Up until last summer, MAD had been lacking thoughtful discussion on flatulent Korean grandmothers, gambling addiction, unicorns, and agoraphobia. That all changed when David Choe took to the stage in August. During his presentation, the graffiti artist spoke of these and many more things, and told his story. He explained how irritable bowel syndrome and a crippling fear of the outside world made it nearly impossible for him to follow his dreams until he was twenty-six.

What changed things? How did he end up becoming one of the most visible and “paid" graffiti artists in the world? 

Without spoiling his message, which you can view in-full above, it’s safe to say that Choe sees guts and courage in much the same way his friend David Chang does. “One day, I played out every worst-case scenario in my mind,” said Choe. “I realized, ‘Who gives a fuck? Who cares?’”

At one point, Choe decided to go all-in on his craft and teach himself how to overcome his fears. In the end, he learned one of the most crucial interpretations of guts — the idea that you have to believe in yourself and your ideas to the point where it doesn’t matter what critics say. 

"Some people say that I talk bullshit," said Choe. "That might be true, but I make my bullshit a reality, because I want it so bad."