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Alex Croft
Calvin Sit

Things you only know if you’re a street artist

...according to Alex Croft

Written by
Olivia Lai
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There’s a difference between graffiti and street art 
“Graffiti is based around lettering and typefaces and street art came out of it through artists who wanted to put their work up in the street. They weren’t fixed to lettering. The difference between the two is imagery.”

It’s all about location
“If you’re going to be in a high-traffic area and you get a wall-painting job there, chances are people will stop and have a look, and maybe take a picture like they do with the townhouse mural [for GOD in Central](pictured). But for real graffiti pieces, I have to pick very carefully, mostly to make sure it won't be cleaned off. You want to go to a privately owned building, ideally where they haven’t bothered tidying up much. There, you have more chance of the work staying up longer. In a more public area, you’re lucky if it stays up for a month. The Hong Kong Government is actually really good at taking care of that. ”

Commissioned art doesn’t happen on a whim
“You often have to go through at least three people – the landlord, the client, the spouse – before any painting can get started. People think it’s easy to do [street art]. But there’s a lot of thought that goes into it. There’s a lot of anxiety for me before I put my work into the public. A lot of planning is involved because I want the work to look good since a lot of people may see it. I’m not saying I create art for other people, but I won’t do something that I’m not happy with.”

It’s possible to get arrested for doing it
“Admittedly, I was tagging but I got busted once in Sham Shui Po where my friend and I were walking towards Prince Edward. We found a little wall in the corner and thought, that’s a perfect spot. As I started tagging, a man who was walking past me, stopped and started to watch me. When I went to walk away, this man shouted and chased me. Turns out, he was an off-duty police. The police weren’t concerned with what I had written on the wall, just the fact that I did it.”

You can learn more about Croft’s artworks at anbartlimited.com.

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