I really started with this doing the urban/graffiti style about a year ago. I would say that I’m more urban artist than graffiti a graffiti artist. I work mainly in stencils, and I make my own stencils to get them how I want them to how I vision them. I’m still practicing all the free hand graffiti and learning as I go. The way I used to paint was in a stencil way with out the stencil, then one day one of my friends was like “why don’t you do this in a stencil”? From there on out I’ve been breaking my paintings down in layers and making my vision on life.
2.) What is your favorite canvas to paint on?
My favorite canvas to to paint on is canvas. I primarily use 18×24 or bigger. I like that size specifically, cause in that size you can give the proper detail that is needed, and I want the painting to seen from a distance.
One of my favorite pieces is the Dr. Seuss Cat In The Hat that I did. I took a well known children’s character and made threw a gas mask on it. This is a typical touch that I have done to other known figures. The reason that I loved this specific design/painting is that this is was a character that most people grew up reading about about and seeing in children’s books. It also challenged me to be creative in a new way. Also, one of the known DJs (Mr. Dibbs) I’ve listened for years got in touch with me about this painting asking me to buy it, cause his girlfriend loved that much. This painting connected me with him through what I was doing and how he appreciated my art as I did his. His girlfriend got the painting tattooed on her leg and now I’m pretty good friends with the both of them. So, this painting not only challenged me, but it also brought friendships together, all in the love of art.
4.) You mention that hip hop has been a big influence of yours, what hip hop artists do you follow locally?
Locally I follow my dudes Fortfied PhonetX, I love their music, and you can see the love and passion that they have while they perform. They’re just some really cool guys that make dope music. Their DJ Blacklisted is killer, Connect Rhymes and Mowmaw Naedon are true emcees that actually move the crowd.
I also follow Jasiri X. This man isn’t just an emcee, he’s an educator, an activist, and a man who brings awareness to all with his 1Hood Media. I’ve linked up with this summer when I was asked to showcase my art in the Pittsburgh Hip Hop festival. I did 6 paintings that represented hip hop – paintings were: Tupac, Biggie, Beastie Boys, Chuck D, Slug of Atmosphere and Eyedea. It’s like Jasiri believes in my work as much as I believe in his.
There’s also Middle Name Danger. These guys just commissioned me to do a banner for them on their upcoming west coast tour at the end of this month. What I love about them is that they do more than just music; they love to hear from other artists of all kinds and interview them through Beasley’s Corner Bodega.
Be on the look out for these guys and Idasa Tiriq, he’s another great emcee here in Pittsburgh.
I’ve seen a few local pieces and don’t know many of the local graff writer names but the ones I really dig are SEDAT and Steel City Kids. Also MOOK, he’s gotten his name in some really hard to reach spots when he was doing it. I apologize now for not knowing more of them. I knows more talent in this city than what I mentioned.
6.) Tell us about Durty Decks.
The Durty Decks are stake deck that I paint on that are to be used as wall art. The space is limited to what you can do on them and that can be a challenge of its own. It’s always fun to do a skate deck.
7.) Your art has landed into the hands of some hip hop iconics. Tell us about some of them and how the connection was made.
This is something that I’m proud of being that I’m a huge hip hop head, and sometimes considers a snob when it comes to hip hop haha. I’m vet particular to what I like and listen to haha. Anyways, the connection started with my man Paradise Gray, who is is a hip hop pioneer and X-Clan member. Paradise has had his hand in hip hop for over 40 years and well respected in the hip hop community. So, one way or another he seen some of my art and got in touch with me about owning some. One thing led to another and with this friendship and 1Hood Media, I was asked to be apart of the Pittsburgh Hip Hop festival to be showcased with along side with him and his photography of some of the legends of hip hop that he knows personally, and some other great artists from all of the world. During this festival I had the honor of presenting a painting to Talib Kweli and that was just dope. Being a fan of his for years and being able to give him my art was a great feeling.
1Hood Media also reached out to me when Brother Ali was in town. They new I was a fan and asked if I would do a painting of him. I love his music and his message and I just wish I was there to be able to hand it to him myself, but my full time job takes priority at times. I have to say that the support and opportunities I get from 1Hood Media (Paradise Gray, Jasiri X and Ceste) is something I’m truly grateful of. They believe in me and my art.
The fact that I got to hand my art to the legendary KRS One was an experience of its own. He was completely humble and thankful for the art I gave him. While was with him he made it about my art and how much he was digging it.
Thanks to Mr. Dibbs and his girlfriend Laura I was able to get a painting to Darryl “DMC” McDaniels (from RUN DMC), also my work is owned by DJ Abilities, Jared Paul, graffiti legend Adam Cost. I’ve also gotten recognition from Chuck D and Atmosphere.
My art has been displayed at Delanie’s Coffee shop, New Amsterdam, also I have a wall that I’m constantly working on Saltsburgh Road at the Plum Convenience store. Also, look at the raw artists site for Pittsburgh and see if I’ll be in the lineup for the upcoming shows. On November 7th I’ll be having my first solo show at The Daily Bread in East Liberty. I’ll be showing some new paintings at this show. The show starts at 6pm.
9.) Do you have any other artistic hobbies other than graffiti?
I would like to yes so that it makes me more than I am, but to be honest I don’t. I’m just a dude that connects color to canvas. I have an appreciation for poetry and spoken word, but I have no talents there.
I go hard for my city by showing that there’s more to Pittsburgh than just steel and Steelers. I love the steelers, but there’s more to our city than that. There’s tremendous amount of talent that makes this city what it is. I’m working hard at getting that noticed, if you read through my social posts you can see that I adore and love this city. If I ever leave here (and I don’t see that happening), I’ll always be a true Pittsburgher.
I’d like to send a special thanks to specifically my wife. She deals with all my madness and passion for my art. She’s always standing behind in what I do, and always supports me if I succeed or if I fail. She gives me the most honest truth of my work, and that’s what every artist needs. To my mom just for being as loving and supporting as she is. To the rest of my friends and family, thanks for everything. My dude Mike George, PGHMade, Mr. Dibbs and Laura, all of 1Hood Media, my man Chris Boles for getting me into shows and exhibitions, Leigh and Ziggy at Raw Artist (Pittsburgh), my dude Mowgli out in Vegas, and my dear friend Mancat. Also, to everyone that owns my work and continues to support it by liking my social sites and feeds.
Sales, shows, displaying and commissions: firstname.lastname@example.org