SUEWORKS Graffiti Writer Interview
PUREGRAFFITI. What do you write and how did you choose this name?
SUEWORKS. My nom-de-plume is SUE (a.k.a. SUEWORKS). SUE is an Acronym for “STYLES UNDER EVOLUTION”. I came up with my name back in 1985 while I was at a friend’s cousin’s apartment. We were writing on each other’s black-books and I did a really cool space scene. My boy’s cousin saw it and said “Wow! That is awesome. Your style is like style under evolution man!” He was drunk and high at the time so we laughed it off, but what he said always stood out on my mind. I couldn’t write the whole thing as a tag, so I had to shorten it. It was shortened to S.U.E. A 3-letter word that is dope and easy to write up. That’s how I came up with my name.
PUREGRAFFITI. Where are you from and how old where you when you first started writing?
SUEWORKS.I live in the USA; the country that takes whatever they want by any means necessary. I’m from New York City; Washington Heights to be exact. I first got involved in the art form back in 1980, at the age of nine. I used to hang out with a lot of the older cats from around my neighborhood. They used to get up all the time and I was so taken by it, that by the time 1987, I made my debut.
PUREGRAFFITI. Do you enjoy creating fine art/commissions as much as going out and hitting the streets?
SUEWORKS. You can’t compare both because they totally have different feelings. I enjoy doing commissions because I get to express myself in an entirely different way; and when I hit the streets there’s a rush that you get because you know that you’re getting over illegally. I really love doing both and I’ll keep doing it until I can’t no more.
PUREGRAFFITI. What would you call your style?
SUEWORKS. I call my style “3D perspective”. It’s more of a technical aspect than just learning letter structure. You have to study lighting source, angle perspective and your color palette to achieve this effect. If you do not know this, then you can never achieve three-dimensional style, and I find that thrilling, because it’s harder for other writers to really copy your style. In this level of graff, you can’t bite. You really have to create your own original letter structure to stand out from the rest. That’s why when you look at my pieces; you never see the same piece over and over again. I try to flip my 3D style all the time just to keep it fresh and to evolve with the times.
PUREGRAFFITI. What is your favorite surface to paint on?
SUEWORKS. I love to paint on concrete walls. Canvases and panel plywood is cool to, but concrete walls is where is at.
SUEWORKS. Like with everything, there is a good and a bad to keep that balance in this world. Graffiti has both elements and I have shared the negative and positive in my life. I have no regrets. I’m leaning more towards a positive stage these days. As you get older, you get a career; you have children and a family to support and hopefully a business to run. To achieve this, you have to stay positive.
PUREGRAFFITI. Have you done any collaborations with artists overseas or locally?
SUEWORKS. I have done collabs with the Silver Caps crew in Orlando Florida (REC, WIE, WES, DOLLA). Puerto Rico ( Q-ONE SPEED, OREZ, DOLLA). 004 CREW, SEN AOK Crew. The F.U.A. Crew in Rochester NY, MTA Crew (REE, TECK, CRANE, STAN, SNAKE, PAID), Shiro from Japan, Bronx Team (PASE, JEW) In 2010 I’m hitting Canada, Japan, California, UK, Puerto Rico, Spain and Australia. I can’t wait to take those trips.
PUREGRAFFITI. What other street artists do you most admire and why?
SUEWORKS.I don’t admire any street artist or have mentors. Being a leader is what I am, not a follower. Remember those who can’t do, teach. Don’t get me wrong, there are dope artists doing their thing. And I love to do collaborations with them, but I think that having an admirer will keep you on their level because you view their work so much, that you’ll tend to reflect some of that personal style in your own work. That’s why I do my own thing. I don’t want somebody to see my work and say, “Oh he has this persons style.” I want people to recognize my work anywhere without putting my signature on it. I guess I’m my own admirer LOL!
PUREGRAFFITI. What are you currently working on? Can you give us a sneak peek?
