Picasso’s “Blue Period” may be that hue’s finest hour to this point, but L.A.-based street artist Blue is out to give the master a run for his money. A self-taught prodigy, Blue’s interest in painting runs all the way back to his early childhood, where a natural passion for art and the support of an encouraging mother set the stage for what has become a career to watch. Scrolling through images of Blue’s work, two things stand out. One, his work is anything but monochromatic; and two, the guy is big into mummies. Yes, those gauze-wrapped characters from classic horror movies have found their way into many of Blue’s most striking pieces. From large-scale murals to a re-imagined dollar bill, the image of the individual wrapped in strips of ragged cloth pervades Blue’s work.

For a guy who is obsessed with keeping things under wraps, Blue is remarkably outgoing and relaxed in person. He was born in Inglewood, California, and lived in Las Vegas and Dallas before returning to his Cali roots, and he seems very happy with his current digs. With a studio on Fairfax, and an array of exciting projects in the works, it would appear as if the kid who bet big on his innate talent and drive is all set to reap the dividends.

For more on Blue’s work and inspiring personal story, check out the video above.