You’ll often find Cracked Ink halfway up a wall buzzing up and down in a cherry picker, doing what he loves, painting walls with his infectious style. We were lucky enough to pin him down for a day in his Whanganui studio, so he could capture the crazy collective world of his amazing B&W ink style characters.
I grew up in Blackburn, about an hour outside of Manchester. I met a Kiwi girl and came here to meet her family. That was 14 years ago and I’ve been an honorary Kiwi ever since.
I’ve always loved graffiti and when I moved over to New Zealand, my work started to take on a new direction. There’s definitely a twisted and slightly disturbed feeling to the characters that inspired my name: cracked up, off-centre, slightly loopy and a little bit lost. Every piece I do on the street starts in my sketch book in ink, hence, Cracked Ink.
You will mostly find me painting on the walls of any community throughout the country. I love painting in public spaces because I love the freedom it offers. There’s no restrictions when you’re painting in the streets and you can make something that can be enjoyed by a whole neighborhood. There’s something really cool about that.
Many things influence me: expression, movement, noises. I like to think of all the characters I’ve created as a family that is constantly growing and evolving. Each of them has a human quality because they are all inspired by human expressions and emotions. When you see a character inspired by people, it creates more emotion, whether you feel sorry for it or it makes you smile.
If you take some time to sit down by the main street of a town, you’ll see inspiration all around you. I’m stoked to be a part of this Generosity Journal. I feel like the things that help me most with a project like this is thinking of words that resonate with helping people, then being present in the moment of creation. This helps me get into a flow and lets the process happen organically, free from any preconceived ideas.
I’ve been a massive cartoon and animation fan all my life. So when we started this project, I was super excited to learn my characters would be coming to life and after seeing the amazing work Fox&Co did on Issue Four’s cover, it kinda gave me that excitement you get as a kid when your favourite cartoon came on! I have to say they have done an outstanding job again, I feel very privileged that the crew at Fox&Co took my idea and brought it to life, it’s now got me thinking of the potential for future projects. Thanks again team, bloody legends!
Words by Telford Mills. Main image by Yoshi Travel Films.