Free drinks, a house full of artists, music, and live tagging is unbeatable, but what was truly amazing was my one-on-one interview with the artist himself. Typically, when you hear “street artist,” “graffiti,” or “illegal spray-painting art,” you think rebel, criminal, low life, up to no good, but that is the complete opposite of who Vyal One truly is.
Vyal One, who was born and raised in East LA, began his artistic journey in the late 80’s but got really serious about his craft in the 90’s. Colorful Chicano murals that represented life, death, and the hardships of the people are what inspired him.
“This sort of art really resonated with me,” he said. “I started using spray paint to tag because it was the most random material I could find to make art.”
Vyal One does not consider himself a vandal within his community; on the contrary, he gives back as much as he can. When he is not enhancing the look of exterior walls, you can find him in Boyle Heights teaching community art classes to aspiring kids who want to learn the art of painting. His specialty is aerosol technique, of course.