Franklin Cartagena: Artist, Educator, Screen Printer

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Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Franklin: Bay Area born and raised. I was born in San Francisco and moved to West Oakland a few months after the 89′ Earthquake. Been in the same neighborhood since.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Franklin:  I started in 2001, I was in high school and hanging out with the wrong crowd. My friends father figured i needed some guidance referred and me to a gang prevention/youth entrepreneurship program in the Mission, it was called Estudio Oillin. I started off learning how to make jewelry and to be a silver smith. A few months into it they built a silk screen studio in the back, the idea of printing shirts and poster piqued my interest and I transitioned into Screen Printing …. it was written from there on out. I also had dope ass instructors that made me want to come back. I ended up getting hired there and started to help teach classes to the younger knuckleheads in the program.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Franklin:  I find my inspiration in my neighborhood/City. West Oakland Inspires me so much, the history, the people, the music, the struggle, the community. Home inspires me!

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Franklin: My first Piece of Vinyl ever purchased was Cymande’s self Titled album.The wasn’t my first vinyl though lol. My first vinyl ever was given to me and it was Lateef The Truth Speakers single The Wreckoning. His manager used to rent the apartment below us and had a box of them and he was gonna throw them away, I hella swooped on it.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Franklin: We are taking Oakland back!

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