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Why I write graffiti. (A small epiphany I had once upon a time)

Discussion in 'Third Rail' started by SilentBob, May 19, 2004.

  1. SilentBob

    SilentBob Member

    Joined: Dec 23, 2002 Messages: 683 Likes Received: 1
    Without a doubt the start of my graffiti career entailed wanting to fit in somewhere (I was pretty young). It wasn't the sole reason, but on a sub-concious level that was definately a big part of the appeal.

    And while I grew older and realised writers ( at least in my city) are for the most part a horrible group which consisted of the exact kind of people I did not want to be around (both in terms of the physical and mental), I think on a more sub conciouse level that want for acceptance stuck but in a different form.

    As I got more active, I did the things I imagine most writers to do. I got off on fame. I liked it when people knew who I was. And before anyone knew who I was, I was driven by the fact that I wanted my prescence to be felt. I got jelous when other writers did things and at the time I thought my jelousy was being outletted positively because I responded to that feeling with a friendly competiveness.

    After using the above as a driving force for my stuff for what feels like a long time ( though compared to lots is no time at all), I've come to realise its a ridiculouse thing for a person of any self reflection to do. When one paints for regonition, those efforts are clearly made for the esteem of other people and if painting takes up a big part of your life, it more or less follows that you are living your life for the sake of other people. Think about that carefully, living YOUR life for others. Its just a stupid thing to do. And I think its true of most people who aim to actively participate in any sub culture. At least based on my limited experience

    I should add these feelings where never really clear to me. At the time it never really occured that fame was my goal. I just kept telling myself to get amongst it all. Anyway...

    I guess the obviouse question is, " If this is how you feel, why the fuck are you still writing silent bob?! Well, after a little while I just had the urge to paint things. Not as a forum to be heard, but just for the sake of pushing myself from out of my comfort zone and for the sake of being excited about something. Theres a sort of pleasurable discomfort in graffiti ( i.e. feeling scared but doing it anyway) as well as an aesthetic pleasure that I enjoy. An now I'm extremely sleepy so I'll leave it there.

    But I should point out that getting hyped about graffiti in your own little mental world is very different to tagging something and saying to yourself "yeah all these people are going to see that shit" ..

    anyway I'm going to bed, sorry about the length. Discuss
  2. Boring Bastard

    Boring Bastard Elite Member

    Joined: Feb 1, 2001 Messages: 3,784 Likes Received: 1
    Wow.........that was good......really! I likeded it! It's really true....
  3. rubbish heap

    rubbish heap Senior Member

    Joined: Mar 18, 2003 Messages: 1,563 Likes Received: 2
    i love seeing my name up. on the way to the store, on the freeway, on a garbage can, i don't care. it makes me feel tingly inside ;)

    IN FLAMES Member

    Joined: Dec 4, 2002 Messages: 847 Likes Received: 0
    Could life ever bee sane again?

    ERIZENO Senior Member

    Joined: Jun 30, 2003 Messages: 1,999 Likes Received: 28
    We all have our reasons, we all have a diffrent view of graffiti.

    my views on it have changed over the years. i think from the start most are just out to be accepted in something outsider, and fame is dirty bitch.

    i have more to add ... but im out for now ... more tomorrow.
  6. CrazyLazy

    CrazyLazy Senior Member

    Joined: Jul 17, 2003 Messages: 1,681 Likes Received: 0
    Nothing beats that feeling of accomplishment when you've just hit up a spot that isn't chill at all with something that turned out just the way you wanted it to without being caught. As you walk away you're just saying to yourself, "Yeah! I just did that. What a rush! I'm gonna go paint something else." I'm not saying that's my reason for graffiti, I'm just saying that that is a rewarding thing about it.

    FRESHMOUF Junior Member

    Joined: Jan 16, 2004 Messages: 220 Likes Received: 0
    I AGREE.
    Shit..if im getting a hype ass spot that I know I'm gonna be like damn "I'M HOT". I mean everyone knows when your out there using tactics and risking everything on the line. Then..I know mother fuckers are gonna see me up..thats word.
  8. ODS-1

    ODS-1 Elite Member

    Joined: Jul 21, 2003 Messages: 3,575 Likes Received: 0
    At first I got into it for writing on shit. But now I just like to liven up shit. The only way society let's you become an artist is if you go to art school. I like to prove that wrong and rub it in thier faces that a teenage kid with a can of spraypaint is doing more than what they paid $20,000 tuition to do. I don't like most writers because they just bomb for a few months and then just quit, But I'd think those aren't real writers. I also don't mind seeing shit I've done like a few years ago and lauging. And thinking of how much my graf has improved.
  9. Sekoe1

