Greetings from a summery Athens, everybody!
Really grateful for the invitation @misteraven and great to see you all, especially @Joker, @seeking, @diggity and @Europe still around.
Reintroducing myself and my 12oz history history...I'm now 39, still in Athens, married with a 5 yo daughter. Painter, Publisher with a company of my own doing children's books.
Not smoking anymore, running trail marathons in the greek mountains, had a couple good gigs running up until 2008, kinda lost a full decade on the Greek/Euro crisis, kinda hit in the face realizing i'm in on the wrong side of forty.
Pretty disappointed with world politics (but that's nothing new) still trying to lead a meaningful life, like when i was spending 18 hours a day on this forum, haha.
But really though, this what 12oz has been for me.
I started writing in 96, back then in Greece, we had some local made spraypaint with a range of 8 colors (black and white included), no caps and no exposure to graffiti media at all. There where some kids, mostly from france who used sparvar and motip.
Had fatcaps. skinnys and magazines and parisian tube videos. There where some americans kids i used to skate with that their parents served in the base. At some point, as the 'scene' was growing bigger the biggest paint store in Athens smelled the money, managed to import the stuff we craved for and along with the hardware, imported some magazines.
It was then that the infamous 12ozprophet osgemeos issue fell in my hands...and blew my mind as did the vaporz one right after. At the time, i had made my mind about art school and a couple years later i started playing with photoshop, internet came and the rest is history.
Just realised today that i first logged in here May 2001. For me, being in direct contact with the people who made the magazines, with the writers i always admired and with a group of likeminded individuals on the peak of the Internet revolution was just unbelievable.
You have to understand at this point that growing up in greece meant that we had access to stuff with a 2-3 gap. We could hear the last metallica song on MTV (the mediterranean version aired in Greece and Israel) but had to wait a year and a half to get the record, or that SONY walkman, or these Jordans or whatever. So now, for the first time, the internet gave a direct contact with pretty much everything. I was the year we entered the EURO currency zone so buying stuff online started to happen.
So there i was, young and enthusiastic dipped into a whole new universe. I learned so many things in these forums, i exchanged so many posters, drawings, cd's, tees with some of you here, i had so much fun exploring being live online but also on the record. It was an unbelievable experience that literally shaped these years (that i lived seven time zones away btw). Many times i try to think what made it so great and i always think that a certain anonymity that came with the profile of graffiti writers really sheltered us from alot of bullshit. The fact that no one was comfortable sharing to much personal info (even people not in danger of being caught like me) made us all very aware that this persona that we where building was all that mattered. If you couldn't be really funny, helpful, well intended and interact with others without actually exposing who you are you added up to nothing. I always thought that this factor brought alot of quality in these forums.
Seeing how social media today are so fast, so self centered and i'm also definitely old to appreciate the rythm of a new reality i cant really see how i can relive these moments but i try to keep the good side of things knowing that getting very enthusiastic is harder and harder.
It sure feels good to be back here, hope all of you are doing well and thanks to Raven and team for keeping it real.
wonk saggin and all that!