I came across a video interview with Chaz Bojorquez, and there's a line he said that really resonated with me. "A line that speaks about identity, dignity, and unity; that line is art."
I often get asked where my style comes from, and my response is that it comes from the way I paint graffiti/my letters. But where I'm at now, has taken the letters out of the process, and leaves it at how I make my lines. I feel that everyone has a unique way of making lines, the same way everyone has a unique form of handwriting, etc. My abstract work is a derivative of the way I learned to paint through writing graffiti and painting pieces. All the time spent working in that way helped me practice making lines, practice color theory, develop a sense of composition, and ultimately what I would like to call a style. I think this progression of process is easily visible to other graffiti writers, but maybe not so for those not familiar with the craft.
I had the chance to meet and talk with Chaz last year while he was in town for his solo show at the National Museum of Mexican Art. It was really re-inspiring to hear his experiences and challenges from decades ago and see some parallels with my own path as an artist, concerning the fusion of graffiti, letter form, studio practice, acceptance in an art world outside of graffiti writers, and acceptance from Mexican artists/muralists. It was even more inspiring to see he is such a humble person after all his career accomplishments.