Creative Community: Colin Taniguchi

Creative Community: Colin Taniguchi


From the ripe age of 3, Bay Area's Colin Taniguchi has been putting marker to notepad, creating detailed scenes documenting the city that he loves, references ingrained in his head, and friends he's kicked it with along the way.

His filter of choice is a unique blend of vibrant colors and mischief, sometimes crossing over into the danger zone. And sure there might be some chaos but it's often balanced with a nostalgic lens that lets you know everything will be alright. In our latest Creative Community, we catch up with Colin and cover everything from growing up in the Bay Area and drawing straight lines without a ruler, to the Western Exterminator logo, naturally.

Q: What was it like growing up in the Bay area and how did it inform who you were growing up?


A: There’s nothing like it, growing up out in the Bay Area is something I pride myself on very heavily. There’s so much influence that comes from that soil. It’s so apparent that you can tell someone is from The Bay without even having to ask, just by listening to the way they talk and certain mannerisms. Even at a young age, it’s so easy to be entrenched in what’s going on since it’s all accessible. You just gotta go out there and get in where your shoe fits. It’s the place to be, wouldn’t want to have grown up anywhere else because it gamed me up to be who I am today.


Q: Can you think of any pivotal art moments in those early days?


A: I didn’t have to go far from my own home to get that schooling. My pops would draw the sickest block letters and bricks out of boredom on his work notepads or loose pieces of paper. I saw that at a very young age and can even say that one of my earliest memories is me tripping out on how straight his lines were without using a ruler.

I just started putting pen to paper after that. My mom & dad say I started at 3 so ima rock with that haha. I been at it ever since.

Q: Outside of the artistic world, what were you doing for fun as a kid?


A: Usual Bay kid mischief. Skateboarding, sports, wrecking shop with the other kids in the neighborhood. My dad would take me to Tower Records or F.Y.E. to get new CDs so I’d say finding new music to slap is what I was doing for fun as well. I grew up going back and forth from Daly City (Peninsula) to Richmond (East Bay) so there was always something new to get into whenever I would touch down.

Q: Are you still in the Bay now? How have things changed in your eyes?


A: 100%. I love to call this place home. I can go on forever about how much it’s changed due to all the gentrification & influx of outsiders but it is what it is. We still got that understanding of how things used to be & try to hold on to that. Following trends has never been the thing to do out here. Just keep the traditions we already had going with each generation that comes & it evolves from that point on. It’s still Bay to me, even if certain places or people aren’t around anymore.

Q: How would you describe your art aesthetic and how has it changed - or not - over the years?


A: I want my work to tell you where I’m from without having to guess. I try to incorporate everything I’m into with my style & go from there. So It’s always going to be changing as time goes on. I try not to switch up the recipe though, just find new things to enhance it pretty much.


Q: Besides your 'brehs', what are some pop culture figures that appear in your work (Ben Davis mascot, Doraemon, etc.)? Why do you throw them in the mix? Actually - 'brehs' too - Why is it important to document your friends in your work? How do they inspire you?


A: I love to put my take on cutty artwork that I grew up tripping out on. From rap tapes to the most random stuff I see mobbing around on the daily. For example: the Western Exterminator logo because it was off the 101 and everyone in The Bay saw it if you traveled that way often. It’s the best to throw in because I feel like I don't lose the memory of seeing it or living it.


As far as my homies and how life in general goes, it's a major factor. I love capturing moments in time and making it stamped in my pieces. It’s a reminder to not forget the good times when my reality gets hectic.

Q:Would you ever want to do a mural? Seems like your style would lend itself perfectly to a big wall where the scene never has to end - tons of characters, colors, and details. What would be a dream spot?


A: I recently just did one, I would love to do even more now since I'm starting to get the hang of it. A dream spot would be that underpass wall right after you hit the Serramonte exit. That's the first spot that comes to mind.