Graffiti Gave Me The Life Skills To Succeed

When I woke up, I seemed to be having a dream about Morgan Freeman being my friend. I have no clue why I had a dream about Morgan Freeman, I think he’s an awesome actor but that’s about it. Then even though I was awake I still wasn’t and my mind wandered and in this new dream I was reading a blog post I wrote about my previous graffiti life. This post doesn’t even exist but I will write it right now, enjoy.

When I started doing graffiti in Vancouver I was only 12 years old back in 1982. It was near impossible to find any type of graffiti photography anywhere, including the library. The year later I believe, a book called Subway Art came out that changed everything for my small world. That book was my bible and I had it with me all the time. I studied the New York subway graffiti pieces as if I was having a final exam on them.

As with all things in life practice makes perfect, so I would draw all the time and try to mimic the great New York graffiti masters of the time such as “Seen”, “Dondi”, “Duster” and “Skeme”. It was pretty tough to get where I wanted to be with my graffiti skills, but I never gave up. It pissed me off so much that my stuff looked like crap that I tried harder and harder. Eventually I had the graffiti talent I was craving. I had an interesting skill that very few people had outside of New York, let alone Canada or anywhere else in the world.

Eventually my paper practice got boring and I need to do the “real thing”. I started venturing around the Collingwood area in East Vancouver. Back in the early 1980s the SkyTrain wasn’t even built and there were no condo apartments on Vanness street which runs parallel to the SkyTrain between Joyce street and Boundary Road. There were tons of warehouses and I practiced my hand at doing a wall. It turned out pretty good for a little kid from Vancouver learning this stuff on his own.

Graffiti taught me many things that I never really realized would help until later on in my life. Everyone said that I was wasting my time. Realistically it depends on how you look at it. For me I never got in any real trouble for it, luckily. I however did learn some traits that I still use to this day.

  1. Never give up – Even though I was terrible at doing graffiti in the beginning I stuck it through because I really wanted it to work out. I wanted to be good at graffiti for some reason. Fast forward to 2008, I am the same way. When I want something not much can or will stand in my way, that’s an awesome trait to have. I never give up I just get pissed off, I mumble and I move forward. I hate being sh*tty at anything so I work long hours so I get good fast at whatever it is I’m into at the present time.
  2. Resourcefulness – I order to survive in any business and in graffiti you need to be resourceful and have some way to adapt. Many times police would find out about the “artwork” and we had to find new locations to paint on. Part of the process was to scour “spots” (places to paint), under bridges, abandoned walls and so on. I had a pretty good gift for finding graffiti spots all the time. I took that trait and I can usually find a way to make money from any type of topic I start researching from loans, car accessories etc. I can find what many other people cannot find,  and make it work. That is a huge skill in a competitive world.
  3. Dedication – I saw many kids come ago when I was a graffiti artist. Most people where never dedicated to getting good at graffiti, I like some others were. It was important to me that my “pieces” looked good. i tried to make them look as good as possible. I didn’t see the point in writing on walls if it looked like junk. Personally I really wanted to make the place look better not worse. I dedicated lots of my free time to drawing and also painting the “perfect piece”.

When most people look at graffiti art they don’t think of it the way the way I do. You need a certain type of person to be good at ANYTHING, sure you may have the “knack for it”. Even if you have the knack you still need dedication, resourcefulness and determination to name a few. For me I am thankful I spent my years doing an illegal activity that turned into something that guided me through my life and continues to do so. No, I no longer paint graffiti art, but the memories and the life skills I learned from those years are very much with me and I use them daily in my Internet business.

Oh yeah I also learned tons of design skills from my graffiti art… If I never did graffiti, I’m not really sure where I would be today, it’s pretty crazy but it’s true. It’s weird how graffiti guided me to where I am today and then of course now it’s veering off into real estate. Life is funny that way, you never know where it will take you.

I’m not really sure why I wrote this post but like I said it came to me in a dream, while I was kind of awake…. weird yeah.

10 thoughts on “Graffiti Gave Me The Life Skills To Succeed

  1. Come try that Again looser

    It burns me that the otherwise unidentified “CV” graffiti wanker would even dare boast about all he had learned while trying to ruin our communities, cost us thousands of dollars and provide an example to our children of how to utterly fail as a human.

    One of my reoccurring fantasies is to find one of these drooling pimple poppers and spraypaint his puffy jacket and sideways hat with his own paint can.

  2. Bree

    Yes, I wrote a post about it on my blog. I have to stay it stirs up some feelings for me. It is puzzling to me that you could show such self-reflection in analyzing the benefit to you, and yet fail to acknowledge the detrimental impact on others. But good on you for getting us thinking.

  3. admin Post author

    This was something I did many years ago, when I was YOUNG. If you read the rest of blog it’s all about real estate and daily life NOT graffiti.

    Obviously it’s not something I do anymore………………

  4. Pingback: Tenth To The Fraser » Blog Archive » Graffiti teaches life lessons?

  5. Dubber Ruckey

    Bree, you sound like a tool. There are many great things to get out of graffiti. And shit, i which i was writing in the 80’s so i could get up, now im fucking here and its heaty as shit. so yeah, graffiti will always be around , look out for us OH and also, graffiti writers arent always “Side ways hat” kids, alright

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