The largest graffiti and street art event in North America, Art Basel, was held a couple of weeks ago in Miami and saw some of the biggest writers from around the world escape the winter chills and spend a weekend of painting and partying in the relatively warm Florida winter weather. With the calibre of artists in attendance it seemed only fitting we compiled the best of the ladies representing. Enjoy…
GLOW and Erin Yoshi
Few and Far
Few and Far
Few and Far
Amanda Lyn and Lady MAGS
TOOFLY, GLOW and Tatiana Suarez
Piece of the week is really production of the week with this Animal Rights themed mural by the amazing FEW & FAR ladies in Sacramento, California. The roll call on the wall included MEME, REDS, MERLOT, AGANA, KSRA, HOPS, DIME and Erin Yoshi, amongst other Few & Far crew members.
We love that these ladies travel from all over to get together to paint and wanna give a shout out not only to them, but also to Ironlak who continue to support the crew and their art. Props to you all!
More images over on the Few & Far blog.
Images by Gemini Photography Co. and Wes Davis
We recently received a question from a reader asking us for graf advice. Being the know-everything-about-nada chicks that we are, we decided to consult some experts on the matter as well as throw in our own bad advice. Thanks to MEME, LUCKY LUCY and CHOCK for helping us out with this one, you should actually listen to what they say ‘cos unlike us, they actually know what they’re talking about.
I’ll keep this short: I’m a girl, been into graff since I was 13- so 9 years now- but only ever sketched cos I had no one to write with and didn’t think it was wise to be walking around alone. Recently I’ve started tagging, but it ain’t that fun alone. I’m wondering: should I just give this shit up? Is it too dangerous for me to be out alone, just making up evasion tactics/ wall climbing methods as I go along? Am I really likely to meet other writers who won’t jack my paint and fuck me up?
Love from London
CHOCK | GIRLS ON TOP Crew | UK
If you wanna make friends go to a legal wall, most of the people there especially in London are safe. People there are just wanting to paint. The illegal vibe in London is way more thuggish so be prepared to go jack some cash tills or get your pens robbed. I have had a fair bit of grief in my time from being bottled to being robbed, but if you really like what you are doing you will just carry on regardless. I gotta say I don’t have the energy for it in the same way anymore but I relished it in my 20′s. Also watch out for CCTV there is way too much of it in central London. I used to find a nice safe get on for the tracks and walk them all night but usually with a mate, yeah you need to make some friends with the same interests! Get out on the piss with mates and just take your markers and if you’re finding climbing hard borrow a boy to stand on, haha that’s what I used to do. Graffiti isn’t wise but it sure is fun!
MEME | Few and Far | USA
First off get some god damn confidence if you want to do graffiti. Otherwise, give that shit up!! Ok if you been painting 9yrs!!! You should know how to climb shit, it’s just common sense. You see shit you wanna paint and then you hit it. No matter what is in the way.
If you don’t have the balls or even try to tag by yourself then your not into the bombing game and wont get any respect from any writers. Try doing legal walls if you are scared. Or you can get a buddy to get a little drunk or high with you and watch your back. Random friends that don’t paint always find it exciting to get into mischief with ya. When painting alone dress like a guy and in dark clothes *reminder lighter and spray paint = Crack head protection.
If some guy rolls up on you at a spot while your painting, act cute put your chest out act like it’s all good then jack his fucking paint if he trys to jack you. Weirdos seem to think women don’t have know how to run game on fools…but we do!
If you have issues making friends that paint. Get one of your homegirls that’s “out going”= (drunk girl) to to run around with you in your city. Lace her with paint and a glove and write your NAME which isn’t used by another writer. All over the fucking place.
If stopped by a cop, say you are out walking cuz you got in fight with your man. Cops never wanna deal with a crying girl, trust me works every time!!
Do some graffiti homework… For the love of god!!
LUCKY LUCY | Full-time artist | Netherlands
If you don’t think it’s that fun or satisfying alone, than that says something in and of itself. In nine years, seems like if you were really into, you’d already be taking legal avenues to paint like permission walls. You would know if the fire is strong within you. You can’t count on anyone but yourself, and there are plenty of us writers that are going it alone. I prefer my own walls rather than collaborative productions.
It can’t hurt to go bombing with a pro or two to learn what to do and not to do. That’s what I did when I started, but I also did a lot solo. There’s definitely been times where I looked back and thought how lucky I was nothing happened because at some spots no one can hear you scream. Carry a knife and/or pepper spray on your pants, not in your bag. For the same token, don’t be a wuss.
