Interview with Street Artist Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

What do you think people should know about you so that they could better understand you and your art?

I am an old school graffiti artist born and raised in Los Angeles. My influences are the 80s and Heavy Metal.
I follow the universal graffiti code when it comes to street art. Oh ya, I am a serious video game junkie.

Where did the name destroy all design come from and what does it mean?

Everyday, I am bombarded with corporate advertising intruding my personal space. When I go out, I am visually assaulted by clever corporations. They say, “Buy this car and you will get laid, get this makeup and you’re Paris or Lindsey, take this pill and you’re problems wash away, so on and so forth.

What’s worse is that these messages are packaged to numb you. With calculated strategy, the media mongers hoard the public space.  Think about it, ad campaigns are built to ambush you with THEIR messages. How often do you see a liquor billboard in Beverly Hills?  Not a lot. Guess what? There’s plenty of them in the “less” desirable hoods along with gun stores and churches. You think that’s coincidence?  They commit visual drive-bys with marketing pointed at your head. In my opinion, that’s ill spirited.

Destroy All Design is my philosophy. You must destroy all that you know, no matter how hard it is, to rediscover yourself.

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

The joystick is a great symbol which can convey many different meanings. From your perspective tell me what the joystick means

Who doesn’t love a joystick?

The joystick for me represents control. Even more so, the design is great for communication. That little wheat paste allowed me to integrate other ideas that speak to me.

For instance, the Van Halen joystick was something that I felt. What shreds more than a VH joystick??? I was home one night coming up with ideas and saw Van Halen’s “Panama” on my screen.  I said, “That’s it!” and went to town. From there, I created a Louis Vuitton, BP, Krylon and other joystick remixes. They are happy symbols…but I can also see the flipside of materialism, pollution and toxicity in those images. It’s all about perception. By the way, my Van Halen joysticks are the Roth not the Hagar!

Another consideration is size. The joystick’s dimensions are great for bombing. Not to sound cliché but it feels as if every street artist wants to go big and bigger.  I decided to counter this by going small to medium with my executions. I felt the joysticks would be more prominent that way. I guess it worked?

Ultimately, you can crush a million spots with the biggest pieces. Unfortunately these days, those installations become removed quickly.  If you hit fewer spots with smaller installation, then you are noticed more and might stay up longer.

Where do you think your biggest weaknesses and strengths are?

Biggest strength: I am workaholic who won’t sleep for several days.

Biggest weakness: See above

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

How do you respond to criticisms of the legality of street art in general?

You mean the criticisms from authorities who allow city developers to build high rises that blot out the sun? What about the laws that protect ad agencies who put up billboards of half naked people to sell jeans? Is that OK? I mean they paid for it…right? Or how about movie snipes all over the place? No wonder everyone is on Prozac . . . the city’s landscape is depressing. Then people wonder where suicides, madness and homicide sprees come from. Where? From the media terrorism we see everyday. Whether you realize it or not, that shit affects you deeply.

We, as artists, communicate what’s in our hearts….it’s the guttural cry of our consciousness. These people who criticize what we do either don’t get it or we just don’t fit their agenda. Period.

You want to point fingers at the legality of street art. Point a fat middle finger at the law perverts who allow the advertising you see now. Street artists bring beauty to buildings, electric boxes, trains, subways, sidewalks, and telephone poles. I’d rather see a wheat paste or a sick burner than a giant electric Target ad frying the sky.

Why is it important for you to make art?

Graffiti saved my life, street art helped refine it. Art keeps me focused and balanced.

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

What challenges you the most in life?

Writer’s block I guess. Sometimes I will stare at my sketch pad for hours. I don’t do drugs so it’s not easy for me to just smoke a joint and be creative. Instead, I have to delve deep to come up with stuff. Inspiration is tough when you just finished writing your bills. I get layers of “life ick” that form over my creative groove.

If you could have any one physical object, what would it be?
A crystal ball to tell the future.

If you could write a fortune cookie and it was guaranteed that every one would read it at least once in there life, what would it say?
Play more!

For more Destroy All Design check out http://www.destroyalldesign.com
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/destroyalldesign
Twitter: http://twitter.com/destroydesign

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design

Street Art by Destroy All Design


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Comments (4)

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  1. septerhed says:

    LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!…Great stuff. Iconic/Fun/Playful/Subliminal////////Who doesn’t love a joystick:) No shit. The Joystick riding the bike is fukn priceless. Cool interview, great site. Everything in its right place. Wherever this guys going I’m checking it out.

  2. T-Rizza says:

    Dude. This is great. Love the image. Way to inspire.

  3. […] 09, 2010 | Comments 0 Destroy all Design is offering an edition of prints of his iconic Joysticks .  This is a rare opportunity to adopt […]

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