Risktaker of the month: Steven Carter, AKA Joff


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Steven Carter, AKA Joff

Steven Carter, or better known as Joff, is an established artist in Port Elizabeth. While he is publicly recognised for his street art his mediums range from film to studio art and even music. Much of his work explores the boundaries of anatomical structure that uses unique proportions that not only pleases the eye but also creates a disfigured look. Across all his mediums you’ll come to find that Joff represents beauty in the oddity of unnatural forms by relying on emotional connections (see our blog GRAFFITI IN SOUTH AFRICA: A BOLD EXPRESSION)

We recently sat down with Joff to discuss his bold passion for the arts.

When did you first get into street art? 

I started off with oil painting, when a friend of mine started a restaurant in Richmond Hill, knowing I enjoyed working on large scale artwork she offered to get involved with a mural. That was many years ago and it just took off from there.

Your graffiti style is very unique, how did you come to develop it?

It navigated largely from when I started off with ink drawings. When I then moved into paintings and then street art the style from my ink drawings naturally evolved and followed suit.

If you had to pick a favourite out of the many pieces you’ve done, which would you choose?

Graffiti wise, I think I’d pick the mural visible from Upper Valley Road in Baakens Valley. Because it’s a bigger piece and there is so much space to fill, it was interesting for me to try work on the proportions. 


Now just note, this mural in particular took about 5 days to complete!

You fulfill so many different creative roles from artist to art director to musician, how do you stay motivated and inspired to keep creating?

I think being able to switch and change between the different mediums helps a lot. It's nice being able to take a break from one medium while I work on another. Where last year I was mostly painting but this year I’ve involved in a lot of TV and production so being able to come back to the studio after a few months is always nice because I’m excited to start working on new stuff again. 

It also helps that I’ve been able to work within my own style and ideas. I consider myself really lucky to find myself in a position where I don’t have to accept everything or bend too much to do what a client wants. I think that would become quite jaded if you had to constantly compromise your own style in that sense.


What advice would you give to artists wanting to break into the legal graffiti industry or commissioned art in general?

I think it’s a matter of getting your work out there. There are a lot of people who work on stuff but are too scared to put it out in the public eye for fear of someone not liking it. You have got to just not be scared of getting shot down and put your work out there and know that you won’t be able to make everyone happy.


So, there you have it, we spent a lot more time with Joff but do feel an artist is entitled to keep some secrets, like how he came up with the tag ‘Joff’ for his works. We do encourage you to go discover more about this talented individual by visiting his website or social media pages (below) and if you come across one of his many works, please do share it with us.

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Get Joff's look:

Joff is wearing the Gray's River in black. This new addition to the season is a smart, lightweight and dynamic style with our EASE technology built-in. Crafted from leather with an NTX anti-bacterial mesh-lining, these boots are designed for long periods of wear with unfaltering comfort and breathability.

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