The loves of my life: Al Maser
The street artist talks to Chloe Brennan about his favourite people, places and things.
As Damo [Dempsey] says, 'love yourself today' - I say 'every day'. We constantly bash ourselves to be better, and are always looking out rather than in. I'm a victim of it myself and I know the damage it can do. Be aware and respectful to your mental health. So I say confidently, with my ego set aside: myself.
You're asking the man with the worst memory ever. I'm very lucky, I've had so many good times. Most recently, was in Singapore. It was a city I'd wanted to visit for years, as one of my mentors, Anton Mazer, lived and taught there.
I was in south-east Asia at the time, so flew over for three days to visit. I was on such a high, flexing my tourist life. I had absolutely nothing to do, no one to answer to - I was alone. I spent the days sightseeing and visiting museums; that simple feeling of independence and momentary freedom was very memorable.
The moment of the day
Bedtime, for sure! Sad as fuck, but I get excited with the thought of an early night. Especially if I'm in another country, working. I spend a lot of time meeting people, running about, and if I'm painting murals, the days are usually long and physical. Nothing rock and roll about my travel lifestyle, either. I'm tucked up in the leaba usually by nine or 10pm. That includes the time I painted in Vegas, too.
Canadian Geese by Damien Dempsey. It's a very relatable song. I could be wrong, but maybe more so for young men from Dublin. His music has certainly helped me though some uncertain times.
The General, with Martin Cahill played by Brendan Gleeson. I'll probably watch it tonight now, after being reminded how good it is. I love a good Dublin movie and we knew of Martin when we were younger, so that plays a part in loving it, too.
The pet hate
When people say, 'go for one' and mean it.
I consider myself considerably healthy, but I can't deny a chicken fillet roll and pack of Tayto. Also, the French onion soup from L'Gueuleton [Fade St] is a win.
I don't read books. I do listen to audio books, though. One of my most recent acquisitions was 10% Happier by Dan Harris. I enjoyed this because he talks 'real' about the practical benefits as well as the struggle to practise meditation.
I bought a mini-drone for when I went travelling around Asia in December. It stayed in my bag the whole trip; didn't use it once. Stupid.
I'm fond of a coat. A second-hand anorak is my gig, for sure - #dadlook. I do my rounds in town and have a good root in charity and vintage shops. During my time in London, I lived 10 minutes from Brick Lane, the mecca of the dad anorak.
Vogue Williams. She's my ex-girlfriend and one of my best pals. She has an incredible work ethic, and deserves all her success.
My watch, I'm a practical man.
Anne Devlin. An Irish Republican who helped protect those involved in Robert Emmet's Rebellion in Dublin in 1803. Because of her loyalty, Anne Devlin was imprisoned in Kilmainham Jail, where she was tortured, beaten and starved for three years. They even imprisoned her family.
She was finally released to spend the rest of her days in poverty, and died of starvation in the slums of the Liberties in 1851. I was so taken aback by this woman, I painted a mural of her around the corner from where she lived, with the hope to educate people who might not have heard of her.
I'm very lucky that my work has me travelling all the time, so I get to squeeze in a few days on certain trips. I was in Tanzania last year with a crew of people I never met. We climbed Kilimanjaro. I was also in Uganda last year, another incredibly special place. So my answer is: Africa for holidays!
I was told by a very wise friend that each friend holds an individual purpose/role in your life, and I believe that to be very true. So don't be worried if a certain friend might not be there for you at a particular time - they have a different purpose. I'm blessed to have a solid crew of mates, some since I was 10 years old, some the past 10 years, some even the past six months. Even my ma is my mate, she's always ringing for the goss.
Sunday Indo Living