Sacred Stitch X Ewok One Exclusive Interview
Sacred Stitch: What do you write?
Ewok: I write sports reviews, pornographic poetry and the occasional haiku….. can I write you something?
Sacred Stitch: Is there any significance to the name Ewok?
Ewok: For me I loved the letter E’s an opener, sometimes resembling facial features, the W was a great challenge, the O is a slip and slide over to the great letter K as a conclusion to an amazing autobiography.
Sacred Stitch: Where are you from?
Ewok: Jersey born, Ny state raised, NYC trained.
Sacred Stitch: How long have you been in the graff game for?
Ewok: in 1990 I discovered Subway art in my school library and was stealing about 3 pages a day from the book because it was a paperback version you weren’t allowed to take home. So I had a few pages a day to study at night. I would actually cough and tear a page out, that was me attempting to be slick and not get caught. 100 % true story, not long after i was drawing horrendous pieces of frankensteined words made up from letters throughout the subway art book, then painting them on raw concrete walls with stolen fan tip car paint and all kinds of paint I could scavenge from everyone garages etc etc… Aside from the Subway art influence, I was seeing tags around town and other towns at all the skate spots, there was this guy who would draw a box with a number 1 in it then cross it out, never found out who it was, but it was always a mystery of “who does that?” The mystique intrigued me.
Sacred Stitch: What crews do you rep?
Ewok: I think a better question would be what crews rep me….. if anyone can answer that then they have a good idea of who I rep. These days nothing is permanent and you can find jealousy and envy within your own circle, no longer a need to have enemies anymore. We live in different times….
Sacred Stitch: If one of your fans or readers see’s you walking down the street what should they do?
Ewok: They would probably look right passed me, because I generally avoid the relation of my face with my art and the world that comes with it. I think there is way too much narcissism involved with graffiti today, everyone wants to be a rock star and that’s just not something I do, I don’t care if I’m the last person in graffiti who lives this way, this is the reason I started what i do, and I don’t need a p.r. firm to tell me to pose for pics, a lot of people have come out of the shadows as a trade in for some kind of stardom… the thing is, once you step out of the dark, that’s it, you cant go back…. Maybe one day Ill have a different view of this and the “scene” as a whole, but for now I still believe in keeping your identity a mystery, the mystique can be a powerful tool if used properly.
Sacred Stitch: We have seen your collectable toys at toy Tokyo in NYC, and sites on the web, how did you get into making and selling your own toys?
Ewok: I was involved in Kidrobots first Dunny release years ago, and at one point I realized they weren’t paying shit, and they where getting over on the fact that if an artist didn’t want to work w/ them, they could just shit on them and grab the next hungry artist in the wing. That didn’t bother me, my integrity is more valuable than working for free, so I ultimately backed out of 2 future projects because they wouldn’t pay me, attempting to pay me with 25 figures only, really? Mind you, they where opening stores in Vegas, L.A. and Miami, but they couldn’t pay the artists that where creating their legacy for them? So from pulling back and playing hard to get, another company called Mindstyle stepped to me to create my first creation from scratch( Horselington) instead of painting on a generic platform figure. I felt like you would never hire Mercedes to paint the exterior of a Volkswagon right?
Sacred Stitch: Does music have a big impact on your art?
Ewok: Music has a big part in my life, so I’m sure it has an effect on my work, I really cant say though… but music is an expressive side of me that I cannot do, so maybe I find comfort in the stuff that I like, my father is a singer and bass guitarist for like 45 yrs or some shit, so I could have that kind of creativity dormant in me i dunno. I do know a day doesn’t go by that I don’t listen to music when I work.
Sacred Stitch: What’s in steady rotation in your ipod now?
Ewok: That’s way too complicated to answer, but ill say The Mad Scientist by Large Pro is playing as I type this…. next song is gonna be, JayZ “Wishing on a Star” a remix produced by my homey Poke from Track Masters…
Sacred Stitch: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Ewok: Well Ive been burned out on graffiti i would say like 4 or 5 times, and at different times i would find inspiration from other writers i respected at times, but as time goes on, the list gets smaller and smaller, then at other points i got inspired by specific eras of graffiti history, then in this last burn out phase, ive in a weird way had a break thru with finding insiration from simply striving to murder shit…and look within for that drive, if you dont know me you could say that sounds incredibly arrogant like i somehow figured it all out, “duhh, im the best, i look within myself now” but that isnt the case, i think i just have grown into a security within my own ability and i genuinely feel like i have a real grasp on outcome of what i do, and i genuinely like the result of the bugged out shit i can come up with lately… of course i still hit a wall from time to time, but those walls usually happen when the normal formula isnt working, i embrace trying new things now that are not expected from me. Ive learned to let go of a crutch and find strength in stumbling onto something new. Plus I love to draw, so for every piece you see me paint, believe there 5 or 6 that are on the wing ready to rock, and many that never make it to a wall….that just has to do with me being a busy person… Some of these guys like Smash 137 and Swet for instance, I know they paint fast, but I have no idea how they put out such a body of work, from one artist to another, they have to really be making some serious sacrifices in their life to be able to do as much work as they do. Its really commendable.
