Seak, in Breakbeat Magazine, 2001
NRW is with no doubt one of the hotspots in the European graffiti scene, it is also the home base of the well known CNS crew (www.cnskillz.com) that includes of some of the most brilliant writers such as ATEONE, NECK, MORITZ, MERIC, EFAS, french artists SCIEN & Miss KLOR and last but not least SEAK. Especially Seak who has a style of his own has made himself a name in the recent years.
From the outside his pieces seem to resemble organic machinery, living space objects or cyber organism, but Seak says that there is more to his style. According to him his future style is based on a movement that has a strong aim at the fundaments of graffiti, that is the living being and the genuine nature of letters. But let us start off where it all began.
BREAKBEAT: Let us in on your history and on how you became a writer.
SEAK: The first contact with graffiti was through a piece by King Pin. I was about ten years old back then, and I was completely fascinated by a graffiti wall bombed with a spider. Some time later I saw a second one with a robot and some lettering. It fascinated me that someone could paint pieces on a wall just like that. Later on in school I was handed out different books about graffiti and after that I began to practice by making sketches.
In 1992 at the Berufschule I got to know an active writer from cologne who brought me to write on a wall for the first time ever. At first I bombed illegally and later around ´94 I began with legal action. It was then that I was named SEAK. Actually there is now deeper meaning to the name, what hit me was simply the combo of letters and the grafical way of expressing them. After taking that first step I am now able to make a living from writing. Apart from free works and commission works, canvas as a medium has become more and more important to me.
BREAKBEAT: What about expositions?
SEAK: They too are becoming more important to me. This year, for instance I took the opportunity to show my pieces at Urban Discipline at an exposition called the Hamburger HipHop MaximunTage as well at Z-2000 taking place at the academy of arts in Berlin.
BREAKBEAT: What kind of writers influenced you in the past ?
SEAK: In fact I was influenced by different kind of writers and their style such as Can2, Bates, Wow123, and DARF all standing for a more conventional old school style (Boogie Down). What also got to me were the 3-d effects by Delta and DAIM. The first two years of which I bombed walls legally I just painted 3-d styles. In order to give my letters somewhat like a smooth touch I switched to Boogie Down.
After 2 years of painting with two styles at a time I bombed a wall in Munic together with Vince, Steve and Peso and it was the last time for me to paint the Boogie Down style. Then I focused more on 3-dimensional stuff and I was able to paint in a more independent way. At that time I had my breakthrough as graffiti artist. I was able to create an individual style while putting more creative phantesy into my pieces.
At first I was confronted with quite a lot of criticism because at the time I began, my pieces were viewed as boyish and immature. However I was convinced to be on the right way. Today I realize that if I had not taken the steps I took back then I would not be where I am today.
BREAKBEAT: How would you describe your style?
SEAK: Well, it is hard to describe my own style. Some people say that my pieces resemble spacy organic objects but I´m not necessarily having a straight focus on the conventional future spaceship style. I think maybe this happens automatically anyway. I especially fancy painting abstract objects while splitting up the letters.
Above that you can also see 3-d and lighting effects in my pieces. About the way I paint lighting effects I was very much influenced by the former amigo intro. I unite all these elements and I guess that afterwards it all kind of looks like spaceships but still I intended to paint basic letters.
In recent years I gave more focus on details while splitting up the letters so as to make fragments out of them. Actually, I always thought that the letters I paint could be read by others, but it seems that my style has become so abstract that without wanting it letters become unimportant to me .
Whenever making sketches though I stick to letters but when painting I get so in to it that lettering is drawn into the background because of colors and effects. But for pieces to come I’m gonna pay more attention to lettering.
BREAKBEAT: What is most important to you when lettering ?
SEAK: The main thing for me is that the letters I paint are not weak and they should be able to ´compete´. In other words I want them to look fancier than other styles especially when they are painted right next to mine. Letters have to fit together, they just simply have to function. Actually it is something about lettering you can hardly describe.
It is just this feeling you get when painting. More and more I was drawn to this machine style. But you really need to see to it that you do not copy yourself over and over again, otherwise you get to the point where you do not progress as an artist. Generally speaking such a logo style has great chances to be recognized by others but personally it can break your neck. These days I am thinking about coming up with a new style because I feel that I am concentrating too much on what I do best.
Sure, the way I paint now made me well known as the writer I am today and it is important to me to bring my style to perfection but basically you always have to check out new styles. That is why for some time now I´m doing sketches that are different from the ones I usually do. But the thing is that I´m just not used to paint new stuff and therefore I stick to my old style.
BREAKBEAT : Can you describe how it is to paint ?
SEAK: That´s hard to describe. Painting is for me a love hatred relationship and the ambition to paint the perfect piece. On the one hand I love painting because it gives me the chance to express myself and then I´m always determined to burn myself . In that case it´s pure excitement but mostly I´m down and dissapointed simply because I didn´t make it.
As a painter I´m always out to make it perfect and to get a kick out of it. Such a highlight get´s to me maybe about 3 or 4 times a year. And by the way I come up with the coolest pieces totally unplanned. For example I have painted the best quality canvas at a party while drinking a Kölsch and chatting with friends and colleagues
BREAKBEAT: Which crews do you write for ?
Seak: cnskillz, evils sons (daim, wow, tasek, davis, cario….and many more),
gbf(Bomber, Kent, codeak, dream, Shark, Mate…..and many more),
Sinstars/UK (Skok1,Kilo,Skore,scratch perverts,daryl …and many more)
BREAKBEAT : Your crew (Checking nu skillz) is on the web @ www.cnskillz.com. What´s there to see ?
SEAK : You get to see a bunch of pieces of my crew, Beats of ATE One and there are t-shirts created by NEK. Of course you can also order mixtapes of ATE ONE and just like on any other decent website there´s a guestbook, dates and links. Just check it out yourself !