Focus catches up with HASWORLD to chat about street art and London life.

Hasworld is a self taught Artist from London best known for his “Phantom” design which can be seen today all over the streets of London.

In one sentence tell me what you do.

I am a street artist who likes to express himself.

When did you realise you wanted to be an artist?

2008, I was sitting in a flat watching a Japanese animation, and there was this imagery with burgundies and blues, and I felt a need to draw something. This led onto painting, which then led me into street art.

What was your attraction to street art?

I couldn’t always get into galleries and I noticed that with street art 10,000 people could see your art. Not that many people even see it in the galleries so I just thought I’d do it and if people like it then they’ll like it.

When did you sell your first artwork?

I sold it to a gallery assistant called Billy Riley at the Westbank Gallery, Notting Hill, he bought one of my Phantom prints in 2011. My first original piece was sold a few months after that, it was to a collector who really liked it and who bought a number of works.

What do you think the best thing about being an artist is?

Freedom of expression, you can do what you want, you don’t have to be a certain age to do it, you can start at like 60 man! Rather than if your trying to be a pop star you have to be a certain age so, there are no limitations and you are free to express yourself in anyway; whether it’s political, or whether it’s twisted and demented.

You do a lot of screen printing, what do you think the advantages and disadvantages are of the medium?

The disadvantages are that it can be saturated, because you can have so many pieces. You have to have a balance between printing and making originals. Also, it can be pricey, where with an original piece you just need a canvas and some paints.

The advantages are that it’s quick, it’s an easy process and you can get it out there very rapidly.

What do you think of the art world in 2016?

It needs to get a bit more out there; Instagram seems to be doing really well in showcasing art, but I’m not too sure about much of a scene right now.

Clashing Disfigurement

If you could be represented by one major gallery which would it be?

The Saatchi Gallery, every time I go there I am excited by the style of the contemporary artists, that or the National portrait gallery, I love it there. I sometimes feel like I need to develop my style more before applying, but I’ll be applying for the BP portrait awards next year.

What is it about London which inspires your work?

It’s constantly busy, it’s a place of no sleep, you can wake up at 3am, get a spray can, go to Brick Lane and start spray painting or do some paste ups. The city is always accessible, there is always something going on, many different types of art and music. I love the madness of London.  At the same time, I feel like I’m having a panic attack, it’s claustrophobic and I can’t relax. When I go to Yorkshire or somewhere quiet for a week, I can just switch off and relax, but here I can’t. It’s a good thing and it’s a bad thing. The mind never stops, and is always thinking, but when I do my art even though I am thinking, I am relaxed and it stops me from getting angry or depressed. Its very therapeutic.

See those people there? (points down into Windrush Square at a group sitting on a bench) I could just draw a bubble over their heads and draw the past images of what happened in their life, something deep and crazy.

At the same time, I can’t leave London. I love the hustle and bustle.

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?

Don’t stop, don’t be discouraged, don’t listen to too many people, and follow your highest excitement. Go for it. If you don’t get into certain galleries it’s not the end of the world, it doesn’t mean it will never happen. Also, the gallery route may not be your way, you could a street artist, or even a fashion designer. Find yourself by being consistent and honest to yourself, then the sky’s the limit.