[VIDEO] STUDIO VISIT // CES
August 27th // Interviewer: Shane Allen // Art
To an outsider when they think of graffiti,I feel like a lot of people think like names have a meaning. Like they choose a certain word that has a deep meaning. I feel like a lot of the time that's not the case. Would you agree?
I think that's more what it was for me. I didn't choose my name, A friend of mine that I grew up with, who started me writing, his name was Randy. He was my neighbor, he's a little bit older than me. And he was the first person to bring me out to go rack and paint, to go ride on the trains to go check shit out, who's who
and what's what This is probably early 1983.
I did pick a name that I had some kind of a meaning because I wanted to feel part of it and I was just like, God, this is too difficult what I'm doing. I remember seeing a lot of SEEN’s work and I really liked his stuff, his scheme.I really liked the S and the E. I felt that they were very aggressive. So when I first started writing, I wrote SES, based upon being influenced by seeing these other guys work, and probably by I think 85 I changed it to CES. This way I can have the C I can still have the E & S and get that hard aggressive. That was like my thing, you know? And that's where I went from there.
Was graffiti your main passion as a kid?
From 88 to 92 I didn't write at all. I watched and I checked it out. I was just a fan at that point. I had gotten my license and girlfriends and hanging out and doing all the other wild shit that a young person shouldn't be doing. And so wherever life took me, I got back into it, By 92 I ran into cats that I wrote with back then and I went out with them a couple of times and I just never looked back from that point till today really.
You know, it was a good break because I felt like when I first came into it, I was moving so fast, I was wack, you know. I thought I was doing something, but sometimes it's good to step back and watch the game a little bit. What do I like about this shit? who's really doing what? And so on and so on. And I remember having those thoughts coming back into it and being inspired once again to do it. Of course I was rusty as fuck, like a total mess. So it took time for me to formulate and find myself.
So your fiends were a bi part of getting you back?
I think graffiti is, is one of those things that needs to, for me needs to be shared. Not like so much like a one-on-one though that works to have a partner, a partner pushes you like, “Oh, I don't feel like going, come on, we gotta go do this and the partner will push you. Right. “That's, that's a big help. But more of the competitive spirit of graffiti, like, you know, whereas you see other people doing shit and you know, you want to compete and go to a certain level or surpass that level and push it.
That was always a big thing. The sport of graffiti was, was important to me. So in, in the comeback of of gathering and meeting with like-minded people who then introduced me to other like minded people. Where to get what the right supplies, everything was stolen back then. It wasn't like today where with sponsorships or graffiti shops and buying cans and buying caps
Graffiti is such a repetitive process, do you ever get burnt out or feel like you've done everything you can?
There's no finish line with this shit. Say, a lot of the old cats that I would paint with, I looked up to a lot of these cats and now they just do it on the fly here and there. I probably did thousands of more than what they did and I thought they did a lot. It's not a race and it's not about how much you know.
Again, I've had this conversation forever, you know, is it about more, like CAP said. Would you rather do one piece that leaves an impact for a generation or would you rather do a whole bunch of shit that kind of wallpapered the moment. It's a different thought process. So somewhere in between.I tried to make that all fit into the same box. I'm going to do a lot of really cool shit and I'm going to push it for as much as I can.
Do you enjoy drawing your name into theses scenes and object just much as traditional pieces? in doing pieces and doing pieces and doing pieces, you reach a point. But when I do other other drawings that would say CES, this is me challenging me and implementing things that I’m thinking of or part of, maybe I saw something that day or had some kind of fucking crazy dream of me being taken away by aliens. You know, it's just all random, different thoughts.I know I'm able to draw and paint a little bit, but I don't really do it as as much as I should because I'm so graffiti drenched, you know? It got to the point where I wanted to focus more on, So this was a way for me to, to experiment with different things.
Do you think the name CES allow you to do this better than other names. That's another thing, my name. It seems to fit into these things really well. The roundness. I don’t think I can do it with another name. People have asked me, Oh, can you do that with my name? And then they got like an eight letter name and there's no way I'm putting your eight letter name into a bag, oranges for you, you know? I found that my name fits into just about any scenario that I can think of. It's nothing new that I was doing this, I was doing these drawings for quite some time. I would see my name in my day to day. I would see a woman walking with an umbrella and the way the umbrella like kinda matched her coat to her shoe. And I would look and I'd say I could turn that into my name. I like her whole style and rather than sometimes I would just take the color scheme from it. And then I went from taking the color scheme to actually putting my name into this subject matter and seeing how that would work