Hello My Name Is: Dato

Name: Dato
Crew: Stick Up Kids, Ex-vandals, Drug, ODB, CPA, 4C.
City/Country: Århus, Denmark

When did you start writing?
Started out in 84 with a Lot of tagging and my first piece in 85.

What’s graffiti for you?
Graffiti is what made me, it gave me substance in my life, it gave me some of my best friends. Graffiti gave me frustration too, i nowadays use graffiti as therapy, i relax when i paint, Graffiti it’s a big part of my life.

When i started out a local writer gave me my name at that time it was MJay. Later on Izoe was a big influence too. And guys like Biel and Swet are the one who made me think more about my pieces also Dare, Cmp, Skeme, Seen, Dondi are big influences not only style wise but some of them also in real life.

Tell us about your city, how is life and graffiti there?
In Århus life is Perfect. It’s the second biggest city in Denmark, the writing scene is small but the young guys there they are kicking to the city big time. Lots of stuff is going on at the moment. There are many walls around in the city so you can paint a Lot here.

What keeps you still writing?
Cuz i’m a writer and i ain’t done yet. It’s my drug and it keeps me Young. I look at the young guys out there and i paint more than them, guess my job ain’t over. Still got a lot to learn. It feels like i’m just started writing. Thats my top motivation.

What first made you interested in graffiti and how did you end up on that track?
I saw that movie Style Wars. And it was new and a thing you never had seen before, i was hooked from that moment.

What trends are you seeing now in the graffiti world that you don’t like?
There is a few things. like the internet teaching the youngsters style and Its legit to do wack letters. i call it “mumble graff” not to sound like an old grumpy guy but i really hate that shit. Work with your style and get better, know your history and pay respect to those who came before you, without them no you. Then there is internet beef just for the sake of beef, hate the drama, get out there and paint for god sake.

What do you do when you’re not painting?
Work with disabled people, waiting to get of to paint.

How would you describe your style?
Semi wild style with a twist.

Can you remember the first piece you did?
I Remember it vaguely it was a big j and a character i called Leo. I didn’t have a Camera until 86 so the first stuff i didn’t document. I started tagging in 84 so it must have been early 85.

Future plans?
More pieces, more canvas stuff.

Do you adapt your pieces and tags to the spot/surface?
Yes in the moment, i adapt the letters to what fits the wall best.

What do you think about the new generation of writers in your city?
They have energy, if they didn’t use the time on drugs and other stupid stuff they could take it far.

What are the best and worst aspects of graffiti?
It’s just like life, and goes up and down i cant say or pinpoint best or worst, i deal with the lot.

Who do you paint for?
All writers who are down with realness. Writers who give and take respect as it supposed. I Paint for my son and girlfriend, they know it gives me energy to paint, it pays of so I can be a good father and boyfriend.

What writers have inspired you?
Gotta say writers like Pnut2, King2, Seen, Dondi, Skeme, MJay, List, Izoe, Swet, Cmp, Paze,

Can you ever feel tired of graffiti?
I Will never get tired of graffiti.

What do you hope people will think and feel when they see your stuff?
First of all i hope they think I did a good job getting up and that i have made my mark. I Hope the name will be remembered as a guy who put in work and kinged the name Dato. And if you ever come to Denmark look me up, i’m down for a wall.

Spray Paint: Quick, Molotow or 94
City: Århus
Markers/pens: Penol and Molotow
Surface: tiles
Cap: New York fatcap

Website: www.dato.in
Instagram: @dato1
Tumblr: dato-one

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