First thing first...
Please do not take this information I'm giving you in the wrong way. Graffiti is 100% illegal and you can go to jail for it. I take no liability in any of your actions after reading this blog.
Before We start...
I am currently on my path of success in my life and I'm trying to get enough money for my college tuition. I currently have $2,347 exactly, my goal is $3,450. My parents both passed away about three years ago in a fatal car accident. And me and my brother, being raised in poverty all our lives, are now here to live on our own. I just turned the lovely age of 21 and have been raising my 11 year old brother on my own ever since the age 18. If you want to support us by giving a simple donation of just $5, it will be MUCH appreciated and it will help me get to the path of success at college. Our donation link is at the right side of this page if you are interested in supporting me and my brother. Thank you.
Picking the "Name"
This is by far one of the most important parts in becoming a graffiti artist, picking the "Name". Your name is your logo, your trademark, your bumper sticker, your everything. This will be how people and other artist recognize you in the world of graffiti. This is how you introduce yourself to the walls and pavement of these streets. I warn you, do not take this step lightly. I cant even stress on how many stupid names Ive seen out there that look like the person took no effort to create it. Do not make your name: Initials, nicknames that everyone knows you as (that will come back to haunt you), your favorite food, your actual name (duh), anything else stupid. Make sure your name is not to long, it should be between 3-5 letters. The shorter your name the better, that way you will spend less time writing in those real hot situations. The way most people pick there name (including me), is they find there favorite letters that are easy to write, put them on a piece of paper, and mix them around until you see something catchy. Works every time.
Developing and Creating your "Tag"
Yes, yes, yes, the infamous tag. Hated by all, loved by the real. This is your signature, your sign, your John Hancock. I remember one day, I was finishing up a real nice mural. A lady who noticed and liked my artwork came and said to me "I love this kind of graffiti, it brings life to our streets, but i hate that tagging stuff, that brings our streets down." And you know what i told her. I said lady if it wasn't for that tagging I would have never learned how to do my first throw-up, and if it wasn't for that first throw-up I would have never learned how to do my first piece, and if it wasn't for that first piece then I would have never been able to do this beautiful mural. And that's the truth of it all. Greatness has to start somewhere.
People often ask me, How do you tag? And honestly, there is no one answer to that question.Tagging comes strictly with style. You cant have a no-style tag and expect to go all city with it, you'll be labeled a toy and gain no respect. First practice writing your name with regular letters, every now and then throw an arrow or write a letter backwards. See how the combinations work for you. Add quotation and exclamation marks, play around with stuff. Be real experimental until you find something that looks good. Decide if you want something real crazy, or if you want something nice and simple. There are writers out there that write their name real legible because they want everybody to be able to read it, not just artists. Then there are writers who make their name real stylish and crazy. Those tags usually look the coolest, but nobody can read them. I would consider making your tag in the middle of the two, then it will look cool while you read it, not look cool while your trying to read it.
Once you find something that works for you, make sure you practice. Use sharpie markers on white paper and do your tag over, and over, and over. Get real good at it. Make sure you can write it really fast for those rush situations. And please find real graffiti markers when you decide to take your signature to the streets, I cant even stress how ugly a sharpie tag looks, eww. Go to Google and search on how to make markers and ink. There should be a lot of documents telling you how to make your own homemade supplies. Check my links section for real good graffiti websites that you can order your supplies from if you're not into makeshift tools.
Throw-ups & Pieces
(I advise before starting on throw-ups and pieces that you purchase a sketchbook AKA a blackbook, to hold all your designs and drawings. This will be your graffiti bible when your done.)
After practicing your tag and getting up everywhere with your marker you should have had enough practice to move on to something better, throw-ups. A throw-up is more of an advanced way of tagging. Instead of using markers you use spray paint. Throw-ups are usually very basic bubble letters with just a little twist on them to make them pop. Here are some examples of throw-ups.
As you can see. Throw-ups are very legible and are usually very quick and easy to do. Your throw-up can be your full artist name, or you can abbreviate it down to 2 or 3 letters to make it faster to write. The cool thing about throw-ups is you can leave little messages inside of them when you bomb over somebody your beefing with, or if your throw-up just got buffed and you're redoing your wall (see my definition section if all this makes no sense to you).
