Artist Profile: Koyo

koyo stickerName:
Koyo
Location:
When I started making stickers I was living in Phoenix. Now I’m just outside of Salt Lake City.
How long have you been making stickers?
Coming up on a year now.
What inspired you to first start producing stickers?
It’s something I stumbled upon on Instagram, I loved the idea of trading and the sense of community sticker artists had with each other. I picked up some labels and markers immediately and got to work.
What role would you say stickers play within the greater scope of art?
They’re a great way to spread a message, get your name out there, or just to slap up art wherever you feel needs it. You can trade, collect, and post em. They’re super versatile, which really makes them great for any artistic purposes, even if they aren’t as well known as some more traditional mediums.
koyo stickerMaterials:
I always use the Priority Mail stickers. I like their look over a blank sticker sheet. I also use Micron for my outlines and Bic and/or Prismacolor markers for my coloring. Sometimes I’ll mix it up, and use aerosol, acrylic, or watercolor paints.
What are some of your favorite places to put up slaps?
I actually don’t slap up any of my own work. I trade all of it. But my work has made its way up in a lot of major cities because it gets mailed everywhere. It’s pretty cool knowing my work is up on streets from Chicago to LA when I haven’t even been there before.
What other artists inspire you?
Too many to list haha. I draw inspiration from anything and anyone I can. A lot of sticker artists inspire me, but part of my style is also from traditional artists and painters, tattoo artists, and even a couple filmmakers.
Have you ever had a funny/unusual experience related to stickering that you would like to share?
Out of all my work, the most popular sticker I have made to date is of a goofy dude with googly eyes haha. I’m totally okay with that fact.
koyo stickerIf you had to guess, how many stickers have you produced to date?
Oh man, probably around 200-something stickers.
Is stickering about quantity or quality for you?
It’s absolutely about quality for me. I try to make stickers you won’t see anywhere else. I do a lot of one-off stickers that won’t be replicated. But when I’m doing a lot of trading, obviously quantity plays a huge roll, so i’ll do some alternates and whatnot. I try my best not to have to make duplicates.
koyo stickerDo you collect and/or trade slaps with other artists?
It’s all about collecting/trading. I think I have a solid couple hundred stickers from other artists right now and I’ve sent just as many away.
Do you have a message that you are trying to convey with your slaps?
I just want someone to actually stop and pay attention to it. Stickers aren’t some vandalism waiting to be scraped off by a city worker. It’s there keeping the city from getting too cold. There’s just something about art out on the streets that’s not “supposed” to be there, but there’s not a single person who could imagine how boring their city would be without art. It’s under appreciated and I hope we can all change that.
Final thought:
Make art every day. I don’t care who you are or what it is. Paint, make music, do interpretive dancing. Whatever you can do to be creative and make something that’s your own and then share it with the world.
koyo stickerWhat is the best way for people to follow your work?
A vast majority of my work is on Instagram, at @rollingkoyo. I also have a store at rollingkoyo.bigcartel.com. I just started that though, so it’s a little rough.
Shouts:
Roman Pelham (@theromanosour) for being a friend and always inspiring me to create. All my friends and family at home, they’re why I’ve always been making art since I was a child. Any and all followers or those who have stopped by to check out my artwork, you keep me going.