Maxx — a man of skill and story
“An artist that specializes in graphic illustration, design, typography, graffiti art…”
Max Gramajo, better known as “Maxx242” is an artist that specializes in graphic illustration, design, typography, graffiti art and damn near anything he puts his mind to. He is best known for his sharp precise line work and bold letter style. His ability to create bright sizable murals is remarkable.
Maxx242 grew up skateboarding and painting graffiti, both of which influence his art today. On top of that, he has always been inspired by comics, music, toys, and movies. He is a fan of the New York Yankees and currently resides in Southern California.
Maxx242 is an artist who is interesting far beyond his art. Maxx can surely brighten your day with his humorous personality and “real-talk” motivational phrases. Although he may have a somber undertone, his work hits home when it comes to emotion. He’s relatable and full of creativity.
“Maxx can surely brighten your day with his humorous personality and ‘real-talk’ motivational phrases.”
One of his most remarkable designs can be seen on Osiris shoes.
“…clients include Blink182, 311, Pearl Jam, The Used, Bad Religion, Box Car Racer…”
Maxx242 clients include Blink182, 311, Pearl Jam, The Used, Bad Religion, Box Car Racer, Transplants, Osiris, Famous Stars and Straps, Tribal, 3rd Rail, Orange County Choppers, ODM, FOX Racing, Hart, and Huntington Tattoo Co. to name a few.
Maxx’s Story — by Maxx
“Considering my entire career is based out of Southern California, you would never believe that I was born in Trenton, New Jersey. Shortly after, however, I moved to Queens. Growing up in New York allowed me to attend the New York Mets games at the old Shea Stadium. I also remember fondly visiting the Yankee Stadium a handful of times. I believe this was the spark that ignited my love for Baseball. It was at this young age that I fell in love with the sport.
When I was only six years old, we moved to Los Angeles – Korea town to be exact. Living in LA, I was surrounded by gang life. Even though it was a crazy time, I didn’t think much of my living situation. I was surrounded by graffiti and in a way I saw this as a perfectly normal sight. It wasn't until I was older that I realized graffiti was illegal. I've been making marks as long as I can remember! I thought drawing lines and shapes was a part of life. Just as much as writing or walking.…breathing! I thought everyone did it.
At an early age I was inspired by cartoons, movies, and comic books. Star Wars, Spider-Man, Batman, Transformers, Robotech, G.I. Joe, He-Man, etc..
After LA, we made our way into Anaheim, CA. It was there that I found my first love, skateboarding. Not only did I fall in love with the sport, I fell in love with the entire lifestyle. Before I knew it I was obsessed. Skating from sun-up till the wee hours of the night, skating was all I did. Skateboarding gave me a sense of freedom and I certainly enjoyed the creativity behind it.
I later realized the reason why I loved skating and drawing so much. Finding growth in skating or drawing was always entirely up to me. There are no teams in either, it was always me vs. me.
With as many moves and changes as I had growing up, I was happy with the constants in my life. My ability to draw no matter where I moved and the opportunities to perfect my skateboarding skills is what got me through so many changes at such a young age.
From Orange County, it was moving time again. This time I would be moving to Riverside, CA. I moved to Riverside my freshman year in high school, never imagining that Riverside would become my home for better or worse. It is there where my parents decided to call it a day. My father left, my mother lost her job and life got rough.
Graffiti once again gave me a voice, a reason. I had no direction, no value, constantly being told how small I was literally and figuratively speaking. Writing graffiti gave me value in a weird way. It was there that I found my family – my crew.
After high school, I went to Riverside Community College for a few semesters. I met an amazing teacher there, Dayna Mason. Up until that point, all I knew about art was learned in the yards or from art books. She gave me a whole new view on art. Unfortunately, I didn't have the funds to continue my studies. I began working mediocre part time jobs, with art always as my focal point. Until one day, a good friend of mine offered me a job at his newly opened print shop and the rest is history! That was a huge turning point in my art career.
So much has transpired from then until now. At times it feels surreal to have worked with some truly amazing artists. From Risky, TB, McFarlane, Sigi, Bobby, Jim just to name a few.
I have fallen more times than I care to remember. One thing is certain, art saved my life. Now, this may sound a bit of an exaggeration, but it is true nonetheless. Art is part of the equation that keeps me going, it is the reason of everything I am today.
Thank you for the continuous support you all have shown me.
I owe my success to you, my friends, for believing in me and continually believing in my work.”