Interview by Dave Noodlez
How you guys decide to put together the show 'Shaolin French'?
Jahtiek: I wanted to put together a show and showcase work, but I didnt want to show my work alone. Then I thought of Mo, I love her style and I’ve been wanting to work with her for a while, thus Shaolin French was born!
La Femme Cheri: Jahtiek hit me up about the show. We've always been big fans of each other's work and good friends.
How did you get into art?
Jahtiek: What first got me into art was watching cartoons all the time when I was a kid, I use to make up my own characters and stories. Then when I was in the 5th grade I got my first sketch book, I’ve been drawing and making art ever since!
La Femme Cheri: I've been drawing since I was a kid. My parents have memories of me doodling and sketching around the time I was learning to read and count. I went to the High School of Art and Design in Midtown which was one of the best time in my life. I was a terrible student who cut class everyday so I didn't learn much, but it was the first time in my life I was apart of a giant artist community which was really fantastic. After a few years bumming around in college and taking odd artist jobs, I decided to paint walls last November. And it's been amazing.
Who inspires you in Shaolin?
Jahtiek: There's quite a few people who inspires me from Shaolin, first I have to say the Wu - Tang Clan. I grew up down the streetfrom them and I’ve always said to myself “If they can make it from up the block, I can make it from down the block”. Other people who inspire me from Shaolin are my boy Dave Noodlez, Mo, John Joesph, Patti Kelly, my friend Linda, Chris Rwk, Mike Die, Tariq at Richmond Hood, my boy Brandon, and everyone that has the courage to be themselves and follow their dreams.
La Femme Cheri: A. Besides Jahtiek of course I would have to say Dave Noodlez of Stereotype So. And Chris Penn of Projectivity. These two men always inspire me to work my hardest and do my best for myself, my art and the community. Tariq of Richmond Hood Company and Kwue Molly are also amongst the kindest men I've ever met. They always share opportunities whenever they can and give back to Staten Island artists always.
What are some of your favorite places in Shaolin (Staten Island)?
Jahtiek: So we can’t talk about my favorite places without talking about the ferry , I know it sounds cheesy but I love to ride the boat during sunset its beautiful. I love going to Cargo (120 bay cafe), 388 vanduzer ( cant wait for the new bar to be revealed), The Craft House, The Alice Austin House, and I love the Nycartscypher thats where I meet Mo and they have amazing artwork outside and indoors.
La Femme Cheri: My number one favorite place will always be the "Postcards" memorial near the Staten Island ferry terminal in Saint George. It's a memorial statue dedicated to those who lost their lives in 9/11 and the World Trade Center bombing in 93'. It was designed by a Japanese architect called Masayuki Sono. I always went there to clear my head of I was troubled or go running in the mornings. You can see the entire Manhattan skyline from there. It's always a beautiful scene.
Where is your favorite place to paint?
Jahtiek: My favorite place to paint is where ever I have the creative space, as long as I have my music and an idea, anywhere is my favorite place.
La Femme Cheri: I have no favorite place to paint. I Iove painting anywhere and everywhere I can. Especially if it's a wall.
What is some advice you would give to someone visiting Shaolin for the first time?
Jahtiek: If you’re taking the ferry don’t pay for it, its free.
Explore the boro and talk to the locals, there's always a lot of cool things going on.
Stay on the side of the island with the free transportation, you can’t go wrong there.
La Femme Cheri: My advice to someone visiting Shaolin for the first time is....... go and stay outside in the back of the ferry. Don't stay inside, even if it's cold. You'll be awe struck by the views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Harbor. Travel down Bay St. to see some of the awesome Graffiti and Street art we have.......and definitely go to Richmond Hood Company on Castleton Ave to get some authentic Staten Island gear.
If you visited France what are 3 things that you would like to do there?
Jahtiek: 1. Visit my friend Margaux and hang out
2. Explore the local art and music scene, with some collabos in the mix
3. Eat and go party it up!
La Femme Cheri: The very first thing I would do is try to meet with one of my favorite french street artists of all time Fafi. My dream would be to collaborate on a wall with her.
2nd thing is go to the The Louvre definitely.
The last thing to do for me would have to be eat as much good food as possible.
If you can describe your style in 3 words? What would they be?
Jahtiek: Colorful,Fun, Cartoony
La Femme Cheri: Women, Empowerment, Freedom
Where and when can people check out 'Shaolin French Art Show'?
The Show is at 73 Wave St, Staten Island, NY 10304.
Jahtiek: November 19th and 20th and doors open at 7pm!. Come thru its gunna be lit as the young kids say.
La Femme Cheri: Hub 17 on Wave Street Staten Island NYC. it's gonna be fantastic.