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I started doing graffiti around 1984 at the age of 14 after seeing the documentary Style Wars. I was inspired by the graffiti shown in the movie because there was no graffiti at all in this small city where I lived. At the beginning I was mostly sketching and trying out letters, however quite quickly I started to develop my own style. Nevertheless the size of the city limited my ability to do serious graffiti and to develop myself more artistically.

It didn't take too long before they were showing what was going on in Amsterdam with graffiti on TV. Of course I couldn't resist going to Amsterdam to check it out myself. I started going from spot to spot all over Amsterdam taking photos of pieces and at the same time doing graffiti there. I met many well known writers there and from painting with them, hanging out with them, and knowing them, their styles influenced me and helped me to develop my own style even more distinctly. I'm nog going to mention names, because this is about me, not about them.

Some very well known writers I got to know better and some became good friends of mine. I also met writers in Amsterdam who were from other cities, so I started going to cities all over Holland to do graffiti and collect photos of pieces.

Doing walls started to bore me, so I changed my playground to the trains, trams and subways and soon after I did nothing else. At one point I knew all major yards of Holland's biggest cities like they were my own back pocket. Sadly enough I almost have no photos of most of my work on trains because I always had to take the last train back home which was quite early. Most of the time by the next morning the trains were cleaned and besides that, I didn't want to spend extra money on a train ticket just to go back for a photo. I could kill myself for that now.

Around 1991 I quit painting; it wasn't fun anymore because they were hunting down writers as hard and as much as they possibly could. So I preferred to retire and avoid problems. I never stopped sketching though, once you start doing graffiti it's in your blood and you are never able to get it out of you. Around 2006 I started to pick up the cans again doing some throw-ups and tagging here and there abroad and having major inspiration again with sketching. In March 2007 I did my first comeback with a little piece, well actually quick piece if you ask me, in South America.

The style I try to maintain is simplicity, letters designed in the best possible way and as clean as possible, on paper and on the wall. I prefer to do clean silver pieces because, from my point of view, there is no margin for errors with silvers and you just have to present them in the best possible style/way. With silvers you don't have a zillion colors to hide ugly letters and poorly painted parts in a piece.

I do ALL my sketches by hand on paper, without any tools or aids. There are several reasons for this: I need/like the feeling of a pen/pencil and paper when I am sketching, and it helps me keep an eye for detail and my hands steady. Working a hand drawn sketch over in Adobe Photoshop for an order is another subject of course.

What I use to sketch:

Rotring Rapiograph pens ( 0.13mm, 0.18mm, 0.20mm, 0.25mm, 0.30mm or 0.35mm, depends on the design ) Staedtler Marsmagno 2 ( 0.18mm depends on the design )

Favorite spraycans: Sparvar, Krylon, Red Devil, Belton, Montana...

and besides all that a steady hand..



all photos, letters, scans, designs & styles are © sal (saL-onE) since 1984, site content may not be used without written permission!

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