As we celebrate our 10th Anniversary of the Wooster Collective website. we asked a group of artists who we showcased in the beginnings of the website the following question:
What's the one thing that you learned in the last decade that you had wished someone had told you 10 years ago?
The following response comes from the first "street art show" we ever attended at the Dragon Bar in London... Toasters.
What's the one thing that you learned in the last decade that you had wished
someone had told you 10 years ago?
To be open to influence but ultimately don't deviate from your aim.
From day one we've used the same image. Now and again people would say 'change the record' but for us the record was never broken so didn't need fixing. We were stubborn with it and we needed to be. When we started getting the Toaster up in 1999 we did it instead of a tag or crew name. Some graffiti purists were suspicious but it just made us more determined to get our image out there. We knew the Toaster would get attention if we maintained our levels of coverage because back then using a 'non-word' tag was, to us, unique and almost controversial. Some loved it, but out of curiosity and some did not get it. We could have easily reverted back to classical graffiti but we stuck to our guns.
Soon we moved to London and saw there were others doing it individually. We were hitting the streets every night and realised Solo One was killing it with Royal Mail stickers. As kids in Wolverhampton back in the 80's, placing stickers instead of tagging on walls was seen as a cop out. Now it was starting to be not only accepted but heralded. Stickers were free or at worst cheap and to tag, stamp or photocopy onto them was quick. A black and white image based movement was conceived. It needed a number of key artists to be blinkered enough away from the mainstream but still sensitive to the essence of graffiti for 'Street Art' to be born."... Toasters