After searching and to no result, I thought I'd start a graffiti thread. Every level welcome and tips/help is encouraged.
What are your views on the subject? But more importantly and to the point, what are your styles? More of a tagger? Stencil sprayer or full-blown bombing fan? Where's the place you've managed to spray/mop up and not get caught that you're most proud of?
This thread is not for those who buy a sharpie and think they are the next Banksy or Robbo (Robbo > Banksy, by the way), unless you have some good blackbook designs.
Posting of your work is at your own decision. I'm not going to be held responsible if you get caught because your username is sprayed around (which I did on a drunken night out a few years ago with a can of paint and a frosties box stencil with latino-style lettering).
So, get discussing. If it's ok with Dfg, I'll also post some good links to documentaries with graffiti from around the world, documenting the history of the "art" or "vandalism" depending on where you stand on the matter.
As for myself, I tend to spend most of my time practicing my handstyle in lectures, and with help/guidance from former &T members and other friends, I've mastered a rather attractive tag I tend to put up whenever I visit somewhere (not Italy or the like), and before you ask, it's not "RemadE". Everyone who has known me for a few years knows that alias. I just wish I had the creativity and patience to design some good throw-ups, and the money/time to actually put them up. I'm not a fan of mindless crap which bored kids do to just be a dick (ie. on the underground with a sharpie, or on private property). During my upbringing as a kid, although I never did graffiti, I was always told never to go over another piece, shit where you sleep (ie. don't tag near your house/stomping ground) and don't get cocky.
A few tips:
- Do a good amount of recon. CCTV is your enemy and face coverage is a must. Maybe a hat, too. Just nothing too distinctive.
- Wear gloves. Latex are good. So are proper, full fingered gloves. However you can dispose of latex if need be.
- Small but strong (rare earth) magnets on the bottoms of spray cans work most of the time to avoid the well-known tinkling of the metal ball baering in the can when walking around.
- Invest in good markers to practice. I reccommend Posca markers as they come in a range of thickness and colours, and are good value at between £2.50 and £3 a pen.
- Homemade mops are good, as are inks, but if you can, invest in some purpose-made markers/mops which you can refill with purpose-made ink. Just do it a few days before you go out so the ink isn't on your fingers/hands.
- Have a few "targets" in mind. However if you don't feel easy about tagging/spraying when you approach the target, then don't do it. Better safe than sorry as Criminal damage is not taken lightly.
- Adding arrows and halos does not make your piece better. If anything, find something else to give it that individual flair.
- Practice makes perfect. The quicker you can confidently write your tag on paper, or invisage your throw-up, then the better the end result will be. No point going out and doing a half-arsed job, only to get the wrong sort of attention. This also goes for mops - learn how much pressure is needed to get a good drip and not do what I did on my first tag where It came out dry so I had to go over it. Just to let you know, it was on my own property as a practice piece. Cheers, Parents!
- Try different handstyles. Be they bubbly, spiked or full-blown wildstyle. It is your tag at the end of the day. Youtube has a good few "handstyle alphabets" as seen below which may give you some inspiration.
- Don't copy another persons handstyle. Much like here on &ToTSE, you don't far regurgitating information or artwork. Be original, and as my mentor said - "Write 'till your hands bleed, then write some more!"
I might post a few old pieces here with my alias, but not my actual tag just for discussion purposes and constructive criticism depending on how this thread is received.
So go forth, grab some plain paper, good pens, pencils, an eraser and get writing so you can share your artsy skills!