KEEPSIX Graffiti Interview
PUREGRAFFITI. What do you write and why do you write that name?
KEEPSIX. I write KEEPSIX because back in tha day when I started writing, I ran with a bunch of older guys who bombed.When I would go out with them they would always tell me to Keep6 for them while they hit up a spot…Keep6 means to keep watch or be a lookout for someone or something…So i was thier lookout for cops or any random hero civilian while they got up…then when they were done and movin to tha next spot, i would quickly side bust em an get my up.
PUREGRAFFITI. Where are you from and how did you get into graffiti?
KEEPSIX. I’m from Surrey B.C. Canada just outside Vancity…When I was a kid , around tha time i was in grade 6 or 7 , art was my world. I was just beginning to listen to early ’90s hiphop and being a young influential kid , it grabbed my attention through tha music. My cousin was someone I always looked up to but rarely saw , and one time I was over there , he showed me some walls he had done. I was shook! I thought it was tha coolest shit in tha world. Also around that time I had a friend who’s older brother ran with a crew of hooligans. They were into a whole gang of different shit , but what stood out over tha parties and selling drugs an shit , was tha graffiti. Looking back , it was just simple hollow throwies an a couple half decent tags , but at tha time I had never seen anything so fresh. So with that , and my cousin sparking influence on me , it was only a matter of time before I tested my luck at it. I remember going downtown where i lived one day with a couple friends an’ thier parents along some trails and we came across this bridge where tha trails we were on went underneath tha road alongside a little river.I still feel tha feeling that I got when i saw tha graffiti on tha walls underneath when i reminisce about it. Years of sketching comic book characters, landscapes , and portraits of people, showing them to my parents with little or no praise for what i had done , were over. I seen that people painted on whatever they wanted to , and people HAD to look at it.Since then graffiti has been my life
PUREGRAFFITI. What would you call your style? what other writers or artists have influenced and inspired your work?
KEEPSIX. I would have to say I base my style on NYC wildstyle…That’s what I really payed attention to in my early years…over tha years I have pulled alot of influence from the westcoast as well as European style but always kept it “my own” not straying too far from my own personal “rules” in letters ad extentions an shit like that…I prefer wildstyle because I like getting Technical with my pieces, but nothing is better than a huge straight letter on a freight or the side of tha highway…
PUREGRAFFITI. Are you mostly into doing pieces, bombing, characters ?
KEEPSIX. I love it all…different days call for different approaches…I like piecing because it pushes me to go farther with the “art” side of graffiti…trying alot of colours and techniques with more prescision than if were to anything else…I like bombing and doin tags because thats tha heart and soul of graffiti to me…Handstyles are my prode and joy!…Characters are something i’m starting to get into more now. I recently did a big indian skull for a musc video and i got mad hyped when it was finished.I had never really tried myself at anything like it before and after seeing what i could do with that, it made me want to explore that more…
PUREGRAFFITI. When you are painting, what’s going through your mind?
KEEPSIX. Absolutely nothing! Hahaha…Seriously , life is crazy and personally my life has been filled with all sorts of fucked up shit…not to say it’s more or less than anyone elses , but tha past couple years particularily have been rough…Graffiti has been the only thing (second to my Family) that has kept me sane through it all…When I paint , nothing else matters but tha wall(s) or freight(s) in front of me. I wouldnt rather be doing anything else than painting by myself ,or with my crew or friends…
PUREGRAFFITI. Any favorite color combinations?
KEEPSIX. I fuckin love purples an greens together…anyway works for me…those two colours are evil…or yellow an purple for sure…CHROME ONLY! for them big letters! nuff said
PUREGRAFFITI. Your spray cans and stash would consist of what items?
KEEPSIX. I rarely have alot of paint on hand…Not that I dont stash paint, I just paint alot…….seriously , ALOT…so I never have cans sitting around…If there’s a can sitting around , I have to empty it now…I hate having paint at my place…Also, my crew really supports one another…everybody’s paint, is everybody’s paint…when someone uses some , they put back an so on an so forth…
so we’re always stocked to tha tits with cans an buff an markers an everything else when we need it…It’s stashed in pandora’s box. We hang it in tha middle of the earth on a string tied to the bathtub fawcett at Capital Q’s place..
PUREGRAFFITI. How many spray cans do you go through in one month? What about spray caps?
KEEPSIX. Fuck , I really don’t want to know…Look at it like this…That hole in the Ozone that’s been around for a while giving everyone skin cancer , we made a new one beside it… we’re giving that fucker a run for its money
PUREGRAFFITI. Have you painted in other country’s or states, if so which ones?
KEEPSIX. Unfortunately I haven’t really travelled…I got a fam to raise and take care of ,so at tha moment , I can’t afford , nor do i want, to go anywhere right now…In the future, I really have my sights on a couple places I would like to visit…I know some of tha crew would like to as well.Maybe a crew trip?
I would like to go to NYC…My first choice for sure…..I would also like to visit Australia , France , Germany , Atlanta and LA etc……Theres so many places that really no matter where I end up…I will be happy I got to see tha scene there…Give it a couple years an’ I’ll be making plans…Expect big things!
PUREGRAFFITI. Are you into sketching and drawing on a sketch book these days?
KEEPSIX. Ya I love sitting down in the books alot…Always have. Beeing that I try to paint as much as I can , nowadays I find i’m spending less time sketching…But when I do it’s always given my all…I feel that a writer should practice in tha books all tha time while in between walls or steel…You gotta keep those skills sharp…You can’t be caught sleepin’ on these muther fuckers or you’ll get rolled over quick!
