This Is My Canvas (physical boundaries)
railroad boxcars and subways
anywhere in the city
This Is Me (what's/who's involved)
There are two subgroups in the world of graffiti artists. They can be divided into legal and illegal graffiti. Legal graffiti artists are granted permission by either city ordinance or privately owned businesses to use their walls/buildings, or even commissioned for projects. The other group is the taggers/illegal artists. This group goes out and tags, wheat pastes or markers anything from buildings to signs, to railroad boxcars.
The cops are there to stop the illegal graffiti artists. The range of consequences ranges; some cases have seen severe fines and even jail time, while others get off with only a warning.
The audience in graffiti is usually anyone walking down the street, that happen to notice the street art. Sometimes the more politically charged graffiti can be aimed not only at the general public but also authority and official figures.
These Are My Tools (equipment needs) - icons
bags or backpacks
These Are My People (demographics)
teenagers – young adults
hip hop culture
rock n roll graffiti
I Need…I Want…(individual and community wants and needs)
Know Thy Neighbor (sharing work)
The goal of graffiti is to reach your audience in an immediate way. But what about graffiti artists sharing their work between each other? It’s easy if they are located in the same city, they can simply direct each other to walls of interest. But across the country, or even the world, there is a need to share work, and that can be done only through the Internet.
Know Thy Skill (acquiring new skills and techniques)
Acquiring new skills is important to any artist, not only street graffiti. Whether it’s learning a new way of using your spray can, spotting great walls to use, or finding a better escape route to avoid the police, experienced graffiti artists can teach the younger generations, and each other, new ideas and practices.
Know Thy Place (belonging)
Belonging is the main driving force behind a community. It is not different within the street artist community. Knowing that there are people who share your views, ideas, expression, and most importantly disregard for authority is an empowering feeling.
Know Thy World (knowing and getting information)
Staying up on the latest trends is crucial in the graffiti world, because being outdated could lead to embarrassment in to graffiti community. Knowing who and what’s hot in every part of the world creates a community, which evolves at a much quicker rate, therefore producing new and tradition-challenging work.
Know Thy Reason (personal expression)
This is a very important part of graffiti. A lot of artists come in to the graffiti world because they have no way of expressing their creativity through original means of artistic expression. Their need is to deliver their art to the viewer is more immediate and visceral, foregoing the galleries and museums. In fact, the direct interaction of their art with the world of their audience is one of the main reasons for artists to explore and become graffiti artists.
This Is My Flag (symbols (uniforms, tools, markers of the activity's community))
closely related to the equipment section
bright colors on walls
This Is My Inspiration (motivations, etc.)
Know Thyself (A VOICE (finding one))
Similar to personal expression, finding a voice is a big part of becoming an artist. Many graffiti artists start when they are teenagers, rebelling against authority and challenging the ways of their parent’s generation. As if to say, I do not belong to that generation.
Know Thy Government (radical and political_
Political messages have been in the roots of graffiti. In Pompeii, there were many examples of political slogans. Throughout history, political outrage and graffiti has gone hand in hand. One of the earliest examples is Martin Luther posting his gospel on the doors of churches in Germany. In more modern times such graffiti as “Kilroy was here” and “Bird Lives” have exemplified the fact there are voices trying to be heard. Today, the graffiti community is littered by such messages as Sheppard Fairey’s Obey and the many works of Bansky.
Know Thy Enemy (legal/illegal advertising)
To the dismay of many graffiti artists, street art has been made more popular and commercialized. A lot of major companies now use street art to try and sell their products to unaware consumers. In 2005, Sony led an advertisement campaign in some major cities across the US. Sony paid building owners to use their walls as advertising space, copying graffiti style to better pander to their audience. The graffiti community has also seen many graffiti artists who have “sold out.” That is to say, they have become interested only in making money and not expressing themselves, or expressing dissent.
Know Thy Juvenile (vandalism)
Although this part of street art is rather minor, it still exists. Graffiti with the simple purpose of destroying or vandalizing property is regarded as a juvenile and generally unpleasant form. Most artists who illegally stencil or tag do it to old or abandoned building which cause no harm to people. However, usually younger taggers do graffiti public building still in use for the purpose of being a menace and disregarding authority, rather than sharing their expression or voice.
This Is My Style (kinds of graffiti)
These Are My Words (language)