Albuquerque Graffiti and Street Art

For this weeks blog post I wanted to do something different. Since art is visual I decided to base this blog on a few images of Graffiti and Street Art seen here in Albuquerque, New Mexico. These are just a few images of pieces local artists have done in the Duke City. graf 1 graf 2 graf 3 graf 4 graf 5

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Social Media Usage: Vans vs Nike

The past few weeks I wrote on several organizations and bands I follow on social media. I touched on what I like and dislike about the usage of their social media accounts and how it impacts their intended audiences. The organization I follow on a daily basis is a clothing company/skate brand known as Vans Off The Wall. So my news feed on every social media account I have activated is filled with their posts. I would first like to discuss the social media usage of Vans then transition into how their competitors duke it out through the web. First off, the clothing company Vans is very active on all of their social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, Instagram, etc). Even though they are very active users I tend to see the majority of their posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As I have stated in previous posts, this company does a great job at uploading media and interacting with their audience. One of Vans biggest competitors is none other than Nike. Nike is known for their premier sports and athletic wear and is major sponsor for professional athletes. Nike is also active on social media having accounts such as Facebook and Instagram. This company does a great job at uploading media to their accounts and interacting with their audience. One thing I think Nike does better than Vans through social media is the versatility they apply to their accounts. They understand that each social media forum addresses different audiences through different forms of information and communication. They do a great job at tailoring their information to the standards viewers hold for these social media sites. From my personal experience of following both brands on social media, I feel as though Vans is slowly starting to understand this concept. For example I notice on Vans twitter account they sometimes tweet a skate link video to its audience. Even though the tweet is short (with the link included) it does not best suit the layout of twitter. I feel as though people would lose interest having to click on another link to see what all the hype is regarding this particular video. Nike on the other hand tailors videos to the layout of twitter. For example Nike may upload a vine of what video clip they are trying to share with their audience. This will allow their audience to view the video clip without having to navigate away from twitter and it only last six seconds. If they wish to see more they may then venture off and search for more information regarding the video. I feel that if Vans and other companies understand that each social media account was developed for a particular format and purpose, this will result in more positive outcomes.

Durango Gets A Taste of The 505

This year I have been very fortunate and have had the opportunity to travel out of New Mexico. This past week I traveled to the city of Durango, Colorado, with my family for vocational purposes. I have never traveled to Durango to stay and view the city so I was very excited to venture off and see what art its streets had to offer. Prior to leaving for Durango I made sure to prep my stickers and slaps as I usually do when I travel out of town. However, I was running low on supplies and could not take nearly as much stickers as I had wanted to. In order to make up for the lack of stickers, I wanted to do something different in this foreign city. As I previously stated when I travel to new cities or towns the majority of my work consists of throwing up stickers. I wanted this city to see a part of my art that I primarily only partake in here in Albuquerque. I decided to push myself and made some of my homemade wheat paste and took a large scale stencil I had been saving for an opportunity like this. When I arrived in Durango I stayed on the outskirts of town in a very nice rustic cabin. This was a nice location to view the beauty of nature but this left me far from the city. I was not able to wonder off into the city until the second day. Prior to visiting Durango, I did not think there would be much street art or graffiti due to it not being the major city of the state. To my surprise I was proven wrong. As I began my walk around the downtown area the streets were filled with stickers. I did my usual routine and threw up some of my stickers along the side of other artists who reside in this area. I spent about three hours walking around down town taking pictures of stickers and tags I had found on street lights, stop signs, and curbs. This was all very satisfying yet I wanted to find the “gold mine” of the city. I ended up taking off into the rural areas of the city in hopes to find what I was looking for. I walked several blocks along a bike path and finally hit the jackpot. The path lead to an underpass of a small bridge where nothing but tags and graffiti covered it from top to bottom. I posted the large scale stencil I had brought from home to add to the wonderful collection of art I had stumbled upon. I was happy to venture into this beautiful city of Durango and to offer it a little taste from the Duke City.

Interesting Social Media Forums

When it comes to viewing content on the web we all have our own personal preferences of the sites we choose to receive information and what medium of content we prefer. The majority of my friends use various sites such as Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter to gain information regarding breaking news and trending topics. Another site I constantly hear about for do it yourself infographs and  photos is a site known as Pinterest. I personally believe this website attracts an audience primarily dominated by a female population. For example my two sisters, cousins, and female friends all have a Pinterest account. They all tell me how much they love this social media outlet for various reasons. Some enjoy the food recipes it offers and the easy do it yourself tutorials for home makeovers. This social media forum is entirely based on visuals. I personally have a Pinterest account and lets just say it has been collecting dust since I activated it. The way in which I view content on this website does not attract nor maintain my personal interest. A website that I use daily for access to trending information and breaking news is a site known as Tumblr. This social media outlet is under the format of a blog and allows users to share photos, quotes, links, music, videos and text posts. So personally I prefer receiving information from a blog that offers more than one medium to comprehend data. There are several reasons why I love Tumblr and what it offers to its users. One reason is due to its unpredictable nature. I follow over 100 different blogs and each user is fairly unique in what they reblog. I view material such as content regarding police brutality, race inequality, gender discrimination and foreign affairs. These are just a few topics I get to read about daily. Another reason I really enjoy Tumblr is due to what I like to call the “fun” content. Things such as funny videos, pictures, and stories constantly fill my news feed and keep me entertained. I also like to use this site to keep up to date with bands that I follow in order to hear about new music or tour dates. This website also allows me to network myself and share my art work to viewers who prefer receiving information over this type of social media outlet. These are just some of my personal experiences and preferences when it comes to viewing content through social media.

