Being a traditional tattooer apprenticed by old school bikers when I was in my early 20s gave me the foundation to be able to create permanent markings as a way to support my young and growing family at the time. Also, this gave me the opportunity to travel and meet other artists that shared a common interest for the fundamental application of lettering in all forms.
The first book about graffiti I saw was SubWay Art. The thing of it was it didn’t show any of the West Coast graffiti. It was all trains from a few particular lines of the New York City SubWay that ran outside a particular photographer’s window at the time who decided to document it. I couldn’t relate to it or their East Coast style that’s heavily based on Funk they call it.
My first love as a kid was a useless wooden toy! Skateboarding for me was LIFE! That’s the only thing I wanted to do. From sun up to sundown, day in day out. Nothing else mattered to me. This put me in the streets constantly in crazy situations surrounded by lawlessness and the ever prominent neighborhood graffiti.
The 90’s era of LA graffiti pretty much skipped me completely due to incarceration and family obligations. I wish I could been there for the RTD BUS WARS, the LA river bed parties, and the iconic street legends.
I listen to all types of music when I paint. Music is the rhythm of life. It sets the mood. There is no party without music!
For those out there that are hungry to improve at their craft but don’t know how to exactly what do you recommend? Is there any specific practice or exercise that you have discovered that has helped you over the years?
If anybody is looking to progress or get better at graffiti I would have to say practice your lettering first and foremost. Specifically your tags. tagging is the most quintessential part of graffiti yet is the most visually offensive to the majority of the populace. Illegibly scrawled messages on the side of the building conjures up images of gang activity and reduces the use of public transit in neighborhoods where this is predominant and causes property value to go down.
Living in Skid Row is definitely one of the most unique areas in the United States. It is synonymous with drug use and homelessness and the mentally ill. the reason why is because the city has created like a reservation right in the middle of downtown where there is a large number of buildings that are dilapidated and single room occupancy that are affordable to low-income people. Everybody else in the city avoids this area at all costs. Some people drive-through and hang their arm out the window with a video camera others blow the lights and stop signs rather than stopped and be confronted by people on the streets because of fear they might be assaulted or robbed or worse.
I would like to give a special shout-out to all the people worldwide that support me and my artwork and what I do here in the streets of LA. The people who send me Tattoo equipment, amazing artwork, money and support, out of the kindness of their hearts that are perfect strangers have become like family to me.
You can find my graffiti in the streets of Los Angeles California Phoenix Arizona San Diego California and coming soon to the streets of Mexico.