Spraytrains - interview

1. Spraytrains is one of the first Tumblelog in Italy all about graffiti. How you came up with this idea?
I was taking the trains everyday to go to the University and some of the trains had the graffiti on them. So I decided to take pictures with my phone and then try to draw it back at home. I never tried to sketch them but with time photos were piling inside my phone. After a little while I realized I could show them off on the Internet hence I opened a Flickr set in 2009. I kept uploading them until I received the Flickr notice that if I wanted to upload more I had to pay a monthly fee. I was pissed by that and luckily I discovered Tumblr which is FREE and much better. I came up with the name Spraytrains easily and every single day I was uploading a picture.

Back then I had some few good followers, around one hundred, but than in January 2013 I received an email from the Tumblr staff saying” we love your blog and we will feature it in the spotlight art category for Italy”. Since that day the popularity of Spraytrains grew rapidly and now I have 100K dear followers to amuse.


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2. How did you come closer to the graffiti world? What fascinates you the most?
I knew nothing about Graffiti culture at the beginning! Still nowadays I miss most of the meanings and story behind it but I’m doing my best to try to get to know more. I bought some books, saw some cool videos and read few articles online. Thankfully some writers are very nice with me and have time to give me some explanations, or answer my questions.

I was attracted to graffiti mostly by their colors and details. Plus I enjoyed much more the ones on the trains than the ones on the walls. I still get excited when I see a train go by fast with something written on.

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3. Why did you choose to photograph only the trains?
I didn’t have time to go around town and see what I could find so I decided to limit myself and take photos of the graffiti on trains. Then I discovered that it’s important for everyone to find its own niche to stay on the web.

4.Bis It’s been 4 years since you started, have you changed you habits?
Now I live in Milano and I started to take photos of the scene here. So when I go back to Torino in the weekends I always manage to find some time to spend inside Porta Nuova train station to catch up.

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5. Has ever happened to you some funny incidents while you were out taking pictures?
I am actually pretty proud that just once in this long time I have mistaken the train I was supposed to get onto! Luckily I realized it soon enough, I got off the first stop without getting in trouble or ending up too far.

It’s surprising that only twice I got noticed by the conductor and he asked me what I was doing and after a polite nothing just taking pictures he kept doing whatever he was doing.

What is quite funny is that now everyone of my friends know about the existence of Spraytrains and so when they see a graffiti on a train they take pictures for me and send it over saying “Did u get this one? ” Between these people I managed to enroll my mom

6. The authors of the pieces ever tried to get in contact with you so to get their photo?
Yes and I was very happy when it finally happened! Most of the requests were anonymous but after we exchanged emails it was the end for them! I started to ask question to the point they were suspecting I was a cop. They were also pointing out the times I misread their names and suggested me to take less crooked photos (haha). So now I do my best at reading/spelling before uploading.

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7. You have been around Torino and Milano railway stations. Did you spot any difference about the two writing scenes?
I am no expert I can simply say that there are more graffiti on trains in Milano than in Torino, quantity speaking. About the skills I can’t feel like judging but I’d rather be in Torino PN chilling while taking photos than in Milano were everyone is in a rush. One thing which was new to me was graffiti on the subway :)

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8. Other than graffiti do you take photographs of something else?
I used to take photos at snowboarding events especially during half-pipe runs. Action sport photography is completely different and everyone is very competitive and mostly looking down at you and the camera you carry. So I solved all my problems by changing subject.

Using a mobile phone camera isn’t the best of quality but it’s always with me, and gives me some slack. Even when the train is moving and the result is quite blurry I still like it. I do not like people walking in front of me or windows/doors I can’t close

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9. What’s your favorite crew or writer?
The ones I took most photos of!

10. What are your favorite Tumblelogs?
I love every other Graffiti related Tumblelogs, my followers have themselves some pretty awesome blogs, CATS and gifs.

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11. Top drink
Mountain Dew addicted

12 One last scream
FRIED CHICKEN

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