Los Angeles, California
When Merritt was a kid he always painted by himself. Then when he turned 12 or 13, Merritt got really into graffiti. Everybody he would talk to, always say that graffiti got them into art, but for Merritt it was the other way around.
Like other kids, he was arrested and got in trouble for years worth of work. He never considered himself that good at graff anyway. He admitted that he has the worst hand style in the world, but Merritt really liked doing it. When Merritt got in trouble, he tried to pay his attorney fees, but his attorney was like, “Oh don’t worry about it, my wife wants to put murals in our kid’s room.” So that evolved into making money off Art.
Merritt started painting windows for people, script, whatever. When he went to college, his mother and aunt said, “We have all these paintings stacked up in the garage from years ago, since you were little…. What do you want us to do with them?” He advised his family to throw them away, but they said, “No, we’re going to try to sell them. We’re going to have a show.” So they had a show at his aunt’s home. Merritt was going through the motion of working a boring job at a department store and trying to balance the college life. Then his paintings sold, he quit his job and pursued Art as a career.