Jaime “Vyal” Reyes is not one who jumped on the street art bandwagon that has exploded since Banksy and Shepard Fairey became household names. No, Vyal One has been slinging his sprays of paint across Los Angeles since the 1980s and along the way, influenced Latino artists and street artists alike with his signature mystical eyes.
And now, the famed graffiti guru has work in DTLB, contributing yet another piece to Downtown’s growing collection of world-class street art.
Located on the north side of A LOT on Pine between 6th and 7th Street (and now directly across from the Dabs Myla/Craola/Tyke Witness mural that was completed in 2013), the black’n’purple (and blue and green and gold) expanse is now available to view. His signature eyes—reflecting the similar approach that Chase, whose EVA mural also features eyes, uses—now overlook A LOT and stare down the mural opposing it.
Vyal, two-time winner of the Estria Graffiti Battle—one of which brought the artist to the Gaza Strip for 10 days of artistic exploration—has this indispensable advice for growing artists:
”Find your own way, find your own style. Really grind. These days, things are so easily shared. You can get a lot of compliments from people that may not really know anything, you may get 20 friends “liking” something that you post on Facebook, but what’s important is developing and pushing yourself beyond your comfort level. That’s what I do personally. If I know I’m gonna paint something similar to what I’ve painted before, then I’ll at least try and make it bigger or push it further, one way or another, be it through textures or design. Don’t give up. You should be doing art because it is something inside of you that you need to do. I started painting graffiti because it was something I needed to do- I had this natural instinct to go up to the wall and start creating something on it. So really, you shouldn’t be doing the work for anyone but yourself. Do it for the gratification that painting gives you, and not so much for whatever trend is going on- don’t hop on any art bandwagons.”