What do you write?
Tell us a little about yourself… How long you’ve been painting and who you’re down with etc.
I’m from Melbourne, Australia and started painting letters in 1985.
What brands of paint did you use most frequently in the early years?
It’s a bit of a mixed bag, Killrust, Dulux, Plasti-Kote, Tuxan, Touch-ups, Fiddly Bits, VHT, Dy-Mark, Galmet, Color Control, Super Spray, Spray O Namel, Accent, etc, etc. Most Melbourne writers back then basically used whatever they could get their hands on.
Do you have a can collection?
Yes, a small one. After moving house a lot I decided to give most of my paint away, just didn’t have the room anymore and I was sick of carting boxes of paint around. I’ve kept about 50 of the older cans which I have in a large bucket stored at my mum’s place, they are mostly Illinois Bronze brands (Super Spray, Spray O Namel, Accent) from the 60s & 70s, some still work but a lot of the Accents have lost their pressure. I also have a handful of old Australian brands, Dulux, Gloss Masta, etc.
Can you still find old paint stock in your area?
No way, It’s all different now, all the old paint has gone, most paint stores have the stock standard brands and an eagle watching their paint.
Any good racking stories?
Don’t know, I’m totally out of it now. When I was young racking was a part of painting, you had to get paint some how. Sometimes it easlier to just smash the store front in with a brick and grab as much paint as you can. Now days I’m a responsible parent and buy my paint.
^Classic Piece Breakdown: Outline: ‘Autumn Harvest’ Orange. Fill: ‘Accent Lavender’, ‘Pale Orchid’, ‘True Pink’ & ‘Deep Purple’. Better times…
Any favorite old paint stores?
The days of the small little old paint store in Melbourne are gone, the development of the large hardware store chains everywhere have killed off the small guy.
Best discontinued paint, and why?
Illinois Bronze Super Spray and Spray O Namel, great colours, nice low pressure and it will not fade! As design goes, the old Plasti-Kote picture labels are amazing, a different illustration for every colour!
Ever found some racked caps work good with certain paints?
Not really. One technique that was used for outlining with the old Australian Killrust (which had a male valve system) was to place a piece of paper under the cap to get finger lines.
Worst paint ever award goes to?
Most old paint brands have a dud colour, so I’ll give the award to all the ones that don’t cover.
What are some of your best painting experiences?
Reuniting with some of Melbourne’s old school writers last year at the “Kings Way” book launch would be one of them, seeing people I hadn’t seen for 20 years was a great experience.
How do you feel about the brands of Euro paint and their impact on the scene?
Personally I think some of the spray paint companies over do it when it comes to brand placement. Basically the euro brands have realised that there’s money to be made from marketing spray paint directly to writers. Great paint doesn’t always equal a good piece, any top writer can still burn with the
crappiest paint. But I must stay the German’s make great art supplies! It’s has helped!!
Do you remember where/when Australia first stocked European paint?
In the mid 80s Australian imports of paint were mainly from the states but a few art stores stocked the full range of Bunlack, until the stores got robbed so many times that they stopped selling it and then it became a lot harder to find. I think the other European brands arrived in the 90s.
Did you ever mix much of your own paint?
In the early 90’s I was mixing a lot of Buntlack for a few stencil painting I was working on. These days I don’t see the need for mixing, there are so many European brands now which have heaps of colours and are now easily available in Australia.
If you could choose a few cans to have on your shelf, what would they be?
Any Illinois Bronze!
Any future projects?
I’m trying to get a little art project off the ground involving some collaborations with a few friends.
Any thoughts on CMC documenting paint history?
It’s important to document every aspect of graffiti, including the history of spray paint brands, CMC is a great start!
Any other comments?
Kids I was joking about the brick.