|I was born in Paris, France, which might sound fancy, but actually, I grew up in the project. At age 4, I was already very much into drawing and painting, and was encouraged by my mother who is an artist herself. Living in the project and being an artist lead me to graffiti, which I got pretty good at.|
The guys I grew up with started forming gangs or hip hop
posses, and I was there personal graffiti artist. We went out at night, painted
large pieces, and they helped by filling in the colors. Without knowing it, I
was sort of an artist director with many assistants. It was awesome to see my
creativity in very large scale exposed in public spaces. Of course, I knew I
was not supposed to do this.
I got in trouble and ended up in boarding school. That was tough but I graduated and was eligible to enroll in a college for fine art called l'Initiative. I spent 4 years of intense training. I did not know school could be so enjoyable. I was spending 10 hours a day painting, drawing and learning about art history. I graduated in 1991 and left Paris for New York.
I was not supposed to stay but I am still here, married for 11 years to a Texan girl and making a living as a decorative artist in the interior design world. Early 2004, I was trying to quit smoking (started as a teen). I try many thing, but what succeeded, was to try out a free class at Ultimate Karate USA. That night, I through away my cigarettes and joined the school. I will earn a Black Belt in April 2008, and I also earned great friendship with many people there.
I've spent a number of years developing unigue interiors and for those that are interested go to www.souletcreativefinishes.com. However recently I expanded my artistic efforts into the world of tattoos. For some examples of this work go to zen-ink.net. Check out gallery 3 for the Hanuman design that I recently installed on Kris Acevedo's right arm. The design was drawn from a sculpture taken from a Cambodian temple that displays Hunuman and his monkey warriors fighting Ravenna. This sculpture is in our cage room inspiring our fighters .
In July, I ran the Triathlon and helped raise money to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The spiritual and physical aspect of martial arts helps me in my every day life.