Snapshots of a Teenage Punk Diplomat
Street Art & Graffiti: We are Here
By Shane Robitaille
Oftentimes our creativity and fantasies would spill out of our minds and onto a boring wall that was in dire need of decoration. Although we weren’t the most talented artists, we did manage to put up a few worthwhile works of art that got our point across to unsuspecting pedestrians.
The prospect of spray painting our neon dreams for the general public to see was challenging, mostly because we were so worried about getting caught. The key was preparation. We would draw the picture to scale on paper first, being careful to denote specific colors, shading, etc. And we would always do the deed at night, with flashlights and at least one designated “lookout” person. And you had to move fast. There was no time for perfection. If we dripped, so be it.
Although there were many times when we would simply “tag” a location with nicknames, words or phrases, the real achievements were the glorious colorful pictures, which required lots more planning, time and risk.
The adrenaline rush of accomplishing those masterpieces in the dark, and the pride we took when seeing them in the daylight, was the coveted prize we sought.
But looking back at this time, there was something else that we were aspiring to do, something much, much greater than simply showcasing our disregard for laws. The real motive, whether we realized it or not, was that we felt like we were invisible and wanted to be noticed. Boys like us, on the fringes of normal, who didn’t trust most adults, who were a little too loud and rough around the edges, were not the center of anybody’s attention. I think what we were really doing was shouting to a busy world that were alive, right here, right now and had something to say.
Although those walls have long since been painted over, I’ll never forget those spray-painted nights and the teenage graffiti souls who dared to be noticed.
stellar street art by Bansky
Street art and Graffiti has always peeked my interest so here’s a great writing piece on it by @kitestringpoems