We had the good fortune of connecting with Kasm78 and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kasm78, what role has risk played in your life or career?
When it comes to taking risks, I probably don’t do it enough. I’m learning to take more risks now as I lean into wanting to do more mural work and as I want to push my art more into the public realm. In the past, I’ve found it easy to believe those insecurities that lie to me and tell me that “your work isn’t good enough” or “why paint that–no one will like it anyway.” Over the past year, I’ve made it a part of my growth process to try new things and to simply create art. I also find it easy to compare myself to people that do similar art to myself (especially in the graffiti culture) and to believe that my work doesn’t translate to the public. I’ve taken several risks this year to step out and be more creative and to work with outside of my comfort zone. At some point, as an artist, risks need to be taken and rejection needs to be reconciled with; otherwise, I wouldn’t be enjoying the growth that I have already. So, really, risk is very important in growth as an artist and growth as a human being.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I consider myself as a graffiti artist who’s been able to slowly breakout into the street art scene. My work involves semi-complex letter structure combined with detailed line work. I also enjoy using a lot of contrasting and complementary colors to make my paintings work. I’ve used this thought process to push my work so that I can inspire other artists to push themselves into a direction that is positive. I’ve been painting graffiti for nearly 25 years now and I have no plans to stop my progression and growth. As far as it being easy, it’s had it’s moments. Learning the craft of using a spray can has taken years for me to fine tune, but that’s not to say that other people will have that issue. The hardest thing for me to overcome with painting graffiti was getting over being “ego-driven.” The graffiti culture can be very ego driven and I became very narrow minded in my earlier years about what I could and should paint. As I became older, I realized that my art has more meaning than just my ego and the letters that make my name–I decided that my art was/is meant to positively influence other artists into improving themselves and their craft. A few years ago, my friend, CAMER1 said a prayer that immediately touched me–that we are “Created to CREATE!” and to “Inspire younger people.” I’ve sorta held onto these words and I use them to remind myself of why I paint when my ego seems to be hindering my process. With this in mind, I always try to live a positive lifestyle and try to be kind to everyone I meet. We already have enough hate and pain in the world as it is and I prefer to not add to that (as well as I can). If there’s anything that I want the world to know about myself and my art, it’s this: I’m not even close to being finished and I’m gonna keep pushing!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First of all, I’m blessed to live with my best friend, but as far as when other people come out… well, we live in Vegas! Las Vegas has so much to see and do it’s ridiculous. The art scene could, and probably eventually will, top those other major cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The art district has a huge amount of murals adorning the walls and they spill throughout the city buildings. Also, a newer, but soon to be iconic location, is the DT-Alley project right next to the Fremont Street Experience. This is a project that my wife and I have been a part of since the first day that we put paint on the walls. It’s going to grow into a great experience and I’m tremendously grateful to have been a part of the process to make it beautiful.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First of all, God! He’s my #1 pillar! Then, I need to holla at my wife! She’s been the most honest and supportive person in my life for just about everything. She’s my bestie, my forever soulmate, and confidant. Without her, I’m sure I wouldn’t have stepped up to taking some of the risks that I have this year. Next, I need to “shout-out” my good friend Leo, owner of PHATCAPS streetwear, who asked me to represent him and his brand as a professional team member–also, he’s been a spiritual mentor to me. I appreciate his candor and his wisdom–and for calling me out when I’m not right. I also need to Shout at my good friend FASM who has really pushed me to think outside the box over the past few years and has also really been one of my “go-to’s” for professional and spiritual advice. I can’t forget my painting partners and IGMC crewmates for moral support and pushing me to produce good walls. Lastly, a huge shout-out to SprayPlanet for allowing me to have artistic freedom and integrity when it comes to interviewing artists and for trusting me with the individuals that I interview for them–having this platform to be able to give back to the culture is a very fulfilling thing to be able to do.