"In my opinion. street art is the most honest and ‘in your face’ art form, the biggest subculture that ever came to this planet. It’s an art form that never really started as an art form. It’s a movement that can be seen all over the world."
Tell me about yourself - where are you from? What do you do?
I was born and raised in Pasig City. I’m part of a collective of artists called Pilipinas Street Plan
, and I representMovement69
too. We are the in-house artists of a gallery called Secret Fresh
. I do a lot of stuff: graffiti, street art, art toys, and digital designs.
Has art always been a part of your life?
I was not really a fan of traditional art, but I was always been a huge fan of graffiti (letters) since gradeschool around early 90’s. Damn I’m old.
But I never did it on walls with spraypaint back then. What I did before was join those ‘slogan on the spot’ poster-making contests in school. I would do bubble letters as my font of choice.
Back then I never knew that there were famous graff writers. The only graffiti styles that I knew were the NY wildstyle and the bubble letters, though at that time I didn’t know what they were called, I was just familiar with the style.
Tell me about how you got into art and why.
It all started early 90’s when my cousin came back to Manila from San Diego, California. When he came here most of the guys in my neighborhood were hooked on hip-hop/gangster culture. They would paint walls gangster style, with cartoonish characters, old english letters, and I even remember them painting Garfield with horns riding on planet earth.
It was all brush and house paint at the time, not really graffiti but it paved the way for me to be interested in the letter art form.
What kinds of art do you do?
I do graffiti on walls, and I paint canvases for gallery exhibits. I customize art toys and do digital designs as well.
Who do you paint with most? Why?
i get to paint with almost everyone in the local scene, but most of the time it’s just my friends from PSP.
Why street art?
In my opinion. street art is the most honest and ‘in your face’ art form, the biggest subculture that ever came to this planet. It’s an art form that never really started as an art form. It’s a movement that can be seen all over the world.
I choose street art because this is the most hated kind of art form; hated by people who dont understand it. There’s always been a deviant part of me. I don’t want to do things that most of the people do, and street art is different from any type of art form.
Who inspires you? Why?
i get inspired by my friends from Pilipinas Street Plan like Egg Fiasco
, Exld, Nemo
, Chill, and Ungga. I’m not as good as them but painting with these dudes motivates me to push harder and try harder to enhance my skills.
How would you describe your street art style?
I love doing letters and characters on walls, and painting my carrot icon. I love the idea of people trying to figure out what the carrot icon is all about. It was not originally the logo of Carrotbombing
. I’ve been using that icon even before I created Carrotbombing.
I also paint my robot character with a positive and negative sign on its head which symbolizes the neutrality of things.
How did Carrotbombing come about? How is Carrot Bombing now, and what do you hope to do with it in the future?
Carrotbombing is more of a hobby than a source of additional income. It all came about in June 2010. Since no one was importing cans and graff supplies I decided to do so with the idea of an online store that has a motto: “the customers are always wrong.”
It was that idea since day one was like punk rock or graffiti, a subculture that really doesn’t give a damn about anything. That’s the same idea with Carrotbombing. If they dont want to buy stuff I really dont care. I made the store to help the local scene and help my friends get decent graff supplies. Three years later I still have the same attitude for the online store and Carrotbombibg is still here.
Me and my friends are putting up an actual store. It would be somewhere in San Juan, Manila. It will not just be a Carrotbombing store, but more cool stuff too. It’s me, Egg Fiasco, and Quiccs who are putting the joint up, so stay tuned kids. Another thing in the pipeline for Carrotbombing is a clothing line.
Tell me something about yourself as an artist that you’ve never told anyone else before.
I paint a robot character every time I don’t do letters. That character was designed for an art toy I was planning to produce back in 2008 even before I tried painting it on walls.
If a young kid came up to you while you were painting on the street, what’s one piece of advice you’d give them?
Don’t stop painting.
Where do you hope to be in 10 years?
Hopefully still painting, but bigger walls. Maybe a whole building.
What other artists (of any kind, not just street art) do you admire?
I’m into the art toy movement. I’m a big fan of Huck Gee, Madl , Coarse Toys and bunch of other artists.
What’s the best thing that has ever happened to you in your art life?
Meeting New York City graff legends Tats Cru last year and painting in their compound in the Bronx.
Thanks for talking with us, Tripp!
-Interview by Kim Dryden from the Filipino Street Art Project. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.