September 24, 2022 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

VIDEO: Venice Graffiti Artist Paints New Life After Time In Jail

Graffiti artist Narrator was recently hired to paint a mural at Great Western Steak and Hoagie Company (pictured above) at 1720 Lincoln Blvd., Venice. The mural is not his first nor will it be his last, but it wasn’t always the case that his art has been a welcome commission in the City of Los Angeles.

In 2009 while studying fine arts at Santa Monica College, Narrator was offered a place in a mentorship program and was planning to transfer to another college. However, an early morning painting session on a wall of the 405 Freeway changed all that.

“It was 3 am and me and one of my crew were just finishing up covering a 20 foot wall on the 405,” he said. “We had done this huge block letter piece. Next thing, we saw lights flashing. We knew it was the cops so we took off up the embankment. Then the helicopter was coming down on us.”

By the time Narrator and his accomplice had made it back to their car the police had them surrounded.

“There was about six to eight squad cars, maybe 30 cops, and they had Tasers pointed at us so we kind of had to surrender,” he said. “I missed my first art show because I was in jail.”

After jail, with a felony against his name, Narrator could no longer qualify for financial aid and could not afford to continue college.

He also had debts to pay.

“I copped a hefty fine and was locked up in the same cell as murderers,” he said. “It changed my perspective. I decided it was better to get paid instead of having to pay to do what I wanted to do because I was doing it illegally.”

This is when he began holding his own art shows and doing art direction for music videos – this led to private commissions for murals.

His murals are now all around Los Angeles, at 5418 West Adams Blvd. across from Delicious Pizza, in downtown Los Angeles at a recycling center, and at recording studios in Marina del Rey and Miracle Mile.

As tough as it was doing time for his art, jail was not the worst graffiti connected incident for Narrator.

“You’re drawing on walls and you’re in these neighborhoods and they’re supposedly some gang’s territory and if these gangs see your stuff up, sometimes they’ll hunt for you,” he said. “For instance they saw one of my homies and then randomly at a party they shot him for graffiti, he claimed his crew and his name, and they just shot him point blank.”

Narrator feels graffiti artists today are akin to rappers, and the poets that came before them.

“In the beginning people don’t really like it because they don’t understand it, then in the end everybody loves it,” he said.

The artist said his works have evolved into something more positive over the years.

“Now I get a thrill and a rush when I’m doing a huge wall for the community; it’s a bigger thing,” he said. “It’s not just about me, it’s for everyone else now.”

Related Posts

Best Ways To Show Your LA Baseball Love

August 10, 2022

August 10, 2022

Los Angeles is a sports lover’s paradise. In every sport except for the NHL, locals have two teams to choose...

Inspiring Others Through Body Positivity

May 13, 2022

May 13, 2022

Navy Officer Janae Carey Teams-Up with 2022 Herbalife24 Triathlon Los Angeles . Video brought to you by Pudu Pudu.

Best Gifts for Mother’s Day in 2022

March 31, 2022

March 31, 2022

Mothers are the first teachers children have in their lives. They simply teach us everything we need to know about...

LAPD Operations-West Bureau Commences Community Police Academy

March 2, 2022

March 2, 2022

Pacific Area Community Police Station hosting 11-week program Submitted by the Los Angeles Police Department On March 29, 2022, Operations-West...

LAFD Arson Unit Asks For Help Identifying Suspect In Venice Trash Fires

March 1, 2022

March 1, 2022

By Dolores Quintana After the multiple rubbish fires were set this weekend in Venice near Paloma Court there was a...

Critical Need for Blood Donations on the Westside

February 28, 2022

February 28, 2022

American Red Cross, UCLA Health continue to face a national blood emergency By Dolores Quintana  The American Red Cross continues...

Stunning Music Academy in Brentwood will celebrate its Grand Opening, Sunday, February 20th.

February 18, 2022

February 18, 2022

Introducing the second location of the highly successful Angeles Academy of Music, which has become an icon of Westwood Village.  ...

Cedars-Sinai Urges Blood Donations

January 11, 2022

January 11, 2022

As 2022 begins, Cedars-Sinai is facing a critical blood shortage and is encouraging prospective donors to give blood as soon...

US Motorcycle Helmet Laws Mapped

January 5, 2022

January 5, 2022

At YoVenice we have spent years writing about news stories of motorcyclists with head and brain injuries from collisions. We...

Interview: Westside Food Bank Adapting to Challenges of the Pandemic

January 4, 2022

January 4, 2022

An interview with Bruce Rankin, Executive Director of The Westside Food Bank By Dolores Quintana We spoke to Bruce Rankin,...

Yo! Venice’s Best Westside Dishes of 2021

December 28, 2021

December 28, 2021

By Sam Catanzaro Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner or anytime in-between, the Westside has no shortage of world-class food to...

The Best CBD Gift For Every Occasion

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

Thanks to the growing popularity of Hemp CBD, there’s a lot of new and unique CBD products that will make...

Venice Family Clinic Completes Merger with South Bay Family Health Care

November 9, 2021

November 9, 2021

Venice Family Clinic and South Bay Family Health Care, which have together provided more than a century of health care...

New French Restaurant Opens by Beach in Playa del Rey

October 20, 2021

October 20, 2021

Westside Dining Scene October 21, 2021 By Dolores Quintana There’s a new French restaurant open in Playa Del Rey according...