Published on 27.02.2023

Art and Brand

Interview with Artist Shane Hello about his journey from graffiti artist to illustrator and his collaboration with well-known brands.

Brand and artist collaborations foster exciting and innovative synergies. On both sides, there is ideally a profitable increase in value and the opening up of new target groups, ideas and perspectives. Whether it’s designs by fashion designers to outfit stage appearances by famous pop stars, product design for consumer goods, or political campaigns. The possibilities are endless. One of the most famous artists of this time, who made the interface between art and commerce artistically visible, is probably Andy Warhol and his response to consumerist pop culture.

POP KUDAMM as a Place of Participation is an open space for the conceptual interaction of art, commerce, intellect and brand. Artist Shane Hello, whose graffiti can be found on the walls of Paris, has teamed up with Givenchy at POP KUDAMM. In addition to his graffiti, he is best known for his paintings and illustrations. We are of course interested in how this collaboration came about and what makes it so interesting for him.

Pop Kudamm:You live in Paris and have made a name for yourself as a graffiti artist. How did you get into it? Where is the best place to see your graffiti?
Shane Hello:As a teenager I lived in a lost town in Normandy in France, a really boring place where it rained most of the time. I was a passionate skateboarder, and the only thing I did at home when it rained was draw skateparks and boards, mostly inspired by street culture and graffiti. Eventually I found that I was better at drawing than skating, as I practiced my skills more on paper.
Very early on I saw the graffiti movement as part of art in general, like the surrealists or impressionists. To me, it's the last real living art movement. Everyone can do it in their own way. You can see my work in the streets of Paris. Or in France sometimes on murals.
Pop Kudamm:I guess that's where the desire to get into typography comes from, right? Meanwhile, you're also a sought-after illustrator. Your portfolio includes drawings for wallpaper, books, products and much more. How did this transition come about?
Shane Hello:Ever since I started making graffiti at the age of 12, it was my goal to become an artist. But to be an artist you need time and in the end money. At the age of 15, I realized that I could make money doing what I was doing. A bread baker asked me to paint his steel door (the door when the store is closed). I got 800 euros and a lot of paint. Can you imagine a kid with that kind of money and a lot of spray cans! That changed the way I looked at my passion. I drew a plan how I could go my way to become an artist step by step.
I attended an art school but I didn't like it, they focused too much on the concept than on the technique, I thought that was terrible.
If it's good, you see it directly, that's how it is. You don't have to explain why it's good. Eventually, I started working as a freelance graphic designer. In addition to graphic work, I showed my clients that I was also a good illustrator. I then presented my personal projects online. After a few years, Nike asked me to draw some designs for them, and that was the chapter as a graphic designer.
Besides my drawing skills, it also affected my graffiti, and my murals got better. It is a transition, but even more a discussion between two practices.
Pop Kudamm:What encounters with places, people or other events have inspired you the most?
Shane Hello:I have learned a lot from people by talking to them and sharing thoughts and techniques. I have also bought and read a lot of books about my favorite artists. Museums have inspired me a lot.

Pop Kudamm:You now work with commercial brands like Givenchy. How did that come about?
Shane Hello:They asked me to paint my vision of their brand and they allowed me to express myself with my own style. It was more of a collaboration than a commission.
Pop Kudamm:Is there anything you find particularly exciting about working with brand companies or designing products?
Shane Hello:It's satisfying to see your own drawing associated with nice brands, that's the spirit of pop art.
Pop Kudamm:What design opportunities arise for you from the intersection of art and brand?
Shane Hello:Working with a name and a brand that everyone knows is really interesting because you can play with their logo, the history and the code of their card, which are usually subject to copyright. So it's really fun and inspiring.
Pop Kudamm:On the occasion of the product launch of the men's fragrance "Gentleman" by Givenchy, you will do a live painting at POP KUDAMM, could you tell us something about it?
Shane Hello:As I said before, I will create a graphic composition from Givenchy's codes and colors, I will use some of their codes. I used to paint flowers on my wall, this time I will paint flowers that they used to create this fragrance.
Pop Kudamm:What does a day with Shane Hello look like?
Shane Hello:I try to wake up early, have a nice English breakfast, head to my studio, make a to-do list of what I need to do and work on it.
I repeat this for days, and at some point, when I get bored and sit at my desk for too long, I take paint and find a wall in Paris to paint what I want. During the day, not at night, people think it's legal!
Pop Kudamm:Who or where would you most like to work with or what would you do if you could fulfil one wish with your work?
Shane Hello:I work to realise my kid dream, to live from painting on canvas, and work with an international gallery. It's the last step of my blueprint :)

More about Shane Hello:
Shane_Hello (@shane_odv) • Instagram-Fotos und -Videos

11th of March 2023, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
Live Performance of the artist at POP KUDAMM

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