Srek interviews Zake – Graffiti pioneer in Mumbai

Q. What do you write and why do you write that name?

A. I write ‘ZAKE’ but didn’t really start writing with that name. I wrote something else before and i still tag with that name a lot but can’t disclose it. There’s no specific reason why i write zake ..the only thing i like about my name is the kind of letters i’m getting to play with. The ‘Z’ in the beginning is just amazing’s the letter i always wanted to start my name with..the other 3 letters are also my favourite .. a lot of times i replace the ‘K’ with a character’s always fun to include characters in your pieces.. that’s how you learn new techniques and keep improving.. Well the A is just like a joining letter to the k and Z ..but it’s also an awesome letter to pull and stretch in a way that it balances the whole thing… The E is the best letter to end your piece man.. the lower part of the letter E is just so good kick it off. whether it’s capital or small !

Q. How and why did you get into street art? When was it?

A. Street art? I think there’s a huge difference between graffiti and street art.. street art is something what banksy does.. Painting with a theme or a thought and incorporating it with the surrounding is street art..

Graffiti is WRITING on the walls..Writing your name everywhere .. I got into graffiti when there was actually no one in the city who was painting often …someone who i can see painting and learn how it’s done..So i Always tried to learn graffiti through movies and the internet.. street files connected me to a lot of writers but the unavailability of good spray cans was stopping us from painting often… Fortunately, once when i was painting for a project in a resort with my crew mate SunOne and Cres away from my house ,my friend saw a few people painting graffiti in my area where i stay… It was difficult for me to arrive in time but i quickly left the place to see whose painting.. Speaking to the writers i found it was ZEBSTER AND WOK from germany .. they gave me a few cans(montana gold) to practise and learn ..that’s when i actually started painting Graffiti in the real way ..

Q. How would you describe your style?

A. My style is organic .. i try to put shapes and forms that i see everyday manipulating them artistically and making them look good.. you wouldn’t actually know that when you see my piece.. but i really know what i paint !!!! it’s not something random ..TRUST ME ! Haha , anyways, my letters are always simple and readable ..Kids around me actually read them aloud and ask what ZaKE means.. so now it’s clear that people know what i write…Talking about my style again , you will definitely see a lot of variation in my pieces.. every piece has a fucking story .. even if you don’t know it Lol ! Currently i’m working on incorporating DEVNAGRI font in Graffiti style .. the font is full of curves and symbols i can play with ..I had a very simple style when i started.. i was a TOY too.. Now i don’t really think if i need a second outline or a 3d in my piece.i’m probably influenced by the new school techniques and great colour combinations the spray can companies have to offer .

Q. How did you develop such good technical painting and drawing skills?

A. Drawing and painting is what i’ve always been doing since i was 5 .Later i got into an art school where i learnt a lot of new techniques importantly ‘TYPOGRAPHY’.. it’s the most important thing you can learn or know in graffiti.. manipulating the words ,giving them a good flow without loosing the character of the letter is what i’ve learnt.. Apart from that ‘Drawing from life’ is and will always be my favourite subject in class. I don’t really paint a lot of characters though .. but my sketchbook is full of weird characters and unusual faces.Eg. A FAT MARIO ! Lol

Q. What crew(s) are you in? When and how was it formed?

A. I’m currently in 3 crews … D.I.S crew from mumbai … This is my first crew was formed in 2012 after some skilful writers in mumbai got along to form a crew. Probably the first graffiti crew in mumbai.The other two crews i rep are BEAST MODE(Mumbai) and ELEGANTS crew(Brazil)…Beast Mode was formed in 2013 and it’s not only a graffiti crew but it’s a crew including all the elements of hip hop ..Elegants crew (i don’t know when it was formed) but i’m reppin it since 2013.. and it’s a graffiti crew from brazil ..Right now my main focus is representing myself in the scene with my city crew D.I.S cuz i’ve been painting very often with them lately .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *