Interview w/ London Vagabond


Written by Don't Panic
Photos and illustrations by London Vagabond
11 Wednesday 11th July 2018

From police brutality to Vivienne Westwood in Paris, the London Vagabond has captured it all on 35mm. Now after a stint in Prison that saw him unable to indulge his creative talent, he's back on the streets, till 7 pm that is when his police curfew sets in and he can’t leave his house. We caught up with him to talk street art, his latest work and his zine.


Your style and subject have changed quite a lot recently, what was behind this refocus?

Women are a natural muse, not a single woman but women as a whole. I’ve always had a love and respect for women and had envisioned myself working predominantly with provocative subjects for some time. The more women I shot the more trust I gained which enabled the varied portfolio I now have.


Tell us about your arrest?

I was on bail for a good 2 or so years, again for conspiracy to commit criminal damage although this time there was no evidence of me going out and painting graffiti. I was convicted of conspiring to commit criminal damage from prison in relation to a letter I had written to a friend and it just spiralled from there.


Has it changed your attitudes toward the police?

I have no love for the police! My attitude has and always will remain the same in terms of police as an organisation. No comment!  


You photographed graffers in the past, how do you feel about the recent deaths of three prominent artists on the tracks at Loughborough Junction and how do you think this could maybe be avoided in the future?

In all honesty, it is heartbreaking, It is totally devastating to the scene whether you were close with them or not it affects us all. It is one of the biggest tragedies amongst writers in a very long time. RIP Kbag, Trip and Lover. Unfortunately, as long as graffiti exists the danger of fatality does too. Writers aren’t going to stop going out to paint trains, everyone that paints knows the dangers that are forever present.



Are you still committed to 35mm?

I’m not specifically committed to shooting 35mm, but I will stick to analogue photography until the day I die, nothing is more beautiful than shooting film. Since the Vivienne Westwood shoot I have started to work with polaroids a hell of a lot more, I am open to 120mm, 110mm, I’d even give APS a go...


Do you have any more plans for your zine?

So I did the first zine this year ‘Rats In The Walls’ and that managed to sell out in 24 hours which totally blew my mind. I’m now in the process of shooting content for the second one which I think will be released within the next few months and I’ve worked with some incredible women and so far it is looking insane. Long-term, I’m hoping to do an exhibition featuring some of the work from both issues of rats in the walls and some unreleased content and maybe get my head focused on a book! My partner/girlfriend is also working on doing a documentary type film which features lots of behind the scenes of some of the shoots that bless the pages of the zines.


Do you think Instagram is a positive force for creativity and photography or a negative one?

I think Instagram is the downfall of creativity for all mediums of art as well as the internet itself… Long gone are the days where people get excited by venturing to all corners of the city to see artists show, seeing the work in its true form printed on paper which totally compliments the subject matter. Instagram has created a platform full of visual diarrhoea where people live for likes. It is a place that benefits those that lack creativity so can steal others original ideas… Unfortunately, It is a necessary evil. I see artists fall into this trap where they no longer post art for themselves but they tailor it specifically for their audiences, they are totally dictated by the followers.


Who and what inspires you?

My surroundings inspire me, cult films, the female form, locations, moments on the train, things people say, Helmut Newton, the fetish scene, Eric Kroll, my inspirations are endless…



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