Q & A with ESKAE

Posted by dan rok on
Who are you? Where are you from?
My graffiti tag is Eskae545.  I'm born, raised, and still live in Miami, Florida
 
When did you start writing and what got you interested?
I started writing in about 1989/1990.  I always had an interest in art as a kid.  My brother Bean was really the reason I started messing around with graffiti. Also, watching Style Wars for the first time made me want to get out there and do it.
 
What Makes your city different than other parts of the country?
 
Miami is like it's own country.  It truly is an amazing city.  We have fantastic weather, over the top parties, gorgeous women, and we are surrounded by water.  You have to visit my city and you'll understand.

Tell me about the crews you’re in and how that came about?
I'm in ODDS, STV, WH, KBT, EP, and 4S
ODDS (Out Destroying Dade Streets)  can't forget the beginning.  This is my original team.  My first graffiti crew.  9 of us.  ODDS!
STV (Specialized To Vandalize) in Miami is an extension of the New York STV crew.  Originally in Miami it was a group of crews.  Instead of writing all the crews you'd write the one you were in and also write STV.  Later it branched out and became its own crew.  I guess it got in to the right hands here in Miami. STV is the most notorious, longest standing, street bombing crew in Miami graffiti history.
WH (Writing History) was started in 1993 by GS.  Originally it wasn't so focused on trains.  Soon after, WH really focused on the U.S. freight scene.  We have some of the most active train writers in the nation and now in the world.  Having been around since the beginning of WH, its impressive to see the friendships we've made and the recognition WH receives for the train game.
KBT (Kings By Trade) was started long ago as well.  Originally we'd put the up and coming generation of writers we liked in this crew.  After some time they really ran with it and made it a top crew in Miami as well. 
EP (Evil People) is a newer crew for me.  I write this one for my brother ETCH!  Love this guy.  A real destroyer!
4S (SSSS) is my newest crew.  This is a collective of who I think are some of the worlds most amazing graffiti artists.  A lot of history from all over the planet in this crew.  This team stays real busy with wall pieces.  I'm honored to be a part of this team.  Strong friendships and great times with this team too!!!
You have a very legible and bold style, who were some of your influences that brought you to that style?
 
I have traditional east coast style.  For me, its all about letters.  Simple, readable, and with style.  Most of my early influence is from New York writers.  I also was influenced by many European writers with similar legible styles.
 
Heard you got a new dog? Trained killer to be exact? Do you have any photos you can share?
 
Ha Ha!  Yes.  My girl showed up to the house with a surprise in her purse.  Tiny little dog we named Biggie Smalls.  Here's a picture.
 
What kind of hardships have you had since you started writing?
 
Before I wrote Eskae I was known in Miami for another tag.  I was mostly known for bombing in Miami with that tag.  Years ago in Miami, graffiti and gangs were looked at as one in the same.  Not so much these days.  Our street bombing brought us a lot of attention from the authorities.  We were on such a heavy run, they had enough.  We all had some detectives come and get us at our houses or on the street.  Between probation and what I had to pay in restitution, the whole experience sucked! 
 
In the end it only slowed us down but didn't stop us.
 
Any regrets?
Not really.   Maybe only that I might have done more had I known Miami was going to grow to embrace the graffiti / street art culture.

Have any events or stories you’d like to share with us?
 
So many stories.  Being on the street at ridiculous late hours, you tend to see and get in to weird shit.  This stuff you just can't make up. 
 
The most recent story was bombing with Twice.  We were on the second floor of this abandoned building.  When I went to paint it there was a homeless dude sleeping right where I was going to spray on the second floor.  I thought fuck it I'll just spray around him but, Twice wanted to wake buddie up and make sure he didn't freak out.  So...after several minutes of Twice trying to wake him up, he finally wakes up. 
 
Twice tells him not to freak out because we are going to spray around him.  The homeless dude looks up at us and his first words after Twice telling him we are going to paint around him was "Have you guys seen the new Star Wars?"
I was like WTF?
Twice and him had a full conversation about the movie while I sprayed around him.
 
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, any last words or shouts?
 
Thanks to Sprayplanet and MTN for always helping me out!  Shout out to everyone in Miami doing it.  I see you.  To my crews, you guys are the best!  I keep telling you! 

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