In Conversation with Stephen and D*Face
From proudest moments and inspirations to recent purchases and favourite artists, discover Stephen's conservation with street artist D*Face.
How did you two meet?
D: Met via Christina
S: Christina Aguilera
D: well and Jordan
S: and that was about 7 or 8 years ago.
What are you currently working on?
D: I am working on an exhibition for LA right in the middle of September
S: and we might try and do a dinner
D: we should do something yeah
What country gives you the most inspiration for your work?
D: I really love London.. and I really hate London. So I have a duality of when I’m here, I don’t want to be here and when I’m away from it, I want to be here. I like being in California. But I like traveling, So you know I was in Bali 3 weeks ago, and I was like this is the best place I’ve ever been and I want to move to Bali, and that was really inspirational. And then I come back to London and it’s summer and summer in London and you’re like this is the best place on earth and there’s no where better. Then it starts raining and I’m like I hate London, I want to leave. But I think I’m a visual person, so it’s like being around somewhere that’s visually engaging and London’s always got something creative going on. So I’ll never not be able to be here for a certain part of the year, that’s for sure, even if I had the opportunity to leave.
S: Yeah. I feel the same. Once you’ve started traveling, you’ll never not be able to do it. Because people last night were saying to me I don’t know how you do it. And I go, I don’t even think about it. I’d hate it if I didn’t have to go to a terminal and fly every week.
D: Yeah. I was in Bali 3 weeks ago and I’m already itching now. Like, so where am I going next? When am I going somewhere? And I know I should stop traveling because I need to concentrate on this work. But I’m Like..
S: You can’t really work… Well you can work on the road when you’re painting something on the road. But you can’t if you need another studio, if you need one in California.
D: Yeah, I mean I pretty much do this like you, I go (away) for work, and works not really work anyway. I went to Bali and painted a mural and spent 4 of those days traveling around. So I’d gone there got paid and then..
S: What did you paint there?
D: I painted a restaurant they’re opening up.
S: What? Someone who knew your work?
D: Yeah, a lady called Helen Mill.
S: And does she live there?
D: She’s a Londoner. Well she’s actually South African but she was living in London and I met her 15 years ago and never really kept in touch with her. Then randomly out of the blue she messaged me on instagram, like ‘Hey, I’m doing a project in Bali do you want to come to Bali?’ and I was like I’ve not been to Bali, Yes. I liked it because you can travel around and you explore and you find a sort of a sole for it. If you go to the touristy areas then it’s like Ibiza. Like you know when you go Ibiza, San Antonio and it’s awful, then you go north and it’s amazing. To me it was exactly like Ibiza, but a bit more cultural and a bit more full of Australians. And you can get decent coffee everywhere, so there’s an upside.
What’s your favourite piece you’ve produced?
S: God, I hate it when people ask me this question, but you..
D: I don’t have one
S: No, I wouldn’t either
Who was your favourite artist when you were growing up?
D: Jim Phillips. Jim Phillips did all the skateboard graphics for Santa Cruz, and he’s only recently started doing them again. I didn’t even know he was my inspiration. I just saw these skate graphics and was like this is the sh*t. I thought it was pro skate boarders that do their own graphics, so I spent all my childhood trying to be a pro skateboarder, so I could do my own graphics, Then someone was like ‘oh no, that’s an illustrator. An artist does all the graphics’ So I was like oh I don’t have to be good at skateboarding. Because nobody ever took the time to explain it and I nobody really knew because skateboarding then was like an outlaw thing to do and being an artist was like clearing that you’re stupid. The truth.
What’s the one tool you couldn’t live without?
D: It would have to be a pencil
S: Not a spray can?
D: A spray can is only good for certain things. It’s like anything. A pencil is good for ideas and sketching, I’d be happy doing that.
S: Would it be a coloured pencil?
D: I think I’d go for like a B – a good B pencil.
What’s the last thing you bought for yourself?
D: I bought a pair of Snoopy Vans. A collaboration between Vans and Snoopy, I bought them about a day ago.
What’s the first piece of jewellery you owned?
D: Would you class jewellery as bit of a sharks tooth on the end of a leather thong?
D: A thong then. What my mum bought me when I was about 12, in Majorca or something.
What’s your proudest moment?
D: If it’s an artistic moment then my museum show at C.E.S Malaga; front cover of art review 2005. They’re pretty cool. Not even at the time though, I’m terrible like that, At the time I’m like next.
What’s the best piece of advice you were given?
D: I wasn’t given any good advice.
S: no, well maybe if someone said ‘don’t be an artist’ you’d go right I’m going to be an artist. They can give you bad advice, but it can still be good.
D: I don’t think anyone gave me good advice and I think that’s why I ended up being what I am today. Because everyone was like trying to steer me down the traditional path and I was like no.
D: So yeah my advice would be follow your own path. Make your own path. Follow your heart. Something like that. Do it your way.
Discover our specially commissioned work by D*Face at the Harrods Men’s pop-up in Harrods on LG