Thisweek’s Londoner is Josh Stika, the graf artist behind the STIKA brand, he knows all about the street art scene and recently launched a gallery of his pieces at The Hoxton, Shoreditch.
How long have you lived in London? Where and why?
I have lived in the East End of London for the past 11 years. I moved to Bow initially to come and live with my Dad, it was a major contrast to sunny Brighton where I spent my childhood – but I soon got to grips with the Roman Road and the people that came along with it!
Tell us about how you got into the world of graf?
I got into Graffiti when I was about 13. I was really bad, like, terrible! Luckily but the time I was 16 i got taken under the wing of some of the top UK graffiti Artists whole were really pushing the whole movement at the time. It was at this point I stepped up and started taking it more seriously and realised there was a lot more to it than just tagging walls..
You’ve worked with some pretty big brands, what would you say was your best experience?
Probably Adidas. Love those guys.. I’ve been doing a lot of work with them via The Outside Collective for the past 2 years from interior design through to graffiti – it’s been a whole load of fun. But there definitely is a massive contrast in my world of either getting treated like an art ‘legend’, or, getting treated like the ‘hired help’ for an east london media event.
Any tips for people wanting to get into the street art / graff world?
Erm, graffiti is a mean world. Like really mean. There’s a ridiculous amount of silly rules and politics that go with it, so be prepared for that.
Street art on the other hand is pretty soft core. I think this world is open for you to publicly express yourself through which ever medium you see fit, whether its wheat pastes, large scale illustration or paint brush work. The main thing is – DON’T call Graffiti artists ‘street artists’, and feel free to call street artists ‘graffiti artists’ as this make them feel cool for 5 minutes.
Who are your fave artists?
Tristan Eaton, Aroe, Remi Rough, Will Vibes, Tizer ID, Disco teck, Pant One and Roids – look them all up, that’s literally a great list of design inspired artists with graffiti backgrounds that are really bending the rules of what we all expect form an aerosol artist.
What would be your perfect day in London?
Wake up (that’s always a good start), go for breakfast at Duck and Waffle and persuade them to sell me oyesters at 9am. Then probably head down to one of the graffiti walls in Shoreditch and spend the daylight hours painting away.. And then for the evening, I’d probably drink my way through a number of my favourite bars, Dragon Bar, Eighty Nine at The Hoxton, Shoreditch.
Wanna see his prints? Pop down to The Hoxton, Shoreditch before February or hit up his website to buy them online…