Graffiti and Street art is a freedom of expression. Ever since the art form started in the early 70’s, people have devoted their lives to traveling and painting the walls of the world. It is quite an amazing hobby, full of ups and downs and for most who start find it just as addictive as cigarettes. Brighton has always been a Mecca for graffiti, with the Council having open arms to it. Artists like Aroe MSK even have contract agreements allowing him to paint all over the city, in a bid to clean up the ‘bad’ graffiti.
In the past couple years we have seen graffiti die! probably due to stricter laws being enforced and the few legal walls we had are now being demolished for new builds around the city. Many artists that I used to enjoy seeing about, have started disappearing one by one. Leaving just a dozen or so that I still actually respect. My aims are to change peoples perceptions of graffiti, hopefully creating more legal walls and getting other creative individuals trying new things.
How I Started
I had started myself through friends, and with this mild interest I watched several documentaries, such as ‘Style Wars’ and ‘Getting Up’. It gave me an idea of the extent people went through to write their name on a wall. Ever since then I’d take pictures of all the graffiti along the high street, rooftops, track sides and of course the burners, AKA ‘the massive colourful pieces’. This then gave me an idea of how it was done in my city. But to really get into the game you need to know someone, to show you the basics of style, can control and the essence of bombing.
The Essence of Graffiti
There are are many different parts to graffiti. each part is like a chapter in a really long book, that never ends. And this is why lots of people find it engaging, as day to day life would just seem boring without it. For instance there is always graffiti to look at on a train journey, where as the dude sitting next to you is restless, bored out their mind. There are no rules either and you are your own competition. So in reason, you are able to do what even you think of. Although their are always consequences to your actions, as I have learned to hard way. But for me these are all learning curves, and in due time these will make me become a better artist that I would have ever imagined. Because somethings can not simply be learnt through word of mouth.
I am at a stage now that that I am confident in doing any style, if it were bold commercial letters, calligraphy styles, characters or abstract arty vibes. Graffiti has fine tuned my college art, and my college work has a great input into my style. Once you learn the can control element to graffiti, your perceptions and hand-eye coordination become second nature. And with doing block letters my understanding of parallel lines and angles have greatly improved as well. I have regally said that typography should be a curriculum part of Fine Art. Graffiti is the best, but worst thing that has ever happened to me. And I Guarantee all Writers would say the same. It’s all about staying on the right side of the law and not messing up the rest of my short lived life.
I Have started doing commission walls for people. Like band logos, businesses and album covers. I’m only at the start of my career but with every little opportunity I can create a portfolio. That in time will hopefully allow me to do this for a living.
By Dillon Bartelds