Jehu OSD @vampireswilltravel
They say you cannot reinvent the wheel but seeing Joker’s trains proved that wrong with his re-invention of the alphabet. It’s a revolution of the mind, as set a flame by people like Skil who had a street spot in downtown LA visible from the rooftop where I lived. It’s the best & worst times but the life movie never ends, just ask Part, Pyro & Power. Letter benders & mind melters, what an honor to compile yet another group of lifers for my Definition of Style series, this time with a little more.
Skil UTI @skillydee
My definition of “style” in a graffiti sense, is the tag and the piecing letter structure, the character, and background linework, technique, colors, flavors and seasonings that a writer chooses and uses to express themselves through their individual human mind, emotional state and creative ability at any given moment. It is fluid and sensitive, as it can often change in accordance to ones will. It is an artistic composition using any number of elements taken from the sum total of an individual’s memorized or spontaneous pallet of structures, bends, bars, letter endings, lines and flows.
The best thing that happened because of graffiti? A huge network of good friends and acquaintances throughout the world- lots of love given and received.
The worst? Almost had my life cut short by getting shot at because of bombing in the streets several times. And close calls falling from high spots or getting hit by cars.
Joker BA, IHU, Transcend @jinscoe
I believe style is personal, and that your style is an extension of who you are, your interests. That can be said for someone who has a completely original style as well as for someone who keeps in line with traditional, classic New York-style Graffiti, and even hardcore bombers. In an art form such as Graffiti that has so many unique styles within in it, style is whatever an individual writer wants it to be. Because we’re artists our styles are subjective, and our critics the most discerning. How we define our own style can be just as original as the style itself, Rammellzee is an example.
The worst thing that has ever happened to me because of Graffiti has to be being attacked while walking through a quiet neighborhood in Southeast DC in the middle of the night. I got chased out of a yard, it was about 3am, I ended up on a dimly lit street in a neighborhood I shouldn’t have been in, it was quiet, and I was walking down the middle of the street. I could see the main road about 100 yards away, I just needed to get there and I would be in a better spot. With about 50 yards to go empty bottles, rocks, broken bricks, and other crap started to rain down on me from both sides of the street. As I started to run I looked up and saw a handful of kids on the rooftops doing their best to get me, which they did with a few rocks. I felt like I ran for an hour before I stopped but in reality it was probably ten minutes. Blood dripping down my head, I chilled for a bit before getting home. Definitely one of the craziest things I’ve gone through. Felt like a scene from The Warriors.
The best thing that has happened to me because of Graffiti has to be the connections and friendships I’ve made over the years. I’ve been very lucky to collaborate with some of the best to ever do it. The older I get the more I realize that the lasting friendships are easily the best thing about being a writer.
Part TDS @partonetds
My definition of style is a well-balanced arsenal of letter structure & color coordination, it’s very important to be able to catch the eye most definitely, nuff said.
The best thing was definitely the travel hook up… like couch surfing before couchsurfing.com. Being able to go to any city in the world and link up with a friend of a friend and get the local hook up… and being able to do it for out-of-town kids that would come through our town.
The worst thing was having a criminal record and all the shit that comes with that for the rest of your life. Not jail itself, as that wasn’t that bad and kinda even a good experience in retrospect. But getting told to kick rocks by jobs and all that shit. I never did much time compared to lots of people I know. I did lots of stupid 2-3 days runs all over… LA, New York, Santa Barbara, Berlin, Ensenada, Mazatlan…But the 40 days I did in Salinas was the most memorable. I was able to swing it in the summer between UC Berkeley semesters. Got in super good shape and improved my jump shot a lot lol.
Nrvek GAK @nrvek42
My definition of style is letter bending and how you make your letters flow. It’s like a pattern, it has to make sense every little thing you add and don’t add makes a difference. You don’t need to hide behind colors chrome and black show your true colors.
The best thing that graffiti has ever done for me was open a lot of doors and got to meet a lot of super dope people. I fell in love with it once I hit my first heaven the rush just made me addicted. People see it but don’t know there’s a whole different world behind it. The worst thing was going to jail and getting into politics over it. I’ve done a lot for the letters G.A.K. But that’s the game and the life I chose and I won’t trade it for anything. I’m in this till my last breath.
Shak GRA WHY @shak_2049
Worst – broken ribs from falling off a wall while doing outlines!
Style… well, that is your own so look at what you put up.