    Sekoe1 Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 19, 2004 Messages: 187 Likes Received: 0
    I feel you on this one. People are always so into putting you down for what you do cause they think its trash when really us writters can produce better art than poeple who do go to school for it. I do this for me- cause I love the rush when I hit up a spot that others will see.
    Yet at the same time I do it for others too. The reason ---- To prove others wrong - to show them that my form of art is and can be good enough-- equal to those who go to school for it. Man, we learn this from the streets - experiance- practice- persistance. It is just too bad that there is not a place for it in the world. I have been doing this for 5 years now and the first day I started I knew this was for me even though others thought it was the worst thing I could ever do. The feeling I had the first time I did this, I still get it now cause this is what I do. Maybe it will never be accepted but that does not mean I will stop cause others put me down. This is part of my life now -- thats just the way it is.
  10. CEOCAT

    CEOCAT New Jack

    Joined: Apr 25, 2004 Messages: 48 Likes Received: 0
    I dont know why I write...its just my steez. Fuck that art shit I wanna strait vandalize, ya smell me? If you wanna do art, by a canvas. If ya wanna do graff grab a can and hit the streets. Niggahs know.

    ERIZENO Senior Member

    Joined: Jun 30, 2003 Messages: 1,999 Likes Received: 28
    I would have to say that most graffiti artists do not use commonly the true power our art holds.

    by pushing a fake name and destroying the boundries of letterfrom a new art was born, some near 30 years later many artists have come and gone but not much more than that has changed. the abstraction of letterfrom has hit new heights with the addition of new people and 3D styles in the 90's, but it still remains a subversive art by and for fellow artists. (the world has felt the impact, ie advertising and commerical art has a street feel now)

    We are risking everything by putting our asses in harms way to go out and create this art, when the only people who understand are those who are or were a part of this subculture. (including the vandal squads)

    I dont think thats worth it, I am not going to risk putting my ass in jail to impress a group of people i dont know, and who dont make an impact on my life.

    However that is not to say the need to deface/destroy is not still running deep in my veins. I just need something bigger than my fake name, something more, something even the general public will grow or learn from.
    this is a powerful from of expression, and a huge part of my life i just need to feel the balance of risk is in my favor. If I only impact a small group of people, its not .... if I can grab the attention of a bigger slice of the population I feel it is.

    I need to add when i was younger and just starting out i dont think i could have understood my curent perspective, much less adopted it had someone else shared it with me.
  12. Sekoe1

    Sekoe1 Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 19, 2004 Messages: 187 Likes Received: 0
    Yeah-- sometimes the risk you do take is not worth it -- but we do it anyway. If everyone thought the risk was too high then the graffiti scene would die. Yes I am only 1 out of millions who do it but I dont do it cause millions of others do ---- I do it cause I want to -- cause its inside of me because if it wasnt I would have died out of it a long time ago and it would have just been a phase in my life-- but it lives on.
  13. Nutonce

    Nutonce Member

    Joined: Oct 31, 2001 Messages: 786 Likes Received: 0
    blah i didnt feel like reading that. no disrespect im just at work, moping. hopefuilly this has something to do with the thread. i do graffiti because it is in my blood. i have been doing it all my life. i am officially obsessed and/or an addict. although i live a "regular" life. i. e. job, wifey, etc. whatever, fuck this. i love graffiti and nothing can stop me. ive risked my life but i dont go out of my way to do so, and in my eyes the risks arent shit, bottom line to everyone else, its just graffiti, cops too.
  14. GucciCondom

    GucciCondom Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 29, 2003 Messages: 5,558 Likes Received: 168
  15. Gunm

    Gunm Banned

    Joined: Aug 31, 2003 Messages: 12,427 Likes Received: 2
    I do graffiti because it gives me leverage to meet hot asian art chicks in SF.

    Naw, seriously, i just dig it. It's a rush, it allows me to meet and connect with other hyper-creative types you normally wouldn't come into contact with through other means. It's a way of venting my frustration I have with institutions I can't strike back at through more direct means. Graffiti is an altogher unique cultural phenominon that has existed for thousands of years and has a spirit and drive all its own that stands independent of other activities that stand on the fringes of society.

    Graffiti gives me a smug sense of satisfaction when I walk around my Athlete dominated school. I see these assholes swagger this way and that way bragging about the big game and kicking so and so's ass, etc... and I think to myself

    "Ever run through the mission at four in the morning with a bag full of paint getting chased by cholos?"

    "Ever paint a rooftop as the sun comes up illuminating the San Francisco skyline in a thousand shades of vermillion orange and red as you finish the outline on a character crafted with the handstrokes only a writer has?"

    You know, shit like that. The rush, the excitement, the fame, the adoration of youn guns looking up to you. I love all of it.

    ANd yes, I did mean what i said about asian art scenester chicks. Graffiti has a way of helping you work your way into their hearts. just ask my gf! ha