RAW turns 8 on March 12th! It’s been an incredible 8 years of discovering the most beautiful and brilliant art all around the world and giving those artists a platform to share their art with their community and beyond.
We are celebrating 8 years of RAW by sharing 8 success stories from our artists. Each day leading up to our 8th anniversary we are sharing a new story on our social media and in a blog post! Each story is so unique and epic, so we hope you enjoy reading each of them and are inspired by their creativity, hard work and persistence.
Today we catch up with hella talented grafiti artist sentrock! At the begging of his artistic journey he displayed his art at one of our RAW shows, which was his first show ever! His pieces have grown bigger and better ever since. We hope you enjoy this Q&A where he shares his passions for grafitti art with style.
What’s your story? Where did you begin and where are you now?
Well, my story started with being raised in West Phx. An area growing up i saw a lot of graffiti art, chicano style murals and gang hit ups. All that goes into my DNA as an artist. Growing up in West Phx that was my world and also my art world. I did Not visit a museum or gallery until I was an adult and the internet wasn't as accessible like today, so that's the only art I was exposed to. Taking that background and what I learn along the way to shape the voice of my art.
When/how did you get involved with the RAW community? What was your first RAW show and how many shows have you done?
I had a friend who was friends with Heidi and they mentioned it to me. My first RAW show was in LA or Hollywood, not really sure lol. This was about 2006? Maybe. It was a super dope experience for me, to be able to pack up my art, drive to California from Phoenix to show my art was a huge deal for me. It gave me a platform in a city that I had no connections to and it allowed me to expand my vision of where my art could be.
What was the hardest part of your journey and how did you overcome it?
The hardest part is is actually believing in yourself, I know that sounds cliche but it's true. Sometimes we wait for certain experiences to validate us, which in many ways they do help, but believing in yourself is the hardest part for me and i'm sure for most artist. I am overcoming that all the time, just knowing your art has value. Whether it's a small group or a large audience it all helps, but in the end if you don't believe in you no one else can rally behind your art work.
How do you define success?
That seems to change all the time for me, as of right now I define success by creating something, producing something that’s authentic to me, my story and people can relate to it. In return having platforms given to you to express your work is a huge success, also someone wanting to give their hard earned money for you art is a huge success. So somewhere in there is my answer but really being able to be yourself and being able to fund your life of your passion is success. I feel like. Idk.
Have you met anyone or got opportunities through RAW that have added to your story?
Mm… not necessarily since I had my RAW show in California and then lived in PHX, then shortly after moving to Chicago. I always think it's dope when artist I know personally or have met before and then later see them have a RAW showcase, it’s dope to know like they are earning and rooting for themselves to win and aligning themselves with good people.
What is one thing you have learned that you wish you knew 5 years ago or something that you think everyone pursuing a successful art career should hear?
Believe in yourself, don't feel entitled, be student of the craft but also be a student of the business. Yeah, and don't take yourself so serious. lol . eeehhhh you’ll figure it out.
Haha, and we love that about you and your art. You've learned how to treat art like a business while not taking yourself too seriously. Which is so important because really, artists loose their passion for creating when they feel pressured to create. Thank you for sharing your story and style with us sentrock. You're really making some big moves in art and the graffiti community and we're super stoked that we got to give you a platform in the beginning of your career.