We had the good fortune of connecting with Noah Haytin and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Noah, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
The most important lesson my career has taught me is to work with dedication and passion regardless of what others think/do/say, etc. Your work is YOUR work and it should be what YOU want it to be. Period. If you are not passionate, dedicated, and inspired by your work it will show and eat away at your soul over time; that’s when you need to find something different that drives you…and do that.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Growing up not feeling like I fit into “one box” and not being particularly academically inclined in traditional ways, I found myself doodling in the margins of my schoolwork & getting scolded for it as well; I rebelled at times and tagged walls that I sometimes found myself washing as an in-school punishment for my “vandalism”. I was inspired by the tagging & graffiti crews that “bombed” the streets I grew up stomping around but I also took inspiration from artists who showed off their skills in public murals, art galleries, and museums. I would also be inspired by some of my teachers and as I started to take my art more seriously, I decided I needed to “be legit” if my career as an artist was going to last; I began to keep sketchbooks of my work, take as many art courses as I could, and just get involved in arts opportunities that interested me wherever possible.

Arts courses in high school kept me engaged academically and that is a big part of why I teach art to this day, as well as continue to advocate for it (funding for public art education) and maintain my own practice too. I needed to pass tests and maintain a certain G.P.A. like any other student in order to pursue my goal of higher education and it was my passion for excellence in the arts that kept me driven to stick with it. I eventually received my Graduate degree with a 4.0 G.P.A. which was something I was never able to do prior; arts saved me from many an opportunity to take the wrong path. Ultimately, art saved my life & building up the tenacity to stick with it is something I’m most proud of in my career. The path of the artist is not “glamorous” as some people imagine; it’s not the romanticized version – at least not in my experience. I’ve got the stories, the receipts, and the “scars” to prove it – but that’s what has made me uniquely me. When you work with me, you’ll know I’m all about a dedicated work ethic and mutual respect.

My work as an artist continues to carry me as I build on the traditions I “cut my teeth” on coming of age in the “Golden Era” of Hip-Hop where rough, rugged, and raw photography, drawings & graphic designs were woven into the fabric of the culture itself. My business now is to document and archive my older work as well as to create new work that pushes the envelope of creative possibilities while also breaking down unnecessary traditional barriers.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Some of my favorite spots in L.A. (county):

• Union Station (this building is a classic landmark of architecture and a cross-section of L.A. life – everyone is coming and going in their own directions – it makes great people watching and it’s right near the historic Olvera street too so there is great food, drinks, people and history all right there.
• So I know this sounds funny but if an out of towner really wants to experience LA life I would take them on a drive – in traffic! I know, I know – I usually hate traffic BUT it is woven into L.A. life and you don’t know L.A. until you’ve driven in its traffic – there is also a lot a person can check out in traffic, especially near downtown on the 110 near where it meets the 101, around the 10, and beyond. I also have taken friends cruising some of L.A. most famous long streets – my “big bro.” Quincey Smith flew down from Oakland and we once got on Crenshaw at Wilshire and just cruised it and talked about life all the way down to where it ends passed PCH! We saw many different sights and sounds of the unique flavors that L.A. offers.
• Beaches! Anyone visiting L.A. has to see some of the famous beaches but as a local I usually avoid them for just that reason – they get too crowded and “touristy” – I prefer Long Beach because it is not “touristy” and is easy to navigate (& park!); the locals still like it.

Image Credits: Todd Smith

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Firstly, I need to recognize my family, and most specifically, my parents who raised me and supported my artistic ambitions. I could not have done what I’ve done without them. I also need to recognize my dear friends and those teachers who also supported me and my work over the years – I am forever grateful for the love and I want them to know the love is reciprocal.

Website: www.noahhaytin.com

Instagram: @noh8tin (my blog/archives of my work hip-hop graphics) & @noah.haytin (my fine art & art education work)

Twitter: Golden Era Rap Graphics (@rap_graphics)

Facebook: Golden Era Rap Graphics (@goldenerarapgraphics)

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