Written by Amanda Matheson / Photos and illustrations by Courtesy of S. Vegas and Fred Fraser
Upfest - Europe’s largest Urban Paint Festival kicks off on 5 June at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol. Canadian street artist Indigo talks about her participation in this year’s event.
What attracted you to the Urban Art scene?
I’ve been painting and drawing my whole life and started stenciling about two years ago. I’d been taking lots of photos of street art, graffiti and urban spaces. It just made sense to start making art for outdoors.I started out making small one layer stencils and it just snowballed from there.
What inspires you?
I draw inspiration from different things depending on the project. Sometimes I want to make a statement about something, but more often it’s just a mood or an emotion I’m looking to capture. My work tends to have a sense of melancholy about it. I feel more inspired by that side of life.
What other projects are you working on?
I’ve just completed a project called ‘Paint Your Faith’, a collaborative mural in Vancouver with Faith47, Titi Freak and Peeta and an exhibition at the city’s Ayden Gallery.I’m now working on some pieces for The Magnificent Beast, a new art/fashion/design magazine in New York, as well as prepping for my trip to Europe. In addition to Upfest, I’m going to be painting at Project ASA in Amsterdam and VitryJam, as well as doing some work in London and Berlin.
What have you got lined up for Upfest 2010?
Upfest 2009 was my first visit to England and the first time I’d traveled to paint. I’m excited to go back again. This year Upfest is about collaborations and crews. I’ll be working with Liliwenn, an artist from Brest, France. I think our styles compliment each other well, and am looking forward to painting with her again.
What do you think people will get out of seeing you there?
I’m one of relatively few women painting at Upfest, and the only Canadian artist.I feel a bit isolated from the urban art community, living in Vancouver, but maybe it gives me a fresh perspective.I think my work is a bit softer than a lot of what I see in the international stencil community.It’s a bit of a different aesthetic, somewhere between fine art and urban art.Not better or worse, just different.
What do you expect to get out of the event?
Meeting other artists and seeing work in progress is always a good experience. I’d rather watch a person working then look at the finished product. There’s so much variation within this art form. The way I design my stencils is different to a lot of people, so it’s interesting to see how others do it. I’m also looking forward to seeing the progression in everyone’s work since last year. My work has grown a lot since last June and I feel like I can go back this year and do something I know I can be proud of.