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HEART OF AN ARTIST

FRESH

“Building a place for homeless artists is really where my heart is right now” Tysen, how old were you the first time you tagged a wall? I was about 15 or so. Definitely a young man. I used to steal, I mean BORROW, spray cans from my parent’s garage and go tag walls. Can you describe what it is like for you to be a street artist? I think it’s exciting. I never knew, as a young child touching a spray can for the first time that I could make a viable living as a street artist. I think now we live in a time where street art can be appreciated. I’ve been able to get a number of commission jobs; I’ve been able to travel around the world doing wall murals. I think it’s a beautiful thing and I am blessed to be part of the street art movement as one of the leading street artists. My routine starts with a sketch out what I would like to put on the wall. Then I add color, lots of color, as much color as I can get away with. After that I like to use bold, black lines. I got the idea from when I was a kid. When I was coloring in my coloring books, I would always try 20 - FRESH MAGAZINE

and stay within the lines. I would get the big pack of crayons because I needed ALL the colors and the bold, black lines made everything pop if you did it properly. As a matter of fact, I was able to name my little sister from that box of crayons, I named her Magenta. From being homeless to now being an in-demand artist... What was the turning point? I think the turning point came when I was in despair and homeless, I had time to think on myself and reflect on different things. I think it gave me a serious focused drive. I was like “Ok, what do I want to do with my life? If I want to do art, I need to focus on that 100%.” I think that homelessness built a humility in me, which in turn helped me focus on my art. I believe that if there hadn’t been the struggle, there would not have been the progress, which has brought me where I am today. It’s kept me grounded in my work and in helping others. I truly think Everybody deserves a second chance.

How did you feel the first time your work was displayed in a gallery? It’s funny because I actually documented my reaction in my first film, Street Art Documentary. It was a surreal moment, to be in a completely different element. When you have a show, there are things I wasn’t used to, my art had to be framed properly, hung a certain way, have a certain kind of hanger on the back, only certain sizes were permitted in a show. That was something new I had to learn. But it was incredible. It just solidified that this was a route that a person from the streets could create art that everyone can appreciate and enjoy. Which of your artworks are you most proud of (and where can we find them)? I would say the Boys Art Mentorship Program and the art I created with middle school, at-risk youth. We created a series of cartoon characters like Batman, Spiderman, Captain America, Ironman and Flash. I think those came out brilliantly because I was able to create those with students. They were able to be a part of

Profile for Mr Dreamz Magazine

Brandy Haze FRESH Edition (Neptune 1983 Media)  

FRESH magazine feat. Brandy Haze, Theresa Cann, Canaan Cox, Pamela Jean Noble, Robyn Redish, Kyffin Brown and Tysen Knight.

Brandy Haze FRESH Edition (Neptune 1983 Media)  

FRESH magazine feat. Brandy Haze, Theresa Cann, Canaan Cox, Pamela Jean Noble, Robyn Redish, Kyffin Brown and Tysen Knight.