Sacred Stitch: Do you always come to the wall with a scripted outline/plan or do you go freestyle off the top of the head?
Ewok: Most time if I’m doing a street side spot, that I know will be heavily scrutinized by the generic shit talker, then I like to bring the heat, but trackside’s or in the dark kwickies can come off the head no problem, I have about 3 different styles on call depending on how much time I have.
Sacred Stitch: Who is your favorite writer of all time?
Ewok: Really cant answer that, i have different faves for much different reasons….
Sacred Stitch: Your style has really evolved from your earlier work when you used to write Ewok.com. Have you completely abandoned your old “bent” wild style or have you just progressed as an artist?
Ewok: I enjoy the thought of progression, that style is still a tool i can pull out of need be, but it was something I worked on to perfect, and it just became boring after a while, i at times pull from it and put attributes in my current work, you can see it if you look deep, but for the most part it was a phase I went thru to get to where I am now.
Sacred Stitch: How did the collaboration with scifen clothing come about and are you still working with them?
Ewok: It spawned from one freelance shirt, to 2 designs the next season, to 4 the season after that and so on, Barmak (Creator/ Owner of Scifen) is/was a Bboy so we had that in common and our we had a similar goal with the brand. In 2011 the brand has come a long way and made some new changes, I think people grow up and their visions change so currently he’s taken the brand in a direction that really doesn’t have a place for me, there simply isnt much graphics in the line anymore, if there is, he knows he can always reach out to me obviously, but it overall has a very grown esthetic now, still dope, just not the graphic heavy element it had over the last 7/8 yrs.
Sacred Stitch: You have done collaborations with various artist, companies over your career what was your favorite?
Ewok: some of the coolest collaborative stuff has been with GHOST RIS. I think we did about 8 collaborative paintings, sold 6 and we both wanted to keep one, I think had we had more time to plan things out we could have done more and better pieces, either way they got scooped up fast and are now in new homes somewhere out there, maybe someone reading this interview. Other then that, I just enjoy painting with people I respect or look up to, I’m a humble person if I respect what you’ve done or achieved in your time, and I’m probably one of the only people in NYC who can say that, 99% of writers are too insecure to give props where they’re due, its a default response to say “fuck that dude” when a name is mentioned, its almost funny to me… If I don’t respect you, or you’ve done or said something about me that I’ve found out about, then my default response to you would be “fuck that dude”. haha…. but again, I’m a humble guy, so if you’re on my shit list, chances are you earned it and it had nothin’ to do with me…
Sacred Stitch: We know you have been getting a lot of legal walls lately but do you still go out and bomb?
Ewok: Of course, I do what I can where I can, but you grow up, priorities do change, you wanna “keep it as real” as you can, but truth is you cant run around at night playing ninja like u used to, I still love the mission, getting in, doing, and getting out, and no matter how much time I take off when you’re back in it, it just feels right, I still understand the way the night works, I understand how it breaths, the people of the night etc… Once I’m committed to it, I am that moment in time, and in that moment I’m invisible… sounds strange but I think any real street bomber in their groove knows what I mean, you just know you can do what you want and you’re not going to get caught. But the truth is I’m out to make paper these days, I’m not getting any younger and the lifestyle I love will always be there if I need it to be, its just a slumbering giant for now.
Sacred Stitch: We love your characters and cartoons you throw up on your site. Who are some of the other artists that inspire your character work?
Ewok: I love the work( character ) of John K. Simon Bisley, Mode2, Toast, Futura 2000, Bill Watterson, Sam Keith, Eric Lee, Arthur Adams, and the late Frank Frazetta. The list goes on and on, but those are the super stars I can think off for now… we could seriously do an entire interview on my views of artists in general.
Sacred Stitch: How has graffiti impacted your day-to-day life?
Ewok: Its a love hate relationship in my life, I’m happy its made me who I am, but In all honesty if I had fallen in love with computer animation or architecture I would probably have had a more boisterous life to enjoy today like these square fuckers I see pushin’ Bentley’s . I don’t regret the last 21 years of my life at all, I think we all have our purposes in life, and whether or not i or anyone else likes it, this is who I am and what I do… I dunno if that answers the question or not…
Sacred Stitch: Where can people check out more of your work?