Graffiti tags spotlight artist's personality, experiences

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

Graffiti artists started to make a name for themselves when people started to recognize their tag names. A tag is basically a personalized signature that graffiti artists craft on their own.

Every artist has their own style of making their tag stand out. Sienide, who grew up in the 80s, says perfecting a tag takes hours, and it’s something that can’t be taught in school. “My cousin and I would get on the trains and just start tagging. At that time you saw graffiti all over the train,” he says.

MORE: Graffiti artists leave their mark on NYC culture

For some, a tag name comes from an experience. For others like BIO, a founding member of TATS CRU, he says his tag name came from three of his favorite letters.

Tkid170, who grew up in the Boogie Down Bronx, says his tag name was easy. “I was a trouble maker at that age and terrible Tkid170 just fit.”

Nowadays, most artists get paid for their work instead of getting chased down by police.

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