Writing graffiti since 1986 Cink is one of LA's OG bombers who still is spraying around LA and other parts of the world today. We got a chance to catch up with him recently and talk to him about the different changes LA graffiti has seen over the years.
WY: State your name and how did you get started in graffiti?
Cink: I have been painting graffiti since 1986 but became Sink in 1989. I had a older brother who was a stoner and he would do block style writing very similar to gang/cholo writing and then seeing it on the streets definitely caught my attention. Then in Jr High School a friend brought the Subway Art book to school, I had already been introduced to graffiti but that style blew me away and I was hooked ever since.
WY: You've been doing some traveling lately-what's been your favorite city outside of LA to paint in?
Cink: I have painted mainly in Los Angeles my entire life, but I have also ventured out to Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and Mexico.I would have to say that I like Mexico the best. I like the grittiness of the spots and the rawness of the backdrops. It feels like the piece is supposed to be there. I like that.
WY: What are your thoughts on the current LA graffiti scene and have you noticed a change for the better since the ban on murals has been lifted.
Cink: Well, that's a tough question. As for the current scene it's blotchy. You can't really go out and just kill shit and get away with it so in order to get up you have to be more political and play the game these days. There are a few guys out there though that are putting it down and making a name so it's always nice to see youngsters pushing it!!
As far as the mural ban I guess I never really got too into that, I'm a bomber at heart, so that was and is a whole different culture for me. Recently I've jumped on a few walls but earlier in my career I would have never even considered it. It is nice to see some homegrown LA artists getting some of these HUGE legal spots to shine in their home town!! But what I have seen is a lot more out of town artists coming to LA to do large scale murals on the buildings and structures. It defiantly makes the city more interesting and colorful. Business has picked up that's for sure.
WY: In your opinion who's a writer that doesn't get enough shine?
Cink: There are a couple guys out there these days that are coming correct for sure but might be getting their due because of the way credits are given out now a days!! Besto, Ruets, Eyesr, and Este have all pushed the boundaries In different ways and should get more recognition in my eyes, but it's hard out there for dudes these days to make a name for themselves for many different reasons. It ain't 1993 no more where all you had to have was a spot to rack and the balls to go out there. These days it's mad dangerous and they aren't playing with this felony graffiti shit!! You have to paint a lot more spots now a days to get noticed. But all in all I would have to say that guys like Tempt, Cab, Chaka, Skill, Oiler, Hael, and Atlas who have all changed the game in LA in their own ways and are well respected for, but there is one guy that I feel doesn't get the props he deserves. I have always been into freeway graffiti the most and to me Angst FB to me is one of the guys that was doing things and in a way that no other writer was doing on the freeways and doing it with mad style!! Setting the pace for things to come in future years. Not many kids today know who he is but they should!!! His throwie A was and is what Los Angeles graffiti is all about in my eyes!!!
WY: You rep LOD which is one of LA's oldest graffiti crews. Give us a little history on LOD and how you got down with the crew.
Cink: Yes, I do rep The Locs. I also put it down for DE (Drunk Everyday) since 1987 and FB. (Freeway Bombers) Since 1993. LOD to me is one of those crews that has always been in my life in one way or another. I came up watching Chaka and Sleez kill it. Mosh and Volt's Belmont and sunset yard pieces in the early 90's. Pretty much Every member of LOD has put it down in the city and is recognized for their contributions. With heavy hitters lke Cab,Sleez,Chaka,SK8 Panic,Oil,Colt45, SK8, Haeler, Este and Ruets LOD has always been a crew that I have had a lot of respect for over the years. My bombing partner Poncho has been from LOD for many years and through him I became close with members like Cab, Volt, Mosh, and Sleez. Earlier this year they asked me to be down with the Locs, so it just seemed right.
WY: How did Smog City Clothing get started?
Cink: SMOG CITY was something that I would write next to my letters in the 90's and it was another name for the city I called home. SMOG CITY LOS ANGELES... A few years ago I started working with some artist friends of mine Cab,Vox and Este to do some art for this project I was thinking about putting together. We put out some shirts and my boy owns Covert a streetwear and skate shop so we put em in the stores to see what the response would be like. People seemed to be feeling the graphics and sales were taking off so we started pushing the product in stores like Maintain, GCS, R&D, and others.. We have been putting out some great stuff with dudes like Mural, Prime, Ruets, Crae, Eyesr,Cab, Biser and other cats.I am happy with the way it's shaping up!! It was just a side project for me so I'm really grateful to see the response it's gotten so far.
WY: Any final words or shout outs you wanna give?
Cink: Final words?? Just to keep it moving!! Graffiti art is whatever you make it. It means something different to each of us and absolutely nothing to others and that's all that matters at the end of the day. Whether you're a toy or the dopest cat out there.We do this FOR US not anyone else!!! It's how we communicate to each other and it's how we identify our place in the sub culture that's all nothing more nothing less. So don't take it to seriously after all it is only art. Shouts out to my closest brothers in this wild ride DE LOD FB and STK, and friends from the following crews OTR K2S STN CBS AUB UTI BLA K4P DTDIS TNT SH PDB D2R STP RUH MTA and EVERYBODY ELSE DOING REAL GRAFFITI. And thanks to Juxtapoz and Harsh Truth Of The Camera Eye for the showcase and for putting this out there in cyber land!!!
Interview and Photos by Walter Yetman aka The Harsh Truth of the Camera Eye.