Tuesday, 29 December 2009

New Year

will bring changes. Hopefully.

I just read an article about the current political situation in Sudan. I must admit I did know about this country's difficulties however I did not realise the extent of them. The president, Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, seems not to accept any responsibility for the deaths of the country's civilians which is over 200,000 as the UN reports. Western media brought our attention to the issue as well, for example the BBC transmitted an interview with the president discussing the tribal conflicts and the civil war in the southern area of the country, as well as the unreasonable government's interventions in these kind of fights which only causes more deaths. After dismissing many of the journalist's questions the president concluded that the Sudanese government is for peace and it can not stand even one of it's citizens being killed unnecessarily. It is all empty words though and it did not fail to make me feel angry and powerless. Is there anything I could do to help to change the situation in Sudan for the better? I am guessing there is very little we could do apart from blogging about it and starting a worldwide discussion. There is so much to be done, even now in 2010.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Biblography, References, Websites

Bibliography :

Banksy, (2005), Wall and Piece, London, Random House

Palmer, R., (2008), Street Art Chile, London, Eight Books Limited

References :

Banksy, (2002), Existencilism, London, Weapons of Mass Distraction

Banksy, (2001), Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall, London, Weapons of Mass Distraction

Bull, M., (2007), Banksy Locations and Tours, London, TU ink









Thursday, 3 December 2009


In general, graffiti is considered a crime against private or public property. It is also believed that it causes the “broken window effect” which states that minor crimes like vandalism encourage more serious crimes to be taking place in the effected area. However, by studying the art work of Banksy as well as Chilean street art, I have demonstrated that graffiti has another side to it - art. The ideas presented on our city walls make us reconsider certain aspects of the modern society, they stimulate changes even if it is just by starting the thinking process.

Banksy’s approach towards the issue of graffiti being against the law could potentially shock some:

“ Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place.“

The above quotation features in “ Wall and Piece”, a book dedicated to documenting his street art before it gets taken away or simply pained over by the authorities. The artist’s style is illustrated in an excellent manner in this publication which makes it truly inspiring to anyone with slightest interest in the arts or the modern world in general. The most prominent reason for that is, the fact that Banksy’s work seem to find some sort of connection to global politics or morality and also the artist has got a point of view which I find rather interesting. Through his work he fights corruption and draws the attention of the public to issues of highest importance. What impresses me most about it, is the way he manages to find a special way to connect those serious problems to humour. The ironic approach to the police or the war never fails to surprise the audience while making sure it will stay in their memory for a long time.

On the other hand, the second book I studied develops an overall approach towards street art. It seems to present to whole picture of it and the ways it has developed in one country, in this case Chile. It has been really interesting to observe the process of graffiti being introduced and then developed into something unique, a style that is only to be found in that country. Considering Chile’s geographical location it is understandable that most of its street art influences come from the neighbouring countries or otherwise other South American countries. However recently, more and more European connections are to be found on the walls of Santiago and the big cities of Chile. Blek le Rat and Banksy had their own influence on some of Chilean graffiti artists as well. I found it incredible to discover how many connections are made between street artists globally. Everyone in the industry seems to be aware of what is happening on the graffiti scene in different countries, on the opposite ends of the planet.

I love street art, I adore most of its aspects. The unexpectedness of it’s designs, colours, shapes, patterns and characters as well as the randomness of its places of presentation. In my opinion, there is something that connects street art, especially graffiti to shamanism. I do not quite understand this part yet, probably because I have not experienced the emotion of the artist behind the work. I have no idea how amazing the rush of it feels and how much satisfaction it gives to its author. I guess I will never know fully how it feels. Not unless I try it for real.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Review, Part 2

Rod Palmer, “Street Art Chile”.

This publication takes you on a journey to discover a whole new and unique graffiti style as well as the exiting country of Chile itself. The reasons I decided to focus on the subject of South American street art is rather understandable: after discussing Banksy and British style and influences, I felt the need to compare and contrast those to something entirely different yet as engaging. Though out my experience with Chilean graffiti I was shocked, mesmerized and left thinking about issues I have not considered in depth before. It’s truly inspiring and ever since I discovered its power Chile, especially Santiago, made it to the top of my potential travel desires.

