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Estevan Oriol’s book, and how he and Mister Cartoon grew their net worths as LA Originals

Estevan Oriol and Mister Cartoon from LA Originals
Estevan Oriol and Mister Cartoon from LA Originals. Pic credit: Netflix

For those who grew up in the ’90s and the early 2000s with the rise of hip hop and rap, little did most of us know that two LA Originals– Estevan Oriol and Cartoon– were the undercurrent of the visual side of the art form.

Between Oriol’s strong eye for framing and capturing LA culture and Cartoon’s artistry with ink, the LA Originals documentary conveys how musicians, filmmakers, and so many more pulled from their style to shape their craft. Musicians such as Eminem–way before his feud with MGK, Cypress Hill, 50 Cent, and others took their gifts and applied it into their world.

Because of this, Estevan Oriol and Mister Cartoon were paid majorly, and as the documentary explains, even Cartoon was being paid up to $50 grand for a tattoo from artists like 50 Cent. Because of this many Netflix viewers are curious about their net worth considering their monumental success,

Estevan Oriol and Mister Cartoon’s net worth: How did they grow their income?

With Estevan Oriol, it was about time and place. As the documentary explains, Oriol was a bouncer and met a lot of up and coming talent in their early days, such as Ice-T and House of Pain.

Soon after, he was brought on as a tour manager for bands like Cypress Hill because of his ability to keep things steady. And while on the road, his father–who was also a photographer–told him to give it a try because of his lifestyle. This caught the attention of the musicians he was on the road with and the inspiration grew from there.

Mister Cartoon always had a passion for drawing all the way from his youth. Most of that evolved into graffiti art, which led to him being arrested, which made him seek out legitimate ways to sell his incredible work.

This led to him doing t-shirts and then soon after album covers. One of these was an album cover for Kid Frost’s East Side Story, which ended up on a massive billboard. This placed him in the music industry.

Eventually, these two titans met at a club during a show for the Penthouse Players, and the rest is history.

As they went on the road with musicians, and Cartoon evolved his talents into making iconic tattoos, both men formed their own brand S.A. Studios located in Los Angeles’s skid row. And the studio made a ton of money selling tats, branding, and photography. As mentioned above, Mister Cartoon was making $50 grand per tattoo.

Sadly, the housing market crash of 2008 set these L.A. legends into a troublesome world where they had to close shop and go their separate ways.

As far as their net worth today, it’s a massive difference in value because of the changing of the times and technology.

Photography and video are not sought after like they were due to social media, cell phones, Instagram, etc. There’s nothing concrete, but unverifiable sites have Estevan Oriol’s net worth roughly around $200,000, and Mister Cartoon’s is mentioned as being around $7 million.

That said, with Oriol’s latest book and documentary, maybe this will give him the push he deserves.

Estevan Oriol’s book: What is it, and where can you purchase?

Estevan Oriol’s latest book is called This is Los Angeles. The best way to purchase his book is directly from his site for the cost of $100, and the website indicates every book is signed by him.

His goal with the book was to give a realistic portrayal of the popular City of Angels behind the lens of his camera. In his interview with the radio station KDAY, he explained he started taking pictures as he managed tours for different groups.

He told them, “I was taking pictures of the two worlds I was in…low riding and hip hop.”

As seen in LA Originals, he is most well-known for his black and white film shots, though occasionally, he shoots in color. His new book is all black and white photos.

The beautiful thing about Oriol’s work is that he was “just taking pictures of his world,” yet his viewpoint was so incredible he had to share those images with others.

Hard work seems to be his mantra even now, and it’s paying off. From magazines to full bodies of work, Oriol’s newest work This is Los Angeles seems to be an incredible view of a culturally iconic city.

LA Originals is now streaming on Netflix

John Dotson is a film and television reviewer and commentator from Texas. His favorite part of what he does is getting to discuss film and... read more
John Dotson

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