This young lady is busier than you might think. She also has some unexpected inspirations for her works and she does her best to make your day. A fine French stencil artist (now living in London), whos mastered her techniques, is kindly sharing her thoughts with all of us. We bring you ZABOU!
(ISSA) – Please introduce yourself to us?
(Zabou) – Bonjour! I’m Zabou, a French street artist based in London. My work is a mix of stencil and free-hand technique.
– Where is your tag from?
‘Zabou’ has been my nickname since I’m 10, it was all natural to keep it as my tag.
– How do you define yourself?
I define myself as a street artist. Sometimes as a stencil artist (although I use a mixed technique) or as a designer (I also do graphic design).
– How did it all start for you, how is it today?
It all started when I moved to London. I was really impressed with the quality and quantity of street art around the city and I decided to give it a try myself. Before that I had been drawing and painting a lot but never using spray cans or stencils.
It has been two years and half now and it’s going great. I’ve been travelling quite a bit around Europe to paint, and I have a lot of dope upcoming projects for 2015.
– What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
I get dressed and brush my teeth – fresh start!
– What music would you pick up to accompany your art?
Hmmm I love some good hip hop beats, some heavy bass but also a lot of chilled tunes. I can’t really choose… you pick!
– What inspires you?
I take my inspiration from things around me: it could be something I see in the street, or on the news, or while I listen to a song etc. Then an idea will either suddenly pop in my head or mature slowly over time. That’s how I create.
– What is on your check list before going out to paint?
On my check list there is: stencil, spray cans, caps, tape, sketch, mask, gloves, ladder, headphones or music speaker.
– Which Artist do you admire and why?
I admire a lot of artists. If I had to choose one right now it would be Natalia Rak. Her pieces are always mind blowing and beautiful, with perfect composition and colour scheme.
– Which Cities are inspirational for street art?
London is a pretty good place to be to see or do street art, but I’ve heard that Berlin, Brooklyn, LA and some cities in South America were amazing.
– Do you have Other passions?
Yes I love music, cycling, cooking (and eating!)… partying if that counts as a passion haha?!
– What would be your wish for your Wildest project?
I really want to paint a whole side of a building, that’s my challenge for 2015! I’d love to do more advertisement takeover as well, such as the Brandalism Project which I took part in last year.
– In your works, do you have Symbolisms, messages or repeated patterns?
There are definitely strong messages in my pieces, not in all of them, but sometimes I do like a social or political statement. Regarding the rest, I think my work is a mix of various aesthetics – sometimes I’m inspired by vintage imagery, sometimes by religious art, sometimes by stock images etc. You never know what I’m going to paint next.
– What is your Reaction when your creation has been vandalised?
I can feel a bit sad at first, because a mural is an investment in time, energy and money. So when you spend hours cutting and painting, and someone comes along and destroys it in one minute it’s never pleasant ha. But it’s the game! When you paint in the street you have to accept that the piece doesn’t belong to you anymore but to the community. It’s ephemeral, so in the end it doesn’t bother me too much.
– What do you believe people think or feel when they see your art?
I hope people are surprised, that they didn’t expect to come across the piece. That it will brighten up their day a little. And if they feel amused or inspired then my job is done.
– What would you change if you were president?
Wow that’s a tough one. I guess I would fight like hell against social inequalities and poverty first. Fight to ensure access to affordable education, health, culture and work for everyone. Yep, what a program!
– Do you think that you have a Responsibility towards society as an artist?
I feel a bit like an art activist – an ‘artivist’. Street artists take control over their surrounding environment – trying to make it more interesting, surprising, sharing ideas and art for free. We create an outdoor gallery, free for everyone to see, free from censorship.
– So what are your Future plans?
I have a few trips planned ahead for this year: Berlin, Cyprus and Paris so far. Some collaborations as well, but I won’t tell you more I don’t want to spoil the surprise! I’m also working on an exciting project about human rights for Amnesty International. So, stay tuned!
– Thank you ZABOU for your time, we wish you all the success and we cant wait for the suprises!
See the ZABOU gallery here.