Guerilla Artists

On Sunday I purchased what may be the best book EVER. Guerilla Art Kit by Keri Smith. I love it and I so wish I’d found it before I did the Art Craft Prayer workshop. It’s by the same woman who did Wreck This Journal and a few other things like it. Her blog is here.

It has lots of practical things in it for doing stuff akin to the little prayer boxes, specifically like the tiny one I left at the chocolate shop. They are less complex, mostly, but all in the same family none the less.

 

Perhaps one of my favorite things she talks about is chalking. That’s similar to what I think of as graffiti but done with chalk. The impermanence of it and the thumbing-your-nose-at-authority-while-still-not-illegal quality are both intriguing. Just imagine someone getting mad at you for “defacing” something by what you’ve written or drawn–aside from obscenities of course–and then watching it all dissolve and melt away with the rain. I also like it because of a beautiful piece a friend of mine did a couple of years ago. One night when he couldn’t sleep, he went outside his apartment and drew a beautiful image of Christ on the cross in chalk on the black asphalt parking lot. It was beautiful and it only lasted for a few days until it rained.

 

notmypicture

 

Another thing I liked about GAK was its ‘maker’ feel. The author gives how-tos for:

Homemade stickers–both lick and stick and not lick and stick

Home made wheat paste–an environment friendly paste which degrades and dissolves over time for adhering posters, signs, etc to anything outdoors.

Make your own stencils

A recipe for moss paint

And many other things, too

There are commercial things you can buy for nearly all that….well, except for moss paint. I’ve never seen that in a store….but is it always necessary to buy everything? This book acknowledges the joy of making materials themselves as part of the craft and the creating.

 

If I had a grievance with the book, it would be that several of the links in the back are either broken or out of date. I’m certain that many of them were working and active sites at the time of publication but it is disappointing all the same.

 

Also, I would like to have seen more office guerilla art since so many spend their lives in a cubicle world. She tipped her hat to it and encouraged caution, but that was all. Aside from defacing property, which would no doubt result in immediate dismissal if discovered, this is could be an area in great need of art. Or at least a random act of grace.

 

In all, an excellent book worth every penny. Buy it. Read it. Do it.

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