We were trying to get this out in 2018 but so much had happened we didn’t have the time it takes to put out a good quality interview. What I wanted from ASHER was yo put down some schooling for the next generation and without asking him to, he did full-fill the knowledge of an OG. Most of these new writers have no directions no morals no can control hey need a figure like ASHER to look up to so show them the way. It’s not his job to school kids so take this interview as a gift. ASHER is a very busy dude so for him to poor is soul out in this interview I give him much respect for taking his own time to do this and no I didn’t him this as on his time. His gift to the graffiti culture. and here it is.
1. How long have you been writing, how did you get your name?
I write ASHE/ASHER Downtown Angeles California. I started tagging in the early 90’s as a teenager growing up in Arizona. I have been consistently painting I am a bomber so I ONLY paint illegal graffiti. If you’re familiar with my work at all, I typically paint Main Street top to bottom black fill white outline, block style lettering, more often than not . Where most people are scared to catch tags I paint in broad daylight. I release myself from Fear a long time ago. Nobody wants to go to jail that’s would just be stupid. But since I’m not scared anymore you got me confused for someone who gives a SHIT
I don’t rep any Crews whatsoever. I stand tall all By Myself. A lot less problems this way.
10 or 20 years ago when I was coming up in the streets as a bomber things were a lot different in graffiti without a doubt! There was no form of social media at the time whatsoever. If you wrote graffiti back then you are a part of something that you can never get back or recreate. “There was a certain mystique and being anonymous was primero. You didn’t want people to know who you were! You damn sure didn’t want people to recognize your face ” , an associate that with the name that you were tagging in the streets. It was like some superhero type shit. You would go out at night time and do what you do as a vandal on the street , and then in the daytime you were back to being a normal person. That was the whole lure to it is that it was underground , and if you want a part of it you didn’t know pretty much anything about it except for what you saw on the wall.
1-If I can the Next Generation anything it would be to study your lettering ! Practice your lettering everyday,The fundamental application of lettering is something that cannot be faked or duplicated. With so much Freedom of Information on the internet people just screenshot and bite other people Styles.2-And secondly,is to do you! “Don’t let social media, your friends, or anybody else dictate what you do as far as graffiti is concerned.” If you want to do characters instead of letters, go for it! If you want to bomb instead of piece, go for it! If you want to tag with dollar cans instead of Montana’s go for it! But Above All Else most importantly, is 2 practice your tags and hand Style! That’s the most quintessential part of graffiti is your signature and practice that everyday all the time if you really want it to not be wack. Just do it over and over and over on everything and before you know it it’ll show progress.
5. What’s you favorite aspect of graffiti if you could choose just one! Would it be bombing, illegal pieces, legal pieces, crew wall murals, trains, freeways, street walls, box trucks, infiltration of buildings, solo wall street side pieces or all city tags and throws. But you gotta only pick one.
For me my favorite part about graffiti has to be without a shadow of a doubt Street bombing! That Main Street, in your face, top to bottom(no floaters EVER!)
When I first started tattooing there wasn’t too many people that were doing graffiti and tattooing both. I started tattooing and early 2000. There were a few that really stand out though. Paco Excel grime and Mike giant for sure.
The hardest question to answer so far definitely is how do you manage family life and graph life and tattooing? You know somebody asked me early on in my career how do you find balance? Is essentially the question that eludes us all. Especially me being a family man with children and growing up as a young artist their tattooer was very challenging but then you throw graffiti into the mix and you’re going to get divorced yo! Ultimately tragically that’s what happened to me.
When I go painting typically I always smoke some herb for sure before during and after painting and it depends as far as anything else I would just say maybe drinking sometimes but not always. I don’t have to have anyting to feel good or to go painting but feeling good damn sure doesn’t hurt your creative process.I know some people personally need liquid courage to go painting or get super faded and then just start writing and tagging on every damn thing which is pretty funny to watch but then you see your stuff later and it’s so sloppy and shitty looking it is pretty funny.But for me I tried to corporate into graffiti into my everyday life in some aspect. Of the game. If I can’t go bombing then you could catch some tags with some scribes. It’s not that hard to do some slaps or something as long as you’re doing one aspect of the game to me I feel like you’re being consistent you know is what’s important to me is longevity in the game and that’s how I do it. by being relevant and active.
