What’s Up South Texas!: San Antonio man beautifies community with graffiti art

Nik Soupe has painted anything from edgy art, to murals of the Spurs basketball team

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio man is hoping to inspire others to stay creative in life through his graffiti art throughout the city.

Nik Soupe, 47, has been painting all of his life.

“My mom said I started drawing on the wall when I was three and I never stopped,” Soupe said. “When I got serious, I was 12. This Hip-Hop movie just came out and growing up in the Valley, I thought seeing the graffiti in that movie, ‘That is what I am going to do.’ My real father painted cars and my stepfather was an educator. I wanted to be cool like my dad and wanted to paint. I also learned the process and procedures about art when my stepfather would take me to museums and give me books. I was real excited about it and I wanted to be a painter.”

Soupe said he started from simple works of art to massive murals overtime.

“I am trying to show that we can all be creative and for people not to just think of art as a painting on a wall or a song or dance,” Soupe said. “I try to show them passion. Anything you do with a little bit of passion is a work of art.”

Even being faced with criticism, Soupe continued to paint thousands of art pieces all over the country.

“Someone told me that they didn’t like my stuff and this was in the early 90s,” Soupe said. “I was like, ‘I am going to paint it bigger and put it everywhere!’ That is what graffiti is. ‘You are going to be forced to see it!’ And I didn’t stop,” he laughed.

Soupe has also dealt with his own struggles like with depression but art helps him cope with that struggle.

“If I am having a great day, I can go paint something,” Soupe said. “If I am having a bad day, I can go paint something. It is therapy and keeps my mind busy. Like a puzzle. Nice little challenge to get your mind off things.”

He has even helped others in the graffiti community, like Rudy Almanza and Mike Arguello.

“I try to be the best that I can, and I know I am not always the best influence in the world but that is the learning process,” Soupe said. “What can we do to help people? What could we do to help ourselves?”

Showing that emotion through his artwork serves a great purpose in the community.

“Not everybody has the opportunity to got to galleries or museums,” Soupe said. “You could go to your neighbor and see something there and you can be proud of that.”

He hopes his journey as an artist inspires others to push for their dreams as well.

“The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll get better at it,” Soupe said. “And you’ll have more fun with it. Have that adventure now because it is not going to be available forever.”

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About the Authors:

Japhanie Gray is a reporter with KSAT12 News.