Tales of the Pen: Big
8/15/06 - LatinRapper.com news
From the mind of Adrian
Nieto comes Big House Clothing, a line conceived behind bars
which is quickly making a name for itself. While serving four
years for racketeering, Nieto considered developing a clothing
line from his cell, but was discouraged at the possibility of
not earning his freedom to fulfill his desire. Shuffled
between correctional facilities, the artist began fighting his
federal case in MDC L.A. for 18 months before being shipped to
San Bernadino, Santa Ana, Kern and then finally Lompoc.
Nieto used his business aspirations and sketches to keep him
focused on his release during his four year bid.
Because the large size of his case involved his indictment
along with those of over 30 other people, he would eventually
spend 26 months in the hole, restricted to his cell for 23
hours of each day. When asked about his solitude in the SHU
program, Nieto explains that leaving his cell was a rarity.
"They're supposed to give you one hour of rec time a day but
we probably got rec twice a week" Adrian explained to
LatinRapper.com. "They gotta handcuff you, strip search you,
its a lot of work. They would come at five in the morning,
sometimes you're tired or sleeping, so a lot of times I went
without going to rec three months."
Nieto's goal while incarcerated was to create a clothing line
that represented the lifestyle that prisoners go through,
originally using shortened pencils and soft pens to sketch art
for his nieces and later more serious images which embodied
the life of those doing time. When he was finally acquitted on
specific charges, others were refiled and he was given five
years. Because he had already done a four year stretch, he was
released, and within months began working on starting his
business. After legally setting up his company, he enlisted
the aid of graphic artists such as Fonzi, a regular in the
lowriding community, to convert his sketches into digital
artwork that was print worthy. The original sketches were
Nieto's work, but he began using artwork by artists such as
Tattoo Tony or friends that were still on the inside.
"Eventually I would like to see different artists," Nieto
replied when asked about submissions from other incarcerated
artists. "There's a lot of talent and good ideas, something
where they can see their stuff on shirts on clothing."
Nieto stresses that Big House Clothing shows love to prisoners
locked up that may never have the opportunity to see daylight,
that the clothing line sold online and carried in stores from
Texas to New York will remind them that they aren't forgotten
while encouraging others to avoid a lifestyle that will lead
to imprisonment. He further explained that his brand has been
carried as far away as Japan, and that prison is a struggle
that is similar worldwide.
"There's something behind it, its not just a clothing line
where we thought up a name" stated Nieto. "Its a brand that
has a foundation. It means something."
Big House Clothing online store