Dublin Diary: Maser Talks Street Art, Dublin City & Growing Up Next To The Tayto Factory
When you think of street art in Dublin, it goes without saying that Maser is the first name that springs to mind. He's painted the town psychedelic with his incredible, vivid works of art, created stunning installations all over the world and has caught the attention of the luxury fashion industry having recently collaborated with Brown Thomas to take over their Grafton Street window display. We grilled this home-grown Dublin talent about his work, travel, favourite spots in Dublin and his most memorable Dublin memory!
Maser, you're obviously an incredibly talented artist. How did you get into Street Art in the first place?
It was a great outlet for a young teen to express himself. No rules, outdoors, exploring the city and painting, ticked all my boxes.
Sounds exciting! You have a really distinctive style, how was this influenced and developed over the years?
Christy Moore and I recently chatted about the creative process. He described it like 'a river that flows through you.' I'm influenced by people around me, situations, my home town, other artists, travelling. Unconsciously an artist gathers all this inspiration and the result is expressed through their artwork. I can't speak for other artists, but thats how it works for me.
When starting a new project, what is your thought process?
Depends on each project. I'm constantly thinking, taking notes, trying new things. I discover the answer for the next project through that process. I've learnt that "down time" is just as important as painting. I used to burn myself out, constantly feeling I had to say yes to everything. Be selective when choosing the next project, make sure it makes sense for you rather than to please an audience or client.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I usually work on a few at a time, some take months to plan e.g. I'm already talking about a large piece in Sydney for 2015. Right now I'm getting ready for a trip to Copenhagen where I will install a large outdoor interactive piece. It will be at Roskilde festival. I'm really enjoying creating work that the viewer can engage with, take ownership of. After that I go to Limerick to paint a mural as part of City Of Culture 2014, then straight to Berlin for a show.
We loved your take over of the Brown Thomas window display, do you have any more Dublin based projects coming up that we can look out for?
I always love creating work in Dublin and plan to do something special in Dublin for 2015, most of this year is full already with travelling, murals and exhibitions.
We're looking forward to finding out what that will be! People’s appreciation for street art had grown hugely in Dublin, what do you think has influenced this?
We all love something free! And public art/street art is that, we're not wanting anything in return or pushing a product to sell. I like to believe people appreciate that.
Has your work ever gotten you into any sticky spots in the early days?
Yes a few, but thats all part of it.
What are the best spots in Dublin to view street art?
It's sporadic, the location of the work is decided by the artist. Some legal spots are The Bernard Shaw, Tivoli Theatre, and my old stomping ground Windmill Lane.
Dublin in 3 words
Holds my heart.
Dublin in the sun, where are you?
Balscadden jumps in Howth or Vico Road, Killiney for a dip in the sea with friends.
Dublin in the rain, where are you?
I love O'Donoghues on Merrion Row on a rainy day, reminiscent of a time gone by.
That's a favourite of ours too. Any hidden spots in Dublin we should know about?
The Cruagh Woods, Dublin Mountains. Great view of Dublin, I have spent days up there creating outdoor installations.
Sounds like a great spot. We hear you spend a lot of time in the States. What’s the first thing you do when you return home after a trip away?
Usually just try and get back into a routine, when I travel it's usually for a few weeks as I try to put projects back to back. So living out of a bag for weeks and constantly moving can be tiring. Saying that, I do love every minute and feel blessed to have the opportunity to be able to travel, paint and meet new people.
Does working in different countries have an influence or effect on your work?
I exhibit in group shows so have the opportunity to meet artists from other countries. We all learn from each other, I become more understanding of their background and what influences them.
Favourite Dublin Memory?
I grew up next-door to the Tayto factory. The smell in the morning was a favourite childhood memory.
That sounds amazing! What's your favourite restaurant in Dublin?
Metro Cafe for breakfast, good people. For lunch Coppa Cafe in the RHA gallery is a great spot.
What's the best way to spend a day in Dublin?
Go to Kilmainham Gaol. Or be by the sea.
Great choices, and your favourite way to spend a night in Dublin?
Probably sitting in Ukiyo with Ryan Skelton.
Last but not least, what do you miss most about Dublin when you’re away?
All the things that make it famous, the people, the energy, the pubs, its coast, its mountains. A good sense of community still lives in our city, thats was makes it still feel like Dublin Town.
Thanks for your time Maser, let's hope it's a sunny weekend as you've given us loads of places to check out for art, culture, food, drinks and the outdoors! You can check out more examples of Maser's work on his website, and keep up to date on his many street and public art works on this twitter account.