"The older we get, the less we use our imaginations. So let's never grow up"
The next paragraph was taken from Frenemy official site:
Frenemy is a freelance illustrator and graffiti/street artist from Austin, Texas currently based in Kuala Lumpur. A self-taught artist, learning most of what he knows artistically through almost 20 years of painting in the streets. His work is highly influenced by the Children's books and cartoons he loved as a child. As well as pop art, lowbrow art, and graffiti. Using watercolor and gouache, he paints bright colorful scenes with funny characters. The happy surreal world he creates often contrasts the very human themes of his work such as mental health, escapism, the search for belonging, and the harsh realities of his childhood.
When did you start creating street art?
I started painted graffiti in 2001 but I did only letter based graffiti. around 2009 I started doing more character driven works under the name Frenemy.
What are your motives for creating in the public domain?
I love the rush of painting in the streets. To take an area of a city that is maybe run down and not cared about and breath some new life into it. The world is so full of negativity if I can paint a colorful funny mural and bring some happiness to someone’s day and help them forget about the shit in the world for even a moment then I think I have succeeded.
What does the nickname FRENEMY mean to you?
Frenemy is a slang term from the states combing friend and an enemy. I thought it was catchy and fitting because when some see graffiti and street art they hate it and others love it. So I am both friend and enemy.
Is there a key message or theme in your works and what is it?
Piece to piece my works have many different messages. Some are just got fun and others are about a variety of topics but over all I hope to make people smile and forget about the negative of the world. We are bombarded with this daily on the news and everyday life. For me my art is a bit of an escape from that and if I can invite the viewer in to also escape for a moment then I will have succeeded.
Do you make a sketch before working on the wall? Tell about your work process
The majority I have no sketch I just freestyle what comes to my mind at the time. But sometimes if it is a large mural job I will make a plan. But over all I prefer to be creative in the moment.
Who is the street artist that has influenced you the most?
I am very influenced by graffiti lettering as that is my background and how I leaned to use spray paint. It was basically my art school. So how I use color and how I paint is heavily influenced from that. My other influences aren’t street art related they are mainly the cartoons, comic books, and children’s books I loved as a kid. I love character design. When I got into graffiti in 2001 street art wasn’t so much of a big thing and graffiti wasn’t as accepted as it is now. You would never openly tell people you did it. Graffiti heavily influenced me artistically from the character art I do now and the gallery work I do as well.
Tell an interesting experience that happened to you while working on the streets?
I have a lot. Painting graffiti in the United States I’ve experienced everything from being chased by police, being arrested, having my hose invaded by a swat team, having homeless people attack me, someone pull a gun on me, and fights with rival graffiti writers as well as connecting and making friendships with artists around the world. It’s been a wild ride but also very fun and full of adventure.