Snow FX, QM8 interview!

November 23, 2014 at 5:08 pm

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4sakn of Neighborhood Love:

1. When did you start writing, how did you get your name and what crews do you represent?

Snow:

I started tagging in 1978. I was one one of the first , of very few, white kids writing in Paterson. Kids in the neighborhood mocked me that I should write ‘Snow White’. I dropped the ‘White’ and kept the name “SNOW”. My parents Mom thought I was dealing drugs. I just liked the way the letters flowed. As I have grown and matured, I have gotten away from the whole ‘crew’ thing. But here are some that I have represented at one time or another: QM8,TGF, CPW,  MAD, SMC, BNS, NRG, AIDS, Vicious Styles, FX, TDS, TDK,BT, UW, TMC, JC, and Evil Sons (Germany).

2. What neighborhood did you grow up writing in and who were some influences to you growing up?

I first started in Paterson but had also hit up most of North Jersey, back and forth to Newark a lot. From Paterson, I was influenced by some of the illest style writers that most of the new school hasn’t really been exposed to: SACE,ROM,DUE,MIN,KULL,SCAT, AERO, ZINC, SES, SAME,EVIL,BUG,MAD,RED,HEAD,SIC,DUST,JUICE and SOAP45.

In the Bricks it was PORN,PRINS,TAME,2NASTY,JERO,JSTAR, REVENGE ,PEZ,TENS,KECE,TITO T, DUNE, MANE and SOUL.

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3. You have been writing for a long time (I will edit this question to match the years), what keeps you consistently evolving and staying fresh?

This is my 37th year as a student of graffiti. Let me say that ‘revolution is evolution’. You have to constantly analyze what you are doing, who you are and what makes you tick. As you assess yourself, you then have to break yourself down and rebuild yourself, over and over. It’s a never-ending cycle and once you embrace that the only constant in the formula is ‘change’, then , and only then, can you truly evolve and progress.

4. Any stories of going out bombing you found most memorable or any day that you felt was the important that helped mold you as the writer you are today?

Wow, there’s so many and they were all a very long time ago. I do remember this one time BRUE 152, and myself, were bombing a spot and the cops swarmed us. There were these short, hedge-like bushes and in a blink, I went over them, horizontally, belly flopping in the dirt behind them. BRUE was caught and he recalls that I just ‘disappeared out of thin air’!! I think this taught me a lot about stealth and the art of being unseen, even right out in the open. The cops were  pissed and kept looking for me for three hours. All the time I was laying right there, several feet away from them. Some ninja type shit!

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5. Not only are you a jersey legend but you are also part of the infamous FX crew, one of the best crews if not thee best in NYC, how did you become involved with this crew?

I was very close friends with CES. He showed me a lot about getting up and burning in NYC. He had gotten down with FX sometime a bit earlier and I was still doing alot of stuff with QM8, and on my own. He and PER invited me to paint a wall on Westchester Ave (near Castle Hill Ave) in the Bronx. We painted the Three Horsemen wall together. I guess this was sort of my audition, an initiation wall, if you will. The rest became graffiti history. They were some good times and the FX experience gave me global exposure.

6. What parts of the country and neighborhoods have you painted in? What was your favorite city?

I have painted all along the East Coast, primarily in the Northeast. I have rocked out in Phoenix, Vegas,and all over Cali as well. The highlight for me was The Exchange Tour. That was extra special rocking with so many talented writers from all over the country and Europe. It was a blast being out on tour with those guys.Though I have to say, Philly has always been an extra special place to rock and get up in. That city has a lot of heart. I did a lot of walls out there with SAT.PRAEZ,PRE,JESC,ENEM,ESPO,KARE,SEW,DAN1 and many more. Philly has always shown me nothing but love and respect. Funkadelphia will always hold a special place in my heart.

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7. From fine art to the streets you have done it all, whats your favorite to paint?

Hmmm…hard to say. I enjoy painting graffiti period; in any form, any place, anytime, and on anything. I do miss just rocking out on a highway, train tracks or a schoolyard. I would have to say a smooth concrete wall is still my favorite.

8. With the increase in street artists, what are your current views on the graffiti scene to date? 

Well, I’m divided on the subject. On the one hand, I’m an evolutionist, a progressive who understands the need for growth and expansion. It’s a good thing when people around the world and from all walks of life are able to be exposed to the culture and all its raw energy, styles, and schools of thought. This leads to dynamic visuals and sustained innovation in the arts. But on the other side of things, I am a staunch believer in not allowing things to be so diluted and polluted. There is too much attention on these mimics and gimmicks and not enough focus on studying where all these styles and concepts come from. The graffiti and street art scene is a bi-product of the society and system that it operates within. We do live in the Age of Sampling, no doubt. But that doesn’t mean that these sampling techniques and augmentations should replace originality and individuality in expression. I am a letter man. Real graf is about letters period. There are messages and conceptual enhancements to this but the bottom line, the foundation to the temple and the formula is, and ever should be, about letters and lettering styles. The rest is secondary, and ultimately only mere components of the focal point: letters. That goes for swiping cartoon and comic book characters, large artistic portraits and pop icons and imagery too. They should serve the lettering styles and the messages of whatever is being expressed not replace or supplement the lack of style or the understanding of graffiti style. This philosophy can only be safeguarded by those who were born of the culture not overwhelmed by the tampering or hijacking of graf by those who come to graf from outside the culture. They should be welcomed but not empowered to rewrite our rules and tenets.

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9. Can you explain to us your company Fly Dragon studios, and what it represents?

Fly Dragon studio was founded in 2009. We started the studio to develop and launch my comic book property Tales from the Mist ™. It is an intellectual property that I have been working on since the late 90’s. I have put an immense amount of energy, time , and resources into further developing it’s multi-platform universe. TFTM ™ is set in a post-apocalyptic universe where hip hop is magical and inspires the people of Earth’s wastelands to strive to regain their spirit and the soul of humanity; it’s a hip hop fantasy. The studio’s name derives from both my love of Bruce Lee (martial arts) and dragons, and from my late mother’s fondness of dragonflies. Though our  TFTM ™ property is our main thrust and focus, we do have plans to develop a full catalog of concepts and entertainment properties in our future.  We are always adapting to the shifting currents of the entertainment market. Everything worthwhile takes time.

10. What should we expect to see from you in 2015, any shows or events coming up we should be on the look out for?

Yes! I have a ton of cool projects and deals that I am finalizing and signing off on right now as we speak! First and foremost, my biography book project is finally ready to drop. We will drop Volume One very soon  and Volume Two will be out sometime next year, along with the first issue of Tales from the Mist ™.

Also, I am in a strategic partnership with a development studio to create two TV shows. Very exciting times! A great deal of sacrifice and hard work that I have done and completed over the last decade is finally coming to fruition. Stay tuned…

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11. Any final thoughts or words you would like to express.

I have always tried to live by this mantra:” If you bow to the spirit of the thing(art) itself; it will bow back to you”.

Peace and much respect to you
Snow

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