Art With a Message, Fun! – An Interview with Diabetik

June 30, 2010 by · 2 Comments 


Why do you do what you do?

The world needs a little more humor in it. The best compliment can give me is that my work made them smile or brightened their day. In DC there’s a lot of political street art with a message, which is great, but it constantly reminds you of the problems in the world. People can catch my work for just a half second and see the humor and escape.

What got you started?

A lot of my friends were putting their work on the streets and it seemed like the right thing for me. You have an immediate and broad audience.


Do you even like candy? What is your all-time favorite?

I love candy! My favs are Pixie Stix, Gummi Bears, and Rice Krispie Treats. It is an addiction I need to curb before Diabetik actually becomes diabetic.

What do you think of our “Catch Me If You Can” sticker? It is more fair tale themed than confectionery delight themed.

I think it’s great, can I get some? I put up a few broken gingerbread men last fall, then a couple of people told me the “surprised” faces I gave them look like “o-faces”!


Who inspires you? Famous artists, like Andy Warhol, or more underground people?

I find inspiration in everything. I admire the omnipresence of artists like Warhol or Fairey. They turn the artist into a brand. Since I focus mainly on consumer items, it’s kind of in line with what I do. I also get inspired by really good advertising, epecially anything that plays with nostalgia.

Can you describe the street culture in Washington DC?

It is pretty strong right now. A lot of the best artists have joined up to form collectives and I spot new artists every day. I like to think that we all inspire and encourage each other. I am surprised how much work goes up in one of the most policed cities in the country.


If you had to live somewhere else, where would you go and why?

Berlin. So much is happening there in all aspects of the arts.

What is the best story to come out of your adventures or experiences making street art?

Speaking of Berlin, I had the pleasure of meeting EVOL last year when he came to visit. I love his work. He kept apologizing for stenciling over one of my peeps, but I think the collaboration created a great look. The best experiences are with other artists and being part of that community.

If you weren’t spending your time working on street art and wheat posters, what would you be doing?

Sitting around being miserable. I need some sort of creative outlet.


In an ideal world where do you see Diabetik?

A presence in every city. I like to create overindulgence and put up a lot of work, which isn’t easy, since I like to hand paint each piece. Even if you see two that look alike, there will be subtle differences. Maybe someday I will have to give up control and start printing them.

Tips for wheat poster artists reading this article?

Everybody has their own preferences on pastes, so just play around with your mixtures until you come up with the magic answer. And don’t be malicious. I chose wheatpasting over spraypaint because I like the fact that my posters are temporary. I don’t want to cause permanent damage to anybody’s property.


What are you planning on doing next?

Lots of stuff planned, more posters and more sculpture. I am sure you can guess the theme.

Check out more of Diabetik’s art and add her on Flickr.


2 Responses to “Art With a Message, Fun! – An Interview with Diabetik”
  1. Nice interview. I think you know which one I like best. The ice cream.
    -The Ice Cream Man

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