The dream lifestyle. Throw in a few cans and a passport and you’ve got the recipe for an amazing life. Like Jake Phelps RIP said, “live your life in a
weekend.” So read the stories, peep the billboards and learn a little more about Able One.
You’ve been on quite the run. How is life treating you?
Life is good no complaints here. I live a life many cannot, and I’m grateful for the opportunities life has given me.
It’s clear that you got heart for the game when you’re hitting 5 spots a day sometimes. Outside of painting, what else do you enjoy in life?
I enjoy nature the most. Off-roading with some friends, hiking, exploring all kinds of things, to be honest.. movies, art. Learning new languages, Anime, comics, plants, traveling, video games, history, I know I’m a nerd.
“It comes from my ancestors that traveled up and down this
Some of the greatest authors, TV shows, movies of our time etc. showcase this untouchable spirit for adventure, leave everything in 30 seconds to create the next life movie and you definitely embody all of the above with your travels, adventures, and bringing graffiti on the road with you. What motivated this lifestyle?
Since I was a young child I was always moving around. México, Nicaragua,
California are the places I grew up in, I feel like all the moving around was embedded in me. So now as an adult being stationary is something I appreciate a lot, but can’t ever find myself leaving my nomadic lifestyle deep down it comes from my ancestors that traveled up and down this continent freely, follows the seasons, go where it’s warm, leave when it’s cold. Be ready to move. But now we can move a lot farther and quicker than before and write on some shit along the way.
What countries have been your favorite to paint in?
Shoot! It’s hard to say to be honest. Every country I’ve traveled to has it own special vibe and place to me. Mexico, Thailand, Guatemala, El Salvado I’ve enjoyed the most, but it also comes down to the people I’m with when I’m there or the people I meet along my way, but all the countries I’ve been to have been extremely fun for their own reasons. And I hold everyone in such high regards for all the interesting experiences and cultures I got to see.
“I’ve been chased with machetes out of spots, shot at for trespassing, beat up by cops & robbed by them and left in jail for weeks without any one knowing, that’s just normal”
I know you have mad stories, tell me about some the things you’ve seen while traveling and while painting.
Shit I’ve seen a bunch of things I’ve been chased with machetes out of spots, shot at for trespassing. I’ve seen prostitutes get picked up by cops (not being
arrested) I’ve seen shoot outs, machete fights, robberies, been involved in riots protest, I’ve done murals for gangs. In el Salvador this was for an NGO project that was working with that neighborhood, still crazy shit never seen so many gang members roll up to us to check what we were doing. Been locked up,(sadly) been beat up by cops robbed by them and left in jail for weeks without any one knowing, that just normal Central American living.(Unfortunately)… met beautiful people along my travels seen so many different landscape and views. Fallen in love and left broken hearted but that’s life, wouldn’t change anything in mine, everything made me who am I am an who I’m becoming.
“No obligations other than pay rent, get food and paint.”
I’ve seen you challenge whole crews to battle, you against an entire crew. I’ve seen you chase fools down when we were doing those street rollers in Nicaragua and you socked that fool up. Tell me about your childhood and this “perfect storm” that created who you are today.
My childhood was filled with so many different ambiances and aspects of life. From living off el rancho in Zacatecas to living in the hood in Fresnillo, Zacatecas watching cartels violence on the news and every so often en vivo. To suburban life in California, going in and out of the juvenile hall, I was a young teen doing drugs, fighting nazi skinheads, wannabe gangbangers, and running from cops that had nothing better to do than harass a young poc. It got to the point where moms made a plea-bargain and I got sent to Managua, Nicaragua and this is where it really got interesting. Now in my late teens, I was just running a muck, learned the survival tactics of the big city street life, and took off into the world. Fast living and hustling it was so much fun that left my family and turned to lose with no rules, no obligations other than pay rent get food, and paint. Streetlife consumed me I loved it!
“Show that change and keep it going until women can walk
freely without fear of what could happen”
Remember that time in the Uber, in Guatemala and you were telling the female driver that you were raised right by your Aunt, Mom, that you have sisters, etc. The driver did not drive at night out of concern for her safety and you said it sucked that she should even have to worry about anything like that and it made me really proud to know that I roll with legit people who put in work, but also have integrity, respect & values. Something definitely missing in today’s world.
Yeah I do remember that comment of her not feeling safe and it bothered me that she couldn’t work without the fear of something possibly happening. Well I’m fortunate to have been raised mainly by women, I got to see the BS they went through hard and listened, I took into mind that this world isn’t built on a fair playing field and for women it’s not easy at all. Now for women of color lets double that. So we as men that want change we need to be that change, show that change and keep it going until women can walk freely without fear of what could happen to them, without inequality in work places and so much more that they face.
“I’m a small fish in a huge sea of graffiti; I just plan to stick around as long as I can”
A mentor of mine once told me, life doesn’t happen to you, you happen to it. As in, be proactive versus being reactive. How are you forging your path?
