2012 Recap

Booya! It’s almost over! Even though the world didn’t come to an end we will still present you with an inescapable part for the end of the year: Lists! We made a smashing list in 2011 in which we totally predicted the second coming of Jezus Lush and did all kind of other revelations that definitely happened this year. Unfortunately that list seems to be misplaced so you’ll just have to take my word for it. As ‘best of 20xx’ lists make me puke (and hindsight is always 20/20, and art is subjective, yatieyatieyatie), we’ve asked some of our favourite artists how their 2012 was.

We’ve got Florian Krause, Nisa and Ulli Maier (cookiesound), Fin DAC, Julie Hrudova, Remi Rough, Michael Wriston, C215, Richard Terborg, CodeFC, Dara Scully, Laser 3.14, Isaac Cordal, Jeremy Gibbs aka RomanyWG, Priest, Trevor Williams, Mr.Zero, Mr.UnekDan Oara, Lush, Lee Basford and Boxhead all telling about their highlights in 2012 and what they’re aiming for in 2013! To make this party even better, Florian Krause has thrown in two yet unpublished light painting photographs and Priest threw in a sneak preview of his new print ‘Flightrisk’. Yes apparently this article is that epic! But wait, there’s more! As a motherf*cking cherry on top (it’s so good it made me curse) we’ve got a breakdown of the most popular CFYE articles in 2012! Which CFYE articles did you like the most this year? And more important, have we lost faith in you because of that? But first: 2012 as CFYE experienced it.


When we did our CFYE re-launch in November 2011 we decided not to keep track of ‘scenes’ any more but just focus on the talented people that inspire us oh-so-much. As a result almost every article we did from there on is special to us in one way or another. I’m not a fan of the ‘we’re all winners’ mentality, but god-damn-it this is CFYE, and down here we’re all winners! If you ask me who the best artists are we featured in 2012 I’ll just give you the archive of all our 2012 articles.

In 2012 street-art seemed to have climbed to its peak and splattered all over the place (interpret that any way you want). More street art festivals, street art exhibitions, street art murals, street art tours, street art workshops, commissioned street art jobs, charity street art jobs and everything else you can pour a street art sauce over. While that’s all fine and wish everyone the best, I absolutely couldn’t follow what was going on with all the re-tweets and Facebook shares; yet another reason I’m glad we put our focus back on the people!

In 2012 we kept a low-profile as life sometimes caught up with us in unforeseen ways. Luckily nothing has kept us from featuring a whole lot of talented people and getting to know some of them a lot better through the process. We’re very thankful to all the artists and others who contributed, read our articles, shared the love or just said we rock. It’s you that keep us doing what we do. We appreciate it dearly, so thank you!

In 2013 we will continue to bring you the most passionate and inspiring artists we can dig up! What, do you need more? Oh you can also expect a little website-update, but like my man Coolio said, you’ll see that when it gets there.

Enough with the blabla, bring on ze artists!

Florian Krause

“I arrived and short before darkness i climbed over the wall with all my equipment and i felt like the last man on earth.”

Everything just comes together with Florian Krause. His light-painting photography, or lightbrushing as he calls it when it’s applied to graffiti, is the perfect example of how light painting photography and graffiti can compliment each other in a way you don’t know which compliments which best. Besides his light painting skills combining two (three?) of our favourite art-forms, in the feature we did with Florian in 2011 he also told us that one of his inspirations was Dana Maltby aka TCB. Dana has been like our spirit-guide into the world of light-painting. Now isn’t this a small world? We hope to see plenty more of Florian’s amazing work in 2013. As a little present to us you’ll find two of his fantastic new images in the gallery on top!

What kind of year was 2012 for you personally and artistically?

2012 was a great year for me. Personally  all good and it startet with my first two exhibitions. One of my lightpaintings, and one of my lightbrushed graffiti photographs – in the headquarters of the “Meeting of Styles” event, “Kontext Wiesbaden”, which was the perfect location for the images. This year i got so much inspiration by really top notch artists and each exposure got its own story. I experienced a lot of adventures during the nights out there, but that`s what i do it for. Thanks to all writers for inspiration and the positive feedback! My respect goes out to you!

Which photograph you took in 2012 is your favourite?

I am most proud of the Does photograph. I absolutely dig his style. I saw a snapshot of it early May, and it totally inspired me. But it took me a long time to find out where it roughly was. An anonymous guy told me in which area it is, or at least still was some weeks ago. It is a huuuge illegal abandoned area surrounded by walls, with massive halls, years ago trains got repaired there, all destroyed and full of graffiti. My guy told me that it might be a bit risky, cause there hang around junkies and that parts of it are also the training area for the German  special task force GSG9. I wasn`t interested meeting any of them. So i checked google earth for hours, and was waiting weeks for the right weather. I knew the sky is important for the shot, and i needed small clouds with a lot of wind.So finally I drove, more than 400km, rented a top camera for a lot of money, not knowing if the piece is still there. I arrived and short before darkness i climbed over the wall with all my equipment and i felt like the last man on earth.  The nature already was taking back it`s territory, it was a scary, surreal, amazing area. My google earth time payed off, i came around the corner and there it was! Still beautiful and in good shape. While i was waiting for darkness i heared really weird noises around, i don`t know what it was, but I wasn`t alone. And the sky was shitty, all cloudy. So i started doing the first lightbrushings. The most difficulty with this pic is the ‘E’  which I let flow into the ground. First mixing colours is not easy with light, but mainly cause i had to work with “optical distortion” and brush a -from my perspective- totally wrong looking curved lightray. Cause of the extreme wide-lens and the perspective, this image only works from this one angle. Like these nowadays famous 3D paintings on the ground. I did a couple of tries and then suddenly, like I ordered it, the sky got clear with this field of clouds flying over me. I had only about 5 minutes perfect sky, and then all came together and this is the result. 60 seconds exposure and a big smile back in my car.

