in renowned galleries in my country, my visibility increased and with that some national surf, skate and street brands started asking me for drawings to your clothes!

This greatly expanded my view of making money from drawing and art. In 2005 I entered the Faculty of Fine Arts where I met an old tattoo artist from my city who saw my drawings and graffiti and encouraged me to start tattooing. In this, being able to observe and see, I could place my drawing style on any surface, be it canvas, clothing or leather.

Talking about graffiti, how did your style evolve over years? How did you find the motivation and inspiration to innovate and improve yourself?

I started more focused on making characters, my letters were very hard and without style at the time, but I was already doing something, in 2004 I went to participate in an event in the capital where I met Lucas and Riser, who already had a very advanced technique, I was impressed with that and from that day I became friends with them and started to analyze their techniques and try to adapt to my graffiti. As time went by I started to study letters because I painted a lot by myself and thought that the letters were missing to complete my graffiti, it was then that I met the São Paulo bomber DionR, where we became friends and helped me with some techniques to develop my work. in the letters.

When did you realize this passion could turn into a work? How did it happen?

In 2007 I went to live in the capital in Porto Alegre, where a friend who had a graffiti shop welcomed me, showed me that I could sell my art and adapt it for everything, started to fit me in painting projects, art magazines and everything else , I had nowhere to sleep or live so he invited me to stay at his house for a while, I am very grateful to him for everything his name is Eduardo “Guspe”, nowadays he is a producer and works with several artists, including me!

Do you have any artistic mentor, even from the past or the present?

I have never had a mentor, I was always very focused and I always believed that I could be anything I wanted, but I have a lot of references from my parents that I admire and started painting looking at their graffiti in magazines, like Twins, Markone, Marone, Chivitz, Binho, Opni, Trampo among others.

While painting, which kind of music do you prefer to listen to? During this period, which music do you listen to?

During graffiti I love to listen to Rap from the 90s, the most undergrounds. Das Efx, Wu Tang Clan, O.C., among others. But I like national raps a lot, too, like Racionais, Rzo, Sabotagem.

At the moment, do you feel 100% realized? Do you have any other particular satisfaction to realise? Which one?

At the moment or I feel very fulfilled, I always tell my friends that I live a child’s dream, my dream was to be considered and recognized by the graffiti artists that I admire and were a reference for me, nowadays several are my friends and admire me also, i had the dream of participating in international events and nowadays i am invited to the best world events. And receiving praise and respect from international graffiti stars, they invite me to paint together and that makes me feel fulfilled. But I have a big dream that is to have a collaboration with some international spray brand, and I believe that you can help me to accomplish this hehe…

How can graffiti or the Hip Hop culture in general, help children growth? Any advice to those who have just approach this discipline?

Graffiti is part of hip-hop culture, an underground culture created by black and peripheral people, graffiti and culture saved my life, and it helps kids from the periphery a lot to be able to see outside the bubble they live in, that they don’t they need to steal, neither kill nor lose their freedom to achieve material goals, that through art it is also possible for you to have a good quality of life and you can know the world and reach your goals, you can give a better quality of life for your family and helping others.

Did you have the chance to travel a lot both for work and passion? When this crazy situation of the Coronavirus will be over, where would you like to go?

Yes, i had many opportunities to travel all over the world, both for work and passion, and this is one more thing that makes me feel fulfilled, I can get to know other countries and other cultures, make new friends all over the world, you can spread my art in every corner of the world, that was my dream, and today I live it!

I got to know places and cultures that I would never have imagined visiting. I sold paintings and exhibited in places I would never have imagined arriving. Whenever I visit my mother in the neighborhood where I grew up, our neighbors always come to praise me and talk to me and say that they are impressed by the places in the world where I am and met through my art, they admire me and have a lot of respect for me, because they knew where I came from, what was my reality and the person I became, for them this is fantastic because they live on the streets and only know that reality and when they look at who someone in their reality has achieved these goals, they rejoice and admire, and that makes me more willing to continue doing what I do, because through me they also end up getting to know other places and other realities that are not just the bubble where they live!

When this situation Corona Virus finished I would love to go back to Europe, for sure again Italy, I was very well received by everyone there and I have an admiration and respect for the Italian graffiti scene, I hope I can be invited again to the events, and also to other things , be it a clothing brand or Italian paints for some collaboration! I am very happy for the invitation, for the interview and can pass on a little of my story to you! Hope you like it!

It was an honor for me! I would also like to make a graffiti video, me painting some of my graphics especially for your magazine and launching it on your instagram page! thank you!! Grazie!!!

Thank you Gabriel! We’ll wait you in Italy soon !!!

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