Saturday, November 17, 2012

Graffiti Supplies - The Street Artist's Handbook

The art of graffiti writing is alive and well. It is a practice that spans throughout societies, cultures, communities, and peoples of all kinds and generations. The motivations people have for tagging vary. For some, it can be an effective way to communicate a message of a political or social nature. For others, it is simply a means of expression -- a way to announce their presence to the world. Whatever the case may be, graffiti writing remains a common phenomenon all over the world. Rebellious youths continue to illegally tag walls and public spaces in their communities while professional graffiti artists create grand works of art for the enjoyment and consideration of the public.

There are all kinds of graffiti supplies out there on the market that taggers at all levels use to create their art. In addition, there are many taggers out there taking a DIY approach and creating their own tools of the trade as graffiti culture evolves. The main graffiti supplies taggers are using these days will be outlined below along with pricing and usage tips.

Spray Paint: What to consider before shopping for spray paint

The heart and soul of every tagger's collection of supplies is their spray paint; it only takes one cheap can of paint to go out and start tagging. Of course, there are tons of options out there and it is best to think about a few key factors before deciding on what kind of paint to buy. First, what is the level of the tagger? For people just starting out, it is probably best to stick with inexpensive spray paint for the beginning, learning stages of graffiti. Second, for what kind of project is the spray paint being used? Tagging on brick walls and cement streets is one thing, but if the goal is to paint a specific personal object such as canvas or an automobile, higher quality paint will work best. Primer and sand paper are other investments to consider in that case, as using them along the way will make for a better finished product.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

How to Cover Up Graffiti

The method that you choose to cover up your graffiti-ridden area will depend on the type of surface that the graffiti covers. Different surfaces will need to be treated in different manners. For example, wooden surfaces could be treated with some primer and regular coats of paint. You may find that it takes a few more coats than you first predicted to completely cover the graffiti. You will want to allow a drying period between each coat that you have to apply.

Covering Metal

When covering metal, you can try some of the paint strippers that are on the market. You may have to try more than one brand depending on the type of paint that the artist used to create the graffiti. If your metal surface has any sort of finishing, be careful about the paint stripper you use. If it doesn't, steel wool can be a great asset for removing graffiti.

For Brick or Cement

On brick or cement surfaces, you can use paint remover, but you will need to make sure that it is extra strength. You will also have to use a wire brush to agitate the area. After scrubbing, you will need to rinse the area with a water hose. You may find that you will have to perform these tasks several times before removing the graffiti. Once you have it cleaned, you may still have to apply paint to the surface to give it a complete covering.

Stuck on Stucco

If you are trying to cover graffiti on stucco, you will find that this is probably the most difficult surface to cover. The rough surface makes using paint remover difficult. You might have to use the services of a sand blaster to help remove the graffiti from the wall.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Graffiti and Vandalism of Property Deemed Proper Behavior By Socialist Leaning Freeloaders?

Perhaps it goes without saying that we have a problem with personal responsibility in the United States. No, it's not just here, it's happening all over the world, but it's unfortunate what we see it in such a great and strong country with an ancestry that worked extremely hard to build it. Each generation complains about the generation the prior, saying that the world is going to hell in a hand basket, that these new kids just don't have any responsibility. And yet, somehow everything seems to work out as time marches on. Let's go ahead and talk about this for second shall we?

What I'm wondering is what happens when the children growing up see their parents acting as children? What kind of an example does that set? Things seem to be getting out of hand, and people now, grown adults, feel as if the world owes them something, and they feel entitled to free everything, perhaps even a free home without paying for it. How does that work I wonder? There is not enough hard work ethic these days, and folks take everything for granted, perhaps that's one of the challenges in living in such a great country with such great abundance.

Folks no longer honor their words, agreements, or contracts. How can we run our society if there's no integrity or personal responsibility I ask? The answer probably is we can't, and maybe things are going to hell in the proverbial hand basket I don't know, I'd like to think not, but every time I turn around there's another example staring me in the face.

Reuters had an interesting article published on August 16, 2012 titled; "Sharpie parties" fuel rampage on foreclosed homes, by Tim Reid, which states; " In the age of Facebook and Twitter, a new crime has hit America: "Sharpie parties," gatherings of party revelers armed with "Sharpie" magic markers and lured by social media invitations to wreak havoc on foreclosed homes."