To create your personalized throw-up, start first with basic block letters. Those are your best friends until further notice. Master the block letters, these will really help in your path to becoming an artist. Once your are good at block lettering, start adding curves and make your edges rounded. This will bring the bubble type of shape to your text. Now start distorting certain parts of your letters, make certain parts bigger than others, add little bubbles at the end of your letters, create your own certain style and stick to it. Your throw-up will be just like your tag. Try to use the same throw-up everywhere. That way it will be much easier for your consumers to recognize you, rather than having different throw-ups everywhere. But don't get me wrong, as you get better your style will change to fit your skills.
Now pieces are a different story. Pieces consist of complex lines and crazy letters. Other names for pieces are burners, wildstyle, icebox etc. The best way I can tell you to learn pieces are from copying. Ya i said it. Copying. Go online and find artists and different styles and copy them into your sketchbook. Try out different styles, and from those styles create your own. Ill tell you the truth, if one of us artist saw a piece that looked something like ours on a wall, we would be more happy than mad, happy that we are influencing the next generation of writers. The ones that will be taking our place to bring the life of graffiti to the streets. The best way to master throw-ups and pieces is to practice, practice, practice. Practice when you wake up, practice at school, practice before you go to sleep, practice everywhere.This will only make you better. Here are some examples of pieces.
How to start your own crew:
Crews are real nice to have. They give you back-up in situations, and tagging with your crew is real easy. Your crew should consist of 5-6 of your closest friends. Make sure these people are all experienced writers. Set a crew captain to help you run things and set Bomb Missions. Find a name for yourselves. Abbreviate this name to three letters and that's what you will write by all your pieces, throw-ups, and tags. Your crew should have its own turf, usually the area where most of you live. Hold your turf down, anyone that writes in your turf gets warned with a cross-out. That will let people know your crew is for real and your not sleeping. Get your name out there. As you start to grow, make sure you recruit more people. This will only help your name get out there faster.
How to handle Beef:
Beef usually starts when a particular writer or crew crosses out another writer or crew. There are two ways to handle this. First you can have a getting up battle. This is when the two crews set specific boundaries on a city and a time period, and whichever crew can get up the most in that time period inside the boundaries wins. The other way is a piece battle. The two opposing crew leaders get together at a wall and they both do a piece. Whoeveres piece is better wins. Simple. Usually these battles are judged by an outside crew leader or a person from a different party.
Basic Graffiti Definitions:
All city- when you're known all around you're city, when you have throw-ups and tags all throughout your city. Hence the name All-city
Buffed- When your tag/throw-up/piece gets erased, or painted over by city officials.
Beef- When you and another artist, or your crew and another crew have personal disagreement with each other. Usually beefs start by one artist crossing out the other, or one crew crossing out the other.
Mop- certain type of marker originally created in the NYC, made for super drippy tags. Usually mops are homemade from household materials.
Crossed out- when another artist or crew puts an X over your name or your crews name in order to show disrespect to you or your crew.
Turf- the certain area where only you and your crew tag. Usually in your own neighborhood, or street.
Sleeping- when a artist is not maintaining their spots and does not retaliate to cross-outs.
Bomb Mission- a specified time when you and your crew will go out and and bomb everything in sight. Get up everywhere.
Getting Up- simply putting your tag, throw-up, or piece somewhere.
Basic Graffiti Rules:
1. NEVER tag in broad daylight!
2. Follow these steps for writing:
-A tag goes over nothing
-A throw-up goes over a tag
-A piece goes over a throw-up
Follow those rules and you'll never have beef.
3. NEVER cross another artist out. If you do this you will be labeled an instant toy. I cant not stress enough how disrespectful and immature this is. Never do this to any other artists (unless your in a beef).
4. Do not write on cars, houses, garages, etc. that's just messed up.
5. Do not write your name on your personal stuff that people will see (backpacks, binders, clothing etc.)
6. Do not tell people that you write and what your graffiti name is. This will come back to haunt you, trust me.
Good Supply Links:
oinkartltd.com - a very good website, the guy who runs it does everything right out of his own store. This is where I personally get all of my supplies.
artprimo.com - basic graffiti supplies.
bombingscience.com - basic graffiti supplies
pureg.net - wholesale graffiti supplies. Good prices.
Thank you for reading my blog on becoming a graffiti artist. I hope you have found this article helpful. For those of you who really like my blogs and want to support me in my quest to get $3,450 for my college tuition, you can donate money to me by clicking the link on the right side of this blog. Thank you.
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