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Monday - June 19, 2017 01:24:29 PM
AP Interviews: @Thin_White_Lion
With nearly 1200 posts and counting, @Thin_White_Lion is perhaps the best curated collection of white-out tags on the Internet. We sat down with the account’s admin to discuss the fine nuances of metal tip pens and got his take on the Art Primo Press-N-Go.

AP: First off, thank you for taking the time to with us.

@Thin_White_Lion: Definitely! Thank you for taking the time to wander around Seattle with me while I took close up pictures of white out tags like a weirdo. You guys have a very active marker scene going on there, it was a bit overwhelming.

AP: So, what made you decide to dedicate an entire Instagram page to white out tags? What was the thinking behind that?

TWL: I've been taking pictures of graffiti, locally or in my travels, since the 90s, putting them in zines, or leaking them to respectable outlets like @whatyouwrite... RIP Skew. He was a solid guy who went out of his way to document graffiti, and despite having thousands of followers on multiple outlets, never really took the opportunity to self-promote, which is rare and priceless in today's society of selfies. He blazed the trail as the perfect example of what an anonymous graffiti blog should emulate, he really left behind the blueprint to build on.

So I got the ball rolling and showed it to a couple of trusted friends scattered around the country. They immediately jumped on board and then we went to work. Because of the Internet, styles are no longer as regional and unique as they once were– pieces and throw-ups especially have started looking manufactured and unoriginal. Tagging is the last Mohican out there running wild. Every city still holds on to traces of their own regional alphabets and underground kings with a death grip.

Our mission at @Thin_White_Lion is to feature these regional letterforms in their rawest form, which if you think about it, is the white out tag– it’s not hiding behind drips or chisel tips– the funk can not be faked.
Here we are a couple years later, a handful of dedicated writers, and a huge amount of help from crowd-sourcing of people sending in things they see in their area, which we highly encourage.

AP: What got you into graffiti in the first place? What do you remember about white out tags? What cities have the best scene for it?

TWL: I grew up in an area of Miami that was covered in graffiti, but as a child I could never get close enough to it. No matter how hard I pressed my face on the window, it was always just out of my reach, across the tracks, behind a fence, or flashing behind me on the highway. There was a drug store that I frequented where I would get my comic books and the payphone outside always had some white out tags on it, it was the closest to actual graffiti that I could get so i would sit on the newspaper stand next to that phone booth and read my comics just to be around it.

My family would travel to Philly to see my cousins and the whole city was completely laced with white out tags. While at the time I could not read most of it, I just associated graffiti with whiteout from the jump. When I got to high school, and actually met graffiti writers, some of them had white out tags popping off their backpack straps which reaffirmed the correlation. Later on when I became a nomad, city by city, the common denominator was the white out tags, I have yet to be somewhere that I have not been able to find any. Now, we get pictures sent in from all over the planet: cities like New York and Philly are booming, but Seattle, Pittsburgh, Boston, Oakland, Miami, Baltimore, Paris, Brisbane, Amsterdam... Keep them coming, please!

AP: What’s your favorite white out pen? And what’s on your shitlist?

The Press-n-Go that you guys put out is a solid product. The multiple body designs to choose from, combined with the option to get them empty is clutch because it gives people who like variation the freedom to fill them with whatever color or ink they want. I've seen people mixing ink and white out fluid and coming out with Mint greens and Carolina blues and other good ones, freedom is good. Also you can really juice those things up to the max and not have to worry about your pen sputtering out on you a couple of tags into a run.

Pentels are a favorite., The ink runs forever and actually gets stronger with age, some other notables are Erich Krause Arctic White with the polar bear on them, Oval from Thailand, Evolve E8, and Muji Moma from Japan.

My least favorite pens are the Chinese ones with the cartoon character labeling, the foul ammonia smelling, poisonous, liquid cancer inside of them that you find on Alibaba for .09 cents a piece. If it smells like nail polish remover whatever you do with it will flake off the next time it rains. They are mass-produced, probably by child laborers, there is no quality control going on there, the tips rarely work and they are 95% empty. The Bic pens get a lot of negative comments whenever posted, but to be honest, they are decent, people just need to learn how to use them. These things do not have felt nibs on them, they are not fail safe.

AP:Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Now’s the time for shoutouts and parting words shoutouts and words of wisdom for our readers.

TWL: Shout out to you guys for this, shout out to all the people commenting with the positive words of encouragement and sending in pictures, the account thrives off of crowdsourcing. Shout out to @NoBadDays_zine for our recent zine project together and to everyone who got a copy. Shoutout to the team that has been working on this together from the beginning.

Remember that it’s about community and inclusion, not exclusion. Get some pens and send in some pictures. Thanks for the support!

Snag your own Art Primo Press-N-Go on our site and be sure to pick up some of our unique inks and dyes to fill ‘er up. Remember to tag @ArtPrimo and @thin_white_lion in your Press-N-Go pics for a chance to be reposted.
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