Sturm interview

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Hi Sturm please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hello my name is Sturm and I’m about 20. I grew up and I’m still living in a small city in North Rhine-Westphalia. I’m a lucky member of the fabulous GNF Crew.

What is the meaning of your name?
A few years ago I was painting the name Wind. As time went by I got bored of this name more and more. I thought it was about time to change my name, because I wanted to use and create new letters. But I didn’t want to change my old name forever, so I was searching for an expression which connects the old with a new one.
So I elected the name Sturm (engl.: Storm). Firstly I was satisfied to find letters I was pleased with. Moreover I figured out that Sturm is the natural increase of Wind. I was really amused; cause I hoped to increase my Style like it was the consequence in nature.

How and when did you begin interesting to Graffiti?
I got interested in Graffiti very early, I think around the age of 9 or 10. I visited some relatives with my parents; after a coffee cake and some Cokes I needed to go on the toilet. While I was sitting on the toilet seat I looked up to the walls, where I saw amusing Graffiti painted by my cousin. Thus I got my first contact with Graffiti in the toilet!
I remember that this impression stayed a long time in my mind. After some conversations with my parents, my mother borrowed a book about Graffiti in a library (I think she never expected that Graffiti will become more and more important with age;-)), which gave me a deeper insight into the whole Graffiti world.
Another lucky event happen some months later when my older brother came. It turned out, that he was doing Graffiti too. I couldn’t believe it. He tried to explain how to build up the letters and every time he came, he had some sketches for me and my little brother in his bag.
Nowadays I think these events were very important to keep on doing Graffiti.
For a long time I was doing Graffiti on my own, probably I was too young and bad for the “Graffiti Scene”, but almost no people of my age were doing Graffiti until when I met some nice Guys in the school. They knew that I was writing, but I didn’t know that they were painting too. These people are still good friends and Crewmembers and since that time I’m writing in company…If there is any time left, I love to spend it with my Girlfriend, drink some beers with friends or watch soccer for example.

Tell us more about your crew.
I guess the main team of the GNF crew is composed of 4 members (Fazit, Skuks, Bless and myself).
I’ve known Fazit since we were little children playing soccer in the same club, but we didn’t see for a while till we met each other again in school. Fazit and Mr. Skuks knew very well that I was painting Graffiti, but I didn’t know they were writing too. Till that time I was the lonesome Writer, cause all my other friends weren’t interested in Graffiti like I was, so it was great to meet like-minded people finally. I believe the whole Graffiti stuff really started rolling with these two friends. Ok we were the biggest toys, but it was a great pleasure to discover the whole Graffiti instrument. Everything was new.It took time till Bless crossed our way. I guess it was Skuks who met him first. Bless was in the Crew before I really knew him. But it became evident that he was a nice guy.
Intermediate the Crew got some other members, which gone as fast as they were in. Only one good friend quit writing. To complete the list I have to bring up Mr. Kanone. He is the 4 ½ member of the Crew. Now he is member of the MGB Crew, but we got the most actions with him. So I thought I have to bring him up here. I think we got a very interesting crew. Referring to Graffiti we all love different aspects of it. Some love trains, bombing styles, throw ups, the others love tagging and so on, so everyone got very different styles not a typical crew style. I think we supplement with each other very good.

Which were the writers and in generally the artists who inspired your works and your view of the letters’ evolutions?
I think straight from the beginning I was more impressed by big hall productions or colourful trains for example. I couldn’t do very much with quick throw ups, tags or bombings, probably I thought that you can’t realize everything you want in 5 minutes with a fat cap.
If you do a hall of fame piece for example, you really can deep in the letters, colours or details, you have time to create a nice background or funny details like connecting letters with characters.
Maybe that’s the reason why I’m sometimes unsatisfied with my train pieces, cause I have to reduce everything to the minimum ( Probably I’m only to slow for this business 😉 ), so often I miss significant details which I like to bring up in my pieces.
Now it might sound like I’m only interested in painting one good and detailed piece after the other, but primarily I try to have a nice day with good friends and that’s what pushes me to paint more. You should have the target to do a good piece, but it’s not a job/work you have to do.

