King Saladeen

Collage Artist

“Create from the heart. ”


Philadelphia, PA



Average Work Week

40 - 60 hours

In West Philadelphia (no, really!), King Saladeen (born Raheem Saladeen Johnson) put his heart into basketball… and sometimes, worked on collages. The self-taught American contemporary artist whose works are exhibited all over the world is well-known for his iconic “Money Bear.”

When he sold a piece for $200 at a Philly flea market, it was the first time he considered that art could be his life… so he got to work. Truly zoned in on becoming a successful painter, Saladeen would go full time after a giant push from his late friend John “JP” Thompson. Soon, he hit his next big milestone of $1,500 for a piece, which eventually led to a paycheck of $30,000 from Nike.

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My Advice

Be serious with what you’re doing, and go tackle it. Be around people who are doing that.

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