SAKIROO hanging at Wood Tavern, Wynwood.
I met SAKIROO at Wood Tavern. It had been a long hot day and everyone was looking to have a drink and relax. There were artists trading black books at all the pic nic tables. At first SAKIROO didn’t want me to write in his book. He wasn’t sure who I was. Then I showed him my black book and all of the sudden his mood changed. He was the happiest go lucky go I have ever met! All of the sudden we were posing for pictures together. His english is minimal and my Korean is NON-EXISTENT! Somehow we communicated and now he is a part of I’M IN MIAMI BITCH!
What do you write? Are you in a crew?
No, I’m just working alone. So, I am not in a crew. Actually, I don’t need a crew as an illustrator in South Korea.
In what city did you start painting in the streets? Do you feel your work has influenced the community in return? If so, how? Is there a relationship between the artist and the community in which they work?
Frankly, it’s my first time in Miami. Basically I’m an illustrator. I always hope that my artworks will be a message to the world, a visual language. So I communicate with artwork. Artists have to show a new message that can change people’s ideas whether it be absurdity or prejudice. Banksy is good example of that.
Did you go to school or are you self taught?
I have never been art or design school. NEVER, all my skills have been learned on my own.
How did you get started in the arts and why?
My major was computer programming at a university here in South Korea. But, I realized that I couldn’t be the next Bill Gates. Then, when I was 21 I was a designer in a small gaming company. At that same time, I created an interesting character for animation and gaming. I worked very hard to create a character SAKIROO. Now, I’m always trying to develop a new style. To bring my ideas further.
How long have you been working in the streets?
This past Art Basel Miami Beach, December 2012 was my first time doing street art. But I feel it’s really exciting work. So I would like to do more if I have the opportunity.
Who or What inspires you the most?
Toriyama Akira who painted Dragonball. When I was a kid, I saw Japanese Manga. I was shocked and to me Dragonball and Dr. Slump are amazing. Especially the harmony between man and animal. It is very inspiring for me. Of course, line style are also amazing forms of art. It looks like a mix between the East and West.
What should the general public know about street art? What stereotype about street art/graffiti do you hate the most?
As you know, this is not my specialty or genre. However, street art awakens the visual with common life. Actually many talented artists have shown that gorgeousness in those settings.
Are you a full time artist? Do you have a day job? Is it best to be full time artist or not worry about it and make your $$$ elsewhere, that way you can paint what and how you want, which one offers a more creative outlook?
Sure, I have my own studio. Now I’m working with various global clients. You know I’m an illustrator. It’s more commercial than street art.
What are you working on now?
Some time ago I finished a collaboration with Warner Bros. I also painted a special concept illustration for Johnnie Walker with Diageo. Now I’m making a character for FC Bayern Munich Football club, ah! I’m also getting ready to exhibit in Chicago this October.
What do you hope to achieve or accomplish by putting your work in the street?
To give others a message…
AK는 마이애미를 중심으로 국제적인 그래피티 아티스트(혹은 스트리트 아티스트)들을 인터뷰하며 사진을 찍는(사진이 전문이다) 작가입니다. 출판을 겸하는 그와의 인연으로 앞으로 출간될 ‘I’m in Miami bitch’ 다음 호에 인터뷰했습니다.