My Week In Photos

In this blog post I captured several images of the main events that made up my past week. Enjoy.

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Here are two images of my usual street art stroll

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I play on two softball teams during the week

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I took my girlfriends son to play some Putt Putt 🙂

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Watched my little sisters varsity cheer leading team from St. Pius X High School perform at the state championships. They took 5th place.

Artists Who Influenced My Passion of Street Art & Graffiti

For this week’s blog post I wanted to compose a post in which I talk about the artists who influenced me to become a street artist. Prior to taking up this “hobby” of composing stencils, stickers and wheat pastes, I did not have a favorite artist. I was a little oblivious to famous artists as well as the various types of art that existed. Once I began partaking in stencil making back in 2012 was when my eyes were opened to the composers of the street. I would regularly post my artwork on Twitter and Instagram not thinking much of what I had made would end up being viewed as something special in the eyes of my audience. Eventually, several of my friends and followers on Twitter would comment on my work and would make remarks such as, “You are like the modern day Banksy” or “You are the Albuquerque version of Banksy”. Even though I found these comments to be flattering I had no idea who or what Banksy was. I was then quick to look up whom this Banksy was and why I was being compared to this artist. Once I did my research on who he was I could totally see the resemblance in the work we both produced (However, my work is nowhere near that greatness of his). I am now obsessed with Banksy and the work he has composed. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Banksy, he is a unanimous graffiti artist who portrays political messages accompanied with dark humor. Another artist who has been a major influence for me is known as Shepard Fairey. Most famously known for his Obey clothing company, Shepard Fairey was once an artist like me, exploring the world of street art and making a name for himself. The way in which I stumbled upon Shepard Fairey was by surfing YouTube regarding the topic wheat paste recipes. This was when I was new to making stickers and slaps and wanted to broaden my skills as an artist. I then came across a short documentary entitled, “Street Basics by Shepard Fairey”. This twenty minute documentary completely blew me away and opened my eyes to a whole new concept of street art. Both of these artists vary in their styles but produce mesmerizing messages to their viewers around the world. These two artists remind me each day of why I fell in love with street art and graffiti and why I continue to push myself to everyday.

Iphone Anxiety: Its Real

I really enjoyed reading a post from Beth’s Blog regarding Iphone Anxiety. This blog post basically addressed how we rely heavily on our electronic devices (particularly our phones) and how it is not good for us. Some of the habits we develop with our smartphones that are considered  to be “not good” for us are as follows: Sleeping with your phone, having phantom alerts and eating with your phone. I have been an Iphone user for the past four years and I can honestly say that I have developed bad habits regarding the use of my smartphone. First off, I always sleep with my phone. I tend to fall asleep with it underneath my pillow or occasionally with it in my hand. According to Beth’s blog post, “you need to put your phone away at least an hour before sleep to avoid disruptive sleep” (BethsBlog, 2015). There are rare occasions in which I get a full nights sleep without waking up. Often times I tend to wake up once or twice for the usual bathroom break. Prior to getting up I automatically check my phone. Its usually pointless to check my phone at 3:00 in the morning and I always question myself on why I am quick to check my phone as soon as I wake up. Another bad habit I practice regularly using my smartphone is eating with my phone at the table. This is considered to be a bad habit and is seen as a rude practice to those around you. By having your phone out at the table, this indicates that you are not fully engaged with those you are eating with and most importantly are not focused on what you are eating. I really enjoyed reading this article from this blog post and how the site was managed and setup. One thing I liked the most about this blog post was how direct it was with the information it delivered to its viewers. The entire blog post was no longer than one page. Due to its shortness this blog delivered precise and efficient information regarding the topic. The main thing I liked about this blog was how it provided me with information I can relate to. After reading this blog and reviewing the recommended tips regarding “Iphone Anxiety”, I found new ways in which I can address these bad habits and reduce the levels of stress my body endures due to my addiction of smartphone technology. The information I gained regarding Iphone Anxiety can be accessed from the following blog/site:

http://www.bethkanter.org/fitbippides/

Albuquerque Graffiti and Street Art: Crime or Art?