SUEWORKS. I have my own color by Clash called “SUEWORK ORANGE”. You can buy it now at 004connec.com. Order it by name. I’m working on making mops & inks; a Sueworks Marker by 004connecs is coming soon. I am doing a collaboration with NEW ERA (dropping in the spring 2010), to put my square-head character on a cap and I’m also collaborating with Multitude, on an Artist Sueworks collection that will include tees, skateboards, caps, hoodies, belts, socks and toys. There’s a collaboration with Syndicated Clothing as well, on a Sueworks Collection with even more tees, caps, jackets, sweaters and accessories. I’ll be working with Art Lounge International, who I’m gonna working on some toys with. Sueworks Square head & 3D Letter toys coming soon! I’ll be working on LGR, Scion Car Company, Monster energy drink and even a sneaker deal. Sueworks on that hard grind for 2010 you hear me!
PUREGRAFFITI. Do you try to keep your identity anonymous?
SUEWORKS. Not any more. I’m on a different level now, where I have to be professional. I can’t hide my face if I want to network with the big dogs. This is why I go under Sueworks now, just in case. Ha! Ha! Ha!
PUREGRAFFITI. Ever been arrested? Any close calls?
SUEWORKS. I have been arrested 4 times, did a stint of a couple of months. Did community service, paid fines and had probation for 5 years. All part of the graff game. Some cats would have quit once they came out of jail. But not me. Been there done that and I have 20 plus years in this graff game and have many more to give.
Here’s a close call story. I was doing a throw up downtown on 14 street. Two of my boys were with me. HEC who was next to me and NOSE, who was across the street. All of a sudden, a narc car jumped the curb and flashed its light at us. I looked at HEC and said “Run!” And the chase was on. Running west with a narc on foot and an unmarked vehicle on our asses, HEC and I decided to split apart. As I ran towards NOSE, the unmarked vehicle jumped on the sidewalk and went after HEC. The narc on foot decided to go after NOSE and me. We must have run for like, 4 blocks or more; and you know how long those New York blocks can get!! Well, the narc that was chasing us got so close to me and NOSE, that all he did was reach out his arms to try and grab us both. And as he did, NOSE and I stopped short all of a sudden, and we hit reverse on him just as quickly. The narc was so surprised, that he almost tripped over his own feet from the momentum while trying to stop. With that maneuver, NOSE and I were able to shake him and got away. We then made a left turn at the next corner and decided to hide under a van until the coast was clear. Gasping for air, I remembered that HEC was being chased by car. “Damn! I think HEC got caught!” I thought to myself. We let about 45 minutes pass by, and then NOSE decided to head out. I went to look for a pay phone so I could beep HEC and find out what happened to him. Oh Yeah! I said page HEC!! No cell phones in those days, kiddies!!. Time passed and when it got to about 4 a.m., still no sign of HEC. I just couldn’t go home without knowing whether HEC got caught or not. So I called NOSE and we eventually tracked his girlfriend’s phone number down. We called her. She picks up the phone. I ask if HEC is with her? And what does she tell me?! “Yes. He got here 3 hours ago.” The motherfucker got away, hooked up with his girl, took a shower AND got some ass, while NOSE and I were wandering the street of New York City looking for his ass!!! LOL. Got to love his steez, rest in peace my brother.
PUREGRAFFITI. What would you say are the negatives of being a graffiti writer and what are the positives?
SUEWORKS. Negatives- you’re always dirty and you and your clothes are always stained. Positives are fame, money & free stuff for me anyway.
PUREGRAFFITI. Any tips you learned during the years in order to improve your skills?
SUEWORKS. Yeah, never be afraid to try new things. Always be humble and most important, practice your craft every day if you want to be tight with your skills.
PUREGRAFFITI. What advice would you give to young inexperienced graffiti writers?
SUEWORKS. Please, Please, Please practice before you hit the streets. You young cats think only about getting mad ups but you don’t seem to understand that if you have a lot of up and your hand style is weak, then you’re just making a mess. Yes, you will be toyed! Your name will be on the toy list and nobody will respect you. So please practice your tag name, hand style, throw-up, and piece and follow the graff rules. Yes there are rules.
PUREGRAFFITI. Anything else you would like to say to the world?
SUEWORKS. Yes, Haters keep hating cause I need your hate to get bigger in this graff game. Big shout out to my family wife and kids, 004connecs, Multitude, Syndicated, FE, Monster & Clash paint, My homies from oo4 writer team, MTA, UFC, Silver Caps crew and to the whole graff world in general! “ORGANIZED RESISTANCE”
Short URL: http://puregraffiti.com/art/?p=3266