I just go with the flow and see what happens, and every so often manipulate the stream by throwing a rock or 2 in it. I take life easy until I can’t. Work towards goals and better tomorrow’s but inevitably there are always twists and turns in the roads right? Just flow, amigo!
You mentioned a long time ago that Echo showed you a few things in El Salvador to elevate your characters, etc. The last time we linked in Guatemala, not only were you all city in the capital, it was clear that your piecing game & characters really leveled up. At this point, you truly do it all. From pieces on billboards to detailed productions, you are part of an elite group of writers who have etched their name in the history books in the realest way. Give us a glimpse into your mindset when it comes to graffiti.
I appreciate the kind words but I feel like I’m a small fish in a huge sea of graffiti, I just plan to stick around as long as I can. My mindset is to get better, evolve your style, keep progressing as much as you can, always be open to new ideas and new tricks, anyone can be a teacher even the youngest have knowledge. Hold your ground be ready to RUN THEM HANDS!, The fundamentals that I was taught are style above quantity, cleanliness is key, simplicity goes a long way, learn the basics before you try and advance. Research your history. and with the time I’ve learned not to take this so seriously, you’re just writing your name over and over on shit that isn’t even yours, to begin with. So fuck it have fun!! But know this isn’t a game for all, be aware that some people will fuck you up! Llevalo al suave!!
Tell me about some of your favorite movies & music.
Let’s start with movies. I like action movies – fast pace things visually enticing, colorful cinema also black and white, old kung fu movies, anything ninja, Akira is one of my favorites, sci-fi, Star Wars, zombie, post-apocalyptic end of the world shit. Gory anime movies, comedy, it goes all over the place, same with music you can find me listing too late 80s- all 90s hip-hop, funk, electric, d&b, house, R&B, reggae, rock, punk rock, metal, banda, cumbia, salsa, the thing is if it sounds good to me I’m gonna listen to it. If I’m feeling that vibe then I’ma jam to it!
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I have 3 nationalities; I used to be part of a hiphop radio show. What I look like.
I remember when you picked me at the airport in Guatemala, I almost didn’t recognize you haha! Ok question, if you could meet anyone from the past or present, who would it be & why?
If I could see someone from the past it would be my homie, Trevor just kick it smoke a blunt. Talk shit…miss you, buddy.
What writers inspired you at the beginning & what writers inspire you presently?
Saber just ‘cuz its what i would see as a kid. And train graffiti, there was a line that passed by my house as a kid so I’ve always had love for train graff. But to be honest Nicaragua graffiti and writers always inspired me when I was really young like 10-11 we took a trip back to the homeland and I got to see a whole different type of graff, political graffiti, revolutionary graffiti mixed with murals it was eye opening at the time I didn’t understand the depth of it, but it was what sparked more my interests, it’s funny because the pictures that were taken then were of some that ended up becoming my mentors! But the most influential writers to me are Echo (El Salvador), Veck16 (Nicaragua), b-boy Homie (Nicaragua) and Mush (Costa Rica), they’ve been an inspiration in what is keeping it graff but getting creative and become more then just traditional graffiti murals that have depth, innovation, creativity.
“Ovius was the type of person to help you no matter what and the embodiment of graffiti”
Do you prefer the forest, the city, the beach or the jungle and why?
Because I see you in all of these environments. A little bit of everything, forest, beaches, jungle, desert, city, they all have a place with me i find the most peace when I’m in nature. But also enjoy a good night in the city. Seeing things that not many do. All I can say is there is a time to appreciate all of them.
Tell me about your friend Ovius, rest in peace.
Tell me about your friend Ovius, rest in peace. Trevor aka. OVIUS is my lil big homie. He was a genuine human always smiling always positive. just a down-to-earth human, non-judgmental didn’t matter what you were into, what you decide to call yourself, what gender you are or nonconforming gender it didn’t matter to this guy, he saw you as you. He was the type of person to help you no matter what and the embodiment of graffiti as well, this guy was up everywhere! Everything free! A true humble king! Daycare! Realtruehomie! This will always be OVI’s world!!
Sunrise: Long nights, early mornings, freights, burritos, graffiti, insomnia, peace, ocean trips, tranquility, creativity, sadness, happiness, smiles, adventures, exploring, LSD.
Toy: Lack of knowledge, lack of style, whack!! Misguided
Loyalty: Friendship, camaraderie, crew, respect
Cooking: Munchies, peace, enjoyment gratefulness.
Passport: Traveled, traveler, unnecessary piece of paper to be able to travel. Social disadvantage, nationalism, divide, meant to keep those that don’t have “legal” documentation down.
Truko: Back bone. OG, Regulator, loyal
What’s next for you?
That I don’t know, but I’m pushing for more stability in my life and a little less chaos, more traveling, more smiles, more painting. Maybe a change of scenery goes back to the motherland. I don’t know I really try not to think about it too much. I also accept if I were to die tomorrow ..so be it. Love whatever comes my way. Try and smile more… life is short fuck it.
Check out Able’s adventures here: @3rd_world_scumbag