“I CAN see you,” read a message from Flava on my phone as I stood in a window at the Citizen offices in Gloucester.
The now infamous street artist, who has left a blazing trail of art across the city’s streets, was stood watching me from the other side of the road.
For the first time since the street art craze began, the mysterious Flava has lifted the lid on the secret world of street art – well, sort of.
His latest project is creating a huge graffiti piece at the skate park near Gloucester Park under the cover of darkness. But each night a rival street artist, who goes by the name of ‘CPS’, daubs his own trademark stamp over the piece, before Flava reinvents it the next day.
“I’ve been going down there each night,” said Flava. “It is just a bit of fun. It is right on the main road so I’m hoping lots of people will see what I have created.
“I started creating these characters about four years ago and they have progressed since then but I don’t have a name for any of them. Maybe I should think up a name.”
Flava’s street art ‘career’ began when he was at primary school and he tried bubble writing for the first time. It was then that he was given the name ‘Flava’ and it has stuck ever since.
He has stiff competition from older street artists such as Beastie, who was once described as Gloucester’s answer to Banksy, the street artist who took London by storm.
Flava admits there is a rivalry between the two – but both are supporting the idea of a street art festival, which will launch for the first time in the city this August.
“There are four of us now and the others like Beastie are much older than me, but that doesn’t stop me,” he said. He won’t reveal his age publicly, but it is safe to say that he is still in his teenage years.
Despite his young age, his passion for street art has turned into paid work too. He is working on several commissions for shops in Cheltenham who are clamouring for a bit of his work. He also creates a piece each month for the sportswear charity shop Sport Traider, in The Oxebode.
What does he want to do in the future? “I don’t know yet, just more of the same. I’m enjoying what I’m doing so that’s good enough for me.”