CarbonLIVE presents…Faces or Faces

CarbonLIVE presents Faces or Faces, a Southampton street artist famous for his doodled faces.

Here at Carbon, in the lead up to CarbonLIVE we interviewed Faces or Faces. He is an artist taking on the streets of Southampton. He is a special guest at the highly anticipated fashion workshop selling one of a kind T-Shirts.

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Faces or Faces is known around the streets of Southampton for his famous faces.

CarbonLIVE brings Carbon magazine to life with a series of events taking place from 25th November to 4th December. The newest guest speaker to get in on the action is street artist FacesOrFaces.  If you haven’t seen the street art around the walls of Southampton, you clearly don’t get out enough! Faces or Faces focuses on exploring urban and social issues using a mix of mediums including spray paint, markers, acrylic and oil pastels, and he does it well. The team at Carbon speak to him before the event to hear about his artistic vision and his colourful doodles.

Have you always been a doodler – how has your trademark evolved?

I have always been a doodler even when I was younger. I’d draw on literally everything I could, usually school desks, that’s basically how it all evolved into the faces. I used to draw lots of characters but the faces stuck and just gradually changed over the years.

Did you draw it over schoolbooks etc?

Yeah! Every book I had was covered in little doodles and even big pages full of drawings near the back, teachers weren’t too keen on me ha-ha. 

His art appears at multiple locations across Southampton

What is it about graffiti culture that you find most inspiring?

I love the creativity and individuality of it, everyone has their own stuff. Also just love going out at night and making something out of all these boring city spaces.

How do you go about coming up with new concepts? 

I usually just randomly think of things and start drawing them up then keep adjusting them to one I like, some ideas just come from a collaboration of my other artwork put into the faces!

At what point did your work change from being a hobby to an artistic project and how?

When I first came to university I started seeing it as more of a project, then when I started seeing people enjoying the art and uploading pictures of the faces around town I started the Instagram for it. From there it has become a platform to showcase my work and sell merchandise like canvases and t-shirts!

Do you create your artwork to make thought provoking statements or just for fun? Are there any hidden messages in your work?

The faces and characters started as a representation of humans as a way to celebrate all people without specific details such as gender or race. Things like that can hinder some opinions on others. However I don’t usually make this reasoning known, I like people to have their own interpretations or just to enjoy the work for what it is.

What do you think about artists like Banksy going from being an unknown artist to making political statements to selling art for millions?

Selling street art for millions will always be a weird one, especially if it’s ripped out of a wall, I know Bansky and most graffiti artists aren’t keen on people auctioning off street art as it defeats the whole purpose and culture behind it but what can you do? It turns the art into a completely different thing when it’s put in a gallery or up in someone’s house. A key aspect of street art is that it’s not meant to last forever, you could do a big piece that takes hours and it could be gone the next day. 

Faces or Faces likes to keep his identity hidden much like famous artist Banksy

Do you see this as your career path or remaining as a hobby?

For now, it’s just a hobby that gets me by. As long as I’m enjoying it, I’ll stick to it. I’m not going to try and force in into a career path but if it happens, I definitely won’t be complaining.

Would you ever collaborate with other artists?

Yeah 100% would love to collaborate with other artists in the future, it would be lots of fun! I’d like to get in contact with some more Southampton and London based artists.

If you could do graffiti on any building in the world, where would it be and why?

I’m honestly not too sure, it would definitely be a big tall building in either central London or New York with some big colourful faces going down it! 

Interview by Emily Salmon