Steadily over the last few years almost every time we go for a weekend bench session we end up seeing one or two Kamit trains. He has been busy racking up the numbers and putting in work. As a Canadian graffiti writer Kamit shares with us some of his thoughts on freights and his luck at obtaining reefers on the regular.
Q: How did the tag Kamit come about?
A: The name was one that I started tagging back in high school when I was in grade eleven, this was back in 1995. I was reading some book about hieroglyphs for a project, and I came across a section about some un-dead writings or something called kamit, so I thought it would be cool to write. I had about a million other names I used to doodle back then, so I added this one to my list of shit I used to draw and tag, pretty soon it was the only one I was messing around with and that was that.
Q: Can you tell us about TBV and the people that write it?
A: TBV is basically a group of people that I consider my best friends. These are all really good dudes that I paint with, and have been good friends with for a long time. The crew consists of Seekz, Same, Abomb, and Qwit. We paint shit, myself, Same, and Qwitty love hitting trains and hanging out just benching and acting stupid. Seekz has been on a crazy production kick lately and been doing some amazing tattoos; he is by far, the craziest artist I’ve ever met.
A: I grew up in a smaller town in the fraser valley, just outside Vancouver. Back in the day, me and my homies used to skate everywhere, rack shit, and tag up our skate crews name. One of our favorite spots to hang out was down by the CP mainline downtown. I was always interested in art and shit so every once and a while I would see something roll by that was pretty mind blowing. I was always curious and wondered how and where they were painted and who did it. So from that point I always knew it was something I wanted to try to paint on one day. A year or so later, a bunch of us where out at one of our super secret mushroom picking spots, bagging up, and I noticed a layup by this gravel pit. I was like holy shit, this is it! I’m gonna paint a fucking train out here. I went back about a week later and painted my first train, it was an intermodal car, and this was back in the fall of 1998. Then I went back a few days later and it was gone and a new line of hoppers and autoracks where there. I just kept wondering where they all kept going. It just kind went sparked from there; I painted hundreds of cars at that spot over the next 12 or more years.
Q: You have painted a lot of trains, do you have a favourite car or are you still searching out some particular cars?
A: I like to paint cars that aren’t from around here. Boxcars are best reefers are pretty dope to paint, super smooth and you know they are going to clock some miles. My favorite all time car is definitely Western Fruit Express, those where the first reefers I got to paint and they are just dope. Flat, a slightly smaller box, they blend in with other cars in the yard nicely, so it’s like a surprise to come across one, and they are so loud. They sounded like a diesel harley with no muffler. Too bad they are all scrapped now, I would kill to paint another one, but I’m glad we got a bunch of them when we did. I definitely have a few cars that I haven’t got yet, or would like to get more of… I have been pretty lucky in the last few years, the cars I have day dreamed about painting have just fell in my lap.
Q: It sounds like you have been tracking down a lot of reefers, how has it been being able to rock them?
A: Reefers are pretty rad. Just because they aren’t your average find around here. Some of the best times with my friends, is finding a reefer randomly and painting it, or chasing one down relentlessly until we got it. We would just get so stoked. They funniest time was when me and same were walking down the line and we see this tiny red light from the reefer unit from so far away. We both just started sprinting, we got to the car and it was a blank ARMN chilled express. We turned to each other and started man hugging and jumping up and down, yelling it’s a fucking chilled express! We were so stoked. We put a lot of work into learning about them, figuring out why they were here and tracking them where ever they went. Basically when one of us would spot one, then we would track it until it went south over the border, sometimes just hanging out with it for a week or two.
We learned the path they would take and times it would hang out. After a while it was almost a pain in the ass, we would spot one and just say, aw fuck, because we knew that the next week or so, we would be chasing this thing around and it would turn us into assholes and stress cases. But all that work has really paid off; I remember wishing I could paint one someday, now we got a tonne of them under our belt. The best part about painting them was the rumor that they don’t come to BC. So it was dope to have one get benched and people would ask, where the fuck did you guys hit that?? Truth be told, we have never hit a reefer in the states like some people might think. Every single one was hit in right in the Vancouver area.
Q: What gives you a visual orgasm?
A: I get off on a really proper looking panel or end to end especially, bonus points if it’s on a really dope car. Seeing it live, coming across it or seeing it roll by, it’s like a slap in the face. I like fresh funky evil shit. If that makes any sense?
Q: Have you done much travelling and painting?
A: I’ve traveled and painted all over New Zealand, I’ve actually been there 4 times. It’s such a dope scene there with good people. I was lucky to meet up with some really good writers there, these guys where painting some of the craziest pieces and productions I’ve ever seen. When I was there you could hit commuters and they would run, it was a rad time down there. But that’s about it for overseas. I have explored and painted in every square inch of BC, but I’ve actually never been east of Calgary in my life.
Q: Are there any writers that you wish you could meet or paint with?
A: I’m not sure, there are a lot of people that I’ve linked up with and wish I could paint with more often. I like to paint with people that are chill and love what they do. I also have a lot of respect for people that paint and have their shit together. I just think its dope that someone can have a career and family and all that and still get out and smash shit. Honestly I wish I could get all my crew mates and best friends together and paint with them more often.
Q: Do you have any special routines around painting?
A: Not really, hitting the beer store is pretty routine. It’s very rare that I will paint without having at least a few beers.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: My plan for painting is I really want to start making the most of what I’m doing. The last few years I just been painting a lot without really caring about what I been doing, just get the piece done quick so I can start on the next one. I want to put more thought into pieces and make them count more. Maybe even start trying to draw again. I also have been working really hard lately on getting a screen printing/sign making business off the ground, its taking up a lot of my time and energy lately, so it’s been hard to go crazy with painting, but I’m super motivated right now to get my shit together and buy a place somewhere and be able to work for myself. It’s something I’ve been into for ten years or so already, but I’ve recently decided that I am tired of working for assholes and making them money, it’s time to do my own thing. I also really want to travel across Canada and the states to paint and just check out different spots and see the sights.