Inspired by Shepard Fairey, the author developed a method to democratize large-scale street art, using preparation, adhesive glue, and precise cutting to transfer images from paper to walls, making art accessible to everyone.
The eternal struggle of mural proportions and transferring images to the wall had long weighed on my mind. Frustration with the lack of a simple wall printer, a device that could effortlessly bring digital art to life on a colossal canvas, led me on a quest to find a solution. While there had been experiments, there was nothing accessible to the average individual, nothing that would allow anyone to paint street art on the walls.
I yearned for a technique that didn't demand the expertise of a seasoned street artist or the possession of fancy laser-cutting equipment. I sought a method that could be wielded by anyone, a means to democratize the creation of street art.
Amidst my exploration of contemporary artists, Shepard Fairey, famously known as ObeyGiant, emerged as a profound influence. His work and that of his crew enthralled me, igniting a childlike excitement each time I beheld a new mural or form of street art they produced.
Through my close scrutiny of Shepard Fairey's work, I unearthed a method to transfer an image to a wall—a technique uniquely his own. The key, I discovered, lay in meticulous preparation. Just as Banksy's stencils exemplify simplicity and precision, my approach required careful groundwork.
I embarked on preparations, reminiscent of the discipline we once summoned in our youthful graffiti days. The absence of home printers limited us to small stencils. Spray paint in hand, we ventured out, sometimes succeeding, often failing.
Everything hinged on preparation. The best individuals, like Banksy, arrive with impeccable readiness. They don't improvise; they execute with precision. So, I mirrored the preparations of the Obey crew. I printed the entire mural on paper, using my humble home laser printer. A4-sized sheets were carefully arranged on the floor, meticulously taped together. This was my initial foray, a manageable undertaking.
With preparations complete, we took to the streets. Using a spray can loaded with adhesive glue—an innovation to me, the paper became sticky and adhered effortlessly to any surface. Then came the most daunting phase.
Pieces of the paper were painstakingly cut out, creating stencils. The wall was transformed as we sprayed acrylic paint through these stencil holes. Your paper on the wall becomes your stencil—much like the traditional method, but with a modern twist. It sounded simpler than it was, demanding plenty of scalpels, as paper was carved directly on the wall.
After hours of meticulous work, a splendid piece of art emerged on the wall. Passersby expressed their slight disappointment, assuming that this technique was usually executed by hand. They felt it was somehow unfair, too technical, too accessible. But this approach wasn't about claiming skill; it was about breaking down barriers.
This wasn't classic graffiti or indiscriminate tagging. It was a way to create large-scale murals with exact proportions and intricate detail. You could play the skill card, or you could adopt this method. What mattered was to keep creating, to keep pushing boundaries.