Back to D.C., Back on the Grind!

It’s manic Monday and we’re starting the week off with a bang! Tomorrow’s “Art of Vandalism” event is guaranteed to be a good time and a great discussion. (Have you RSVP’ed, yet?) So, as we get in gear for Tuesday night, featured panelist, graffiti writer and guest blogger Tim Conlon recounts his personal history with the spray can-sport. Check it out …

As of this year, I have been painting graffiti for over half of my life. It may seem fleeting to have spent so much time on such temporary work, but graffiti has held a permanent design in the person I am, my life experiences, and the people that I keep close to me. I started painting in Baltimore in the early 90’s and it quickly consumed all other interests — like any addiction. I spent countless hours in dangerous neighborhoods and train yards in some of the worst parts of that city. Besides carrying my paint cans, I carried a singular goal: to put aside day-to-day anxieties and just paint. It didn’t matter to me if it was a tag or a piece. The end result was having the satisfaction that I created something for myself in adverse conditions. To me, graffiti is all about problem solving: “How do I get to that particular spot to paint, how should I chose my colors this time, how do I make this particular letter connection work for this piece, and how do I get myself out of this situation?”

Taking a break from real world problems gave me time to think through those issues, while I was quietly painting in the dark. I have risked my life quite a few times to paint graffiti, but the twisted truth is that that graffiti has consistently been my lifesaver.

— Tim Conlon

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