It takes time – you get a lot of good-enough and good-enough-less writers in the beginning. It’s like going from walking to running or tennis or cycling. You might not have the results, but you’ll get there one day. So, you learn the art of getting it right the first time. That’s all it takes, though, and then you’re at it, and you go, “Oh, that’s great. I could get back at that guy tonight.”
What’s your greatest challenge with the industry and how do you deal with it? You know, in the old days, we had it. Now, they get to you in the morning, they put you in a corner and make sure you’re asleep the entire night. It’s hard to get in on their schedule, it’s tough to get in on their schedule because there are so many of them. You can’t just tell a good worker to get in and do it, like that will do it. You gotta do it for them. Some days you come in, sometimes they’ll do the work and others they won’t. It’s just a great industry in general, because it’s so tough, but I love being a graffiti artist in general. I can be on a good job for 15, 20, 30 years and not make money. I always want to make money – I’m a hustler – but I’m really passionate about it.
“I love being a graffiti artist in general. I can be on a good job for 15, 20, 30 years and not make money. I always want to make money – I’m a hustler” Photo: John Storey, Associated Press
How would you rate your professional success? It’s really all relative. I did a couple of years of college with my girlfriend before we moved from Florida to New York. But I got my first job that I can remember doing, working for an insurance company, and it ended up being at The News & Observer – and that was it. I got a job at that paper and I kept working for it through the ’80s. It all started when I was a grad student. But that’s not where I’m at now. I’m at Varsity, at Varsity High School outside of New York. I had an internship from one of the guys at News & Observer and came back and started to write for them. I started writing graffiti one day and went to the office and they said, “This is