Street artist

THINGS YOU ONLY KNOW IF YOU’RE A...

Time Out (Melbourne) - - CITY LIFE - Cas­sidy Knowl­ton

Kaff-eine Mel­bourne street artist How to paint out­side in bad weather

“I bitch about it, but really that’s part of paint­ing on the streets! I’ll only stop if it’s really pour­ing (I use wa­ter-based paint) or when work­ing high on boom lifts, so windy that I legally can’t use the lift.”

What to do about peo­ple who see street art as ‘graffiti’

“Even though my knowl­edge of the Crimes Act and as­so­ci­ated leg­is­la­tion is a few years old now [Kaff-eine trained as a lawyer], I’m happy to en­gage any law en­forcer try­ing to pre­vent me from law­fully do­ing my job. I love to ar­gue, I’ve been well trained to do so, and I really love to win. Iron­i­cally, the only time I clashed with the po­lice was while paint­ing a le­gal piece on Bridge Road, Rich­mond, in the middle of the day; some grumpy lo­cal called po­lice, who turned up all ma­cho and harsh, and it took me some time to talk them down. Oc­ca­sion­ally I’ll get some en­ti­tled nosy person yelling at me. It’s usu­ally old con­ser­va­tive men.”

How to use the whole wall (and not sweat the de­tails)

“Many things, some of them un­fore­see­able and un­con­trol­lable, im­pact on how I fin­ish the street works, so I might end up paint­ing some­thing that is quite dif­fer­ent to how I’d imag­ined it. I’m OK with that. Once I’ve sketched up the piece on the wall I usu­ally paint it in its en­tirety, one colour at a time. I pre­fer not to work in small sec­tions; it’s more fun to cut loose with big ges­tu­ral marks on a large wall. I’m al­ways hap­pier if my works are more pain­terly and messy than if they’re tight and de­tailed.”

Why Mel­bourne is a great city to be a street artist (but it does have its prob­lems)

“The City of Mel­bourne has cre­ated for it­self an un­com­fort­able bind, with lo­cal and state laws crim­i­nal­is­ing the very acts that at­tract pay­ing tourists. But it’s a city where trav­el­ling street artists will read­ily find crews and street artists keen to meet them, share sto­ries, col­lab­o­rate, share walls, and learn from each other. It’s a great city in which to be an artist.”

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