Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Handzus Delapico and I repair watches. I also am a graffiti products tester by night.
How long have you been doing graffiti?
Think its coming onto 6 years. I dare not speak of the first attempts but lets say I haven’t improved much since.
What was the main influence for you to start doing graffiti?
Day to day appreciating logos and letters in everyday life. Then I started to draw them and I met a certain individual who refused to get haircuts and he showed a similar interest. We went out with rollers, I watched him throw down a piece and wanted to do it ever since.
The biggest influence I would say is the documentary named, Basic Techniques for Creating Graffiti Art on Walls & Canvas. Jokes, saw that it was on Netflix but havent watched it because I dont wanna become next level.
How would you describe the Calgary graffiti scene?
Its been up and down, but more so down. Lots of peeps grew up or moved away, and now its a breeding ground for toys and people who pick up cans and smash freights without ever even drawing the shit out in their life.
What do you like about Calgary?
The almighty chinook winds that thaw out your lawn and allow for spray action in the middle of winter.
How often do you find yourself visiting the train yards? Either to paint or just to bench?
Every couple days. Been lurking the main yard hard and find myself between the lines while crews switch. Always inspiring and tonnes to see, do and paint. Lot of ins, lot of outs.
Who do you usually like to paint with?
I really enjoy painting by myself, its my escape and my relaxation time away from all the bills, frills, oil spills, and the work life. However I do like to paint with these guys cuz they are kind of cool. Jawez and Emtron, they are my number one go to painting pals. Not only do they enjoy painting as much as me, but they are always there for me no matter what! Afex is a blast. Noway is the man when ever he is in town we share the cans and smash a couple walls and such. Coma is good shit, always sharing and caring, mad open minded, and much wiser about life. Once in a blue moon when the hectic work schedule frees up and theres a couple days to spare, painting with out of towners or a new cat to see if our steeze meshes is fun.
How would you describe your style of graffiti?
Very experimental. Font and graphic design orientated, unexpected, and always expanding. Always trying to think of a new scheme or theme to tie everything in and be original but it takes its toll and writers block is always a reoccuring state of mind.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen or experience why out painting?
Everything from police, to coyotes surrounding me and nipping at my ankles, close encounters with skunks, hobos whistling inside railcars, city workers with polaroid cameras chasing me, strangers grabbing my paint and hiding it from rail crews approaching, and so much more. I enjoy the peaceful more chill days, but every time seems to have its quirks in one way or another.
Do you have any good chase stories you’d like to share?
One night painting a rooftop the building got surrounded by the pigs and they were shining their spotlights everywhere. Sure enough they found my car and zoned in on it. I had to wiggle and slither my way off a series of rooftops to get down and try to grab my car to drive off, meanwhile buddy keeps painting the roof. Sure enough I get to the car to drive it away and a tow truck is attached and starts calling the police saying he found the owner. Earlier that night in another part of the city a car the exact same as mine was driving around doing robberies, so I had to beg this dude to let me dip out before the cops came back. Finally he releases my car, and I drive around avoiding the cops as they patrol the area and picked up my friend as he climbed off the rooftop. Sure enough we are spotted so I speed off across some rail tracks just as a line of freights is pulling through and it cut the cops off leaving us free as they are stuck at the crossing waiting for the train to pass.
What influences you to keep painting?
My fiance, my brain, friends, people doing it bigger and better every time they paint. A constant battle with myself of self encouragement and harsh criticism has its ups and downs but I guess something drives me to do it.
Have you done any traveling with your graffiti? If so where?
If freights had any say about their travels then yes. Otherwise nowhere out of Canada myself. I travel to BC as often as possible to write with some heads and enjoy the variety of personalities in the game and what other cities and towns have to offer.
Where would you like to visit?
Brazil/Amazon Forest, for the fishing, and while catching some rad and weird fish I would squeeze some painting into the mix. Europe would be a treat to visit again, only now I am older and paint, I would take full advantage of that. Also the states, lots of cool stuff happens there and it be hype to pitch into the scene and take something back with me that I learn from there.
What type of freights do you typically like to paint?
A freight is a freight. Lately I been hyped on Soo Lines all the way. A rustic treat and always looks proper. You can always go big and not worry about the numbers and stamping. Been expanding my variety into everything these days since the yard has so much to offer, and been hitting freights I told myself I would never hit, like tankers and intermodal.
Who’s art or graffiti have you been feeling lately?
Erase and Seca have been pulling off some gnarly fonts and themes that are right in my direction. Hindue has been absolutely killing it and beating me to a lot of things himself which sucks but is inspiration none the less. Those 100% guys are doing it hella proper with just repping their crew names huge on boxes and in dope styles. Noways colour schemes and funk are always inspiring and on top of the game. Can’t forget Bacon, burning it harder and harder every strike. Keep6 is doing some mega hefty work so props to him.
I could go days listing everyones that really doing it good, respectable and nice, but these dudes I can think of off the top of my head first so they must be the most awe inspiring.
Do you have a freight or wall you’ve painted you’d consider a favourite?
Theres been so many over the years, I enjoy many but if I had to put a finger on one, it would be the freight in which I asked my fiance to marry me. Just stands out the most, took a lot of time and energy to build up the whole plan working up to it all for a few seconds of taking off the blindfold and finding out the answer via paint, but it was worth it.
As of now its getting harder to try to put out things I really like, because I always want to one up myself and perfect everything with each sesh.
Congratulations on the engagement! Can you tell us the story behind your proposal?
The proposal went down like this. In the background I prepaid for all the food and booze before hand and dropped off a can of black paint. Picked up the lady from work and took her to the restaurant for dinner. We kicked it, had a quality meal and drinks and stuck around a bit before the bill got to the table. The manager came up and said something along the lines of, we were the 100th guests of the day so the meal was complimentary. She then said she had some gifts for us, and laid down the can of spray paint. At this point she got suspicious, so I blindfolded her so she wouldn’t know where I was headed, and I ripped over to the yard before the piece could roll out. Thankfully it didn’t, and I walked her up to the freight. Told her to take off the blindfold, she looked up at it quick and immediately spray painted YES, and thats when I pulled the ring from behind my back and slipped it on her finger.
What can we expect to see from you in the near future?
More burners and walls without a doubt. I wanna be on that Kem5 tip or people like Jimboe or Bacon who are always advancing their styles and getting better with each one. Don’t worry though, the freights and clever themes will be a dime a dozen as long as I live.
Any last words for the Senses Lost readers?
Thanks for taking the time out of your probably more interesting lives to read up. Keep doing your homework and rocking the proper basic techniques for graffiti on walls and canvas!
Kids, ease up on being wonky and try doodle on the paper. Big ups to Senses Lost. Take what’s yours!