As part of the notorious One Trick Pony design Crew, Tek13 is one of East London’s most prolific Graffiti bandits. His street art is easily distinguishable through it’s vivid affiliation with pop art-inspired design and has seen him dally with the likes of the late King of Pop – Michael Jackson, party with Paris & Nicole and hang with Kanye (fishdicks) West. As I prepare to embark on my very first street art project I had a chat with Tek13 to get the London street art lowdown and to thank him for making my home such an interesting and vibrant place.
Me: Ive watched my brothers get territorial with their airplane armrests. This follows suit on our streets with drug dealers and gangs……therefore I can only conclude that the same applies to the Graffiti scene. You and your crew are originaly from York, was it hard/ dangerous to break onto the scene here?
TEk13: When I first arrived in London I didn’t know a single person so yeh, that was pretty intimidating…it’s a huge city after all. I moved down here in 2006 and over time mates from OTP have joined me. Establishing ourselves in London was a gradual process; we had to make ourselves known… and yeh – being known does come with its fare share of trouble. There are a lot of haters.
Me: Why exactly is that….do I detect a certain amount of jealousy on the streets?
Tek13: Well yeh I suppose our success will have something to so with it. Originally we were a Graffiti crew but now we’re a lot more. We always stay true to our graffiti roots in everything we do but as we have evolved as artists, so too has our art. We never restricted ourselves to fit in with the “Underground” stereotype, this way we were able to transgress boundaries and find our own place within the commercial world. I suppose there are those devotees to the underground scene that view us as traitors to the cause, whereas we believe we are pioneers of a new one.
Me: Are you working on anything exciting at the moment?
Tek13: Yeh I got asked to do some art work for the band Muse -Ive never listened to their music though!
Me: I have!!! I was a big muse fan back in the day…WOW.
Tek13: But I suppose the most exciting thing we’re working on at the moment is our first OTP exhibition which is going to be held in Shoreditch in December. It’s really a collaborative design project. We want to show that there are many dimensions to our art work. We specialize in freestyling as well as pre-designed stuff, I use stencils a lot, we paint, we spray ,we draw…there’s a whole lot going on, which is the key to the irony behind our name – One Trick Pony. Our exhibition is going to bring that together.
Me: Sounds amazing…can i come?
Tek13: Of Course.
Me: Awesome. And lastly then..any words of advice you can give me for me as I embark on my own first street project ? Its going to be collage, not paint based and what I really want to do is have three variations of my design in three different locations in London.
Tek13: Mates of mine have been arrested and even put in prison. You have to remember that even when your producing something that you consider to be art, by law its still considered as vandalism so just be careful. Try not to do it in broad daylight on a main road where poilce cars will drive by every five minutes. That said, you have no previous convictions and you’ re girl so if anything were to happen just claim ignorance and you ll be sorted.
Me: Thanks – ill let you know how it goes!
For more on Tek13 check out his myspace – www.myspace.com/tek13
and his crew – www.otpdesign.com