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Cans, Markers, and Beer

This image was stolen from Flickr. I just wanted to post the photo because I loved it, but the young woman graff writer I stole it from writes, “You Don’t Know What Being a Graffiti Artist Is, Little Girls” which hit home for me, and a post was born.

I’ve almost always been a solo graffiti writer. When I first started writing there were friends who gave graffiti a try. Most of my old photos are either beside a toy who’s out writing for their first time or of old friends who no longer paint.

Cavemen used to paint scenarios on walls with berry ink. To assume the stories held a more significant meaning than the paint physically being on the wall is short-sighted. We’re human, we like pretty things. Tagging is an age-old hobby.

Graffiti’s alluring. The illegality draws in many fringe sub-cultures to try their hand at defacing a bathroom wall, building or street sign. But once aware of the culture surrounding painting your name over and over — the aggressive nature, the competition, the ‘rules’, respect that come with the territory… All but the most motivated minds fizzle and sputter to a stop. And that’s graffiti — you pay your dues or you fall off. Period.