Words to live by:
You cant shine when you’re in someone else’s shadow!
What’s the first thing you did when you woke up this morning?
Definetly took a piss. It’s a no brainer, you go to the bathroom first thing. Then a little coffee and a little robutusin. Definetly the first thing that went down.
Something about yourself the average person wouldn’t guess?
I guess it would be I’m getting over being a diabetic. I was diagnosed with diabetes a couple years ago because of eating bad shit and spnet the past two years getting healthy. Eating better and exercising helps. I’m a pre-diabetic and hopefully cured in no time. WM:That’s whats up. Congratulations on that, that’s big!
What is your first art-making memory as a kid?
That would be copying cartoons out of the TV guide. Like we didn’t have a whole lot of books and shit like that at our crib. So I mean we always had a TV guide and it always had like the cartoons that would be coming on, you know like a little picture of the cartoon, and I remember always flipping through that and tracing down any kind of character I would like to draw. Like one of the first drawing contests, like draw the pirate or the turtle and shit. That was where it all started.
Have you ever been arrested for art?
Yes, I got roped up, shit probably like right when my daughter was born, so it was probably like eight years ago, but, ah, yeah I was out in my area I had an art show. I was just putting up some posters for the show and I put up one on the main drag. I just had this lit up spot. I thought, “yeah I’ll just hit that shit and be done for the night.’ That was the last one, I got half the poster up and two squad cars pulled up on me and they had like my wife’s car blocked in. Wife and kids were at the hotel. It was some tough shit. I just got caught slippin’ man, you know, one of those things. That was the last time I got caught doing anything illegal while at work. But yeah, I guess the reason was I just got fucken’ complacent man, you know? I just thought it was an easy piece to get up, and I just got roped up.
What is the single most important thing you did to break through as a career artist?
Um, that’s a tough one. For me, I would have to say, like, documentation. Documenting your work and keeping a good portfolio of shit that you have done and, uh, you know that’s the only way to really get out in any kind of publication. Get out high quality photography, and you don’t have much to show anyone unless you have a good photographer to do it for you. I’d say that’s the main thing, most important thing besides doing the actual work. Documentation.
What gets your blood pumping?
Definelty, like, the day before you know you’re about to start a new project. Just like the anxiety of whatever it is, if it’s a wall or a sculpture or anything, man, just always the night before it’s always exciting you know, exciting, for the work ahead and whatever challenge you have to overcome for that certain project. I look forward to it.
What will 2023 look like?
Man, I don’t know if it will be that much different unless something, you know, catastrophic happens like a war or some alien invasion or some shit. But other than that, maybe people being a little more disconnected than they already are, you know?
What kind of car do you drive?
I drive an 83 Dodge Sportsman, it says its a Plymouth Voyager, but the same exact as a Dodge Sportsman and it was the last year that Plymouth made a full size van before they went to what they call a mini-van, now the Plymouth Voyager mini-van. It’s a classic van this year. That’s what I asked my wife for Christmas this year is the Personalized Blue Liscense Collector Plate, and my shit is blue and white and my fuckin’ van should be popping. WM: That’s Tight!
If you could have a drink with one artist, living or dead, who would it be?
Uh, probably Jean-Michel Basquiat, but we would just smoke a fatty and skip the drink.
Can’t live without:
I’m sure most people would probably say like music, but I don’t know, I like to unwind with a little television. I got my shit I like to watch and shit I don’t. Like Dexter and Breaking Bad. I just start looking forward to it at the end of the day.
Rudeness, rudeness, whether it’s rude drivers or just rude people. I mean, I don’t know if just one rude thing could fuck your day up if you let it. If more people were nicer and shit, I mean it would make your day a little easier. It doesn’t always have to be about them. Definitely rude people.
What do you write? How did you get into graffiti?
I write “Dolla,” and I know I got really interested in graffiti when I was a kid, like when I was in 7th grade and, uh, you know I wasn’t good at it yet or anything like that. I was super interested in graffiti and always saw it, and I would also do drawings in my sketch books and I got up a couple of times in high school, but I never really got super into it until like years, years later, shit probably, like, I don’t know…probably around 2000. In 2000, I started getting back into street art and spray painting again, but I’d say who got me into painting pieces and shit would definetly be, like, M-6 from TE Crew. He kinda pushed me in that direction to go paint with him one day and it just flicked my wick man, it just kinda fell into place where it never did before for me. It was like a hole knew medium again, like with the paint, the crew and it just inspired me to persue it. That’s what kinda got the ball rolling again .
Most memorable moment while painting?
I’d say one of the coolest times I remember most was at Art Basel and I forget what year it was, but it was, like, three or four years ago.
It was the first time I painted with TAKS from Seventh Letter, and I had just finished a piece out front and I was kinda worked, and then he asked me paint with him and I only had a couple of days left in town. Actually one full day and a night left. I kinda painted the whole thing straight through without any sleep. It was just a surreal experience, getting done and painting with TAKS and, like right across, was MEAR ONE over there painting and I got to chat with him and sit with him for a bit. It was just cool, all these, like, well known graffiti artists and just gallery artists were passing by. It was crazy, it was surreal. WM: Yeah, we have a video of MEAR ONE on our YouTube page, painting live inside the Wall of Fame.
Does “Dolla” have any significant meaning to it?
No,nothing like, you know, out of the box type way.
It was my friend, Shawn, who actually started calling me “Dollar Bill,” like, 20 years ago, and we would always do these single dollar bets and I was always lucky at that type of thing, and it was just off the cuff one day. He just started calling me “Dollar Bill” and, you know, it just kinda snowballed from there and a few years later when I stated getting into the graffiti scene again, I just shortened it up from “Dolla Bill” to “Dolla” and just ran with it.
Preferred aerosol brand? And do you have a favorite color?
Ok, Yeah, I would say there’s Belton. I like Belton a lot and I always use it in every single piece. I use that single black that has that gloss on every piece for my outline. I also like Montona Gold. The grays they have are crazy tight. They have this one color Mt. Fuji Blue which is my shit and they make a Hot Pepperoni too. It’s like, a greenish color. It’s a pretty dope color.
What do you love most about Florida?
I’d say, like, the beaches and the winter months, you know, like the weather is perfect in the winter.
Anything you hate about Florida?
Yeah, mosquitoes! WM: Agreed, mosquitoes, period.
Words to live by:
“You can’t shine when you’re in someone else’s shadow!”
Any country you would like to travel to and paint?
Yeah, I have always wanted to paint over in Europe, France, and you know, Prague and, you know, definetly hit up Australia. That would be cool, those are probably at the top of my list.
Any last words?
Yeah, man, just want to say thank you and you know I appreciate this opportunity, and I hope you and your readers enjoy what I had to say.
Visit Dolla at Facebook.com/dollalama