EKAER is a graffiti writer from Brisbane and is a member of AKM CREW. He's been holding it down for years in Brissy painting quality steel and walls and has also spent loads of time abroad travelling and getting busy. His style is something you can't miss with public letters and fat highlights. We caught up to find out a bit more about him.
1. What got you into graffiti?
One of my friends at the time was tagging at all the skate spots we used to skate, and I thought that was really cool. I then started to see other peoples tags around and would trip out when I'd go somewhere random and see there tag there as well, it really interested me as to who that person was. I was then given a tag from my friend to hit up and from there on it has been really hard to stop.
2. What was it like growing up as a young writer in Brisbane?
I feel it was pretty good. I was lucky enough to have my own panel spot for many years, so that saved me having troubles with other writers and painting spots etc. I was inspired by many of the well-established writers at that time and was fortunate to make friends with them. Most of them were/are cool, we’d paint and party together, I learnt a lot from these guys.
The walls on the train lines never got buffed back then as well, so you’d see a lot of graff when catching the train which was super inspiring and exciting for a young writer. It was also really nice to be able to experience a time when there were a lot of the classic EMU train models with grey doors and handles instead of buttons, that’s something you take for granted at the time, cause you never know what the future holds.
3. Do you have a good chase story?
There’s a lot, but one that I never forget is a police raid we had at Shorncliffe backjump in Brisbane. There was 5 of us painting, we were only just marking up when we seen police coming from every angle. We all split, throwing our paint into bushes and running towards police while police chased us from behind, it seemed as though we were completely doomed. I remember my friend looking at me saying, “were fucked”, haha we really were. He took off, while I quickly jumped a fence and slipped into a gap under a house. It was all dusty and there were spiders everywhere. It was the type of spot a snake would be curled up from the summer heat. While waiting there, I heard cop cars speeding around, yelling and even a cop with a dog in the next-door neighbours yard checking under their house, that’s when I thought I was fucked.
Luckily, they didn’t check the house I was under and after some time, I decided that I needed to get out of there. It had been there for about 2 hours and I couldn’t here the cops anymore. So I crawled out, walked out the front gate like I lived there and grabbed the newspaper from the driveway, while checking the street. I would’ve looked so strange completely covered in dust and looking exhausted. I sped walked a few train stations away, ducking into peoples yards to avoid any cars that passed. I then got on the next city bound train and to my surprise ran into 2 of the others. We then trained it back home and waited for the other 2, but soon realised they had been jacked and were in the police station. Overall, was a crazy mission, I felt very lucky to of got away.
4. Looks like you've done a fair bit of travelling, can you tell us about a memorable mission abroad?
One of my favourites is a mission in Nuremburg during a metro strike. I was meant to go visit a friend in Budapest, though he had just moved to Nuremburg to live with some of the local writers there. So instead of going to Budapest, I decided to stop in there for a few days just to say hi and keep travelling north. Miraculously, while I was there, the metro drivers decided to go on strike and all the metro’s were parked up for a couple of days without going into service. Another Aussie friend decided to come up from Munich to visit as well, and now being with a bunch of writers locally and abroad, some cool plans began to take place.
The local guys, played around with the sensors on some spots to confuse the local police, and this also showed me how quickly the police response time was. Been that once a sensor went off, you’d basically hear police sirens within a few minutes, screaming towards the spot. After annoying and attracting the police to spots that we weren’t going to paint, we then went off and snuck into spots that hadn’t been messed with. This took place over a 2-day period, spotting for each other and making sure everyone had a good go of this opportunity. The visit to my friend turned out to be a really good time, painting a shared full colour whole car with him on an old model, and a colour piece on a new model in a rare spot that took hours to get into. The other guys got a few whole cars and panels done as well, so all in all it was good times all around.
5. What motivates you to keep painting?
Being able to have it as an escape from the standard life within society, and a way to really connect with others on a level only a few can truly understand. Most of the time, there is no underlying motive with/from others but to just hang out, paint, connect and have a good time. Most people who are doing graff are genuinely passionate about it and that’s always nice to be around. You know, at work or whatever people are only there cause they have to, those kinds of people can be difficult to deal with. When you meet people who are very similar to you and they understand why you are the way you are, it’s good vibes to be around. You can open up and be 100% yourself, there’s little to no judgement and it’s cool to do something that only a few decide to do.