Own your Wall

I spent last Sunday hanging out on Leake Street with Boyd, or Solo One as he is popularly known.

A zen like graffiti artist, I first met him while he was working as part of Positive Arts on the Brixton Windmill Mural Restoration Project. The one thing that made Boyd stand out is the fact that along with being really friendly, he seemed to have infinite patience. And not only me but with everyone who wanted to have a go at spray painting.

So I’ve decided to make a few trips to watch him work. To hopefully learn a thing or two about life, street art, and grooming yourself for excellence.

What I absorbed from Boyd this Sunday, is that graffiti helps you lose your fear. Fear of getting caught, fear of handling a difficult situation, fear of filling up a space.  After you conquer the fear, nothing is ever as difficult.

Your graffiti reflects your values and your culture. It has to be the best parts of you or else it fails.

Your ‘production’ as he calls it, has to be as beautifully presented as you would in a gallery. That means cleaning up the clutter and empty paint cans when you leave, and adding finishing touches that include spray painting the street to match parts of your art.

Boyd also taught me that respect in the world of street art has to be earned, and literally from scratch every time you work on a wall. The best works are left untouched for longer, which means more people see and photograph them. And that is the aim of every street artist – to create a work so powerful that no other street artist or vandal wants to touch it or cover it up, at least for a week.

My favorite part of this work, is where Boyd crafted a beautiful membrane like structure right in the centre.

I saw him create it out of nothing. One minute it was bare, the next minute he had created a detail so stunning it became the focal point for me. And you can see how he does it in the video; a whole lot of precision and a little hole at the bottom of the can.

Boyd was very inspiring to watch.  And you can see more pictures of him at work including a few of another well-known graffiti artist Astek.

Be open | Be passionate
Travel | Seek

Thanks Boyd for taking the trouble to chat with me. And for letting me potter around with your paints. I promise the next time I’ll stick to asking questions and fooling around with my camera.


PS 1 – for the first time all photographs are by me…whoop
PS 2 – Boyd usually works around Leake Street or Stockwell Pen if you want to watch him paint.

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