Crayone was blessed to find his calling in Spray-can Art (Street Art) as a young man. Fame also found him early in his art career. When Hip-Hop Culture first hit the Bay Area with documentaries such as, “Style Wars” and “Wild Style”, Crayone was forever hooked! He started as a Break Dancer, known as “SpaceGhost” in the cold summer months in San Francisco.
Crayone was into school sports activities before Hip-Hop influenced his life, but after a 2 to 3 year stint at B-boying (Breakdancing) he started Spray Painting. After his Spray Can Art name “Crayone” was noticed, he ventured into surrounding cities and towns to recruit for his new Crew called TWS (Together With Style).
TWS was the first Bay Area Spray Can Art Crew! They were the artistic kids who used fine art, graphics, illustrations and also incorporated a European flavor with some San Francisco lettering style. Crayone, with his TWS Crew, were doing Art Pieces in a style that no one had ever seen before, coming from a spray paint can. Crayone truly believed that one can produce any type of art with a spray can. The spray can is going to be a new medium. He shared this belief with the rest of his crew with much enthusiasm.
TWS influences were different than the local Art School Academic Painting Styles and they used different materials. For instance, the collection of Artists who made up TWS, was only possible if they had mastered the use of the Spray Can! They were considered trail blazers in the Spray Paint medium, using advanced ideas and painting techniques. While the Bay Area Spray Painting scene was just getting around to using 2-D flat Characters and Cartoons, Crayone with his TWS Crew, developed new Color Theories and patterns, bringing it from the confines of the Design Studios and onto the streets where kids were exposed for the first time to the medium of Spray Paint, they could use to express themselves with. Even though some of those ideas had been around for years, it was Crayone and his TWS Crew, who re-packaged it into the new art-form. They had a lot of admirers and people who recognized that this distinctive style Crayone and his Crew TWS, was producing, came with new ideas! Crayone and TWS was ahead of the competition compared to what the rest of the scene was doing in the Pre-Internet days.
TWS High Quality Murals were being noticed! In the end while others knew how to do their names in Graffiti letters, Crayone took the Letter Form and brought it to new heights of Abstraction. He was able to put artistic flair and originality into the work. While most of the City Street Artist, were following New York influences, Crayone followed his own dreams and aspirations because he knew this new Medium was not a fad. The New Art Form was here to stay and it was going to change the world. Crayone knew it and wanted to be fully invested so he drank the whole container of this new “Graffiti Kool-Aid!” He dedicated his life to this new Art Form. He kept Painting and eventually, Local, National and International Fame came to this young kid, Painting in San Francisco, CA.
In 1988, Crayone was featured in a book called “SprayCan Art” representing the City of San Francisco and the greater Bay Area and his life was never going to be the same. He was fortunate enough to have accomplished so much at an early age and was represented by several agents before he turned 21. About this time, when he was 19 years old, he found opportunities to create Murals, by Commission from Patrons and started slowly building his Portfolio. Crayone was the first Graffiti Artist from the West Coast to do a one-man show in an established gallery in Palo Alto, Ca. His works was shown in such galleries and museums as the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, The Museum of Modern Art in Los Angeles and the Oakland Art Museum, to name a few. Examples of his work have appeared in many published books; The History of American Graffiti, Freight Train Graffiti, Graffito, SprayCan Art and many others. His newspaper and local TV news exposure is second to none. His videos combined are more than 50 hours unedited. His dedication to the Spray Can Art form now goes back more than 30 years and he can bring the whole media package to a Commission or Exhibition, that only a few can.
While Crayone never stopped painting, there were a few years where he did pursue other ventures: 1989-1991 Crayone went to Al Collins School of Design in Tempe, Arizona to learn graphic design, then studied Fine Art at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California (CCAC). These opportunities later helped Crayone promote his work throughout the years. After working In 1992 at the Fish Canneries in South East Alaska for Salmon season, in 1995 to 2001, Crayone started creating web site designs for several companies (www.hip-hop.com and www.hiphop-network.com) including his own (www.crayone.com). Also from 1999 to 2011, he was hired as a graphic designer/art director and kept a steady income. At the same time he was being commissioned for Mural work for supplemental income.
Crayone recently completed the “Dharma House” Commission Mural in San Francisco, on Mission and 22nd street, depicting much loved and recognized world contributors to Peace, Equality, Good Will, Harmony and Healing, Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, Mother Theresa, and Gandhi which was a commission close to his own heart and vision for a positive world of kindness towards all living beings and the Planet.
From 2011 to 2016 Crayone was working as a freelance muralist and graphic designer, when he was hired as a San Francisco Firefighter. His story with trying to get into the fire department goes back to 1989/1993 when he first took his test to become a firefighter and did not pass. In 2006, he renewed his interest in becoming a firefighter again and went back to school to get necessary Fire Science course credits, took the local community college fire academy, got involved in local charity organizations and volunteered hours giving back to communities in need. He received EMT Certification (Emergency Medical Technician) all the while still working and painting. One of his volunteer positions was working through Precita Eyes Mural Center was to help guide young taggers toward creating positive murals that beautify the community with art.
Being a professional and getting paid to paint is wonderful and it can help pay the rent, but what ultimately makes Crayone happy is that he can speak for the unfortunate and for the marginalized portion of our society. He is blessed that he can bring more color and meaning to the world through Crayone murals and can present a dialog with the Public about issues of Youth, Art, Culture, Community and Safety that may need to be discussed. And even though he is living the dream as a professional Muralist and Street Artist, he is proud to serve as a member of the local Fire Department to help save lives and property in the city of San Francisco where Crayone grew up in.