Artist Statement

Wisdom says we can learn from our mistakes, but we can also learn from the mistakes of others. My Website, 303illmagination, is intended to utilize the inner skill of art to communicate change in a different medium and a unique voice. Had I learned from my mistakes and those of others, I would have saved myself a lot of pain and confusion. But I had the attitude that it was my life, and I’d live it the way I wanted!

The result was that I soon found myself locked up behind bars, where I had no choice but to live by the rules of others. If I knew then what I know now, I would have lived differently. Instead, I lived most of my life dedicated to gangs, drugs, and incarceration. I spent years letting my family down, foisting my burden on them, and wondering how long I would be alive! I can’t recall when I made my mother proud or made myself a big brother to my siblings. So my goal for rehabilitation is to do just that. In the process, I will show others how to formulate a different life plan so we can use our talents more positively to express ourselves and bring beauty to the world instead of destruction and chaos.

My reality while growing up was quite different. By the age of thirteen, I had already found the needle on the streets. I thought drugs made me a big man, really grown up. I could leave home when I wanted, dress however I chose, and be whoever I wanted to be. But there was one problem. I didn’t know the first thing about how to do so. I thought I’d found out when I joined a gang of white supremacists where I found an identity.

But along with that identity came various tests and obligations. I was expected to participate in numerous crimes and did so willingly. That I am not very proud of.

Deep in my heart, I knew that I had been brought up to live differently. But I was no longer myself. I was who I was portraying myself to be– to feel good and be in a position of not having to answer to anyone. I could indulge in everything I was taught not to do as a child. I could drink, smoke, inject drugs, and sell dope to support my habit. I was utterly numb and heading down the road to nowhere fast.

Instead of being wise and slowing down before disaster struck, I decided to move even faster. I had an image I was desperate to portray, and there was only one way to do it: to be a front-line soldier for others. I was eager to uphold that image, always committing wholeheartedly to any new “project.” I saw myself as a loyal warrior to my friends, but I was being used. I thought I had found something to be proud of. In that way, I was like a lot of young people in society today. I was looking for ways outside myself to prove to others that I was worth something instead of looking within myself and recognizing how much worth I really possessed.

It’s essential to take the time while you’re young to focus on who you are and what you aspire to in life. That‘s how you build a true identity. The longer you wait, the harder it will become. Life can skew our perceptions of success and how to obtain it. Those who experience continuing tribulations, temptations, and daily struggles approach life differently than those who learned early and what they wanted and how to get it.

A major self-defeating obstacle we often find in our paths is a tendency to focus too far in the future instead of paying attention to our current affairs. Instead, we must learn from our failures not to repeat them. If we would step back and take time to think about what caused us to make our mistakes, we would develop the wisdom to overcome the obstacles that caused the problems in the first place.

So slow down, youngster, and take the time to get to know who you are, not who you want others to believe you are, and you’ll come to recognize the real you through self-respect. In my case, I was never very successful in explaining things with words, so I kept my feelings bottled up inside. Then, one day, I learned I could express myself with pencil and paper. I suffer from bipolar and ADHD, so I find happiness in art to channel the madness of everyday life.

You can do the same. Learn to accept others regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, and ideology. I’m ashamed of my past when I discriminated against others. But now I accept others for who they are and work hard to treat them as equals. 

In 303illmagination, I teach others to use their God-given talents and let no one stop them from being the best and achieving whatever it is they want from life. If you ever feel that the odds are stacked against you, call upon the spirit we all have. It always helps me to see life in a safe space while keeping me steady on my life path. 303illmagination grieves at the forces that rob children of their generation and the world of its precious light. The youth of today lack the knowledge of how to prosper. The issues of violence, war, materialism, ignorance, anti-intellectualism, narcissism, and the quest for money take their toll. Although these may seem like adult problems, they begin affecting us in youth. Ignored, they can become a disease of the mind.

It’s not your fault if your parents never learned how to raise their children. It’s not your fault if you were left on your own. It’s not your fault if your father decided to abandon his family responsibilities. Unfortunately, some of these environmental circumstances breed disaster. But no matter how tough your life is or how hard the struggle may be, there’s no excuse for anyone to take the life of another human being or to be violent toward another.

I failed to learn in my youth the importance of human life, human relations, family, and those things that make the experience on earth worthwhile. Money alone isn’t the answer. Walking the pathway of a virtuous life while being true to your values is. Seek to master your craft and art as much as you can.

Success requires preparation. Studying requires that you read, learn, and practice. Learn the difference between real and fake and true and false, and commit yourself to your drive and trade. There is a difference between individuality and authenticity, uniqueness and genuineness. You should celebrate your uniqueness and be authentic at all times. You can’t be second-best if you’re being yourself

Remember: There’s no one else like you on earth. So be yourself with your tattoos, mohawk, or whatever else you want to use to express yourself. I learned to be respectful of others always, regardless of how a person looks or the color of his skin. Respect everyone for his gifts, talents, and the light that shines from within. It took me a long time to adjust my vision and express my concern by recognizing that there’s light within us all. That light makes us who we are and who others are. They have the right to exist just as you do and to live free and think just as you do. They don’t have to share the same religion, political ideas, opinions, or thoughts about the issues you believe in.

Respect is recognizing that a person has a real right to make personal decisions and do as he pleases as long as his actions don’t harm others or the greater good. Treating others with respect regardless of our differences brings people together. Let’s use a platform to demonstrate positive growth and change through art and living. Let’s be a positive example to others. It’s good to dream! It’s good to aspire to greatness! Having goals and achieving them helps us build character. I dream that every child will one day be able to think creatively and freely while engaging in ideas that lead to a better, safer world.


A poem by Benjamin Elijah Mays entitled Life Is Just a Minute says it best:

I have only just a minute,

Only sixty seconds in it.

Forced upon me, can’t refuse it.

Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it.

But it’s up to me

to use it.

I must suffer if I lose it.

Give account if I abuse it.

Just a tiny little minute,

but eternity is in it.

Take these words to heart, and remember them as you learn to walk in light. And feel free to contact me through this Website, or check me out on Facebook.