Whitmore Village, Hawaii, USA
Aloha, my name is Joe aka Saidski. Born on September of 1988; raised on Oahu, Hawaii in a Christian household. Growing up I was always into the arts, whether it be musical instruments or drawing/coloring, but it wasn’t until the year 2000 that I was introduced to the art of graffiti through my neighborhood-skater friends. I remember following them around as we entered a little water canal that ran under a road and for the first time being exposed to walls that were covered top-to-bottom with tags, throw-ups, and pieces. Then I learned from that point that my skater friends were also affiliated with the graffiti culture and I told myself at that point that this was something I wanted to make a part of my life.
In 2001, I thought to myself, “Hey, why not start doing graffiti as a form of worship that proclaims Jesus’ name?!” Then in the same week while browsing “Christian graffiti” on the internet, I came across the Gospel Graffiti website and was blown away, it seemed as my vision was already started. I would look through all the pictures of pieces and productions they did and just be that much inspired to improve my own graffiti skills. I remember saying/praying to God how one day I’d want to be a part of this Gospel Graffiti Crew.
Fast forward a little to the summer of 2005, at this point I’ve been doing both legal and illegal graffiti. I was blessed with a good size wall in the back of my church where I could basically paint whenever I wanted to, but in my secret life I’d be out in the streets bombing trying to gain fame for myself. That summer, I told myself that I was going all out, gonna paint my name everywhere! Then on July 29th, my three cousins and I found ourselves in the wrong spot at the wrong time. Long-story-short, we crossed paths with a kid being chased/arrested on a graffiti sting from this public restroom we were going to hit up. So we end up getting arrested too because my bag was filled with weapons, paint and markers. Although we were innocent at that time, going through the whole process of being arrested was not worth it to me so I decided to quit graffiti seeing how much stress was put on my family and relatives.
The next month, August, a friend told me that FASM from GG was coming to his church to paint a mural so I had to be there to see this guy and finally meet him. As the day came to an end and FASM finished his piece, I told him the incident that happened and that I was quitting graffiti, but he encouraged me to keep painting (legally) and to stay connected on the GG forum. I believe it was the same month and I got an email from him saying “Hey, fill this out so we can get you in the crew.” I was blown away and couldn’t believe that my prayer request that was made 5 years ago came to pass! A few months went by and by June of 2006, I was a part of the GG family. So that’s my graffiti-life story.
In 2006, I left Hawaii to attend Vanguard University of Southern California where I graduated in December of 2010 with my BA in Communications: Cinema/Digital – Animation and a Religion minor. With my time here at Vanguard University, I got involved in missions work where I traveled to Mexico (2008, 2009, 2010), France (2008), and Fiji(2009). In 2010, I was blessed with the chance to co-lead Vanguard’s first student-led trip back to Fiji. In 2011, I was blessed with another opportunity to take another team to Fiji. I must say, this past trip to Fiji was amazing, very life re-shaping and my team was amazing! Looking into the future, I can say that my heart will be in mission-work for a very long time, whether it be flying to other countries or living here in the States doing what I do. The great thing about it is we have countless opportunities to magnify God to others and in our own lives – everyday; “Let us not be just hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word” -James 1:22