Artists We Love: Bushy Wopp

INTERVIEWED BY Michaela Stehr IMAGES courtesy of @bushywopp

Local multi-disciplinary artist Bushy Wopp (Chad Hanning) is a Cape Town-born creative lending his skills to illustration, graffiti, graphic design, painting and various other mediums. We chat to him about his graffiti journey.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in graffiti.

I’m an artist from Cape Town, focused on illustration, graphic design, animation and murals. I started seeing graffiti when I was young, on the drives to and from primary school. Fast forward to a few years later, I had become friends with some local graffiti artists in my young teens through skateboarding and then painted my first mural when I was 14. Which now feels like a whole lifetime ago.

How would you describe your style?

It’s like if illustration and street art had a baby, the one element influences the other and vice versa. It’s influenced by cartoons, anime, music and pop culture. Its playfulness and satire turned into murals in ebullient colours, fluid lines and humourous shapes.

How has it developed over the years?

My style when I was younger was more intricate and detailed. I pushed and evolved my style to be more simplistic as I find it more challenging to do, as opposed to detailed work. I enjoy the challenge and keep pushing it all the time.

Do you have a preferred/ favourite colour scheme?

I would use a lot of reddish pinks and turquoise before, I love those colours together. But now I’m trying different colour schemes and switching it up as often as I can.

What are the processes behind making a piece?

I guess it depends on the project I’m working on. Usually, I like brainstorming ideas first before sketching anything on paper or iPad. Most of my ideas come from conversation, taking a shower or lying in bed right before sleep. Sometimes I would just find a wall and come up with something on the spot, which becomes the most fun pieces to paint.

Any fun projects you’ve been working on lately?

Yes! I recently got invited to do a custom garment at Levi’s Haus of Strauss in Joburg, which I’ll be sharing on my Instagram soon. Later on, in September I’ll be one of the guest artists at Comic Con Africa and I’ll be painting a mural there. Other than that, I’m working on a body of artworks for a solo gallery show, which I’m really excited about (Watch this space),

Graffiti has a reputation for having a few politics, how do you keep things positive?

Most industries have politics, It’s best to stay clear of it and not let it get to you.

Any cool local artists who should be on our radar?

Some of these guys might already be on your radar, but I’ll mention them anyway. Conform, Motel 7, Skumbuzo Vabasa, Karabo Poppy, African Ginger, Yay Abe, Ellena Lourens and Keya Tama

What does a regular day look like for you?

If I’m not painting, I’m home with my two cats, doing morning stretches and having tea before arching over my laptop or iPad to sketch or design. I fractured two bones in both arms falling from my bicycle in May so I’ve been taking it easy on the physical activities since then. If I’m not making art, I’m with friends at home or at the local bar having a brew.

Best piece to date?

This is a hard one, but if I had to choose I would say the piece I painted, called ‘drip’. It’s a play on Sneaker culture and the term ‘drip’ where I had a guy sitting in a shoe box filled with water.

What are your plans for 2023?

To make good art, memories and be a better version of myself.

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