Heads up! Spray Planet is coming straight at you live and direct from the West with this extra fresh interview featuring the one and only, TRIXTER! Trixter's style is the epitome of West Coast funk and flavor mixed with a dash of the old school graff from NYC that we all have come to know, love, and respect. In this exclusive Spray Planet interview, the Los Angeles native tells us all about the origins of his name, his inspirations and motivations to continue painting after so many years in the game, and even talks about his plans for the future to branch into the upcoming digital/crypto world. Let's get to it!
So we'll start off like the other interviews. Tell us who you are. What do you write? What crews do you rep (if any)? How long you’ve been painting?
Mr. Trixter WCA, UTI, FSC , RF - Started writing in 1990-91.
Where did you grow up, and how did graffiti become a part of your life in that environment? (how were you exposed/at what age? etc)
I grew up in west L.A. area. My mom was a painter/sculptor so I was exposed to different mediums at a young age. My older sister had some friends that wrote. They hipped me to all the markers, inks and spray tips around age 11-12. It was a wrap after that. I loved tagging. They would come by with flicks and black books that blew my mind. Before writing was the focus, skating was my world. My love for letters started by copying skateboard graphics and album cover art. It was a natural progression from skating to vandalism, they went hand in hand.
That's right! Straight West Coasting! I'm sure lots of people reading this can relate to the skateboarding/graffiti crossover. So, TRIXTER is an interesting name. Tell us more about the origin/meaning. How did you get it?
I chose the name. I think it originally came from skating, like doing “tricks”. I just liked the letters. I liked that “tricks" were like technics or skills. The TRIXTER is also a mischievous character in mythology and I was a mischievous kid. It was the perfect fit. Subconsciously maybe Trix cereal had something to do with it too. I wrote a few names but the one I got up with was TRICKS TPS. I started trying all the different letter combos and I dug the X in the middle making it easy to balance so I stuck with that.
Nice! Super versatile name to say the least. Briefly explain your overall approach towards graff? Do you like to just go out and wreck shit? Or are your moves a little more calculated than that? Or both?
The goal was to get up as much as possible. Sometimes premeditated, sometimes spontaneous. In the beginning I was more motivated to get up, as I got older, I became more motivated to push myself creatively. I like the balance and doing both. I focused on being well rounded, having longevity and doing it all. I was taught the importance of hand style and getting up so that was the foundation. A quote from MIN RTW in Style Wars stuck with me, he said you can’t really call yourself an all-out king if you specialize in one thing. It was all about hand style, throw-ups and straight letters but as I got older I got more into piecing. Both getting up and pushing myself stylistically was the goal.
Balance and longevity are definitely key in this game. Let's talk about your inspirations. Who/What has been your biggest inspiration and motivation over the years to continue painting?
For me it became an obsession. Graff addict. Every writer knows the feeling, it’s like a drug. The rush of hitting the streets or going to the yard, hitting a freeway spot or pulling off the ultimate burner. All have their own sense of gratification that drives you to do more. I saw myself getting better so I stuck to it, I was also getting a lot of gigs that opened doors and opportunities by just doing what I loved to do. I had a close group of homies into it, we all motivated each other. I was lucky to have a lot of talented artists and musicians in my circle early on that were huge influences. JoJoe TPS, Lens, Vane One aka Evidence, DJ AM, Alchemist, Xpres CBS, Skill UTI, Kofie, Gacha, NSA Crew and the list goes on and on..
Damn! Definitely some heavy hitters in that line up that's for sure! So, explain how being a player in graffiti culture has changed your life? (For better? For worse?)
It’s been an adventure to say the least. It got me in lots of trouble, but the benefits always outweighed the bullshit. Graff definitely enriched my life, the best is traveling and painting. I’ve gone across the globe and connected with writers all over the world. Graffiti gave me a sense of identity as a kid that was empowering and led to so much in retrospect. At times it was therapy to not go crazy, a creative and destructive outlet. It’s community and culture, something bigger than just myself to contribute to. Graff was my art school turned obsession that ultimately led to a career in the arts.
When you drop a piece, are your color schemes and style planned out or do you freestyle it?
Most of the time it’s all freestyle, once in a while if it’s a production it’s more premeditated. At most I’ll have a rough sketch of the flow of the letters or a simple character.
How have you personally seen the West Coast graffiti culture scene change since you started painting back in 1990-1991?
The West has a rich history of gang graffiti before subway art came along. All those influences came together and created something unique. The west coast definitely has its own vibe. Lotta talented creatives in the west. I see it similar to the rap game, NY originated it and LA innovated.
What's your favorite type of surface to paint? Wall (brick/concrete)? Steel?
Train is always best, steel for reeeeeeal! Nothing better!
Haha! Rock on! So, wrapping things up, are you working on any projects at the moment that you’d like the readers of this interview to know about?
Doing a lot of design and digital art and diving in the crypto space. Putting out some merch and gear from time to time. I always have a few commission pieces and or public works in the mix. And currently working on Cannabis investments and other projects with creative partners. (www.buildestroy.com / silverlakecaregivers.com / k9candykitchen.com)
Where do you think you would be in life right now if you never picked up a spray can?
It’s hard to say… My other obsession from day one has always been music, record collecting and DJing, so probably something in that field
Trixter's work can be found here:
Interviewed by: Eight (On Instagram: @eightxlucy)