From nationally renowned galleries to thought-provoking street murals, the DC art scene offers an array of creative expression, and Rajan Sedalia stands at the forefront of the movement. His unique graffiti art can be found all over the city, and he has been nationally recognized for his work. With a long-running LivingSocial deal, Sedalia offers workshops to anyone with a curious mind and a drive to create. We wanted to know more about his experience as an artist, teacher, and entrepreneur.
When did you first begin your art career, and what inspired you to become a graffiti artist?
It began as soon as I could hold a crayon. I was never inspired to write graffiti; it was a byproduct of being out [and] goofing off as a kid. Within those moments of blissful goofing, I found it to be freeing and honest. It felt right. So I never stopped. As an adult, I’m inspired by joy, love, social injustice, and hypocrisy.
What kinds of messages do you wish to convey with your art?
I’m hopeful that someone will be moved, just like I was, through art. To take a moment to be honest with themselves and be who they were meant to be.
How do you aim to impact your community with graffiti art?
I’m not sure. It would be up to the community. I just hope we continue to have the freedom to express ourselves in a colorful, creative forum.
In your opinion, how has graffiti art evolved over time?
It’s become more mainstream. It’ll be interesting to see how cities adapt to the mix of wealth, cameras, conformity, and street art.
Why did you decide to turn your talent into a business, and how would you describe your business’ success?
The decision was a reality check — I had to do something, as being poor can be uncomfortable and dangerous. And I wasn’t going to open a craft, gluten-free range latté café, so graffiti art was the next best option. I think it’s successful because it’s fun.
Tell us about some unique opportunities you’ve had since you started your business.
I’ve met wonderful people who teach me how to see the world through a different perspective. Watching a mother write graffiti to express the love for her daughter. Watching a family of four write graffiti together. A family that tags together stays together.
What can students expect to learn in your workshops?
Hopefully, they’ll learn more about themselves.
Describe your experience with LivingSocial. How has LivingSocial generated more exposure for you as an artist?
It’s a great platform to share ideas and creativity. I appreciate LivingSocial’s ability to reach people.