04.07.21 - How To Do Wildstyle Graffiti ?

Many people first entering the world of graffiti writing see the interconnected, over lapping and therefore often difficult to decipher combination of letters that are referred to as 'wildstyle' and want to start doing it straight away. The term wildstyle is reported to have been termed by the now deceased New York City king Tracy 168 and was in fact the name of a crew that Tracy 168 formed in New York in the 1970's.

While trying to paint a wildstyle piece is something that may be tempting when first learning to master the seemingly easy to use but actually incredibly difficult to master artistic tool of spray paint; many an inexperienced writer (aka 'toy') has found painting an complex interconnected, overlapping and heavily stylised wildstyle piece something way beyond skill set. No matter how good the recent generation of spray paints brands may be (e.g. Montana, Ironlak, Loop, Belton etc), painting a wildstyle piece well is not something that can be rushed to attempting when trying to become a skilled graffiti writer.

To get to the level of skill required to paint complex pieces that include the attributes of a wildstyle graffiti painting, starting of as simple as possible is where all young toys should begin. Getting a pad of paper and a pencil/pen in which to draw out the entire alphabet over and over and over is something which I wish I had done way before taking a marker or a spray can onto the streets to make my mark. No one can jump straight into the types of pieces which bless the train lines, disused buildings, train systems and commission walls around the globe before getting the basics completely mastered.

For any toys out there reading this, choose a combination of letters that you like and that having meaning to you; and start drawing the letters out as simple as humanly possible. Once you think you have mastered that simple 'straight letter' style, I'd suggest to try drawing as many different words and/or combinations of letters in that simple straight letter style as possible; and although it's so very tempting to go out there to try painting a wall, drain or whatever else, trust me you'll regret it at a later date and wish you'd sketched a lot more (I definitely do!).

While sketching over and over and over, go explore places where you may be able to see other more experienced graffiti writers painting pieces. I would advise to make sure that you don't try and bother them or ask loads of questions. Experienced graffiti writers are cautious of people they don't know asking questions and often just want to concentrate on their painting. Seeing other people paint is how you can see what those with many more years of experience using spray paint do to create their pieces.

So in conclusion, learning how to paint wildstyle graffiti is all about realised that it's the most difficult, time consuming and complex type of piece to painting; and that means you will need to dedicate many, many years of practice to get there. Also, for some people it may not be something they can achieve or in fact when they do, they realise it's really boring due to it taking hours of hard work.

  • Mr TD

27.06.21 - Mental Health Strategies for Graffiti Writers.

It's often thought that mental health is something that only requires attention when facing significant and debilitating periods of low mood, anxiety or as the mainstream media would make you believe, when someone loses their sanity. Unfortunately those uninformed ideas are what continue to make facing our wider communities across the globe underlying prevalence of mental health issues so difficult for many people to understand.

Beliefs that mental wellness is something that is only for hippies, people who do Yoga or leftie socialists who sip high grade coffee in the inner city is what continues to push an agenda that if you can't deal with anxiety, depression or other types of mental health issue, you must be a weak little c**t who probably needs a slap. Graffiti writing culture has traditionally been a 'tough guy' type of social group, with plenty of suppressing social norms intertwined into the world of graffiti writing in the form of drinking alcohol along with the consumption of various recreational and/or pharmaceutical drugs.

Mental wellness is something that requires our attention at any age, as there is little to do no difference between how important making positive lifestyle choices influence our physical and mental well being; and to anyone who has listened to Toy Division much, it's the underlying information that we are trying to inform people of at any time possible.

Toy Division's mission is to push an agenda of community, belonging and understanding that we can all do things to address our mental health difficulties. Quite simply this is possible through improving our sleep; making healthier food and drink choices; engaging in movement/exercise on a regular basis; developing skills to be able to deal with our stress levels; and most importantly building a community of positive people who want to assist others improve their mental well being.

Check out the episode below for a brief overview of the basic concepts of mental wellness and how lifestyle can assist with empowering you to improve it.

  • MR TD

26.06.21 - Who is Banksy ?

That is a question that many people must ask themselves when considering the rise of street art in the last decade or so. Does Banksy represent a yearning for the often unseen members of our communities who want to feel like they ‘are somebody’?

For many traditional and/or purist graffiti writers Banksy represents a kind of artistic expression that goes very much against the often raw, repetitive, obsessive and incredibly macho world that graffiti writers invest days, months, years and often decades of their time often at risk of personal injury or criminal prosecution.

As someone who used to despise everything that Banksy and other ‘street artists’ used to represent, I have felt the inner disgust and hate of seeing the mainstream media froth over Banksy’s latest work somewhere in the world, whilst seeing other less social acceptable paintings be erased (aka buffed) and the perpetrators punished harshly.

I would consider Banksy to represent a significant turning point in the worlds view of art work that had been present in cities in many country’s for decades. With a seemingly endorsed type of art work that is present on the streets becoming a rather watered down and empty fashion symbol for the well off gentrified and quite frankly vacuous people who often live there.

  • MR TD