Scary stuff, and now it seems to be fashionable to break the law in mass protest, what did we expect with a Teleprompter in Chief who was a former "Community Protest Organizer" - I could have predicted such things, actually; I did. In fact, I've written several articles along this line of inquiry, and I bet there is more to follow. Yes, it's easy to blame someone, it's easy to point to the leadership, or blame the overall society, but when it comes right down to it it's all of our faults for allowing this to go on, yes, including all the people who voted for the presence Teleprompter in Chief.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Graffiti As An Art Form

Graffiti is a term used to describe drawings or writings on a wall or public place. It is commonly seen in subways, alleys, or other forms of public property. Some people consider graffiti as vandalism, while others insist that it's art.

While it's true that graffiti is sometimes used as a weapon of subversion, it can actually be an immensely positive form of artistic expression. Crude graffiti sometimes involves cheap barbs at symbols of authority, or even vulgar messages. But sometimes graffiti can be a force for change. For example, shreds of the Berlin wall contain graffiti that expresses the feeling of the post-cold-war generation. Many of these artists have no experience of the wall except through history classes. They have no real concept of the pain, suffering, and sacrifice that the long slab of concrete represented. But they do have feelings about it, and these feelings can be understood by analysing the graffiti on that wall.

Another example of positive graffiti is the concept of reverse graffiti. It ranges from using your finger to write 'wash me' on a dirty car to scraping images into a dirt stained wall. The concept was popularized by street artists, and is sometimes called grime writing, dust tagging, or clean advertising. Commercial entities use it for guerrilla advertising. These artists suggested that instead of cleaning the accumulated dirt on public surfaces, they should simply modify it. They did this by using chisels, wire brushes, and other tools to scrape images into the grime. The images were mostly themes from nature like trees, animals, and fish. The clean patches of concrete contrasted the dirty patches to make calm, serene pictures.

Graffiti as we know it began in the 1960s, and mainly consisted of images painted on public walls using spray cans. The art is considered illegal, because permission was not sought. Today, some commercial companies hire graffiti artists to decorate their property. It is used as a form of advertising and sometimes promotes social causes. This form of graffiti is more easily recognized as art because of its legality.

Some argue that placing images on public walls is not necessarily a bad thing. From as far back as the Stone Age, people painted animals and other motifs onto rocks and cave walls. We generally assume that these paintings were done on the cave dwellings of the painters, so that wasn't necessarily graffiti. The walls were private property and were painted with the permission of the owners.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Modern Day Graffiti Artists and the Law

There are thousands of graffiti artists throughout the UK who continue to deface public property and surfaces each year. The on-going debate whether this is art or a crime is yet to be solved, encouraging more and more young artists to break into the graffiti world. Whilst many graffiti artists are caught by the police and issued with a warning/criminal record, there is one man who is the inspiration to many - Banksy.

This elusive man has managed to conceal his identity in his many years of spraying surfaces across the world with his art. His success as a graffiti artist is largely down to his mystery as well as his unique approach to art. Whilst the globe is divided in half into those who admire him and those who despise him, he has truly created a name for himself. Banksy recently released a film 'Exit Through the Gift Shop' featuring a shop keeper turned amateur film maker who attempts to capture Banksy himself, only to have Banksy turn the camcorder back on its owner himself.

Whilst street art is an ever developing movement many forget that these street artists are committing an illegal offence. This is because no matter what they create on a public surface, they have not sought the permission to do so. The graffiti that is plastered across surfaces and walls all over the globe costs governments and authorities millions of pounds. Commercial cleaners are brought in to complete the anti graffiti removal using specialist equipment such as anti graffiti paint.

Graffiti is a costly and time consuming problem but with a divided country and no way of monitoring artists 24/7, the UK is constantly sprayed with fresh graffiti every day. Idols like Banksy are part of this problem, encouraging young and easy influenced artists to follow in their footsteps. A recent example of this poor example of a role model is Banksy paying £6,500 in bail each for Russian graffiti artists Voina who had been jailed for overturning police cars.