Do you think that the scene has changed during the years and how?
I don’t know the “scene” for so long. I would say I’m still getting in it. So I don’t know if it have been changing during these years, but in my opinion people are always on the move. You can see new stars and styles every year, others quit writing and you don’t see anything anymore. Some try to develop a good style, others have been painting the same for years. Maybe the role of the media changed/ is changing a lot, but that’s not a typical Graffiti phenomenon. “In future everybody will be world famous for…”
No I don’t think I changed extremes. I’m still growing up and learning for myself, Graffiti, “normal” life…I always got the target to do best possible.

Could you please describe to us a positive and negative moment of your career in graffiti?
I remember when I did my first panel. After that I smiled like no one else – positive moment.
Everybody told me that there is an amusing feeling when your train run into the station. So the next day I waited in the station for my panel. When the train ran into the station I saw a lot of panels, but my panel was covered by another style. Later I got to know that someone overwrite my panel two hours later. I was really sad. I think this was my first negative moment.

What is your motivation for writing?
At the beginning the motivation was to develop my letters, I have never needed an adrenalin-kick or something like that. I was happy when the next piece looked better than the piece before. I was really motivated. Today I’m still happy and motivated to paint a good piece, moreover I like to meet new people, cities, spots…! I’m amazed that there are so many nice guys in other cities.
I guess at a certain point I would like to paint the best possible, since it would be easier to catch people’ interest. Unfortunately you can be the nicest human-being in the world, but if you write really bad it’s hard to meet new people, new cities, places…! So I made the experience that good style gets advantages.

How big is the role played by graffiti in your life?
I guess sometimes you have to be careful with Graffiti, because in my opinion it’s wrong to focus everything on it. But surely I’m dealing with Graffiti every day. I think about colours, about thenext spot which I like to beautify, I check new photos in magazines or in the world wide web. I try to manage it all without neglecting my girlfriend, other friends and my “normal” life.
I feel like it’s good to do a little time-out. This year I was on holiday for two weeks with my girlfriend for example. It was a very quiet area without internet, no pieces and so on. It was very cool not to think about Graffiti. Of course I did a sketch, but it took me two weeks;-).I think if you want to be active and do it well, Graffiti automatically plays a big role in your life, but I hope to have other interests beside Graffiti further on.

Any crazy story?
The most crazy story was very painful. We started one-week trip. We were on the way to our first station. It was already late and we had drunken some beers. Five minutes after our arrival we decided to do some steel in the next yard. Everything went good. The panels were finished and everybody was over the fence, but I wasn’t, because I tried to took some photos.
Then someone shouted that we had to run away. I took all my stuff, throw it over the fence to climb over it. Maybe the adrenalin or the alcohol balked me to do this without an accident. I was hanging on the fence and had to attract some organs. Perhaps I was in this nowhere for one hour, directly lost everybody, got no handy, didn’t know if anybody was searching for us or not and where to go now!?
I wandered some hours over fields and through woods. After one hour I decided to do break. I was bathed in blood, so I looked what happened. Everything I saw was a very big hole and my muscle, which liked to say hello. After another hour I finally found a street, but nobody wanted to pick me up, probably I didn’t looked like a nice girl. At a certain time I was lucky and someone was really nice and picked me up.
I entered in the car blooding, so he asked me if it would be better to bring me to a doctor instead of bringing me to this little suburb where we had planned to sleep that night. He was a really nice guy, we talked about everything and he stayed as long as the doctor needed to repair my hole, it took over an hour and it was early in the morning. They couldn’t close the hole, cause my skin where… hm I don’t really know what was about my skin. So the trip was over before it really started.

What is the thing that impressed you more in these years of activity?
You can be impressed by good styles or something like that, but only for some moments.
I’m really impressed to find good friends through Graffiti. A good friendship could last for a very long time. I’m glad to know these people!!!

