The New York Times has an interview up with KAWS.
How did you get involved in graffiti?
It was just all around. It’s sort of, you know, if you have an art interest. … Actually, it’s great for a young kid who’s just interested in being creative, because you meet other kids who have the same interests. It’s like you play soccer. You meet kids that play soccer, and you just come out of the woodwork when you get involved. I started painting other imagery like the skull and crossbones and when I got into breaking into the phone booths and the bus shelters, and I started using that imagery and kind of let the lettering fall out. I started to think about it almost like competing with the advertisers for space. That’s how I saw graffiti; I mean it was the parallels that were really kind of funny. The point is to make work that would last on the streets and almost just be there, but not. You know? Maybe someone doesn’t even stop but later is like, “What was that? Weird ad.”