Do you love stumbling upon something beautiful and unexpected? Is it thrilling to think about permeating the streetscape with art? Then put that spray can down–there are ways to create a lasting impression without leaving a permanent mark.
The Guerilla Art movement is gaining momentum down a path that is gentler, less destructive, but just as vibrant as traditional graffiti. Guerilla artists are continually discovering new ways of spreading their vision with the world, minus the vandalism.
Recently, groups like Wichita Handmade have tagged landmarks using not paint or marker, but yarn. Not only does this add interest to everyday things, but attach a small card to the “tag,” and passersby will often stop to read it, consequently making a great way to be heard. Here are a few techniques used by guerilla artists today.
As mentioned before, knit tagging (a.k.a. “yarn bombing”) is a colorful, cozy way to cover a lamp post, bike rack, or really just about anything you can wrap a piece of cloth around. Pioneered the group Knitta of Houston, TX, knit tagging is popular the world over. Of course, to do this, you must know how to knit. Crochet is another option, though knitted material has the advantage of being stretchy.
After you knit a rectangle to fit the landmark you intend to tag, the fabric can either be sewn at the seam or buttoned for easier removal. Added benefit: a person in need may come along on a cold day and use your art as a scarf!
Notes to Strangers
Leave it in a book at the library, under a piece of merchandise at the store, or hanging from a tree! If you choose to leave this outdoors, try “laminating” it with clear packing tape to protect from the elements. The note could be inspiring, enlightening, or just entertaining.
Artists have been doing this for a long time with paint, but it can also be done with powdered chalk. Using a sharp razor knife, cut your stencil from a piece of cardboard or sturdy cardstock. Use a roller to carefully apply the chalk.
Plant beautiful flower seeds in a neglected alley–wild flowers, or something low-maintenance, work best, especially if you won’t be in the area often enough to care for them regularly. Be sure also that it is not an area that will be mown anytime soon. In my opinion, the best way to do this is plant the seeds directly into the ground, water, and wait. You can also try making a seed bomb. These aren’t always as effective, but they may work for you!
Paint with real live moss. This can not only be incredibly beautiful but is 100% earth friendly! For a good “paint” recipe, check out Stories from Space. (You will have to click on “Ideas Factory” at the left, then “Moss Graffiti”.)