[Zupi] Tikka, how was your childhood? Did you always liked art?
Yes, I’ve always been drawing; I made faces kind of realistic. Afterwards, I started creating cartoons, even painted one of these characters on my bedroom’s wall with crayon. I have even tried to dance ballet. But, when I was about eight, my teacher told me to drop it and draw. I never stopped drawing (and painting, making collage, needlework…), but it was after I started in graffiti that I began to study harder and be more careful. Maybe because before that I was too young.
[Zupi] How and when was your first contact with graffiti?
In 2002, in High School, I had some friends who invented to do something at any time: sometimes it was a band, sometimes dance…one of these times the graffiti idea came up. I already drew by then and becase more interested, even did some very characteristic sketches on paper. Of course, we never really started it, but, by the same time I had another friend, Miss, with whom I used to study before, and she started seeing this graffiti artist. He saw my sketches and took us for a first ride, introduced me to many artists I am friends with until now.
[Zupi] When did you decide you wanted to work with graffiti?
Actually, never. I don’t work with graffiti. In fact, graffiti helped me to develop my style and exchange experiences with other artists; [the exchange of experiences] enriched my work as an artist; that can be a job. Not graffiti. Graffiti is the way I chose to live.
[Zupi] Do you have any curious stories that you lived in graffiti scene you want to share?
Something always happens, usually triggered by people who pass by or live around the area in which we are painting. I’ve been through a lot of great stuff, such as being invited to meet the family, having lunch or dinner together, receiving gifts… there are lots of good things. Sometimes, it also happens some bad things; crazy people, people who complains. Once, I was painting and there was a little girl [around] and I invited her to paint with me. The father was at the bar beside and showed up saying pretty absurd things to her. I even asked someone to call the mother, who took her home, but eventually that father must have gotten home. What an awful situation. I have seen dog getting hit by a car, people breaking na arm…
[Zupi] Being a woman was an obstacle to be respected in your area?
Actually no; not among graffiti people. There is a prejudice linked to people who walks around dirt of ink, carries weight and likes to paint walls, no matter the gender. Of course, people can find it odd because it is more uncommon to see women painting walls, riding on skateboards and driving buses; it is uncommon because culturally it doesn’t fit [the stereotype], so it is not offered as an option.
[Zupi] Your graffiti has something very romantic and delicate about it. Is that a trait of your personality or an option of style?
It’s the trait of my references, inocent characters, sad looks, a fantastic world and common situations which might contradict all of that.
[Zupi] Where does your visual references come from?
From book illustrations, cartoons; sometimes, from some objects…I love cups.
[Zupi] Is there any of your works which carries a special memory?
Almost every one. Usually, the last one I created carefully is the one I like the most; on our rides on the streets, I get attached to the day, it’s a day to paint, to be with friends and have a beer. All of them are special. In my works, I live very much to work with themes, because I study hard before and get more satisfied with the result. Recently, I did a work in front of SESC Santana that I liked very much.
[Zupi] Which artists have influenced your work?
There are a lot of artist I admire, none was a direct influence. But, when I paint with some of them, sometimes, they influence me because we created something together that end up starting a series.
[Zupi] You have already worked with illustration and even developed a project for Ellus in which you dressed your characters with clothes from the collection. Is there any area in which you still want to work, but haven’t had the opportunity yet?
I liked very much to do this one and some others in the area. I like fashion very much, and I still have the dream of making a series of canvas launching a new collection for a brand. Another work I enjoyed very much doing it was the one I created for the show Cocoricó. I don’t even know how to describe being in that enchanted world, unbelievable. I would like to do something very ludic, like a character, an animation. Other works I wish to create are not even linked to the theme, but to the support. Like many other artists, I am crazy about the idea of painting the gable of a building, or even a house, something very big.