Just like any other form of art, there are those who adore it and those who criticize it. Graffiti and Street art in general has both its pros and cons but it’s all in perspective to its viewers. There has been an ongoing debate since the origin of this art medium on whether or not graffiti and street art is considered to be a crime or art. Recently, Albuquerque graffiti made local headlines but not for the most positive reasons. Many artists have been pushing the boundaries and have begun tagging up major bridges and businesses in the Albuquerque area. For example the tags DMT, Geko, Believe and Plugs have been sited on the overpass connecting I-40 to Coors Boulevard and have also been seen at the top of the Sunshine Theater downtown. To the eyes of many citizens here in Albuquerque, this is seen as vandalizing and the destruction of public property. Under these extreme circumstances it is highly destructive to businesses and the city as a whole. One reason many people criticize graffiti and street art here in Albuquerque is due to the fact that it is still in its developing stages. Compared to major cities such as LA and New York, they are considered to be mainstream when it comes to graffiti and street art. For example, I recently went to San Diego and took a few days to wonder the city and view some of its graffiti and street art. From what I saw it covers everything. From street lights and stop signs to underpasses of bridges, tags and characters were scattered across the walls of the city. While exploring the city, I decided to ask some locals a few questions regarding graffiti and street art in San Diego. Of the five individuals I questioned, four stated they did not have a problem with it and believed it to be seen as normal. I feel as though in order for the public to accept graffiti and street here in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it must be displayed in galleries in order for it to be appreciated as a style of art rather than vandalism. What the general public does not understand is that displaying this type of art in galleries and museums takes away from the pieces overall meaning and message. Artists use their environment to relay messages to their viewers and to make their presence known. Under some circumstances graffiti and street art is considered a crime. It is ultimately based on its viewers to determine whether or not this art style should be stopped. Not all beautiful things want to be seen.

The Producer of Marketing: Helpful Tips

This week’s web readings and online video clips opened my world to a career in the film industry known as The Producer of Marketing and Distribution. To some individuals in the film industry, the producer of marketing and distribution is just a title for a “social media manager”. I for one, think this is false in that this career in the film industry is entitled to various tasks that are not related to updating a company’s social media account. According to Jon Reiss of Filmmaker Magazine states, “To be a PMD, a person must be involved in all aspects of a film’s distribution and marketing, including audience identification and engagement, creating a distribution and marketing plan, budgeting that plan, creating marketing elements, creating and managing other assets to help promote the film”. The PMD position is entitled to these responsibilities which play a huge role in the outcome of a film’s success. After reading and viewing several web videos regarding the PMD position I have learned several tools and fundamentals I can implement from this career into my daily usage of my social media accounts. One of the main roles of the PMD position I can incorporate into social media work is learning how to successfully identify my target audience. When blogging about a topic you are passionate about it is crucial that your writing is geared towards the audience you wish to address. For example I am an artist and write a blog regarding my life as an artist in the city I currently live in. At first it was hard for me to identify a specific audience in order to have views on my blog. I would ask myself: “Do I want my blog to address all artists in the area where I am from or do I want it to speak to those who only specialize in the style of art I partake in?” Just like filmmakers I did not fully understand how to address my target audience right off the bat. Another key component from the PMD position I can administer into the usage of my social media applications is engaging my audience. In order to promote what I do and increase my audience I must engage in some sort of activity with my followers. I have learned that the PMD position requires audience engagement in order to promote a film. I have actually participated in audience engagement with my audience as an artist. For example I have an Instagram account where the majority of my work is published. Through this social media application followers and fans of my work see what I do on a regular basis. As a result I offer free pieces and samples to followers who show major interest in my work. These are just a few ideas and concepts from the PMD position I can incorporate into my own personal life.

San Diego Gets a Taste of The 505

This past week I had the privilege to travel to the wonderful city of San Diego, California. The main purpose of this trip was for vacation, which usually means I have the opportunity to venture off into the city and get to work. Usually when I travel out of town I tend to prep what I will be taking with me whether it be spray paint, markers, stickers, wheat paste or stencils. Since I spent a total of four days in San Diego, I made sure to cut out more than enough stickers for this trip. I have over ten different styles of slaps (stickers) that I throw up all over town. I spent a total of twelve hours pressing and cutting my stickers for this trip. Even though I have a love/hate relationship with this process it was well worth the hard labor. I was excited to go to San Diego because the first time I had gone, I was still in the process of finding who I was as an artist. I ended up staying in a very nice hotel near seaport village where tons of tourist from around the globe travel to stroll along the bay area. Within this small area of the city there where what I like to call “gold mines,” which are ideal areas to post stickers and tags. These spots consisted of old phone booths, power boxes, street lights, stop signs and trash cans. Many of these spots had been filled with artist both local and foreign. I made sure to acquire any spot available with my artwork. Day two in Dan Diego I stumbled upon an ideal spot of graffiti and street art. I was taking a casual walk down the bay and came across a cement picnic area near the edge of the water. I walked around to the rocks surrounding this area and underneath I hit the jackpot. Tags covered every inch of the wall underneath this small area of the bay. I immediately went to work and threw up my own tags. I had never stumbled upon such a beautiful spot before. Usually, most graffiti tags and throw ups are within the city covering alley ways. This unique spot was right on the edge of Coronado beach. It gave a whole new meaning to what this type of art is and how artist push boundaries to allow the surrounding environment influence their scribbled messages. While in San Diego I arrived with 326 stickers and returned with 207. I represented the Duke City and made a statement about the type of artist I am and where I came from. I look forward to return to San Diego to see both my old artwork and how I will evolve as an artist.