PUREGRAFFITI. What keeps you motivated to keep painting?
KEEPSIX.I think my personal drive to improve keeps me going more than anything else…As well as my problem with “being forgotten”….I have this thing that if I stop , for even a week , people will forget about my name and my work , and i get , i’m not sure how to explain it….I get crazy i guess i tha best way to describe it…A mix of every emotion that changes every minute…depressed,relaxed,then furious then bitter then happy then angry then unruly then pissed off again then down then sad then hatefull then happy an so on an so forth until the next minute , then i’m back where I started…So I have to paint….Graffiti is something I will never stop…I have been writing for half my life exactly, so that right there should show that it’s not just a hobby or passing fad…It consumes me…I’m just lucky that i have a crew of people that motivate each other all tha time…and for that, I couldn’t be happier.Special shout out to CAPITAL Q…Nobody works harder for tha crew than him…Nobody anywhere works harder for anyone or anything than him to tell the truth.An I put that on my momma’s momma!!!!
PUREGRAFFITI. Do you consider yourself All City by now? How many ups do you think you have total?
KEEPSIX. I wouldn’t say i’m all city because i’m not a huge bomber with ups in every city around me…I paint alot and get up when i can , but i’m not trying to be the most up…I do what i do and get up wherever I am…There are alot of people tha crush harder than everyone else for a year, maybe 2 …Then they either get caught or start too much beef and fizzle out….I’m all about longevity out here…I get up a little. I catch tags an throwups on the regular, but I don’t go hard like some writers…I have hit some really big illegal spots with tha crew that keep me satisfied…nobody else has hit them that big lately so i’m proud of that…I always try to get Big illegal spots on highways or in the city every now and then to keep tha name fresh , then i go back to hitting pieces in spots and spending most of my time catching steel. The internet has given writers the oppratunity to spread thier work around tha country and world now so we use that to get tha name out there , but in the end I paint for myself and my crew…I’m not trying to claim anything…I just want to paint and represent for my family…
PUREGRAFFITI. Do you paint steel, rooftops, walls, freeways, overpasses, other surfaces?
KEEPSIX. I paint anything and everything I can paint…Really enjoy steel…I would rather paint freights over walls….There was a time when I preferred walls…but I think that’s changed now that me an MILES are having a wholecar race…Now I think doing freights is most important to me although if there’s a wall and i’m there , i’m killing it…
PUREGRAFFITI. Have you ever been arrested? Do you keep your identity anonymous?
KEEPSIX. I have ben caught a couple times but never charged…Been in a couple chases that I thought I was gonna die in…I got chased by some hero fuck in his Yukon at like 1 in tha moning while I was doing a throw on tha front of this gas station (it had closed earlier) , this was back when i first started writing KEEPSIX so I got spooked when I heard him shout and i ran …got onto tha road(nobody was out at this time of night so it was just me an him) and the guy tried to hit me in his truck. So I dodged him and ran the opposite way and he turned around and tried again to hit me , I dodged that time too but lost my shoes while gettin out of tha way again ( I would have been fucked if he hit me , he was going fast enough to probably kill me or at least break most of my body , that’s no joke) so while he slowed down to turn around an come at me again , I booked into this little forest and ran through it for my life hoping to hide out because there was no other way away from him…He pulled up an yelled an screamed at me in the woods and eventually fucked off…I waited about 30 minutes an came out the other side onto tha road ,still in my socks…and was about to walk home when one of my homies was coming home from a party an spotted me…he picked me up , an took me home…i reached down to pull up my sock on my right foot and couldnt pull it up , i kept trying and finally looked down like “Why tha fuck dont my socks work!?” and i didnt have my right sock on , my finger was inside my foot in a 4 inch gash that i guess was numb from shock and adrenaline? still can’t figure out why i could pull on my flesh and muscle tissue without thinking hey , my finger feels like its in my foot…I probably stepped on a broken log when i was running through the trees an shit as fast as i could without caring whether i had shoes on or not…plus I had been bleeding alot for well over a half an hour without noticing, so I was probably in shock…It was pouring out of my foot pretty bad but I got away from superhero yukon man.
PUREGRAFFITI. Any tips you can give beginners that are just starting?
KEEPSIX. Learn your history and learn what graffiti is…go an hit th streets an get up before even thinking of touching a train or a legal wall…you really gotta put in work if you want to get some respect…also , all the questions about what caps to use an whats tha best paint an all that shit…..just get out an figure it out…get used to EVERYTHING! because at the end of tha day , youll never know unless you try it …respect or get your shit ruined for a long time…or worse.
PUREGRAFFITI. How can we contact you and see more of your work?
also the myspace is updated everyday @ www.myspace.com/killakeep
The Family also has a clothing line that was built from tha ground up within our crew over tha past 8 years or so that is the backbone of the hiphop scene up here on tha westcoast of Canada… “EPHIN” is and has been a HUGE part of every aspect of hiphop culture and lifestyle on tha west for years now and I’m proud to be a part of it…Without Ephin alot of people wouldn’t have had the chance to be noticed and I think the support that we get from those people shows the respect on both ends…. Go to www.ephin.com to check out what’s new there , the online store is up and running now and there are always updates on what’s happening with tha fam!
PUREGRAFFITI. Anything else you would like to say to the world?
KEEPSIX. Shut tha fuck up and write graffiti! Respect to those who deserve it , and One love to tha crew !
Short URL: http://puregraffiti.com/art/?p=3458