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Graffiti Art // Playing at Work

Graffiti Art // Playing at Work
Working in the cross-over between classical art, hip-hop culture, design and playing - we met Danish graffiti artist Andreas Welin.

World-renowned grafitti artist Andreas Welin may have started out just playing around, but now his works are highly respected and incorporate three-dimensional designs that are often the result of only a short design process. DANISH met up for a chat about his work.


How did you learn graffiti? Three things are important to make it as an artist: 1) You need to spend a lot of time networking, meeting other painters, going to graffiti jams and festivals and time and money to invest in traveling.

2) You need to acquire the ability to locate good spots (walls and other areas) that can showcase your work in the best possible way.

3) You need a constant urge to develop and upgrade your technique. The term "Street Art" covers a variety of styles and techniques. As for me, my work is very three-dimensional and has roots in the classical art of paint. It was beneficial for me to work with croquis drawings and to just draw everyday things from my everyday life. It's definitely an advantage to take drawing classes. When I paint, I often move far away from my piece to have a critical look at it so I can see what needs to be corrected. If you consistently work like this, you become more and more aware each time about what's working and what's not.

And then one last thing, use references to situations people know and let yourself be inspired: by other painters, classical as well as other street artists, physical designs and images online.

What techniques can a person that does not know anything about graffiti look for to recognise a great piece of work? I´m glad you ask, and of course, there are different opinions as to what's good or bad. My opinion is that a nice piece of artwork needs a good composition. You can tell if the artist has thought about the framing of his or her work. So when you paint a person, you have to make sure the whole image of the person fits the wall or the area… Other things to look for is the relationship between sharp and looser lines. It looks awesome if your work is sharp where you want the viewers to focus on and then looser in other places to make the painting relax and be more comfortable for the audience.
Finally, the colours needs to harmonise. I very often tend to use cold, toned down or earthy colours. This gives me the possibility of spicing up the painting at the end with orange, magenta or yellow. When I paint, I bring 3–4 different colours with me in 6–8 different tones and nuances. This gives you a nice package to create a three-dimensional painting. Also, it is good to utilise complementary colours. If you've got to be all geeky about it, you can also bring bright and muted colours and cold and warm colours. But, you would then need a pretty big bag for carrying all these colours!

How do you recognise a Welin Job? I don't feel that I have found myself 100{42e511ede14fa23f71d9ffd9bcfe7d2adfa8c9c1c8e0ff87cc285b41f814e7a0} as an artist yet. In reality, I don't know if I'm ever going to succeed in that. My works very often have a three-dimensional depth to them. From a distance, my art looks soft and smooth, but if you walk closer to it, I actually have quite a rough style. My concepts are driven by humour, and I like to add a certain notion or story to my works.


What is your design process like? I'm autodidact but have taken a few classes in design processes. Sometimes, I use mood boards and brainstorm ideas, but I really appreciate the ability to make my own decisions… in other words: I'm probably not the biggest fan of processing too much before the work. My work tends to evolve as I work. That's my way of keeping myself productive.

Words DANISH (edited from original)

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