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St. Pete artist finds second chance after prison

Brad Alan Griffith.png
Posted at 10:46 AM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 18:17:01-04

ST. PETE — After living a life in and out of prison due to drugs and addiction, a St. Pete artist says he’s finally on the path to redemption and it’s all thanks to a pencil and paper.

Brad Alan Griffith doesn’t hold back explaining his artwork, because most of it reflects his real life.

“It just shows the clock ticking inside of your head, I was doing time,” Griffith said of one piece. “I have some equations here with the drugs I got in trouble with.”

It was during his time incarcerated for drugs that Griffith turned to art not just as an escape, but as a new beginning.

“They can take my freedom, they can take this, that, but my art they can never take away from me, so that is one thing that I’ve always latched onto,” said Griffith. “It’s like talking to a psychiatrist but only with a pencil.”

When Griffith was released he began selling his work on downtown sidewalks. He gained the attention of local businesses like Civil Savage Salon and the Half Baked Potato.

“You know I got these little prints, I sell for $10, they cost me 12 cents to make, I’m out there handing them out to people,” said Griffith.

He now has artwork hanging in 13 different businesses. He’s so grateful for receiving a second chance to prove himself.

“These people, it’s their livelihood, and it’s a great honor for me to have my artwork in there,” said Griffith.

While these businesses say, not only is the art inspiring but so is Griffith.

“If you meet the man you should really talk to him and he’s actually in here quite often and he’s actually talked to a lot of people and gotten them to where they can actually feel like they can do something with their lives,” said James Castetter, owner of the Half Baked Potato.

“Definitely a positive thing in my life, to keep me sober, to keep me on the right track, to keep me wanting to do good,” said Griffith.