Today we’d like to introduce you to Fnnch.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I live and work primarily in San Francisco. When I moved here in 2011, I did not find much of a street art scene.
There clearly had been one, but most of those artists had moved or were inactive. I knew what was possible, having followed Banksy, Roadsworth and other artists for several years, and it pained me not to see that here. I complained for a bit but eventually decided to be the change I wanted to see in the world.
So I went out one night with stencils and spray paint and executed my first piece. One led to another to another, and now I am a full-time artist, creating murals and street art not just in San Francisco but also Los Angeles, St. Louis, Miami, New York, Chicago and Tel Aviv.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There is no smooth road.
The first large struggle for me was to figure out how to get legal walls. San Francisco is a small city, the buildings typically touch so they have no side walls like they often do in LA, many of the buildings are historic so cannot be painted, and many others are entirely glass so cannot be painted. Beyond this, no one wants to give you an opportunity to do something unless you have already done that something. I ended up following a principal of growing by doubling: I convinced someone to let me paint a 4′ x 8′ construction panel, then two 4′ x 8′ construction panels (so 8′ x 8′), then a 16′ x 8′ construction site, and then finally an 80′ x 8′ wall of an actual building.
Each project built trust in my ability to execute and awareness of my work. Fast forward, and even now, after painting dozens of murals in San Francisco and beyond, it took over a year of effort to get someone to agree to let me paint a wall taller than 2 stories. Hopefully, once that project is complete, it will be easier to obtain others.
Another struggle was to figure out how to turn my art into enough of a business that it could support me in the city with the highest cost of living in America. For the first few years, I didn’t think about this at all, as the goal was too far away. But slowly awareness of my work expanded, and slowly I figured out how to price paintings and murals, and how to work with galleries, warehouse spaces, interior designers, and homeowners.
Eventually, I structured a system by which I would work in my previous industry for a week a month, logging 100+ billable hours during that week, and then I would collapse, wake up a few days later, and then work on my art for the other three weeks of the month. It took 2 more years of this before I took the art full time.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I create street art, murals and fine art, primarily in San Francisco but also beyond, including several in Los Angeles. All of my work is created with spray paint and multi-layer stencils. I am known for my pop art imagery, including paintings of honey bears, lips, and cans of LaCroix.
What sets me apart ultimately is a unique collection of skills, particularly the joining of digital illustration experience and fabrication/shop skills.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am mostly looking to paint larger and larger murals. I see the big wall pieces in DTLA and want to create work like that. But mostly my plans for the future are to just continue doing what I’m doing, just more and larger.
- Website: fnnch.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @fnnch