I draw upon my Pacific Island heritage, my upbringing in the streets of LA and my graphic design experience to develop my own style and make the art that I create.
My art life to this point can be viewed through those three chapters. Being Samoan (with a lil’ Portuguese!), many of my creative influences came from my family, church and culture. I was exposed to traditional arts early in life, and I would use those experiences to develop my tastes and style later down the line. As a teen growing up in the Harbor Area, hip-hop, gang life and graffiti art would take my creative interests in a whole other direction. I was learning about murals in school, then gang graffiti, illustrating the lifestyle, hip-hop music, tagging and spray can art was where my full creative attention was at. LA had come into it’s own styles and movement at this time, and anyone in the streets were a part of moving that forward. However, my desire to pursue murals and graffiti art as a profession was not supported by my family. It was unfamiliar territory and we had no examples of attainable success that we could point to. Enter Graphic Design. It was technical enough in which my architect/father could relate to, and it was the art of designing tangible things that my family could easily understand. Through pursuing an education in graphic design, I entered the fashion world and explored a wide range of experience from production art to manufacturing, apparel development and creating graphics. Throughout that time, freelance opportunities abounded providing graphic design services, supporting Pacific Islander community organizations and small businesses, and even creating and selling my own Pacific Island style clothing line, twice! At the end of 2014, after a life-changing experience with the birth of our son, I decided it was time to end this chapter and pursue what I originally wanted to do, what had been calling me quietly in my being this whole time – to do what it is that you really love to do. Create art. Create art on walls.
So full circle, I’ve come all the way back around on this journey to do what I wanted to do in the first place. Except I now have plenty of experience and knowledge to draw upon to make the work that I’m looking to create. I’m excited for this next chapter in my art life!