DANIEL Kitchener is a street artist and illustrator whose artwork is in demand all over the world. This year alone the 38-year-old, who grew up in Wickford, has held three solo exhibitions in London. He regularly shown off his graffiti to crowds at live events in Colchester. Dan paints Emma Palmer a picture of his life in travel.
Where’s your idea of travel heaven?
“Travel heaven is exotic, far away destinations and being able to explore hidden areas, ruins, archeology and history. If I had to pick one place, I’d say Egypt!”
What’s so great about it?
“It’s such a different culture to ours, so beautiful and the ancient history really is as impressive as it appears, an epic, mind blowing place. Since a child I read about Victorian gentleman explorers going on grand tours and always longed myself to go to Egypt – and now I have.”
What’s a ‘must do’ out there?
“The pyramids and particularly going inside the Great Pyramid and sitting right inside the centre of it – the King’s burials chamber. It was an incredible experience.”
Where did you stay?
“I can’t remember the name but we stayed in one 5-star hotel which had an unbelievable level of service and cleanliness. We had a huge room overlooking the Nile and Valley of Kings.”
Have you ever been anywhere that didn’t live up to the hype?
“Not really, I have been lucky to have travelled a lot: Egypt, New York, Las Vegas, Europe, three months in Kenya, Tanzania, Barbados and all of them pretty much lived up to and far exceeded what I thought they’d be.”
Where would you say is the art capital of the world?
“London. I think, I am lucky to have it on my door step considering my line of work! It's a very vibrant and diverse in terms of art, especially street art. I am painting at the South Bank for the Urban Art weekend on August 3 and 4. It’s going to be something huge and epic!”
Is there anywhere you really want to go that you haven’t been to yet?
“Tokyo in Japan, I am desperate to go. I also really want to go to South America and to see the Amazon.”
What’s your idea of travel hell?
“A package holidays with screaming kids.”
Have you ever had any travel mishaps, been mugged or lost your passport?
“No, I am usually a very aware traveller and read up on places before hand. I also don’t tend to carry much baggage, making it easier to keep my eye on things.”
Where’s the most exotic place you’ve had a beer?
“In a tent in the middle of the Serengeti at sunrise while hearing the deep rumbling roar of lions. There were three of us, one tent, two machetes and a camp fire and nothing for hundreds of miles around. A very surreal experience.”
Best travel experience ever?
“So many it's difficult to say. Maybe waking up on my birthday morning in a flat overlooking Manhattan, as the sun rose or sitting inside the Great Pyramid in Egypt, camping in the Serengeti, eating pizza in east village New York.”
Who is the most famous person you’ve ever seen on a plane?
“I once saw the actor Sean Pertwee on a flight.”
Where are you off to next?
“This year I have been all over the place with my art, so next week I am off to the Latitude Festival, in Southwold, all week, where I am painting live in the woods.”