TEAZ is a graffiti writer originally from Sydney but now living in Byron Bay. He first got into graffiti and started bombing in 89, As well as painting dope pieces Teaz also paints characters from realistic portraits to fresh cartoons making his work really stand out. We caught up with him for a quick chat and asked for his favourite five flicks.
1. What got you into graffiti?
The first time I saw CIS (CRIME IN STYLE) Pieces at Bondi Beach rock pool it blew my mind, I then saw the same pieces on a rockmelons music video, and immediately saw the potential of writing my name and leaving my name in public space. Also in those days in Bondi, it was just bombing, I couldn’t paint yet, so it was all about handstyles, and nice throw ups and just being up everywhere.
So seeing solid tags in particular, by Taven, potts, And KOA had some of the freshest tags, and they smashed everything, insides, hangouts and street bombing. Earlier than that in the 80’s was PIC, RCF, KOS. Dope Sydney style tagging and panels.
2. How would you describe your style?
New York style Influenced Sydney public/semi wild style. I'm a Jack of all trades. I guess I rate being a production painter pretty highly, that’s what I grew up with in Sydney, and try to carry the torch for that type of graffiti. Dmote, Days, Snarl, in the 90’s early 2000’s and bcf productions to me were the pinnacle of graffiti.
3. Do you have a good chase story?
Amongst other things, I once had a gun pulled on me out the front of Hoyts George Street. Not graff related, but one of the craziest things that’s happened to me. The dude was Russian, and claimed that I ripped of his little sister $5, 15 years earlier, So I sold her a 20 as a 25 apparently, the thing was, back then he was a skinny little kid, and obviously held onto the resentment for years, now he is on steroids, raging! (Note, always be nice to younger kids, you never know who they will turn out to be) He chased us weaving all through Sydney CBD for around 20 minutes, waving a hand gun, finally we shook him off. My mate I was with was like what the fuck dude, I think he held me in higher regard after that. Lol, Last I heard the Russian got locked up for attempted murder.
4. What is it like living and painting in Byron Bay?
Its mad, like a graffiti playground. We have a lot of walls and its a dope place to live, a tropical destination for friends to visit from interstate and overseas. Away from the Hustle and bustle of Sydney, with more time to focus on cool shit, instead of just survival. When I arrived here there was only like 2 legal walls, combined with the trackside spots and tunnels. Now we (me and @secretduck) basically paint whatever we want, legal or illegal. But I find it important to travel heaps, or you can get stale and discontent here. Need to see the bigger picture.
5. What motivates you to keep painting?
I'm addicted to the finished results, wether its a quick burner or an all out production with characters and backgrounds. Experimenting with different colour schemes and ideas is always dope, and mixing it up with the potential to travel and meet new people. Trying to push my individual style, I think people love watching an emerging new talent, but once you have developed your style, people start saying, “it all looks the same” That’s when it’s a challenged to keep growing and mixing it up. Collaborating with other writers and artists is always the best way to stay inspired.