Video: Shepard Fairey On Art & Beautiful Mistakes

Video: Shepard Fairey On Art & Beautiful Mistakes
Arts & Culture
Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 23 january 2009

* “A lot of stuff for corporations – it’s not even that they don’t mean well, it’s just that they’re a little bit clueless as to the right way to go about addressing what skateboarders, street artists, punks, and hip-hop kids want to see. So finding someone who can be a liaison to that culture and help them deal with it authentically can be a real benefit for the artist and the company.”

* “At 14, I started skateboarding, which was linked to the culture of punk rock. Neither were mainstream and they were both very DIY. It had a creativity that said it was better just to make your own stuff.”

* “After getting some attention for my stickers, it really opened my eyes to the idea of putting something in public that people see and get curious about. It really opened my eyes to the power of communication in public space.”

* “My early stuff, I more or less just hijacked pop culture.”

* “I think almost everything I’ve achieved has come from me perusing what I felt really strongly and passionately about and not second guessing my instincts and trying to have a level of authenticity.”

* “My idea was always to make my work seem bigger and more important that it really was. The result was, it started to resonate with a lot of underground culture types – skateboarders, people into punk music, etc – but additionally from people representing companies that wanted to identify with that demographic as well.”

* “I try and consult as much as I do art.”

* “If your budget is low, make your aesthetic work with it. Don’t let it hold your aesthetic back.”

* “I really firmly believe that art and commerce need each other.”

* “My feeling has always been, if I can continue to produce the work for myself that I want to do for companies – that there will be much less compromise when it comes to doing commercial work.”

* “The cool thing about street art is you don’t get attached to it – which totally prepped me for the commercial art world.”

* “There’s so many times where you go, ‘OK, should I be spending more time on my art or on my business?’ And I’ve found that I’m not happy doing either exclusively – that its all important.”

Shepard Fairey

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