Growing up as a child, SILOETTE was always drawing or painting. Even though there was some girly stuff in the mix–fairies and the like–SILOETTE has limits. “I always thought horses were overrated,” she says, adding that “even from the beginning my work was really dark – lots of blood!”

At 15-years-old, SILOETTE graduated to racking paint and catching tags with friends. In 1997, family issues made SILOETTE pack her bags, moving in with her father at Buena Park, California. “He would take me to Venice Beach and I would see all these awesome productions being done and all these guys sitting around and drawing in their black books.

“One particular UTI production by FEAR and DOVE really stood out to me, and I went back home to Seattle with a fresh outlook,” says SILOETTE. Despite the inspiration, SILOETTE admits that skills weren’t as easy to come by. “I would go out and paint the ugliest shit you have ever seen! I didn’t know any other girls who painted on a personal level,” she says, adding that “if I met any of them I was usually too nervous to try and really talk to them.”


In 1998, she chose her moniker, SILOETTE – marking the year SILOETTE officially began writing. After hardships like getting jumped and beat down, and escaping an aggressive pervert, SILOETTE began to rethink her solo ventures. She ended up hanging with guys who were more into piecing, encouraging her to paint characters in their productions. “[They] taught me a lot about techniques, tips, colors and the history of graffiti,” she says. By this time SILOETTE had her first e-mail account and began trading packages and flicks with other writers.

But the biggest influence of SILOETTE is undoubtedly THE MAC. “He was the first person I had ever met that was a character artist,” she says. “His style of painting was unlike anything I had ever seen before.” In 2001, SILOETTE moves to Phoenix and the two went to work. “We had this kind of ‘Us against the world’ thing going on and our lives were consumed with traveling, painting freights and working very hard to live off of our craft,” she says. In 2004, SILOETTE was asked to be in NG, “A big milestone for me,” says Siloette, adding, “I felt like I had finally found a group of people who were not only my friends but my family. I owe a lot to people like KAPER, FYSE and PEZ, and APEL.”


For SILOETTE the best parts of graffiti are not confined to a single episode. “Some of my favorite moments have stemmed from a feeling of pulling something off – watching yourself progress technically or doing something completely new, style-wise,” she says. Getting away with something can be rewarding too, “[But] personally, nothing comes close to a feeling of accomplishment followed by a Southwestern sunset – or sunrise, for that matter.”

Of course, graffiti can have its drawbacks. “I find it pretty uncomfortable to paint in public at times,” says Siloette. “People always tell me what they thought I was going to look like. That shit gets old. I think people get disappointed when they discover I’m just this ghetto-nerd white chick and not like Masumi Max or something.”

What about the aggressive crackhead pervert? “I had just started out and decided I was going to be all tough and go paint this sketchy spot alone in Tacoma, Washington,” says SILOETTE. “This crackhead wearing nothing but a brown leather vest – think Village People – and insanely short jean cut-offs snuck up on me during my finishing touches.” He began asking her questions in a normal tone while muttering obscenities in a lower voice. “All Dawn of the Dead-like, ‘Taaakkee offf your pannnts’ or ‘I wwaaant to beee innside you’,” she says. “I told him to keep his distance.” He persisted, getting closer and closer until SILOETTE turned around and sprayed him in the face.


“I must have emptied like half a can of banner red on that dude’s head while he thrashed around in the dirt,” she says. “Of course I ran away the moment I was sure he was no longer a threat and never looked back.”

As for the role of women in graffiti, SILOETTE doesn’t see it as an issue. “It’s not that I don’t appreciate what a lot of girls are trying to do. It’s just that it has nothing to do with the reason I decided to start painting in the first place – it never will be,” she says. While SILOETTE will not turn down opportunities based on her gender, but it’s not a part of her agenda. “You find me a woman who can paint a piece using her vagina then I’ll be impressed!” says SILOETTE. “Until then, you won’t get me to admit that female writers deserve special attention.

“The truth is, as a woman who writes, you will have to deal with negative side effects that come from participating in such a competitive medium. If you stick with it, though, the positives will leak through, and hopefully those opportunities will overpower the bad.” And femininity can also be a blessing. “I’ve been caught twice and let go both times because I was able to fake it and turn on the water works,” she says. “The first time I was even caught on video by a security guard. The cop had a daughter my age and felt a connection with me, so he let me go with a warning. So there are perks.”


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Rick Kang

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  1. I’m just this ghetto-nerd white chick .”-I feel ya!

    ‘Taaakkee offf your pannnts’

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