Artizen Magazine

Artizen 1-2

An interactive magazine featuring interviews with artisan creators of everything from food and wine to clothing, fine art and jewelry. Live links for directly shopping from the best artisans around the globe.

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Page 46 of 61

vey et There are so many eye-poppingly great street artists out there, that Artizen had a tough time deciding what to present for now. Should it be these sidewalks you can fall into? Or the well known stencil artists? We settled on graffiti artist, Estria Miyashiro. He's a veteran of the street, having weathered the changes from outlaw to mentor. We spoke with him about his work and his thoughts on the evolving culture of street art. What is your background? How did you get started in Graffiti writing? I've been writing graffiti for over 25 years, and currently I'm heading up the Estria Invitational Graffiti Battle, which is the first national graffiti battle in the United States. I'm originally from Hawaii and have been in the Bay Area for half my life. Back then everyone was taking a word for their tag name, but I wanted a name. For a month I played with letters I liked until I came up with Estria. Years later a man told me estrîa, with the accent on the 'I', means stretch mark in Portugese. He said the Latin root was 'stria' meaning to stretch. He said it was a good name, as in stretching your mind. I started in '84. My friends were breakers and we saw writing on things like the Jelly Bean album, and in the movies Breakin', Beatstreet, Wild Style, Style Wars. Our first piece was with an airbrush and a can of compressed air. We climbed into a canal and tried to airbrush the word 'fresh' on raw concrete. People stopped to watch, no one thinking it was illegal. We got to the 'R' when the air ran out. It got us juiced enough to get spray paint and try it again. That was the beginning of a life-long love affair. 47

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