YabYum Seven: Champ Styles

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All photos courtesy of Champ Styles

Who are you and what do you do?

Champ Styles, the son of AZ Graff Pioneer: Such Styles

How did you get your start?

I’ve been scribbling since 3 months, but as of Graff it was when I was in 5th Grade (2003). I fell into some trouble and was grounded. My dad was tight but by no means ridiculous. I could only watch documentaries for entertainment. So amongst the Nat-Geo VHS and Biblical history movies, I stumbled upon the acclaimed Henry Chalfant feature: Style Wars in my dad’s cabinet.

Now, I had always been around graffiti and the train yards since I was born, I practically had Krylon running through my veins. Hell, I was already dubbed the name, “Champ” when I was in the womb. But it was when I saw those Subway Cars going by done by The Legends such as Zephyr, Crash, Sonic and many more. It was then that “Champ Styles” was born.

Aside from all that, it was my entire childhood: I fondly recall New York’s Killa KA ONE was picking me up at my bus stop. Fyce, Tackz (AM7) and Kaper were always at the house especially during the holidays. I would always see their work and try to do what they did. I remember one time Lalo Cota let me draw dinosaurs in his blackbook. Honestly, I can go on and on.

champ styles 01What inspires you?

My Father, nuff’ said. See, to me, Graffiti is a family thing. Some kids play football on Thanksgiving, others pick up a Nintendo controller, my pops and I pack up some spraycans and go paint a wall.

What do you like about AZ?

What I am constantly drawn to admire about Arizona is the history, there is a lot here and the culture is rich in many aspects. It is deep in the Chicano Lifestyle and you cannot forget the Native art which is breathe taking. The Architecture, landscape – take your pick, basically there is a lot to look at in Arizona.

But in terms of Graffiti also the depth is insane (I’m not talking the street art craze either). I’m talking about the gully work from back in the 80s (since 1983 to be precise). I could take you to spots and remnants of walls that still have some *vintage* scrawl on them, it’s all here hidden in plain sight.

champ styles 07Where can we see you(r) work?

In terms of current wall-work there is The Town of Guadalupe, on Priest between Baseline and Guadalupe. You can see a mural I did with my dad and NY Subway Legend Zephyr. There are a few walls there as well as a few on 5th and Roosevelt, my latest being on the side of the Lost Leaf featuring Subway favorite: Howard the Duck.

My Father and I have painted the backdrop to the HipHop exhibit at the Musical Instrument Museum and of course you can see my work frequently at the Mesa Arts Center. I’ve also done work for a few schools such as Alhambra and Marcos De Niza.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

To pass on the legacy not just by means of my own blood but in terms of preserving the style and the lifeblood of the culture. Graffiti is a way of life, not a fad and should be acknowledged with such respect.

What is your mantra?

“Why create a mural when you can create an attraction.”


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Pictured with father and artist Such Styles

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YabYum Seven: Andy Brown

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All photos provided by Andy Brown

Who are you and what do you do?

I am referred to as Andy Brown, I prefer to spend my time making art and doing things that will inspire making art such as: camping, travelling, meeting new people and having new experiences. Sometimes that means hanging out with a totally different crowd of people, sometimes that means drawing something I normally wouldn’t draw.

How did you get your start?

​Growing up, I used to build forts in the desert and then I would draw in them. Teenage years were spent skateboarding and drawing and the natural evolution happened I guess. I am thankful to the folks that have supported me in recent years because that has allowed me to continue.

What inspires you?

​Having space in life and a free horizon in front. That usually means I’ve let go of previous things.

What do you like about AZ?

​The desert landscape, the sunsets, the fact that you can look up and see so much blue.

andy brown 02Where can we see you(r) work?

​Some mural work is online at soldierleisure.com. ​You can see physical murals and art in many states and some out of country works.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

Live life fully as a man and artist.

What is your mantra?

​I have no mantra 🙂 (mean that positively).


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PAINT PHX: A Pictorial

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All photos by Zach Lewis

by Zach Lewis
Contributing Photographer

The first week of March 2015 has been decidedly a busy one for the arts in Phoenix. One of the week’s major highlights was the 2nd annual Paint Phoenix event that took place in the Roosevelt Row Arts District. The 4-day event featured dozens of local and regional artists collaborating on new murals and street art pieces around the valley. The event promised to transform the city and community members came out to see new works being created and show support for the vibrant local arts culture.

New for the 2015 Paint Phoenix event was a block party celebrating Phoenix’s local music and arts community. The free block party took place Saturday on 5th Street, and was presented by local businesses in the Roosevelt Row area. The party featured family-friendly activities including a lowrider car show, live art battles, screen-printing, and skateboard demos as well as a beer garden for adults. Crowds enjoyed live music into the evening with performers including local DJs and acts such as Drunken Immortals, Wooden Indian, and Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra.

