A long time contributor and supporter of Upper Playground, artist Sam Flores is the founder and creative director of his brand 'Twelve Grain'. The "12" represents his roots, namely his original crew in Albuquerque and "Grain" represents the role that nature has played in his work and life. Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Sam Flores spent his youth skating, drawing and honing his graffiti skills in the Southwest. Flores eventually landed in the Bay Area around the late 90's and began to develop his style and place in the creative community. A self-taught painter, without any formal training, Flores draws aesthetic influence from a variety sources including the Japanese Edo Period, the Surrealists, Mexican pulp comics, American Graffiti movements and the Southwest.