Firstly, I would like to mention briefly the initial Mexican influence on Chilean street art. It has been Mexico that encouraged the government of Chile to sponsor a series of propaganda murals to be painted in every state primary and secondary school of the country. After this project, that turned out to be satisfying to the authorities, a whole new movement of propaganda graffiti started. The competition between the two main candidates for president at the time "adored" the walls of the bigger cities of Chile.

Since when the political street art begun in the mid 1960s many new artists were born and Chilean art experienced a boom, which was only to be expected, as graffiti was one of the most exiting but also important means of expressing one’s political or moral believes. Nowadays, the influence and inspirations of modern day Chilean “graffiteros” changed its direction and focus on TV programs or music subcultures rather then criticism towards the polititians. Many cartoon characters, including Disneye's favourites are easily found though out the county depending on each region, with specific insensitivity in the capital. On the other hand, many of the graffiti crews try to popularise their preferable music style which is often westernised to a very high degree.

Piguan has to be named as one of my favourite local street artist. His bold and bright pieces seem to be influenced by European cubists as well as the classic artists of the Renaissance. What I like most about this artist is his choice of colour and imagery as well as the subject matters which in all their simplicity never fail to make an impression on the viewer. Freedom, love, sex and drunkenness are ones of his favourite subjects to spray about and all of those include an element of surrealism and fun that attracts the general public and encourages discussions. Text is one the very characteristic aspects of the artists work: his childlike lettering and a poor choice of vocabulary suggest a sense of carelessness and a certain type of grown up playfulness with compliments the visual imagery to a truly satisfying extent. Personally, I would recommend looking at his big city murals as well as the less known pieces form the downtown because it is only by studying the both that we are able to fully appreciate his unique style.

In my conclusion, I wish to underline the importance of graffiti in Chile. Its role seems to exceed what is commonly expected of street art. It breaks boundaries between art and politics, giving anyone a chance to fight for their own opinion and take part in the global argument. It makes Chileans feel included in the modern day discussions as well as it reminds of their country’s past.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Photoshop 2

This is much better! Another day of Photoshop/Illustrator work.

Monday, 23 November 2009


Today, we played about in the photoshop. This is the result...

Friday, 20 November 2009

Review, Part 1

The first book that I decided to talk about is entitled “Wall and Piece” and is created by one of my favourite artists, Banksy. The book consists of photographs of the author’s street art as well as examples of his studio work. Another vital element of this is the fact that, many revolutionary ideas and concepts the society usually rejects found a platform on which they could be freely discussed. Banksy gives us as his audience a chance to get to know him better for the person he is, rather then a graffiti artist/criminal he is known for.

Initially, when my interest in Banksy’s work was just starting, I did not realise how much attention he dedicates to issues of highest importance such as: making a stand against war, terrorism, racism, homophobia, holocaust and the consumptionist culture we leave in. This list could go on and on however it is best to focus actual example of his graffiti that illustrate the style and subject matter of the artist.

“Graffiti is not the lowest form of art”, this sentence is a part of the introduction to “Wall and Piece” and in my opinion, it proves why the book was published in the first place. The author is trying to convince the reader that graffiti has a purpose, a much bigger and deeper role then just vandalising private and public property. It is free for anyone to see, and furthermore no one makes any real profit from it. Maybe this is the factor that makes street art the most honest and accessible form of art, in general? I guess the answer to this question as well as many more unravels itself further into the process of analysing different forms of graffiti and classifying them into art and crime categories.

One of the issues highlighted by the author is the Broken Windows Theory. It’s hypothesis is rather easy to understand: small crime, just like graffiti, attracts and encourages more serious crimes to take place in that area which is quite shortly considered as deprived. The next step in the vicious cycle is the birth of new gangs that then spread into neighbouring areas making the entire part of the city dangerous. As a solution, the authorities of New York City decided to take a zero-tolerance attitude toward any kind of graffiti without ever looking back or reconsidering it’s potential artistic value.

As a example that goes totally against this theory I would like to present an extract from an email sent to Banksy:

“(…) I am writing to ask you to stop painting your things where we live. My brother and me were born here and have lived here all our lives but these days so many yuppies and students are moving here neither of us can afford to buy a house where we grew up anymore. Your graffiti is undoubtedly making those w****** think our area is cool.”

