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Life & Work with Boots Poetryby

Today we’d like to introduce you to Boots Poetryby. 

Hi Boots, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
Hello! I am Boots (aka @poetrybyboots). I am a street poet & writer originally from Chicago. I have been writing & reading poetry my whole life but when I went through a 10-year breakup, I took it more seriously. It was a way for me to heal & process all the grief going through my head. I wrote my first book, Cancun, which is start to finish of that relationship in 145 poems. I also love abandoned places, so I decided to start spray painting the poems inside of them. As the years went by, I put out my second book, Fury, the Instagram following is now up to over 140K, & I have put up poems in 35 states so far! I still love abandoned places but now I spray the poems more on sidewalks to get more people to see them & also to bring hope. I write a lot about heartbreak & mental health the most, & I love seeing how much people can look down & relate to a message I have left. It’s been about 5 years since I started this journey & now, I am about to put out my third book, have my own clothing line, make art you can buy, etc… I am so humbled that people love what I do & that I have been able to turn this into a poetry business. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Not at all! But that has only made me stronger & more committed to my craft. I started this out of heartbreak so overall it is bittersweet. I write, make art, put my poems on shirts… which means I am constantly reliving that heartbreak. Another setback I have encountered is from the Graffiti culture. They really don’t like what I do, so I see them spraying over my work a lot. I am not a graffiti artist, nor do I claim to be one or want to be one. I understand what I do is not what they do. I use spray paint as a medium to get my works across. The actual spray paint isn’t my art. It’s also been impossible to date or keep a lot of friends in my life because I write about my life. I am an open book & a lot of people can’t handle their business being out there so much, which I do understand, but I love what I do, & I won’t let anyone or anything stop me from spreading my message. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I truly think what I do is different than any other artist out there. I have found a way to lift my works off paper & reach people in a way that I think hasn’t been done yet. I write every poem, cut every stencil by hand, constantly research places & cities to spread the word, then head out in the middle of the night spraying until sunrise. What sets me apart from others is my drive & my ambition. I read a quote once that said something about there are people more talented than you but if they lack ambition it doesn’t matter. Meaning that you have to put in the work. An art career is hard to achieve & make money from. Talent helps but your ambition, consistency, & overall motivation helps the most. 

I am known for being a street poet the most. I also have a clothing line with the poems on them which I am so proud of. I write the words, create all my designs, then hand screen print all of them. Every item of clothing you purchase is one of a kind & made directly by the artist start to finish. 

How can people work with you, collaborate with you, or support you?
It’s impossible to collaborate with me, doing the type of art & writing I do. 

But support is always welcome! I have an Etsy shop with all my merchandise on it, of course, an Instagram, & I also send out free stickers to anyone who wants them to put up around their city for me. 

I get hundreds of messages a day & constant tags in the art found in the world. I respond to every single one of them. So please feel free to reach out anytime! 

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1 Comment

  1. Roberto Casanueva

    November 19, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    Amazing work – out built environment is a space to reclaim – less adds telling us we aren’t enough and more words to uplift 🔥 thank you Boots!!

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