Graffiti writer Bandit lives by one doctrine: â€œBe yourself and search for your own style.â€ For this German-bred writer, these words have become a way of life. His style is unique, to say the least, but such should be expected of a man who lives by his own rules.
â€œFirst I made pieces together with other writers, but they had no notion of graffiti like me. Basically, I couldnâ€™t learn from them and taught myself.â€
Bandit recalls falling in love with writing in the streets of south Berlin at a young age. â€œI drove past very fresh street pieces and [wondered] who made these pictures and what they meant,â€ he says nostalgically. â€œFirst I made pieces together with other writers, but they had no notion of graffiti like me. Basically, I couldnâ€™t learn from them and taught myself.â€ Still, Bandit credits much of his individualistic style to Brain and Esher, two writers he says shaped the way he approached his craft. â€œI learned much from their style and composition,â€ Bandit says, â€œbut most was â€˜learning by doing.â€™â€
By applying his learning by doing credo, Bandit set out to make a name for himself. Lately Bandit has been working on styles and characters, something he believes all writers should perfect. For Bandit, the impromptu approach has always appealed to him the most. â€œIâ€™d rather freestyle â€¦ the daily form is crucial,â€ he says.
Yet, finding inspiration can be difficult every now and then. â€œI think influences come and go with the time,â€ Bandit says. Conversely, when inspiration does come, he says it can come from â€œeverywhere.â€ Still, the artist believes some of the best writing comes from his own backyard. â€œThe best innovations and work come from Europe. Germany, France and Spain are the countries with the most glaring artists. In Asia, itâ€™s also beginning slowly, which personally I find good.â€ In his opinion, two particular artists are among Europeâ€™s elite. â€œPeople such as Mode2 (France) and Delta (Netherlands) are still classical authors and thus remarkable artists.â€
In spite of this, Bandit characterizes the state of graffiti today as only, â€œOK.â€ Still, he is optimistic: â€œI think the Internet enriches graffiti [because] it facilitates a better exchange among writers.â€ Bandit, who has an upcoming exhibition and book project in the works, says that regardless of all of this, one thing remains: â€œGraffiti never dies,â€ he says.