MISTERY — MTN Australia Achromatic
This page is Q&A section of the Achromatic Competition Blog with artist Mistery. To view the full blog article, including links to other artists Q&A or to view all submission, click this link:>MTN Challanges Australia Graffiti Community
Mistery, Sydney based graffiti veteran and winner of the GRAFFITI category, breaks down our rapid fire questions in quite a bit of detail.
Big thanks to the Aussie veteran for taking the extra time, as well as massive congrats on taking out 1st place.
- Briefly introduce yourself and your art
My street name is Mistery. I hail from the magical kingdom of Bankstown in Sydney. I got into HipHop initially as a b-boy in the early 1980s and that lead me into getting into graff and rhyming. I emceed in a crew called Brethren for many years and then another crew called Apollo Creed. I used to break in a crew called Superstarz & Magick Villains, and popped in a crew called Freakazoidz. I would say my art is heavily influenced by the New York OGs, the European OG’s, comics and the many writers and friends that have influenced me locally.
I still break, emcee and graff but am also now a youth worker and Pastor and head up a HipHop ministry called Krosswerdz.
I’m also married to an amazing wife with a baby son who is a little champion.
- How did you come up with your Achromatic concept?
I wanted to expand upon the concept of black and white colour/tone by connecting that with the theme of black and white ethnicity. I chose to paint portraits of people who were a mix of both black and white heritages, such as Bob Marley, Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Keys etc. I also love music so I continued the theme in relation to the background designs by using images such as piano keys or sheet music etc.
- What challenges did you face and overcome with the limitations of only Black and White?
I loved the idea of challenging myself to only use black and white so I tried to think of ways that I could place objects or letters next to each other and not have one image disappear into another. Also I wanted to create a certain amount of depth of field and layering which normally I would achieve via the use of shades of colour.
- What techniques can you share about your process, did you find certain techniques helpful?
I painted misty shadows behind things here and there via the use of overspray and used sketchy, throw-up style fills to create a messy type of greyscale. This allowed me to use solid white or black to sit on either side of the grey. Also I had letters or objects alternate from white to black (or vice versa) when they overlapped the images next to them.
- What is one thing/lesson you learned while doing the Achromatic challenge?
That it’s possible to create form and depth of field with limited resources. And that it’s nice to combine sharp paint technique with messy or blurry stuff.
- If you were to do it again, what would you do differently?
I’d probably do my throw-up style fills a little bit more specifically & planned. Also I’d give myself more time as I was pushing myself to get it done in a limited time frame.
Mistery is one of Australia’s most legendary and influential writers. For over 30+ years, he’s been representing the Hip-Hop culture through breaking, graffiti, and as an emcee. Having started out as a B-boy in the early 1980s, his signature style and iconic B-boy characters are recognised all over the world–a true reflection of his roots in Hip-Hop.
Today, Mistery continues to share his love for Hip-Hop culture with others, touring cities and countries abroad as a B-boy, martial artist, Christian minister, emcee, and writer.