The quote above shows an impact that is quite opposite to the one that the authorities suspected to be true. This proves that every argument has two sides, therefore positive graffiti exists and has a considerable impact on our society. It is not always wrong to go against the rules, because sometimes the rules were established out of lack of knowledge or belief or both…

Top Jewellery Websites









Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The Torture Lecture

Today, I have been challenged with a making a decision that I knew was one of those that would potentially affect me and the way I look and perceive the World.

Some time ago, I got an email to my uni account informing about a lecture on the subject of torture by a Glasgow based GP specialising in that issue.

Fully aware of the impact of this might have on me, I managed to make it to the lecture and overcame my fear to listening or seeing something far, far, away from what I am used to. The biggest fear I faced was one of being devastated for the victims of torture, hating their prosecutors and doubting if the World that we live in is such a good place, after all.

All of those occurred. However, I felt guilt as well.

I still do and cannot believe I have never made enough effort to pay my respect to those people and do everything in my power to help end their suffering even if it was just by speaking out.

For anyone interested in volunteering please contact me or simply follow the organisation on twitter.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Banksy <3 Forever

3A - Graffiti: Art or Crime?

1. Grévy, F., (2008), Graffiti Paris, New York, Abrams

An adventure takes place on the streets of the French capital and it’s getting photographed too. The author and her father enjoyed searching and documenting the art of urban culture of graffiti. In this book the reader can find many examples of usual kinds of graffiti incorporated with posters, text joined up with images, animals and people fighting for their space on the walls of some of the city’s most deprived and therefore dangerous areas. Nonetheless, Parisian style of graffiti is almost poetic and it usually seems to be carrying some sort of a general message to the public. Still, it is considered of be one of the crimes of art.

2. Naar, J., (2007), The Birth of Graffiti, London, Prestel

A graffiti bible. Created by a photographer inspired by the exiting origins of graffiti in New York. The full face to graffiti as a crime is uncovered and it is not what you were expecting. Gang culture, youth crime, fighting racism, popularising the African American / White American division, stopping the war, etc. “The times were hard and writing on the walls and subway cars was a reaction of the conditions in which the writers and their civilian families lived” - this quote from the introduction to the book captures exactly why the graffiti started. It was just another way to protest against what people found unacceptable.

3. Reisser, M., DAIM, (2004), Mainaschaff, Publikat Verlags

This book demonstrates the new face of graffiti art by taking the reader, step by step, though the career of a German graffiti artist, Mirko Reisser. He chooses to push the boundaries and take graffiti into the 3D format. His clients include: Citroen, Philips Electronic, Siemens, Schwarzkopf, MTV, Levi’s, Adidas, Mars, Marlboro Cigarettes, West Cigarettes, Poster Network, SNCF. As a whole, this is an example of highest quality graffiti art which stays in touch with the basics but also keeps on developing and challenging the audience as well as the artist/maker.

4. http://www.banksy.co.uk/

A fabulous website illustrating the work of one of my favourite artists. A selection of Banksy’s indoor, as well as outdoor images with an option of downloading for non commercial usage. This represents the high end of the graffiti market and more broadly the high end of the art and design world as a whole. Banksy makes a statement with each one of his pieces, he touches very many controversial issues and crosses the boundaries of our culture’s taboos. Exactly what a true artist/designer should be involved in.

5. http://www.denvergov.org/DenverPartnersAgainstGraffiti/GraffitiPreventionStrategies/tabid/428718/Default.aspx

An example for an official government website. The City of Denver authorities took enough care to prepare a full plan of their fight against graffiti. They organised this part of the website into well structured data base of information on the subject. From the legal point of view, things seem to be rather straight forward - graffiti is considered to be an act of vandalism, therefore a crime that needs to be punished.

6. http://www.duncancumming.co.uk/

A Scotland orientated graffiti website. Full with photographs of Glasgow and Edinburgh murals. There is a good selection of links on it, some of those interesting, however other completely useless. Additionally, my attention was caught by a good reading list, consisting of graffiti orientated texts and books. One of the strongest aspects of this website is the fact that Denver citizens are given a chance to volunteer by joining a graffiti cleaning group and dedicating an evening to making sure their environment is up to a civilised (clean) standard.

