1.) Tell us about yourself and your childhood?
I have lived in Des Moines Iowa most of my whole life but I was originally born in Texas. My childhood was somewhat rough because we experienced financial hardship. My mom did everything she could, but being a single mother with a bored, crazy, teenage boy was rough. Although my past has a few dings and dents, she planted a lot of good characteristics within me. And now I get to pass them onto my two sons and stepdaughters which makes me proud of my rough past. I am a full-time lead electrician to pursue my journeyman's electrical license and I am also a "Graffiti Artist".
2.) Tell us about a challenging time in your life and what lessons you learned from it?
At the end of 2008, I received the only known felony charge for graffiti in Iowa. I was made an example and it wasn't until 2013 that I was released from the probation system. It was a very rough 5 years for me with nearly $9,000 dollars in fines paid and over 100 hours of community service logged.
In June of 2009, my first child was born. Not only was I dealing with a heavy amount of stress from the case, I was also experiencing something extremely new, fatherhood. This changed me in a positive way giving me the motivation to do what I had to do. I always said I would never change how things happened because I know these struggles made me a stronger father, man, and an artist.
3.) What motivates you to follow and pursue your passion?
My passion is graffiti art and the graffiti lifestyle. It just comes naturally to me. It's not just painting a wall, it's going from nothing to something in a matter of hours. It's doing that one thing most people in this world cant do. It's my niche and I've found it, now its time to use it to my best abilities.
4.) What advice would you give to the new up and coming artist?
Be smart about your craft. Don't get too hot in your city and keep your problem(s) to a minimum, especially in Des Moines. We are a small group of artists, there's no need to struggle with each other.
"Gather Together, Be a Force and
Do Positive Things for the
People and the City"
5.) Have you or how do you do you contribute to the community?
I have done many murals in Des Moines and the surrounding suburbs. I have painted at Festivals and have also taken care of the live arts for 515 Alive Music Festival for the last 7 years. At the festivals, I bring a bus or some sort of vehicle for the seasoned graffiti artists to paint live with. But I really wanted the younger generation, with the same passion, to get the opportunity to paint in that same setting as well. I built a wall for them to express their creativity and show off their skills. Every year I saw new kids coming out and painting that wall, and the feeling was indescribable. It absolutely pays for itself seeing those kids get down in a high profile setting. The boost in there moral and the art that they produce is really amazing.
6.) Who do you look up to besides your parents?
Anyone that has started something from nothing. I hope one day, I won't have a boss and make my own living doing what I love. I would also love to have an urban art shop located in Des Moines as well as traveling to more places to paint pieces.
7.) What are your goals for the next 5 years?
I hope in the next 5 years our craft will be seen as something more than vandalism. Des Moines is very behind on the notion that graffiti art is just that...ART! The city has a bad case of tunnel vision on the subject, and I hope me and the other artists in this city can change that. if you look at a lot of the thriving cities in the nation, and also around the world, public art is something that is asked for and praised. It has been known to brighten the attitudes of the public and present a positive atmosphere. But being in the middle of the nation, I feel that we are always the last to get the cool stuff.
8.) What is your motto in life?
"Never try to live someone else's life
because no one is going to live yours for you." -Joe Adams
9.) How did you find out about Made4Mankind Clothing?
A friend of mine, Anthony San (ASAN) is one of the local breakdancers and he is in a promo video for the 2017 Made4Mankind Summer Collection. I saw the style of that video and said: "I think I could get down with them".
10.) What do you know about Made4Mankind Clothing?
From what I have gathered Made4Mankind Clothing really strive to give back to the local artists as much as possible. They want to give artists opportunities that they may not get anywhere else. And from my experience, they are the first local business to give us artists something like this.
11.) If you could do a collaboration with Made4Mankind Clothing, what kind of apparel would you choose and why? (T-shirt, Hat, Accessories, Etc.)
Probably tees, hats, or hoodies. I would love to have some of my original art out there representing the company.
Name: JOE "MODE" ADAMS
Facebook: Joe mode Adams
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