The latest artist invited to collaborate with Apparelsy is Ricardo Gonzalez aka Itsaliving, whose bold cursive approach to style writing remains one of the most recognizable and appealing in the graffiti scene.
Itsaliving is no stranger to readers of MTN World. The Mexican artist featured on a MTN Limited Edition back in 2017, and we took you to his exhibition last year. He’s just launched a new collaboration with the impressive Spanish design house Apparelsy, perfect for the summer months. We caught up with him to talk about his signature style, his ideal holiday and ways of getting paid.
There are certain artists out there whose art seems to resonate with the summer months more than others, and you certainly fit into that category. Do you notice more interest wherever the sun is shining at that time of year?
In a way yes, my work does resonate with seasons and I think it’s because the seasonal mood which usually is pretty upbeat but a lot of inspiration comes from trips and the exposure to new environments. Often times I gravitate towards color palettes.
Is it hard to maintain the bright and optimistic attitude that comes across in your paintings all year round?
Yes, somehow it’s been a constant self-reminder of keep going whatever I am doing but I’m not always positive and that’s also something I’d like to explore at some point in the future.
There’s a constant struggle to define aerosol artists in the media and across socials. Graffiti artist, writer, street/urban artist… we can’t even agree in our office! How do you define your work?
I agree! It’s really difficult nowadays. I prefer to say that I am a Lettering Artist – I paint letter for a living but also I’m a painter. In a way where I have a sign background combined with art. I think the tools often shape the perspective of what we do/are, so this is confusing to many people and I don’t blame anybody, it’s just part of being a curious spirit and try new tools and techniques.
‘I really like there’s a small group of letter based artists around the world and everybody has their own style and I really admire that but I can’t stop people from referencing your work and I’m ok with that too.’
Which is the earliest example of a piece done in that style, by yourself or another artist? In Spain “Muelle” was well known in the 1980s for his script-style tags and pieces.
The earliest were two graff writers (Sin Sentido) sometime during the 2000’s and O’Clock. I used to be a freak of the Artcrimes tag section, This definitely shaped the way I look at tagging. Sin Sentido was super smooth script style with spray, and to me that can control was so amazing; versus O’Clock with a mop and fast style which was so amazing to see in the old videos on trains in Europe.
Would you like to see more artists follow in your stylistic footsteps, or would you prefer to be one of a few artists associated with the slick cursive approach to lettering?
I’m not sure about this, I just try to do my own thing and explore my style and develop it. I really like there’s a small group of letter based artists around the world and everybody has their own style and I really admire that but I can’t stop people from referencing your work and I’m ok with that too.
You’ve recently collaborated with Apparelsy, a Spanish brand known for their limited edition drops featuring the work of Gordopelota, Dirty1984 and Shiat amongst others. What do you like about working with emerging, independent brands like Apparelsy?
Apparelsy is really cool, we’ve had a relationship through other friends so to me collaborating with them was a smooth process.
At first they asked me if I would be down to design a beach towel and immediately I said yes – I’d never done a beach towel – so I thought it would be fun and proper for this summer. I really wanted to create a sort of retro color palette for the design, something that would remind you the warm and fun days of summer. It’s been a fun collaboration, no doubt!
The piece you ended up dropping with Apparelsy is a beach towel. Assuming you could travel absolutely anywhere, where are you headed on your next beach holiday?
I just got back from my holidays/Visa appointment in Mexico. I spent a few days in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico. It’s a small surreal beach in the north which I love because it has desert and ocean. It’s a very special vibe, like psychedelic, desert, summer vibe… It’s hard to explain but I love that place. Where off to next? Not sure for holidays… but most likely I will go back to Mexico.
Cop the Itsaliving beach towel for a limited time only from Apparelsy right here.