It’s been a minute since we actually had a proper discussion with our friend MECRO – and really never interviewed him! Hard to believe as MECRO is one of the most dominant graffiti writers across the board. Watch any train line pass and you’re bound to catch a solid panel or two from this Cool Dude. But don’t be fooled! Bold, stylistic graffiti pieces are only a small fraction of what MECRO is about. From publishing and releasing a book with his crew to painting large scale murals for corporations like Comcast, MECRO is consistently producing solid work at the highest levels and at an incredible rate! So how does he manage to do it all? In this interview MECRO opens up and talks to SprayPlanet about his early days of learning the in’s-and-out’s of the graffiti culture; his decision to pursue a career as an artist; and what it’s like trying to balance work, a home life, and a passion for graffiti.
History of Graffiti Writer MECRO and CDC Crew
SprayPlanet: Tell us who you are and a little about yourself (what you write/what crews you rep/where you currently reside)
MECRO: I write MECRO, CDC crew. The CDC was founded by Yuthe, Draft, and myself in 2006. I currently reside in the Philadelphia area.
SprayPlanet: Give us the backstory on the name MECRO. How and when did you start writing it? (origin/meaning)
MECRO: Graffiti became an interest late in high school, maybe 2000(?) I think there was one guy in my high school that ‘tagged’ and it blew my mind, since this was the suburbs. I gave myself a few different names and started looking at Stylefile magazine, leaching ideas from that. I knew I wanted an E in my name, so ‘MECRO’ was created when I swapped out the A for an E in ‘macro', in reference to a type of camera lens. I tried my best to research to see if there was another well-known writer using the name, but it seemed like I could claim ownership. I sketched and made stickers with this name for about 6 years before trying to paint, which is when I credit my true start.
SprayPlanet: Briefly describe to us the first time you remember painting graff. Where was it? What was that feeling like for you?
MECRO: I painted a storage container that was sitting on my high school’s basketball courts. I don’t really remember the feeling during, but I do remember feeling like I was totally going to get caught the next day, since I was the only dude with a graffiti black book in my school.
Personal Artistic Preferences – Graffiti or Otherwise
SprayPlanet: Do you prefer to paint solo or with someone? Explain.
MECRO: Solo or with a friend. I get uneasy painting 3+
SprayPlanet: Favorite kind of train to paint and why? (hopper, boxcar, tanker, stacker, etc.)?
MECRO: I’m not picky. I just enjoy painting. If I had to pick, I’d say baby ridge ARMNs.
SprayPlanet: When you hit a spot do you already have a general concept/idea in your mind or do you just go with the flow?
MECRO: I usually have two panels fully planned out. But the third or fourth are likely put together on the spot.
SprayPlanet: How often do you sit down to draw/sketch in your blackbook?
MECRO: Graffiti: I used to sketch a lot, but I rarely do anymore. Artwork: All the time.
SprayPlanet: What is your preferred color scheme?
MECRO: Black, white, red.
How MECRO Developed his Iconic Upside Down “R”
SprayPlanet: Your “calling card”, if you will, is simple yet effective. How did the idea for the upside down/backwards R come about?
MECRO: In the book Create Destroy Conquer the idea behind the upside down R is described in full. If I had to recap, the influences behind the R being singled out in my (older) panels and standing alone as a throw; stems from the Philly flipped A (likely traced back to KAIR), inspiration from JASE JE throws, and learning the importance of versatility early on from TRE.
MECRO on Working For Himself As A Full Time Artist
SprayPlanet: I read on your IG (@glossblack) that you quit your day job over 3 years ago to pursue your life as an artist. What was that deciding moment like for you? Scary? Liberating? Did you have the support of your friends and fam?
MECRO: Surprisingly it wasn’t as much of a leap of faith, but more of an obvious decision that it was time. My friends and family probably saw it coming more than I did. It wasn’t one moment that solidified the decision for me, but a combination of realizations (money, timing, work load, client list, connections, etc) that this is the right moment.
SprayPlanet: It seems like you’re constantly busy with large-scale projects. Do you find it difficult to balance a home life, work, and graffiti?
MECRO: Absolutely, it’s probably the hardest task I deal with weekly, balancing family, artwork, and graffiti. The dedicated focus I have had towards freights, has now moved into more of a personal artistic pursuit. For that reason, I take every project very seriously. I want to do my absolute best on every piece of artwork I’m creating, for myself and the client. This is mostly because I don’t want to look back and think that I took the easy way out, or just relied on a gimmick to get by. Creating something genuinely ’new’ is difficult work but I want to stay in that mindset and take on that challenge.