Art By Lyfr

Day in the Lyfe Graffiti Magazine’s Online Blog Updated daily with graffiti, street art and original photography from around the world.

Tag: freight


Man Hope killed it! He emailed me a week or so again, and asked if he could do a piece with my moniker in the background, and would I mind.  I said sure bro, I don’t mind, shit HOPE 4 was going to rock something with me in it, NICE! He’s been rocking the freights it for years, and he does it quite well! I felt honored because he asked me, and second because he wanted to do it with respect to me. He has always been a good straight up guy. Thanks Hope, piece bro!

merry x mas jaber

YouTube Preview Image

What’s this Constructive Destruction ive been hearing about?
Constructive Destruction is a graff DVD…I bench a lot of fr8s…I try and film/flick as much graffiti as possible and get it out there through the DVD’s/myspace/Flickr ect.

How many DVDs have you dropped?
I have released 2 so far…. Volume 1 dropped a few years ago…. Volume 2 dropped in Feb. 2008.

Anything in the works?
Yeah…We are actually in the process of making a Volume 3…should be out sometime mid 2010…I am always trying to bench as much as possible and get those flix posted up for everybody also.

What do the CD films offer the audience?
Well…I try and keep it interesting with the footage and music…try and feature as many people as possible and have a little bit of something for everybody…. I feel my DVD’s are a bit different than what’s out there as far as graff DVD’s go…I try and switch it up with the music…. feature everything from hip hop to metal…feature some people that haven’t been out in every other DVD… got sick of seeing boring videos with the same people/footage over shitty beats.
Any interesting events or stories taken place during the filming/benching?
Everything’s gone pretty well while filming…always nice getting new footage and filming new people…benching is always good times…I do most of my benching with my homie that makes Southern Pacific Forever…always nice getting out with him and doing some quality benching.

On the benching tip it seems you are one of the most dedicated I have encountered. Your Flickr page is pushing 13,000 pictures! How often do you bench? (Check his flickr page at
Not as much as I would like (I wish I could just stay at the yard most of the time) but I do try and get out at least a few times a month and get some benching in.we are pretty lucky out here and live near a huge yard so on a good day I can take a few hundred pictures.

So being on the rails this much you must have a personal opinion. Who are your favorite freight writers, and why? Who do you see the most of?
Wow…favorites…. well there’s too many to name honestly so ill probably forget a few but my favorite fr8 guys would probably have to be Much, Cameo, Kaput, Spel, Diet, Jase, Ghouls, Worm…actually any A2M stuff….King157, Myth, Heat…. there are so many…. I like a lot of stuff Isto is doing…. Huge has been bangin out some of the best fr8s rollin’ lately…Hot Carl has really been putting it down and I feel is putting out some of the best fr8 stuff out there…. Its always nice to see an old Push/Phable or Mber/Jbue…. as far as most up that I see on fr8s recently I would have to say hands down Kerse and Whistle Blower…. Ryoe and Owie had a lot rolling through here recently….Size21, Jenos have a decent amount and always Ichabod.

Who’s in these films?
Volume 1 features Hot Carl, Searius, Swype, Aebl, and Shark to name a few…lots of benching footage…. as far as Volume 2 your looking at writers like Ower, Lorpo, Show2, Tubs, Kres, Sinek, Guilt (RIP), Token, Strike, Siar, Limoe, Ciao, Sworn, Bobkat, Cons, and Joins…there is a bit more variety in Volume 2…. a lot of the footage was received through submissions so there is a variety of stuff from around the country.

Where do you get this footage?
We honestly get a lot through submissions…I really try and film as much of my own footage as possible but with a full time job and a life besides graffiti I can’t get out as much as I would like to but it’s nice to have some variety and get stuff from places I will probably never visit…plus submissions reward the people that are not lazy and take their time to get their stuff out there… most graff dudes are lazy pieces of shit… no offence… hahah

What motivated you to create these?
Haha…Volume 1 was just supposed to be for my friends…my homie Stel was making these videos called “Babes, Boxcars and Broken Dreams” which were pretty much rolling freight footage over hardcore porno…they are great…I thought I might throw a video together for just my homies…it got passed around and everybody seemed to like it so I just printed a hundred copies and started selling through myspace and they really took off…. I actually sold them much pretty fast and printed a few hundred more and finally ran out…If you want a copy check out Bombing Science…I think they are the only ones that have any left.

Where do you plan on taking this?
Just keep making videos and to make a better video each time…Volume 1 was never really supposed to happen…When I made Volume 2 I really put a lot more work into it and just wait for Volume 3…Volume 3 will be the best yet…. keep an eye out…mid 2010.

Any other info?

Not really…Just show some support and buy a DVD…I spend a lot of time taking pictures and posting them on Flickr and I let people take the full size image…I take the time to tag each image and shit…. I love when people find flix of their stuff and they didn’t have flix before or forgot they had even painted that train or whatever…I kinda see it as benching karma also but yah…If you take my flix off Flickr at least show some love and buy a DVD!

constructive destruction

lost angel


Published on November 04, 2009 at 6:33pm by LA Weekley

The underside of freight cars smells like wet dust. The cold metal rail digs into your knees while you hide between tanker cars, waiting in darkness for a pickup truck to pass. The sound of tires on asphalt grows closer as the truck passes, its headlights flashing from behind a tanker car’s wheels.

Jaber, a graffiti artist, waits patiently, then picks up his backpack clanging with spray cans, affixes his paint mask, and says, “I think we’re cool, let’s go.”

