You probably won’t find me hanging from the side of a bridge spraying my name –I have Acrophobia—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 ‘stuck’ with me. My first class assignment yesterday was to find my tag name—I chose “VD, because its nothing to laugh about”– 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 VyalOne’s (sometimes “Vyal1”) 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 “We are so spoiled!” 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 graffiti’d bicycle—but we need to get one donated first. Sighhh—technicalities! Vyal also invited us to battle later this month—winner gets to battle him in San Francisco later this year. Uhm—I’m not ready for that. I am still trying to think how I can stretch out my tag—its looking very early 90s. For now, VD morphed into Vdee, and upon spraying, one of the e’s grew teeth–back to the drawing board.
Vyal said I showed much promise. I bet he says that to everyone. BUT—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.