Originally from Warley in the West Midlands, Steve Miles moved to the Isle of Wight in 1994 and has worked as a Graphic Designer for various Island companies, including current employers Stainless Games Ltd. as a Graphic Designer and Artist on video games.
He began painting graffiti in the early 1980s under the tag Toxic363. and at an early age was introduced to what was, at the time, a little known cultural phenomenon from the States called ‘Hip Hop’.
Steve recalls: “My next door neighbour had an American cousin who came to visit one summer.
“He was a great break-dancer, and brought with him a magazine about Hip Hop that featured the now legendary Rock Steady Crew. I was not much good at the ‘breaking’, but was intrigued by the graffiti section of the article that featured the Bronx ‘writer’ Brim Fuentes.
“I was really into drawing so I started to get in to the graff’, practising my own letters every day at school and often into the early hours of the morning at home, I was hooked like some kind of alphabet junkie!”
Spending his teenage years painting Graffiti, Steve found himself involved with various crews, most notably TIC (The Imperial Creations), an affiliation that endures today.
After leaving school in 1989, he worked for various companies in the print industry and learned the traditional processes at the time – pasting up artwork, making colour separations, working out type scales, etc – all of which now sound like processes from ancient history, following the advent of the digital print revolution that took place not very many years later.
Steve recalls:”It was a largely technical industry, which only marginally tallied with my real love – painting graffiti and making art.”