DAIM – creativ from time to time – Text
This text was written 2005 by DAIM. Published at the Stylefile Magazine #17
(Language: german / english)
I‘m someone who can really concentrate on something, who can work on something and drown himself in it. And I don´t mean for a few hours or a few days. Once I began writing, I couldn´t let go of it anymore. There were times when I didn‘t do anything else but writing every day. When I lived in Switzerland I sat on my couch for six months and did nothing else but drawing. Once a week I went shopping and that was it. Graffiti gives incredibly much to me, otherwise phases like these would not be possible.
By concentrating on certain ideas, technique or style, by working on a certain thing over a long period of time, by engaging in this process, in the end, you´ll find out a lot about yourself and your personality. In the end this reflects in the styles that you will develop.
But you´ll reach boundaries automatically. Limits set by the graff scene you´ll learn to accept, sometimes you try to cross or even push them. But also in the field of graffiti which surely made me try other techniques or exhaust this field. In the end you´ll reach your own limitations which you choose to accept or fight. Graffiti gives a self-determined life to me, which let´s me decide what I will do when, or even if I will do it or not. Thank god I‘m a restless man, driven by an inner urge to do something. In other cases the self-determination includes the danger not to do anything at all. Except from being on travels, there are no days when I´m not in my studio. That‘s something else graffiti gives to me. To have the possibility to write in different places, to meet new people and their cultures and to see foreign countries. And with that, to collect new impressions, evolve new ideas and implement those. To paint huge walls with others and always create new pieces.
Graffiti in this place includes the momentary ness itself. Pieces, which are done that way, will only last for a certain period of time. Surely you have your archivated photographs, but that‘s not the same. Graffiti teaches you to accept the momentary ness. Of course, to fight that fact, I paint canvases and big commissions which leave my traces for a long time. To me graffiti is something that I still want to do in twenty years. But I will not put up any boundaries to me with a term that someone will call “classical graffiti”, something that does not exist to me. Writing your name and present it to someone, can also be done on the computer in the internet or on canvases in exhibitions.
Because of that you can‘t be too old for graffiti, in my eyes. You can take the positive aspects for yourself in any age. The challenge, which means graffiti to me, can not end. You are always in search of perfection: your own technique, writing with the can, evolving your own style, realisation of commissionary work, while working on canvases or sculptures and in organizing exhibitions, the work with the computer, animating styles…
Every new influence that reaches you from the outside and every new technique you get to know brings new challenges and new ideas. The organisation of a huge project like Dock-Art in the harbour of Hamburg or an exhibition like “Urban Discipline” can give you the kick that you had when you went outside for illegal writing in the past.
Graffiti also means challenge to me, because I don’t want to set the style that I formed as a limit. Experiments and evolvement can‘t be pushed aside only because there is a certain expectation connected to me. I find it quite interesting to see how others perceive me and my art. The only important thing is not to get influenced too much by that in an unconscious way. Once you created a style, it gives you the possibility to work on it further on and not to have to “start all over again” every time. To break out and experimentate can also mean that you change techniques or the place of the presentation. A 3D-style on a wall is not the same as one that is done on a canvas in a museum or as a graphic on a sticker.
In the last few years some kind of work-in-phases developed, which means that I mostly work creatively whenever I’m travelling. Many walls and canvases are being done in that period. When I‘m home in Hamburg I deal with all the stuff that make these travels possible, which means the organisation and planning. Hamburg also means working for and with getting-up, the studio community which I founded together with TASEK, DADDY COOL and STOHEAD in 1999.
In this community we didn‘t commit ourselves to get something done, we didn’t put up any goals. We gave ourselves the time to evolve and define ourselves. Only in this way collective projects can be done, which made us stick together more, but also let us realize, that to every one of us a personal artistical work should be placed before all. We are not a company and that gives us the space to develop and implement our own artistical activities.
Because of the fact that the single relationships between the getting-up artists were pretty different in the beginning, it was especially important that no one would feel constricted. Things like that happen especially when you know someone pretty good or not very well. In the beginning we tried to evaluate on what we were getting involved with and we all were smart enough not to put our expectations on a too high level. In a group you have to lower your individual needs for the benefit of the community from time to time, without neglecting your personal artistical work or even yourself. We used to have phases when this seemed almost impossible. After we put up the third “Urban Discipline” exhibition, we had to realize that we either had to become an agency for organising exhibitions or to take a break.
The more or less we chosed the second, but through the work on the “Urban Discipline” movie, which we produced together with halbbild from Berlin and which will be released in early 2005 on a double DVD, the activities around this project will only be finished after that. We don‘t want to cut the possibility to organize an exhibition similar or same like this one.
The reactions to the “Urban Discipline” exhibits were pretty positive and they still are, which we can see on the loads of visitors on our website (urbandiscipline.de). That was a good motivation to us. The time for an exhibition like this was just right. At that time it was still possible to organize something like this one, even though we invested and lost a lot of money.
I never dealed with the fact that some time I wouldn‘t be able to live of graffiti and that I couldn‘t be able to become self-employed. I didn’t even have to, because on one side I was earning my own money with commissions very early. On the other side my parents always gave me the feeling to be there for me and this way made it possible for me to go my own path. Meanwhile I have more time to focus on my own work. Especially on my travels where most of the latest stuff was done.
About a year ago I decided to publish some of my stuff in a book. The work on the book (DAIM – daring to push the boundaries) and on my web page, which I completely reconstruct right now, captured me with most of my time. I don’t mean to document my whole piece of work in it. It is more like a chosen insight, pretty much like my personal “best of”.
A different part of my work is the fashion label DAIMartwear that I recently founded with two partners. It gives me the opportunity to establish in other areas. I got the idea for that when I made some designs for brands like Carhartt, Levi’s and Tribal.
To me 2005 is going to be very exciting. For sure I will write, but also the other areas, which I am concentrating on right now will be elaborated. There is a lot going on – you can be very strained…