AAFK interview

2024. Feb. 1. | Interviews

Anny and Felipe are a pair of artists with a strong background in graphics and illustration. When they decided to take to the streets and start painting, they found a wonderful community and a new way to experience art and culture away from the office and computers. 

Could you give us a small introduction about yourself?

We are an artist duo conformed by Anny from Macau and Felipe from Costa Rica. We both have graphic design and illustration backgrounds in the advertising and children toy industries, but beyond that, each of us have very different and even opposite styles of art. Being that, we like to think that our work shows conceptually how opposites can find common grounds and achieve common objectives. 

Where is the AAFK name came from?

Honestly we had a lot of trouble coming up with a name, but finally, even it’s a bit silly, we felt AAFK really matches our aspirations at the time we made that decision. We worked long hours at our corporate jobs for years and when we decided to take the streets and start painting, that lifestyle took us “Away From the Keyboard”. We found an amazing community and a new way to experience art and culture away from the office and the computers, and until today we can’t have enough of it.


Can you tell us a bit about your personal style?

Our objective is always trying to find opposites and create energy and flow. We play with cold and warm colors, we play with color transitions, hard textures and soft textures, motion, weight and others to try to find dynamic interactions between contradicting elements. We enjoy using sharp colors and monotone palettes to try to express feelings and moods to create visual stories. 


What is the main source of your inspiration?

On one hand our inspiration is animals, wildlife, creatures. We see ourselves in the most honest light when we can connect to the most primitive animal feelings. We believe that when we acknowledge how connected we are even across species, we can find a way to empathize with each other and find harmony in today’s reality.

On the other hand, being designers, we are fond to create interesting and beautiful compositions, beautiful movement that can make people feel things with colors and energy, just how we say above, we enjoy creating visual stories that people can simply feel.


What is your favourite theme?

The creatures we paint the most are probably felines and dogs, another example of how we work with opposites. We love cats for how mystic, unpredictable and wild they can be, but we also love dogs because their emotions can be so close to our human emotions.

Which is the difference between the two process for you:street art piece or art show in a gallery?

We believe that a mural is the artist’s reaction to a particular moment. The street is a very special place to create art because the wall becomes the representation of an instant that collects the interaction of our design to the wall, the environment, the people, and all the things that happen throughout the process. It’s the result of the combination of all these predictable and unpredictable events that make the painting of a wall a performance at the same time that it is an art piece. 

In the gallery work the canvases and others we believe are an opportunity to tell the stories in a vacuum. The gallery work is able to bring elements from the outer world, but is also an opportunity to see the purest form of the ideas, their essence in a space where you can really immerse yourself. This way, we believe the art in the street is a tool to connect us to everything around us, and the art in the gallery is the best way to connect to the artist and the essence of the artist’s story.


Do you have favourite artist from the world?

Many! We admire so many art idols from around the world because we enjoy discovering different art styles and we get inspiration from any source. So some artists we love are James Jean, Issac Mahow, Arsek & Erase, Lauren YS, Storm HA, Nilone, Sebas Velasco, Telmo Miel and many more. And we must say that we are also blessed to be close friends of some of the artists we admire the most.

Where is your main basis in the world?

We are based in Macau and Hong Kong in the South of China, but our heart is in Costa Rica as well.

What does graffiti and street art means for you and is this a hobby or a job for living?

It is everything at the same time. We do it because it’s a way for us to enjoy traveling, experiencing culture, hanging with friends, discovering art, creating art, etc., but it’s also something we can make a living with by sharing our stories and our passions with brands that want to connect their audiences to the work we do and the lifestyle we live, and we’re always happy to share what we love about what we do. 


If you weren’t an artist, what profession would you choose?

If we weren’t artists we would probably help create spaces and projects to develop and promote art, which is something we already do on the side with other projects. Or maybe we would open a noodle shop because we love food!

What do you think, what can street art give for the world and for people?

Art is often regarded as not a basic need but art is actually what makes us human, it reminds us of our nature, our feelings and it preserves and communicates human stories. It helps people learn about themselves and others through observation and discovery, and with this same process it teaches us how to create and improve things to bring beauty and passion in our lives. Art will always be the way to find our human identity.


It was a pleasure to e-meet Anny and Felipe, who are the members of the AAFK team.

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