July 4th, 2011 was the day Raheem Saladeen Johnson became street artist King Saladeen. He says that he, “walked out of his 9 to 5 to walk on water.”
Saladeen was born and raised in West Philadelphia and his passion for the arts began at the age of 5. He would draw whatever he could get his hands on for his mother, particularly any wall that came his way.
He uses splashes of vibrant colors and bears to depict his abstract inspirations and state of mind, expressing himself through his art.
Growing up as an inner-city child, art activities were few and far between. So, Saladeen excelled at another passion, basketball. Saladeen would go on to score 1,000 points in high school.
Basketball opened his artistic vision. Joining and playing for AAU teams gave him the opportunity to travel across the country. It was during these travels that he began daydreaming about color and design. The landscapes he viewed were another source of influence and inspiration.
But, an auto accident at 15 years old put basketball on the sidelines. Fortunately during this hiatus, Saladeen’s spark for drawing was re-ignited. After recovering he did receive a Division 1 scholarship, but after 2 years he realized the paint brush was his true love.
After returning home to Philadelphia, Raheem worked as a design artist for a clothing company which grew into a national success. After the company was sold, he began doing work for a group home for teens in Philadelphia.
He showed the youths he worked with how to use art as a way to relieve stress. It became a light in the dark for these teens dealing with trauma.
We can see who Saladeen is going for in the NBA Finals this year. He will never bet against Bron because someone in his entourage is partly responsible for the Saladeen’s success.
John JP Thompson saw Saladeen’s talent and worth at an early stage, JP bought Saladeen his first set of professional art supplies. He encouraged him to focus solely on the arts and to make it his life long career.
Saladeen took his friend’s advice and the rest was history. In 2011 he began his venture at the Saladeen Art Group. Sadly, a couple of years later, JP, passed away of brain cancer.
Custom Lambo ,, pic.twitter.com/nE7k8CZjo8
— Kingsaladeen (@Kingsaladeenart) December 6, 2016