Falko – Bringing art to small towns and villages

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Internationally acclaimed street artist, Craig Cupido who is known as Falko is making the world his canvas. Through his latest initiative called Once Upon a Town, he paints people’s homes around the country. He chats to us about his love for painting.

By: Fundiswa Nkwanyana

1. My career as a painter started in the 1980s. I used to paint shop signs, bedrooms and boardrooms. I then decided to branch into graffiti and street art when it became a fresh marketing tool; corporate companies and brands became interested in my work. I often worked for free because I knew that getting exposure would help to grow my career. And, it did. Now that I’m an established artist, I’m breaking boundaries by painting in unconventional spaces.

2. My initiative is about making little galleries in small towns. I’m travelling to small towns and villages across the country, bringing art to people’s homes and surroundings. I settle in an area for a couple of days and spend my time painting homes for free, and talking to the locals. The response has been encouraging because people love art and they appreciate seeing their surroundings reinvented. I plan on expanding this initiative across the world.

3. I wish that people understood that being a street or graffiti artist is an actual job. Painting is my full-time job; it’s how I pay my bills, so I take it seriously. It is frustrating that people assume that artists are from the streets, and that we work for free.

4. The world is my canvas and I want to paint as much of it as I can. I hope to one day paint 1 000 elephants in 365 days. But, this is just a dream for now and I’m still trying to source the funding in order to achieve it. I love the positive changes that my work brings to people’s homes as it changes their perceptions while also bringing art to their homes. I use art to spread happiness in places that have mostly been forgotten.