He walks quickly across an empty track and grabs the tank car’s ladder. Hand over hand, Jaber climbs atop the black tanker. The pickup truck is nowhere to be seen, but the Port of Long Beach is in full view. Red flames burst from smokestacks set against a sea of lights, and freight cars line the tracks like steel sausage links on rails. It’s an industrialized version of hell, half Blade Runner and half Hieronymus Bosch, but for Jaber and the countless freight writers across the world, the train yard is their home.

“When I’m out here, I really get time to think,” says Jaber, who gave his graffiti name but did not want to be further identified. He climbs off the tanker and returns to a mural he has started on a primer-gray boxcar. He sets out his cans in a line, looks at the series of lines and angles scrawled across the car. Over the next 45 minutes Jaber sprays colors and designs that are difficult to see in the darkness.

He is creating a “burner,” a multicolored piece that spans most of the boxcar. Burners are a distant relative to hobo codes, the markings written on freight trains by train-hopping hobos of the 19th and 20th centuries. Those codes are some of the earliest forms of graffiti in California, written in coal on trains and under the oldest bridges, where traveling hobos slept.

For most of his life Jaber has walked along the tracks to tag his signature image — a cartoonish profile (possibly a self-portrait) — on the underbelly of trains and on industrial complexes. Now in his early 30s, Jaber makes his living with his art, selling canvases of his works, live painting at events, and working in the film industry.

When he has the time, he returns to his roots in the train yard. He never hits a “holy roller,” a car carrier named for the small holes in its metal walls, which would allow paint to penetrate and damage the autos. He also is careful not to cover train identification numbers or other markings essential to the rail officials.

“If you do it right, they don’t really care and your piece can run for years, all across the country,” Jaber says.

He was right. Earlier that day, Jaber spotted a car he had marked in 2007. “I remember that very night,” he said, smiling slightly at the sight of his old friend.

Los Angeles city officials are trying to end freight writing. In August, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich told the L.A. Times about an “end of days scenario” for graffiti crews, in which injunctions would make it illegal for taggers to hang out together. It’s the same tactic the city uses on gang members.

“If you want to tag, be prepared to go to jail,” Trutanich said, “And I don’t have to catch you tagging. I can just catch you … with your homeboys.”

A spokesperson from Trutanich’s office tells L.A. Weekly that the plan is just in “an exploratory phase,” and his office claims that 32 million square feet of graffiti were removed in 2007-2008 at a cost of more than $7 million.

Like Jaber, many graffiti writers are not “homeboys,” and they don’t tag over city murals or private property. With the evaporation of school art programs in underserved communities and the inaccessibility of high-priced art programs — where an MFA is almost always required — the wall, billboard or freight train presents a better opportunity for artists to get seen.

The periodic fetishization of graffiti by the art establishment — from Basquiat and Banksy to Shepard Fairey — sends the message that street art is more than a hobby. It can become a lucrative and important branch of America’s folk-art lineage.

Union Pacific railroad has a different view. The painting of freight cars is illegal and unsafe, and violators are subject to arrest by Union Pacific police, says Tom Lange, communications director.

Jaber knows all of that. But it doesn’t stop him.

“That’s it,” he says of his work, moving back from the boxcar. He holds up his camera and takes a picture. In the flash, Jaber’s mural comes into view: the jagged blue letters unfolding like feathers or vines, the imperial-purple waves crashing behind the text, and black script reading “Lost Angel.”

Then darkness returns. Jaber puts the camera in his backpack and leaves the train yard and his burner. Tomorrow the train might be gone, but in the unsaid mantra of the freight writer: What you create comes back to you.

Q) What is We Ride By Train?
A) We Ride By Train is a freight culture DVD mainly focusing on the
graffiti aspect of the rails.

Q) What sets We Ride By Train apart from other DVDs?
A) We focus on showcasing an unbiased DVD. We show you exactly what
rolls where we bench, and where we live. If youve put in a good amount
of work, or if you have quality stuff, and you have rolled past my
lens you are in our DVD.I dont care if youre my best friend or worse
enemy! This film is bigger than that. We also spent a serious amount
of time filming and editing. Our personal lives went on the back
burner for these projects, to bring you nothing less than quality.

Q) What areas did you film?
A) I filmed Volume 1 almost 100% exclusively around Northern NV, it
was a tribute to the area, and what that area had to offer at the
time. Volume 2 we moved on to different places like the Bay Area, and
Northern California.

Q) Who can we expect to see in your films?
A) Writers on rolling stock from across the U.S., and Canada. Live
footage from writers such as Joins, Grief, Raer, Jeas, Kose, Searius,
Resa, Test Me, Vomit, WKT, Zee Crew, MFG, and many more.

BNSF Color Logo

Q) What should your audience Know about you?
A) We are friendly folks, trying to promote what freight writers do in
a different light. The editor was on massive shrooms, no joke! Also if
you are hopping off a box car we are likely to let you hitch a ride,
buy you a box of smokes, and a bottle of whiskey in exchange for some
good stories.

Q) Whens #3 dropping?
A) I have a brilliant concept in my head, which would entail
documenting travels. This wont happen anytime soon. If and when it
does it will be a completely different style then the last two. For
now we are currently working on the production side of things. Be on
the look out for Revolutionary Freight Productions, and the WRBT logo.

Q) Closing comments?
A) Yes. Thanks to all our friends who have built us from the ground
up! Day In The Lyfe, Spreading The Disease, Zombie Owl, Smart Minds,
and all the writers who have participated. Thanks to all of you
supporting our missions by buying our DVDs. Thanks to all who have
showed us love and respect. I hope we have returned the favor. Keep it
positive, and safe kids.