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Niba DelCastillo Answers the YabYum 7

1. Who are you and what do you do?  

My name is Anibal DelCastillo, Niba for short. I’m a photographer in Phoenix mostly shooting the street-art, graffiti and mural scene.

2. How did you get your start?  

I guess I started when living in Tucson. I would go out [and] find areas to stage toys for photo shoots. Started to enjoy the backdrops of the local street writers, then spent the time exploring the areas that had the large concentrations of graffiti and it grew from there.

3. What inspires you?    

The artist that I shoot, the way they manipulate the flow of paint from the cans, the structures the art is on. My kids especially when they say I love that photo dad!!!!!

4. What do you like about AZ?  

The skies, the skies, the skies, from the morning rise to the evening sunset the different hues and cloud cover make AZ beautiful. The skies add so much to my photos.

5. Where can we see your work?

At the moment I’m showing at Carly’s on Roosevelt. Also on PHXTACO. Website coming soon.

6. What would you like to accomplish before you die?    

To show my work in every country on this planet and to have my mark in the history books, but will be happy with people enjoying my photos.

7. What is your mantra?  

I will make it look better!!!!


Web Round Up!

It’s time for your weekly web round up where we share some of the fun things we’ve come across from Arizona bloggers! Make sure you’re on our web radar by email us a link to your AZ blog and we’ll make sure to check it out – yymeditors@gmail.com. 
Lisa of lalafauxbois takes us to Tour de Fat ’12 with an insider’s eye for adventure. Lisa and her friends opted for a French theme this year… and is that Jon Douglas of A Technicolor Yawn dressed as Pepe le Pew?!
Gwen Ashley Walters of Pen & Fork  interviews David Tyda, co-founder of the Arizona Taco Festival which takes place later this month (October 20 & 21). 
The Spec posted “Six Arizona Music Kickstarters to Kick Into Start” earlier this week. What a great way to get the word out on some awesome AZ-based projects!
Adrian (of Adrian Loves Owls) was a featured guest post-er on the topic of Composting for another AZ blog, Cuddly Cactus. Wheew, follow that. Composting good times for all you urban gardeners out there!
Phoenix Taco checks out the new works on the Calle 16 mural off 16th Street between Thomas and Osborn on an awesomely cloudy day.
Paulina Pineda recaps RoRo’s Chile Pepper Festival on Exploring the 602. If you missed the event you can still head over to Lawn Gnome Publishing for your very own Chile Pepper Cookbook and try to recreate the magic.
And, you didn’t really think we were going to let this slide past us, did you? MAN-CAT, who took credit for poisoning Justin Bieber after his recent vomiting-incident during a performance in AZ, made Greece’s MTV news report with their antics. Well played, MAN-CAT. Remember, we loved you first.

Jules Demetrius Answers the YabYum 6

1. Who are you and what do you do? 

My name is Jules Demetrius, I’m a transplant from the east coast for the past 11 years, however, I call the city of phoenix “my city”- I am a graphic designer,  a canvas abuser, spoken word performer and best of all… Papi-zilla to my amazing daughters. I am also a Cancer with a weakness for fresh corn, raspberry Greek yogurt, sushi, and most things sci-fi.

2. How did you get your start? 

Truth be told, I have thought about this.. I’m the youngest of 8 kids with a major gap between myself and the next oldest, so I was pretty much left to my own devices as far as entertainment went. So I picked up pen and paper and created little worlds and friends to call my own. It never stopped and I’ve never stopped dreaming. I did the rounds in the corporate art world but got burned out on that shit. Several years later I find myself standing in Jes Jordan’s Wet Paint Art Supply being offered a showcase. It was my first real art show and I have not looked back.

3. What inspires you? 

My inspiration comes from all over. It’s hard not be inspired if you pay attention. My daughters are my sun. They help me grow daily as an artist and human being. And while I’m here I wanna thank the interweb for funneling all the amazing art from around the world directly to my eye sockets. I’d also like to think that my mom is looking down on me from above. I want to make her proud of her shotzi.

4. What do like about Arizona?

I have lived all over the United States and AZ has proven time and again to be my city. The people are incredible. The overall vibe and dare I say “the scene” is unique and fresh. It welcomed me with open arms and open galleries. I will probably be buried here even though I have a burial plot on the east coast already. A rather odd gift from my pops. I think he was trying to tell me something.

5. What would you like to accomplish before you die?

I want to leave my mark on the world of art somehow. Perhaps it won’t be my personal work but the guidance I give my little ones. When I’m gone I will live though them and their creative ways. I also wouldn’t mind having my toes sucked by island women while sipping a fine cocktail on a boat in clear water. That’ll work too.

6. What is your weapon of choice for the inevitable zombie apocalypse? 

Angela Schmidt and her body painting skills. She does a mean zombie. So I will just blend in. Maybe a few slow, fat children to toss about in order to slow down the horde. Mmmm slow fat children…


 Check out Jules’ Facebook page here