'Be Someone' artist speaks about famous statement

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- In a city of six million people, it takes something special to make you stop and stare in awe.

"When I see those letters going across the highway, I think of everybody else who is seeing it," said Houston resident Iris Karami.

She's talking about the "Be Someone" graffiti on 1-45.

It's become arguably Houston's most photographed landmark, but the artist can't take credit for it.

"You're worried about people seeing you," he said. "You don't want to get in trouble or anything like that. You definitely just have to watch out."

The artist has never spoken to a news reporter before. He's a criminal - a man who created his most successful work while hanging off a train bridge in the dark of the night.

"When I'm painting I'm zoned out, so if the train passes by, I have my lookout with me. He had to tap me on the shoulder," he said. "I understand. I get it. It's vandalism, but it's in a different sense, too, if you just take those words and apply it to yourself, it might mean something to you."

Last summer, his work was vandalized when someone painted over the "some" in "someone." He painted over it, and when it was vandalized again, he once again brought back his message.

"I want people to be able to understand that you can do what you want to do if you put yourself to it," he said. "It sounds cliche, but you don't have to get up, you have to go get it, you know?"

"It's like you don't have to be anybody else," said Houston resident Annie Sweeney. "Just be yourself."
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