Have you been arrested or in major trouble because of your graffiti?
Up to now I “only” got to handle the black looks of my mother who expects me in front of my bedroom in the dead of night, because she wakes up for every little noise. No I’m joking she is ok just very critical with my pieces;-). But that’s another story.

Do you look at writing as a possible way to express ideological thoughts?
In my opinion Graffiti can be a good possibility to express what you think. I love short slogans with a funny or spicy content, maybe connected with the action behind the piece, your personal feeling or the political situation!? I think a good example is the LBS crew from Germany. Often they made really good pieces which included a message and provoked the viewer to think about the piece. I guess their pieces are really good examples how to deliver a message.
If you only want to write: *** rain or toys are gay or something like this you are on the wrong way. Either you think about your message, create it interesting or funny, maybe not to long or you leave it. A goodmessage always make a piece more interesting.

How is the scene in your country?
I don’t want to be bigheaded, but I think we got nearly everything regarding to Graffiti in Germany – legal and illegal. Many different areas with different styles. I’m not sure, but I don’t know another country with this large variety.
I think I know more legal writers – if this is possible to say I would like to. These guys are very smart, on the contrary I often hear that the “trainwriter-scene” isn’t very smart. These people seem to be very strange often!? You could tell more crazy stories over these guys than over people which want to have a nice afternoon with other like-minded people.
I don’t want to tell a story, because I don’t know these people personally and I don’t experience the stories for myself. I’m not allowed to judge over this stories.
Probably it’s like every other occupation. You got friendly people or ***s.

What do you think about competition?
I think there is always a little bit of competition. When I see a good piece by anyone, it pushes me to do my next piece well too and not to broke his arm. But sadly some people confuse competition with beating up other people, especially in my little town. It’s crazy, because often it’s more important to be strong than to got a nice style. I don’t understand these graffiti rules or maybe I got the wrong education ;-).

In your opinion which are the most interesting cultural episodes of these years?
I think that in 2001 there was a big change. This was a very special moment. The consequences are still growing up. More security and so on. But I really don’t wanna be one of million others who have to say his *** to everybody. Of course I’m interested in this theme, but everybody can form his own opinion.

What do you think about the role of media… (press, internet, my space, fotologs)?
In my opinion especially the role of internet becomes more and more important today. You can see almost everything in the internet. Every piece can be online one hour after painting – that’s crazy.
Generally I’m not the biggest enemy of internet, I had a lot of positive experiences with it. Probably I’ve never had written this interview without internet. I think that all the people I met last time I’ve never get the possibility to know in the near future without internet.
I guess it’s wrong to say that you can’t discover new places or make new experiences, cause everything is known from the internet. Sadly I’m not “oldschool”, I can’t judge how it was to paint 20 years ago. But in my opinion I still can discover new terrain. That’s my impression. The reality looks still different like it is shown in the internet.
The negative aspects are that we send our evidence personally. I think we are not really anonymous. We have to look for it. This can be dangerous. Another aspect is that the value of photos becomes lower. It’s not a special moment to see a panel in the www. You see it 10 seconds, click on the next page and forget what you had seen 10 seconds before, because you can see panels everywhere. I think that’s really sad.

Describe your typical day…
At the moment I’m working. Only in the afternoon I’ve 2 hours to relax, eat something or organize something, after that I have to work again. In the evening I have a good time with my girlfriend, check the internet, make a sketch, go to bed and sleep 5 hours to wake up early in the next morning again. Hope this will change next year.

Apart from painting, what else do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Most of the time I love to spend with my girlfriend, the rest with friends to watch/play soccer, drink some beer. Yes I think that’s in general. Oh I have to mention my computer, which furnishes me the rest I need to live.

What are your future projects in general?
Hm good question… I’d like to study…relocate…
Maybe can I say hello to some good friends? I think this could be a good moment, cause I often forget or don’t know whom to greet in my pieces. So here we go: First of all my girlfriend, Fazit, Skuks, Bless, Kan, Karat, Skore183, Image, Abel, Kurtis, Ghetto and Mers!
Last but not least I especially like to thank Mr. Crystal Meth and Sara who made this interview possible. I was very surprised!=)

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