Friday, October 18, 2013

Banksy and the persistence factor

Banksy is in town! If you don't know who he is, he's a street artist who is known for his stencils. His work originally crept up in London and can now be seen around the world. He is in NYC doing a month-long stint: stencils (many have been erased or vandalized, etc - he has enemies or "haters" apparently).

He also does sculptures. Here is one:


So work now fetches almost 2 million at auction. So how did he become so successful? Why do crowds race to the next work on a wall in NYC? Those are questions I've been asking myself because they apply to children's books (perhaps my problem is that I apply everything to what I do?). There are the examples of artists who hit the big-time immediately, such as winning the Caldecot first time around. But most often it doesn't work that way.

As in Banksy's case there are three ingredients:
1) talent
2) originality (though not anymore - there are many imitators)
3) persistence.

I think number 3 is an important one. Maybe the most? Without #3 you will get nowhere. Let me know what you think. What's most important and why?

To view my own street art blog --I shoot whatever street art I find in NYC -- go here. 

Also, on occasion, I create my own street art. I understand that not everyone agrees with street art. Some consider it vandalism. It took some persuading to convince my parents that what I was doing was not! My dad especially. It's interesting since my dad is the other artist in the family. I look at it this way: There is street art and there is vandalism. "Tagging," to me, is vandalism. Tagging is when people spray their name in illegible writing all over everything. I find it atrocious. I also find it offensive when people do it on private property. No owner should have to deal with removal of spray paint. I would also never do it in an area that has no other spray paint... but in NY, where it is EVERYWHERE, I think that adding a little piece of art to the landscape can be a good thing. It can make someone smile. When they're having a bad day and they look down and see a stenciled pigeon doing something next to their feet that can go far in my book. That's why I do what I do. Art should be free. It should be accessible to all! Below is a piece that I've been doing. Coincidently a film crew set up shop and put their "ladies" bathroom right next to my lady winking. How great is that?

I told my mom my new idea is to create a stencil of my dad wearing sunglasses and smoking a cigar. It's a really funny photo and will make a great piece. This is one way to win my dad over!

For a map of where the Banksy art is in NY go here.

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