There are tons of super sweet, loyal, generous writers but there are also tons that will jack your shit too. Always assume people you just met/hardly know are not trustworthy and never leave your paint alone. I’ve seen a writer that shared a room with other writers at an event and then get all his paint jacked because he had the check out info wrong, they saw the opportunity and took it all. I’ve gotten paint jacked from a locked “safe place” at an event. I’ve had paint jacked from off the lift, inside a warehouse at a paid gig. ALWAYS ASSUME YOUR PAINT IS GOING TO BE STOLEN AND TAKE IT WITH OUT. Never be flashy with how much you have. Don’t leave it sitting all vulnerable either. I advise a little wheelie suitcase. As far as getting beat up, use your instincts.
IVEE | C.O.P. Magazine | Australia
The simple answer is: If you truly love graf then get out there. Don’t let worry or fear hold you back.
The more complicated answer is: Yes, you’re right it can be unsafe to be in the streets late at night. You need to keep your wits about you and don’t make yourself seem an easy target. If you feel scared, you will look scared, so walk with confidence, like you do this shit erryday. You could also carry a weapon, but this comes with its own set of difficulties, if the cops search you and you have graf stuff and a weapon then expect to be wearing some special silver bangles. You also have to always have it handy ‘cos you can’t just be like “Oh hold on Mr Rapist while I retrieve my box cutter from underneath yesterday’s cheese and tomato sandwich in my handbag” and you have to be prepared to use it if you gotta.
Have you thought of taking a group of friends with you when you bomb? Some of the most memorable bombing missions are with non-graf buddies ‘cos they just get such a huge kick out of it.
There’s plenty of nice writers out there who won’t jack your paint or want to fuck you up. Maybe you could start an Instagram or Tumblr of your sketches to start getting your name out there? If you’ve been into graf for 9 years then you would know the places where writers network, so meet people. You know what they say, real recognise real, if you’ve got the passion for it then other writers will see this.
On the personal tip, when I first started painting, another girl and I were doing a piece and we got sprung by a dude who was not impressed with our artwork, he managed to land a solid man boot into my guts. I could have given up that day and never painted again but my passion for graf was stronger than the internal bleeding. I also learned a very valuable lesson to always stay alert to my surroundings.
Ultimately, it’s up to you how much effort you want to put into it. Graf comes with risks as well as rewards and you have to be prepared to do some ballsy shit to get any sort of recognition. If you’ve got the ticker for it then go hard at it! If not, then keep killin’ those blackbooks.
Got a question for C.O.P. friends and fam to answer? Hit us up info [at] c-o-p-magazine [dot] com
I remember when Eriks and I first connected with MEME, founder of Few and Far, we were blown away by how much passion she had for her art and she was real… like, really real. Her flick collection was full of serious bombing, not pretty legal walls but freights, billboards and all the rest. She was truly living the life that, in my opinion, is the spirit of Few & Far – real women doing real art.
A year on, Few and Far has achieved so much, growing to 20 women and completing a number of murals (including the first all-female mural at Art Basel Miami) Skate jams, events and even a road trip through west coast America. It was inevitable that a group show would be on the cards and we were stoked to see that an exhibition is being held to celebrate their first birthday!
FEW AND FAR ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY SHOW
179 | KSRA | HOPS | MEME | REDS | AMANDA LYNN | MAGS | SILOETTE | ERIN YOSHI | DIME | ERIN ASHFORD | TOOFLY | AGANA | GLORIA MURIEL | REZ | URSULA XANTHE YOUNG
June 8, 2012 6-10pm (closing reception 13 July)
BHERD Gallery | 8537 Greenwood Ave N. Suite #1, SEATTLE WA 98103 USA
Q. What do you get if you put a bunch of dope chicks in a van with a tank full of gas, some skateboards and a trunk load of Ironlaks?
Sounds pretty damn flammable!
A. The Few and Far 2012 Tour!
Yep these girls do burn!
The Few and Far ladies recently hit the road and traveled down the west coast of America for their 2012 tour. Departing from Sacramento en route to Tijuana via San Fran and LA, the ladies left a trail of damage, destruction, some beautiful art and possibly a few broken hearts along the way ‘cos what’s not to like about a bus full of babes with boxes and boxes of paint! Owwweeee!!!
In their words:
“About two weeks ago, the Few and Far women hit the road. Traveling from Sacramento, through San Francisco and Los Angeles, we ended up in Tijuana Mexico. Along the way, a whole group of us (Amanda Lynn, Meme, Hops, Agana, Tatianna Suarez, Glow, Reds, Lady Mags, Erin Ashford and Beth Emmerich) stopped only to bomb the freeway and abandoned construction sites, to create two dope large scale mural productions, to skate in San Diego, to party, to cross the border and more.”
To see more pics of their adventure head over to the Few and Far blog.
Here’s a video of the Few & Far event that went down recently. If you check the Few & Far blog, they keep adding artists to the roll for their appearance at Art Basel Miami this December so I can’t wait to see what they come up with!
Speaking of all-girl graf jams, we’ve got an exciting new issue dropping soon, C.O.P. x The Stick Up Girlz. Ivee’s currently in the design cave putting on all the finishing touches and we should have it ready to release soon, stay tuned!