Inside the Thread

Amara

How did you get started with street art/graffiti?

I’ve always been drawing, since I was a kid, but I got into graffiti when I was 12 years old. My cousins were graffiti writers, so they’re the ones who properly introduced me to the graffiti scene.

When I was in my early 20s, I started experimenting and coming up with my own style, particularly with faces and patterns.

I started painting walls around 2009, but I came to London for the first time in 2012, which is when I really got into the street art scene. I have been painting on the street ever since.

Any advice for younger people starting out?

Just do you and don’t listen to others. Practice a lot and really study the way you use a spray can. The only way to get better is to paint as much as you can.

If you don’t know your style yet, copy others but don’t take credit for it and do not put it up on social media. After a while, you’ll find your own style and develop as an artist.

How good you get is only up to you; do you have the passion and determination? If yes, then there are no limits. If you start doubting yourself, then that’s where you’ll have a problem. I am my biggest critic, but I never put myself down, I just want to be the best I can be.

How has it been for you? Experiences, ups and downs?

Art is my life and is everything I do, all day, everyday.

It’s entirely up to everyone what to do with their life. My life is art, but I didn’t have a choice, it just had to be. I tried regular jobs, but I didn’t feel good and I felt like I was wasting my time building someone else’s success. Why not spend time on me and creating my legacy?

It’s not easy at first. I basically had to give up everything I had to pursue a career as an artist. What’s important in your life and what you prioritise is what will determine what you will make of your life.

I realised that material things wouldn’t make me happier and wouldn’t take me anywhere. I would rather spend money on paint and travels and let my art get me to where I want to be.

I’ve been homeless, I’m broke most of the time, but I get to do what I love and I always find a way to make it work.

Where do you see yourself in 2 years?

Doing what I’m doing now, but bigger and better.

Best and worst thing about what you do?

Best thing is that I am my own boss and I’m very free in terms of working. Worst thing is that you meet a lot of people in this business that want to use you and take advantage of you, all the time.

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