Ercha is a graffiti writer form Canberra. If you’ve ever visited Canberra in the last 12 years, I’m sure you would have seen this guy’s work or the various aliases he’s rocked ‘All City’. A Graffiti bomber to the core, this guy has seen and done it all. Maybe even two or three times over! We caught up with Ercha to find a bit more about him and asked for his favourite five flicks.
How and where did you get into graffiti?
Like many writers I started tagging at a young age and did my first piece around 2007. I was introduced to Style Wars one night when I was a young teen. At the time Writers Block, our local Graff shop had just opened. I realised I needed to learn more about graff so I started checking out walls and went to Writers Block for inspiration. I’d wag school and chill there all day with the older TKP boys. They showed me what to do and what not to do. It was a real culture back then. I’d also see tags and pieces from writers like Smash, Mine, Payps and 3B at the time. I knew then I had to have my own name all over the city! Canberra, Woden born and bred!
2. How would you describe your style & who were your influences?
My style is influenced by quick straight letter or public styles. You know, readable shit! The first tags I saw around was Mine, Payps, 3B and SV but I was really influenced by the NHS, HBK and TKP crews in the beginning. Today, I’m influenced by writers around me and the Sydney, New York styles. My style has a lot to do with trying to bang out quick letters while painting crazy spots.
3. Could you tell us about a memorable mission good or bad while out painting?
I’ve had some amazing memories painting crazy spots at night and returning the next day to see how it turned out. That’s definitely my favourite thing about Graff. Painting in other cities always stands out too. One of the best times I experienced was after getting back from a Sydney mission, I got the urge to jump on a plane and jet set to Brisbane to paint more trains. 45 minutes after getting off the plane I was chopping into the yard in the middle of the day, my bro was on a bridge just above the yard keeping cocky.
Looking back, I had 20 minutes inside and it was a beautiful sunny afternoon. There’s no better feeling for a lad from Canberra! I climbed under three rows of trains and jetted with my first QLD panel ticked! From there it was a week of painting madness! We ran at trains all week, got chased plenty of times, and I linked with dope writers. I managed to get 2 pieces out at the one back jump and continued to get over… And chased again! I won’t forget those times!
4. What is it like living and painting in Canberra?
Canberra is not like Melbourne or Sydney. It’s a clean city that constantly gets buffed! You're playing catch ups with the buff man! It’s hard to get pieces to stay up but it can be done if you get lucky or do the research. We have a small Graff scene and it’s hard to get motivation to keep going. But aye, you could make it easy if you put in the work!
At the moment there seems to be a lot more Graff around Canberra, especially in the last few years and there’s more shit to cover these days. It’s always been an easy place to live and of course get into shit too! Canberrans are close minded and the majority don’t dig Graff. Fuck Toys!
5. Do you have a good chase story?
Yes, before the opening of the new light rail in Canberra. It hadn’t run yet but the tracks had been installed in the yard and the brand-new beauties were sitting right there! I jumped in solo well after midnight. The fill was done and I had almost finished the background when I heard someone screaming in an odd accent “Grafitiao- Grafitiao”. I turned around and saw a seccy yelling into his radio, so I packed my bag as he walked towards me. I walked up to him and let him know that he didn’t want what I had to offer. It was time to bail! I then ran back to the fence I jumped from and I legged it up the hill and as I was running I soon realised I was surrounded by seven seccy’s and light rail bums so I pulled out the ol’ trusty flick blade from my pants to let them know it was a bad idea to step any closer. I saw my chance and went back for the fence that I had jumped from and legged it again. There was only one seccy chasing me now as I was jumping over a few barb-wired fences into an open farmer’s field. I’d cut my hands and legs up pretty good but I lost the lone seccy in the bushland. I realised I was on a small hill in the middle of nowhere but I was still too close to the yard for my liking. I could see into the distance, Cop cars and 4WD’s scattered with bright flood lights pointing my direction.
I made my way to a small Farm shed and walked around the side to jump a fence. I saw this big body with steam coming off it! Fuck it was scary! It started to growl and hiss. That’s when I realised it was a massive fucking Bull! Time to go! I hit the legs again and eventually made my way back to the city, walking through the back streets. By now it had been about four hours since the chase started but I could feel the Pigs were still about. Fuck I thought it was sweet and I continued walking down a side street when I heard a car pull up beside me. I looked over and four jacks jumped form the car and asked me what I was doing and they wanted to see my hands. Fuck! My hands had a speck of the green fill that matched the fill of the light rail. The jacks took me to the station and into a cell! As they were closing the door, I heard one of the jacks mention to the other to grab a camera and take a picture of my hands. After they shut the door I rushed to the sink in the cell and washed my hands super quick. Ha-ha after they came back to take a snapshot of the evidence, my hands were clean! They were pissed and started blaming each other for not keeping a better eye on me. I was released that night and a day before my court hearing the charges were dropped!
6. What motivates you to keep painting?
Well, no matter how much I get up it has never been enough for me. These days I like to mix it up. I enjoy painting different words and painting with all the new products that come out. My motivation is that I started my Graff journey with a vision in mind for what I want to achieve and realised I’m not even half way into fulfilling that vision and won’t be stopping till it’s done! I doubt I will ever stop!