Posted on 18 Apr, 2013

When you take a lot of graffiti photos, accidentally stumbling across a piece by an artist you love is like bumping into an old friend. That’s how I feel about Does, the Dutch-master whose letter-based graffiti has been exploding off walls for over a decade.

Does is a graffiti rarity. His gallery work and his street work are both grounded in his distinctive lettering. Does seems to be one of very few writers able to make a living without compromising his passion for letters. I ask Does why the general public seems less focused on letters and try to figure out how he’s achieving what so many before have struggled to do.

Check out the Does slideshow below:

What Does did!

I did my first piece when I was 14. It was a black and silver piece that said DOES. My best mates looked out for me. A few weeks earlier we had founded our own crew, unofficially known as the Pancake Rebels South crew. We were four typical adolescents acting like little vandals and looking for some excitement. I developed my style by drawing a lot and then much more when I met Nash, Tumki and Chas. 

Does was a professional footballer in Holland for over a decade, playing his last game in 2008.

I started doing full colour drawings and canvasses when I was bound to my couch recovering from a serious soccer injury. My soccer career was no picnic and the soccer industry it is not a very creative or friendly world. So writing and drawing brought some air to my life as a soccer player. Art helped me get through my darker times - I guess writing and drawing was my escape.

Does co-founded LoveLetters crew in 2006, which has expanded to 11 members Worldwide.

LoveLetters is an extension of a good friendship between writers. I like to think that we try to keep each other motivated.

What Does does!

I develop my technique and style by painting and drawing a lot. Practice helps me grow. My colour combinations are generally not planned, the right combination often reveals itself when I’m working on a piece. 

Being remembered for a good style and authenticity is what drives me and what keeps me motivated to keep pushing my own boundaries. I believe my dedication is what brought me where I am today and a little bit of luck of course. We all need a little bit of luck in life.

I actually feel like I am only just getting started. There is so much more to achieve, so many places left to visit and so much more that I can learn. Sponsorship by Ironlak has definitely had a positive impact on my development as a writer. More people know about me through Ironlak but mostly it just makes me want to work harder to prove my worth.  

We asked Does if he could see a changing attitude from the general public towards letter-based graffiti. 

I think the general public opinion is changing slowly. In June I will be involved in an art project in Bologna, Italy. The name of the project is FRONTIER and it is the first major project in Italy where some of the most representative walls in the city are assigned to international and local street artists. The curators of the project are two well-respected Italian contemporary art critics and they are trying to create awareness with the project. FRONTIER will be followed by a symposium that discusses the discipline of street art in a multi-cultural perspective and as a specific art movement in history.  

I believe the city of Melbourne is a frontrunner as well when it comes to providing a good platform for street artists. The museum of Melbourne hosted a competition between different Melbourne-based crews and the winning crew members were asked to show their art in the museum.  

References

Artists also Mentioned

Does Videos

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