The graffiti and illustrations of Colombian Writer Negro Misterio stand out for their clean and tough letters and clear influences from the universe of comic art. MTN-World got in touch with Negro to talk about the parallels between drawing and style writing, his favourite artists and the real joy of graffiti.

What are the links between graffiti and comics?
Graffiti has been influenced, or rather has taken elements from various artistic disciplines, as a way of paying tribute to its sources. In the 1980’s the painting a cartoon character to a piece was a great way to get good balance in a production.

“I remember that I liked seeing the sound effects, how they drew them, the colors they used and the backgrounds too.”

My first attempts at “graffiti” took place at school, of course without knowing that graffiti existed: I would just read comics. I remember that I liked seeing the sound effects, how they drew them, the colors they used and the backgrounds too. From the point of view of graffiti, the sound effects look like a quick piece. So that relationship between comics and graffiti is natural, they are part of the same universe.

Do you think it’s important for graffiti writers to also work on paper?
It depends what they are looking for. But I think that part of the evolution as a writer is thanks to time spent with the black book, understanding new structures, connections, arrows, etc.

Skilled drawing and writing style don’t always go hand in hand. What abilities are involved in each discipline that makes them so different?
I think perception of shapes is the main quality that unites them. After understanding the shapes, it’s much easier to generate shadows, outlines and spaces. I don’t know if it’s the correct way, but I think it works for both disciplines. And although they are different, everything in life is about practice. And of course having influences.

Do you think there is a type of graffiti that deserves more respect than another?
This question has generated so much debate since I’ve known about graffiti. In my experience there is no approach that’s more important than any other. It is about finding the pleasure in painting, no matter if it’s 11 am or 11 pm, if it’s legal or illegal, if it’s a rooftop or is it under a bridge. The important thing is that in each of those moments everything goes as planned. And well, if you can’t paint in the street, the other option is paper.

“The idea is to always strive for an individual style, with good legibility that it comes out naturally.”

You, Tnor and Puro have styles that complement each other perfectly and have revolutionized the Colombian scene through a commitment to authentic graffiti in terms of media, form and style. Where does your way of doing and understanding graffiti come from?
It’s thanks to studying it, drawing a lot and having references outside of art. The idea is to always strive for an individual style, with good legibility that it comes out naturally. At least that’s what I’d say, from the point of view of the latest writer to join the crew.

What is your relationship like with writers from the countries that border Colombia?
Like everything, I suppose. As long as you put your ego aside and understand certain graffiti codes, the relationship will be good.

Which Latin American writers outside of your crews inspire you?
The names that I have in mind at this moment for sure Os Gemeos, Nets LN, Senk CMS, Saga, Negroe CH, Tomas UDS, Splash ALM, and Inger RIP. There are several others that I don’t remember. But they sure are an inspiration for life, not only in terms of graffiti.

How about international writers?
Bibak, Remon, Stayer KFD, Sader, Bueno, Ends, Boa-one, Bisuno and one of my favorites, Roice.

Anything else to declare?
I’d like to thank graffiti for every moment that it fills our hearts, whether it be for five minutes of adrenaline on a mission or five minutes admiring your finished piece.

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