Does - by Florian Krause

Does (Loveletters crew) by Florian Krause

What are you hoping to achieve in 2013?

2013 I want to have a drink with Arden and bring some of my pics to the famous CFYE halls! Happy 2013 to everybody!

Nisa & Ulli Maier (cookiesound.com)

“…we’re getting closer to working as full-time professional photographers and actually paying the bills this way”

If you haven’t read our feature with Nisa & Ulli Maier yet, you should immediately head over! This mother-daughter team has travelled the entire globe, submerging themselves in different cultures and creating fantastic photography in the process. With their blog cookiesound.com they keep everyone who is interested updated with their travel-stories and photography, not because they have to do so but because they love to do so! I guarantee that you’ll be buying a plane ticket as soon as you’ve seen their photographs and read their words.

What kind of year was 2012 for you personally and artistically?

2012 was a good year for us: we travelled to many places we’ve never visited before (e.g. Bangladesh) and we’re getting closer to working as full-time professional photographers and actually paying the bills this way. We’ve been working very hard for this but one has to be patient … as the saying goes: little by little one goes far.

On which photograph you made in 2012 are you the most proud of? / What was your highlight in 2012?

Choosing only one photograph is almost impossible. Over the last 12 months, we have shot more than 50.000 photos and therefore, the decision is hard. But then again, it takes blood, sweat and tears to shoot a photo that (in our eyes) is perfect … therefore these ones stand out and we were able to choose these two:

1. Pure Muscle in Kolkata, India: All the working men who unload tons and tons of fruits and vegetables are all in perfect shape, even though they’ve for sure never seen a gym from the inside. And if a bag of fruit is too heavy for one person, a few other men will kindly lend a hand.

Working men pure muscle, Kolkata, India - by Nisa and Ulli Maier

Working men pure muscle, Kolkata, India – by Nisa and Ulli Maier

2. Ship Breaking Yard in Chittagong, Bangladesh: The beginning of the ship breaking industry in Bangladesh actually came by “accident”. After a severe cyclone in 1960,a Greek ship was stranded on the beach of Chittagong and could not be re-floated for some years. Then it was scrapped and this was the birth of the Bangladesh ship breaking industry – which is the second largest in the world. Seeing these huge giants come to rest in Chittagong was one of the most impressive sights. The highlight of 2012 year was definitely the trip to China … It’s been a long time since we had the opportunity to travel together and it reminded us oft he good old times.

Chittagong Ship breaking yard, Bangladesh - Nisa & Ulli Maier

Chittagong Ship breaking yard, Bangladesh – Nisa & Ulli Maier

What are you hoping to achieve in 2013?

All we’re hoping for is more travelling and photo opportunities. Might sound like a piece of cake in theory but reality looks a bit different. And of course we never give up hope on winning the lottery some day 🙂


A long-time CFYE friend (yes we love him long-time) is Fin-DAC! From the early days he has shown his support to our little magazine and he didn’t hesitate to jump on a plane to do a CFYE wall in Amsterdam with Ives, FarkFk, Fake, Indigo and Nine-O! Still one of our proudest moments ;). We remember he was just starting out with shading and freehand pieces back then. Nowadays his shaded stencils are a signature technique and his already great work became outstanding. Check out the interview Nicole did for us with Fin DAC back in the days!

What kind of year was 2012 for you personally and artistically?

2012 was my first full year as an artist so it was both ground breaking but also quite scary. I travelled more than I’ve ever done in my life and went to quite a few places I’d never visited before. I saw so much of the positive side of the street art world and felt a lot of love and respect wherever I went. But 1 artist in Paris and 1 in London reminded me that the negative, that I’ve done so much to avoid, is still there

What was your highlight in 2012?

The highlight personally was the Colombia trip in May – 2 weeks of painting in Bogota and Cartagena – so much so that I’m planning a return in Jan 2013. The painting highlight had to the Black Duke in North Wales tho – the constant battle with the elements made it doubly difficult but I was very pleased with the end result and the publicity it and the project itself has received on the back of it.

Fin DAC- Black duke by Annar50

Fin DAC – Black duke. Photography by Annar50

What are you hoping to achieve in 2013?

In 2013 I want to travel more and get my work to places it hasn’t been yet. I don’t really feel I’ve achieved anything yet as an artist so I’ll continue to push no matter what

About Arden de Raaij

Front-end developer, Photographer and co-founder of cfye.com, originally from Amsterdam the Netherlands but currently located in Lisbon, Portugal.