FeaturesFSAP's Artist of the Week: EXLD
The Filipino Street Art Project is a documentary film and multimedia web venture aimed at exploring Filipino life and culture through the booming street scene."I think if i could make two or more people talk about what we do and how it inspires and motivate them after our time, then that’s the brand of immortality we relentlessly pursue." - EXLD
Where are you from? I was born here in Manila. I can say I kind of grew up in the streets and enjoyed playing with snotty kids like me! Then when I turned 12 my family moved to Bulacan (a province in Central Luzon). When did you realize you were an artist, or wanted to be? I remember making art when I was in high school but back then I never thought about making it as a career or have a living with it. I was hooked on skateboarding when I entered college and I was really amazed by the board graphics that I saw on skate magazines. Back then, internet was not yet very accessible so that was also my intro to street art/graffiti. I guess it somehow made me want to make art, or be an artist, sort of. Tell me about your style as a street artist. Where did it come from? Is it a constant, steady thing or are you always developing your style? I try to be as progressive as possible when I create something. Like, I always try to look back at my previous works and look for areas I need to develop. I know for a fact that street art should have some kind of “social relevance” or something political and rebellious, but for me, its more of a personal thing. i honestly don’t know what is my style or what style should I be doing and sometimes I have no idea where to begin so I let things fall into place and let it decide for me. In the process, I try to make art as honest and natural as it can be. Art is dynamic, it is always changing and progressing and sometimes it gets brutally frustrating. What was your best/coolest/most exciting moment as an artist? The first time I got out of the country was because of graffiti. That was also the first time I rode a plane, FOR FREE! It was exciting and scary at the same time! (Laughs!) Where’d you go? Shanghai, China. It was a 3-day trip for the Wall-Lords graffiti battle finals in August 2010. It was really a super fun experience for me! Who do you paint with? Are you part of a collective? I’m a part of Pilipinas Street Plan (PSP). I’ve been painting with them since 2007. I am also a part of Secret Studio and I also represent SecretFresh Gallery. Who/what inspires you - locally and internationally? Skateboarding, music, comic book culture, and video games are some of major influences in my art process. Of course friends, family, artists and the stories that comes with their works inspire me. What are your strengths as an artist? What’s hard for you? I don’t know what my strengths and I don’t know what’s difficult for me too. Maybe when starting doing stuff on a different medium, or when I try technical and much more complicated imagery. If you could paint with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be? Artist friends that I look up to like Tilt and Mist, Woes. Flying Fortress goes without saying! Outside of art, what’s your life like? Just a normal man-child routine. eat-play-eat-play-sleep. Hahah. What big goals do you have? Where do you want to be personally and professionally in 5 years? I want to continue making art as much as I can for as long as I can. It’s kind of fulfilling when I see people get inspired with what we do. I mean, it’s really nothing much to draw inspiration from but if you dig deeper and realize that some people can do ridiculously crazy and spectacularly amazing stuff, not just from street art but from anything you passionately immerse and throw yourself into, well I guess that’s a different story. I think if i could make two or more people talk about what we do and how it inspires and motivate them after our time, then that’s the brand of immortality we relentlessly pursue. EXLD - thanks so much for talking to us! I really enjoyed getting to know you a bit and am definitely looking forward to meeting you next month. -- Kim Dryden is the Project Director and Producer at FSAP, and is a contributor for WikaMag.com. For more of EXLD’s work, see FSAP's Facebook album, as well as EXLD's own FB page - EXLD Manila. Follow the Filipino Street Art Project: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.