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How to become a Graffiti Artist






























































How to Become a Graffiti Artist

There is a very thick line between a writer and a vandal. Many people confuse those who write "FUCK OFF" or "FRANCIS RULES" with those that truly spend hours on walls, perfecting every last line for those who travel the route, letting them admire the urban art. For those of you that just feel like grabbing the old paint can out of the garage and painting the wall because your bored, I suggest you check vandalism.com for information on how to destroy our city streets. There is a relationship between a writer in a can, whether he/she admits it, when they hold a can in their hand, a sort of flame burns inside of them. Its a feeling that was probably shared by the early Picasso, because all true writers have a love for the culture. We view the streets, the walls, the rusting trains and subways as one huge canvas. The truth is, not every body can be a graffiti artist, it isnt something you can learn or pickup. Graffiti is a form of art, but it is a form that goes beyond the paintbrush and the canvas. Patience and skill are huge aspects of Graffiti, but there is one thing that is needed before someone can enter the world of underground art, something many people lack in todays society.... a soul. Your soul determines the outcome of everything you paint, it creates you own personal style. In this world, two very different types of people exist. There are those that love to create things, whether it be art, stories or ideas. Then there are the others, the ones that can soar through science and math classes, but reach a standstill when it comes to art. These people may love to look at the art somebody has created, but when confronted with a blank sheet of paper, they struggle to create something new, or they copy somebody elses idea. Problem is, their mind just cant create anything that doesnt yet exist, so they draw a car, or a house. If this describes you, then I hate to say it, but the chances of you actually loving the culture for what it truly is are extremely small. Nobody can just "become" a graffiti artist, you either are or you arn't. Writers are born with a love for art, it doesnt just occur to them one day after 13 years, it has always been there. If you are the sort of person who has been creating art on paper for years, drawing pictures on your parents walls as a child and one day you passed a piece that a writer created and were overwhelmed by something that cant be explained, then you my friend are probably a born graffiti artist. That feeling you felt was something the first writers of generations before us experienced when they placed their first line on the wall. After you witness this experience, you have crossed the line between an artist and a graffiti writer. Now you will notice that all those times you used to spray paint your bike back in the 5th grade and never felt a thing, have passed. Now, when the can relaxes in your palm you feel an urge to paint the closest wall, but freeze. Another rule graffiti writers must abide is what I call the "Think Before you Paint" rule. As a writer, one of the most crucial effects to your piece is placement. A piece that is placed on your neighbours garage will look 100x better on a dull wall downtown, or on a freight. Instead, by painting private property, you may become disliked by other writers AND the property owners. You must learn to respect people in order to achieve your goal. DO NOT paint all over the old mans variety store down the street, because although you may love your art, not everybody feels the same way. That old store owner will now probably lose business, and will eventually file for bankruptcy, ruining everything he had worked so hard to acheive. You may be thinking "Why cant he just paint over it?" Well maybe he can, but truth is, the colour mixtures revealed afterwards are often just as bad, not to mention the paint costs. So that piece that you put on his shop would have been far better on a decaying wall. There is no need to brighten up a wall that is already bright enough, so paint the walls that are dirty, or falling apart. Some basic rules in the graffiti culture exist, ones that if broken could affect your graff work for years to come. Rule number one? NEVER write over somebody elses piece..... find another open spot or head to another wall. Tags and wack bombs can be be painted over, but ONLY if you can do something better... If you cant, just leave it. Rule two? Create your own style, be original! Theres nothing worse than seeing almost the same piece twice. If your having trouble creating a style thats totally unique, try adding to somebody elses style, but making it different. Try different styles in different pieces. Style is one of the most important aspects of the culture. Rule three? Well.... its not really a rule, but more of a hint. Stay away from freights until you have improved your skills. I suggest waiting at least a year before heading to the national level. If writers in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Miami are going to see your work, you'd probably want it to impress them, so dont start painting bubble letters over the freight trains near your house. So your still here? So far you should have: A deep love of art, an original sketched out style, lots of patience and you know of some empty walls around town... But you cant do to much without the basic tools. Graffiti only requires a few tools, and the same tools should be used by novice and professional writers. Spray paint (OBVIOUSLY!!!) is a nessecity, and there are hundreds of brands floating around that can be used. The top choice of todays best is Krylon, mainly for its wide range of colour choices and its smooth, non-watery lines. Of course, other brands may work best for your piece, depending on what your trying to create. I suggest you stay away from Wal-Mart brand paint, its probably one of the worst on the market. Add food colouring to some water and you have a can of Wal-Mart paint that cannot be stopped from dripping. This, and other brands of paint, can add a disgusting effect to pieces, which is why writers stick to the well-known Krylon, rather than experimenting with other brands. So choose your paints wisely, this can be the beginning or the end of your graffiti career. Can nozzles, also known as "caps" can improve the appearance of your piece greatly, especially thin tips. Thin AND thick caps can be purchased to fill in, outline and add amazingly precise effects. So thats it? Not quite... you should also look into a gas mask, paint fumes are toxic and can lead to brain damage and even death. Writers constantly inhale fumes, after awhile you'll notice you feel sick after painting without a mask. Thats why I suggest you eat some grub before heading out to bomb the city streets, painting on an empty stomach can give you some serious stomach and head pains. All this can be avoided by investing in a mask, though they can be pricey, its definitely worth the small investment. Well, I hope by reading this article you have an idea of what it takes to be a true artist... and if writers keep refering to you as a "toy", then be sure to check puregraffiti.com to find out the definition......

Get out there and create some art, take your time and stay away from those fumes......