Buff Diss – Make Something from Nothing Q&A

Red Stripe’s ‘Make Something from Nothing’ launched last night with the first in a series of cultural projects celebrating the DIY culture of the brand’s Jamaican roots.

This first event featured a unique sound sculpture created by sound artist Yuri Suzuki and an amazing large scale artwork by tape street artist Buff Diss. The Stylesight team took the chance to chat to him about his techniques, inspirations and creative journey.

Q: Explain your work and how you approach each new project?

A: The simplest way to explain my work is that I draw with tape. I used to do graffiti and think one of the things I’ve learnt over the last few years is how much I hate paint. In terms of the style of what I do, its really linear, basically like a line tool from a graphics program that uses points. Recently I’ve been actually starting to curve my work a bit so there’s a little bit of a vector look coming along now.

Each project is pretty unique. If there’s one aspect to each project that I feel is similar, its letting the actual space govern the design. Even if I’ve sketched something before or have a good plan, I really like to come to a location and spend a bit of time waiting to absorb it. And a lot of the time the things that people seem to appreciate from my work have been last minute decisions.

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

A: That’s a pretty big question. A lot of things. I’m really lucky I grew up with computers and the Internet before a lot of other people did. My father worked for Apple so I always had sort of tentacles out there. For me there’s no single source of inspiration. There’s a lot of blogs I like to follow and maybe half of my blogs I follow are just image based. I source inspiration from a broad spectrum.

Q: What new graphic trends are exciting you?

A: Even though I’ve stopped doing graffiti I still really appreciate following what’s happening, especially in the UK. In the UK there’s a real interesting graphic approach to graffiti or street art. Maybe it’s from design students or the design influence. There’s one crew that come from France called the ‘123 Klan’, have just set off a wave of design awareness within graffiti. What I’m really being amazed by now is a lot of the leaders. In the UK there’s a guy called  ‘Asteroid’ who’s been painting for a long time but now he is painting with a new name ‘Roid’. His work is so intricate on a graphic level but it doesn’t lose any of the letter structure or any of the power of what graffiti should have. I have been really blown away by that sort of new trend.

 Q: What’s your creative background and how did you get here?

A: The horrible truth is I never studied art or design. I used to do computer science and that was when I realized that I had one direction, which was beige and databases, and half way into university I stopped and started painting and playing with tape.

Q: What’s next?

A: I’ve been doing a fair bit of travel recently with work and now I’m keen to pop back to Berlin. I’m really looking forward to doing some collaboration work with friends. Hopefully with one guy Clemens Behr, who does great installations with cardboard in huge scales. A few months ago we tried something and it worked really well. So I’m keen to go bigger and maybe bring in some sculptural elements into the work.

Yuri Suzuki Red Stripe Sound Sculpture

With the cans, which were partly collected at this year’s London Notting Hill carnival, Red Stripe® and Suzuki have produced an immense fully functioning sound sculpture, that drew inspiration from towering, bass heavy Jamaican sound systems.

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