WD / Wild Drawing

Issue 28

The talented artist WD (Wild Drawing) gave an exclusive interview to HeartbeatInk Tattoo Magazine.

WD (Wild Drawing) was born and raised in Bali, Indonesia and holds degrees in Fine Arts and Applied Arts. He started painting on the street in 2000 and since then he spends most of his time working there, although he never stopped working in his studio too. WD has participated in exhibitions and festivals in Asia, Europe and the Americas, while his work has been featured in selected publications for Street Art. His work - three-dimensional and inhomogeneous illustrations with illusory elements - is influenced by comics, graphic novels and fantastic art, while social phenomena, everyday life, nature and art are his sources of inspiration.

Interview: Calliope & Thomas / street art hunters & founders of Awesome Athens Experiences.

How did you start to engage with visual arts and which are your most important influences?

From the time I remember myself I was always drawing, or at least I was trying. I finished the Fine Art Lyceum and then I graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Bali. As for the influences, many great masters in the Renaissance era made spectacular trompe l'oeil - like Michelangelo in Sistine Chapel - and their work became a very important source of inspiration for me. Apart from that I really like comics and graphic novels - reading and sometimes drawing comics - so artists like Moebius or Toppi have greatly influenced my work. As for the influences on my thematic palette, I get a lot of inspiration from social phenomena, lifestyle, art, nature.

Your work tends to carry strong social, political and environmental messages. Why is street art such a good vehicle for this?  

The main reason is because street art, as part of the public space, is accessible to anyone without social, economic, cultural or other restrictions. You do not need to go to a gallery or pay a museum admission fee to see the works. Art is there; on our way to work, to school or when we're just hanging around with friends.

What is your favourite place you've painted so far and where would you like most to paint if you had no limitation?

I'm afraid I don’t have a favourite place that I've painted, every mural has its own story behind after all. But I'll speak about a mural project that was rather an adventure for me. It's a bit long story - but I think an interesting one - behind the "Girl behind the Chimney" mural. Well, when I was first proposed the wall by Grenoble Street art Festival, I was excited because it was tricky enough and gave me much inspiration and creativity. When I sent the design to all parts; the festival, the owner of the building and the Church that owns the chimney, everyone said yes! But a couple of weeks later - when even the paints for the mural had been bought - I was contacted again by the festival and people told me that the Church had changed its mind, had rejected the design and I was not allowed to paint there. By the way, the design was science-related as Grenoble is an important scientific center, among others. It was about electricity and light, and Apollon - the god of light according to ancient Greek mythology - was part of the mural.

After this fact, the festival proposed to me another wall, a plain one, which I didn't find the same inspiring. So I decided to go for the challenge; to paint something that I would be proud of, without touching at all the chimney; the Church's forbidden property. It took me quite long to find the idea... I wasn't allowed to paint on the chimney but, no one could ban me from including the chimney in my mural. So I just used the "forbidden" chimney as part of the harp and the mural "Girl behind the chimney" was born. In the end, the funny thing is that even some people connected to the Church organization told me that they liked the mural! But at the same time, they were quite embarrassed by the local media that had exposed their refusal and they worried about the impact of this fact's publicity.

As for the place where I'd like the most to paint, I have never thought about it. However if I could describe the ideal spot for me, then it all comes down to the challenge, the inspiring creativity and the margins of experimentation that the spot can give me.

Is it important in your opinion for a city and its people to have murals and why? 

Of course! Your whole mood changes, what better way to start your day than with colours. Murals are art and art is education. Art cannot solve any socioeconomic problem, but it is food for the mind and the soul. And often, street artworks become the reason for the opening of a very interesting discussion in the local or the online community.

What do you think people feel or think of when they see one of your works on the street?

I can't say for sure, it depends on the person but also on the work itself. However, what I can say is that they do not go unnoticed, evoke emotions and often become a cause to open a dialogue. Either for the work itself, or for the street art in general.

All photographs are courtesy of Wild Drawing.


Website: wdstreetart.com
Instagram: @wd_wilddrawing
Facebook: @WDstreetart  
Youtube: WD - Wild Drawing