Street artist ARCY from Connecticut, USA, has been painting for over 10 years and in 2015 he embarked on a live event mural tour across North America. Still travelling across the globe and drawing in crowds who watch him paint, we talk to ARCY about his influences from old-school graffiti to Jackson Pollock, painting wildlife and hiding messages in his art!
How long have you been making art? How did you start?
I’ve been doing street art for over a decade, but my artistic capabilities really emerged during childhood. Growing up about an hour outside of NYC, I was heavily influenced by the street art culture and immersed myself in the scene at a young age admiring both legendary and current artists from across the world. The motive that inspired me to take up the art form was the freedom of expression that street art represented.
Painting on the street is a lot different to paper – how did you make this transition?
It definitely is, let’s just say I had a LOT of practice on paper before taking it to the streets. Once I was comfortable enough to transition from small scale to large scale, I had to train myself on correctly proportioning my content, as well as developing can control through my working medium; spray paint.
Do you do legal or illegal pieces?
Legal pieces; as a street artist, I live off of my live event painting and mural installations. I work with a lot of organisations who assist on large scale wall acquisitions. Although I’m not actively involved in the game the way a writer would be, there’s no denying that the illegal aspect of the culture played a very important role in my growth as a street artist and the respect I have for the art-form.
Who do you paint for?
First and foremost, I paint for myself. That’s how it all started and how it will all end. I paint for communities through my large scale murals and for spectators through my live event mural tour, ARCY Live!. I paint for my friends, my family, and I paint for my fans.
What styles/materials/techniques inspire you?
My largest source of inspiration points directly to my graffiti roots. Each and every piece that I create emphasises paint splashes, splatters, and drips, which I attribute to the raw nature of the art form. As a child, I learned about Jackson Pollock and how to develop comfortability in the abstract nature of self expression. His work is very much reflected in the style that I practice today.
How does location affect how you work?
Many of the diverse locations on my live event mural tour will influence the content I design relevant to that area of the world. Because I focus mostly on wildlife, location is everything when identifying which imagery is most culturally significant.
If resources were no issue, what would you create?
Wouldn’t this be a wonderful scenario! If I didn’t have to take into consideration costs in general, how cool would it be to create a mural that could be viewed from space?
What life experiences led you to the work you do now?
My early years with my graffiti crewmates and the conception of my mural art company were the driving forces that led me to where I am now. Without the support of my crews, and the knowledge and experience obtained by working with professional clientele, I would never have the confidence that I have today.
What else have you been up to recently? What are your plans for the future?
I am very devoted to my live event mural tour at the moment and I am handling logistics with better precision each year. By getting my work out to more and more crowds every season, ARCY Live! has allowed me to reach communities far and wide. Travelling is my number one priority for my future art endeavours.
Do you have any other projects/goals aside from in graffiti/street art?
Outside of street art, my wife and kids are my life. When I’m not on the road for my art, I am back home with them. My biggest goal outside of street art would be to give my two boys the best childhood they could ever ask for.
What other questions should we ask you?
Don’t forget to spot the Hidden Mickeys! I have been hiding mouse ears in all of my pieces since taking my work worldwide. They are a nice connection I have made between myself and my two little boys back home. A piece of them are in every mural I create.
All images courtesy of ARCY
Find more of ARCY’s work on our website: