With the many thousands of graffiti writers around the world it’s not hard to quickly become lost in a sea of colours, drips, techniques and styles. Each style becomes a variation of those that came before it, and originality is often exchanged for conformity or crippled by poor execution. Lucky for us, USA’s Soviet is able to bring imaginative handstyles to the walls delivered with beautiful execution which results in some truly original tags.
Not one to do the same tag twice, Soviet’s Instagram feed is a inspiring peek into the mind of someone who obviously brings influence from places outside of graffiti and is able to conjure that into the raw form of a graffiti handstyle.
Soviet took some time to answer a few questions about his style and submit some amazing photos of his work, so read on below to find out more. Check out the store to find some original works by Soviet
What do you write and where are you based?
SOVIET NSF, USA
How long have you been writing graffiti for, and what sparked the interest?
Around 20 years now, give or take. I always liked the way graffiti looked so I figured I’d give it a try.
At what point did you start focusing on tags and your handstyle?
A few years ago I started going out with a couple cans strictly for tags/handstyles. At that time I was getting tired of standing at walls for hours, sometimes days, to paint pieces. It felt good step away from pieces and just focus on tagging.
Many have described your style as unique and original. Is having an original style something that you focused on achieving, or did it just turn out that way?
I really don’t know, maybe both. I just try to do different styles all the time so things don’t get too repetitive.
You seem to switch up your style often. Do you have a concept in your mind before executing a tag or do you freestyle it on the spot?
Almost all the handstyles are freestyled but every now and then I’ll practice one on paper and plan something out. If you do a tag a few times you should know it in muscle memory, then you can build on it the next time; add to it, take things away, bend it, etc.
Within your home city are there are any other writers that push their handstyles?
Here are a few who are pushing it, but not too many.
What have been you inspirations on your handstyle, both inside and outside of graffiti?
I get inspiration from all over, but mostly from creative things: art, design, signs, comics, music, movies, etc. In graffiti I was influenced by NSF and people I met through them. The crew can flex some really nice handstyles and have passed down a lot of knowledge over the years. And to paraphrase Acne (RIP): “If you can’t do a decent tag, why even write graffiti?”
I’ve always looked at the regional styles from cities like Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, SF, DC & LA. Those cities have been cultivating styles for decades and have developed some advanced styles. There are many other cities & writers that are influential too, but I’ll just keep it short for now.
Are there any artists featured on Handstyler that have caught your eye?
Yes, there are a ton of nice styles on there. I was hyped to see the Nemz & Toper video on there.
If you could only do tags with one tool for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?
Ah, maybe Krylon UFB with a NY fat because it looks & smells good.
Where can readers find more of your work online and follow your progress?
What’s one song you’d recommend everyone to listen to whilst checking out the rest of your stuff?
Idk, some oldies like “Hello Stranger” by Barbara Lewis
Any shout outs?
To the NSF crew & friends!
There’s a whole lot more handstyle where that came from! So head to Soviet’s Instagram page to check the rest of his amazing handstyle. Also, be sure to head to the shop where a handful of original works by Soviet have been made available.