DABS MYLA, Artists
The art duo known as DABSMYLA are known for their exceptional color choices, clean lines and their use of typography which is integrated thoughtfully throughout their work. They collaborate with each other on every project they undertake, from fine art to street art.
DABS MYLA Interview
How did DABSMYLA come to be?
MYLA: We Met each other about nine years ago at Art School. We were studying illustration together and became good friends over the course of schooling and eventually fell in love! Right from the beginning we started collaborating on paintings together. Dabs had already been painting graffiti for about ten years at this point, and he started taking me out to paint walls and showing me how to use spray paint and draw up letters, etc. For the first few years we where together we would collaborate on a lot of stuff, but also would still work individually most of the time. Then one day we just decided that we enjoyed collaborating together more! So from that point on we collaborated on everything we did-and we have ever since!
Tell me about your dynamic, what’s your creative process like?
DABS: Because we work on everything we do together, our creative process has a lot of talking involved… and because we are always together we talk about the projects/walls/paintings we are working on wherever we are! When we start a painting for example we have already been talking about it and each take turns drawing up the parts that we will be working on. We always work on two paintings at the same time so each of us starts one of the paintings and then switch them over when we are each pretty much done. Then we work on the other piece and end up passing the paintings back and forth until they are finished. When we are planning a mural or working on a designs the process is pretty much the same, a lot of talking and a lot of passing sketches back and forth between each other.
Be honest, do you guys ever get into creative fights?
MYLA: We honestly never do! We never have and i don’t think we ever will!! I don’t know what the secret is, but I do know that we are really lucky. Being able to share your life, passion and creativity with someone is such a unique and incredible thing… When it works, it’s the best. I think a lot of it comes down to the fact that we both have a certain kind of disposition. We are both really laid back and always pretty positive. So that helps things run smoothly of course!
DABS: But mostly I think its the fact that we both have total trust in each others ability and ideas. If you can totally trust someone, and know that whatever they do you are going to love it, then it’s going to prevent any doubt which could then result in disagreements.
What happens when you go to create/paint and you’re not inspired and you’re grasping at straws?
DABS: Well… that’s another great thing about working together! If one of us is feeling blocked or uninspired, or if we are at a wall about to paint and having trouble getting things to come together there is always another person who is totally in tune with what you do to help spark things or give new perspective.
Best advice you could give to someone who wants to become an artist?
MYLA: Work hard at it… make sacrifices and you will be rewarded with one of the most satisfying and amazing jobs possible.
If you weren’t artists, what would you be?
DABS: Prison snitch who ends up getting stabbed to death with a sharpened toothbrush in the yard.
What is something you had to learn the hard way?
MYLA: To be patient with myself! I have only just figured out over the last year or so that if I give myself the time I need to to work on something or to figure something out the outcome is way better. So many times in the past I wouldn’t give myself the time I needed to work on something and the outcome was never as good as it could have been.
What makes good art?
DABS: I guess that’s pretty hard to say. For us, as long as it seems well thought out, has good design sensibilities, feels like it has emotion and feeling in it, and is interesting to look at.
Who are some artists you admire?
MYLA: I really love the artwork of Mary Blair. She was a conceptual artist for disney in the 50s. She designed “It’s A Small World” and had such an amazing style and approach to color!
DABS: We also are inspired by and admire all of our friends. Our friends who are studio artists and our crew members and all the people we paint with.
What’s your favorite artistic tool?
MYLA: Too hard to choose between spray can and brush! They are both so great and I love using both.
How do you think we can make the world a better place?
MYLA: I think the world is a great place!
DABS: Agreed!! I think it’s pretty awesome as it is. It has its problems… But nothing is perfect.
Featured photo by: Duane Fernandez
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