The clothing line started off with me and my best friend Emanuel (aka Spikes). We use to write graffiti together and watch graffiti documentaries and it was those documentaries that inspired us to create a clothing line. All those artists from those films had some kind of side hustle whether it was canvas work or a clothing line to designing toys and that inspired us to create something for
ourselves, hopefully taking what we love and turning it into a business, our business. Throughout these documentaries there was one constant message; graffiti is a form of self-expression. Artists from NY to Japan continue to say it is art whether people want to accept it or not. Most people don’t know this but graffiti is one of America’s first art forms hated and loved yet glamorized by the mainstream just for another sales pitch.
Now the name Art Before Crime was developed around the fact that graffiti is art before it’s a crime. It all starts on paper before the artist decides to show case it on the street. Art Before Crime, but art is not a crime and if it is, I am not against it.
The Pandas used are in memory of Emanuel’s (spikes) Grandfather, Panda was his nickname. He showed Emanuel the basics in Mexico while he was still a kid and his grandfather passed away shortly after that. Emanuel took those basics and built on them, he then linked up with me around 8th/9th grade and I too started to draw the panda to pay homage to a man I never met but whose wisdom was passed on to me I consider him to be my grandfather too.
The team was put together by me, I met Monique(aka The Last Star Left) (to the left of Drew) in high school we clicked from the first conversation we had, she is our marketing director/photographer. I met Jequan (JQ) (far left) through a childhood friend, he is the company’s Chief Financial Officer(CFO). Emanuel(Spikes)(to the right of JQ), the one I started this with is the Co-founder/Designer and I’m another Co-founder/designer but I kind of do a little bit of everything too.
I’ve been drawing since I was able to pick up a pencil, it just came so natural for me to start making lines and trying to draw the objects around me. I never really use to think much of it until I got older. When I hit my teens I used to draw comic book characters in class just to pass time then when I met up with Emanuel(spikes) that’s when graffiti came into play. I stopped drawing people and comic book characters and my art started to grow into graffiti and street art and it became more original. It then progressed into what I produce today with Art Before Crime. The rest is history.