Graffiti Artist: Creative Genius or Criminal?

Andrew - los angeles, California
Entered on April 22, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Some people say graffiti is vandalism. But graffiti to me is a form of art and expression. Why should someone get a felony charge for expressing the way they feel?

I started doing graffiti when I was in the fifth grade, about twelve years old. The way I started was my friend, a kid who was a couple years older than me, he showed me how to do it and how to read it.he showed me not only how to read what artists say,but how they feel. I started practicing it in a sketchbook I had, but then I started hitting the streets and other public places. I believe expressing the way you feel by doing graffiti on the streets is OK because it is colorful and artistic, and I shouldn’t get in trouble because my parents do pay taxes as well.

The problems I have gotten into are not the kind of trouble I like to be in. It had lead up to getting kicked off the buses. It has also gotten worse to the point were I have to spend days and up to months in juvenile hall, and after getting out I am left with six months of probation. But going through this, I still don’t stop because it is an addiction.

A lot of my family is not really fond of the way I like to express myself. My mom has been through a lot. She is sick and tired of have to deal with the police and my crap. She doesn’t mind me doing it on paper, because she doesn’t want me getting in trouble. The teachers that do know about my graffiti, some of them think it’s cool and artistic. But apparently Ms. Barbour, my English teacher, doesn’t. I hear from my family and teachers that I will never get anywhere if I continue to do graffiti. I think that is there opinion. But the way I think is that I’m expressing myself and, yes, artists do get paid well.

There are a couple of artists whose art I admire. The reason why I like their art is because they have their own style +

. The different style that they have shows the different ways that they feel. They also have their own character cartoons that they come up with, not just characters but animals to. Their letters have meaning as well. When they are feeling mad or just feel like fighting, the letters have a form of wild style to the art. When the letter just looks normal, bubbled, round, or whatever, that is just quick art that is meant to look cool.

Like the rest of the graffiti artists, I paint walls, trains, signs, freeways, and many more canvasses to show a kind of freedom and to escape all of my problems that we have. When I have problems or something on my mind that’s bothering me, I just visualize the walls, trains, signs, freeways, and billboards with my graffiti on them. When that happens, I tell my friends to get me the colors of paint that I want. And there the painting starts. When I’m out painting, I get an adrenalin rush and my heart just beats faster because the police might catch me, or the gang members might shoot me because of me writing on the walls in their neighbor hood. In another words, graffiti makes me find myself, it makes me feel alive.