Lithuanian born graffiti artist Laurynas Buzinskas had a love for street art from a young age. His infatuation with tagging put him at odds with his parents, placed his academic career in jeopardy, and almost landed a him in jail before he was out of high school.
“I met these older guys, and they invited me to go spray with them,” he recalled. “I was going out at least three, four times a week in the nighttime. My parents didn’t know about it at all. I was just leaving, going out to spray with them all night long. In the morning, I’d come back and go to school.”
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Laurynas’ father eventually realized that his academic performance was suffering and that he was sneaking out of the house at night. One morning, as Laurynas crept back in at dawn, he found his father waiting up for him.
His father feared the worst, that his son was out breaking into properties and committing robberies with his older friends, and was relieved to find out the extent of Laurynas’ lawless behavior was defacing buildings with his artwork.
The local police were less forgiving after Laurynas got caught spray painting. After being caught red handed on multiple occasions, he was facing a two-year prison sentence before finishing high school.
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Laurynas managed to literally get out of jail by going to art school and channeling his talents into graphic design. After successfully graduating from college, he was still obsessed with graffiti, so he moved to the United States, which he considers the birthplace of street art.
“Graffiti started here in the U.S.,” he explained. “And I really wanted to see it and feel it for myself, not just through the internet… I left my job, left my parents and moved here alone.”
He wasn’t an instant success, and toiled away at odd jobs for years to be able to survive in his new home. Laurynas said that it was his wife who helped him turn his life around.
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“My parents didn’t support my passion, my love to create things, the same thing happened with my teachers and a couple of my friends,” he stressed. “Not a lot of people supported me.”
Everyone but his wife, who gave him the confidence to follow his dream. “She was always telling me, believe in [myself]. That was a feeling which I never had, I wanted to do what I was doing right now, but I never believed in myself,” Laurynas added.
Today, he’s a popular graphic artist who creates graffiti murals for his many corporate clients.
“If you really have a passion and feel like this is what [you] really want to do, go for it,” he encouraged. “Never stop, because you’re always going to have ups and downs, hard times. Just keep doing it, keep following your dream.”