My first typography mural

Love for graffiti

Graffiti has always fascinated me. I love browsing through works of graffiti artists in the internet. Banksy is definitely one of my favorites, I love the rawness and playfulness of his work. I also love Calligraffiti, combining calligraphy with graffiti. My previous work was in Taguig and I had to drive by BGC everyday going home and while I was stuck in traffic, I would just stare at the huge murals in the buildings as a stress reliever considering the terrible traffic in Manila.

Bucket list

By no means I have experience in creating graffiti or murals but it’s part of my bucket list. Albeit seemingly shy on the outside, I would say I have a spunky personality and street art seem to “fit” with it. Maybe that’s the reason of my fascination with it.

So the first question is, how do I start? Where can I find a wall to start with? It’s illegal to just go outside and just paint on public street walls. I’m clueless. So I opened up my idea to my younger brother and he was excited about it. Without hesitation, he requested that I make a design of the words, “Songs of Freedom” in his room.

My first project

Since it’s my first time, I opted for something challenging and at the same time, not too hard considering my lack of skills. Because I’m painting on a room, I felt that a graffiti font would not fit so much so I just decided to make a typography mural. To be honest, I also have no experience in typography. But I just went by my mantra, “just f-ck it” because I’ll find a way to make it and no matter what, I’ll get there eventually.

Rather than directly working on the wall, I wanted to make an initial design first. I decided on the font, Angelface to base my design on. This is how “Songs of Freedom” looks like when typed:

Then I added style to it and finalized it using Adobe Illustrator. I made it quite simple and classy while still retaining a “street” feel to it. I’m personally a fan of neon signs so you can see the reference and I used the colors red, yellow and green to signify reggae since it’s a Bob Marley song. Nothing too extraordinary, but I think it’s okay for a first project.

Supplies

Now that I’m done with the initial design, the next question is where do I find the graffiti supplies? A friend of mine told me of the shop, Carrot bombing near Greenhills but apparently they were close the whole week so I had to ask Google of other alternatives. I found out about Outlines shop along Visayas ave. and bought my spray cans there.

The process

I first made a grid on the wall using a chalk to make an outline of the design and painted with with white latex paint so the colors will pop when I start to spray paint.

Upon using the spray paint, I realized that the spray cap I bought from the shop sprayed such thick lines making it impossible for me to get the strokes that I want. It was the thinnest one available that time since the thinnest one was out of stock.

Accomplishing this project was different from what I had imagined because I had a lot of problems along the way. The main problem was the thickness of the spray. The shop also ran out of white and gray colors of spray paint so I had to use latex paint for that. I bought my supplies on a Friday and their supplies arrive on Saturdays so it wasn’t a lucky day for me. In the end, I just made a stencil since it was the way I can achieve the desired design. It took a lot of effort but in return, I learned many things.

Final design

This is the final design that I made. There are a lot of tweaks and I made the circle thicker. It’s not perfect since it’s made by my hands as opposed to a computer but overall I’m happy for having accomplished this. It definitely added character to my brother’s kinda plain room. I love that the design pops out.

With persistence, hopefully, I would be able to improve my skills and participate in some real graffiti or mural work in the future.

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