Welcome to our new "episode" of Artist Interview, where we ask questions to artists from all over the world who are mainly connected to street art and graffiti, but not only.
This time we are thrilled to talk with one of the biggest artist in the scene right now: Smoe Nova. If you have other questions that you would like us to ask the artists, please let us know in the comments below.
With that said, enjoy this short and sweet interview with Smoe!
Who are you?
I’m Smoe Nova from Germany.
When and why did you start doing art?
I am drawing and sketching since I can remember. In school, I was always the kid who was told to stop sketching until the teachers gave up haha.
I was sketching graffiti letters already 2 years before I bought my first spray can in 2001. That was a magical moment. It felt like Harry Potter getting his magic wand.
How would you describe your art?
My art is a mix of flowish classic semi wildstyle and surrealistic influences.
What are your main inspirations when you create art?
My inspirations can be everything, a beautiful sunset, or art I see on Instagram. Inspirations come along the way. Sometimes it is a stone in the backyard, a leave, a light situation. But, when I start sketching the way is unpredictable.
I often start with an idea and end up with something totally different hahaha (one tip, when you are meeting a customer who wants to know what you think about his wall: Shhhhhht. Say nothing! The first idea will never be the final!)
What do you think about street art and graffiti?
The old street art and graffiti discussion...Where do one end and the other start, I think everyone has an own definition of it. I do not care that much in which group people put me, I just do what I love, and that's it. I'm working with colors.
Do you have any artists that you look up to now or in the past?
Yes sure. I love clean and structured graffiti-like from Geser or Dare, but also high detail pop surrealistic art like Craola or Mark Ryden.
Are you a professional artist who can afford art as his only job?
Yes, I never worked in a regular job. When I finished school I had to become a toolmaker, like everyone in my family.
I gave everything to be the best to shorten the time from 3,5 to 3 years only, and since the day I passed my journeyman's examination I never saw a factory or company from inside again.
There is a pretty ambitious 15 years old Smoe in me, who works his arse off to prove that all the people who said that my dream is bullshit are wrong, that artists are just losers, and that I will not make it. In your face fuckers.
I always listened to my heart very carefully, it took more than 2 decades of hustle, but yes, here we are.
What are your artworks that you are the proudest of so far?
The bridge project in my hometown, where I painted 7 days on one artwork with so many details, I love that piece. I made 2 YouTube videos about the project and style.
The horses, the flowers, everything fits so well. I believed in this project so much and, in the end, it was such a big success.
What is your advice for people who want to become artists?
I never wanted to be an artist, I did not choose it. I was always the guy who loved painting. It was always there and I tried very hard to be normal for some time and ended up so unhappy.
I even tried to paint different stuff, not this “graffiti shit” that everyone hates, but hell, I do not know where this comes from. I deeply love it, and as I never had the money for cans, I painted commissions, to earn money for cans.
It just happened, I can’t give you advice, there is no blueprint. Think twice, but if you want to become an artist, reduce your expenses to the minimum, eliminate all the fancy stuff and go all in.
What do you think about the philosophy of our brand?
I think I was always different and this is something I can identify with. Lots of people did not understand me back then.
I have a strong connection to love, to my heart, to stuff that makes me happy, and I love people who pick a way besides the “regular one”… stay weird!
Smoe Nova social media: