Onions

Artist / @o_igetit / onionsdtmc@gmail.com

Born and raised in the Spring Valley neighborhood of San Diego CA, artist Onions got his introduction to the graffiti scene from riding the bus in 1998-99. “That was super fun for awhile,” Onions reflects, “but we didn’t call it street art back then, we called it graffiti.”

The name Onions came about from common slang among friends and stuck due to it’s uniqueness among street names and how the letters looked written out. “I also liked it for different reasons later on, like how during the plague in the early 1900’s the onion farmers didn’t get sick.”

His new brightly colored mural on F street in front of SILO spells out “ONIONS” in human-size bubble letters, but Onions doesn’t really consider his style of graffiti anything in particular. His style is more of an eclectic mix of whatever he is sketching at the time. “I sketch a bunch of partial things or ideas and then take little things from each sketch that i like when it comes time to paint. I make up my own style since i don’t really draw what other people draw. I don’t draw very good arrows or sharp stuff or people...the list of what i can’t do is longer than what i can do,” Onions says laughing, “so i just make up my own thing. If the colors look good then I’m happy with it.”

Lending to the true nature of graffiti and impromptu street art, the colors Onions chooses are rarely planned ahead of time. “You just go with the colors that you have and if you’re lucky enough to get some cash for paint, you just add to that palette,” Onions explains. “Everything here at SILO looks so artsy that i wanted to make it nice on the eyes...a little more colorful than usual . . . something you can consider more art than graffiti.”

For Onions, the reason behind continuing to create is really just for fun. “I think for the most part it’s always been for fun with friends than being really concerned with becoming famous or rich. When I was trying to get famous and rich it wasn’t working at all . . . but i did get to travel a lot with friends and it was all mostly just a big excuse to get out and experience life. I got to go to Australia, through Europe twice, Canada, Mexico, everywhere except really off the map places.” Onions also notes the benefits of painting somewhere legally, like at SILO. “Just about every year I get in trouble for it . . . for the last 15 years,” he says laughing. “It’s nice when you get to paint where you’re not going to get into trouble.” 

Photos and article by Carly Ealey

Art independently curated by Chris Konecki. For more information on art in Makers Quarter™ contact: art@makersquarter.com