Hitchhiking in Hawaii

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Sean, 1978-

“‘Hey Sean’, he said, ‘I heard that you have only 46 cents in your pocket’. ‘Yes, sir. There’s nothing around here, I can’t sell my artwork.’ I am crippled when I can’t sell my artwork.”

A kind moment?

I just came back from Hawaii three months ago. Me and two other people were walking on King Kameha road, up into the mountains. This place is desolate, no one goes, there were barely any cars. It was raining, pretty miserable, and it was a long walk. I never hitchhiked before in my life; hey, I’m a 6’2, big, black guy. But it was raining, and I thought, you know what, I’m going to do it. So, I put my thumb out, and the car stopped! It worked!

We got into the car and it was Mr. Denis and Peggy. Mr. Denis is a 72 years old, really fit. And Ms. Peggy, she’s a gardener. We got to our place, and Mr. Denis says, ‘Nah, you aren’t going in there, you’ve got no money, you’re coming to our house, we’ll take care of you for a little bit.’ We spent eleven days with them. He showed me around the island, I worked with him, trimming plants, cleaning up, helping with groceries.

One of the days, we went to Bill’s house, right around the corner to watch football. He is 75, a lot of old people there. ‘Hey Sean’, he said, ‘I heard that you have only 46 cents in your pocket’. ‘Yes, sir. There’s nothing around here, I can’t sell my artwork.’ I am crippled when I can’t sell my artwork. And he stands up, goes into his pocket, and peels off five 20’s, gives me a hundred bucks. ‘Here, now I got you for ten hours of work, you want me to drive you down to the store so you can get some provisions?’ And I said, ‘Yes, sir! Thank you so much!’ So, I had a job for five months, construction job, painting. Boom, just like that!



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Marijuana

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Sean, 1978-

“You know what it made me do? It made me stop thinking about what other people think about me, and these people aren’t even thinking those things about me. It was me thinking them.”

My biggest regret? Not asking Leslie Davis out! he laughs. The only other regret I have, not smoking pot in college. Not kidding. Marijuana saved my life. It helped with my anxiety. Remember, I was going to shoot myself. It saved my life. I’m not a pills person, I hate pills to death; I’m not a needle person, I’m phobic of needles. And drinking myself to death would really suck, too.

One day, my little brother got me high, and ‘Oh my God, I can do this?!’ They’re saying all this negative stuff about this?! Bro, I never felt so good in my entire life. It made me stop thinking about what other people think about me, and these people aren’t even thinking those things about me. It was me thinking them. It killed it, it told me not to give a fuck, basically. Excuse my cussing. At the end of the day, the last person I know is me, my own self. I have to go to sleep, I have to wake up with all that on my mind, no one else. Always, every single day, I have to go to sleep with it, and I wake up with it. So why would I do that to myself? No one else is doing it to me.


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S-E-L-F

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Sean, 1978-

“I allowed myself to feel there was nothing else I could possibly do in the world, and I allowed myself to be scared of actually going forward. Then one Sunday, I said, ‘No more!’”

I am most proud of my art. And also, I am proud of me learning about myself. S-E-L-F, self. I came out here on a whim, I came out here because I got so sick and tired of my life that I was going to shoot myself. I had it all planned out. But I didn’t pussy out, I took responsibility for my own life, everything that was happening in my life. Like the misery of other people, and I was in the middle of it. I was so much in the middle of it, I didn’t even realize it until about the third day out here.

‘Oh my God!’ I couldn’t believe I was living those years like that. I couldn’t believe that I really wanted to shoot myself. It is weird, I could go back to that person, and I would slap him, I would beat the living crap out of the old Sean. Really, because I ain’t deserve that, and it was all my fault. It was all my fault because I allowed it to happen, I allowed myself to hang out with people who did not want to do any good, allowed myself to be around people who wanted to take my damn money, my hard-earned money, always.

