Berlin based artist Mina is a master of the can, from her type pieces to her recognisable characters, you certainly know a Mina piece when you see one. We had a little word with her…
What do you think is the impact of classic, retro graffiti lettering in your work?
I’ve always loved classic retro graffiti lettering and I‘ve created my very own style out of these traditional roots. Combined with my personal funky fresh elements, characters and my formal language it speaks to the people in a special way. I like it simple and efficient. As Leonardo da Vinci said:
„Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.“
Were you aware of graffiti culture growing up?
Back then the scene and it’s culture was mystic and less “explored”. There was a lot of graffiti in my environment, but it was more difficult to get in touch with the writers than it is nowadays. The information felt more precious to me than it does these days.
What other areas of pop culture do you think have influenced you as a creator?
Music, sport, movies and cartoons are an important factor. But often I can unconsciously find inspiration in everyday life, people and situations.
Do you think the art form of graffiti is changing all the time? How do you stay current and modern with your work?
Yeah, I think so. There are always new influences in graffiti, like abstract tendencies for instance. Classical graffiti writing will always stay the true base but so many things are happening around that. Keeping the eyes open, staying open-minded and interested in other people’s work is essential. The artistic exchange is my source of staying up-to-date and contemporary.
How was it when you first started out doing graffiti? Are there memories that have stuck with you?
It was very exciting, everything about graffiti was exciting! Observing situations, going to abandoned and sometimes scary places, holding a can in my hand and putting spraypaint on walls. Exploring, discovering, meeting different people. Being a young girl facing graffiti sprayers who were way older than me. It felt like an adventure and honestly it sometimes still does.
Conserving these feelings is complicated because of the routine and the knowledge I have now but from time to time they reappear and this makes me happy.
Do you think women are well represented by graffiti and street art?
The scene is still dominated by men. Hey girls, go out and paint more!