Dytch66 Interview

Artopia L.A. Weeekly

Dytch66 is a street artist from California. Born in LA, raised in Venice and started drawing at an early age. Growing up in the 80’s Dytch was heavily influenced by the art scene around him. Graffiti was a way for him to share his art with the city that he fell in love with. Dytch has been travelling the world attending in graffiti and fine art events since 2006 and he still lives in LA as a full time artist.

So where were you born and raised and when did you first get into street art?
I was born in Culver City my family lived in Venice since the 50s. I spent a lot of time in Venice visiting family and I lived there for a little bit but was always moving up and down the coast, I ended up living in Redondo Beach through high school.
I think I got into GRAFFITI in the early 80s when breakdancing hit the West Coast, I had always been an artist but didn’t really have any direction until this, I think what sparked my attention was when I was younger in Venice my dad and I would go to the beach and swim and hang out and people watch. I noticed all the special people would come there to express their rare and sometimes strange talents. At that time I was already coming from a skateboarding heavy-metal, punk rock background, I fell into place with it being such an organic environment, but yet anarchist type of art form that was all about free expression, I was consumed by this new Hip hop movement.

How did you initially meet all of the guys in the CBS crew?
I met the guys from the cbs crew through a couple friends that I did graffiti with my buddy Snoe was already from cbs he started bringing me around to meet everybody. This is right around the early 90s At this time I was really into doing illegal graffiti, writing on freeways and trains and any landmarks I could get around the city. It’s all about getting my name up letting everybody know who I am but at the same time coming from an Art background I wanted more I wanted to do something more creative than just tag my name on the wall I wanted to paint murals, that’s how I ended up in Cbs I was looking for a crew that was at the highest caliber of that artform, I got in Cbs crew in 92 I was about 17yrs old.

How were you able to better your art work? Did you have a mentor of some sort or did you go through any schooling for it?
my early mentors were “Snoe” and TJ who goes by the name of “Tiki Jay” now. They were both a couple years older than me but Helped guide my talent and showed me the ropes through graffiti, remember GRAFFITI was in its very beginning stages for the West Coast everything was still experimental at the same time the gang banging era was happening which was also hard on us because the city was ours and we had not one neighborhood, we wrote in all neighborhoods so we also had beef with all the neighborhood gangs because they didn’t like taggers. and you couldn’t really let people know that your a graffiti artist because there was no place for that at the time, people didn’t understand if we were artists or gangsters.
But unfortunately we had to be a bit of both to get by, this was the time of “StreetSmarts” not “StreetArt” you couldn’t go to the mall and buy this image at Hot Topic. By the end of this I was looking for a new direction and new mentors one of my buddies from Cbs crew that left and started studying fine art and soon after became a master oil painting his name is “Sergio Sanchez” A close friend I grew up with, he’s been a huge impact on my art career through his teachings he’s brought a consciousness to this art form that gave me the ability to continue to grow.

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I saw that you do some pretty big named commissioned pieces such as the Ariana Grande wall painting you did, how did that come about?
I’ve been working in the Art field for quite some time now, from working production in the film world, working for playboy magazine or doing custom illustrations,canvases,Tattoo, Airbrushing,commercial advertisements & Fine art Murals
I do a little bit of everything. I’ve acquired an extensive client base from this experience

Are there any big projects you’re currently working on?
Some future plans coming up for this year are to do another European graffiti tour, with “Meeting of styles” paint a high-rise building in downtown LA and lots more gallery shows

What are some challenges you face when you’re about to paint one of your huge wall murals?
Some of the problems we face when we’re painting one of these huge Murals our weather conditions, when you’re using aerosol sometimes the weather being too hot or cold can affect the way the spray paint works also another part of this where problems can occur are the planning stages if you don’t plan your production out right you could run into problems throughout the whole project. And always have a team of trustworthy people get each others back.

Before you were you doing commissioned work how did you get your art noticed?
In the beginning it’s hard to get your Art known just because you’re always paying dues like doing a lot of illegal GRAFFITI to get noticed or just getting paid minimum wage to work for someone else, but one thing I learned is having a really good work ethic and working hard will get you noticed as you continue to grow as an artist eventually grow into a place where you’re selling your work to clients is when you’re on the path to becoming famous.

Besides street art are there any other art forms you practice?
In the beginning when I was trying to learn how to paint and figure out the formula to making this all work I tried a little bit of everything but now I’ve just grown into using one medium being spray paint and being able to get good enough to use that for everything from Canvas to full-scale Murals.

Your piece “Leap of faith” is an incredible piece, how did you come up for the inspiration behind it all?
My idea for the “leap of faith” mural was too create and impact something that was beautiful but yet colorful and designed well. I saw these images of tigers hunting in the water and I thought for a tiger to hunt in the water must be an extreme circumstance of survival, and that’s where the title of “leap of faith” comes from, meaning that sometimes in life you just got to jump in and hope for the best. So I changed the hunt to a graphic design cannonball of color and concentrated on trying to paint a beautiful tiger for people to admire?

L.O.F Tiger

Any advice you could give to those who are trying to come up in the street art world?
My advice to anyone coming up in this art world, would be to work hard and never take shortcuts. Be masterful of one thing not average at everything. Become who you’re meant to be.

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