|A Brief Testimonial|
Frazier Boyd, or simply "BOYD", as he is known on the streets, is an artist with a defining style. He is an inquisitive character, a bit obsessed with Surfaces & textures, spending an alarming amount of time looking for them in a world of his own! He tries to work in harmony with the environment, often disguising his art masterfully, as a chameleon would hide on a beautiful coloured rock. His art is iconic, playful, sometimes serious, rarely political, but when it is it is done well. Animals & nature seem to play a big part in his work, as do iconic periods in history. All in all though, he is a real hard working artist, a grafter you might say. He is playful with his art & takes it art seriously at the same time. The fact that he is always experimenting with pushing what he hasn't seen before, and doing it to a high standard, in my eyes makes him an important & influential artist, that crosses boundaries & takes the whole street art thing to another level.
Andy Harper, WHoArtNow.
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|Q&A time with BOYD|| || || || || || || || || |
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An Interview with WHoArtNow
QIs Frazier Boyd your real name?
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A No it's not. I didn't want to use my real name, but I wanted to keep it real. So, it's an amalgamation of different scottish names that are part of my Scottish ancestry. That way, I've kept it purely organic, like my style of art.
Q What influences you and why?
A Bauhaus, old skool graphics, iconic imagery such as art deco, 60's mod style, 1920's & flappers, burlesque scene, 1970's porn,
QFavourite Street Artist?
A I'd have to say Swoon. I first saw her work when I was working down in London, it must have been around 2001. I was part of the corporate world then, working at Saatchi's, and after a sweaty 2 hour commute in every day, I was welcomed with a beautiful piece of art at Goodge St Station. I wish I had taken a photo of it, it was on a dirty black brick wall, and all the texture of the wall showed through her delicate cut-outs. Every day, it got a little bit more weathered and decayed, and I loved the fact that it was so ephemeral. There was the personal element of it - I spent a little bit of time looking at it every day, drawing it all in. I noticed that no one really cared much about it - thousands of busy london revelers just ignored it every day, too busy to notice anything or anyone. That just made the street art that little bit more special for me. Seeing pieces of art like that made me want to do street art, it made me realise that I'd rather really appeal to one person, than sort of appeal to millions.
Q How did you first get into stenciling art?
A I have a pretty vivid memory of cutting my first ever stencil out of a few walkers crisp boxes and spraying it onto a double bed sheet in my mums garage. I used to be very involved in the free Parties scene. There was no money, it was all for the love, so we would be piking bed sheets and scrounging bits of wood and found objects to make decor.. I remember doing the flyers for it - it was before I'd ever laid eyes on a mac, so it was old skool graphic design. Masking tape, scissors, ink, glue. Then we would get someone with access to a photocopier at work to run off thousands of black and white photocopies of flyers.
Q So has your art always been driven by music? /////
A Well, yes and no I guess. I love listening to music when I work, in fact I HAVE to have music whist I work. In the old rave days, it was all about being involved, taking a role in the whole project. In our Soundsystem, I was the artist - So I'd do the flyers, make the banners, do the decor. and other people would do the other jobs. I guess there was always a parallel between music and art for me, I have always loved them equally. Although I was always better at art than music, The free party scene taught me how to focus my intension's & achieve goals that I never knew were possible.
| || ||Swoon, similar to the Goodge street one from circa 2002.|| || || || || |
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Q You mentioned before how you used to do graphic design the old fashion way. Has the dawn of new technology impacted your art?
A I try not to let myself get too caught up with technology & focus on keeping it real, making art. WIth the internet and that, It is so bloody convenient though isn't it! I mean, if I go back ten years when were doing parties, I never had a computer, there was no internet, I didn't even have a mobile phone. there was certainly no social networking sites. The temptation now is to be on these sites, uploading photos and contacting people. It is an amazing phenomenon, Having the ability to talk to people across the other side of the work about street art and techniques, but I try not to get too wrapped up in it to be honest, just keep working hard and doing my thing.
THen you have the whole design side to it, computers have made it so much quicker and more convenient to design. I do still keep a trusted sketchbook, which is where the ideas tend to start. Then I will either develop it further on paper, or get on the mac, find a photograph to model my design on. Then I will produce an illustration based on the photo, tweak it quite a lot and add my touch, and of course bridge it and make it stencil friendly.
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QDo you feel like you've sold out now you've got your art up for sale?
A No, not at all. Although if you'd have asked me 10 years ago I would have told you that I would never put anything up for sale & I'd never sell out! It's funny, the whole stigma attached to selling out, it's just the way you perceive things when you are young. Now I am older, my mind set has changed completely I don't see what I should have to feel ashamed about now - if people want to buy my work, they are welcome to. I used to feel ashamed to take money or praise - I could never take praise for anything! Now, I've matured and I think that I've become more dignified with it. I've spent the most part of my adult being creative for nothing, so it is actually quite refreshing when I find that I can earn a little bit of money from doing what I love doing. Also, as you get older, your responsibilities grown. When I was a kid, there were no worries, no commitments. You could doss on someone's floor and live off nothing, now I have a family, and hungry mouths to feed!
Q So how has becoming a father affected your work?//////////
A Yeah, it's amazing. It really changes things, not in a bad way at all, it just puts everything into perspective, You have to become very selfless, but as I said before, If someone wants to give me money for my art, I will graciously accept. The total dependence on you for everything is a real kick up the arse to be honest, I have been flying high on the adrenaline for a long time now, which is also great for my art, I find myself being a lot more creative and driven now that I am a father.
Q So, back to your work, why did you start producing street art for real on the streets?
A It was after the whole music thing, and I really wanted to get out of the spot light and focus on my own thing. I've always been a solitary chap, and I guess I was just a bit sick of working so closely with other people, I just wanted to have my own time to myself, in my own space. Street art to me is a great way of breaking away from technology and using up vast empty spaces on the street that need filling. For me, Street art is a bit of a backlash from the whole clean & clinical looking graphics and adverts that you see in the cities.
Q What about the obsession with textures, when did that come?
A I used to live in a very industrial part of Manchester, it was called Salford, a right dive, but very inspiration for me. I would see areas of inner city decline every day. Most people dismissed it as ugly or derelict, but I just love the textures, the rusty metals and crumbly bricks. I really wanted to do something with it, and I wanted to start working big, so I tried to and incorporate art into the space, to compliment it's surroundings, to actually enhance the beauty of the urban environment.