Interview with Street Artist: Sid Tapia

Sid Tapia is a local Inner Westie, a truly talented artist and an all round lovely guy! I met Sid and his beautiful wife and daughter a couple of months ago when I was taking a photo of his fabulous Victory Lane wall in Camperdown. He was more than happy to have a chat with me about his work and I have been lucky to see him painting several times since then. The Victory Lane wall is one of my favourites in the Inner West because I think it embodies a real community spirit. He is a perfectionist in his work and you can see that in everything he creates. Huge thanks to Sid for taking the time to answer my questions. I can’t wait to see more or his work appearing around the Inner West. Check out his website for more great examples of his work.

How long have you been doing street art and how did you initially get started?
I started around the age of 11. 1982. Though I was attracted to the dance side of the hip hop culture about a year or two earlier. Within those surrounding years, everything else that came with it was just as appealing. From art styles, dance styles, strategic competition styles, music etc I continued writing till I was around 15yrs. From there I got back into skateboarding a whole lot more. I’m 38yrs old now and have been back at it (painting) for about a year and a half.

How would you describe your street art identity and style?
My street art identity is simply transparent and my style is founded on old Spanish cursive lettering that my mother taught me and early New York style bombing. I’ve also been getting some feedback that my style contributes positively to the community and is able to capture a broad audience from the child to the elder. I like that.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
My surroundings / the beauty of creation & within that there’s the great works of other artists and the core street vibes they contribute to in city’s worldwide.

Do you have other creative outlets other than street art?
Skateboarding and my label Crown St. I’ve been running it for the last year and a half and it consists of my illustrations being placed onto classic fitting T’s, hoodies n sweats etc. Plans for a my own spot on Crown St are on the way as well.

How do you pick a location for a Sid Tapia street art piece? Is it usually planned or spur of the moment?
I scope out and am attracted to walls, street names, suburb names and location names. Within all that the ideas come and I find I have endless ideas to work with.

If you could do a collaborative piece of street art with anyone of your choice … Who would it be? Why?
Apart from my wife Anna-Mei (who holds epic creative skills) & my bubba Skylar-Lovelle (when she grows up), I’d say ‘Seen’ or ‘Mad C’ as they’re extremely talented, genuine, detailed, clean, innovative and they fit too well into that phenomenal place called ‘style’.

Do you usually work by yourself on the street or with other street artists?
Just me though that may change. When painting I enjoy focusing & perfecting for hours on end.

What is your favourite design that you have done on the street?
Hmm… I’m so thankful to have done all of them so each has it’s special place. I’m really stoked though to have brought the ‘Dorkstar’ characters to Victory Lane and I really like the way the ‘Chippendale’ piece turned out.

Who is your favourite street artist (local or international)? Seen

Where can someone buy your work? Do you do commission work? How can someone contact you if they want an original Sid Tapia design?
Yep, I do commission work. As for buying my work I’m more on the comission side of things. From community walls to interiors. I’m contactable via sid@sidneytapia.com,  www.sidneytapia.com My online store for my label is www.crownstshop.comwww.crownst.com

I love the design you created in Victory Lane, Camperdown. It embraces the community spirit and love of the Inner West. What was the inspiration behind this piece and will there be more work like this.
Thanks… The inspiration was a number of things, from seeing a large wall that seemed too random with its different tags n stencils. (some well executed and some rushed). In my mind it simply needed painting. The name of the lane-way came in later as an idea and I was really desiring a larger surface to paint that would hold time. I love people & in-turn my heart is to do public pieces that add to the love of the surrounding community in such a way that people of all ages can understand, appreciate, enjoy and fondly relate to. As for more work like this… definitely, I desire to be doing a lot more of this work in the near & distant future.

What can we expect to see from Sid Tapia in the future?
Apart from and within more community based pieces & interiors, I’d say new characters, letter styles & fill ins. My label, Crown St, to be producing more threads, accessories and hopefully Dorkstar plush toys and God willing some more skateboarding if my knee recovers.

And finally… Inner west questions
Best place for a caffeine hit in the Inner West?
Cafe Giulia, large soy latte with honey.

What/where was the last great meal you ate in the Inner West?
Sanga n chips at The Grounds of Alexandria.

What’s the Inner West’s best kept secret?
Sorry I can’t reveal such information ; )

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