One of the biggest trade shows for selected respected brands all under one roof is Bread & Butter in Berlin. The annual event recently passed and unveiled there was the MLB (Major League Baseball) collaboration with legendary graffiti artist, Inkie. The MLB and its sport has had a long standing influence upon pop culture (take the famous New York Yankees’ ‘NY’ logo caps for example) and at their B&B stand, their latest collections including the Inkie partnership were showcased – bespoke designs incorporated into a number of MLB products including jackets, baseballs, bats, baseball caps and newly launched footwear collection..
Inkie is kind of a big deal, having spearheaded Bristol street art culture alongside the likes of Felix Braun, Massive Attack’s 3D and Banksy. He was at hand at the MLB stand to customise visitors’ goodies and we managed to grab a quick chat with him about the colab and work in general.
How did you get the name Inkie?
Two reasons, one was the incredible amount of ink I used to get on my hands when painting (including fingerprint ink), and the second was that I was a bit of an arcade game king in my youth and Inky was one of the ghosts in Pacman.
It seems to be an interesting sporting project to see you collaborate with the MLB. What’s the plan with this partnership?
It is great to be painting bats and balls as baseball is pretty big in terms of hip-hop imagery and also they are great objects to draw on. The idea is to bring the sport back to the street.
‘Jet Set Radio’ was a brilliant video game which you worked on during your time as Head of Creative Design at Sega. What other games did you work on? Do you ever get nostalgic about it all?
I works on several hundred games over 12 years with SEGA and thoroughly enjoyed it. It came to a point though where my art took over and I had to follow my dream. I still have a lot of friends in the video game industry and keep a close eye on it.
Word is that you get a bit vertigo. Has it ever really kicked in when you’ve been on a job?
Without a doubt 21m up a vertical access plank is when you feel it worse!
What’s the biggest and boldest piece you’ve ever done?
Probably some of the work with Eine in LA or INSA in Berlin. Also my early illegal works in Bristol were something to be seen.
Out of all your works, which one are you most proud of and why?
Probably my screenprinting as from start to finish they are all my own hand with no interference. I love the transition from pencil to computer to print and the mess that comes about in the process.
Bristol stands out in comparison to other cities around the country and the world in graffiti and street art. Why is that, besides legendary artists (like yourself and Banksy) reigning from there?
It’s a very creative city with no attitude problems, people like to share / pool ideas and help each other be a better artists instead of being cliquey and keeping it all to yourself. The more that comes out of the city the more goes back in!
Do you have a favourite place to paint?
Trackside about 4am.
You founded See No Evil – the UK’s largest permanent street art project. Can you tell us a bit about it?
It’s Europe’s latest street art event and we invite what who think are the best artists on the globe at present and also local and unheard of talent to showcase their works over a week long block party
‘See No Evil’ has a real sense of local and global community. Do you wish to expand it into other cities around the country or beyond, that need brightening up, once your hometown’s accomplished?
That’s the plan, we want Bristol to see the world and the world to see Bristol…