Kraten was born in 1974 in San Francisco, California. He moved out of the city to Huntington Beach in Southern California while he was young. Kraten is interested in street graffiti and skateboarding. He worked full-time jobs while establishing himself as an artist, taking jobs in factories and working a stint as a courier. He gained recognition in the 2000s, and subsequently set up a factory-like studio in a Costa Mesa loft on the East side.
Kraten's early work was in the form of conceptual painting. One of his best known paintings is Workers Compensation 2003, which depicts a table found in the trash. It was entirely fingerpainted.