Culture, Design

When street art can be eco-friendly

It is becoming more and more visible. When you travel throughout the world most cities and suburbs have it. An open exhibition which can take place almost anywhere as long as there is a space: wall, bus shelter, train carriage, bridge, road sign…etc – and the list goes on.

Street art is a way for artists to express themselves and show their art to the world.

Some councils are totally opposed to it. Others are actually supporting such way of expression, depending where it is.

In London, Shoreditch and Brick Lane could almost be the street art heaven…if you like such type of creativity!

In Berlin, it is vibrant too.

Outside the Capital, Bristol is another focus point: the name of Banksy doesn’t need more explanations. An artist who has kept a low profile despite his works famous around the globe and very distinctive too.

Of course, using paint can be seen as not very environmental/eco-friendly. Some artists are also working on reverse graffiti (known as clean/dust tagging).

Some tags can be huge – check Mister Thoms! During an Italian street art event “Re_acto Fest” (@reactofest on social media) in L’Aquila – this artist produce a rather impressive chef-d’oeuvre titled FACE OFF.

Face Off by Mister Thoms

Face Off by Mister Thoms

But things can go even further: mural artworks don’t need to use paint or  high pressure water jets.

Belgium based artist Stefaan De Croock (known as Strook) made something outstanding by using recycled wood and a bit of paint to give it some contrast and colours. The one below is in Bruges.

Strook Wood and Paint street art

Strook Wood and Paint street art

It doesn’t need to be on a big scale as sometimes small work is even better. It all depends whether it is for an outside exhibition or even an advertising campaign.

Nowadays, everything has to be big – but we all know “less is more” – just look at the refine dishes served at Sketch in Mayfair.

For some artists it can be a struggle to find old materials for their creations. Once again some counties are doing more to recycle and collect the originally unwanted items. In the past, fly-tipping was happening too often. Things needed to be controlled drastically.

Anything along the Southwest of England is carefully regulated, mainly because of the beaches in Cornwall, & Devon. Coastal UK based in Devon deals with container and skip hire for home and business in order to avoid waste to be left in the beautiful countryside. By providing such services everything is collected and the “keep britain tidy” is fully respected. It is all about being eco-friendly and thinking about the nature. After all, everyone is concerned.

Not everyone is good at street art. It is not just about signing a random name on a wall or on the side of a bus. What is even more appreciated by Councils around the United Kingdom and certainly around the World is to use ethical products which work well with the environment such as natural paint (without chemicals) and re-usable structures (including old door, metal tube, cardboard…).

The artists in questions will be even more recognized/respected for their double efforts: artworks & environmental thoughts.

Banksy - Bristol - Street art

Banksy – Bristol – Street art


Graphic design is everywhere

A few years back most people would create some illustrations by simply drawing with pen and papers.

Then illustration became graphic design. Something sounding slightly more creative and trendy. Equipment was needed.

With the options to draw, delete, restart and retouch and adjust on a computer screen everything became faster, more detailed and with a multitude of options, that pen and paper didn’t give.

New generations and media agencies were able to develop a new way of selling and advertising. The visual effect was and became important.

Nowadays, pupils in primary schools learn how to use computers and most families have embraced electronic devices and owning a tablet is something common.

Then, colleges and other schools are directing students towards creative fields. Being part of a digital media agency is now seen as something prestigious. Even libraries have a section dedicated to IT and access to software allowing the exploration and discovery of a new dimension: working digitally is the norm in the 21st century.

Being employed or getting a job in the media world is not that easy because skills, knowledge and being able to adapt with the constant evolution of technology is essential too.

There is the other “thing” of having a website.

Being online with a great design and visual identity is something to study in depth, because there are so many means to build a site. There are also different costs.

Buying a cheap template won’t bring the same results and have the identical impact as a bespoke digital presence.

It is all about the budget and the target audience you want to reach.

Defining the layout, colours and navigation will – almost – need a close study to make sure that everything blend with a smooth synergy in a  perfect manner. It is about looking good but essentially being user-friendly too. No one wants to struggle when reaching a homepage or it is an inevitable disaster.

Social media and your ego

Social media and your ego

When working for a marketing campaign it is vital that the message portrayed through the drawing is immediate. People have no time to think twice when seeing a poster – it needs to be unique with something distinctive.

Agencies are using various techniques to get the message to the public rapidly and efficiently: London Underground, Instagram and social media participation too with a specific hashtag where the users are directly involved by posting their own photographs according to the guidelines given in a short brief by the company. It is usually a big success as everyone likes to be part of something different and eventually win a prize or be featured in a magazine (whether hard copy or digital).

Golfer and music notes

Golfer and music notes

With the availability of touchscreen smartphones and possibility to take photos rapidly on the move and then share them with the World, our Society is changing and everybody wants to be considered and seen as a “creative“.  Is everyone a photographer? The answer to this question could bring a long debate similar to “what is art“.

No one is interested in being ignored or hidden in a mindless job. Are people daydreaming and having high hopes which will never be fulfilled?

An illustrator can be a graphic designer because it goes from paper to screen. What is essential is to have the right foundation to then expand on another level and outreach the digital jungle. Arrogance won’t win, but respect, patience and open communication will bring success.

Newcomers must stop to think that becoming number one is obtained by just showing a certificate/diploma. It is about the attitude and ethic as well. Learn from others and adapt then choose/develop your own style in order to be accepted and noticed into that nearly private circle.

A lot of individuals would like to become THAT graphic designer in demand. A normal thought applicable in the entire creative industry including:

  • music,
  • dance,
  • acting and writing,
  • photography.

It is by working thoroughly and constantly that a positive outcome is possible. What we see when taking public transports is the fruit of clever minds who mix the right fonts, shapes and colours giving the right balance to a finished design. A visual cocktail with the right ingredients can make your commute more enjoyable.

Tube Map covers by creative artists

Tube Map covers by creative artists