Justice-involved teens created avatars to represent themselves and protect their identities. Here are their stories about why they selected their avatars, along with the commentary of their peers.

anonymous artspeak participants


I’ve got this wolf…cuz I’m very protective of my inner circle, I guess (like a wolf pack king? Like a wolfpack gang?)…yeah (wolf gang over everything).


I don’t know what the pyramid really mean, I was just bored, but I got my initials. My name, my name to me is like (let’s see the picture!)…man!… I drew my name, my initials, and some lines. The lines to me means like never ending, so lines can go on and on (eternal?)…yeah. And my name is like the only thing that you really got in this world, is your name, so that’s why I put that there. And I got my favorite colors, orange and red (that was a good thing).

freemefree me

Being locked up! (Oh, he’s snide)… free me! (what I’d say!)



I put the incarceration word in the fire, cuz I feel that’s where it’s pulling me…

loyaltymusic  notes

I got dreds, and I like music…but I didn’t get to finish it.  The angel wings is for all the people that I know that have died in the past and that had hurt. (Let me see your wing) (Awesome!) (What I really liked about it is that it said loyalty) (Loyalty, loyal-T!)


I just drew whatever. I used two of my favorite colors, red and black.


This is the world, because this little orbit thing, right here, it’s me, going around in the world, all around. Me, goin’ around the countries, and all other states, travelin’… because I feel that one day, I’m goin’ to be the one to hold the world in my hand. I feel that I’m going to be in control, that I’m going to, you know, lead things. That’s my biggest dream, really, travelin’ around the world.

dope2silent killer

I just drew him cuz I didn’t really have my artistic expression, so this here is random. He just caged, like a animal in a cage, and he’s tryin’ to let the beast out. So, he can’t get out of the cage, so to relax his self, he smoked the dope.

thirdeyethird eye

This is my third eye, so I can see everything.