At Bring the Paint 2019, We chatted to Hombre about his latest piece, the new wave of photorealistic murals and tips on scaling work up for full building murals.
There aren't many people that do your style - you are very rare. Is that why you can bypass this photo realistic work?
That's right and there are more and more young people doing this photorealistic stuff -there are thousands - maybe hundreds of people now. But if you want real letters and characters - I'm your man!
How are you going to keep your style of work ongoing & fresh today?
My work is more like a philosophy. People ask me how I find my own style? You have to keep on doing what you do. I always say I it's a bit like sampling, you know?
It's impossible to create something new these days. My favourite writer at the minute is Insane 51, he' s created something new but its taken out of photorealism. You have something, you put something of your own in it & then you sample the realistic stuff, and what comes out of it is yours. That's the way graffiti went all the time man - we copied and sampled sign painters. Mikey mouse and we put sneakers on the feet- we sampled what we liked & we added something new.
For me when it' done right, photorealistic stuff is really impressive. Smug's stuff.....It's incredible. But for example, If I say to Smug - would you do me a sketch in a black book- it would probably take him a day! I like the look and for me that for me is the true definition of a mural - really nice composing on big walls, but it's far away from classic style writing. It's still something that I love & I am compassionate about.
How do you feel about this new generation of photorealistic painters?
Photorealistic is outstanding - absolutely. There are so many people that do it good. Of course they get the attention because people can see what they paint - they say understand it. Instead of what are these letters, what do they mean? They are opening the door for all of us - they pick up the people and show them the whole street art culture, I am sure they start to dig deeper and learn about the history you now. Maybe one day they love text you know?!
What goes around comes around though. You and Boogie have been doing your think and the potential is there. You've hit some high points, so the love is there!
I've already gone way above my old bucket list when I was 15! Ever single one is ticked off now! I am happy that I can live from what I do & I love what I do.
Any plans for the future?
Yea I'm 40 - close to 40 now. I don't want to work like that in 20 years - I'm pretty sure I can't - I won't be able to do it... I got back problems now, and in 20 years It's not going to be possible to work like this, 5 days in a row on the side of a wall....
Be like DFACE he's got people that do all the work & he just chills....
But thats not how my mother brought me up - she would turn in her grave! But I think canvas could be the way.... to work on large canvas could be the way forward. Commissions is big for me at the moment, so I will be more into this.... let's be honest it's better money as well. I get paid more for digital than I do for big murals. They can be used for so much..... it's easier and more comfortable for me - always in the winter- you don't have to be out in the cold, in January -5 on the wall!
How did you scale up your piece for Bring the Paint?
I'll be honest, I wanted to project the first lines, because I was not comfortable with the sizing and the short time - just three days. So on Wednesday evening - I was here with a projector, and the street was too light. So I was Like - Fuck! I've got no chance, no chance at all. And then the next morning I started early. I used this doodle grid that everyone was using these days. and it easy so amassing and easy. After an hour, the sketch was done, the proportions were pretty good. I was really happy. Then, thats something no iPad can give you. So a 12m piece, and you can do it just out of your hand you know - no projector.
What is this tool called?
It's called Doodle Grid - it's something that I saw on a photo realism forum. You just make a grid - but it's totally random. You use symbols, I used the alphabet for example then you split it all over the wall.. then you see that the hat has to go from A - through to C to the F - like that. It's really great easy & quick to use.
You take a photo of the wall, then you make like a 50% transparency on it.Then you see, you need to make a hat from the A to the C ... It's perfect as its so fast and I really hate grids! You know, we all know these classic square grids- they are just not working for me. I feel like a fucking printer.....
This is huge- I am instantly a fan. You are using nothing but your skills. Even if the iPad is nice, this system is un-fuckable.
So far your mural looks really nice from a far. How has the wall been to paint on?
It's been a tricky surface to work on. I asked them to buff the wall in a dark grey & I wanted to make a black drop shadow. When I got here, the grey was lighter than the ground. So I sketched it and I thought maybe I can make it work... But I wasn't feeling it at all in light grey. So yesterday I got two volunteers to help me buff it in black - and then the colours now are popping - the whole thing just comes right out now. I thought ok - the grey is nice, but something is missing. But now I am so happy with the result. So thank you to the organisers of Bring the Paint, it's been one of the best run festivals I ever painted at. I mean, I ran out of paint at one point, I called them up and they sent an Uber with the exact colours I needed arrived 10 minutes later.... Does it get any better than that?
Hombre on Insta