Interview from Stickerbomb XL by Studio Rarekwai:
"In 2001 I moved to Hackney, London and frequented the world famous Dragon Bar on Leonard Street. While there, I mixed with the likes of Ben Eine, Noki, Banksy, Mysterious Al and Paul Insect. These people inspired me by their attitudes, approach to work and their own unique, but strong styles that all clearly had an obvious rebellious edge. It helped me realise that I too had a strong identity and style with my personal 'ORKO' drawings and the stickers were born!
I found a cheap resource in the local post office with their Royal Mail stickers and started covering the surfaces of London with my hand-made stickers.
Stickering is a form of self-promotion. It’s an act of anti-establishment in its simplest form and it’s a medium in which you can convey a message, an attitude and make your mark.
I went to New York for an inspiration trip when I was working at the creative agency CAKE and hung out in the Supreme, Alife and SSUR stores and drank in Max Fish on the Lower East Side. While there I bought many packets of 'Hello my name is' stickers. I started using them as my new sticker medium and as every sticker was different, they started getting a lot of interest within the scene.
In 2004 I travelled to Tokyo to do a show of my illustration work with the We Are... artist and DJ, Paul Camo. Working as a graphic designer I was able to print hundreds of stickers late at night on the studio Xerox machine. We spent two weeks trawling the streets of Tokyo sticking up our work, checking out the street culture and having our show.
Once back from Japan I started drawing a more detailed style of ORKO which once traced in Adobe Illustrator, I was able to apply colour and refine the style.
I started getting my stickers printed onto vinyl and die-cut, which changed the way I did them. They stopped being a one-off piece of art and became more of a promotional tool to get my name out there.
The stickers were given out by the hundreds, which meant other people could do the groundwork of 'getting up' for me.
Since then I have continued to exhibit, paint, draw, design and get my work published."
James-Lee Duffy aka ORKO