Art 110 Week #2 – Activity – Graffiti

Our first activity for Art 110 is to try graffiti art. Graffiti art is one of the more controversial arts. Many people believe this is a form of true art, while others may call it a way to junk up cities. Graffiti art is creating an image using spray cans, often of large size. This art form is often practiced out side on buildings, trains or in subway stations. This of course is how the controversy arises. Do graffiti artist make things look better? Do they have a right to express them selves in the way that they do? All matters of opinion, but never the less it was time to try it first hand.

Despite common belief, when preparing to graffiti you realize how complex it is. First you need to sketch out and practice drawing what you will be spray-painting. There are various techniques for using spray paint, which create different effects. You must be confident in your spray-painting, as you commonly only have one shot to getting it right. The physical spray painting of your work is hard. Trying to have control over the paint like you do with a paintbrush is quit difficult. You can spray to little and spray too much. Sometimes paint runs, or a collar may drift over onto another collar in the wind. Yet, this is what creates the iconic graffiti look.

Original sketch work, with color mapping.
Original sketch work, with color mapping.
Original sketch work, with color mapping.
Original sketch work, with color mapping.

I personally have never used spray paint as way to make art before. I spent time researching techniques on YouTube, planning and drawing out my name, which I was to spray paint. During the process however, I learned to not be so constructed. Once I decided to more freely sketch my name, it turned out perfect. I was nervous when begging with the spray paint. What kind of disaster will I create? I tried to spray so I had complete control over where it went. Once I realized part of the look it shat it doesn’t appear perfect, it became more manageable. I let the paint fall where it would, directing the can in the general direction I wanted. I had some trouble with my black; the spray came out in a block shape rather then the more circler shape we associate with spray paint. It wasn’t until I stepped back when I realized what graffiti is all about

I was just begging to quite, give up, start over when I stepped away from my work. Looking at from a far I realized it didn’t look so bad, infect I recognized my name in graffiti style art. It was then I realized part of the art of graffiti, is being open to whatever happens while creating you work. If it was perfectly put together, painted and touched up it would no longer look like graffiti. This was a new way of looking at graffiti I had never realized before. It felt good looking at the finished product once it was done. The always-rewarding feeling of creating something and seeing it through to the end. Considering it was my first time with a spray can, I don’t think I did to terrible bad. So can we call graffiti artist true artist or just taggers?

Stepping Back
Finished Piece
Stepping Back
Finished Piece
Finished Peice
Finished Piece

I believe there is fine line in between graffiti and tagging. Tagging is a more self centered, sloppy, devious way of using a spray can. But Graffiti art is a true art form. Trying to create an image or idea using spray paint is no simple task. Often these artists are trying to put out a message while at the same time working to help create a beautiful image one a other wise boring wall. Should the whole city be covered with graffiti work? No! But should we embrace and recognize graffiti as an art form? Yes! Once you try your hand at making graffiti you realize there’s more two it then a spray can and a wall. Or is there?

My Wall
This wall looks better!?!
This wall looks better!?!
This wall looks better!?!
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