7. http://www.graffitiartist.co.uk/

A website that takes a more careful look at urban graffiti and makes it legal to fulfil this passion. An opportunity of workshops with professional graffiti artist is created by this group, as well as valuable information on how to get involved and how to contact the group. Many examples of their commissioned work are illustrated with good quality photographs along side a gallery of canvas graffiti.

8. http://www.graffitihurts.org/

A website dedicated to graffiti prevention. Gives many tips to the victims of the most popular type of property vandalism. Also this website gives a really good opportunity for anyone affected by graffiti to unite and form discussion groups or even start a neighbourhood watch organisation. Many additional links are to be found there, as well as advise on discouraging potential graffiti criminals, CCTV, cleaning products, specialist paints and professional removal methods.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Press Photographs


examples of life during World War 1

the fight against racism

the struggle against communism

the failure of technology, etc...


At today's lecture I experienced a revelation. Back in the World War 1 times, being a commercial artist was something to be ashamed of, sort of the lowest of the low art professions.

In these days, specialising in commercialism usually opens up many opportunities and gives a good chance of earning a little fortune. This is why, I was surprised by how much things have changed over a few decades....

As if the whole view on art and design has evolved onto a new, futuristic level. What used to be presented in science fiction movies is boring reality for our generation.

This touches all areas of our life and as an example I would like to use something as trivial and recent as Halloween fancy dress designed to explore the idea of futuristic fashion/events.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


Hussein Chalayan

Thought my blog has to have some links and videos of my most favourite designer.

Hussein Chalayan.

Got introduced to his style quite some time ago however I felt like I really understood it during our visit to London earlier this year. The show that was on in the Design Museum was definitely the most enjoyable of all exhibitions I have seen in London at that time.

Hussein is a dream maker, he creates that special atmosphere I would love to get lost in. Looking at his art/design is closest to experiencing a state of spiritual high.

The alien beauty and the delicate feel of his fashion garments and the edginess of his installations and videos create an unforgettable momentum in your memory, that place you always want to go back to ...



Red Watch Online

Attention! Check out this appalling website and stand up against it with me : www.redwatchonline.org

On our seminar last week we discussed many interesting subjects and all of those had stronger or weaker connotations to the assignment given. We got divided into several groups and one of the issues mine considered was identity.

The administration of the website concerned dares to publish photos and names of anyone who's against the BNP. This is against the human rights and should be stopped as soon as possible. Also that party's comments show a shocking approach towards racism, immigration, homosexuality and democracy.

If you know how to voice your opinion effectively please do. And I would appreciate if you let me know.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


Graffiti has always interested me. It is a visual form of violence as well as art. I have continuously considered it is message and meaning without ever getting to one solid conclusion.

This study has helped me to develop certain ideas and elevate my understanding of the subject onto a higher level. The two main routes to go about dealing with this problem are quite contrasting in their approach and in the following paragraphs I intend to describe both.

First of all, there is complete or partial prevention of all kinds of graffiti or similar practices. The aim of this is simply to cut graffiti out of the social/art sphere and punish everyone who decides to promote it. The ways design could help achieving this is through researching a better high-tech monitoring system and creating a network of community members to keep a patrolling eye on the problem.

On the other hand, graffiti could be prevented by popularising other forms of art and design and making it easier for those interested to practice it legally, in especially created environments. Theme parks could be designed for anyone who enjoys graffiti on regular bases and with loyalty/club carts members could form a more positive community.

Personally, i have to admit I would hate graffiti to be banned. Also, to be completely honest, I can not see it ever disappear of the walls of the big and the small cities around the World.

A video that illustrates the issue :


2C. Crime - Graffiti

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

A Whole Lot Of Post-Its

Brainstorming / Discussion

Some time ago, we organised our selves into groups in order to prepare for seminar 3 which is happening this Friday.

We were asked to brainstorm ideas that connect "The Tipping Point" to design and our own specific fields of it. I found the session highly enjoyable and it not only gave all of us an opportunity to deepen our knowledge but also we got a chance to get to know each other as a class. Since that day I noticed a change in everyone of my classmates including myself. Now we feel more like a team.

