Griffin One Interview

*updated 10/5:

See what Griffin One created at our show below in this awesome time-lapse video from the event:

Griffin One from Howard Kan on Vimeo.

In anticipation of our upcoming show at the King King on September 29th, we wanted to shine the spotlight on Griffin One who will be painting live at the event. A quick look at his website will show you he is a multi-talented artist who’s work walks the fine line between urban reality and techno-fantasy.

We sent Griffin One some questions and you can check out his answer’s below, but first watch this time-lapse video of him painting a mural on the side of a bus:

Felix Lighting tour bus PT2 from Howard Kan on Vimeo.

How did you get started as an artist?

Thinking back, it must have been around the 2nd/3rd grade that I began getting some attention from my classmates for my art, and so begun my art hustle. I guess that is when I first identified myself as an artist. I was slinging pencil drawings to other kids for their Cookies or Caprie Suns at recess, etc. My family is a pretty creative bunch, and so for me, choosing this path did’nt seem so strange.

You wear many hats, can you tell us about all your creative endeavors?

I do like hats and wear a few on any given day. A healthy Variety keeps things spicy and interesting as an artist & a person in general. Alongside my own Canvas, Aerosol Murals & Live Art work, my freelance illustration & logo designer hats are near by. Since I work with such a diversity of creative’s (music producers, dj’s (Hip Hop & Electronic), independent record labels, clothing lines in and out of the states), the spectrum of projects, personalities, concepts and diversely themed inquiries are rich and challenging.

Tell us about painting live and what it means to you?

I think it adds an important and tangible real-time visual element that stimulates the imagination and creative feel to a show or event. I started performing live artistry at music events back in 2001 in San Diego, and have since seen it evolve and become more popular in many other cities in the US and Europe.

Besides the in-the-moment rush & challenge of losing one-self in the environment (of lets say some deep crunchy bass line), as a live painter, I’m left to simply create within the sound scape of the evening. Also, it gives me an opportunity to travel and participate with my friends who are DJs, musicians, producers or promoters, as well as meet other respected musicians, and do what we love! For that I feel blessed.

Tell us about your technique and style.

When it comes to my canvas work I start off almost all of my pieces with aerosol to create loose color fades and compositions before introducing acrylic paint using a brush, and work it from there. I’ll re-work the aerosol if need be. Besides liking the scent, I like the effect and foundation that it provides.

For Murals, I tend to just use aerosol. For my hybrid hand-drawn digital illustrations, I usually first make a few sketches, ink them and then scan into Photoshop or Illustrator to get the desired look; and also to get it into the best format for print, plot etc. I like to combine hand-drawn lettering and illustration with the digital domain of my computer to achieve my custom approach.

Why do you like working with The Do LaB and painting at Lightning in a Bottle?

I like The Do LaB’s over all artistic style, approach and professionalism when it comes to organizing shows or events. I also share their taste in music and can count on them to throw solid shows! I am happy to be working with them yet again at the King King event on Sept 29th.

Though LIB, I believe The Do LaB has helped to raise the bar, without question, in the Conscious Festival scene. They really support and help to promote the artists involved in Lightning in a Paintcan. They just Get It and beyond the music, they understand the importance of Live Art, and how relevant it is to be a part of redefining our culture through the eyes of our Generation.


Having created so much work, do you notice any themes or ideas uniting your body of work so far, and if so can you tell us about it?

I’ve found myself gravitating towards creating archetypal female figures, subsonic dub-bugs, tree houses, abstract textural forms, and various vortexes, just to name a few themes. I definitely enjoy fusing organic forms with industrial elements; the juxtaposition of these two worlds can almost provide a mirror for our culture, reminding us that although they seem disparate, they are complementary, and perhaps even one and the same. A fusion of our modern technological age embodied in music and form, while counter-balanced with nature and elements of the old world, plays a theme in the majority of my work. I too have noticed that I like to use a healthy amount of black in my work as that unknown undefined space really intrigues me.

What/who is your biggest inspiration?

I would have to say… the Wheel! Honestly, though, I do love to travel, and over the past two decades, I’ve pretty much lived in a different city every few years. (Nairobi, Sedona, Seattle, San Diego, Louisville, Phoenix, and now planning the next move.)  Through overseas travels and journeys across North America as well, I have had the opportunity to experience how different people live and see different cultures in action and have been very inspired by these moments. What emerges from these experiences artistically are different styles of art – be it Graffiti styles & or Music, and this spectrum of perspectives helps to fuel my creativity and inspiration.

Who are some of your favorite musician’s, producers, bands, performers?

Here are a few of my all time Faves: Producers- Uber Zone, Soul Oddity, Kraddy, Vibe Squad, Mochipet, Glitchy & Scratchy, Melotronix. Hip Hop- Cannibal Ox, Aceyalone, The Insects, MC Jawa, Drunken Immortals, Beastie Boys. 
Bands- Ministry, Cramps, Perfect Circle, Modest Mouse, The Sugar Thieves (blues), Dry River Yacht Club (gypsy rock).
 Live Artists/Performers- Dumperfoo, Hans Haveron, Mear One, Mimi Yoon, Think 9000, Salty, jj Horner

And there you have it folks, a little back story and context for one our generations very talented visionaries.


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