There are many artists I come across that have impressive handstyles and tags. Most of these artists have practised for years to get to the level they are at, and generally find their best tags are delivered from either a spray can, a marker, a mop, or any other tool they can find.
One of the first artists I came across that was doing quality tags with whatever tool he picked up, was Kanser. Whether it was a calligraphy marker, a drippy thin mop, or a can with an astro-fat flare on it, every tag was consistent in the quality delivered, and attention to detail.
I even used one of his own tags as the display picture on some of the social channels, so when Kanser himself hit me up to submit some further tags I took it as an opportunity to do an interview with him. I’m excited to say… here it is!
What’s your artist name/word, and where are you based?
I write Kanser (also spelled Cancer or Canser). I represent following crews, BYE, MSA, SVP, MT. I was born and lived in Czech Republic, but I spent more than half of my life between France and Belgium.
How long have you been involved in graffiti, and what sparked the interest?
I found my interest in writing because of one of my classmates around 2001. At that time, I was a passionate badminton player, and this kid in my class I use to hang out with, started to draw some letters. I asked him what he was doing and he said “That’s a graffiti…” Since then, I thought about a name, had chosen “Devil”, and began to draw it on small pieces of paper. The virus got in…
When did you start focusing on lettering and handstyles?
When I moved back to Czech Republic, I wanted to be better, changed my name for “Carn”, and hard worked on my toy letters. After three years in Czech Republic, my first two horrible pieces and endless hours drawing, I had to move to Brussels. I changed my name again, first for “Cream”, then for “Crime”, “Crimer”. Met some people, did some stuff, travelled and after a while I changed my name again for “CANSER”, end of 2008. Met a dude, crushing Brussels at that time, OSMOSE, with a theory about handstyles. The theory was all about tagging, because the tag is the first and the most important form of graffiti. I entered his strictly handstyle crew, MT, and started focusing on my handstyles above everything else. After Brussels I moved to Lyon, France, and met a real bomber. The biggest surprise was that it’s a girl. She writes SOMA, and she overpounded that city with tags and throw ups, I was impressed, shy to tag when I was out with her. I started to feel that greedy feeling of getting up, and she made me focus on getting better and better by working like a freak on both paper and walls. I also met a dude from Paris, writing BADYPNOSE, and started the BYE – a strictly handstyle crew – with two American handstyle titans BASER and FEECEEZ from New York and Miami.
You hit me up on the website with some of your own stuff – is there any artists that have caught your eye on Handstyler?
You selected a lot of good stuff, that’s for sure, along with my boys I appreciated the following dudes handstyles: Rime, Bates, Sure, Faust, Rizote, Sicoer, Twist, there’s many others but the list will be too long…
What have been your inspirations on your handstyle, both inside and outside of graffiti?
I take on everything I can. It started with what I’ve seen as a kid, many names from my birth city are still runnin’ in my head. My travels around the world, any kind of writing or calligraphy style you can see on the streets, books, newspapers. There’s so much to see and get inspired by. The world and it’s humans are an endless oath of inspiration. How people write in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Japan, Africa. Arabic calligraphy, Egyptians and their Hieroglyphics, or even South America, with the Maya’s, Inca’s, and many other population already writing letters on walls thousands of years ago. Other side is, I take everything from everybody, the worst toy ever could come with a phase you wouldn’t ever imagine. You just adapt it, and bingo, you got the craziest letter to impress. There’s a bunch of strong ass people out there, they give me energy to continue, they represent a challenge on my path to the handstyle throne. For me, graffiti is an exchange, and people will always have something to offer.
If you could only do tags with one tool for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?
An endless can of Molotow Silver Burner 600ml, with a Montana 94 skinny cap to make small astro kind flares . With the marker you can’t tag on everything…
Within your city, are there any other writers to look out for that have quality handstyles?
The list is long, here’s some: France – Omeack OSP, Spé OSP, Ewock OSP, Rizote PAL, O’clock 156, Wxyz 1984, 3zer… Belgium – L’Opéra VAO, Defo BCP, Eyes-B NHR, Chock CNN, Osmose MT… Czech Republic – Hanes BE, Rwek ACL… USA – Totem 2, Zephyr, Earsnot IRAK, Rime MSK, Revok MSK, Atomik, Pear NSF, Menacer… too many others.
I’ve seen that you are sponsored by Grog Ink – how did that come about?
Got contacted on Flickr, they wanted to get me trying some of their new products, and in exchange I was supposed to send them some pictures with those products. The connection was very cool, and we keep in touch for more projects together in the future. Also, I can clearly recommend any drips lover to buy any of their quality products! Watch out soon for a video of mine with their new products !
Where can readers find more of your work online, and follow your progress?
The only thing I have is a Flickr. Here it is: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ I hate Facebook and any other socials, cool to check it out sometimes, but even better when you’re not on it, even though your stuff does!
What’s one song you’d recommend everyone to listen to whilst checking out the rest of your stuff?
Aceyalone – The Thief In The Night
Any shout outs?
Big Up to all my writing brothers and sisters that I couldn’t mention above:
Gee, Arsen, Black, Poster, Ding, Aone, Dager, Truxe, Color, Tomser, Kast, One, Tenor, Seme, Aske, Atom, Meta, Walou, Stehea, Spone, Enola, Rkz, Opas, Solie, Polzo, Crepe, Oviol and too many others, I’m just forgetting for the second I’m writing all this…
And the most important: every tag counts.
Be sure to follow the Handstyler Instagram to keep up to date with more interviews, and top-quality tags from Kanser amongst others.