Espo (Steven Powers) is a well known New York graffiti artist.
here are his “rules of graffiti” i found it an interesting read, so i thought id share. love his work too.
“You suck until further notice. It’s gonna take a long time before we even acknowledge your existence, even longer before we can bear to look at that foul scribble you call your name. To speed the process of acceptance, you can A) Choose a clever name that defies the norm of simple-minded slang. An example of a good name is “ARGUE” (RIP). It looks good when written, sounds cool when spoken, and conveys a combative attitude. On the other hand, “ENEMA” (actual name) looks, sounds, and conveys a DOO-DOO-BROWNty attitude. BE CHOOSY. B) Use paint, gain a thorough knowledge of supplies, remember that permission walls, stickers, and dust tags are small parts of a balanced diet, be bold, learn a style of writing for every occasion,and write your name bigger every time you go out.
Jealousy is a disease for the weak. Your heart is your greatest possession, don’t let it get taken from you. Don’t write on houses of worship, people’s houses in general, other writer’s names, and tombstones. Writing on memorial walls and cars is beef beyond belief. Furthermore, involving civilians in your beef is grounds for dismissal. These are are the five fingers of your right hand. Get to know them well. Give soul claps, firm handshakes, and throw smooth bolo punches.
Although being a toy seems undesirable, you should enjoy it while you can. At this stage you can bite all you want with no remorse. All your elders will say is, ” Awww isn’t that cute, kootchie kootchie koo.” So steal that dope connection, rob that color scheme and loot whole letter-forms. Don’t worry about giving any credit, we’ll pat ourselves on the back and brag how we’re influencing the next generation. However, style isn’t a crutch or a shtick. It is understanding why that connection you bit flows, or why that color scheme bumps. Style is the process to an appealing end. Once you got it down to a science, you can reinvent letter-forms to suit yourself. This creative growth will amaze the old and young alike. Pretty soon somebody will steal your secret sauce and the cycle will be renewed. If this happens to you, don’t byaaaaatchabout not getting your due. Graffiti is the language of the ignored. If your style is stolen, someone heard you speaking. You got what you wanted from the beginning, some attention, you big baby.
It must be noted that the vandal squad loves graffiti. Their job requires them to fiend for graff as much as you do. When you wreck enough walls, they’ll want to meet you. Just like the ball huggers outside the graff shop, they’ll recite every spot you hit, with the difference being you’ll also hear the Miranda Warning. To postpone this, go solo as much as possible. Don’t write with anyone that wont fight for you. Don’t be paranoid, but be careful. If you avoid writing on pristine properties, you’ll stay in misdemeanor territory, and you wont divert the cops’ attention from pastry and caffeine consumption (consult local laws to be sure). Remember, if they didn’t see you do it, it’s almost impossible for them to win a conviction without your own damming testimony. Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP! Giving a cop info on another writer will doom you to a life of ridicule, from cops and kids alike, with no parole.
There’s nothing wrong with knowing you’re the shit as long as you are. But once you reach that conclusion, your one foot over the edge of falling off. Watch your step fathead, there’s no shortage of people chanting, “JUMP JUMP JUMP!” There are plenty of writers that have been painting well for the better part of 20 years, and your posing and fronting looks retarded next to them. Get back to work, you “never was” slouch. In conclusion, graffiti is free, impresses the girls, is heroic in our couch potato culture, will provide you with a million stories to tell at parties, and a sure cure for the inner-city blues. If it’s not fun, you’re doing it wrong or have been doing it too long. So get going, fame awaits the fly among you.”