Aussie street artists Numskull and Roach, hail from the streets of Sydney, but their global success has taken them all over the world. In their latest collaboration they’ve teamed up with Puma and Hype DC creating two epic walls on opposite sides of the world – Sydney & New York. We were lucky enough interview the guys and here’s what they had to say.
How did you first get into art?
Numskull: We have both been drawing or creating art in some form since we were kids. Roachi attended art workshops from a very young age, but was quick to leave them as soon as the rules were forced upon him. I copied pretty much anything he did, and during our teens Roachi started graffiti, so naturally I followed. This led us onto the path of becoming full time creatives.
Roach: we both grew up on English comic books Beano, Dandy etc. and a bunch of Marvel titles too. Comics and cartoons were our main influence. NUMSKULL was from ‘the Numskull’s’ a title within Beano and Dandy. Graffiti was a natural step visually growing into our teens.
You work between multiple mediums, do you enjoy some more than other others (i.e. walls, canvas, digital etc.)?
NS: I would say our favourite choice of medium is walls. There’s nothing more enjoyable than painting outside with good friends.
R: Walls definitely. They all differ in length, size, amount of people who can fit, surroundings, level of traffic and visibility. Certain walls suit certain occasions which adds an additional element to the finished work and experience.
As street art becomes more widely accepted in the mainstream, do you feel this has diminished it’s integrity, or has it helped the progression of the subculture?
NS: It’s a blessing and a curse. It’s good in a way that it exposes your work to more people, but bad because it sometimes attracts people for the wrong reasons.
R: I think the acceptance of STREET ART helps the overall feelings towards the older uglier brother GRAFFITI which is often seen through negative lens.
What has been your biggest challenge in sustaining your career as an artist?
NS: Relationships, money, respect, integrity.
R: Time, there is never enough of it. Other responsibilities… too many of them.
You guys have collaborated a number of times before. How did you first link up?
NS: We are brothers, so we have just always worked together.
You’ve created art all around the world, what’s the craziest place your work has taken you?
NS: We’ve travelled together to a few places. Taupo, New Zealand was a really fun trip to create one of our first big collaboration walls. Hong Kong was wild, and going back to Tokyo (where we were born) was alot of fun.
R: I recently painted my way through 12 European cities. I painted on abandoned train lines in Madrid that were occupied by gypsys. We had to exchange cigarettes for safe passage.
In your latest collaboration with Puma, you guys work together from opposite sides of the world. How does the street art scene in Sydney compare to that of New York?
NS: Sydney is a lot smaller. New York has a way bigger scene and is home to some of the most recognised street and graffiti artists in the world.
R: The main difference is size. New york is massive and is the birth place of the graffiti movement (alongside Philly). There are a lot of artists who live here and many many tourists who visit to paint here. Australia is however VERY reputable and has produced some of the most famous graffiti and street artists in the world.
What were your inspirations for this latest collaboration with Puma?
NS: The design was inspired by Puma Trinomic.
R: 90’s throw back colourways and character.
Which artists are you into right now?
NS: I’m digging MOMO, Cleon Peterson, Roids, Sam Friedman and so many more.
R: anything by PAL (PEACE AND LOVE) France. DTS (DEF THREATS) Australia-USA. RTR (REDAY TO ROLL) New Zealand, DETHKULT USA… the list goes on and on.
If you could paint the wall of the house of a famous person of your choice, who would it be?
NS: I’d like to paint the opera house.
R: Any home of The Vanderbilts