Modesto, CA, USA
Raised in Oakland, Ca where a “survival of the fittest” state of mind always haunted my environment. Moms was the only one around to support me. Working hard, breaking her back to give my brother, sisters & I a good life. We were always in & out of my grandparents living-room floor & in to apartments all over Oakland, Ca. Moving from school to school took a big tole on me. I thought that was a normal thing in life, to be unstable. Never really knew all these things were taking a negative effect on me.
Pops all the way in Mexico living the DJ life. Playing at parties, jumping from woman to woman, not really reaching out to see how we were. At those times it seemed like the big city had a lot of things to offer. Drugs, gangs, sex, crime, cars, and plenty of space to practice it all. The common “manly” example set in front of me was that to be in a gang meant you had power and respect from everyone else. But thank God i didn’t go down that route. Grandpa had a good head on his shoulders and always taught me creative ways to stay away from the streets. In the 2nd grade i developed a strong passion for drawing cartoons that illustrated how i felt, most of them were violent cartoons. In the 3rd grade my auntie taught me how to write “Gangster” fonts. I’d see her doing them all the time when she would write letters to her boyfriend. He was a real good artist as well, i remember this one time he wrote his nickname and hers in Graffiti with a brick background and city skyline. I thought that was the dopest drawing ever. The way it was shaded and how real the cracks in the bricks were made me feel that it was a huge accomplishment. Soon enough i started sketching in notebooks and any piece of paper i could get my hands on to practice these gangster fonts, old english & prison art style drawings. I got real good at it. I think art & music were the only things i took seriously in life. Something about the way you can create & express your story through them made me feel like i was always alright. You could say i breezed my way though grade school haha. Met a couple kids along the way who ran around town marking things and climbing on buildings just to display their works of graffiti. I liked the idea of being mysterious and having an alias to be known by around town by my fellow writers. Being in a crew was exciting & the goal was to make it to the “Big leagues.” That would be the most famous crews who were up everywhere and had the dopest style.
In the year 2001 we moved to the Central Valley here in California. That was a real culture shock. It was so much more quiet & friendly. Seemed like i adapted from skyscrapers & fast life to hills, trees and peace. To be honest I thought it was boring. I continued school, and again, met some kids who were serious about graffiti. Got into drugs, and the punk scene while in Modesto, ca. Always trying to find the next big thing since it seemed like it was more of a chore to find something to do in this town . In the year 2005 my older brother’s friend invited us to a “youth event” where there was live music and a “motivational speaker.” That was the day i heard about the Gospel & received Jesus into my life as my savior. Sad to say i didn’t take it too seriously after that night. Though i had family that were devoted Catholics and taught me
about God in a way, i just thought church was a place to go to when you wanted to have a good time with other young people. I went back to my vomit after a few years of luke warmness and church controversies. Surprisingly enough the holy spirit remained convicting me while i was living in sin. In the year 2012 after many years of the Lord’s faithfull pursuit for me I ended up being invited to a thing called “The Basement” where two of my so-called bombing heroes were teaching at (Biks Twok & Fasm). We’d gather literally in the basement of a church or whatever room was available to meet in and we would sketch and learn more about letter structures and styles. I was real excited to attend these sessions and at the time I still had faith in Jesus but I had just came from a life of bombing and rolling with crews. It was at this point in my life that I realized God had orchestrated this not only to reel me back in to him through something I loved and sometimes even idolized but that I had to make a decision of what master I was going to serve and how I was going to continue to use the gifts God has blessed me with. I’m thankful not only for God’s mercy & Grace but that these two men were walking testimonies of how God can save you from street life and use you for his Glory. One of the guys at “The Basement” continued to disciple me through those sessions and then invited me to confess Jesus in to my life again and to turn away from my sin. He then invited me to his church and I remember that night I was totally ready to make the altar call and surrender my all to God. I was truly reconciled at the church i now serve in, New Harvest Christian Fellowship International. Now i’m glad to say i am a servant and child of God. That one night of 2012 i learned that i needed to accept Jesus as my Lord & Savior. I noticed many of us appreciate the saving grace of Jesus but forget to make him Lord of our lives. I’m still humbled til this day to think of the grace God has had on me and how he continues to pour into me as his vessel to minister to others. Graffiti is just one of the many ways i choose to glorify God in his mighty ways and the goodness of the Gospel. Grace & Peace – Dsern