Please introduce yourself..
I’m ventza, CMS, YDS, UKS and one fifth of the Fourpence Collective
How long have you been writing for?
My first ventz tags went up in about ’99 but it was nothing more than throw-ups and bombing until about 2004
Who were your main influences at the very beginning?
I’m from the same area as Howl, so I guess all the heads that rocked the spots, dest, hooks, rench, since, verge etc These guys used to hold down all the local tracks and the skateparks around had boards that were always killed with big productions.
Is there a story behind your name Ventz?
I’d like to say yes but in reality I just sat down with the blackbook and played with letters that seemed to flow… It was my first tag and everyone at the time was rocking 5 letters and using Z’s for S’s so I just went from there. All the guys I used to skate with just knew me as ventza so when I moved away to uni I got up writing Ode. It wasn’t until I moved to London in 2007 that I wanted to use my painting as my career, so switched back to ventza.
Recently you’ve moved away from your characters of old towards painting more buildings and landscapes. Is this something you’re planning to stick with for the foreseeable future or are characters still on the agenda?
I love painting characters but I wanted to work on technique and have a style that was unique to me. I’ve spent a lot of time recently working with texture and line style, so I found painting imagery that relates to graffiti works well (trains, spraycans, throw-up styles etc). Also when it comes to working commercially characters aren’t always easy to transfer to a clients brief compared to having a set illustration style. In all honesty before 2008 I’d never painted a character before, I was strictly about the letters.
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