activity-day in school – you can imagine what happens when you break out the cans… well i was able to put some colourful spikes in my own wall and defend it against most attacks. here is how that went:
and the rest, well, it was a battlefield! more than twenty cans were discharged in high frequency and no quarter was given here. letters were written, cannabis leaves and penises were drawn only to dissappear moments later. paint’s gone, school’s out – fun stuff!!!
1. Your stencil may be very intricate, even a piece of art in it’s own right but it’s really a tool to make a painting. Although you’re basically “printing” an image nobody says that you’ve got to do it the same way every time.
2. Sure, you can vary colors and backgrounds but why stop at that? Make your stencil do more!
3. Partial Print: You don’t always have to use the whole thing. Choose a smaller format than usual and spray an interesting section of your motif. This way you’re creating a new composition with a balance and focus different from spraying the whole piece. Where the format ends you’re leaving space for imagination.
4. Combination: Merge or combine stencils that originally had nothing to do with each other – make something new! You may get weird, funny or absurd pieces, sometimes there may even be a perfect match. Just try stuff!
5. Design Element: Parts of a stencil can provide interesting patterns. You can use them to spice up other pieces.
It’s like hacking your own stuff – you make a tool for one purpose and then you explore what else it can do. Go play!
You feel that your piece needs some words – well, start texting!
1. When you write words you’re giving a direction for interpretation. So you need to think about where that leads. You can be cryptic or vague or crystal clear but keep in mind that your image and text are in a relationship. They can support or contrast each other but they have to work together.
2. Try to create some kind of interesting tension between the two. This may open up another level of meaning which neither one could do alone.
3. Everybody recognizes a great piece without necessarily understanding how it works. You don’t have to either but you should be critical enough to see if you’ve done your best: Are you clear on what you want to do? Is it working? Or do you just hope that people might get it?
4. Some routes you might take:
- Saying what the image says? Very often very lame. Sometimes not.
- Play on words and ambiguity? Nice! Also tricky to hit what you’re aiming for.
- “Do”- or “Don’t”-messages? You’ll need a good spin on that not to be boring.
- Quotes? You’re saying what somebody else already said, so it’d better be perfect!
- Irony or sarcasm? Can be much more clever than clear messages – if it works.
5. How you write it: Choose a font that fits your style and message. There is a lot of free stuff on the web and some are pretty easy to stencil (“white bold”, “army”). But you can make other stuff work as well (“creampuff”, “magikmarker”). You can also twist fonts or draw letters by hand to make it unique. And then – text is still a graphic element in your piece so find the best way to arrange it and to place it.
If your initial ideas don’t seem too striking, don’t get frustrated and just keep at it! The advertisement industry has millions of creative minds working stuff like that every day and still there is so much crap to read. By the way: The Cultural Studies say that discovering meaning is fun for recipients. So give ‘em something to work with – and have fun doing it!
Here are some image-text-examples – you can judge for yourself which ones are working:
more supplies for the workshop and we’re moving forward! here is the second load of paint ’cause the first one has been spritzed in interesting ways. now let’s start thinking about the wall…
also see the First Cuts.
Spray light and let the darkness do the rest!
1. You have an image that is very dark. Modify it to black and white and bring out the important details.
2. Keep in mind: Here you cannot have black islands – they will have to be bridged.
3. Cutting may turn into a brainteaser sometimes. If you’re used to cutting black areas it might help your orientation to invert the colors before printing. This way you can keep cutting out the black as always but will be spraying white later.
4. Choose or make a dark background. You can do whatever you like there but don’t let it interfere with crucial areas of your stencil.
5. Be careful with the composition, the placement of the stencil. The distance from the rim on your canvas or whatever can be very important – there may no color to be sprayed but the empty space may still BELONG to the motif.
By the way: You can use a dark background with every other stencil as well. You just need a background stencil that you spray with light color and then your main stencil with a dark one.
May The Shadows Serve You Well!
‘ cause that’s where art lives fast!
as always people are watching – suspiciously at first and then more and more interested. others don’t see any of that and roll over a fresh piece. no damage done but i wonder if it survived a weekend in the party zone. also it’s cool to see a spot come alive and change with pieces slowly dissapearing and new ones popping up!
keep your eyes open – art is out to get you!
(all photos by PL – thanx!!!)
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Tagged ambush, ambush stencil, art gets you, crack bellmer, friedrichshain, graffiti, muhammad ali, raw, revaler, stencil art berlin, street art berlin, streetart, you don't get art