Interview – Dabs Myla – All Good Things

Back in 2010, when I first started Invurt, one of the very first interviews we ran was with two of my favourite artists – Dabs Myla. They were, at that time, just settling in to their new life in Los Angeles, having emigrated to the USA in the pursuit of artistic happiness and a fully fledged creative life.

There’s no doubt in my mind that in the past three years Dabs Myla have not only discovered their artistic dream across the seas, but that they have also forged ahead and made a mark beyond expectations. They are now, undoubtedly, one of the most beloved artistic teams in todays street/graffiti/low brow/pop (well, they do cross it all, really!) artistic culture, and they have garnered a legion of dedicated fans across the globe. Wielding either can or brush with a down to earth, fun loving spirit, Dabs Myla are, quite simply, fucking cool examples of what can be accomplished by feverously pursuing “The Dream”.

Three years after their last Australian show, Hollywood & Western, at the much missed Per Square Metre gallery, Dabs Myla are now returning to Melbourne to do it all again – and this time, they’re painting and installing up a plethora of grand shit at Armadales Metro Gallery with their new show “All Good Things“.

Read on for our latest interview with this amazing pair, and for a few sneak peaks of their coming show …

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It’s been a while since we last caught up! So, situation report? Ha! Still in LA, still painting up a storm – but what has been the biggest change or challenge you’ve encountered since we last spoke back in 2010?

MYLA: I guess in the last three years not too much has changed!!

Just painting a lot, we worked ourselves even harder in 2012 than I even thought was possible! It was a really busy year!

I’m not sure if there has been any major creative challenges specifically. We always put a lot of ourselves into everything we do. If it’s a wall or a painting or a T shirt design or whatever we always push ourselves as hard as possible to make it better than the last which can be challenging on a daily basis.

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You’ve been keeping some great company over there, with collabs with a whole bunch of different artists over the past few years – can you tell us some of the more interesting and cool work you’ve done with artists in recent times?

DABS: We are really lucky to have so many ultra talented friends! We love to work on walls or different projects with people that we look up to and get along with!

We do always have a great time working with our friend CRAOLA. Even though we have pretty different styles things seems to work out great when we collaborate. Part of that might be the juxtaposition of our styles … but I think it also comes down to having similar personalities and work ethics!

Miami Miami, tell us a bit about the most recent Miami Basel – how did the painting go? (that hand brushed truck you did looked rad) What did you see that blew you away? Why should everyone go to Miami Basel at least once in their lifetime, and tell us all the things we should be jealous of for not having been there!

DABS:This year was the 4th year we’d been to Miami for Art Basel, and it was another fun year last year!

It’s always a good time … that’s why I think we keep finding ourselves back there every year.

This year we painted a big wall with our good friend TYKE/WITNESS and CRAOLA. It was one of those walls that just flowed so easily! We all know each other so well, and have worked together a lot … so it all came together pretty effortlessly! We also did a private commission on a truck while we where there that had been organized earlier in the year.

We did the whole truck with brush and acrylic. It was something we had been wanting to try for a while, and we were really happy with the outcome!

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So, Trekell brushes – how good are they? These are the same company that put out the Greg Simkins brushes, aren’t they? Will we be seeing any Dabs Myla brushes in the future?

MYLA: Trekell’s brushes suit both of us perfectly….we both have specific types of brushes that we love to use and Trekell have both kinds. I really like using very small fine brushes that have fairly short hairs for painting the details into the buildings, etc, and DABS has always liked using brushes that are kinda like sign writers brushes which have very long hairs.

When we moved to the States, Craola gave us a few Trekell brushes to try out and since then that’s the only brush we have ordered. Last year we were approached by them to join their artist family which we were super stoked about!

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You just recently did an installation and some work for a Hello Kitty show back in December, how did you get involved with that and how did it all go? … so, is Hello Kitty cool? I guess it is, haha, but how do you make it cooler? :)

MYLA: Sanrio is a pretty rad company! They have done a lot of amazing artist collaborations and art shows. We have been involved in a few exhibitions in the past and it has always been really sweet.

For their most recent NY show we were approached by them and our friend Roger Gastman to make a series of paintings and build an installation. Like always. it was fun working with their characters!

I think its a good fit for us, so we are always down to work with them.

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So! Tell us about about this next show you have coming up, and what we can expect from it all? What are you going to be bringing us?

DABS: Our show in Melbourne is going to be at Metro Gallery and is titled ‘ALL GOOD THINGS …’

We have made a new series of paintings and drawings for the show, and will be creating a big installation for the show too! This is the first show for us in Melbourne for three years … and we wanted to come correct!!

Hopefully we have!

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Obviously, you’ve exhibited here a lot at some amazing galleries here in Melbourne (including Per Square!) – but how does showing at Metro, a higher end kind of space, affect your outlook and the work you’re producing for this homecoming?

DABS: It doesn’t really change anything from our end. We have gone about creating the work in the same way and haven’t really thought about the location or status of the gallery. The work and intent is the same!

… it just happens to be on the other side of the river!!

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Do you believe you’re well and truly “living the dream”? One thing I’ve always been interested in … “once you’re living the dream” what takes place of that striving to “live the dream” …  and what are you dreaming up for 2013?

MYLA: We are living the dream!! I couldn’t imagine ever being this happy and fulfilled in my life! Working and doing what we want every day and doing it together!

I think, for us, what takes place of “striving to live the dream” is to make sure that the “living the dream” doesn’t go away – and making sure it continues forever!

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Big thanks to Dabs Myla for their time and images, as well as to Dave Russell for his progress shots of All Good Things …

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For the past ten years, Fletcher Andersen (Facter) has cut his teeth writing for a variety of street press and music magazines. Drawing on his years of writing experience, and as an artist himself, Facter founded Invurt with the aim of promoting artistic events, and the established and emerging Australasian urban, street, illustrative, underground and low brow artists that partake in them. Follow him on Instagram @facter, or go like his facebook page, and check out his website, Irikanji.