Art Minute

As a teenager, he got into graffiti to 'seem cool' — but the art of it 'completely enveloped' him

Vancouver visual artist James Knight's very relatable teenage desire to get in with the cool people set him on a path to a life as an artist.

Graffiti opened up the world of art to James Knight

Vancouver visual artist James Knight’s very relatable teenage desire to get in with the cool people set him on a path to a life as an artist. 1:01

Vancouver visual artist James Knight's very relatable teenage desire to get in with the cool people set him on a path to a life as an artist.

"At first I was just kind of that impressionable teen that wanted to be considered cool to a certain group of guys," he says.

(James Knight)

But once he got into graffiti, he soon found himself drawn to the artistic aspects of it — "the scale to the spots to colours to line work to patterns to all the history of the letters."

"It just completely enveloped my interest."

At first I was just kind of that impressionable teen that wanted to be considered cool to a certain group of guys.- James Knight
(CBC Arts)

Knight built himself up in the scene by making connections. "I started hitting these spots to get some recognition from guys who I knew were connected, who knew where to go, and hopefully they would invite me along."

"And that's what they did, so the plan worked."

Art Minute is a new CBC Arts series taking you inside the minds of Canadian artists to hear what makes them tick and the ideas behind their work.

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