I was state raised so I wasn’t active during the dark times in graffiti because I was incarcerated at the time unfortunately.
This is an easy one for me I don’t have to think twice about it. Graffiti for me excites me way more than tattooing.! The reason why to me is even though I enjoy some aspects of tattooing it’s a service that you’re providing for somebody for compensation or Financial gain. Graffiti though doesn’t pay me anything. And it’s exciting in the aspect of I get to do what I want where I want when I want the color that I want the size that I want and that’s the artistic Freedom that tattooing doesn’t normally allow. And if it it does happen to do that when you reach a certain caliber of tattooer in your career and get a clientele that will allow you to do the things that you want every day and someone actually pay you for your particular kind of tattooing Styles extremely rare.Not to mention anybody can pick up a tattoo machine and make scars good or bad, but to go out and risk your life and your freedom to do graffiti in Los Angeles California is something that to me is authentic about who I really am as a writer and Separates Me from the actual tattooer who talks about it but occasionally go out and paint afraid once or twice a year on the weekend with the coupler friends and post that shitt on Instagram like they’re really down down-ass Graffiti Writers.
When I was really young I was working at UPS I had a pretty good job and I was getting heavily tattooed when I got out of prison at this particular shop. They offered me an apprenticeship there and I had never really considered tattooing up until that point. And the more and more I thought about it I figured if I don’t monopolize on this opportunity how many chances am I going to have my lifetime like this?So I did a traditional apprenticeship under old school tattooers that taught me everything from building machines making my own needles and pigment from scratch drawing your own hand painted flash. I was extremely blessed to get in on that very end of an era and learn the right way from old school traditionall tattooers that had pride in what they did and considered tattooing a sacred art. There is a certain secretive aspect and Mystique about it that was very different than today. And you had to go to like the Seedy part of town and get tattooed by mean biker guys or from Shady cholo style gangsters that just got out of jail with homemade equipment you know it was a lot different back thenThe one thing that those old-school guys really did not like was getting your hands neck or face tattooed. To them that was something that you did if you were in the circus. They didn’t like that the younger generation was starting to get those areas of the body tattooed. Now and my generation has a tattoo that’s something that the first thing people do now is kids get their hands neck and face tattoo and they have nothing else on entire body !!!it’s shocking to me to see how ridiculous of fad that at that has become. I think I was fortunate that my family is proud of me as an artist considering that I was able to raise a family with my art as tattooer.
The thing of it is he didn’t know what he wanted when he actually came down to actually getting the tattoo. So I’m all set up I’m ready and he can’t figure out what he wants he ends up deciding after getting into an argument with his girlfriend that he wants the word fuk love across his face!!! Starting at his eye going all the way to his ear!!!(TERRIBLE placement)I try to talk him out of it I tell him this is definitely not a good idea I don’t want to do it and he had already prepaid me for the tattoo and he was trying to give me more money and I told him it wasn’t the money aspect even though I did take the money. It was just that I think he should really reconsider because he’s not always going to feel like that and he’s got to always walk around like that with that on his face. So we end up tattooing the word FUCK!!!. That’s it!!! just Fuck. And it was not good at all!!he was moving really bad and shaking the entire time while I was doing it he couldn’t sit still for anything it was like off-road tattoo I couldn’t believe it that he had ever been tattoo before. I could have cleaned it up and made it look a lot better but he tapped out.!!! I couldn’t believe it!!! After all that talk!! so this guy is walking around Pamona California with the word FUCK big as hell on his damn face (and it sucks!!BAS D)HE Looks really stupid. But I don’t feel bad because he was a total fuckboi!
Absolutely not. I was a young happy kids at who was infatuated with skateboarding. I never thought I would grow up to be a prolific graph writer and tattoo artists in downtown LA
Tupac (west west)
Authentic traditional Warrior style facial tattoos
BIGG booty, no attitude
Dollar black fill, Rustoleum White outline favorite combo.
I think Graffiti is going to keep progressing and becoming more mainstream like skateboarding did unfortunately.But at the same time there’s always going to be the hardcore real writers in the streets and in the gutters and alleys in the trenches like myself cuz even though I’m not the biggest and the baddest, I’M DAMN SURE THE roughest and toughest!! poco’s Perros Locos