Spray paint artist strives to leave his mark

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 10:44 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - A Stevens Point man is hoping to use his self-trained skills to eventually teach others how to become spray paint artists.

It started after Stephon Kiba Freeman was working various management jobs over the years, he finally realized that he wanted to turn his passion for spray paint art into his profession. Freeman’s spray paint art business takes place out of his garage.

It’s a passion that Freeman fell in love with when he studied abroad in Italy during his time at UW-Stevens Point and saw spray paint artists for the first time.

“I was super captivated by the process, I’m a very process-oriented artist and so I just kept going back when I wasn’t doing classwork or when I wasn’t busy trying to find these artists to see what they were doing and how they were doing it,” Freeman said.

Freeman graduated from UWSP in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, but he taught himself how to spray paint art from watching YouTube videos. He’s always had a passion for art but worked as a manager of Family Video stores for a short time, then he had a realization.

“So I was like, ‘if I’m able to do this and manage these stores as if they’re my own and make sure it’s running and well and everything, then why can’t I do that for myself?’” Freeman said.

It was at this point, Freeman became part-time at Family Video and started his business, which eventually became his full-time job in 2020.

“I tell that to people all the time that it was trial and error, I kind of practiced different things and different ways I wanted the painting to look,” Freeman said.

He paints everything from standard canvases, to phone cases, garage doors, garbage cans, and even murals, including some in Stevens Point, Wausau, and Milwaukee, all of which are done with spray paint.

“I try to create work for people that speaks to them,” Freeman said.

Freeman also appears at art shows for people to browse and buy his work. With more time on his hands, it gets spent with his wife and daughter. He hopes moving forward, his passion for spray art will help others down the road.

“Now that I’ve gone through the hard part of teaching myself, over the last eight years or so, why not give that back a little bit, teach others if they want to learn,” Freeman said.

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