Hello Jiesk. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Tell us how long you’ve been in the game for now, and what got you started doing graffiti?
No worries, thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk with you guys. I've been doing graffiti on and off since '86, and I got into it because after school every day I would catch a red rattler home (old school Sydney train), and there was about 30 kids that would be bombing the trains each day, so I was constantly surrounded by it.
How did you pick up the name Jiesk? Is there a meaning behind it?
I really liked the letters S - K - E, so i played around a little and came up with JIESK. No meaning to it, its just a combination of letters I like.
What crews are you down with?
From the early days to current, TBC, LSD, RSL, PSK, MiA, OSB, TM.
Tell us how you developed your style, what influenced it or how it came about?
My mentor and a great inspiration to my style and direction is a writer by the name of Krush, the guy was way ahead of his time and only writers from the 80's would probably know of him. He taught me structure and lettering, and while at an early stage i knew what was good, it took me years to be able to develop it myself. And of course, like many from my era, I studied the book Subway Art, which was like a bible to me.
Is sketching important to you? Or do you prefer free-styling?
Personally, I think sketching is hugely important. I will work on a sketch for hours before I am happy with it. For me the letters don't just happen, I really have to work hard. In recent times I've done a little free styling, but I'm never really happy with my piece if I do freestyle it.
You always have cool colour schemes going on with nice 3Ds. Is there process to what colours you choose?
I try to keep it fairly simple, as I'm still trying to develop my colours and the way they're applied. I have had the pleasure of working with PUKE for quite some years, and his influence with colours has been a real help. I still have a long way to go with colour combo's.
What motivates you to get out there, paint and be creative?
Being lucky enough to be around creative people is a real inspiration and just seeing how far graff has come is really amazing.
Quality or quantity?
Quality, without hesitation. I don't even take it in if its rubbish.
Do you think the graffiti scene has changed much since the early days? What are your thoughts on the scene around the globe today?
Its changed a lot since i started, and definitely for the better. It used to be about crime and being a hardass, whereas its more about the art these days, which means pieces and graff in general can only progress quicker.
Which current writers impress you?
There are so many, so I will stick to the Australian ones (in no particular order); Puke, Reals, Scram, Sofles, Sirum, Omega, Mach, Okies. All these guys have influenced me in one way or another.
What do you think about Montana Colors products? Do you prefer Hardcore or 94?
I'd definitely say 94 for low pressure and great control, but I do like the hardcore's high pressure for a "speedy application".
We have noticed that you also have some great skills with a camera. We have seen some nice pictures of yards, trains and tunnels that you have taken. Please tell us about your Photography. What made you get into that field, what inspires this type of work? And what are you aiming to achieve with this medium?
Thanks, its something i've been working at for a while now. I worked in the technical side of photography for years, and eventually moved over to the creative side. I wish I had done it sooner because I really enjoy it. The project you're referring to is The TRESPASSING Series, and even though it is an ongoing challenge, i really enjoy it because i get to combine graff with photography. It really started with the intention of capturing the experience of a graffiti artist; the architecture, the action, the atmosphere, the story. I wanted to give a connection between the writer and the person, to document what a graffiti artist goes through. Thanks to advances in camera technology, we're now able to capture and display images that were virtually impossible to get in such low light conditions previously.
Tell us more about this. What other projects are you currently working on? Any up coming projects/exhibitions/productions you can tell us about?
Currently working on The TRESPASSING Series exhibition, and because people keep asking for it, we're working on a book at the moment too. Over the next couple of months I've got a couple of pieces planned, still just figuring out all the details (as is the way!) Alright, let’s do some less serious questions in our mad minute.
If your weren’t doing graffiti, what would you be doing now?
Living in Phuket in "Tiger Bar", probably looking like I was 150 years old.
Anything real - keep macca's away.
Favourite band or group?
It was Kanye, until he turned into God.
Air Max in general.
If you could give a young writer some advice… What would it be?
Be in it for the right reasons, and even though it can be a long, tough road, its really rewarding in the end.
Any last shouts?
Last shout outs go to URGE, MACH, MAZE, and their crews for letting me tag along on their missions; KOMPS, HELS, KEIS, and my silent partner and manager at the TRESPASSING SERIES for getting things off the ground.