Gafukhronics 444 @gafukhronics
It all started in 1999, at the time I was 15, when I saw a fully painted 668 to go to school. I still remember it! I was bewitched by it. From there I immediately fell in love with the scene, despite the fact that I lived in a provincial town where everyone looked at me like an alien. I bought the first colors in hardware stores and with the first partner (Kavia) we began to tag and paint constantly. I lived those years as a street bomber, always trying to perfect myself in building sick letters to bring them to the current evolution. Ideas flowed, friends passed, but trains always remained my main passion, in fact as soon as I got my license I started exploring the yards and warehouses of the Triveneto and beyond, always accompanied by my cronies Kavia, Sqon, Senso, and Truman (rip) . After more than a decade of serious activity between balances, kilometers, railways, stations, soft lights, escapes, escapes, zero salivation, and lots of joy. Troubles came for real, 07-03-2012.19-12-2012, but basically, you are prepared for this, because it’s all part of the game. The following was a period of reflection and personal research accompanied by a less intense activity lasting a few months.
I returned active but mainly on the wall developing a more biomechanical and instinctive imprint by interacting and drawing inspiration from the spot, thus creating dynamic forms by extrapolating them directly from my subconscious. I’ve always been quite lonely; I prefer the silence of post-industrial places to jams. A hug goes to all the people and brothers who have been close to me and with whom I have shared and continue to share these moments, these and situations full of sound. Passion is stronger than the uniform. Hello.
Ziloe WDK @zillington
Best thing is the homies I’ve met, worst thing is probably my bank account or the stress that I inevitably put on the relationships from my normal life.
I would say style is what sets you apart from others who paint.
My definition of style prob would be anything anybody does naturally and makes them happy. With graff, there def is an aspect of style being handed down generations too.
Pyro WCA @mike_pyro
The best thing that has happened to me because of graffiti is life itself. Graff gave me freedom. It gave me the ability to live life on my terms. To never fully grow up and grow into that stale adult we all see, one who’s miserable because of their life’s choices. Graffiti gave me the world. It’s allowed me to travel to foreign countries and have friends wherever I go. One’s who speak the same language as I do. Graffiti also keeps me young. It keeps me sharp and keeps me active. Graffiti propelled me to hustle my art, and in turn, has paid my bills and allowed me to travel the world. Graff allows me to shut the world out, for when I’m painting I am in that moment completely, not worrying about anything else. Focused completely on that moment. For me, graffiti is life, not a thing I do. I’ll be writing my name on stuff until the day I die.
While graffiti has given me so much, it has also been behind some bad times in my life as well. I’ve been to jail…Because of it. Relationships were ruined because of it. I’ve had to bury close friends who died while out there living it. I’ve been chased, shot at, and fought because of it. It’s definitely stolen time that could’ve been spent with family, with girls, or learning something new. So as it has given me the best of life, it’s also handed some of the worst of life.
To me, style is the personal expression of one’s own individualism. It’s a flavor that has been nurtured, finessed, molded, and grown into a creative flow that expresses one’s self. It’s the sum total of one’s life experiences, likes and dislikes, beliefs and persona expressed in a way that only that individual can display. Good or bad everyone has style. Some are refined, some are raw and some aren’t good, but it’s a reflection of that individual.
Power, Powar, Vow…. @cancontrol
W.C.A, C.B.S., CM-3, M.T.K., X.T.C., S.C., S.V…
President & Founder of Can Control Graffiti Magazine @ CanControlOne.Com
Style??????? Holy Shit, that’s the biggest question in GRAFFITI. Where do I start? One part of the same question is what makes a Writer not be a TOY but, let’s stick with STYLE for now.
OK, to me STYLE is based on how CLEAN the work is. How much CAN CONTROL the Writer has. Can he or she use a Spray Can? Can they pick the right tips, pick a good color scheme? I say this because I love most every GRAFF letter style as long as it’s clean. From DOPE Tags to empty or Filled In Throw Ups. From the simplest Straight Letters to even just the actual Wall Sketch, if it’s Clean, it’s Dope STYLE.
A Wildstyle Burner is pure STYLE but so is -clean- simple block letters floating across the top of a Production. With that said, BOMBING properly is NOT only what you HIT or how often, but how CLEAN the STYLE you put Up is. BLOCK BUSTERS take soooo much STYLE, Toys are always surprised when they try it. Rating STYLE must also include what is being HIT. Bust a Clean, Piece at a Legal Spot is one thing but let’s see your STYLE as you try to stay calm GETTING UP in the train Yard….lol, For my Graff history, I had Can Control but I’m lazy so most of my sketches were blaaaaa. LOL, oh well, I was always UP….