Scratching the Surface: Hiss

July 21, 2015 | Aymann Ismail

ANIMAL showcases a different street artist regularly in our feature, Scratching the Surface. This week, we profile Hiss.


Decade you were born in:
Child of the 90’s.

City you currently live:

Drugs or natural highs?
Ha. I’ve been asked quite a few times if my art is inspired by acid or being on other drugs. The answer is no! I am just naturally high with terrible anxiety that expresses itself like this on paper!

How did you get your name?
Welp, I am practically a cat so it just seemed natural. The “xx” on instagram is because “Hiss” was taken.


Why do what you do?
I’ve been drawing since I was little. Growing up I always loved graffiti and street art and wanted to do it, so then one day I went out and did it. That’s it really.

How does your mother feel about your art?
She is supportive, but asks why can’t I draw pretty things.

Are you making a living off your art? How’s that working out so far?
No. One of the reasons I started doing street art is to share my art with people for free. I’ve never tried to make a living off of my art, but I am super grateful every time somebody chooses to support me by purchasing something!

Fuck the art world or embrace the art world?
Honestly, I don’t know enough about the art world to care one way or another.

Do you bring your smart phone into the bathroom with you? Why?
No? I mean sometimes? If my phone happens to be next to me I would probably bring it but I like not carrying my phone around so yeah. Also my phone is usually dead because the charge doesn’t hold. Don’t buy an iphone off of eBay kids.


Do you ever feel like giving up?
Every day! I am constantly overthinking things and deconstructing thoughts to the point where everything seems meaningless and confusing. Sometimes I am like…why am I even doing this? I have weeks were I can’t draw anything and don’t consider myself an artist and feel like a failure. But these feelings don’t last forever and I always go back to creating.

Suggest an artist to follow.
My girls Miishab, Imamaker, and Jcorp. Also if you like hip-hop check out my other family at We are the Karma Kids.