I allowed myself to feel there was nothing else I could possibly do in the world, and I allowed myself to be scared of actually going further beyond what I had already done. Then one Sunday, I said, ‘No more! I’m moving to California.’ The next day I quit my job, I gave away all my stuff, and in five days, traveling with Greyhound, I landed in California. I haven’t been back since.


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Genghis Kahn

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Sean, 1978-

“He fanatically loved artists, engineers, and everyone with a different mind. Whenever he raided a place, he would line them all up, get everyone together and separate them to groups. Who’s an artist here? And I’d be in that group. ”

Right now, I’m reading a book about Genghis Kahn. Did you know that one percent of the population of all the world can say ‘I’m related Genghis Kahn!’? The book goes through his entire life. He was born in the year of the horse and was a Cancer. So am I. He took an arrow to the neck, right to the neck and lived. No one lives after that, but he did.

Most of the time, when he conquered a place, he would take some of the children, especially from the royal court, and raise them as his own, so he had accustomeds. Also, he fanatically loved artists, engineers, and everyone with a different mind. Whenever he raided a place, he would line them all up, get everyone together and separate them to groups. Who’s an artist here? And I’d be in that group. He’ll take us and find something for us to do. ‘Paint my wall’, ‘be my advisor’, because artists always have this different kind of mind.

Most of the time people would open their doors for him, because he would lower taxes, and he owned the Silk Road, that’s huge. You got to remember, they didn’t fly airplanes and their wagons didn’t go very fast, but the Silk Road was all protected. Can you imagine going to work and being attacked by another car? Who wants to take all the stuff out of your car, can you imagine? he laughs. It didn’t happen on the Silk Road because of Genghis.

What I liked about the book? The history and the personal; the military tactics, socio-economics, and the personal stuff. Like how he acted, how he was. For example, he loved women way too much; way, way too much! Like I said, one percent of the world population. . . That’s a lot of women!


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Call Me Patches

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Sean, 1978-

“My art, my entire life is based on my art. First it was an interest, then it was a passion, and then an obsession. I can’t imagine my life without doing any artwork or something creative.”

My name is Sean, everyone calls me Patches. I am an artist, freelance artist. I am also a free spirit, and like to say the word ‘free’, he smiles. I make patches; have been doing it for six years. Before that, I did various things. Regular canvass work, like the guy right there, he points at a young man, a few feet away on the sideway, painting on canvass. I did canvass work, I did murals, I did comic books. You name it, I’ve done it, artistically-wise. I have done many things in my life, I am very fortunate and blessed.

The patches started by accident: I was in Venice beach and one of my friends moved to the Bay area. At the time, I was doing canvas work, and so he left me a bunch of canvas. There were small scraps of canvass, and since I don’t like the waste, I started drawing on them with a Sharpie marker. I made one and was looking at it, and thought, ‘That’s a patch! It looks like a patch!’ And some woman randomly walks by and says, ‘Oh, cool patch!’

In Venice beach there are a lot of vendors. We share ideas, we talk to each other, actively trying to make each other better. I kept showing it to the other vendors, and made a few of them. They sold more than my other artwork, and after a week I said, let me try and make 50 of these. I made 50 patches, and sold them all in a week. So, I thought I might as well start getting more creative.

These are my patches, he points at his collection. Most of them are $3 each. I make them out of denim, acrylic paint for the color, and a black Sharpie for the lines, so they don’t leek, they don’t fade, they don’t wash off, they don’t scratch off. The ideas for the patches just pop into my head.

That is what I enjoy doing most. My art, my entire life is based on my art. First it was an interest, then it was a passion, and then an obsession. I can’t imagine my life without doing any artwork or something creative.

By the way, I’m reading about Genghis Kahn. Did you know he fanatically loved artists, engineers, and everyone with a different mind? Whenever he raided a place, he’d get everyone together and separate them to groups. He’s ask, ‘who’s the artist out here?’ And I’d be in that group. He’d take us and find something for us to do. ‘Paint my wall’ or ‘be my advisor’ because artists always have this different kind of mind.


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