Originally linked to gangs, hip hop and street culture, graffiti is now beginning to take its place in the art world as well. Some critics out there undoubtedly still see graffiti as 'waste of space' vandalism, but for many others it is a way of life. We learn to graffiti to express ourselves and leave our mark. But a huge part of learning to graffiti is learning about graffiti style.
The tools and materials used are largely a part of the writers choosing. You can learn to graffiti with markers, spray paint, pens and pencils - practically anything you can write or mark with.
One essential thing all graffiti writers must have is a graffiti blackbook. As you learn to graffiti your blackbook will be the place where you will practice your graffiti writing style, practice writing your tag name and sketch and plan your future graffiti pieces.
Here are a few tips to help you start with your graffiti writing style and learn to graffiti yourself:
Start out in your blackbook writing the alphabet copying any graffiti lettering styles you like. Just write the letters over and over so you get an idea of the movements for each letter.
Write with fluid motion and don't over think it as you write. Keep lines smooth and write with a flow. Graffiti is about freedom of expression, big gestures and experimentation.
When you have the letters down on a new page write your tag name in big letters in your graffiti style. Add shading, line depth and shadows or 3D effects to make the writing stand out.
You might want to add colors and shading, sharpies and alcohol based art markers are the best types of markers to use in your blackbook.
Create your own symbols or characters. This isn't really about writing style, but it can be fun to create your own characters or find symbols to include with your tag.
Don't be afraid to give any new ideas a go, that's how you will develop your own graffiti style.
When you're first starting to learn to graffiti you will spend a lot of time developing your writing style and copying tags and pieces from other writers. Everyone starts out this way, that's how most graffiti artists learn to graffiti, by copying other more experienced writers. But remember as you're working in your blackbook you need to be developing your own style. You can't go around copying other writers work and then start using it as your own. That's a mark of serious disrespect and 'toy' writers.
To learn to graffiti these days doesn't mean vandalism or illegal writing. An increasing number of graffiti artists are making a career for themselves as professional artists creating canvas works and commissioned murals. As you learn to graffiti the choice is yours as to what you can do with your skills. But no matter how experienced you may get, your graffiti blackbook is one thing you should never be without!