Going back to the initial idea of the brainstorm, I must admit we have succeeded in fulfilling the task and following all of it's rules. One of those, was not to be embarrassed and say out loud all our ideas, even the silly ones; e.g. robotic flowers generating a specific smell which has a positive effect on people exposed to it (ha ha ha).

On the other hand, some serious issues were raised further into the discussion and those inspired me to spend some of my personal thinking time exploring different opportunities that design offers, in for example, crime prevention.

We took some photographs of the brainstorm/discussion meeting and I shall attempt to put those up on this page shortly.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Reading to sleep...

Sometime ago, I found someone who was prepared to read to me at night. With a smile, almost wider then my face I accepted, closed my eyes and let that voice take me away to the Lands Unknown.

The stories I've heard, the adventures I've seen, the tastes and the smells I've been exposed to since then, changed the way I look at bedtime reading now.

A special relationship between the reader and the listener starts from the first word the two of them share. One in silence, accepts what the other gives.

The reader does not expect much in return - just time till the novel is over. On the contrary, the listener is a 'taker', always wanting more, always wishing for the story to last those few precious moments longer, quite often sharing a little less then three maybe four sympathetic tears with the protagonist of the story being read.

How easy it is to listen when you truly and utterly enjoy the story? How surprisingly difficult it is to listen to a tale you do not understand or can not evaluate according to your own system of moral values?

To find out those and countless more answers, look into the persona of the reader, trying to influence his choice of literature, culture or even language the story is written in.

To all beginners on the way to self discovery through being read to:

Remember to try and stay unattached to the reader. The agreement between you two has an expiry date, only that it is invisible to you. Prepare for the day, your reader will feel the need to move on and start writing, not just reading. And, yes, writing his story will involve all of his time and attention so do not expect the tiniest bit of mercy nor even a microscopic amount of reading time.

To those prepared to give (read) with nothing in return:

Do not feel that your listener is obliged to comment on the book, the style or the tempo of your reading. They are simply to much into it to speak and can not understand why would they have to feed back on the wonders heard.

Try not to mesmerize the listener by your intonation or subconscious interpretation of the story. They are supposed to judge it them selves, sympathising and referring closely to their own emotions created at the initial point of hearing.

Feel free to walk away any time, with out an explanation. As harsh as this sounds - it really is the easiest option.

Sometimes goodbyes are just pointless. They turn something that was once beautiful into ashes.

Monday, 12 October 2009


I think I'm half in love.

With D .

But not M. Not anymore. We don't connect and I hardly want to touch him. And that's bad, right? Enjoyed it at first then realised how difficult this relationship is going to be. Couldn't really ever regret our encounter - those first few moments together were easy and sweet, almost dreamy.

It's all about commitment though.

It's not that I don't make any effort. It's because nothing follows my plan and he is so unpredictable and stubborn. The motion of utter coldness is set between us now. He just ignores how much we're meant to be together!

As crazy as it sounds, I still believe it's in my power to change it.

Change happenz

Come on light my fire


D = Design
M = Metal


Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Mr M

I like Malcolm.

My first impression of him was rather intriguing. Smart but casual and really interesting in that special way… you just don’t want him to stop.

Oh that's his blog by the way:http://gladwell.typepad.com/gladwellcom/

Now you can have a look at the face behind "The Tipping Point".
It's quite a nice one but definitely a surprise. For some reason my imagination haven't acceded my expectations and I thought of the author as of a granddad kind of person. Grey hair with strikes of white in it, slim frame glasses on the tip of an overgrown nose, clever but tired eyes and a pen in his hand ready to start a new book.

How wrong could you be... It was just my imagination being conventional. I don't like conventional too much. It's like patience, it's boring. So from this moment on I want to let it fly free. I want to see it running wild and not always in the right direction.

"The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell - MindMap


Tuesday, 22 September 2009

This is me. I'm just starting. Be patient...

Patience is boring. Patience makes you wait.

Impatience is fascinating. It's the phenomenon of our times.

So... Art and Design... The most exiting way of life you could ever choose. It reminds me of a fountain of opportunity: it will never run out, anyone can have some water (inspiration) from it and on a hot, stuffy day it refreshes your mind and senses.

Why do I sound cheesy?