You probably wonâ€™t find me hanging from the side of a bridge spraying my name –I have Acrophobiaâ€”but (yay) above you can see a photo of my first graff. Well, my design with the help and instruction of fellow student Kit McConnell. I think he got â€˜stuckâ€™ with me. My first class assignment yesterday was to find my tag nameâ€”I chose â€œVD, because its nothing to laugh aboutâ€– the teen boys in the group laughed when I said that. After a short history on the art of Graffiti, we spend the first hour making thumb nail sketches and catching up. It seems that some of the group is on a drop-in basis—there is a core of 10 faithful students, while others are coming and going as their time permits.
I was lucky to join the class upon instructor VyalOneâ€™s (sometimes â€œVyal1â€) return from Israel. There were lots of interesting stories from the trip. Customs and food challenges are usually an American travel preoccupation, followed by an exclamation of â€œWe are so spoiled!â€ This group of graffiti artists from the US, were selected to create murals in a very poor area of Israel (the west bank and Gaza) where donkey-hauling and child labor was evident. Seemed like an artistic dream to resonate the downtrodden in a visual homage—but no, that idea got whitewashed for a more uplifting message. The group (Maia Mural Brigade) completed 8 murals in a week. See pictures of the work and journey.
During studio time I also got inducted into the Graffiti class fundraiser coming up. I suggested raffling a graffitiâ€™d bicycle—but we need to get one donated first. Sighhhâ€”technicalities! Vyal also invited us to battle later this month—winner gets to battle him in San Francisco later this year. Uhm—Iâ€™m not ready for that. I am still trying to think how I can stretch out my tagâ€”its looking very early 90s. For now, VD morphed into Vdee, and upon spraying, one of the eâ€™s grew teeth–back to the drawing board.
Vyal said I showed much promise. I bet he says that to everyone. BUTâ€”it was fun and the 4 hours ($2.50 an hour) went by so fast. Did I mention that a guy showed up 40 minutes after the class started, threw open his car trunk, sold us tips, aerosol paints, gave us a mess of stickers and stayed on to paint with us? I love falling into a whole sub-culture.