SprayPlanet sat down this week to ask Florida’s very own orange ATOMIK some quick questions. Who is ATOMIK you say? Walk into any train yard across America and you’re bound to see a boxcar or 2 with one of his orange characters smiling right back at you. Cruise through Miami’s buzzing streets and you’re definitely going to run into some more and more smiling oranges. Whether large scale murals, stickers, freights or just straight-up graffiti, ATOMIK has definitely made a name for himself from coast to coast.
Find out all the basics about ATOMIK as he leads us through the course of his typical day, explains his inspirations and motivations that keep him creating, and learn the origins and evolution of his iconic orange character. Who knows, you might pick up a tip or two! Oh yeah, and there's even a chance to pick up a Spray Planet pack hand-selected by him!
A History of ATOMIK’s Graffiti Origins
SprayPlanet: What do you write and where do you call home?
Atomik: I write Atomik and I’m from Miami, Florida, USA. I represent the crews 28, B5E, SH, MSG, K2S & LOD.
SprayPlanet: Tell us a little bit about the origins of the name: ATOMIK. Where/how did you get it?
Atomik: My friend Honer originally gave me the tag “Atom.” Shortly after I added on the “ik”. He might have chosen that tag for me because my name is Adam.
SprayPlanet: So, explain to us what a “normal” day is like for you (what does it typically consist of from start to finish)?
Atomik: I have something to eat for breakfast, then brush my teeth and head out after rush hour dies down. I’ll stop by the post office then go towards downtown. Usually, I’ll grab a coffee and go to my studio. If my son is with me then I’m not able to paint, so instead we will get lunch and go to the park. I like to make my rounds and stop by friends’ studios/shops. After traffic dies down, I’ll head back home, eat dinner and work on pending projects. Occasionally, I’ll go and paint at night. If not, I crash out and do it all over again.
SprayPlanet: Sounds like a pretty full daily schedule. So, tell us about the first time you specifically remember painting graffiti… What was that spot and/or experience like for you?
Atomik: One of the first times I painted graffiti was tagging a palm tree. Somehow my friends mom found out it was me, then I got lectured about writing on trees. My first attempt at a piece was behind the convenience store by my house. I remember that experience being fun.
ATOMIK’s Influences and Motivations
SprayPlanet: Who or what is your biggest influence and/or inspiration and how do you think it affects your work?
Atomik: These days my biggest influence is traveling. I enjoy visiting other cities, countries and continents. Everything from the art, food, architecture and weather is new and interesting. I paint as much as possible on my travels and that inspires me to keep going once I return home.
SprayPlanet: If you could choose, what would your dream project be?
Atomik: Painting a really tall building Maybe 10 to 20 stories high.
The Origin’s of the ATOMIK Orange
SprayPlanet: Nice. You aim high you hit high. So, where did the concept of painting the “orange” character originate and how has it evolved over the years?
Atomik: My orange character is inspired from Obie of the Miami Orange Bowl. They demolished the football stadium in 2008 after 70+ years of it standing as a landmark.
At first, I painted the orange exactly like they designed it. After receiving a cease and desist order from the orange bowl committee I removed the crown and stylized the facial features. Certain things have been exaggerated and changed throughout the years.
ATOMIK on Graffiti and Painting Spots
SprayPlanet: What are your favorite kind of spots to paint (rooftops/floaters/cuts/abandos/etc.) and why?
Atomik: I enjoy painting rooftops, people usually wonder how you got up there and were able to paint a spot like that. I also like to paint freight trains because they travel throughout the country and can end up in Canada and Mexico as well. It’s cool to see a freight train weather, get stamped and have other writers and monikers add on.
SprayPlanet: How have you personally seen graffiti change since you started?
Atomik: I started painting with Krylon, Rusto and Red Devil so the foreign paint changed the game with massive color pallets and cap systems. Another change is the popularity, it seems like everyone wants to get involved with spray can art in one way or another these days.
SprayPlanet: Do you have any new murals/projects/events coming up in the future?
Atomik: My wife and I are expecting our second born child in a week. That’s my newest creation! I’m also releasing my first toy this year and possibly doing a book to accompany my solo show in November.
SprayPlanet: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Still painting?
Atomik: In 10 years I hope to be healthy, happy and still traveling the world. I’ll paint until the day I die. Thank you Spray Planet for this interview opportunity! I appreciate y’all. Peace.