Street artists, professional and amateur alike, experience the obstacles of displaying their work. Legalization, though surely coming around, is only in effect in very few places. Even legalized pieces or murals endure quite the hassle, taking months to approve. It can be a frustrating, constant ordeal with great potential for discouragement. But what if there was an easily accessible place where creative expression has no limits. Where you can paint on virtually anything, not just walls. Alas, there is Graphiti; a mobile app that enables users to use the elements of street art (spray paint, stencils, ‘slaps’/stickers, and markers) to customize web content. ‘Instead of spray painting on a wall, you’re spray painting on websites and photographs,’ states Bill Trost, executive creative director of Graphiti.
Based in San Diego (CA), Graphiti recently launched their product at the SXSW Trade Show in Austin (TX) a few weeks ago and made a tremendous impact. With the assistance of Sergio Gonzalez, the chief financial manager of a locally proactive street art organization called Writerz Blok, and Chor Boogie, a well-renowned street artist from San Diego, their presentation proved to be a resounding success for being both interactive and inspiring. Along with promoting the app, the team decided to provide live audience participation canvases, equipping the participants with an arsenal of high quality sprays and markers the average person hasn’t held, let alone seen, before. ‘The experience was fantastic, they appreciated everything we did,’ said Bill. ‘The fact that we were demo-ing real life graffiti and have skilled artists provide tips. Essentially, we’re tapping into a desire a lot of people have, but they just don’t know they have it.’ The app itself reflects the authenticity of street art by the various pressures of the spray can and tips, along with the layers of stencils in order to incorporate the organic nature of paint.
‘We couldn’t be called ‘Graphiti’ and have our theme designed around street art without investing time and educating ourselves,’ addressed Bill. With a background in Fine Arts and Painting, he and his brilliant team determined the best way to effectively utilize the ability to overlay markups directly on top of live web content is to revolve the project around street art. ‘It’s a way to showcase graffiti art and have it seen world wide to the point where people can access it in a different way,’ declared Sergio Gonzalez of Writerz Blok. ‘We’ve been working on educating people in graffiti through a positive outlook, to generally see it as a way to be productive not destructive. And this is a great way to showcase the different sprays and all the elements in graffiti.’ Once the foundation was established, construction was well underway. What gives the app a more personal feel is that it’s more a private message board as opposed to an open network, free from fear of harsh criticism for those who simply want to have fun and create.
Graphiti will make their presence known at Comic-Con in July, one of the biggest events of the year in San Diego. Until then, promotion will take place locally in multiple street art and hip hop events while continuously updating the app with more tools and features.
From the streets to the palm of your hand, Graphiti makes that transition a vivid reality.