They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but what about judging an artist by their art?

Take one look at the bold, colorful, cartoon-like works of Parisian graffiti legend Ilk and you might think he followed a similar direction with his personal style. But oh, how wrong you would be. With his strict black wardrobe, his extensive macabre tattoos and his love of black metal, Ilk is a man who likes to show the world that what you see is not always what you get…

A graffiti writer since he was 16, Ilk came up in the modest surroundings of the 93rd Arrondissement on the outskirts of Paris, and taught himself all the skills he needed to become both a much-hyped street artist and an in-demand graphic designer. This do-it-yourself approach to life is something that carries over into his artwork, bringing together different styles, methods and influences in a crazy, mixed-up collage that sticks one finger up at traditional purism.

As someone who has long drawn inspiration from the streets of his suburban Parisian neighborhood (a place that now bears much of his own work on its walls), we teamed up with Ilk and fellow artist Keno and Horfee to show the world how the new Converse One Star has a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Words by AJ Gwilliam
Features Editor

Proud Brit. Pathologically addicted to white trainers (AKA "sneakers").

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