Growing up in a Miami neighborhood, Oscar Montes, known as Trek6, said he had two choices: gangs or graffiti.
“It was one or the other and I really didn’t care too much for the gang stuff,” said Trek6, who got into aerosol painting in his early teens. “I moved to the arts, and it was still cool.”
He was born in Puerto Rico and did acrylics as a child, but it was in Miami that he began to develop his talents. He focused on aerosol painting and writing, an art he prefers not to call graffiti.
He began by painting nightclubs and tried making a living out of his art. But it was not easy.
“If you don’t see a certain level of success, you get a day job, because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do,” said Trek6 who stopped painting and took jobs in music, cleaning, sales and management.
It was in 2009 when he met his wife and manager that Trek6 decided to give his art another shot. He began by building a rigid discipline of constant work and took every opportunity that came his way.
He began painting for live audiences, designed album covers, stickers, t-shirts and even did his art for free.
“I didn’t want my lack of success to be due to a lack of effort,” Trek6 said. “I try to work as hard as I can and at the end of the day I know I did what I could, worked as hard as I could and I can pat myself in the back.”
Today his art has been seen worldwide. He displays his art in numerous galleries, does live paintings and travels to various places around the world to showcase his work.
But Trek6 believes there is still a long way to reach the top.
“I’m blessed because I’ve gotten many opportunities to come my way, I feel very thankful for them,” Trek6 said. “But I don’t think it makes me any higher or lower in hierarchy, it’s still the same.”