cONvERSAtIONS WItH rICArdo rICHEy (APExEr) P: Where did the name APEXER come from? A: Apex means peak, or highest point. Within the rising street art culture, you can add different endings to your name like “ing” or “er,” and I picked “er.” It was my sophomore year of high school when I came across the word “apex” in English class. As a young boy trying to find his place and hierarchy, that name was incredibly cool. Fast forward to now, and it represents the exact opposite. If all of us try to do our best, to reach our peak, the most important part is to enjoy the process as you try and find your way. P: Abstract art can sometimes be hard for people to decipher. What do you hope people gain from your work? A: Early on, I learned all the tradi- tional practices of art. It felt like I was copying, so I wanted to create something new—something that was pure imagination, aside from the art classics. I pull from that same child in me for inspiration. I want people to remember that child in themselves and that moment of questioning, freedom and curiosity about the world. That’s what I want people to get from my work. If my work can grab the passerby for even a second, I have accomplished what I wanted. Studying design and architecture, learning the goal-to-ratio of classic structures as the way we view the world blew my mind. I wanted to stand out in competition of billboards and other traditional styles, so color theory became a big part of it. Layering my work all together creates an explosion of positive energy that I’m giving to people. I like it to be colorful and abstract so that it goes against the norm. P: You tend to use brilliant colors in your artwork. How does color help you get your message, story or purpose across? A: My work is very layered. If there are 10 layers of my work, only three of them are controlled. It is completely meditative. A lot of 28 PULSE ■ October 2017 C o N t u N u E d F r o M PA g E 2 6 vibrant colors grab your attention and then it gives you a moment in your day-to-day life to reflect and breathe. You might like a particular green, pink or blue, and you pick something out that’s uplifting or it changes your mood completely. Having all the colors there is the balancing act—it isn’t pulling you to happiness or anger, it’s allowing you to just be. P: What would you consider to be the hardest part of your work? How do you overcome these challenges? A: To stay motivated when I’m not working, and to stay humble when somebody is complimenting me on a new piece. After a piece of my work is finished, I say that it is 18 years old, has matured, and is ready for the world to experience it. The hardest part has become explaining my viewpoint on ownership of who deserves credit. After my work has been released, I don’t take ownership because it’s for everyone else at the Apexer’s mural located in the that point. People should be giving Mission district of themselves a compliment for appreciating it. San Francisco. P: What is the most rewarding part of your work? A: There are a lot of rewarding things like being able to travel and see different cities, and meeting all kinds of people around the world and hearing their stories. But the most rewarding part is people connecting with it. It’s a sign that I still have my finger on the pulse. Understanding how to navigate the art and communicate that with different cities and different walks of life is amazing. We are all connected and that shows when we relate to the work. Seeing that so many people can relate to it and appreciate it is rewarding. n GET INSPIRED! Don’t miss Apexer at the 2017 ISPA Conference & Expo gENErAL SESSIoN H tuESdAy, oCt. 17 H 9:30 A.M.