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Christchurch-based illustrator Jacob Yikes is a staple of the city’s street art scene, and also illustrates and paints in his home studio. He’s a member of the prolific DTR street art crew.
How is the Christchurch art scene different now from how it was ten years ago? There are more public artworks than there has ever been.
How did you get into creating street art? I grew up painting graffiti and have always been into art as a kid. I began painting large works after the earthquakes in 2011 due to the high level of spots and walls to paint.
Tell us about a piece of street art that’s inspired you. That’s a tricky one, I wouldn’t say looking at street art inspires me to paint it, to be honest. My good friend and crew mate Dcypher has always inspired me though, as he is constantly taking it to another level and is just a boss in general.
How does your process work? For works that are not commissioned I generally just find a spot and suss out whether it can be painted without any problems. Then I pretty much just freestyle whatever is in my head at the time. It’s different for larger walls or commissioned pieces, in which I usually come up with a concept.
Talk us through the piece you’ve done in Christchurch that you love the most. Perhaps the Alice in Videoland wall. I have switched up my style over the last wee while and have been working in my studio more than the street, but I have some big works lined up for the new year that are a lot different from my older ones and I like the direction they are heading. But yeah I dunno, I’m my own biggest critic I guess.
Where’s your favourite place to go in Christchurch for a:
Morning coffee? Taste@Twenty in Cashmere. Super friendly staff and good coffee.
Post-painting beer? Not a huge drinker, but Smash Palace is always a rad spot. Anywhere where they don’t try and make me remove my hat.
Hit of creative inspiration? Inspiration comes when it wants to, I usually find it hits me late at night in my studio but generally music is what gets me inspired.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? To never get complacent, always try to do better than the last work and to not listen to people’s opinions too much. Not everyone will like what you do but that’s ok.