Saïd Kinos

A graphic artist/designer, illustrator and graffiti writer from Rotterdam

His steady tags and glitchy pieces can be found anywhere in Rotterdam, looking like an insanely detailed urban scrapbook. From bombing the streets to doing commissioned artworks, Saïd is all in. We met up at his studio located in an old school building somewhere in Old Crooswijk.
Who are you, can you tell us something about yourself and where do we know you from?

My name is Saïd Kinos. I ‘m 27 years old. I’m a visual artist/designer and graffiti writer from Rotterdam, The Netherlands. People in Rotterdam might know me from the works I’ve created in the public space. Besides that I don’t think Im that well known yet haha

How did you became an artist?

As a kid I was always drawing and into comic books and cartoons. Back then I would mostly draw my favorite comic book characters. When I got to high school I got into skateboarding and later graffiti. I went to study journalism after high school, because I thought that was the ‘responsible’ thing to do.. And for a moment I thought thats what I really wanted to do. But after a year I quit, took a year off, did a LOT of painting and went to art school to study graphic design the year after that.

What’s your favorite piece of work that you have created?

I try to make every piece I create my favourite one. Or at least I think that your latest work should be your best work. But I’ have a really short span of satisfaction with my own work, so usually I’ll be happy with a work for a few days and after that I’ll start noticing things I could’ve done better. My latest body of (studio)work is based on paper collages and with these I actually feel quite satisfied and have the feeling I want to see how I can develop this further. A few weeks ago I also tried a similar approach with wood and it turned out quite nice, so I think i’ll be exploring that some more in the near future.

Can you describe your creative process from start till finish

That kind of depends on what I’m making. When I’m painting a wall for myself I usually go with an idea in my head. I never take a sketch so its just free styling basically.

With illustrations and paintings in the studio it’s different. I’ve been struggling for quite some time to find a personal style or signature, whatever you want to call it. I always knew what I liked, but I guess I just didn’t have a clue what I wanted to make. I tried numerous different things and (illustration) styles to see which one would stick.. But it just never felt right. I knew I liked letters, coming from graffiti and all, so when I went to study graphic design my love for typography grew. But since the hand drawn type thing was getting so big of a hype lately, I felt that I should come up with something more distinctive. 
Since a year or so I think I’ve finally found a direction that I can call my own. I literally threw all the stuff I liked together and started to make collages. I really liked this process because it allowed me to combine a lot of my interests in one work. Since the first couple of collages I did they have become more abstract and based on typography again. Once I finish a collage I trace it and draw or paint it again. The collage only functions as a way of sketching. I really need that analog process to be satisfied with the end result. 
I think the word craftsmanship is a bit overused lately, but I value it in my work I guess. I also like the combination of digital aesthetics and analog production processes.

This piece is located at the Rotterdam Blaak station between the Markthal and the marktet square.

after a year I quit, took a year off, did a LOT of painting and went to art school to study graphic design the year after that.
— Saïd
What are you working on at the moment?

I’m trying to shift my focus to doing studio work for the biggest part of my time. But since I have only been creating my‚ personal’ studio work actively since a year or so, I reckon its gonna take some time to get me to that point.
I’m currently preparing my first solo exhibition, which will be in April at Opperclaes gallery here in Rotterdam.

What are your goals for the future, both work wise and life?

I hope to be able to support myself from doing art basically. I love traveling too, so it would be amazing to be able to travel for ‘work’. International exhibitions or mural projects would be awesome. Besides that I hope to develop a stronger signature style and just keep coming up with new stuff. In life I just hope to be able to keep doing the things I love. Hope to make some cool trips with my fiancé, good times with friends and grow old healthy.

Do you have any favorite blogs you read?

I get a large portion of my creative ‘news’ via Instagram actually. Besides that I check out Juxtapoz, High Fructose, Overrated magazine, VNA and Los Bangeles of course.

What are your favorite books / movies / music (albums / podcasts)…

I just finished reading the last Dan Brown book. I’m currently reading ‘Fingerprints of the Gods’ by Graham Hancock. Also the books by Tim Ferriss have proven to be quite interesting and helpful. I just started reading‚ The professor in the cage’ by Jonathan Gotschall. It’s a non-fiction book about a literature professor (the author) who decides to become an MMA fighter. This way he kind of explores the ‚intellectual’ side of fighting and how it has played a role in male and human evolution. Quite interesting.

My taste in music is really diverse, so its hard to pick a favourite artist/album. There are some Dutch hiphop artists that I like. There’s this new kid who is really blowing up called Sevn, he’s dope. A$ap Rocky’s last album was really nice. Same goes for Action Bronson. Hozier’s album was amazing too. I like listening to electronic music as well. Especially longer mixes are great for working to. Dekmantel podcast provides a good source for that. For working in the studio I have been into long conversation podcasts lately. The Joe Rogan Experience, The Duncan Trussell Family Hour, The Warrior Poet Project and The Tim Ferris Show just to name a few.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I used to compete in Karate internationally. And I do Crossfit.

Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others? Or what is the best advice you ever got?

I guess everything I’m gonna say here is going to sound corny, but I guess ‘Do what you love to do’ Is something I live by. Life’s too short to be working a job you hate.

Thanks for your time! And one final question; who should we interview next?

Nazif Lopulissa aka Nas BamiJacco BuntRul3rs, TelmoMiel.