“There is a visual conversation that takes place on the streets of urban environments. This conversation is dominated primarily by advertising and utilitarian signage and assumes passive participation. Whether invited or not I am going to participate in this conversation.Public spaces were never intended to be coated from top to bottom with photos of consumer products. These spaces should, in some manner, reflect the culture that thrives in that space.” -A Street Artist
As you know (and if you don't you are about to know) I truly believe to use art for it's fullest potential is to say something with it, and what better place to do it than right in front of the public eye. Before some of you start to roll your eyes and start to whine about how, 'I don't get art, I'm not artsy, I'm an entertainer, most of the stuff doesn't even make sense!, what does a spray bottle dressed as Cambel's Soup even meeeaaan????' I will agree with you SOME stuff is just general hash hosh and you shouldn't hurt yourself trying to overanalyze it. But that shouldn't take away from the art that actually has something to say. For example the photo above has a piece done by the artist that goes by BANKSY. Simple but just complicated enough to provoke a wee bit of thought. It won't change your life but might be enough to at least get you to feel something, and isn't that what we are ALL trying to do with our art? Whether it be with music, painting or even animation. ISN"T THAT THE POINT WH WE CREATE? ..To get our audience to feel or to think? '..No danny, I make it so people can smile and laugh....'
No shit Einstein.. To Laugh is pretty much visual evidence that you are feeling something, and you have to comprehend what you are seeing in order to laugh at it. So even if you are a creator for commercial reasons you are still an artist
We are all artist. and our motives for making our art, no matter how different they seem, still come from the same deep drive and urge to create. Some people might say some motives to create (like money) are un-honorable and do not count. (I agree, but the things that are created for money are still created with the same passion that comes from us when we make art) If you haven't watched 'EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP' I really recommend it, it was a contender for an oscar and it was the focus of many jokes during the show last weekend. It explore the example above in a way that hits hard by the end of the documentary.
Even the smallest gestures of art can bring a spot to life. Even if it's not visually evident you will feel it just by looking at it. I walk through Oakland to my work every day, the art that is found through out this city is precious in it's own way. These are lil bits and signs of humanity show up among the cement desert of billboards and advertisement that yell at your face to buy.. I bet your city is similar, and screams out just like mine. People who do street art might be called vandals and punks, but they are just trying to make the space they live in reflect the voice that it hidden. Public space is usually dominated by companies and advertisements and thus ceases to be public when you cannot even express your art or self through these damn public space.
You do not have to be a brilliant artist like Bansky to have something to say or become Andy Warhol to create something that grabs attention. My buddy leaves his mark with Post-it-Notes every where he goes. Other artist use stencils or paint directly on walls. The most popular starting tool is to create stickers and slap them on public places. Remember that painting and spraying on public property is illegal. Never paint for the simple goal of vandalizing – It’s better to create than to destroy. Never paint over other artists work, and never paint racist and explicit images. be classy about this and don't act like your 12. Here is a wonderful Blog about the very stuff I am talking about.
OAKTOWN ART BLOG: How to make a Stencil
If you like the idea of doing your own art for your city or just want to make something that says something.. and do not know what to start brainstorming, here's a check list.
Do you have a message?
Do you want to make something pretty? or shocking?
Do you want to challenge the status quo?
Do you want the people who see it to have a certain experience?
I do hope I've gotten you to think about this art form and hopefully it finds some use in your future work. Drawing is the medium that is most accessible for this type of art. but I am sure that animation, music, and writing have their own power to show in street art. Go be an artist, or at least start thinking like one. you'll make the world a better place.